A Geek With Guns

Views from a geek gun nut

High Speed, Low Drag

You know what’s cute? Fanboys of expensive equipment. These are the people who will spend an exorbitant amount of money on something and explain to you what it’s so much better than the cheap version you purchased. I’m sure we’re all a little guilty of that. Myself for instance run Mac computers which are more expensive than standard PC rigs. Personally I like OS X and the fact that it runs out of the box without any hassle to me so it’s worth it. Of course I can explain why I prefer it and find the additional cost worth it to me.

Today I’m going to talk to you about the other group of people who spend lots of money, the ones who buy marketing terms without knowing what they are. There have been a couple of threads over a MNGunTalk recently dealing with the AR-15. As with any thread dealing with AR-15 rifles you will have one or two fanboys/trolls pop in and explain how the only real AR-15 fit for battler is a Noveske, Spike Tactical, etc.

What I find hilarious is the reasons spouted by these super operators. This is where we get into marketing terms. Every company will give you a list of terms and exclaim them to be reasons why their product is superior to their competitor’s. Here is where the problem comes in, what the fuck do those terms mean? My favorite example is the debate between the Melonite finish on Springfield XDs and the Tenifer treating on Glocks.

A Glock fanboy will exclaim to you that the Tenifer treating is far superior to “cheap Czech rip off.” Of course anybody who’s researched to subject knows that Melonite is just another marketing name for Tenifer. They’re the same process by the same company.

AR-15 fanboys like to bring up all sorts of high-speed and low-drag terms. For instance they’ll talk about the tests that are done by the high end AR-15 manufacturers. Tests are great… so long as you know the tolerance for error. Making a perfect and flawless product is practically impossible, you will always have some form of defect. Due to this fact you must know the tolerance for error before you can consider any test legitimate. You also need to know the exact test performed and how it was performed. An example of this is manufacturers who do high pressure testing on their barrels. What exactly does this test entail? How high is the pressure? What does this test prove? All these must be answered before you can proclaim it as a reason to purchase one product over another.

Another classic example in the gun community are metal injection molded (MIM) parts in 1911s. Many operators will proclaim any gun containing MIM parts is automatically junk. Of course MIM parts are used in a great number of 1911s (almost any 1911 under $1,000) without issue. If you’re going to proclaim MIM parts junk you must know the rate of failure for MIM parts versus, say, forged parts. Most operators know that MIM parts are cheaper and therefore believe they are inferior without any other reasoning.

In the computer development field we have a game called buzzword bingo. Buzzwords are the marketing term for software. Companies will boast about how their software package uses an “open XML format for data storage in the cloud.” What this generally means is your data is stuck on one of their servers (“the cloud”) and what format it’s in is irrelevant. If you don’t continue to pay your monthly subscription fee you can’t get at your data and thus you’re locked into that vendor. The other thing is XML can be human readable… once in a great while. Open up a Microsoft Word XML file in a standard XML editor sometime and tell me if you can read anything contained within. You won’t. There will be an excessive number of tags and references to external document type definition (DTD) files (among external XML files, style sheets, etc.). It’s all a buzzword that ultimately means absolutely nothing for you, the customer.

Basically what I’m saying is don’t buy into marketing terms. If a company is trying to sell you a product and have a bunch of marketing speak thrown in as reasoning find out what that marketing speak means. Sure the bolt on that rifle may be made out of totallyawesomanium but if you don’t know what that alloy actually is you may be paying extra for the marketing term used by that company to describe 4150 steel.

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Written by Christopher Burg

October 28, 2010 at 9:00 am

Posted in Side Notes

Tagged with ,

2 Responses

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  1. Consider this the blog equivalent of “Like”.

    Alex

    October 28, 2010 at 8:15 pm

  2. I totally agree!

    The barrel steel debate is one of my favorites. They focus so hard on the what they miss the why.

    McThag

    November 2, 2010 at 12:28 am


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