Costs of Preconceptions

FTGC with the wisdom once more

From the gun counter with another accurate meme to rustle the jimmies.

Your optic can easily cost as much or more than the firearm it is sitting upon, especially when it comes to complex optics like variables.

Yet, we persist in this belief that our glass and mounting it should be less expensive than the rifle it is sitting upon when, if anything, the opposite is probably true.

I’m not just talking AR’s here. Any firearm has a degree of this capacity now and it is time we stop thinking that the $400.00 hunting rifle only deserves a scope the costs $119.99. More so, dispelling the notion that spending more than that is somehow preposterous and overspending.


Nothing is more crucial than the quality of the aiming interface between your eye and the firearm. Getting that equation right is make or break for being able to use the firearm for the intended purpose. It’s probably the most challenging aspect because the makers of the firearm can only guess and do their best to offer you enough platform to do what you want with the optic. With so many choices, the task is Herculean.

So the burden then is ours, the consumer, to pick the components to make this work and if we are stymied by an artificial cap in our own minds that the extra spend isn’t doing anything for us it makes it that much harder. We have to buy quality if we expect quality outcomes. The $8.99 aluminum rings and the $69.99 extra good most bestest hunting scope 3-12x with red and green illumination… probably not wise choices if anything other than ‘spend the least possible’ is the goal.

This isn’t to say you need to drop the colossal pile of dimes necessary to put a S&B PM II on your rifle, because that’s like 40,000 dimes. But ‘splurging’ just a little on a scope with nice glass in a range roughly co-equal to the price of the rifle? Yes. Then a nice hunt for a good pair of rings or a one piece mount to pair with it? Sublime.

The point, I suppose, is that we must continue shifting our thinking to see optics as the partner to a firearm and not a low cost accessory. Most of my rifles are topped with optic suites (optic and light) that equate to a substantial percentage of, or roughly equal to the cost of the rifle. With AR-15 types this holds strongly correlative for good performance whether you pick red dots, RDS+magnifier, ACOG, or LPVO. But when we start getting into distance glass it can easily outstrip the rifle it is on. A good .308 or 6.5 rifle can be solidly under $1,000.00 if you don’t want a fancy chassis stock, but putting 5-25 S&B on it will run far above that and with glass clarity that can nearly see the future.

Honestly, if you’re wondering which aspect to splurge on it is arguably the optic. If giving up a fancier stock gets you a next tier optic that is a win.

Keith Finch
Keith is the former Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. He got told there was a mountain of other things that needed doing, so he does those now and writes here when he can. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. Teaching since 2009, he covers local concealed carry courses, intermediate and advanced rifle courses, handgun, red dot handgun, bullpups, AKs, and home defense courses for civilians, military client requests, and law enforcement client requests.