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Discussion Starter #1
What I think should be done by manufacturers if they wanted to sell the "ideal" 1911 would be:

1) Quit telling us what we need and sell us what we want - example being roll marked warning labels (Ruger, Taurus), inapropriately engineered safeties (Kimber Series II, Winchester 94 cross bolt, S&W hammer block) or solutions to problems that don't exist (take your pick... possibly the .45GAP)

2) Realize they are selling perception and not reality - the reality may be that some technoligy is better for us, but if we don't perceive to be as safe we won't want it. The reality is MIM may be as good as tool steel, but the preception is tool steel is better - plastic vs. steel guide rods, plastic vs. steel MSH, external vs. internal 1911 extractors, forgings vs. casting...

3) Understand that sometimes right & wrong has nothing to do with anything - many manufacturer's customer service complaints stem from the customer being told it's all their fault and just stonewalling the customer on the other end of the phone to get rid of the problem. Usually the customer knows if they are right or wrong even if they won't say it... if a customer service rep treats me with the respect of a customer that maybe spent $1,000 to $10,000 in a year on their handguns, maybe I'd be more tolerant of a fluke defect. Whatever happened to "the customer is always right", and don't tell me "you can't do that in business anymore". How many people here have ordered from Brownel's? When was the last time you heard anyone complain about Brownell's customer service? You don't hear complaints because they treat the customer with a great deal of respect, try to do right and don't talk down to them... many years ago my gunshop caught on fire because of a stupid mistake that I made and should have known better; but, I did follow the instructions and all the products involved came from Brownell's... two days after the fire Brownell's delivered a couple thousand dollars worth of equipment to get me back in business as quickly as possible - I didn't demand anything or place blame, but they stood up when they didn't know if I would ever be back in business again, much less spend another dollar with them. Last year I spent over $20k with Brownell's and I will order anything I ever need that they carry from them... if something breaks that I think shouldn't or doesn't work like I think it's supposed to work (i.e. Nowlin Glock 21 guide rod that caused every round to jam, 2 Sorbathane recoil pads that cracked in two pieces after shooting, etc.) I don't send them back to Brownell's because I know Brownell's will only sell #1 products and there are times when even #1 products have a fluke defect... but I have trust in Brownell's so I know they would never knowingly send an inferior product. Another example is Wilson Combat... there is trust with their customers, trust makes us more receptive to new ideas...

Bottom line? If I were a manufacturer, I would figure out a way to give the customer what they perceived they wanted... if I knew there was actually a better way that would be a benefit customer - I would explain to the customers why it was better before forcing it on them (and I don't mean putting spin on it - i.e. plastic msh is self lubricating, smart people want external extractors... meaning if you don't want one you must not be smart).

So, if I were a manufacturer, my "ideal" 1911 would be forged frame/slide, tool steel parts, nothing plastic that is trying to imnpersonate metal, fixed sights that can be moved for adjustment, reliable without excuses, semi-tight tolerances, made as intended by JMB without forcing "better" engineering, and backed by customer service that may not always give you what you demand, but will at least not talk down to you and will be respectful and open minded, making me feel as if they were involved in solving the problem instead of placing blame.

But then, I'll probably never be a manufacturer...
 

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A couple of points. I don't know about Taurus, but Ruger puts on that warning because a court ordered them to do so; it was add the warning or go out of business.

As to making guns right and using quality materials, you are saying what I have been preaching for years, especially on extractors made of anything but the best quality spring steel.

But there is a small problem. EVERYONE wants top quality in a 1911, but the price should not go over $3.95, less a discount. A lot of what you mention is done to keep cost down. MIM parts cost a fraction of what milled or forged parts (or even cast parts) would cost. Remember, GI 1911's were made on a "cost is no object" basis, cost the equivalent of $1100 or so today, and that was in mass production, not the small scale manufacture of 1911 production today.

Plus, I am convinced that most clone makers know they are making toys and not serious guns for killing people; they don't really care and like some auto companies, figure they will deal with problems when they arise rather than building quality in the first place.

Jim
 

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stimulate sales, generate revenue, improve the bottom line. That's what companies need and want. Sell more, in order to sell more you have to innovate. Some innovations are good, some are bad. Some last, some don't.

That's just business.

Sort of like articles in gun mags. Little really changes so they are alwyas looking to stir something up or put a new spin on something that has been around forever. Otherwise how could they sell a gun rag?

Age old problem, as much as things change, they stay the same. You know the circle of life and all that...
 

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One small problem. Build a quality product using first rate parts, test and adjust each product to ensure proper function as it leaves out your door, run research and development full time, survey the customers to keep current of what they want, pay the necessary workers you have on payroll, pay operating expnses, ensure a profit so to stay in business, and reflect all of this in the cost per unit of the product produced. Now watch the average buyer complain of the high cost of your product and go to your competition who offers an inferior but cheaper product.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So, if I am understanding right - the manufacturers are ultimately giving us what we want (read, what we are demanding)... "just as long as it isn't over $3.95". We will all bitch & moan because we don't like this or that on a gun, but we can live with that as long as the price is somewhat reasonable... yes, we'll still gripe - but we can tolerate it.

Actually, in a capitalist kind of way this makes perfect sense... without realizing it we may indeed be getting exactly what we ask for - it may not be perfect, but we can afford to get it home.
 

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Lazarus, you are funny! I don't think you quite understand how things work, but your post made me laugh.

There is a huge gap right now between providing what the customer wants and doing so in a manner and at a price that will be what the customer can and will afford. There are people out there that will give you just what you want. Sadly, it makes many products fall under the category of "custom" and they cost through the nose. Customers aren't willing to pay custom prices across the board and so the product line often fails.

I really laughed at #1 one, the part about selling us what we want and not telling us what we need. You act like this is some how the fault of the manufacturer. For the process to work, the customer has to buy the stuff. The best way to get this message to the manufacturer is to stop buying the stuff we don't want. That should be a no-brainer. Stop blaming the manufacturer for the customer's mistake.

You are right, you probably never will be a manufacturer, at least not one that will be able to meet your own requirements. You seem to be another customer who claims to know the problems of the industry, but isn't a part of the industry. From the tone of your post, you will have the same customer service problems as the companies about which you are complaining.

Majic is right on about the cost factors.
 

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How many posts have you seen here asking "what is the cheepest, reliable 1911" or some variation of that. What you ask for is basically what Wilson Combat does (along with a couple otheres). Ask yourself why Kimber, SA and those who use MIM parts out sell Wilson. There's your answer.
 

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It is sad but true, probably the largest blame lies with us and how tightwad we are. We ask a lot for $400-$1000.

My personal opinion of what is "reasonable" in an out of the box 1911 has more to do with evaluating what is available and what it and its competition costs than anything to do with what I can afford. That's about all I can say in my own defense.
 

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Actually, Dan Wesson is making it, well, all except the $3.95 problem. But they are close. ;)
 
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