By Jim Duke
I dipped my toe into the world of modern black sporting rifles when I picked up an AR-15 a little less than a year ago. I needed something to do on the weekends when I’m out on the road by myself and fresh air at the range beats cable TV in a generic hotel room. It all started when I saw an M&P Sport for a little over $600 hanging on the wall in a Wyoming sporting goods store. I’d never seen an AR-15 for that price so . . .
I bought it. Shortly thereafter (later that day?), I discovered that Amazon.com has a quite a selection of accessories for ARs at some really good prices compared to a lot of other online stores. Who’d-a thunk it? At the time I also happened to be staying near a tactical supply store that had all sorts of things I didn’t need; beautiful shiny things. Within a week I had an order or two on the way from Amazon to go along with some (non)essentials from the tactical supply store.
For the rare person who isn’t familiar with the AR-15, this rifle was designed to be modular. That means you can swap parts and have several configurations of the same rifle, essentially creating different rifles with very little time or effort expended.
Want a close quarter carbine for clearing rooms? Pop a carry handle on your flat top and a flash light on the hand guard. Want a mid-range sniper rifle? A bipod and a medium powered scope can be mounted in about two minutes. How about a home defense configuration with a reflex sight, flashlight and a laser? I have the stuff for all of these setups and more. The only limits to configuring your AR are the thickness of your wallet and your imagination.
Sure, it starts innocently enough; a low cost red dot to try out, Mapgpul hand guards, a couple extra P-Mags. None of those really costs all that much. No problem, right? It doesn’t seem like too big a deal until you start noticing miscellaneous accessories laying around that you’ve barely used, laying in their boxes collecting dust.
But what really sucks is adding up the cost of all of those accessories. That’s about the time you realize you could have bought another gun for what all that junk cost you. And to top it off, the pile seems to still be growing, as if it has a life of its own.
A while back, when I was still trying to find out what kind of optic worked best for me, I was talked into buying a small red dot for about $80 bucks and moved on down the road the next day. Sadly, I was too far away to return it by the time I realized I didn’t like it after all.
I’ve never been to the range with this sight. It’s brand new, still in its original box. My stomach turns every time I look at it. And yes, I’ve bought two more red dots and a scope since. Naturally I had to get a quad rail, too, to make it even more convenient to hang unnecessary crap on my rifle. It’s like handing a shiny new pipe to a raging crackhead.
But the biggest problem with all of this is that my affliction has now spread to other firearms. Before I knew it, I needed a black pistol to complement my black rifle. I went with a S&W SD9. Then I decided I had to get my CCW, which then forced me to buy a snubby .38 for concealed carry. That SD9 just wouldn’t do.
It didn’t take too long before I felt the need to have a compact 1911 to carry as well. You know, ’cause a guy needs to change it up sometimes. Oh and let’s not forget the .22 pistol that was simply essential so I could save some money at the range. Did I mention that I also recently bought a 9mm 1911? Of course my carry guns are both sporting rosewood grips now because I like my guns to be purty.
The really messed up part is I’m always thinking of new things that I “need” for one or more of my heaters. Extra mags, new sights, sweet-looking grips, you name it. It seems that my addiction just cannot be satisfied. Don’t even get me started on holsters….
Somehow I feel the fault lies with evil accessory manufacturers and the dastardly dealers who peddle their products of doom without the slightest concern for the health of my ailing wallet. Their collective lack of regard threatens the very fabric of our (at least my) economic stability.
Perhaps it’s time to impose revenue enhancements on the sale of these items in order to fund some form of governmental oversight to ensure that no American is cast into poverty by the need for an overabundance of reasonably priced firearm accessories. Surely I can’t be held responsible for my own actions as I was clearly influenced by external forces beyond my control. I really should be suitably compensated for any and all damages done, both financial and emotional.
And will someone please keep me away from that revolver display case?
Jim Duke is the brains behind the Unsolicited Biased Opinion blog.