Why are gun manufacturers making so many models


February 3, 2014, 12:40 PM
I understand the basic premise, something for everyone, but take Sig for instance they must have 20 Plus models, and 4-6 variations of each one, let's say 100 guns. Now no Gun store can afford to carry that many of just one manufacturers guns, it would cost a hundred thousand just to carry the full line, "without long guns and the rest of their gear. Then you have a dozen other company's doing the same thing. It gets a bit ridiculous. It would be very difficult to even get your hands on some of the ones you might be interested in, because most shops I have been in, have maybe 6 0r 7 guns from a particular company. Like even say Kimber, it costs so much money to stock them that they get in a few guns and that's it.
What is the purpose of making all of these models if we can't even get to see them. Even at gun shows they have 5 - 7 of each glock , sig, H&K, actually H&K maybe they have 1, and that's it.
If I want to order a gun that's fairly recent, I have to order it from the company, have it shipped to my FFL, and "hope" I like it . I have called a dozen stores this week , "not the first time", trying to see a PPQ, or a series E scandium, to no avail.

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February 3, 2014, 12:44 PM
People used to buy from just word of mouth, sight unseen, or from a catalogue page, poor black and white zerox copies. :-) Today, with fine Net pics, and Youtube videos, you can make much more informed choices. If a given tactic is not making money for a company, it won't be in use for very long. So Sig, etc, are selling all the guns they can make, count on that.

February 3, 2014, 12:46 PM
I think you might have answered your own question... You're looking for a special one that they make but isn't on the shelves. That means someone WANTS it. (You.)

Are you arguing that it would be better if they DIDN'T make the less popular models, even though you want one? Or would you prefer that they only made the models you like? :)

I think that these days modern processes and inventory systems make it a little simpler for the makers to provide a wide variety of possible combinations of options. Yeah, you'll have to order it if you want the "X, with the Y, and the A and C but not B, options" but if you handle the plain jane version the dealer has on his shelf, you'll know well enough if you feel like taking a chance on ordering your personalized exotic variant.

February 3, 2014, 03:45 PM
True Sam, but I guess it is more where I reside. They really have no selection at all. I can't even get them to order me a gun if they can't get it from Davidsons. I rally have to just order from the Web, sight unseen, unless I want a Glock.or an Lcp. The reason I actually look forward to gun shows, is that it's the only place I can see a selection of guns other than the same half dozen that have been sitting there for a year, or the one or two Kimbers marked up past MSRP. The one store wanted $700 for a PPQ, he said they are hard to get so you have to pay up. Buds has no problem getting them, but I really would have liked pulling the trigger just once.
I also feel that gun stores, should sell what the customers like instead of what they do. One fellow told me he hates anything Tactical, won't sell it. I spoke to him on the phone for some time, and he really was out of touch with what was available, but still wouldn't carry anything black. I like older guns , so we had much to speak about, "the good old days", he needed a son or a friend to guide him from past the "revolvers and large heavy auto's". But it's his money so I respect his stance on what he believes in. If he did a nice store with custom revolver work, I could understand that also. But no, just old guns.

February 3, 2014, 03:55 PM
Well, that is a pain.

On the one hand I certainly can't argue with your basic question/point. I really don't know why some manufacturers have jumped into the game at this point, but they surely must have done the math enough to believe that there's market niche to be had after Glock, S&W, Springfield Armory, CZ, Taurus, H&K, Sig, etc. have made their sales.

February 3, 2014, 04:25 PM
I think they make so many model because they can and there are folks that want something different. Tupperware guns that come in 14 different earth tone shades beside black and stainless. Then there's the duo-tones. Can't go to the range with your buddy and have the exact same gun as he does. Used to be you had to change the grips to get a gun that was different from his....not anymore. Much different than back in the day when everyone had the exact same 870 shotgun, Model 94 30-30 and Ruger 10/22 carbine. No wonder we used to carve our initials in the stock...........:banghead:

February 3, 2014, 04:37 PM
Variety in the market means a presence in the market. Have you heard of Coonan? Not a lot of folks have because he only really made/makes one hand gun and it is frigging expensive. As much if not more than a NIB Desert Eagle. So I have to sit back and ask myself if it's worth the risk betting that much money on a gun from a manufacturer who isn't as proven as say Ruger or S&W.

But then look at Ruger, they have nearly any handgun you could want. So one day you tip your toe in the water and get an LCP. Well that LCP does right by you for a couple of years so when you want your next handgun you consider Ruger a reliable and quality handgun manufacturer, so you plunk some money down a SR9. A little time later, say another year or two you then go and buy an SR1911 because Ruger products have just been so good to you.

That's sort of how it goes. Yes it's frustrating and annoying but those who don't seek to dominate the market are doomed to be forgotten by the market. That's just how it goes. It's better to put twenty different great products out there then only a five or six awesome products.

Also you have to look at volume as a sales source as well. Moving a lot of lower end products at a steady stream allows for easing of pricing in higher end products. Few companies do this, but those who master it tend to do quite well and I'd have to think gun companies have done this a time or two in the past. Say Glock for instance in one form or another.

Also, consumers are not a monolithic group. I can't stand finger grooves on Glocks. I hate it. So I only buy Gen 2 Glocks, but now that the Glock 42 is out I may one day buy that one. Why? Because Glock has a long disntinguished history of being a top quality manufacturer with a proven product in a vast range of options. Also I may want a gun easier and lighter than my Ruger SP101 to pocket carry. And so the story goes.

It may annoy you, heck it annoys me sometimes, but gun companies typically know what they are doing if they are successful.

February 3, 2014, 04:39 PM
I am old enough to remember the limited selection of guns in "good old days."

To shamelessly steal the line from A Tale of Two Cities "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times."

Citizens have never in history had better choices in firearms. All of which will disappear if Obama has his way.

February 3, 2014, 06:15 PM
All you gotta do is post "want ads" on lots of forums, pay used price, with the caveat that you can return it, or use a credit card so you can do a "chargeback", etc. Sell them the same way if you are unhappy with them. You want something for nothing, and that never works out.

What will help you a tremendous amount is a gift from Andrew Carnegie. Go to your local library, check the "books in print" computer, for "subject", and look for "guns, firearms, shooting, defensive shooting, survivalism, combat, military science, police, marksmanship, etc. Search at Alibris books and Amazon for the ICBN numbers for the books, get titles, authors, etc. Search at Paladin Press for the same. Read up about what you are interested in.

I haven't bought a gun mag in years. I read some on the newstand, but I'm a Life Member of NRA, and their mag covers the new stuff pretty well. The net forums and YouTube are a big help, too.

Also read, AynRand's non fiction essays, to learn how to think in terms of principles. For instance, if you believe in "big, slow, and heavy" bullets for defense, then you can just skip looking at all pocket guns. If you recognize that a revolver is a handicap in many ways, you don't need to consider revolvers. If your ccw method is a pocket rig, then big, heavy belt guns are not for you, etc. Knowing how to think about a given problem eliminates a lot of the expense, worry, time and effort spent.

February 3, 2014, 11:32 PM
I think they are able to do it because of the internet. They do not have to rely on local gun stores to stock every type of firearm today. So they can, quite literally, make something for everyone.

February 4, 2014, 12:09 AM
It would be very difficult to even get your hands on some of the ones you might be interested in, because most shops I have been in, have maybe 6 0r 7 guns from a particular company.
I guess it is more where I reside. They really have no selection at all. I can't even get them to order me a gun if they can't get it from Davidsons.
I also feel that gun stores, should sell what the customers like instead of what they do. ..But it's his money
You've really answered most of your perceived problem in your own post. You've chosen to live someplace that has limited access to item you are interested in. The irony is that you say:

he really was out of touch with what was available, but still wouldn't carry anything black...

he needed a son or a friend to guide him from past the "revolvers and large heavy auto's"
...while at the same time not adapting to the current business model of researching, shopping, and purchasing online.

Manufacturers offer numerous models to fill differing taste and wants. They don't expect dealers to carry all the models, but expect buyers who want to lay hands on models before they purchase to either research on-line or live in an area that has better availability.

I very much like to touch new gun models. I can do that buy living in an area that offers numerous shops for different interest or by visiting out of state shops when I travel

February 4, 2014, 01:28 AM
My issue is when a manufacturer has 19 models, and I think "man, I would really like it if they had this, but they don't offer it." So then I buy one that's closest to what I want, and a month later model 20 is what I really wanted. This wouldn't be as bad if I wasn't consistently broke :/

February 4, 2014, 01:41 AM
Sig has certainly taken this to excess, but apparently it is working for them.

February 4, 2014, 09:55 AM
it's been the same thing with computers for 30 years now. Be glad that your gun doesn't go obsolete in 1-2 years, it still has resale value! Also, you can buy guns used, and be fairly certain that they are not going to just "fry" themselves in a week or a month.

February 4, 2014, 10:24 AM
Sometimes it goes like this:
I don't make a model with this particular combination of features. Three letter agency XYZ says they will order 600 of them it I do. I build the 600 for them and make the sale. BUT at the contracted price I barely made my money back much less made a profit. Consumers, believing if XYZ bought it it must have some magical properties, will want to have one. So I put it in my catalog hoping they sell well enough to bring in a nice profit.

For example on the civilian market a certain Italian gun maker sells two identical pistols one stamped Model 92 and one stamped M9, or a Swiss gun maker sells two nearly identical pistols one marked 229 and one marked M11 (at a significantly enhanced price).

February 5, 2014, 01:30 AM
Sig has certainly taken this to excess, but apparently it is working for them.
That sums it up. As long as they profit, SIG will continue on this path. A lot of folks complain about it (and I hate it, too), especially the purists. But, that's the way it is.

February 5, 2014, 06:28 AM

If you haven't moved since we last exchanged emails, it might be just the excuse you need to get away from the town of newlyweds and nearly deads for a few days. :D The bonus is, once you find that unique model no one else in your circle is likely to have it. :fire:

El Tejon
February 5, 2014, 09:21 AM
Anyone else here remember the Smith & Wesson "wheel of gun models"?:D

Why the model numbers? Think it through: when you are in the gun shop, what statement is most prominent among the teeth talkers? Right, you got it.

"I like that gun, but I want it in a different caliber."

Or, they want a different barrel length, or a different color, or an engraving of Ron Cohen in a Krav Maga action pose on the slide, any excuse not to buy the gun.

If you want to sell guns:

1. Work to ensure your guns are in movies.

2. Give the consumer a bazillion different options so he cannot give you an excuse.

justashooter in pa
February 5, 2014, 04:00 PM
SIG used to mean quality. now it means tupperware junk or quality.

there is a sucker born every minute.

February 5, 2014, 04:03 PM
Cause "marketing".

February 5, 2014, 05:11 PM
Because they can.:D (and they know somebody will buy them):neener:

February 5, 2014, 05:57 PM
Why so many models? Simple... If the only gun everyone made was a1911 clone... I'd buy one just to kill myself... They make so many models because different things float different people boats.

February 6, 2014, 09:39 AM
In the day, cars had maybe on upgrade in trim. You got Standard, the base model, or Deluxe, cause you could afford to put on the dog and the extra chrome or AM radio and heater was nice.

By the 80's, options on cars were becoming so complex it actually intruded on emissions controls and the factories were seeing cost rise too high. You could get 5 or 6 trim packages. They continue to respond to every custom car fad and trim option that becomes a show car necessity by adopting it and making it part of the standard. It's actually repressed the aftermarket a bit. Last years model was tricked up with ebay taillights with LEDs, this year's, they are factory standard and actually look nice.

Same with guns. Ok, so SIG is doing that. The P938 is a good example. http://www.sigsauer.com/CatalogProductList/pistols-p938.aspx Ten different trim options on the same gun ( I wouldn't call it ten models, tho.) And even that has changed up on some over the last two years. In the old days, there would have been just the one model in whatever finish and grips, take it or leave it. After that, the customizing would start up, different sights, grips, refinish, melt job, etc. What SIG did was give the consumer all that up front and get their money - up front - at the retail level. While a few are going to retro fitting triggers and the vendors are certainly out there with over the top "trucker girl" grips, SIG has at least offered a custom touch to the guns available so that the consumer won't have to do much more after the purchase. That draws more customers who see what they like and prompts more sales.

We are also talking a much bigger market than the '60s or '70s when we hadn't reached 200 million population. Now it's past 310 million. That is a lot of new customers out there in just 40 years, about 25 million more. Those kinds of figures mean enough more market, and with computerization and improved logistics and production programming, you can control more options with less costs. Just in Time shipping for production allows smaller batches of parts on hand so their is less money tied up in unsold product waiting to be assembled - or a trim option dogging in sales and sucking up capital.

It's going to keep expanding as new items and features come into the public's eye. Take a look at black palm grips - I see an opportunity for someone to come up with a synthetic substitute for the natural weave pattern in the grain, and that there are plenty of other things being churned by gunsmiths that could be copied to make new models.

American business does that - we might complain about cheap offshore copies, but the real business of America is making a variation of what the other guy is selling so we can get our share of the market. Jeans, tactical knives, cell phones - it's right out there in our face every day.

If you want to sell athletic shoes right now, just put springs in the heels, use a woven web fabric in a neon color, add numerous sewn on reinforcements. What Brand did I just describe? No, not just One Model Only, you can find about a dozen.

Same with guns. WE are making that happen because WE are buying them. The gun makers are just responding to how we are throwing our cash around. Did Remington come out with a retro auto? Yep. Demand. I suspect a new version of the P7 could do well.

More customers = more money = more trims and models.

Not to discount another trend, the Gun of the Month club, which is about fashion and having something new you don't. Even more sales.

February 6, 2014, 12:10 PM
It just stinks when a store owner won't even order you a gun that you are willing to pay retail on, because you aren't buying what he sells. And has the nerve to tell you that if you don't buy his guns, he won't order anything for you unless you spend $100.00 plus call in. That is stupid for any business to do. Do they really think that you are going to buy a gun you already have or don't want, because they won't order it?
That's why the same guns are sitting on the shelf for a year.
South Florida is largely supported by tourist dollars, or "snow birds", those who live here part time. There are 2 prices on many things. There is the price for locals, and the price for those folks who haven't lived here for 3 or 4 generations.
When a guy tells me that he has no room to negotiate on a fifteen hundred dollar pistol, when I know he's selling it for over MSRP to begin with, he really is waiting for a dumb part time resident who doesn't know what the gun costs, to fleece him, rather than turn the gun over and order another one.
Everyone has a right to do as they please, but there is no cure for being stupid. If a guy comes in and shoots in your store all the time, spends money on mags, ammo, accessories, for years and you still can't go out of your way to order him a gun, "that is a common firearm" then you just aren't that bright.
I didn't base where I decided to live on the amount of gun stores located near me. That would be very low on the list, there happen to be plenty of them within 100 miles, but most have the same policy, they won't order you anything for less than $100 dollars for a transfer. So I am forced to order online, even if I want to pay full price, they don't carry any inventory.
Most are Pawn shops, and the few large ones that aren't, overcharge big time, "if you don't know in FL "most" Gun stores, are also Pawn shops. They sell new and used guns, $1900 for a TRP, $800 for a PPQ, $575, for a used ppk's, with scratches included, my those are ridiculous prices, so I am forced to take a shot on doing research and hoping I have enough info to make an informed decision, and pay my local , gunsmith $30 bucks to get me the one I chose. At least he can also advise me on which guns to stay away from.
It's a half assed way of doing things but with a disability that prevents me from a 3+, hour drive to see a pistol, it's the only way.

February 6, 2014, 12:54 PM
Seems like manufacturers would come up with a more practical approach... like "mix-n-match". The gun shops carry a half dozen basic models of a given brand and swap parts kept in stock to build the precise configuration a customer wants. No need to carry a complete example of every different configuration and color.

February 6, 2014, 01:01 PM
Here is the best deal on the PPQ I have seen yet for you guys that have been waiting for an excuse to grab one- $516

February 6, 2014, 02:28 PM
Seems like manufacturers would come up with a more practical approach... like "mix-n-match". The gun shops carry a half dozen basic models of a given brand and swap parts kept in stock to build the precise configuration a customer wants. No need to carry a complete example of every different configuration and color.
This activity requires a Type 07 or 10 FFL (firearm manufacturer), which increases the business's overall costs for things like insurance, annual ITAR registration, additional recordkeeping (my A&D log for manufacturing is very different than the ones for sales/transfers/gunsmithing), etc. Plus FAET would be due on the gun so that's another quarterly tax return to file.

February 6, 2014, 03:21 PM
^^^ Darn all this BATFE and NFA nonsense. It's silly to require a license just to swap out a few non-fully-auto, non-SBR, non-SBS, non-suppressed parts while leaving the serial number alone. That's just goofy. But BATFE and NFA are goofy anyway.

February 6, 2014, 03:24 PM
If SIG stays in the market by diversifying, all the better.

Double Naught Spy
February 6, 2014, 04:16 PM
Just ain't nobody making you happy in south Florida, gym, even to the point of blaming the gun manufacturers for offering variety?

If things are that tough for you, then you got it pretty good.

February 8, 2014, 03:59 AM
When I look at a lot of the companies that are offering so many models of guns, it's generally slight alterations to an existing model which means it is very cheap to have different models.

It's very easy to have a medium frame autopistol and offer it in 9mm, 40, 357 sig and with each offer a 3.5, 4, 4.5 barrel.

Compare that to Smith and Wesson offering a medium frame 6 shot 357 magnum and a small frame 5 shot 38 special, it's a lot more expensive for them to offer those 2 models than it is for the other company to offer 9 models.

Also, what was once simply a variety of options for a single model is now often a new model.

For instance, back in the day every gunshop would carry a smith and wesson 357 magnum..but they may have only carried a couple 4 inch versions and a 6 inch version. Take the famed Smith and Wesson Model 27 had barrel length options from 3.5 to 8.75 in quarter length incruments, 3 different grip types, 2 different trigger options, 3 different front sights, and 2 different hammer optoins, and a couple different finishes...and this isn't covering any of the engraving options, or the fact that the Model 28 'highway patrolman' came out a short time later with just one finish, 1 trigger, hammer, and front sight type, but still 3 different barrel lengths.

The Registered Magnum (model 27) dealt with it's huge variety by being something of a special order gun, but for many years it was the only 357 magnum for sale so a gunshop would stock some of the variants that he thought would sell well. Still, no way a gunshop could afford to have even a fraction of the offerings for sale at his shop.

Now, the Model 27 would probably be broken down and cataloged as 5 or 10 different models.

February 8, 2014, 02:56 PM
It never fails that someone tries to make a simple question into a personal attack. Spy, things are just peachy for me, I just asked a question, if you have nothing pertinent to add then just mind then move on. What would make me happy is for people who have nothing to add to the conversation to go on about their business and stay out of mine.
What makes you so interested in my life? you must be bored. From now on I will filter my questions through you for your approval before asking them, "not"
It's not blaming the gun manufactures for offering variety, If no one stocks the guns, how are you supposed to buy one, Sight unseen? It looks good on paper but in reality if you can't actually buy something, then why advertise it.

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