Bass Pro Shop trip: Modern day guns look so cheap


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trbon8r
April 28, 2007, 08:32 PM
The wife and I took a trip by Bass Pro Shops today. I wanted to ogle some of the sporting type guns to see if they had anything interesting. I'm sorry, but the modern made hunting and sporting type guns just keep sliding further into the toilet. Things like plastic looking wood with cheapo stamped checkering, dull blueing with no polish at all, terrible wood to metal fit, just totally turned me off.

Geez, I looked at the nicest Beretta over/under they had which was marked at $4500. What a ripoff. The wood/metal fit wasn't even close. The blueing sucked. The workmanship would have been unacceptable to me on a gun at half the price. Some of the more mainstream guns like Remington, Ruger, Browning, were even worse.

Keep in mind I'm not talking about military type guns, or handguns. I'm speaking specifically about hunting type guns. The quality on these types of guns really is in the crapper these days. Might as well just buy an AR, M1A, or something else that doesn't even pretend to be pretty. They are built better, and for less money than the others. Either that or stick to older stuff like vintage Belgian Brownings, Pre-64 Winchesters, etc. back when they took the time to polish metal, and cut real checkering on nice figured wood.

My Belgian Auto 5s look way better than the newer stuff. Likewise, my old Remington 1100 looked nicer that its modern day Remington counterparts. It just seems like on the modern guns there is no corner left uncut.

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bluetopper
April 28, 2007, 08:39 PM
I could not agree with you more!!!

During the last year I've started collecting vintage High Standard .22 pistols and they are a world away from today's pot metal and plastic 22's that are currently on the market.

Sigdude
April 28, 2007, 09:38 PM
the one at Arundel Mills in Elkridge.
They have alot of those cheap Remington economy line bolt action rifles with the cheap Bushnell scopes on them.Iwas turned-off also.:uhoh:

Avenger29
April 28, 2007, 09:53 PM
Yep. Every manufactorer has to pay higher costs to make a product. Labor, insurance, taxes, etc. are all very high. Ever notice how new cars are junk? It is the same reasons as new guns are crap.

Not only labor costs, but I guess that liablity also plays a big role in the cost of guns. I know that it is true with aircraft. A new Cessna easily costs $300,000. Most of that price is liablity, because every time someone crashes, the family sues the manufactorer. :barf:

Of course, this just makes the prices higher and the quality lower for the rest of us. :cuss:

-terry
April 28, 2007, 10:14 PM
Avenger,
I don't know about you're experience, but my new car isn't junk. I've got an Audi TT that is simply magnificent! Efficient, reliable, attractive and beautifully styled and constructed.

My Browning Buckmark is the same, as is my CZ 75B. Great quality, reliability, ergonomics, and reasonable price.

I just don't see the "don't make 'em like they used to" comment. For me, I'm thankful that they don't.

Don't know anything about hunting arms, however. Maybe for them, it's true.

dakotasin
April 28, 2007, 11:03 PM
I just don't see the "don't make 'em like they used to" comment. For me, I'm thankful that they don't.


agreed.

i have pre-64 win 70's, 99 savages, ithaca 2-pipers, and old ruger rifles... i gotta tell you, those guns would be hard pressed to hit a 50's buick roadmaster at 50 yards, let alone punch out moa and better groups at 300 yards w/ ease.

don't make 'em like they used? thank all that is holy for that!

as a caveat: i'm not much into shotguns, so have nothing to offer one way or another re: shotguns at any price point... i have an 870, it works on the rare occasion i need it to, i'm ok w/ that.

Onmilo
April 28, 2007, 11:05 PM
I think your assessment is based on aesthetics rather than facts.
As a machinist and gunsmith I find modern guns to be better made of better steel and featuring much more durable and weather resistent finishes than any sporting firearm placed on the market in the last thirty years.

The woods offered today are admittably not of the same grade available forty years ago yet modern plastics are far more durable and technology is becoming available that in time will be able to reproduce the beautiful patterns, grain, and color of ancient walnut in a stock that is all but indestructable.

The modern caustic bluing will never approach the color quality of a properly applied rust or Belgian blue but it will remain on the metal surface fifty times longer than the ancient methods and is far easier to to maintain.

If there is a real lack in quality in modern firearms I will venture to say that modern checkering on a productin line firearm does not, and probably never will, rival the artistic mastery of the old school shop workers.

There are some true to the trade modern stockmasters who can produce far better works than the shop workers of old, but you will not find this level of talent on a wallyworld sale special.

.cheese.
April 28, 2007, 11:06 PM
Might also have something to do with Bass-Pro.

I'm not a fan of their gun-selection.... and their prices aren't that good either.

I used to buy some ammo through them.... but after they royally *twisted* me - all I ever buy there is Break-Free when the local gun-store is out.

Davo
April 29, 2007, 12:44 AM
One is coming to SoCal, and I saw one going up in Vegas. I wonder if the Kali ones will even sell firearms.

trbon8r
April 29, 2007, 04:33 PM
I knew there would be some folks that would chime in and mention that today's rifles actually shoot better. I definitely agree, as far as accuracy goes today's rifles are better. Barrel making technology has surpassed anything that was dreamed of in the 1950s.

Instead I'm talking about aesthetics. It's about enjoying a Saturday afternoon with a gun that was made with pride, has some hand fitting, polished blueing, and a nice oil finished stock. Basically I like reveling in the workmanship of what I'm shooting as much as the accuracy.

While today's rifles might shoot better, we have lost the aesthetic part in search of the cheap buck. I don't think it's too much to ask to have both. Before anyone says that shooters won't pay the price for hand fitting, polished blueing, and hand checkering, I would disagree. Granted the average guy that wants to kill a couple deer every season won't pay the money, but there are a lot of guys that punch paper, maybe even guys that head into the woods once in a blue moon that enjoy having a rifle that is put together right. They will pay the $1500 or $2000 for a top notch rifle.

I wasn't alive in the 1950s but I would be surprised if a modern day Winchester Model 70 would cost more than a couple thousand bucks using today's technology and yesterday's workmanship.

Nomad, 2nd
April 29, 2007, 04:43 PM
trbon8r: There are gunmakers who fill that gap... And you can spend even MORE $!;)

Lone_Gunman
April 29, 2007, 04:45 PM
Not only labor costs, but I guess that liablity also plays a big role in the cost of guns.

Liability should be a non-issue, since the gun maker lawsuit protection act was passed, but of course, no savings was passed on to the consumer when gun maker liability decreased.

I wasn't alive in the 1950s but I would be surprised if a modern day Winchester Model 70 would cost more than a couple thousand bucks using today's technology and yesterday's workmanship.

Thats probably true, but the market for a $2,000 rifle that does nothing that a $400 rifle can't do is very small. Have you considered looking at semi-custom rifles by manufacturers like Cooper Arms? They use some of the most beautiful wood I have ever seen on rifles. The only problem is, they are so pretty you don't want to mess them up by hunting with them.

trbon8r
April 29, 2007, 07:47 PM
I've looked at the Coopers, well pictures anyway. :) They look like top notch rifles. In fact I priced out one of the new Cooper Model 52 repeaters. It sure looks like a nice rifle! Cooper certainly fills a niche for a semi-custom type rifle, and good on them for doing that!

The trouble is when you price out a new Cooper Model 52 and fill out the option sheet, you are looking at $3000+. I'm sure it's an incredible gun, and they look real nice.

What I'm asking is, why can't an American manufacturer make a top notch rifle in the sub $2000 range? I want to pay for quality, and if 2k is the price break then so be it. I just feel like if the formerly defunct Winchester, or modern day Remington were to make a top notch rifle in the $1500 to $2000 range with nice wood, polished blue, top quality barrel, and all the things that a rifleman expects, they would sell as many as they can make.

The average Winchester or Remington is in the $600-700 range. How about doubling the price and putting some fit and finish on the guns? Maybe they won't be custom worthy, but they might be something that would rival a Pre 64 Model 70. :) They wouldn't even have to make all the rifles this way. How about a "Premium" line that comes from the custom shop that offers a little more than plastic wood, and the rest of the myriad of defects?

Notch
April 29, 2007, 07:53 PM
Stocks were meant t be wood...God says so...

telomerase
April 29, 2007, 08:04 PM
I'm sorry, but the modern made hunting and sporting type guns just keep sliding further into the toilet. Things like plastic looking wood with cheapo stamped checkering, dull blueing with no polish at all,

Ah, for the good old days, when there was no stainless steel or synthetics. Then a real man could go out into the Texas swamps and know that his gun would rust overnight and the wood would warp within a week :uhoh: .

Might as well just buy an AR, M1A, or something else that doesn't even pretend to be pretty.

If it works it's pretty :D

Cesiumsponge
April 29, 2007, 08:12 PM
Good figured wood will cost you exponentially more as time goes on. Firearms that use this stuff are competing with high dollar furniture and high dollar musical instruments. Exotic hardwoods only grow so fast; some trees take several hundred years to mature. Figured wood sections also only make up a small fraction of the overall wood obtained from a particular hardwood tree (usually less than 5%) and have various grades, so getting AAA+ grade figured wood,the the cream of the crop, is hard to come by as a lot of industries are competing for it.

As demand goes up, supply must rise as well. You simply aren't going to find as large a selection of handmade stuff without ultra premium prices. Most people simply cannot justify that anymore when the market offers a funtional firearm at a much lower pricepoint and you have widespread competition. Most industry is geared for mass production instead of small quantity runs. If every single gun was handmade today, we'd have big problems because it'd be impossible for supply to meet demand (and quality control would actually be lower).

Rifles, pocketwatches, and things like that a century ago were very expensive and people had to save their money for quite some time (sometimes many years) before they could purchase a fine example. Today, you can get a funtional firearm without the lipstick with one or two paychecks.

The market is changing and the market probably doesn't bear enough demand for these types of firearms in enough volume to make a healthy profit for the company. Tie together the fact that skilled craftsmen are being pushed aside for automation and mechanization, along with natural resources (good wood), and you have several factors that can be partially responsible for this trend.

trbon8r
April 29, 2007, 08:29 PM
Ah, for the good old days, when there was no stainless steel or synthetics. Then a real man could go out into the Texas swamps and know that his gun would rust overnight and the wood would warp within a week .


Ah the "good 'ole new days"; where an American can stop off at Wal Mart, and pick up a thrown together plastic stocked Model 700 junker put together with plastic, aluminum, pot metal, and a prayer if you are lucky. Toss the new rifle in the back of your Mexico assembled Dodge truck and buy a Starbucks $5 coffee in the China Mart shopping center, on the way to your favorite hunting stand. Boy that is American!!!

Ain't the new days just grand? :barf: I'm so glad that things are "efficient" and that the bottom line is king these days. ;) The fact is, most gun guys would be ashamed to leave a modern day hunting gun to their grandchildren. Then again I guess we can be comforted in the fact that the modern gun is the most "efficient" tool. Ugh..... :barf:

trbon8r
April 29, 2007, 08:35 PM
double post......... delete

351 WINCHESTER
April 29, 2007, 08:57 PM
No, they don't make guns like they used to. All made on cnc machines for minimal fitting (if at all) and plastic where ever they can get away with it. I keep looking for another, but can't find anything that pleases me. Quality control for s & w is just out to lunch. Check their b/c gaps on their revolvers. Their standard is .011. That's what they told me about 10 years ago. Now look at the b/c gap on a tarus or rossi. They are usualy pretty tight as they should be.

Cesiumsponge
April 29, 2007, 09:14 PM
CNC requires minimal fitting because it's consistent :rolleyes:

Properly programmed and tooled CNCs will be making parts with dimensional repeatability to tenth accuracy (0.0001") all day. That's 1/40th the thickness of a piece of paper . Grind operations can push repeatability under 50 millionths (0.00005") and I won't even touch on the insane accuracy of CMM machines that do QC.

If a company today in mass manufacturing is failing to make good products, its because they are trading off quality for quantity or trying to balance their cost-to-profit ratio. Technology today far exceeds anything we had 100, or even 50 years ago despite how nostalgic you want to be. Blame the way the company is run and what their goals are, not "evil CNC", because CNC will run circles around most anything done by hand.

People unfamiliar with computer numerically controlled technology have some crazy idea that CNCs are some evil thing that pumps out junk and can't match a human being. I work with CNC technology for a living. If you feel better flying on a handmade plane or driving a handmade car, by all means, go ahead. I'm not even going to address the technological advances we've made in ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

Good figured wood is available even though supply is dwindling. Just let me know if you want to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars extra for the premium chunks of wood. I didn't think so, and many people won't, and as a result, more synthetics are being used because exotic hardwood supplies are drying up and prices are skyrocketing. Exotic wood prices are going the way of ivory, and at this pace, they will eventually ban exotic wood harvesting before it's all gone.

trbon8r
April 29, 2007, 09:19 PM
I'm certainly not saying that CNC is the devil. In fact I'm saying why not integrate CNC technology into modern firearms production, while still keeping some hand fitting and quality wood in the process?

I guess I don't understand why modern technology and some hand fitting, as in days gone by can't still be integrated together.

Cesiumsponge,

To anwser your question, YES I want to pay a few hundred bucks extra for nice wood.

Snap
April 29, 2007, 09:31 PM
Avenger29- I've heard that fully 60% of the cost of a brand new Cessna airplane is to pay for product liability. What do you suppose the ratio is on guns? Some days I really think we need to close about half the law schools in the country and cut down on the problem. Probably wouldn't help much though.

telomerase
April 29, 2007, 09:51 PM
Ah the "good 'ole new days"; where an American can stop off at Wal Mart, and pick up a thrown together plastic stocked Model 700 junker

Or go to a gun shop and get a Sako, or a CZ, or a Browning, or ten other makers that make really good products. (i.e. I agree about Wal-Mart, but there isn't actually a law that you have to shop in the worst store :D )

Cesiumsponge
April 29, 2007, 09:53 PM
I bet the other 40% of the cost at Cessna goes towards grossly overengineered parts. I've worked on some Cessna components before. :banghead: Better than under-engineered I suppose.

Doggy Daddy
April 29, 2007, 09:54 PM
Amazing how on a single website, you can go from one thread where a member is lamenting the fact that he'll have to cut back on his practice time because the price of ammo has gone up a couple of bucks to another thread where people are complaining that they can't find guns that are elite enough for their tastes.

I understand what you guys are saying, and I admit that I don't know you from Adam. I also admit that I personally have all I need, and then some - I'm blessed. But I have to wonder if you ever step back and look at what you've typed before you hit the "Post Reply" button. Sometimes it just doesn't paint either you or the community in a flattering shade.

telomerase
April 29, 2007, 09:55 PM
I've heard that fully 60% of the cost of a brand new Cessna airplane is to pay for product liability.

There were actually MORE private aircraft back in the 1970s (right about the time the FAA banned the Ford Convertiplane). The US has turned away from the future (http://www.lewrockwell.com/walker/walker25.html). I wonder what will replace us. China? Latin America?

trbon8r
April 29, 2007, 11:28 PM
Amazing how on a single website, you can go from one thread where a member is lamenting the fact that he'll have to cut back on his practice time because the price of ammo has gone up a couple of bucks to another thread where people are complaining that they can't find guns that are elite enough for their tastes.

I understand what you guys are saying, and I admit that I don't know you from Adam. I also admit that I personally have all I need, and then some - I'm blessed. But I have to wonder if you ever step back and look at what you've typed before you hit the "Post Reply" button. Sometimes it just doesn't paint either you or the community in a flattering shade.

You are right about one thing, no you don't know me.

With all due respect sir, maybe you should think about what you post before you hit "reply". Save the class warfare rhetoric for Move On. Org or whatever socialist website that is your current flavor of the month. :fire:

trbon8r
April 29, 2007, 11:30 PM
Or go to a gun shop and get a Sako, or a CZ, or a Browning, or ten other makers that make really good products. (i.e. I agree about Wal-Mart, but there isn't actually a law that you have to shop in the worst store )

With all due respect sir, the brands you mentioned don't look too good either.

telomerase
April 29, 2007, 11:32 PM
Save the class warfare rhetoric for Move On. Org or whatever socialist website

No, you misunderstand... he's amazed that we don't all have enough money to get all we need and then some!

He's probably right... we should quit posting and work the other ten hours of the week :eek:

telomerase
April 29, 2007, 11:34 PM
With all due respect sir, the brands you mentioned don't look too good either.

I guess I just look at the targets :D

trbon8r
April 29, 2007, 11:40 PM
I guess I just look at the targets

I look at the targets, then I look at the nice workmanship on my older guns and appreciate all the work that went into making them. They were made by man as much as by machine. I like it that way.

If all you care about is a gun that will fire the smallest group that you can cut out, put in your wallet and impress your friends with then good for you. Whatever floats your boat.

Doggy Daddy
April 29, 2007, 11:57 PM
telomerase
trbon8r
Save the class warfare rhetoric for Move On. Org or whatever socialist website

No, you misunderstand... he's amazed that we don't all have enough money to get all we need and then some!

He's probably right... we should quit posting and work the other ten hours of the week

Well, now look who's jumping to conclusions.

1) Don't even think of calling me a socialist.
2) My intention is not to incite some sort of class warfare. My intent was to ask you to just take a sec to look at the kind of image your posts were presenting.
3) Move On.Org??? What the hell use would I have for that bunch of airheads?
4) I'm sure most of the people here (at least in this thread), have much more money than I do.
5) The line was that I have more than I need. The operative word is "need". My "high-dollar" shotgun is a Mossberg Maverick 88 (from Wally World). And even that is more than I need. Also have a Savage .30-06 and a Mini-14 from WW. My car is a 5 year old sub-compact. We're a one-car family.
6) If I worked the other 10 hours this week, I wouldn't be home today. I typically put in 6 days.

I'm not complaining. I'm happy for you that you can afford to worry about the quality of the wood in your shotgun's stock. I'm just asking you to keep things in perspective.

And I still feel blessed... even working 6 days to put gas in my 5 year old car.

Now, back on topic. I dug up $90 to get one of them Russian 7.62x54 guns at Big-5 sporting goods last week. Nice enough gun, but it sure seems those Russians skimped on the checkering. :D

trbon8r
April 30, 2007, 12:06 AM
My intention is not to incite some sort of class warfare. My intent was to ask you to just take a sec to look at the kind of image your posts were presenting.

Just what negative image am I portraying here? An image that I like nice quality guns and can afford to pay for them?

Like most of the guys on this board, I bust my ass to be able to afford a few of life's little luxuries that I can enjoy. If one of those luxuries which makes me happy is a nice quality firearm, what business is it of yours to try and make me feel guilty over purchasing it?

Rembrandt
April 30, 2007, 12:26 AM
Looking for quality guns at Bass Pro is like looking for a $200 bottle of fine wine on a McDonalds menu......gotta go to an establishment that serves gun connoisseurs.

Doggy Daddy
April 30, 2007, 12:27 AM
Oh Good Lord!!!

I'm not even trying to make you feel guilty. Enjoy the gun! Smell the gunpowder! Life is short, enjoy it.

I guess I was just trying to point out that when you say things like:

Granted the average guy that wants to kill a couple deer every season won't pay the money, but there are a lot of guys that punch paper, maybe even guys that head into the woods once in a blue moon that enjoy having a rifle that is put together right. They will pay the $1500 or $2000 for a top notch rifle.

using phrases such as "won't pay the money" or "will pay the $1500 or $2000 for a top notch rifle", implies that it's all just a matter of choice. It's not. Read your fellow THRers' words. For quite a few of them, "can't" and "can" are more of an issue than "won't" and "will". And in my first post on this subject, I think I referred first to being somewhat amazed that there was such a wide range of "classes" represented here. From the working class guy who wants a gun for SD or just to "kill a couple deer every season" to the guy who likes "enjoying a Saturday afternoon with a gun that was made with pride, has some hand fitting, polished blueing, and a nice oil finished stock."
And then I just suggested maybe a bit more judicious choice of words. For the benefit of giving the best impression of all of us.

If you feel I've stepped on your toes or slighted your dignity, I'm sorry... really. Never was my intent.

1911ShooterTJ
April 30, 2007, 01:43 AM
Just out of curiosity… what are some examples of such meticulously crafted guns? Some of you mentioned pre-64 Winchester 70s for example. So how much did you pay for it and in what year?

Inflation is a powerful thing… I’m just interested if we’re comparing apples to apples here.

cbsbyte
April 30, 2007, 01:46 AM
You want to see some nice firearms go to Orvis store in Manchester VT, there's not a shotgun there that is less than $5,000. Some go up to $200,000. Yes the workmanship is superb.

ZeSpectre
April 30, 2007, 07:42 AM
I guess I just mostly care how well the bullet thingie comes out the end of the barrel thingie. :D

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