The Price of Quality vs the Cost of Quality

Posted by Kane Wolf on 7/10/2019 to Firearm Topics
A very interesting and  informative letter from our friend Alex Ragulsky. 
Alex is a former law enforcement officer, US Air Force veteran, firearms instructor, hunter and competitive shooter.
Today he writes about his thoughts concerning cost and quality.
Thank you, Alex, for sharing your experiences with us !

Dear Tandemkross,

What is the price of quality vs the cost of quality?

Recently I was at a .22 rimfire pistol match.  The predominant handguns were the Ruger Mark series and the S&W .22 Victory.  Naturally there were a few other guns present but they didn't shoot well enough to place.  Probably not a gun issue but more a shooter issue.

The match was a mix of steel and paper with shots out to 60 yards.  Some in as close as 7. My Victory worked well and I was handling it like I actually knew what I was doing for a change.  Between coughing fits and spitting; I was posting remarkable scores and making the buzzer with time to spare.

I ended up in a shoot off for Overall Champion against some guy who, all in all, did not seem to be that good.  So what does that say for me if the best I could do was to tie him? Forget I asked that!

For the shoot off we did plates and paper with reloads on the clock.  This guy was shooting a Victory and since I was wearing my Tandemkross T-shirt, in the spirit of sportsmanship, I offered to let him use a couple of my magazines with the Tandemkross “VictoryPRO” Extended Base Pads and “Maximus” Plus1 Followers.  It should be enough to say that my offer was not greeted in a charitable fashion.

During the shoot off stage, I ran smooth and posted a perfect 400 with 34X in a very fast time under 40 seconds!  My new found "friend" who shot first, bobbled two reloads and dropped one magazine. His score was in the low 300's with 19X and a time pushing a minute!

When we were done I congratulated him on making it to the final shoot off.  He asked to see my magazines and even tried a couple. Immediately afterwards he went to the match director and filed a protest saying that I was using "illegal" equipment.  The match director quickly had enough of my new friend but still checked my gear. He ruled in my favor and said that my magazines were top drawer (and asked for the company contact information).

On one stage, before the shoot off, I used the original S&W unmodified magazines and actually fumbled a reload and missed a grip on my draw.  Cost me a couple points and maybe a quarter second.

So I will ask you, "what is the price of quality vs the cost of quality?"  Neither can be measured in just dollars and cents. Bragging rights at a local match?  Probably. The satisfaction that you get for shooting a perfect match? Oh, you damn bet!  Or just the thought of the stars aligning and everything going right? It almost happened for me at this match.

Last night as I cleaned my gear I decided that I could afford quality.  I ordered a spare extractor, spring and plunger.  If a spare is good then two spares are better, right?  And I ordered enough “VictoryPRO” Extended Base Pads and “Maximus” Plus1 Followers to modify my entire complement of magazines.   

I had the match of the year at this one!  Maybe next time I won't be so lucky. But if I can legally "stack the deck" maybe my mistakes won't be as costly.

The difference between first and second was only about a hundred dollars.  But that really isn't the price of quality. The price of quality was partially measured when I stood in front of a crowd who clapped when I got my trophy.  The price of quality was also partially measured when my shooting buddies stopped on the way home and bought me a steak dinner! The price of quality was partially measured when my wife gave me a high-five and a hug and said, "Good job!" (and took the check).  And the price of quality is measured as I sit here and brag to you.

The other guy learned (and taught me) the cost of quality.  I doubt he would have beaten me if he would have had a shotgun loaded with number 4 buckshot, let alone good magazines.  But now, for the rest of his life, he'll probably remember my magazines and his too.

I write this to you because this morning I was trying to sleep in when my yellow lab woke me up.  I told her that I wanted to sleep in and that I was some hot-shot pistol champion but she really didn't seem to care.  She's a smart dog so I told her again. It didn't matter and I got up to go on "our" walk. While out my cell phone alerted me to your message that my purchases had been shipped.

I have a NRA Action Pistol qualifier on Saturday.  Only one speed reload event (the Texas Mover). I have plenty of magazines for that as there are only 6 speed reloads.  However, consistent equipment is important. When I saw that my order had been shipped, I was excited and knew that although not critical I would have my stuff in time for the match.

Part of the cost of doing business is giving great service.  Part of the price of success is customer satisfaction.

Thank you,

Your Friend,

Alex Ragulsky

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