Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Do gun manufacturers really pay attention to us?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by jsalcedo, Mar 27, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. jsalcedo

    jsalcedo Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    3,683
    I get the distinct impression that firearms manufacturers don't pay attention to the gun buying public.

    It is almost as if they decide whats best for us and we gobble it up with a "yes sir may I have another"

    The big manufacturers might look at buying trend, listen to the brown nosing cronies at the gun rags or large professional associations when determining the next R&D project or innovation.

    There just doesn't seem to be any kind of link between the gun buying public and what is introduced at the SHOT show.

    I've never seen gun related market research.

    Is the gun industry stagnated?

    How many DAO polymer .40's and 1911 clones must we endure?

    Do gun manufacturers really pay attention to us?
     
  2. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    16,341
    Location:
    South PA, and a bit West of center!
    I think manufacturers pay most attention to - one main thing. Sales!! Any ''feedback'' is I reckon based almost exclusively on this - if a product doesn't sell then find out why - which is a pity when you consider the start-up/dev' costs etc.

    Not quite sure how well they could actually get good feedback - sufficient to help them make ''what we want'' ... plus, so much of this is like re-inventing the wheel anyways! Add to that the potential list of ''wants'' - varying from one to another - I wonder if it would actually achieve what you seem to want! :)
     
  3. orangeninja

    orangeninja Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Messages:
    3,117
    Personally I think it depends on the manufacturer.

    Glock? Nope. Too many military and government contracts to deal with to worry about you.

    Sig? Certainly, I believe the recent 210 inspired target types are due to private buyer demand. Also the Sig 239 is a biggie in the civilian market but has recently started gaining share in the LEO market.

    Ruger? Yes and no. As for the asthetics? yes, the Ruger 345 has many of the cosmetic features modern enthusiests demand. As for the safety features? No, Ruger has been sued so many times that legal counsel probably is part of their R&D team. Also the whole high cap rifle thing.

    Springfield? An emphatic yes. They have to. Springfield does not carry a significant share of any Government or LEO market place orders and so must rely on Joe American to buy it's guns. The XD is a perfect example. WONDERFUL gun for LEO purposes, but due to the single action inherent to the design, it is snubbed in favor of double action guns time and time again by the LEO marketplace.

    Smith & Wesson? Nope. Don't take it personally, S&W historically has also thumbed it's nose at the U.S. Army, the FBI, etc. Why should you be different?

    Colt? Couldn't give a fart about what you think. You'll buy it cause it's a colt.

    CZ? Absolutely. Look at the RAMI? That would be private purchase demand fueling that little wonder.

    Taurus? Yes and no. Depends on the day of the week.

    Did I forget anyone major?
     
  4. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    6,513
    Location:
    Winter Haven, FL
    They have to listen....and do.

    The surge in small, large caliber handguns that occured following the 10-round magazine ban in 1994 shows that they do listen to us to a certain extent. However, thanks to politics, they must now take into consideration the potential long term market before they fork over the $$$ for R&D. Should they spend millions of dollars and several years tooling up for a new gun only to have it the target of bans soon after release? Ronnie Barrett made an exceptional, large caliber rifle only to have it named a "terrorist anti-aircraft" gun by the media. Even if they do make the new gun, is it cost effective to attempt to get it on the "approved" list of states like California or Maryland? What kind of lawsuits can they expect for features incorporated in their new gun like the attacks on Glock for not having a manual safety?
     
  5. jsalcedo

    jsalcedo Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    3,683
    I agree they make what already sells, but how do they come up with new designs without customer involvment?


    How does that demand get communicated to the manufacturer?

    I've nver been accosted in a mall to fill out a survey on handguns.
     
  6. George S.

    George S. Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2004
    Messages:
    1,117
    Location:
    Western WA
    Springfield used to monitor the now-resting 1911.com forum and occasionally post comments and replies to threads. A lady in the Custom Shop would sometimes answer questions about their product line.

    There has been an occasional response from Ruger staff over on the Ruger Forum.

    I would think that most of the manufacturers lurk on the various gun forums to get some idea of what is going on. Whether or not what they see and hear makes it to the R&D departments or the Marketing Departments of their companies, is hard to tell but one would think that "input" from both happy and unhappy customers would be used by the company.

    Clearly, sales figures drives what goes to market (or stays there). Guns that no longer sell well are dropped if the profit margin is not there. I don't think that guns are any different than any other product when it comes to sales figures determining if a product stays or goes. Look at Oldsmobile for example. Good car but didn't sell like it used to.

    There are people out there who will buy the next new thing that comes along whether they need it or not. If a company can make a profit from some sort of buying frenzy because a company markets a new wheel, they keep it there until the next new wheel comes along.

    Think of the new calibers that have been introduced over the last 3-4 years. Why didn't we need them 10 years ago? What changed? The market for them changed because somebody decided that if they created a new caliber and did a bunch of advertising that it was the best thing to ever come along, people would flock to buy without understanding why they didn't need it the 10 years before.

    Remember the line from "Field of Dreams?? "If you build it, they will come".
     
  7. Bear Gulch

    Bear Gulch Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,235
    Location:
    Idaho
    I actualy think that the gun writers take their marching orders from the manufacturers. They pimp whichever products that they are told to. The gunmakers' goal is to sell you new stuff. Gun writers must convicnce you of the advantages of the new over what you already have. I most cases, the advantages are minimal.

    These aren't guys like Keith or Townsend out there developing new stuff. Gunwriters today are trying to shill for the house.


    T
     
  8. sm

    sm member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    28,389
    Location:
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears
    Great subject for a thread!

    Nothing wrong with Free Markets and folks making a buck.

    That said [tm]

    IMO -
    Greatest Percentage of Mfgs, Including Firearm Mfgs , don't give a rat's behind what the public wants.

    What is important is their bottom line, their shareholders, their <enter anything here> .

    The Buying Public taught the Mfgs how to treat them. The Mfgs were allowed to get by with less product quality, less customer service for the money.

    Buyers wanted firearms that hit a price point with curb feelers and fuzzy dice. So buyers " allowed" and "accepted" these declining QCs, materials, service to get their new blaster with the curb feelers and fuzzy dice so they too be just like < name any video game , mall ninja, Navy SEEL, whatever>

    Madison Ave and Lawyers-R-Us wanted a piece of the action, they wanted their cut, so buying folks won't kick, yell and scream - lower the standards some more, raise the price - have the flowered shirted volleyball guy write a "Kewl Piece" and the folks will "flock" to buy it...

    Yes there are some Firearm Related Markets that give the Consumer MORE than the buyers pay for. All the while still having to balance all involved in staying in business. These folks use the Old Principles; give the buyer the truth , quality, service, and individual respect an individual appreciates - For a Fair price. I'll name one - SWAT magazine.

    Imagine if a someone came out with a Firearm, Say a DA .22 revolver in Blue Steel , one in Stainless, A quality product, no gun locks, good sights. Like the old Smiths, Colts. Heck even a H&R 999,or High Standard Sentenial ...and the company was run like SWAT...

    That "Ka-ching" would be the sound of cash registers ringing, bean counters and lawyers falling out of chairs...and kids with adults pinging steel spinner targets.

    I betcha... ;)
     
  9. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Messages:
    22,063
    i could be off base here, but i think the vast majority of gun buyers fall into two categories. 1. military-style 2. old-school

    military/police gun mfgs pay zero attention to anyone but the military because the gun buying public wants wht the military has because the military has it.

    the old-school gun mfgs (e.g. cowboy action, muzzle-loaders, winchester hunting rifles) pay some attention, but are basically making replicas with incremental changes.

    it seems like, based on cursory survey of local gun shop stocks, the market for stuff in between is somewhat slim.
     
  10. jsalcedo

    jsalcedo Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    3,683
    That is a good point. Having seen corporations arrogantly shrug off good ideas
    time after time I assumed that it was endemic to the gun industry as well.
     
  11. greg531mi

    greg531mi Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    611
    Location:
    MI
    I don't they monitor anything but the bottom line. Their marketing people only care about sales and profit and liability.
    If they had our group monitored as a test/ideal/review group, that company would make millions in new sales. Just look what Remington and Winchester has done in the past couple of years:
    Introduced the New Magmum Calibers that we don't need.
    Remington made a new bolt action rifle, and it is a piece of crap.
    Colt stops making the Mustang, and Pony. Just as CCW sweeps the nation.
    Ruger doesn't improve their handgun line, the Mark 3, is made for liability problems.
    The problem with American companies is that they are looking for profits next quarter, don't care about developing good new products that will make their product line better. It seems that the foriegn companies are looking in the future, more than 6 months down the road, and are putting money back into R and D, and new product development, unlike American companies. Most CEO's are paid by what they do that year, and not the next year, and they quick fix a company, by moving the manufacturing overseas, or making a shabby cheaper product for less. This is the downfall of most US companies out there, and will break our economy if it happens more.....
     
  12. nordaim

    nordaim Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    112
    Location:
    Amish Country, PA.
    Alduro:

    Thanks for including Taurus in your list of major manufactureres. It seems they got snubbed for years (CQ issues?) but have been doing a good job at improving their product line and making a better name for themselves.
     
  13. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    24,041
    Location:
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    Has been for decades. The only actual innovation I've seen in a long, long time was plastic hand guns, and frankly, they don't trip my trigger. There are plenty of minor improvements being made here and there, but tweaks never amount to insanely great stuff.
     
  14. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    12,152
    Location:
    DFW Area
    I don't know about customers, but I have seen changes that seemed to be implemented because of a single gunwriters opinion.

    I remember reading an article about a break action rifle that had an ejector (throws the spent shell out of the chamber). The gunwriter who reviewed the prototype complained to the manufacturer because he reloads and didn't like hunting for his empties. They implemented his suggestion to replace the ejector with an extractor (pushes the shells out of the chamber just enough so that you can easily pull them the rest of the way out). That kind of irritated me. Having to pick a shell out of the chamber really slows down a reload. I could see them responding to a complaint about a flaw, but changing an entire line of guns because one gunwriter happens to be too lazy to pick up brass off the ground seems way over the top.
     
  15. Deavis

    Deavis Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2003
    Messages:
    1,424
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    I think it is helpful to add a little perspective to the discussion when comments like this are thrown out there. The simple fact of the matter is that we should not be expecting any quantum leaps in gun technology because firearms are, in general, a mature technology. You don't complain that there aren't any new innovations in vacuum cleaners, stoves, or refrigerators, do you? Of course not, because the basic principles, operation, and formats were perfected years ago.

    Sure, every once in a while an appliance manufacturer comes up with something new. For example, combining a convection oven with a microwave to get something that cooks quickly and browns at the same time. Very cool, but both principles are well-understood and the box that you get looks just like any other microwave out there. The gun industry is no different than the airline industry. Each of them knows how to build a product that does exactly what we want in an incredibly efficient manner. IT is next to impossible to come up with a product that is a quantum leap forward because the current crop of products is so close to the limits of effeciency that you wouldneed to change the laws of physics to do any better.

    Our guns were perfected many years ago to fit a hand that hasn't changed in thousands of years and do a single job, expel a projectile, very well. The only thing we are arguing about is how well it fits your hand, how much you like its operating features, and what your sense of style is.
     
  16. Jim K

    Jim K Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    17,566
    Well, you can't go by Colt, which has a tradition of zigging when everyone else zags. (They dropped the SAA just when TV westerns started the "cowboy" craze, for example.)

    The trouble is that this kind of question is usually asked by folks with some pet idea that no one else shares ("I want a 40 pound scout rifle with a 90 power scope in .25 ACP"). If there is enough demand for a product as indicated by magazine articles and letters, a manufacturer will seriously consider producing it. But tooling up can cost millions and manufacturers have been stung often by folks who talk about an item but won't put up money to buy it when it is produced.

    One perfect example was the Interarms/Mauser Luger. Both companies sank a lot of money into that gun, because surveys repeatedly said the public was drooling over the prospect of a new Luger. The Swiss tooling was bought and rehabilitated, factory space was found, workers who knew the gun were hired, and production began. Everyone said the new Lugers were nice, but no one bought them. So much for "customer surveys" and "public demand".

    Jim
     
  17. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    24,041
    Location:
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    The term "mature technology" means nobody's doing any sideways thinking, not that all the brilliant ideas have already been thought of.

    I'm not complaining about refrigerators, for example, but if someone came up with a truly silent, very light refrigerator that I could reconfigure to fit the available space exactly, I'd buy it. I'm not complaining about my vacuum cleaner, for another example—actually, I am: it's a poorly made Hoover—but if someone were to offer me a much quieter, sturdier, less ugly vacuum whose hose takes care of itself, I'd get rid of the clunker I've got in no time.

    The shortage isn't of innovative possibilities, but innovative intellects.
     
  18. Zeke Menuar

    Zeke Menuar Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    1,228
    Location:
    Oregon Monsoon Central
    This is a very good thread.

    I think of myself as the "average Joe"

    The last brand new I gun bought was the M700 Tupperware special. It is chambered in 270 with a servicable scope, ready-to-shoot(well almost ready anyway) out of the box at a very affordable price. I am still shooting that gun with few modifications. All of the other guns I own were bought used or purchased with a C&R license.

    There aren't many current manufactured or new guns out there that appeal to a working stiff like me with a limited amount of bumming-around-money.

    Savage and CZ come to mind as decent reasonably priced rifles, that can go to the range with a minumum of tuning. If I was forced to buy new I would buy from them first.
    I don't give a hoot about the alphabet soup magnums. Just think, I could go to a 270 WSM, burn more powder at higher pressure, burn out the barrel faster and get a whopping 100fps more speed. Yep, there's real value there.

    As far as current production handguns go, MIM parts and internal locks mean most of the new stuff just doesn't appeal to me.
    Can't I just have an old-school blued steel M19 without an internal lock, ports or a glow-in-the-dark sight? How about an Series 70 1911 with a Commander hammer, beavertail safety, no stupid front-serrations and no newfangled exrternal extractor? I think I will have to build it myself because unless I pay Les Baer a zillion dollars, it won't come out at an affordable price. Don't give a hoot about an hi-tech unobtanium gun either. If it weren't for CZ the current crop of new handguns would be a vast wasteland.

    The most recent handgun I aquired was made in 1989 from a 1970's design. It's a CZ.

    I am glad I have a C&R license. I can always find an old-time gun to fill a slot in my working gun collection.

    I have no idea who the gunmakers are listening to. But it isn't me.

    This is my opinion. Your opinion may vary.

    ZM
     
  19. Walter

    Walter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    Messages:
    355
    Location:
    TEXAS
    alduro

    Yep. Beretta and Walther.

    You could say the same for Beretta.

    I think Walther feels about the same.

    Taurus, Walther, Colt, Smith, Ruger, Browning, etc. Six of one, half-
    dozen of the other. That applies to them all, in my opinion.

    Walter
     
  20. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    9,563
    Location:
    Forestburg, Texas
    Does the gun industry pay attention to us (gun owners and buyers). Not nearly enough.

    Why? In general, they have little incentive to change what they are doing and they have little incentive because so many gun owners are willing to buy crap. If customers will buy crap, then why would gun companies go out of their way to change things?

    One example that comes to mind is Colt 1911 pistols. Apparently during the 70s, 80s, and early 90s, Colt 1911s had some QC problems, or at least many did, and yet, people kept buying them. Some of the justification I have heard about buying those Colts is that "If it isn't a Colt, then it is just a copy." So, they drew attention away from QC problems by convincing folks that copies would not be the way to go.
     
  21. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    13,232
    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    Yes, but Colt did listen to the buying public and got rid of that ugly roll marking on the slide.

    Of course, it only took them 10 or 20 years. :)

    John
     
  22. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Messages:
    2,540
    Location:
    Where they tell me to go
    I'm not a big fan of Taurus. However, seems like they might listen better than the rest. Also, they get new stuff out fast enough for people to remember that they asked for it.
     
  23. Nate_m

    Nate_m Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    SigArms is active on Sigforum.com and has been listening and replying to posts by private gun owners. They've even had forum members over to the factory in Exeter, New Hampshire for tours. Check it out and look for posts from Paul Earnhart (sp?) who is Sigarms director of marketing.
     
  24. armabill

    armabill Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    411
    Location:
    Glenolden, Pa.
    There is one gun maker who actually posted in a gun forum for input into a new rifle.

    He asked everyone what they wanted in a bench rest rifle. He's making it to their recommendations. Not many do that!

    His name is Dan Cooper.
     
  25. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Messages:
    18,524
    To its credit, S&W produces what is sold. For instance, if an order comes in for 300 M60s and they have 300 M60s on hand, they'll ship them out and replace them the next day. Their inventory reflects what is in demand and that way they don't tie down capital on unsold guns.

    Ruger does it the old fashioned way of trying to predict and then scheduling what is produced during the year.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page