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How Much? The days when factories gave guns to writers are dead and gone
This is in response to a gentleman who, in response to my rant on custom rifles versus factory guns, said that, in light of the prices some of these firearms go for, he’d like to know how much I’m paid. Fair question.
In the good old days when I was breaking in, factories used to flat-out give firearms to gun writers, and the better-known of these guys used to accumulate veritable arsenals. When Warren Page passed on, his guns were baled like hay and sold by the ton. Custom gunsmiths used to give them guns too, because a kind word in print could make their careers.
Well, those days are over. These days, we get guns on loan, and if we want to keep them, we send a check, usually for an amount that isn’t reduced a whole hell of a lot from list price. As for custom guns, we sometimes get a small discount. These guys simply can’t afford to give away guns. The components are too expensive and the labor costs are too high.
I have to scrimp and save to buy the fancy stuff, but I’ve found this: Long after you forget about how much you paid, or what you went through to get it together, the performance of the gun justifies everything, and then some. Many of the golfers on the pro tour don’t make a lot of money, but their clubs cost a fortune, and have been diddled with to the nth degree. They are the tools of the trade, as guns are the tools of this strange profession, and we use the best we can.