Do they not make them like they used to?


February 18, 2003, 05:49 PM
To hear a lot of more seasoned gun owners talk, the quality of American and foreign firearms in general used to be much higher. Sure, today we have better materials and engineering. But many say that better quality control was applied back in the day, and guns left the factory with good triggers, good finishes, good fit, etc.

"Pre-64" Winchesters command a high price. Why? What happened in 1964?

So, what's the scoop? I call on the knowledge of THR members that have been around for more winters than I. Did they make them better back in the day? If so, how come quality has dropped? If quality is down, why are prices up? Why do gunowners in general put up with it?

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February 18, 2003, 06:00 PM
They changed the construction of the bolt. Pre-64 was a controlled feed mechanism.

February 18, 2003, 06:05 PM
In '64 Winchester changed from a claw-feed bolt to a push-feed bolt. Nothing wrong with it, just some folks hate change because it require them to think and most people don't like to do that.:rolleyes:

My Kimber Custom II has better fit and a better trigger than my Colt MK IV Series 80 ever did and it cost less overall because the Colt required work. Talking about "the good old days" is just their way of saying "help, I'm getting old and I can't get up!":evil:

February 18, 2003, 06:07 PM
What about revolvers? A lot of Smith & Wesson collectors say that their quality has dropped in the last 10-15 or so years.

February 18, 2003, 06:11 PM
S&W's high luster blueing use to be a thing of beauty that was affordable for many more people. As the more labor intensive costs rose so did manufacturing costs. As litigation costs have risen, some manufacturers attempted to hold the line in pricing by reducing their costs. In my opinion, the result was a lesser quality firearm. Just 2 examples, of one mans opinion. Mine.

Standing Wolf
February 18, 2003, 09:36 PM
The options in firearms are far, far, far greater than ever; the options in very high qualty firearms, however, keep diminishing.

Once upon a time, I looked down my nose at used guns, but they're about all I buy any more.

February 18, 2003, 10:18 PM
I'll take today's firearms any day, we are making history right now!

February 18, 2003, 10:46 PM
If I'm not mistaken you can still get a new manufactured controlled feed model 70. If I remember correctly, they were rather pricey.

The problem today is that weapons are put together by assemblers and not craftsmen. A craftsman has a critical eye towards the fit and quality. An assembler only cares that the parts go together so they can get to the next one in line.

Good SHooting

February 18, 2003, 11:12 PM
Well, I remeber shooting a friend's pre-A1 1911 along with my USP. Compared to the 1911, my USP was much more comfortable, reliable, and accurate.

I think that in general, today's firearms are of higher quality than what we had previously.

February 18, 2003, 11:15 PM
They don't make them like they used to!

Thank God!

The old timers considered aesthetics above all else. If a gun had "really nice wood" and "good, high lustre bluing" and close fit and finish, it was considered a high quality gun. It didn't matter if it didn't shoot worth a damn, and the rifling washed out in 1500 rounds, as long as it was pretty, they liked it. Even today, you can still find guns with wood stocks and bluing.

Personally, I prefer to spend money on reliability, durability, phosphate or polymer finish, ergonomics and accuracy. Give me a synthetic stock, a chrome lined chamber and bore, and a fast, easy handling, rugged, durable rifle. I like pretty in women, not in guns.

I'll take modern guns over the older guns any day.

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