1911Forum banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Administrator
Joined
·
79,838 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I spied a brand-new Colt blued Series 70 at a shop today. It had a plastic mainspring housing on it, when they are supposed to be steel. Also the trigger looked like the bluing didn't take too well. I was really annoyed this trip to all the local gun stores, because it seems everything is getting more and more cheaply made. I also looked at a new Beretta 92 with the military M9 markings, but it had a TON of plastic small parts, and in fact it didn't even have all the correct military markings! The standard 92FS right beside it was even worse, with more plastic parts than the so-called "M9", and no doubt the few metal parts were likely MIM. Of course the price is still $559 for a new 92 or $699 for the wanna-be M9. So, who else is making guns with plastic parts that once were made of machined steel or alloy? I went to the new shop in Kirkland everyone was telling me about, and while they had a lot of stuff I had to leave before I began yawning. Everything new is plastic. While I'm not opposed to the use of plastics (as long as performance or longevity isn't affected), why is it the prices keep going up? To me, a plasticized Beretta should cost no more than $479 new. A Glock should be $399. An HK USP should be no more than $550.

When I consider how much guns have gone up, while the use of cheap parts has increased, anything on the used shelves seem like a real bargain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
750 Posts
Most of us already know about Kimber mainspring housings being plastic.
I bought a Remington 870 Express and the trigger group housing was plastic. I couldn't believe it. How about the plastic safeties on Mossberg shotguns? How many of those 'gems' get smashed to bits? I believe there are plastic sights on Glocks.

There is nothing wrong with plastic for use in certain applications, but.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
I couldn't agree more! Sadly.
I'm not opposed to plastic/polymer, but I'm really, really against CHEAPNESS...
I hate the obsession manufacturers seem to have with profit. Politics and economics aside, I would respect them a heck of a lot more if they decided to make less profit in exchange of offering a superior product to the market.
I know... I'll dream on...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
735 Posts
I am glad DSK said it cause if it were anyone else we would be accused of bitching and bashing! I feel the very same way and it is sad that the quality has suffered with production 1911's.

This is exactly why I buy from the big boy's, or have it built buy one of the big boy's! I feel it is a waste of money to buy alot of the production guns these days, I would rather buy a good used older gun from when the quality was still good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
952 Posts
I agree with DSK. The quality of firearms the last few years has slowly gone down hill in my opinion. Really nothing against plastics, but if it's not steel I'm not interested. The prices today are way out of line for either steel or plastic firearms.

The newest firearm I own and regularly use is a 1992 Browning Auto-5 12ga Magnum (Japan). Everything else is 1940's to 80's manufacturing years and the old proven designs i.e 1911's and BHP's, Ithaca Mod 37's etc....

I wish the manufactures would find ways to cut costs, not quality which they are at a higher price. Just my 2 cents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
Pierruiggi said:
I couldn't agree more! Sadly.
I would respect them a heck of a lot more if they decided to make less profit in exchange of offering a superior product to the market.
Yeah, you're dreaming. :)

However, would you be opposed if they simply raised prices slightly to compensate for the higher manufacturing cost of metal guiderods, safeties, and other small parts?

I'd go for it, myself. The thing is, 95% of all other consumers would NOT, and therein lies the problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,199 Posts
A Glock should be $399. An HK USP should be no more than $550.
I agree with you Dana. But when you do price accordingly, the consumers view it as "Cheap". Take for instance the Ruger P-95. Polymer frame and cast steel parts, though Ruger probably makes the best cast in the business. I can buy a new P-95 for $289. It still has to do with the "status". I just picked up a like new P97 for $249. Great gun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,647 Posts
I've done quite a few action jobs on new S&Ws revolvers lately, and theres no denying that both the quality of new parts and the way these are "fitted" in the firearms has gone downhill. I've seen lately some of the worse double action pulls ever on S&Ws. Gritty, uneven, stacking, oversized hand rubbing like mad in the hand window, you name it. The hammer and trigger are case hardenned MIM, the markings are minimal, the rear sights blades are often loose... Yet we pay MORE for them, and they have a stupid integrated lock, that I've witnessed locking up a gun while shooting... :mummy: S&W double action revolvers all seem to still have that very sweet single action pull to them though, lets give them that...

And thats only S&W. I think we all saw what DSK is talking about one place or another. Hopefully the pendulum is on it's swing toward cheap quality for more profit, but will soon go back to normal... All the gun laws, "safety" requirements, are surely not helping companies keeping the prices down. Nor are the employees salaries.

Didn't I see a plastic fire selector on a brand new Bushmaster AR-15 Carbine? High end Beretta EliteII now has a trigger coated with polymer, plastic decocker lever and FLGR...

Alex.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,079 Posts
The obvious key fact in the current trend, and one that will not only allow it to continue but ensure that it does, is that the market place settles for it, and frequently demands it.
Beyond that, there are other factors.
Manufacturing costs have escalated dramatically since the "good old days", and we saw the results beginning in the 1960s when wages in general began to rise and quality in some areas such as fitting began to decline. Used to be parts were expensive, labor was cheap. As has been noted here frequently- now it's the opposite. Materiel costs are also going up, China has driven prices way up on many metals within the past two years.
The emphasis on individual craftmens' skills has been largely replaced by CNC machines and cheaper & quicker methods of small parts production.
Demand has also increased substantially in recent years as more people had more discretionary funds to buy guns with, and the self-defense craze built up a full head of steam. Up until about 30 years ago, it was relatively rare for the average gun-owning household to contain more than two or three guns. Hobbyists had five or six (not talking collectors, entirely separate bunch) if they were into target shooting, outdoors activities, and/or hunting, but when somebody inherited "Grandpa's gun", that's what it usually was- Grandpa's gun, not Grandpa's guns. With more limited income to spend on them, a very low interest level in personal defense, and far fewer choices, the average gunbuyer just didn't purchase a truckload of guns. A hunting rifle and maybe either a .22 pistol or a good .38 were "enough", possibly a shotgun. Today, the demand is hugely increased, the supply and variety of guns has ballooned accordingly, and the number of people who buy more than one or two guns before they wear out their first one has also ballooned.
Makers understandably try to get as much of the market share as they can, and they can either put out a very fine quality gun that the majority won't pay for and rely on a higher profit margin in moving a lower number of units, especially when one or more companies put out guns that look similar and at least function for much less, or they can put out a lower quality gun that compares favorably with the competition and go for a lower profit margin in moving a larger number of units. The overcrowded 1911 field is a very clearcut example of compromises made to stay competitive.
You and I would cheerfully pay $100 more (and some of us actually beg for a chance to do it) for a gun with all steel parts, no MIMs, and no gunlock, but you and I don't make up the bulk of the marketplace. There are just too many people who are either new to gunnery & don't know the difference, or who don't want to spend more than $300 for any gun, and those are the bulk of the market that keeps buying whatever the makers put on the dealers' shelves. No offense to anybody here intended, but this is quite obvious with the volume of posts from people not familiar with older guns, those who complain about gun prices, and those who ask "Where can I find the cheapest this or that?" The rest of the market is other people like you and me who have to buy the new gun in a form we don't like because we want or need that general configuration, and can't find it in an older gun. That segment of "kicking & screaming" new gun buyers will grow as the older guns on the used gun market dry up and the trend to cheaper parts & manufacturing continues.
If the gunbuying public stood up en masse and told the firearms industry it would buy no more guns with MIM parts, the MIMs would be gone by morning. But, it won't happen, and as long as we keep buying MIM and plastic, you can bet your life that's what we'll keep getting.

Denis
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
DPris,

This is a very timely thread for me and I couldn't agree with you more.

This is the reason why three of the last four firearms I've purchased have been over 20 years old. In one case the gun was over 30 years old. All of these three >20 year old guns were either unused or darn near unused.

They were as follows

1. Unused Winchester 94 31 years old - given as a birthday gift to my father.
2. "Fired Once" S&W Model 28
3. Unused Colt S70 Combat Government.

I paid a premium for No.s 1 and 3, but the way I look at it they're all new and all contain far superior parts, fit and finish, thus I don't mind paying a little more because I don't have to spend additional money on parts upgrade or heaven forbid warranty repair, shipping, lack of firearm on the back end.

I will post pics of the Colt and S&W in another thread shortly.

DR
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Current manufacture guns are getting cheaper - lower quality

This thread ties in with another one posted by DSK today.

The topic of discussion relates to how many of the currently produced firearms models that we all know and love seem to be slipping, sometimes dramatically in the quality department.

I've been noticing this for a several years now and, as a result, I've been buying more new-old guns than current manufacture.

Two cases in point:

1. S&W Model 28 (fired once by the prior owner and then stored away until it was sold at an estate sale).







2. Colt S70 Combat Government (picked up last week from a collector who's had it in his safe since he purchased it new - never fired, until this past Friday night. Believe it or not this gun is scary accurate the first three rounds were in the shape of a triangle - all touching. It's as accurate as either of my Baers or Wilsons).











Each of these sidearms are IMHO nicer than anything I could acquire "new" and both are definte keepers... That is, until they are either handed down to my kids, or sold in an estate sale hopefully to somebody here who will appreciate them as much as I do.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
79,838 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
stfram said:
However, would you be opposed if they simply raised prices slightly to compensate for the higher manufacturing cost of metal guiderods, safeties, and other small parts?

I'd go for it, myself. The thing is, 95% of all other consumers would NOT, and therein lies the problem.
I wouldn't mind prices going up if the build quality remained the same. But I sure as $#!t am not going to pay $559 for a Beretta with plastic parts, when I can still buy a used one with all metal parts.

rob96 said:
I agree with you Dana. But when you do price accordingly, the consumers view it as "Cheap". Take for instance the Ruger P-95. Polymer frame and cast steel parts, though Ruger probably makes the best cast in the business. I can buy a new P-95 for $289. It still has to do with the "status". I just picked up a like new P97 for $249. Great gun.
Yes, that's another aspect of the problem. We all know how HK deliberately priced their USP high, because they discovered it actually sold better that way! Consumers expected an HK to be expensive like a Mercedes, so they didn't seem comfortable paying $500 for a new USP.

Sheeple :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,079 Posts
I'll say it again- if you like some of the classics, find them now in a form you can tolerate, and pick up enough of whatever you like to last your lifetime.
For too long I waited on a couple things, thinking "Hell, they'll always be around, no hurry", but now those guns just aren't quite the same, and I'm joining the increasingly long lines at gunshows looking for older ones in good shape.
In some areas, we've got some great guns being made today, in others they're past their peak. The trick is to know which is which, figure out what you want or need, and get at least a pair of them if finances permit.
Older guns, for instance, will never be cheaper in price, but the new ones can easily get cheaper in quality. I cheerfully traded a Garand last year for a 1955 pre-14 six-inch K38. I'm still watching for other Smiths.
Then again, I bought the current Model 57 Mountain Gun, bought a new Series 70 Colt, and I'll probably buy the new S&W Model 22 in .45 ACP, so I'm not totally and irrevocably opposed to new guns. I just have less interest in the new stuff for personal use than in the past.
Denis
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
110 Posts
dsk said:
Everything new is plastic.

It's part of a vast right wing conspiracy to turn all firearms into Glocks.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
79,838 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Actually, that's Glocks legacy towards the firearms industry. I see everybody is slowly discontinuing their steel and alloy-framed models and coming out with new polymer-framed models. It's not because polymer is tactically superior or really does anything that the other materials can't. Its because a pistol made largely of polymers costs but a small fraction of what steel/alloy ones do to make.

Like I was saying, gun shops have become so boring to visit lately. Unless the place has a large selection of used guns I'm hadly interested anymore. Virtually all my "window shopping" is done online these days, looking for older stuff.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,412 Posts
Yes , it's frustrating .

I have watched the changes first hand as a firearms retailer for the last 20 yrs .

There are a few good deals at present on quality sidearms at a fair price . FN recently dumped a large number of all steel HP pistols on the market at bargain prices under $500 . Even the guide rods are still steel :)
I think CZ remains a solid pistol choice priced under $400 with steel parts for the most part .

I also prefer used guns made the old fashioned way .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
750 Posts
The highest quality handgun I own, and likely the most accurate, is not either of the Kimbers that I dropped near $1000 for. Instead it's a Smith & Wesson Model 27-5 I picked up used at a pawn-shop for $289. Although the TLE is ok, that old .357 mag is one hell of a gun. I am not a revolver kind of guy, but there are allot of used Smiths sitting on shelves, and priced to sell.
For the price, I don't believe it is possible to get a better quality weapon.
I am with Denis, one day these guns will new longer be common, and we will have missed out on something special, atleast at an affordable price.

I guess I'm a little leery about buying a used auto, but there are so many older pistols out there with only a few hundred rounds or less through them, that the used market really deserves a serious look.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top