I’m a gear guy by nature. I love having “cool stuff”. Whether it’s the latest and greatest gadget, or some milsurp awesomeness, I spend plenty of time drooling over things. Heck, I can even be found accessorizing my purchases before I’ve taken delivery. It’s definitely exciting and fun if you ask me…

…and quite often a lesson in futility.

You see, there are many times where I look at something and think it will augment my kit well, only to find out that it just doesn’t do what I need it to do. Whether it be a primary item, or an accessory, I’ve found plenty of times where it’s worse than not doing what it needs to do. Instead it gets in the way and limits my (or the item it’s accessorizing’s) overall functionality and capabilities.

Magwell GripA prime example of this with regard to an accessory was a magwell grip I purchased some time ago. The idea seemed sound and the aesthetics were pleasing. I bought it, received it, and promptly attached it. At first glance everything appeared to work well and it was a comfortable, albeit less stable for me, grip. It wasn’t until I was at the range that I found it wouldn’t accept the majority of my magazines. Now, this was neither the fault of the manufacturer of the grip or the mags, they were simply incompatible.

Had that discovery happened in a real world scenario, and I was unable to reload under duress, I could have had a really bad day.

So, it’s with that in mind that this article is being written. A philosophy of ours here at Tri-Point Outfitters is that it doesn’t truly work unless it’s been tested, and tested in the manner in which your going to use it. Also, if you’ve made a modification to something that’s been tested previously, you may have just taken something that works perfectly well and made it insufficient for it’s intended use. Of course, this isn’t an absolute by any means. If you’re simply adding a pouch to your 72 hour kit or a light to your pistol, you can likely revert the change quickly with no impact.

The same can be said with regard to items of, let’s say, questionable quality. If you buy a wheat grinder at a discount price, you probably don’t want to wait until you need to make some bread to find out that the teeth on the gears don’t mesh well. A power outage isn’t the best time to find out that $2 LED light you picked up on your last outing falls apart when you try to turn it on.flashlight

Even the best tool for the job with the best quality can leave you wanting. Did you order a new jacket online? Was it sized optimistically, and you should have gotten the large instead of a medium? Stranded in a blizzard is the last place you want to be when you realize  you can’t zip it up.

The point is that it’s imperative that we take great care to know what works for us, how it works, and to be fairly confident that it will serve us well should we need it. As I see it, the only way to stay on top of these things is to test our gear not only when we get them, but routinely to ensure that they continue to serve us as we see fit.

So, get out there, put that hard earned gear to use, and find out what fits your needs!

Life is trial and error, every relationship is not meant to work, sometimes you’re just meant to learn the lesson.

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