You have all seen commercials for money making schemes that make incredible claims about the gains that people involved with their program have seen. They make their pitch and then the fast talking guy at the end says something like “Past performance is not a guarantee of future returns.” Well, sometimes gear is that way too.
I recently had all sorts of issues with a new AR-15 that I had built. It just wouldn’t shoot well at all. The upper was from a high end maker and had one of their high end hammer forged barrels. It was free-floated and was topped off with a high quality variable magnification optic. I was not expecting sub-MOA accuracy but there were times when I couldn’t get this rifle to print less than 6″ at 50 yards (it printed groups as large as 12″ at 50 yards). It wouldn’t reliably hit a standard sized silhouette target at 200 yards. I tested the optic and the upper several different ways. I had too much time and ammo invested in this project and I just couldn’t track down the problem… until I tried new ammo.
I felt like a goober for not checking the ammo sooner but this was ammo that always worked for me before. I purchased 3000 rounds of this ammo, Prvi Partizan 62gr, 3 years ago and I was down to my last 250 rounds. All of those last 250 rounds were shot through the gun that I thought was having problems. Once the ammo was replaced, this gun was suddenly capable of very acceptable accuracy. I was able to go 3 for 3 on a 6″ circular steel plate at 300 yards in a training drill using the magazine as a mono-pod.
Barrels and parts wear out, ammo changes from lot to lot, your skill level changes and you outgrow gear, your needs and mission can change, and technology marches on with or without you. There are any number of reasons that gear that works today, may not be best for you tomorrow. This is part of why it is so vital to keep detailed records about your gear and training. These records help you to spot trends and unexpected changes.
So, remember that when it comes to get rich quick schemes and gear, past performance is not a guarantee of future returns.