Euro Produced Guns & Perceived Quality?


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Skunkabilly
April 4, 2003, 10:29 PM
I know lots of guys who will look for Italian Berettas over American Berettas, saying the fit and finish is better.

HK is supposed to be planning on building a US plant, and will probably produce American USPs, MP5s, G36s, etc. etc. etc., and some folks are talking about holding onto their German guns as investments.

Are Euro produced guns truly better than US ones? I never shot an Italian Beretta so wouldn't know. Are they collector items, or do folks want them because of a perceived superior quality?

(Skunky trying to figure out if he should score a German HK91 or waiting for a US one)

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Standing Wolf
April 4, 2003, 11:13 PM
German guns manufactured when? Belgian guns manufactured when? Czech guns manufactured when?

CZ-75
April 4, 2003, 11:24 PM
So German CNC machinery is better than American CNC equipment?

Odds are good both guns are made on Cincinnati Milacron/R.K. LeBlond equipment.

Schuey2002
April 4, 2003, 11:25 PM
HK is supposed to be planning on building a US plant, and will probably produce American USPs, MP5s, G36s, etc.
Isn't the phrase "will probably produce" a little wishful thinking on your part, eh, Skunk ?? :neener:

QuarterBoreGunner
April 4, 2003, 11:54 PM
German guns manufactured when? Belgian guns manufactured when? Czech guns manufactured when?

Standing Wolf nailed it: German, Belgium and Czech firearms of a certain vintage have a sort of almost jewel like appeal, like a fine timepiece. I wish I had taken the opportunity to pick up a German Walther PP or PPK and I’m still collecting Belgium made Browning .22s. (T-Bolts anyone?)

And my BRNO Model #4 made in ’56 is a thing of beauty.

Boats
April 5, 2003, 08:38 AM
No one in Europe makes a decent 1911A1 or affordable DA revolvers so who cares?

firestar
April 5, 2003, 12:08 PM
German SIGs are truly much better than American SIGs. I don't believe the same is true about Berettas, I have an American made Beretta 92fs and it is about the finest 92 I have yet seen.

Maybe if the U.S. ever made a Glock they could make it EVEN cheaper and gouge the public for EVEN more of a profit! Just imagine, instead of all those pesky tarrifs and exchange rates cutting into profit, we could make a $75 gun and sell it for $500 also! Yeah! :rolleyes: That is of course an exageration but I still don't see why platic guns have to cost more than all steel or alloy framed guns.:scrutiny: Why is the Kahr PM9 more expensive than the Kahr MK9? Why, Why, Why????!! Why do I want a Kahr PM9 so bad but wouldn't buy a MK9? They got us by the balls and they know it!

Standing Wolf
April 5, 2003, 03:14 PM
I recently purchased a Browning Medalist made in Belgium in 1968. It's extremely well designed and finished. Tolerances are very tight. If you push forward on the safety, it disengages the firing pin, yet lets you dry shoot the gun. Clever, no?

I'm sure it would cost $2,500 to manufacture the identical gun today, which explains why Browning is in the Buck Mark business.

When European labor costs were significantly lower than ours, they could afford to finish guns better. Now that socialism has driven their labor costs up to and/or beyond ours—they're much less productive on a per-hour basis—you can expect their quality standards to be reduced.

Tag
April 5, 2003, 03:41 PM
Firestar,

I was reading on GT that the cost of the POLYMER used in the glock frames is actually more expensive per pound than the steel used in other guns. Of course the steel frames are much more expensive to fabricate, but the "plastic" used by glock is not cheap stuff.

jimbo
April 5, 2003, 04:20 PM
German quality has ALWAYS been exceptional. This comes from German culture. I have a friend educated in German trade schools. His work was better than any other student. The professor gave him a "B". When he asked why, the professor said, "Gudman, I know you can do better."

It is not enough to do well in German trade schools. It is not enough to excel. German culture requires that you do your best. Japan is similar. These cultures result in products with extremely high quality.

So yes, there has been a huge difference between high quality German and Japanese goods, over US manufactured goods.

Until recently...

US quality is soaring because we got our butts kicked in the 70's and most companies have long since adopted means and methods to excel. Even though our social culture does not demand excellence in the same manner as German trade schools, out Corporate culture now demands excellence. It is more than lip service. It is real.

That is why here in the year 2003, many of our products are second to none, including Germany and Japan. The only difference is in America you really get what you pay for. A cheap gun is going to be cheap and low quality, period. But a Kimber or Springfield or S&W is going to be just as high quality as any Sig or Beretta.

You don't have to believe me but it's true.

10-Ring
April 5, 2003, 04:22 PM
I think it will truly depend on the standards that are set if/when HK starts producing products here in the US.

I just prefer Italian Berettas & HK products in general. Although if Beretta were to introduce a US made, Gulf War II/ Iraqi Freedom commemorative 92fs, I'd be interested ;)

CZ-75
April 5, 2003, 04:27 PM
It is not enough to do well in German trade schools. It is not enough to excel. German culture requires that you do your best.

That why Mercedes has so many quality control issues lately?

Landfeldmesser
April 5, 2003, 05:11 PM
I've never had any trouble with my German made guns. My American assembled Walther now is a whole other story. It made repeated trips back to the shop and still was never right. Is it possible that their monkeys are sober, better trained and better paid than ours? Just looking at what Century does to AK's comes to mind. I doubt you'd see a German AK like that. :)

Archer
April 6, 2003, 12:33 PM
But a Kimber or Springfield or S&W is going to be just as high quality as any Sig or Beretta.

Possibly true in some individual cases. But in general Euro (specifically German) firearms tend to get a lot more proof testing than American weps.

Specific example: On balance, HK quality tends to be a lot better than, say, Springfield.

(I carry a Springfield Pro model, own several other Springies, and own lots of HK's, so no flames).


And unlike many Kimbers, SIG's generally ALWAYS go "bang" when you press the trigger. I've never seen a control lever break off a SIG, wish I could say the same about a Kimber.

Anyway, you probably get the point.

Mike Irwin
April 6, 2003, 05:17 PM
"Odds are good both guns are made on Cincinnati Milacron/R.K. LeBlond equipment."

Unfortunately, as S&W and other American manufacturers have proven, having CNC machinery is NOT a panacea or guarantee of having firearms with a high degree finish or fitting.

Walther P99
April 6, 2003, 09:22 PM
Although I'm not an expert here, but I think the general European work ethic is different then in the US.

Europeans (and Japanese as well) are much more team-oriented than here, meaning that they work for the good of the company as a whole, not for their own benefit/advancement. By putting the company first, they're focused more on producing the highest quality product possible, since that's the best way to benefit the company.

Also, the union situation in Germany is MUCH different than here:
In all companies employing at least 5 people may have a Works Council which represents the interests of employees with respect to corporate policy; larger companies (over 2,000 employees) are requires by law to have the supervisory board equally made up of representatives of the shareholders (Board of Directors) and employees in proportion to the # of employees. As a result, employees at all levels will have input in policy decisions affecting the company as a whole, which IMO would provide an incentive for everyone to work together. Any Germans here? Can you support/refute this?

Now look at unions here in the US: How many companies have unions and mgt. working together harmoniously? From what I've seen (I'm a low-level management employee at a union company) the unions are out to benefit only their membership. They demand (and receive) exorbitant benefits, job security, guaranteed maximum raises, etc. :barf:

And what do they do? I've overheard several union employees discussing falling asleep in their cubicles during company time, seen them reading novels during company time, refusing to do any more than what their job descriptions say to the letter, demanding (and receiving) not having to work any OT at all during our extremely busy times, when most mgt employees have to work 12-16+ hour days.

Now don't get me wrong, there are many excellent union workers in my company (and others) and they're excellent workers but I observe so much of the poor work habits that it makes me wonder. So based on these observations (at this company and from hearing others' experiences at other companies), I have a hard time seeing how a majority of these people in the US could put the company as a whole (and product quality as a result) first.

jimbo
April 6, 2003, 09:52 PM
CZ-75,

So do I understand you to say that given the choice of a free Mercedes you would rather have a Dodge Omni, right?

Don't even go there. Your response was silly.

Benton
April 6, 2003, 10:01 PM
I own a German-made Rohm "Falcon" .38 Special from the mid '60's that stands as the benchmark for cheapo handguns. Country of origin has no inherent certification of quality.

trooper
April 7, 2003, 06:21 AM
Walther,

I think it's about tradition to a large extent.

Germany has had a very high reputation for high-quality, extremely reliable, very precise mechanical products for a long time.

The people who work at those worldwide known companies like Mercedes, SIG-Sauer, Walther, BMW, Porsche (etc. etc. etc...) are not only well-paid and integrated into the company's decision-making but also rather proud of this heritage. There are many people who are 2nd- or 3rd-generation-employees in their particular company and really want to keep up the good work.

But you might ask my countryman T. Stahl about it as he is an engineer himself. (What do I know... I'm a civil servant with a guaranteed life-long job... :D )


Regards

Trooper

Joe Demko
April 7, 2003, 09:16 AM
Used to have an Arminius .38 spl revolver made in Germany. Cheap cast zinc frame finished with black paint. Horrible ergonomics. Godzilla-level trigger pull. Yep. Everything those Germans make is imbued by their work ethic with superior quality.

Kentucky Rifle
April 7, 2003, 10:58 AM
Us vs "Them" and all. However, my wife and I have been to Europe several times and the stuff in Germany and Switzerland was simply outstanding. Everything I can remember picking up and examining, with the exception of some cheap "Coo-Coo" clocks was just great. Even the food was better.
Does this mean I'd rather live there than here? NO! I'm an American and this is where my heart is. However, the "old world" craftmanship has to be seen (OR tasted) to be believed.

KR

trooper
April 7, 2003, 01:56 PM
Used to have an Arminius .38 spl revolver made in Germany. Cheap cast zinc frame finished with black paint. Horrible ergonomics. Godzilla-level trigger pull. Yep. Everything those Germans make is imbued by their work ethic with superior quality.

Hmm, I guess Arminius is not exactly in the same league as Walther and SIG... just like old East German cars are not in the same league as BMW and Mercedes ;)

Who talked about "everything", anyway?


Regards,

Trooper

blades67
April 7, 2003, 04:15 PM
(Skunky trying to figure out if he should score a German HK91 or waiting for a US one)

Get one now, holding your breath waiting for a U.S. produced HK91 will only cause you to turn blue, pass out and wake up with a pounding headache.

Ala Dan
April 7, 2003, 04:31 PM
"Where QUALITY goes in; before the NAME goes on"!

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

Walther P99
April 7, 2003, 09:12 PM
Good point... pride in one's work spanning long periods of time would tend to keep quality up.

LiquidTension
April 8, 2003, 03:43 AM
Just a bit of info re: HK US plant.

They ARE planning to build a plant in the US. One of the problems they are having is finding a site. They need a site that is shaped like Oklahoma with a suitable building on it. This is because they do not want to build a new building and they want an outdoor shooting range that is 1000yds long. They don't want to pay for a site that is 1000yds^2, because that ends up being about 250 acres. Since they need a range on the land, that limits where they can be located (city limits, schools, other restrictions).

Don't ask me how I know this, I'm not supposed to tell.

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