I hate to say it....but I think we all know there is at the very least some truth to this. Every manufacturer forum has seen it`s share of issues. Luckily some manufacturers have come thru with exceptional customer service which is obviously a planned business expense.
Over the last few months I've developed a lot of respect for Todd. While I don't always agree with him (~99%) in this case I suspect that he's for the most part correct. Todd is not a 1911 guy. I think that outside of the 1911 world that he's spot on.
Where we part is the 1911 world. I'm of the school of thought that a couple of brands are serial offenders due to misplaced priorities and lackluster QA controls. I'd agree that outside of that one or two that he is again, fit & finish aside, spot on. Most brands are very reliable but the occasional lemon will always slip through whether we are taking about Springers, S&Ws or Wilsons. That's where their outstanding customer service comes in.
The only way to tell is to test your individual example and assure yourself that yours is reliable. My own personal test is 200-300rds of ball (it's cheap) followed by a minimum of 100rds of my chosen SD ammo.
I think there is some truth in what he says on "production firearms".
But in the last 5 years - I've bought guns from mfg's like Sig ( an X-Five that came with a test target ) - a few 1911's from Wilson Combat that all came with their own test targets as well - and a 1911 Monolith Les Baer that came with its own test target.
When I put down $ 2,500 plus on a new gun - I still expect it to come with its own test target / and I think at that price point, they need to be spending more time on the gun to make sure it is what its supposed to be. If I send a gun to Wilson Combat for re-work, major refinishing, etc I will request, and pay for, the gun to be test fired.
Do I think Kimber test fires their guns ( no, not even out of their "sort of Custom Shop" with the Raptor, etc ), do I think Sig testfires their Revolution series 1911's ( no ) let alone their standard model 226's, etc ( no ) - but they should consider it and charge us a little more. I understand Glock has driven the expectation of price down / and some guys think they should be able to get any gun at a Glock price. Some people drive low end cars and trucks and some people choose to drive a Lexus .....and I would expect more from a Lexus dealer - just like I do from Wilson Combat - and I expect to pay more for the priveledge. Its a free country / and I'll pay for the kind of mfg'ing and service I want - and its just fine that way - and I don't really care if Glock or Kimber test fire their guns or not. If I choose to buy one / I should understand that.
Large inspection costs relative to defect prevention, is a violation of good quality control practice. First if the gun is made properly in the first place then adding $25 onto the wholesale price is not economical. Second if the gun is defective in inspection then the manufacture has to spend money rebuilding it driving up the prices. Out dated quality control procedures was one of the things that killed American industry in the early eighties.
Also, I should add that the two NIB guns that I have purchased, were fired at least once by the manufacturer, the only silver linings to the otherwise stupid ballistic fingerprinting BS.