Using what works: Why airgun models look alike

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

I’m on the road to Roanoke, Virginia, today, so this report was written in advance. You veteran readers please continue to help the newer readers, because I don’t see the comments until I stop for the evening. Thanks!

The American public was shocked to discover in the 1970s that an Oldsmobile car had a Pontiac (or Chevrolet) engine. There was at least one lawsuit over it, and General Motors had to rename all their corporate components with generic titles as a result. But it wasn’t the first time one product borrowed heavily from another and it was about to become the established norm.

I remember being oh, so bitter when Crosman bought the Benjamin Air Rifle Company and soon renamed the new division Benjamin Sheridan, without so much as a hyphen between the names. Benjamin had bought out Sheridan the decade before, but they kept all the models and even the manufacturing sites separate; but when Crosman bought Benjamin, everything went into a corporate blender.

In firearms, you buy either a South Gate Weatherby, a German Weatherby or one made in Japan. Never mind that the Japanese-made guns were at least the equals of and perhaps better than those made in Deutschland (and that will start an argument in most gun circles), nothing made by Miroku could possibly equal the quality of a rifle from Voere! What?

Yes, Virginia, Santa sometimes buys his gifts from a store — just like mom and mad. And sometimes an HW80 does bear more than a passing resemblance to a Beeman R1.

Okay, okay, here’s what we’ll do. We’ll make a big list of all the model names and match them to the real models and manufacturers. Let’s see — a Winchester 427 is a Diana 27. A Hy Score 807 is also a Diana 27 [Hey, this is easy!]. A Hy Score 801 is a Pieper — wait a minute. It could also be a Diana, depending on when it was made. Oh, well, a Blue Streak is always a Sheridan. A Super Streak is a Benjamin Sheridan. WAIT A MINUTE! This is starting to get complex.

Remember Rainman?
There’s a sequence in the movie Rainman where the autistic character portrayed by Dustin Hoffman tries to actually solve the Abbott and Costello routine of “who’s on first.” It’s both humorous and sad at the same time. Well, I’m sorry to say, there are some airgunners doing the same thing with airgun models. I cite discussions we’ve had on this blog about the various pedigrees of the HW50 over the past few years and rest my case.

Why do they do it?
Let me illustrate why manufacturers reuse various parts and even whole guns, rather than being original all the time. When I took the idea for what eventually became the Benjamin Discovery to Crosman in 2006, I did so with one of their existing models in hand. It was not the 2260 that eventually did become the Discovery. My idea was based on the Benjamin AS392T. Because I was able to cobble together an external tank, hose and coupling that connected to the AS392T intake — where the 88-gram CO2 cartridge normally fit to a regulated source of high-pressure air. I did it that way because, as a hobbyist, that was the easiest way I could think of to demo my idea.

But all I had to do was present the concept of operating a PCP air rifle at 2000 psi instead of 3000 psi, and Ed Schultz cobbled together two working prototypes from 2260s — a .177 and a .22 — proving to himself and to the rest of Crosman that I wasn’t crazy. You really could run a powerful PCP on 2000 psi air and still get good performance. He built and tested those two rifles in less than a week! For him, it was easier to modify the 2260, plus it retailed for one-third the cost of the AS392T. It was both cheaper to work with as a prototype and also cheaper to modify into the final PCP we were designing.

As many existing 2260 parts as possible went into the Discovery because they were already in production. For each one that was included, there was no startup tooling cost, no engineering cost and the life cycle of that part was already well-established. That kept the development cost of the Discovery down to a reasonable level.

Was there more work to do after that to complete the Benjamin Discovery? Heck, yes, there was. A lot more. I’m going to go out on a limb and estimate they put no less than $50,000 into the development of that rifle before it was ready for market.

What hobby builders fail to take into account is that during development a company may prototype a part many times, looking not only for the ultimate in performance but also in the cost to manufacture and the life-cycle cost. A hobby builder may make a valve body out of brass, not caring that the raw material (brass bar) cost $7 before the work begins. A manufacturer contemplating making 10,000 of the same valve will spend considerable effort looking for a lower-cost alternative material. Every dollar they put into a gun adds four dollars to the retail price.

Now, let’s contrast the Discovery investment with the one that was required to turn the Benjamin Rogue from a concept into a production gun. The Rogue needed a new valve, new trigger, new receiver, new feed system — new everything. I would not be surprised to learn that Crosman poured 10 to 15 times as much into the development of the Rogue, and they’re still working on it. It was a huge risk compared to the Discovery because they had to design everything from scratch.

Why this is so hard to understand
People just cannot comprehend that manufacturing something as simple as a precharged air rifle is anything but easy. They see a talented amateur build one gun or even a half-dozen — and immediately, they think a manufacturer could do the same thing on a larger scale. It’s so simple, they think. Just do what he’s doing, only do more of it. What they don’t realize is that the amateur has spent 10 times more of his time building the one gun than anyone would be willing to actually pay. How many of you would buy a PCP that sold for $4,000? That’s what it would cost if the amateur builder were willing to charge all his time to the project. But he doesn’t, of course, and so the only cost we ever see is the $350 for supplies, materials and parts he had to buy. And we grouse about that!

Crosman has to build the same gun for $125 — materials and labor — to be able to retail it for $500, because on top of their cost to build they must add money for advertising and several different wholesale price levels for their various customers who also have to make money. So, when the hobbyist buys a Lothar Walther barrel for $90 and puts it on his one gun, that’s $90 added to his bottom line. When Crosman does the same thing, they negotiate a better price of $72 for the same barrel because they buy a 1,000 at a time, but they have to add an extra $205 to the retail price of the gun to pay for it. So, to them, a Green Mountain barrel that costs $30 and is accurate is a much better deal than a Lothar Walther barrel costing $72.

If they can use the same $50,000 worth of injection molds to make the stocks for three different rifles in their catalog instead of only one, that’s much better, too, because those molds get amortized over three line items and a lot more production. If half of their pneumatics use the same diameter seamless tubing for their air reservoirs, they can save a lot because they have to stock fewer unique materials to build guns, plus they can buy more of each type of material, thereby enabling them to negotiate a better price.

Now, I’m gonna shock many of you. According to some sources, the U.S. sent men to the moon and got them safely back over 40 years ago. They used the Saturn V booster rocket to launch the lunar payload into orbit. But we used up all those rockets, and they were expendable. We don’t have any more. To make a long story short, we don’t have a booster rocket today that can do what we were able to do 40 years ago. The scientists among our readers can correct me on this, but I believe it’s correct to say that we have lost some of the manufacturing ability to produce an essential component of the space program. That’s not to say we can’t build even better rockets today or that we have lost all the knowledge that came with the Saturn V program — just that we haven’t kept up with the technology as well as we might have. If I’m right, then there are things that can be built during one period of time and then never again replicated.

You aren’t going to like this!
When the Glock 17 pistol first came out, the media went into histrionics about “plastic guns” that could not be detected by X-ray. Shooters rebelled against them, at first. Then, as economics plus the reliable performance of the synthetic guns became established, more and more institutions and then the general public embraced the technology. Now, hold on to your seats.

There is a “thing” called a 3-D printer. Imagine a device the size of your kitchen refrigerator, only when you program it correctly it fashions parts from plastic goo. In the beginning, we stood around these things and watched them work. They spit out brittle plastic parts that were sufficient to see the shape and size of a design created in CAD software. Then, the plastic material got better and we were able to use the parts for prototypes. Now, the goo is good enough that some real usable parts can be made this way. These machines don’t work fast enough for high-rate production, yet, but they’re money-savers when you compare what you have to pay a 25-year-old CAD programmer against what a 50-year-old model maker costs.

The next step could be high-rate production and testing directly from paperless “drawings.” And, perhaps some time in my lifetime, we’ll say to a machine, “Tea, Earl Grey” and a hot cup of a potable beverage will materialize.

But, as these things come to pass, guess what? Airguns aren’t going to be made of wood and steel any longer. And the economy of sharing platforms (meaning actions, reservoirs, triggers, barrels and sights) among several different models will become more and more the norm. I guess my advice is to get used to it — or go vintage, like so many of us already have.

38 thoughts on “Using what works: Why airgun models look alike

  1. I understand cost savings and price point in when it comes to design that must be mass produced. Manufacturing tooling for key parts that can be spread over many models is not new.

    The days of quality wood that is hand checkered and high gloss bluing on metal is over for mass produced guns. The boutique smiths that create true customs and/or greatly modify production models into wonderful customized creations work for minimal wage.

    Coming from a firearm background I was surprised about the expectations of airgunners when it comes to the price/value of aftermarket parts. Barrel work, checkering, aftermarket stocks, shrouds, etc. are a fraction of the price for similar items in the firearm world. In the short time I’ve been into airguns I’ve seen a lot of these airgun vendors go out of business or refuse to take on more work since they realized that airgunners won’t pay for their time. For example: How many custom airgun stock makers are still in business today that were making custom airgun stocks 10 years ago?

    Regarding German vs. Japanese Weatherby’s…..in my limited experience it’s like most other things that most people own. There’s is the best. When they find out where it was made then the reason there’s is the best is because of where it was made. I own 2 german made .300 weatherby mark v’s. Never shot one of them but hunted with the other for years. I’d put it’s accuracy against any japanese made mark v. I’ve heard the slander about german vs. japanese triggers, japanese wood is better, blah, blah, blah. Reality is that you either have a good shooting gun or you don’t. Some models of guns made in some places increase your chances but I still stand by my statement since I’ve been shooting guns a long time and know it to be true.

    kevin


  2. Now, I’m gonna shock many of you. According to some sources, the U.S. sent men to the moon and got them safely back over 40 years ago. They used the Saturn V booster rocket to launch the lunar payload into orbit. But we used up all those rockets, and they were expendable. We don’t have any more.

    Worse… As I recall, we no longer have the DESIGN SPECS for the Saturn V… [Program ended — shred all documentation]… It’s not the manufacturing skill that is lacking, but the details of what to manufacture. Going out and laser measuring a Saturn V display still means drawing up spec sheets, etc. and then retesting the new design (since there is bound to be some divergence from the original specs*) for manned-flight rating.

    When the Glock 17 pistol first came out, the media went into histrionics about “plastic guns” that could not be detected by radar.

    Pardon? How many people have had to pass their luggage through a RADAR?

    Think you meant X-Ray…

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    As for the general discussion of profit vs cost…

    Folks, if you’ve never seen the late 70s mini-series “Wheels” — rent it… Then listen to the discussion regarding a vibration noise in the new car design… Let’s see, late 70s, the car was probably targeted for the $5000-8000 market… The solution to the vibration noise was a small metal brace going from the inner fender to the firewall… Estimated cost, about $5… And that cost is enough that the bean counters might cancel the whole design!^ A part that costs 0.1% of the retail value of the product.

    -=-=-=-=-=-

    * one change in the routing of a wiring harness could require a massive retest to ensure that the new routing doesn’t encounter some edge that might cut the wire. Not to mention metallurgy of the engines, etc.

    ^ bean-counter story: I used to have a 1983 Plymouth Turismo 2.2. This was the sports hatchback based on the Horizon (aka: Chrysler Rabbit Clone — the first ones even used Rabbit engines, I believe). The bean counters wanted a 3-speed manual transmission for the 2.2l transverse four — the big engine option for the Horizon. The engineers talked them into a 4-speed. THEN they got sneaky. The 4-speed was designed to use a flat steel end-plate rather than being a cast housing. When the Turismo sports coupe came out, it had a 5-speed transmission. How? The engineers took off the flat end plate, slid splined shafts into the cast housing so the splines went through the bearings and out the end of the transmission. This let them slide on a 5th gear set, and then put a “roasting pan” steel cover over the end in place of the flat cover..

    {The Dodge version of the Turismo carried the “Charger” name, and was billed as having the same power/weight ratio as the original Charger — I suspect they were comparing it to a base 6-cylinder and not the 8-cylinder muscle car… The Turismo /did/ have something few makers brag about these days — a low coefficient of drag; this was the era of gaining fuel economy and performance by stuffing in small engines and making for slippery bodies…}



    • Wulfraed,

      I had a VW Scirocco back in the early 80’s and found out that the engine was the same as in the Chryslers’. What that did was enable me to use a oil filter for a domestic vehicle (the Horizon) for $2 versus the $7 oil filter for a foreign car. No damage to the engine ever presented itself by doing so. The car’s life ended prematurely when the neighbor’s tree fell on it during a wind storm.

      Fred DPRoNJ


  3. G’day BB
    “Now, I’m gonna shock many of you. According to some sources, the U.S. sent men to the moon and got them safely back over 40 years ago.
    Are you an agnostic on this feat?
    Cheers Bob


  4. Interesting thoughts, and you are quite right in what the future holds. There is experimentation in 3D printers using metallic compounds too, though still at a basic level. I assume that one might also be able to do the same with reconstituted wood and a binding agent, eventually, chipboard ‘walnut’ stocks anyone?

    I have often thought that the way ahead in some respects is being pointed to by a company like Gamo, with their polymer barrels with steel sleeves. Not that i like this you understand, but there is a grim fascination in these and I own several of them as tryouts.

    What is clear though is that so many designs are now being copied and simply re branded, the Diana 34 Panther, is licence built in China too as the Ruger Black hawk and the model 208 over here in the UK. All that’s different, as far as i can see, is the price! Walther used Hatsan designs and re branded them, Webleys these days are just Hatsans with a bigger price tag, Crosman springers are based on Chinese copies of Gamo and other designs to some large degree, and so on. We have already reached a sort of commonality.



    • The Ruger Blackhawk has some differences from the current D34P: the stock is similar to the older, more slender D34 synthetic, and Ruger has a rubber buttpad instead of plastic; the stock also has a shorter cocking slot because the Blackhawk adds an articulated cocking lever, which is a nice touch; the Chinese clone of the TO5 trigger uses a metal trigger blade, whereas the D34P used a plastic trigger blade until the current T06; the front sight is not hooded (the current 34’s are) and the rear sight is a little flimsier. I didn’t have the Blackhawk long enough to find out, but it apparently has a sleeve over the mainspring as well. The scope slot on the Ruger is not as nice as the real Diana’s rail, though (but I’ll never use or need a scope).

      In general, the Blackhawk had a better cocking and firing cycle than the D34P out of the box. It was also amazingly accurate in my limited testing. In fact it was so accurate and fun to shoot at 10M that it took me a while to discover the barrel on mine had runout which prevented my intended use at longer ranges; plus it started sounding like a piston seal was nicked.

      Anyway, I liked shooting the Blackhawk more out of the box due to a nicer stock and better cocking and firing behavior, although the D34P is wearing in nicely, and I’m getting used to the stock (which is still more slender than the typical fat airgun stock). I’m not so sure that the Diana is strictly worth the extra money, and I wish they would use much of the Blackhawk’s design on their own product. Chinese innovation?


  5. you asked “How many of you would buy a PCP that sold for $4,000? ”
    If you look at the Daystate air rifles, you’ll notice that some are close to $3000! Obviously Daystate thinks that a good number of people will pay that for an air rifle, $4000 is NOT that far off.


  6. Just grateful that I live in the age when wood and steel are still prevalent. I’ve owned some of my “vintage” air rifles and pistols 25 years, and if it wasn’t for the fact that my Beeman P-1 is stamped “Made in W. Germany” (that’s right kids, there used to be E & W Germany), you’d think she was made yesterday. Wood and steel are keepers.

    Eric


  7. BB,
    As a mechanical engineer and psuedo-tinkerer I appreicate when you delve into the manufacturing realm of this hobby. But in particular, kudos to you for bringing up rapid prototyping! I work for a company that sells FDM (fused deposition modeling) machines that “print” plastic parts and lately have seen alot of articles on-line with respect to making one own’s firearm components at home. (there’s even an open source project devoted to it! started by a lawer I believe!!) But as one other poster commented, steel (and wood) are here to stay. One can not print a useable barrel from todays RP materials. (there are metal RP processes but, again, not suitable IMHO for pressure-bearing components)
    And I just saw, yesterday, a German RP machine that uses 3 reams of standard-sized paper to build high-toleranced 3D parts. (it’s touted as being eco-friendly… 3 reams per print job!?!… Eco-friendly???)
    Tinkerers and hobbyists (like myself) don’t always wrap our minds around manufacturing costs and profitability (to ensure that the company’s doors stay open and employees are paid). That said, a number of hobbyists have turned their passion in to small, home-based businesses and to them I say Hoorah! Innovation wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for the crazy synergy between home inventors and manufacturers. I liken it to the relationship between Holmes and Watson. 🙂



  8. B.B.,

    Real-world engineering is about tradeoffs. I remember early objections to plastic being used to make car bodies, bumpers, etc. If plastic solves issues with weight, and thus efficiency, then the market will not only bear it, but will prefer it. But with things like airguns (which I see as being much more like an instrument), feel, weight, and durability, matter too much to be compromised.

    A trend that we’ve all seen over the past several decades is a manufacturing philosophy that seems to design disposability, even when a product is not, or should not, be disposable. How many expensive products have we seen that are designed so that they can’t be repaired? Some cars are designed so that you can’t access your own battery, and when you do require special tools.

    I just hope that airgun manufacturers don’t go too far towards this “disposable” mentality. Some of us don’t like to throw our money away. If a $250 product is reduced to $150 by making it non-repairable, then that $150 is a waste of money. I’d rather spend $250 on something and get 20+ years out of it, including repairs, than to spend $150 and only get 10 (or less) years out of it.

    Victor


    • Victor,

      If a $250 product is reduced to $150 by making it non-repairable, then that $150 is a waste of money. I’d rather spend $250 on something and get 20+ years out of it, including repairs, than to spend $150 and only get 10 (or less) years out of it.

      But the companies may see it this way: We can sell 500,000 more guns if we price them at $150 instead of $250. Most people don’t fix or disassemble/repair their own guns. Plus, many mfrs probably don’t see owner repairs as a priority when making manufacturing decisions.

      If you want something you can fix yourself, use for 50 years, and hand down to your kids & grandkids, you’ll have to buy a more expensive gun. After all, assembling 40 parts to make & install a trigger unit costs labor/time in a factory. But manufacturing a trigger unit with only 10 parts that need assembly before being installed…but isn’t reparable, serviceable or adjustable…will save lots of labor/time & lower the selling price.

      Bottom line: Lower prices = increased sales.

      And, yes…it’s always all about the money. It’s what makes America, free enterprise and entrepreneurship great 🙂

      Edith


      • Edith,

        I totally understand, but I was raised by a father who was one of those old-timer rugged individualist who fixed everything himself, including whole car engines. I do my own carpentry, repairs, and other work, if I can. My biggest limitation in some cases is know-how and tools, but even that is changing over the years.

        Victor


    • Victor,
      I have hear stories about some European cars that have to have half their front end disassembled to change out a light bulb. Forget DIY repairs/replacements on computerized cars.
      Mercedes has/had sensors in the brake disks to tel you/the garage when it was time to change them because of wear, you couldn’t use generic parts with out the sensor and the computer could only be worked on by the brand dealer.

      Wildey


    • Victor,
      I have a friend who just paid $90.00 labor to have a headlight bulb replaced because the entire front nose panel of her car had to be removed to access it. The mechanic told her that was not to bad some are over $200.00. I have always thought that the people who come up with some of these ideas should have to work on them outside on a cold wet night in the middle of nowhere.


  9. Plastics in airguns are, without doubt, here to stay, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. My own aversion to the use of too much plastic on airguns was severely tested when I bought a Ruger Mk 1 spring-piston pistol which uses a barrel insert shrouded with plastic. I own 3 other S-P pistols, one costing more than 5 times the price of the Ruger. The accuracy and shooting characteristics of the Ruger is, at least, the equal of, or surpasses those of the more expensive guns. Longevity?? Who knows. Time certainly will tell.


  10. I find the whole aspect of material choice,material properties and and how they pertain to product performance to be a fascinating topic to ponder.I would probably become very depressed if I were an engineer…….making a design fit a set of financial criteria seems like a dismal proposition.It seems more natural to work towards a performance threshhold……and I would not be able to stand an accountant for a copilot! I guess that makes me a proper relic.


    • Frank,

      I feel the same as you. There is something so cool about designing something that really works and has a fascinating toughness.Like the SKS or AKM.

      B.B.


      • Kevlar, and carbon fiber…..there is a fellow that can turn plastic grocery bags into pure carbon fiber nanotubes.Another guy has figuredout that the need for Hydrogen vehicle fuel reservoirs to hold 10,000 psi can be reduced using burnt chicken feathers! Goats are producing milk that contains about 4% spider silk protein……that can make a strand stronger than steel! I had a job refurbishing operating transformered power poles in the city of New Orleans.I am able to take a severely damaged pole,where it lies and still in use; and make it several times as strong as a brand new pole.All this is accomplished using Kevlar cloth,and some other trade secret composites.I add less than a half inch of diameter to the damaged area,and the process takes less than 4 man hours,most of which is removing staples & nails,and excavating below damaged wood.


  11. I think we all have fond memories of ‘old world quality’…the kind that is only seen on expensive custom…whatever!
    But often we tend to look at the past through rose colored glasses.
    Cars…something we’re all familiar with.
    Few cars today can match the looks of a classic ’57 Chev, ’53 MG-TD or my favorite (’cause I had one) ’69 Alfa Romeo GTV.
    But I also remember how those cars were pretty much shot at 100,000 miles…engines worn out, trannies grinding and often lots of rust.
    When I got rid of my Toyota Previa a couple of years ago it was just shy of 350,000 miles and it was still running fine…I just wanted something newer.
    And our 2002 Jetta out handled my Alfa easily…and the Alfa was considered to be one of the best competition sports sedans of its era.
    Now there are some exceptions. Old FWB and a few others have proven to be as reliable and accurate (if not more) as todays best. But I have a feeling that a lot of those old airguns we remember so dearly…if stacked up against a modern ‘cookie cutter’ airgun wouldn’t hold a candle with regards to accuracy and reliability.
    I just finished reading Warren Page’s ‘The Accurate Rifle’. Benchrest rifles in the 50’s that they spent weeks/months building…we expect accuracy darn close in an out of the box mid-price range factory gun.


  12. B.B.,
    you asked “How many of you would buy a PCP that sold for $4,000? ” But so what?
    If you look at the Daystate air rifles, you’ll notice that some are close to $3000! Obviously Daystate thinks that a good number of people will pay that for an air rifle even if you and I don’t, $4000 is NOT that far off.


  13. The old world quality is out there and not always for a lot of money if you look. You can buy a used Winchester Model 12 pump shotgun in 12 ga for $200.00 if it’s a “shooter”. A shooter will be a bit worn and will probably have a recoil pad installed and maybe an adjustable choke. But, it will still work and work well.

    Mike


  14. Finally snagged a copy of Frank Grubs work “Statistical Measures of Accuracy For Riflemen and Missile Engineers.” I must admit I was somewhat disappointed. There were no tests/statistics for “wild” shots.

    A reviews of the current literature indicates that an exact formula for the group size has not been determined. So the only way to determine the statistical values is through computer simulation. Guess I need to break down and do some programming. Group size is so easy to measure, relative to other measures, that it isn’t going away.


  15. Yes, in terms of gun design, I believe in the saying about 7 or 8 people who make the world go round. There aren’t that many good ideas out there and the rest are just derivations or refinements. So my plan is to assemble the great gun designs of all time and use them to stand for all the rest. That would be the 1911, the Winchester 94, the M1 Garand, the Colt SAA, the Mauser 98… Speaking of replication of gun designs. I was watching a YouTube video claiming that both the FAL and the LWRC REPR are based on the same gas system as the SVT 40, the Russian semiauto of WWII. Now why would they use that system that I understand was discarded by the Russians as unreliable?

    B.B., I’ve heard of how we have lost the technology for certain kinds of manufacturing in the case of the moon missions and also certain weapons technologies. One reason that they could not repair a battleship whose turret blew up in the 80s (I think it was the U.S.S. Iowa) is that the technology for making those turrets no longer exists. And I think that one reason why the forged parts for M1s and M14s are so expensive is that they come from an intricate process that cannot be reproduced today. Well for technology that no longer exists, I just hope they keep the technical information so that the technology could be reproduced if necessary. For instance, it’s so frustrating that Winchester manufactured its 94 lever actions in the 70s with some “mystery metal” that people no longer know how to reblue. Surely this formula wasn’t thrown away!! And yet it is not available…

    And speaking of manufacturing prowess, I think that the main achievement of the AK47 may not be its reliability but that such a high performing gun can be produced just about anywhere, even in deprived Third World environments. That takes the notion of manufacturing ingenuity to a completely different level.

    B.B., you must have read about the 3D print machines that can make a type of gun. As technological improvement goes, it seems to me just a tick of the clock before functioning guns can be made that way although that isn’t possible now. We can look ahead to the comic book world of the Silver Surfer. He was from an advanced civilization that could fabricate anything that could be imagined. So when he is going to confront Galactus the Planet Destroyer who is threatening his world, he consults a maker of spaceships who tells him, “Just imagine the ship you want, and it will be created”….

    Kevin, thanks for the tip about Kano Kroil. So, there is a whole industry of this kind of stuff. I will keep it in mind. I’m trying to balance the educational value of this trigger job against the value of my gun. A pro might have a gun vise and certain tools that I don’t have along with a lot more experience. My nightmare is pushing with my pliers, slipping, and having them make a long score in my wood and metalwork.

    Matt61


    • Winchester manufactured its 94 lever actions in the 70s with some “mystery metal” that people no longer know how to reblue. Surely this formula wasn’t thrown away!! And yet it is not available…”

      Matt61, most of the 94’s from the 70’s aren’t worth rebluing or spending much money on. The classics are all pre 1964 models. However, the new 94’s made by Miroku today are even better than the originals! Sometimes it gets better! You have to love CNC.

      MIke


  16. You forgot one option. If you don’t like the guns available because they are now mostly plastic, you do what I do. I simply make what I want out of what I want it made out of. Personally I hate plastic. I think it has no place on an air gun. So instead of buying the plastic guns and grumbling about it, I go buy a few parts I can’t make like a rifled barrel and wood stocks since I’m a lousy wood carver and I make the rest up as I go. I might scavenge an air valve I like from a 1377 and rework it a bit so it fires a bit more volume, or scavenge a bulk fill valve to make a pcp gun, but over all I manage to make some very nice guns that I’m happy with. Like this article says, my solution is not cheap by any means, but to a descerning airgunner that has the money to spare, I tend to make a little profit. In all with my scavenge a bit here and buy a part there, I can turn out a very accurate airgun that’s very appealing to the airgunner for around $650 minimum. Naturally, an 18 year old working minimum wage at burger king is not able to afford what I make, but that’s not the airgunner I market to. I market to airgunners with a shooting pedigree, retired people with extra income to spare that want something a bit more “top shelf” than a crosman 760….ect. And of course I build for my own shooting pleasure. My opus was a small pump airgun that was almost silent due to the nice carbon fiber muzzle brake, powerful for it’s type, and something James Bond in his tux with a bond girl slinking along on his arm would be proud to carry. I could sign my name in pellets in a board 10 feet away with that gun. The owner of that gun says it’s his very best gun.


  17. Hey BB, hope you have a fun safe trip. We have to understand that companies are in business to make a profit, not to please every person. How many Rogues will Crosman sell? No comparisons to the Discovery, which cost less to create, cost less to produce and probably make the company more $. We have to encourage the small shops(that don’t have the overhead of Crosman) and support them. Just like Walmart and Home depot killed all the small competition, Crosman is doing the same to air guns. That’s why when you report on a new product like the Cometa, we get excited. Only to find out it’s possibly a rebadged RWS


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