Discovering what works

by Tom Gaylord, The Godfather of Airguns™
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

• What motivates people to buy?
• Problems are the perfect time to succeed!
• Try the product you sell!
• Don’t fire your star salesman!
• Listen to your customers
• Make THEM do it!
• The point

“To sell John Brown what John Brown buys, you have to see the world through John Brown’s eyes.”

What motivates people to buy?
That profound saying came to me when I was 16; and when I first read it, it made perfect sense. I knew that I responded best when a sale was structured in my favor, so why wouldn’t that work the same for everybody? You might also say, “Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes.”

But organizations don’t always do that — do they? And when they don’t, we feel the disconnect of poor decisions made to favor the company rather than the customer.

For example, long ago, I bought a Beeman Model 66 Blue Ribbon scope from a gun store in Silver Spring, Maryland. This store was a place where I did business frequently. I bought the scope because it was a Beeman; and at the time (the late 1980s), the American airgun community thought very highly of Beeman and their products. This had to be a wonderful scope — it cost a lot of money and carried the Beeman name.

Alas, the scope broke soon after I mounted it on an air rifle. The reticle tilted on an angle inside the tube, and I didn’t have to know much about scopes to know it was broken. So, I returned it to the store. They told me they could not fix it, and they had to return it to Beeman for repairs. I was so naive in those days that I really thought Beeman repaired scopes.

One month passed, then two months and no scope. I called the store every few days to learn the status, which was always the same — no scope yet. Finally, I went down and talked to the store owner. I reminded him of the details of this transaction and told him I thought he should do something about it right then and there. We went back and forth for a few minutes, and I walked out with a small refund and a new RWS scope.

Here’s my point. Beeman Precision Airguns in California set this Maryland dealer up as a “5-Star Beeman Dealer.” They had to buy a certain amount of Beeman products to get that status; but once they did, Beeman published the store’s name in their catalog, along with all other Beeman 5-Star dealers. Beeman told them that they stood behind all their products, and that being a 5-Star Beeman Dealer was a very good thing. And I’m sure Beeman thought that it was! I’m sure that in their company conference room, all the Beeman employees smiled at one another and agreed that this was a sound business plan that would help the dealers and grow the parent company, Beeman Precision Airguns, as well.

But they forgot one thing — the customer! The reason I shopped at a brick-and-mortar store, rather then going through the mail, was because I could go to someone when I had a problem and look them in the eye to get it resolved. Beeman overlooked that by turning this brick-and-mortar store into a mail-order drop-house for Beeman products. When there was a problem with anything carrying the Beeman name, it had to be handled through the mail and on the telephone. In other words, I was no better off than if I’d dealt directly with Beeman and cut the store out of the equation!

If a Remington rifle broke down, the same system was in place to support it, but Remington had something Beeman didn’t — territorial representatives. They were the guys who made the system work behind the scenes, so people like me didn’t have to wait two months to get satisfaction.

Beeman was thinking of themselves when they set up their sales program. I’m sure they had every intention of making it work as it should, but it didn’t. And this is not an isolated incident. Several years later, when I was writing the R1 book, my first R1 rifle broke in a way that I could not fix. It had to have a part welded back on the gun. The store wouldn’t send it back for me, so I had to return it myself. When I did, Beeman was faithful to their Lifetime Repair Policy I’d purchased with the gun — and they fixed it right away. But they had to disassemble the gun to weld it, so when they assembled it again, they gave it a moly tune. I was in the middle of recording the break-in of a factory-new rifle for my book, and this unscheduled moly tune ruined the entire test.

Beeman didn’t like hearing about my problem, but I demanded and got a second brand-new gun, which then had to be broken-in and documented all over again. If you’ve read the R1 book, it’s all in there.

Again, I was dealing with a company by remote control — through the filters of a continent, three time zones and the telephone system. And they had a hard time understanding why the kind thing they did for me (the lubing of the repaired gun) wasn’t good. I was the customer, and in their eyes I clearly wasn’t right! I didn’t understand that they were being nice to me.

Problems are the perfect time to succeed!
Joe Girrard holds the world record for selling the most cars in one year. All his sales are one at a time — no fleet sales! As a result, he’s been called The World’s Greatest Salesman by the Guiness Book of World Records. He always tries to satisfy his customers; but when there are problems, he really swings into action! He’s learned that by solving a customer’s problems, he can make as many as 250 important word-of-mouth contacts, which is how he earned his salesman’s title. He knows that people don’t talk much when they’re satisfied, but you can’t shut them up when they have a problem! So, solving problems after the sale is more important than making the sale to begin with. If you solve them, your customers will refer you to their friends — and even to their recent acquaintances! Ain’t nobody who don’t need a good car guy or plumber, these days!

…people don’t talk much when they are satisfied, but you can’t shut them up when they have a problem!

The reverse is also true. A bad experience becomes a cautionary tale that gets retold hundreds of times. “Whatever you do, don’t shop there!” In the Army, we had a saying that sums this up. One bad experience cancels 100 attaboys (only we didn’t say “bad experience”).

Try the product you sell!
I never cease to be amazed that the decision-makers in companies have not tried the products their company makes. Let’s stay with airguns. What does a company president think when he cocks a breakbarrel rifle that takes 50 lbs. of effort, and he has to do it 50 times at one sitting? Having done that more than once myself, I’m pretty sure that no company president ever did the same. If they did, that gun wouldn’t have made it to market.

I know that companies pass new products around the conference table to let everyone in the management team get their hands on them, but who actually tries these products? “Oh, we let our engineers handle that!” should not be the answer.

If a product requires skill to operate, you don’t let the designer test it! You don’t let software engineers who program websites test those websites, too! They know how those sites are supposed to work. You don’t want that. You want people who are barely able to navigate around the internet testing your new websites, because they’ll make all the mistakes that your customers will. If you’re clever, they’ll make these mistakes before the website goes live! Or, you can just do what the Obama Care website did earlier this year, and suffer a huge publicity embarrassment when the new site launches and then locks up.

Don’t fire your star salesman!
What I’m about to describe is so unbelievable, yet also so common that I think it must be a sign of widespread mental illness. Out of a group of salespeople in a company, one person often rises above the rest. He or she out-sells everyone and earns large commissions. When that fact becomes well-known, corporate insanity sets in. At first, the sales manager takes territory away from the star to “level the playing field.” But the star keeps right on performing, and the mediocre sales staff start screwing up the company’s top accounts that were given to them. Maybe the sales manager has discovered that the top salesperson earns more money than him or her. That can’t be right, can it?

In some instances, the top salesperson out-earned the company CEO! Then, they were fired. Because you can’t have someone working for you who out-earns you. That doesn’t make sense — does it?

I used a salesman in my example, but the same holds true for a good engineer, a dynamite warehouse manager who keeps the wheels turning, a popular customer service representative whom everyone asks for when they call the company, and a top-flight maintenance tech who makes the customers’ problems their own. None of these people earn commissions, so they aren’t going to trigger the jealousy response based on dollars, but people can still be jealous for many reasons not related to money. Maybe, the star employee has a long history with the company and knows more about what they do (and have done) than those currently in charge. Or maybe they’re the new person on the team who sees that the emperor is not wearing clothes and says so out loud.

We think companies are in business to make money and to succeed, but there are dangerous games played by some employees that can negate any good done on the company’s behalf. The various intelligence and law enforcement organizations of this nation play these games. In their world, it can be more important that “they” (the sister organizations) fail, than it is for “us” to succeed.

Listen to your customers
The internet allows companies to listen to what their customers are saying about products. Of course, you have to filter through these comments to remove the drivel and the meaningless chatter, but that’s no different than being at a party and listening to all the conversations. The ones that make sense are the ones you listen to.

For instance, let’s say that on an airgun blog, 90 percent of those commenting dislike fiberoptic sights. Let’s say they make it very clear they would rather not have fiberoptics of any kind on their airguns.

But let’s also say that your marketing manager learns that 75 percent of all shooters like fiberoptic sights and will only buy guns that have them. Which source should you believe? Would you believe they can both be right?

If the people who comment on the blog are known to spend $300 and more on an air rifle, but the people your marketing manager polled are those who only buy airguns from discount stores, then perhaps there is a dichotomy to the data. Perhaps those who spend a lot of money on airguns want plain sights, while those who buy based on price alone want fiberoptics. A clever company, discovering this, would have a price point above which the guns would have plain sights and below which they would have fiberoptics. They would then be listening to all their customers.

Make THEM do it!
I remember the old M60A1 tank, whose air-cooled generator sat on the bottom of the engine compartment, under the 12-cylinder air-cooled twin-turbo diesel engine, where the hot air surrounded it and didn’t circulate. That generator failed more than any other single part on the tank engine; and when it did, you had to pull the engine out of the tank to replace it.

The people who designed the M60 and M60A1 put things where they wanted and where it was convenient for them. To pull an engine required the disconnection of many electrical quick-disconnect Cannon plugs that were located all around the engine bay. Disconnecting some of those plugs required the services of the proverbial left-handed double-jointed skinny mechanic.

About 15 years after it was introduced, the Army put the M60 A1 tank through a Reliability Improved through Systems Engineering (RISE) program. All the electrical Cannon plugs were routed to a central panel that was easy to get at, and the generator went from being air-cooled to oil-cooled. The engine that had taken about 12 man-hours to remove dropped to about two man-hours, but removing it ceased to be necessary because the oil-cooled generator stopped failing altogether! The availability of the M60-series tanks went from low to very high, just as a result of changing these few things.

The RISE program was a “How would you build it if you could?” program, and it changed the readiness of American battle tanks overnight. Using the same logic, an air-cooled Volkswagen Beetle engine is replaceable in a few hours, while on certain performance cars you have to lift the engine off the motor mounts to get enough clearance to check all the spark plugs.

In all these examples, those vehicles that were designed for easy maintenance were designed by people who maintained vehicles, while the ones that were not designed that way were designed by stylists whose only concern was what something looked like.

The point
The point of all of this is to put yourself in the customer’s position. Use the product the way he has to use it. Maintain the product the way you ask him to maintain it. I believe that if all corporate decisions were required to pass a test like this, fewer poorly designed products would get to the market.

260 thoughts on “Discovering what works”

  1. “I believe that if all corporate decisions were required to pass a test like this, fewer poorly designed products would get to the market.”

    Tom I know (not believe, but know) that if corporate decisions had to pass that test fewer poorly designed products would get to the market. In fact I recently made a comment to CF45 that is remarkably similar. I said that if executives had to use their companies products on a daily basis (say for at least 2 weeks before it could be sold to the general public), they’d get fed up with poorly designed and made goods. And then they’d likely push the engineers (and designers) to come up with relatively inexpensive, good quality, well thought out products (for a change).

    And no I’m not a bitter old man. Well not much. But if companies like Opinel can do it, why the heck can’t the people who contract with the #246 knife factory in Wonton China to make Barlow knives, stockman knives, do the same. 😛

    • Here in the US we have access to quality expensive stuff and cheap inexpensive stuff. When it comes to air guns, A person new to airguns does not have the experience and knowledge for their first buy. That sometimes leads to bad mouthing a gun. Example when you go and buy break pads for your car at the auto parts store do you get the cheap one $17 mid price $45 or high grade $89..

      • If I’m reading your argument correctly Chris, you’re saying basically you get what you pay for. And while that’s correct, its not entirely accurate. Especially as a rebuttal to what I said. The crux of my point is that no engineer worth his salt is going to deliberately give his boss a turd to field test. And if the engineers know the boss has to field test it they’re going to find a way to produce a better product for a given price point. That doesn’t mean that if that policy was applied at BAM the B3 would outshoot the TX200 MKIII. But maybe the B3 would be a better gun than it is.

        Let me illustrate this with an example of two low-cost pocket knives that I have firsthand experience with. The first is the French-made Opinel #6. For about $12 (excluding the $2-3 shipping), you get a simple knife made with good quality materials (including a carbon steel blade you can get razor sharp very easily) that is designed for daily use and will last for a long time if you give it a modicum of care. The second is Chinese-made Barlow made for and sold at nationally known hardware store specializing in non-electric tools. For $12.95 you get something that looks like Grandpa’s Barlow knife, but has stainless steel blades you’ll never get truly sharp. Mine wore out after about 3 years of daily use. (Technically it became unsafe because the large blade started to wobble left to right when it was open, but its easier to say it just wore out.) They’re both inexpensive products, but only one is cheap. Which one would you want to use. Or perhaps more importantly, if you were the designer of both which one would you want to give to your boss for field testing?

          • I’m not that far gone (drawers full of Opinels). Yet anyway. 😀 But I have to say I really like my #6 pocket knife. (I’ve told family I think they’re the best knives they’ve never heard of.) And from what I hear my sister liked the Opinel paring knives I bought her for Christmas. Considering I stumbled across Opinel on a Youtube video…

            I’ve actually been thinking of getting a carbon steel Mora knife. I hear the same sorts of things about them as I do Opinel (basically good knife for the money). Not sure if anyone here has any feedback on them or not…

            • J.,

              My buddy, Mac, got Edith and me started on Opinels. I have a number 8 that I keep in the garage for all rough cutting. It has a stainless blade, yet I can sharpen it well on my Warthog and it stays sharp a very long time. I know carbon steel is better, but in this case, it seems to work well.

              I carry an Army camp knife from WW II in my pocket.


              • Tom, you probably know more about the metallurgy involved than I do. However I’m going to go out on a limb and say carbon steel isn’t necessarily better than stainless steel. Its just different. I prefer carbon steel because its easier for me to sharpen on my stone. (As relaxing as it may be to sit at the kitchen table and sharpen a knife for hours on end I really do have other stuff to do…) But stainless steel isn’t a bad choice for a knife, IF the company knows what its doing when they harden and temper it. For example my old Boy Scout pocket knife, made by Imperial, has a stainless steel blade and its quite sharp, even if it does take a bit longer to touch up. And at least I don’t have to worry about it rusting… 😀

                • … And then their are the Buck hunting knife blades of the late 60s/early 70s. (Does Buck still use the hammer a blade through a spike logo?)

                  Famous for holding an edge, yes… Unfortunately, they hold a dull edge even better — takes forever to sharpen their grade of steel. My father bought a pair after seeing the company master sergeant killing a block of ice with one at the annual family picnic (on the beach of Marathon… the MS also had a well seasoned coffee pot — I’m sure there was an inch of grounds residue inside that pot… I also recall his “last call” for the porta-potties… On a bullhorn with a warning that shortly after his announcement it would the “his and her bushes”… Also where I got first-hand look at immersion heaters — interesting (non)tech)

                  Me? I have a pair of Buck’s smallest lock-backs (I’d misplaced the first one and bought a replacement).

                  Countering them, I have a Boker (black) ceramic blade lock-back with titanium scales.

                  What do I carry? a small Swiss Army model, and a work Leatherman Wave (from the days of full leather belt scabbards and before the socketed double end screw-driver fittings).

                • I thought you said this line was cheap. Admittedly that’s quite a big folder, but it’s not the only one of its size. I’m trying to find a rationale for buying the Cold Steel Espada extra large which is comparable, but so far I’m coming up empty. It will have to wait until after I get their samurai sword and medieval broadsword.

                  Cold Steel sounds similar to Opinel which I had not heard of. The founder is a little eccentric, but the value he produces for the price is hard to beat. Plus he has a fun, inventive streak in his designs that seems to match my taste.


                  • Normally I wouldn’t post links to a sight that sells stuff here, but since Edith already has I’ll go ahead to support my statement.

                    Opinel’s usually are inexpensive. The #13 that Edith linked to is produced for collectors. As such its a bit of an aberration. The popular working sized knives (typically #6 through #9) run $12 to $14.50 USA.(1) Even the #12, which with a 4.75 inch blade is probably as big an Opinel as is really practical, retails for less than $25. And the #2 through #5 (which don’t have the virobloc locking ring) retail for less than $10, though they’re probably a bit small for general use in my opinion. Shipping adds $2.25 to the cost of the knife.

                    1. http://www.opinel-usa.com/collections/opinel-carbon-blades

                • Edith, I thought Opinel made a bigger knife than that. However a trip to Opinel USA (what did they do to their website?!?!?!?!) and Wikipedia to check makes me think I’ve gone bonkers. Oh well… I suppose its a short trip. 😛

                  Anyway… I don’t know that I think the #13 is really a machete. After all its no bigger than a K-bar. The blade is only 22 cm (8.7 inches). When I think of a machete I think of the ones I used to use on Dad’s farm to trim briars that had blades at least 2-3 times that length. 🙂

              • Edith, I meant no disrespect. I just meant that I don’t have that many Opinels. Though to be fair, I do have quite a few knives that I’ve either bought or been given. And some of them aren’t nearly as good as my Opinel.

          • So do I, it was first knife as a kid given to me by my grand-father brother while we were visiting him in France (both my grand-fathers were French guys who came here to marry pretty Canadian girls after the war), my parents were a little angry and tought I was a little too young (I was 6) but under supervision I came out with all digits still attached and I still own that knife. You can’t beat the locking mecanism, so simple yet so effective. It’s light, cheap to buy but high in quality and will last a life time.


        • J-F
          I have the P17 it is great gun. I see your point how could they copy the HW40 so good that nobody complained or even put the two side by side. Makes me wonder is the HW40 a copy of P17. Just kidding.

    • Since we’re getting pushed over into the very teeny tiny amount of screen space I’m going to reply to chris in ct’s most recent post based off of the original comment. Sorta like hitting the roll bar on an old fashioned type-writer… Anyway Chris said:

      “I agree with you all because its legitimate. Let me give it another try nobody can make a TX200 but AA just like nobody can make a HW but Weihrauch same as your favorite pizza the guys across town cant match the taste either and they are a fine Italian restaurant.”

      That’s true. But it also misrepresents the original point I was making. I’m not asking BAM to make a TX200. What I’m saying (and this is dovetails with point Tom was making) is that if companies approached their products from the perspective of an end-user instead of marketing saying this looks cool, or engineers saying we can save $.001/unit if we use this instead of that we would get better products in general. To me the easiest way to make that happen is to make sure that marketing and the engineers know the boss will be using a randomly chosen sample from the production line for several weeks. That’s because if the boss decides a product is a turd that he doesn’t want the company’s name attached to then that product isn’t going to market.

      Basically its not about copying a design. Its about copying a mindset that says if you build a good product at a good price you’ll do better than if you sell the cheapest possible crap. So lets say BAM built the B3 with that philosophy. Maybe that means that the price would be $5-$10 more, but that a factory B3 would keep all its shots on a soda can sized target at 50 feet. The B3 would still look like the stock was carved from “pallet wood”. But it would shoot a bit better and little Billy would probably hit the soda can in the back yard for a change. Would BAM sell more B3s… Who knows. But its worth thinking about.

      • J.
        That is wishful thinking. We all want more for our hard earned bucks, We all get frustrated when we notice something we dislike on our new airgun and commit if only they did this that way that goes for high end guns too. I think Crosman is very open minded as far as us customers go. But not all Bosses are the same. I think big air gun companies (BAM) are run different than small family owed company. the worker cant speak directly to the owner to tell him his concerns or idea. they are just a employee that is thankful that he got a job after being laid off from the Bakery. Small airgun company will hire the right employee from the start one who loves airguns to begin with. Some of us today said we would love to work at PA what would be better than someone who shoots airguns, I’m sure the owner has a different point of view. My wife makes the best mac an cheese, everyone says to her you should sell your mac an cheese and I look at the receipts and tell her you couldn’t possibly sell your mac to even break even let alone profit. I hope I didn’t stay off topic.

        • Chris, I’m aware that companies aren’t run that way. So is Tom. The point of this blog entry and my comments is not to bemoan that they aren’t. (Well not to too great an extent.)

          The point of this blog entry is to explore what makes people want to give a company their hard earned money. And part of Tom’s blog and most of my comments are pointing out that companies that figure out how to make the product the consumer wants/needs instead of telling the consumer what he wants tend to do better (and more often succeed). That’s true whether its knives, guns, cars, computers, etc… (For example Opinel figured out the kind of knives farmers, shepherds, and workers needed and made an affordable version. As a result of that (and a little luck) his company has been in business since 1890 and sells about 15 million knives a year.) That’s the whole point of the quote Tom opened this with.

          As for the bit about the B3 being improved it being wishful thinking… Yes and no. If enough people complain even multi-national companies do change their products. That’s why Kraft Mac & Cheese sold in Europe does not produce its cheesy yellow appearance with artificial colors anymore. Or why tuna fishers use dolphin safe nets… That doesn’t mean I’m holding out any hope that BAM will improve it. I just picked it because I know it can do better if its worked on (see Vince’s guest blog on tinkering with the B3).

      • J.

        I think I may know of a good example for what you are saying. Unfortunately I don’t know this first hand. My information comes by way of a video posted at another website selling airguns. In that video the host said that he was legally required by Glock to stop inferring that some air pistols were “Glock-like” in appearance. The conclusion was that Glock did not want their name associated with possibly poor quality air pistols in order to protect Glock’s reputation as a maker of high quality firearms.

        • What you’re describing almost sounds like an inverse/negative example since Glock was forcing someone to stop comparing a product to their guns. A better example might be Tom noticing that the Diana 27 is a great youth gun that is no longer made and then getting people to build the Air Venturi Bronco to fill the same niche.

          Maybe the confusion on that means I’ve wandered a bit far afield and not explained my ideas coherently. If so apologies.

      • For what it’s worth, the now retired Charlie Da Tuna considered the BAM B30 the best value you could buy. One fairly standard tune could move it from a $150 rifle prone to breaking to the $500 range. That’s about right from my experience.


        • That’s very possible. Vince found that (at least some of) parts in the B3 were made better than he expected. And with some work there was a noticeable improvement. So there’s no reason to assume the BAM 30 wouldn’t be the same way.

  2. BB
    I can totally agree with everything you have just stated in this post. Being an automotive mechanic/technician for 30 years and having to fix failures in many different cars at first when I worked at a independent shop and then becoming a GM technician with Cadillac and Oldsmobile for 25 of those 30 years. You see issue that require extensive disassembly to repair something that take 5 minute to fix, but actually took hours because you could not get to the failed part to fix it without removing several other components and its failure was similar to the generator of the M60 tanks failure because it was not in an well ventilated or accessible location. Then there were the jobs that we figured out a way to short cut the procedure for repairing the failed component only to have GM cut the warranty time down because they realized we had beat them at their own game.

    Then when I got my dream job of being a research and development mechanic with Harley-Davidson at the Talladega test facility here in a Alabama and saw first hand how parts were developed and designed for us to test on a motorcycle that the engineer that designed and approved the part for testing had never even tried to see if it fit on the motorcycle it was designed for before he sent it to us to install and test made absolutely no sense. I soon learned who the truly good engineers were and who the bad ones were in that you knew when you got parts from the good engineers they would fit correctly and work as designed and they were always open to criticism and suggestions for improvements. Where the bad engineers did not really care if their part fit or not they were just after the almighty praise from Willie G. Davidson for designing a part that cost the company less to build and saved the company money when in fact in the long run of testing it cost twice as much because it had two or three revision made to it before it would pass the test duty cycles and perform as it should have from the beginning. There were about 4 to 5 engineers that actually brought their newly designed parts to Talladega with them to understand the issues we encountered installing and preparing the bike to be ready to start the test duty cycles that they required to do validate the part design and durability.. I can say that I made a name for my self as you stated about the ones that outperformed others in that I had several of the good engineers that I had worked with for the 11 years I was with the company that would specifically request me to be in charge of the setup and investigations of the failure of their components during the complete test cycles and that did not always set well with my lead mechanics that were supposedly in charge of my work schedules and job tasks on a daily basis. In fact at the end when Harley pulled the plug and closed Talladega to move to Arizona the salaries of most employees were made public in the severance packages we were given and I was making as much as 5 to 6 thousand dollars more a year in salary than my lead mechanics that were supposed to be my direct supervisors in the chain of command structure in place at the time, but because of the engineers asking for me to be in charge of their test my main supervisor had no choice but to give me bigger raises and better reviews than most other mechanics over me.

    I was always straight forward and told the engineers and managers what I thought were the problems and issue that needed to be addressed and fixed for the company succeed and move forward with a better product for the customer and we also got a STIP bonus which is a short term incentive program that basically meant that the better the company did in overall profits the bigger my bonus check was so the better I was at my job the more money I could make. Also the test rider were putting their lives in my hand by trusting to me that the experimental bikes they were riding were as safe as could possibly be done by the best of my ability.

    Then in 2005 the company began being more concerned about the final costs than building a quality product and the overall quality of Harleys began to suffer and it showed in the companies end of year profits and our STIP bonus checks.

    I truly believe that the quality of new products have fallen way below the old standards that used to be the normal. when I first started at Harley in 1998 the safety failure ratio for any part was 4 to1 and by the end of 2004 that same failure ratio was down to 1 to1 which in laymen’s terms means that at a failure ratio of 4 to1 the part would last 4 time as long as the warranty of the product, so now at a ratio of 1 to1 means that the part will fail just as the warranty time has expired and therefore no longer be covered by the factory warranty.


    • What you saw in 2005 was the major corporations preparing for the Great Recession. GE did a massive downsizing of American employees in the early 2000’s and built facilities in China and India for not just manufacturing, but engineering.

      On paper it was a massive reduction of costs and earned the top dogs huge golden parachutes. What it did in reality was they lost control of quality, labor costs in those countries began to rise and shipping costs shot through the roof. So now Jeff is starting to bring those jobs back here because he has found he can build a better product for less in Tennessee than in Wangpo, China.

      What was the real kick below the waste was our buddy Barrack putting Jeff in charge of a committee to find ways to bring American jobs back to this country when Jeff, and his mentor Jack, were the very culprits who sent those jobs overseas in the first place. Talk about putting the fox in charge of guarding the hen house. I guess Jeff and Jack made some very substantial campaign contributions from the bonuses they received.

      • Wouldn’t that make the most sense though?
        You want the guy who sent those jobs over in the first place to be the loudest supporter of bringing them back. It will make the people who believed him the first time, listen to him again.

        Plus if he can find cost savings in bringing the jobs back, like he did in moving them out of the country that really shows this is a viable plan.

        • I do hope your response is sarcasm.

          When due to these very cost savings, you are the one who loses your job, your savings and your home and then to add insult to injury they tell you that it is not personal. It was VERY personal and it is probably a VERY good thing I will never meet these “gentlemen”.

  3. Perfect timing BB.
    Our company just had a vision system (robot) built that automates the checking of 9 holes in a part.

    Its a pick and place design that feeds from a hopper to a conveyor which the robot picks the part up off the conveyor and places it on a spindle that rotates. A photo electric eye triggers 2 cameras to take a picture of the holes. The computer captures the data then processes to say the parts good or bad.

    This is the type of stuff I machine parts for in the manual machining area at work known as the tool room. We build this stuff everyday. Me and one other machinist and a electrical and computer guy.

    We have had so much new products or maybe I should say parts to be made that we (me and the 2 other guys) have been working 12 hr days. I took a vacation day Thursday and today Friday off also which is our normal day off just to get time off. And I still have to go in Saturday.

    But the whole problem is that we are working on that vision system that somebody else got payed to build. We have had to change many things on it already just to make it work. Put proximity switches in place of photo eyes and machine new brackets. And the list does not stop. We are now trying to buy the rights or license (whatever you want to call it) to the software so we can go in and change the delays and such in the program that the electric eye’s and proximity switches see. The soft ware we have is not the new updated version and you just don’t go find this somewhere and down load it. We need to do things like index the the conveyor belt instead of it running continuous because its loading the parts to hard at the end of the conveyor. And the list goes on and on.

    But here’s the thing. Our company that I work for payed good money for this project that got built by these other people. And here is what happened. They dropped it off one day. It didn’t work. And remember this is a production based machine. Its making sure all 9 holes are there. (its a generic piece that is used in multiple type of air bag assembly’s for vehicles). If one hole is missing and assembled in a vehicle it will cause a catastrophic failure. Basically its a bomb if one hole ain’t there. They took it back for the weekend all while we were not shipping parts because parts of our original system was shut down because of the equipment that the system was supposed to replace. They brought it back Monday and that’s what I have been working on all week.

    They basically built it but didn’t proof it out before they brought it to us and said here you go its ready. Well it wasn’t. We had no choice but stop other projects going on and get this thing working.

    And remember this is just one part of a assembly of parts that work together. We ship this part 3 different places. When we don’t ship things shut down. And some people probably remember me talking about parts getting made in China then shipped back to us. Well this is one of them. All it takes is this kind of thing to happen and they go the China route. And believe me not by my choice. That’s a whole nother story.

    But see this stuff happens everywhere and in all kinds of situations. And I’m not going to tell you what they payed for this system and loss time and labor hrs. and parts and so on. You would be amazed what this type of stuff costs. I will put it this way. I could retire right now if they gave me all the money that was involved in this little fiasco. All I can say is that I’m in the wrong part of this business. Maybe that what I should do? Open me a shop and start making this automated equipment. Two projects and I bet I could retire. 🙂

      • BB
        Its happened more than once there through out time there. All I can say is every time it happens its a ridiculous amount of money that gets waisted.

        And whats funny is they gripe about giving us raises. But I will sure be there working Saturday to make sure its running. The 3 of us that work on this stuff is taking a turn coming in one of the days this weekend so we can be there.

        We do get payed good though so I should just eat it and keep quiet. But it is just kind of crazy how things are ran at places sometimes.

  4. As a thirty year a auto mechanic. I have seen the change from cars that could be repaired to what we have now. All engendering is geared toward getting the vehicle through the warranty period. 80 k then it should start to fail. Nothing should go wrong . If it does they will cheat the mechanics by reducing the pay to repair the problem rather that fix the problem.
    Engines are made of plastic. Most will never have the plugs changed. Cars today are disposable like a bic lighter.

    • LOL! I spent Saturday on my back helping my son-in-law replace the rear end and shaft universals on his Blazer, which by the way is well beyond the warranty period. Automobile components are designed for assembly line installation and as you stated, a certain lifespan, then it is disposed of and we start all over again.

      Us old geezers have a problem with that. The old automobiles, and other products for that matter, were not more reliable, they were just repairable. Today’s mindset is you get a new toy, play with it a bit, throw it away and get the latest and greatest new toy. What do you mean the battery is soldered onto the circuit board of an iPhone?!?

    • Racer X
      Read my post above.
      I to was an automotive tech for 30 years at first in an independent shop in the 70s when working on cars was fun and you could actually get to thing to fix them and by fix them I mean you would rebuild starters, alternators, carbs etc. it was not just parts swapping like today. Then I went to a GM dealer in 83 and then you still had enough service work that you could make a good living, but slowly but surely it started changing where you would replace the alternator rather than rebuild it, the part to rebuild it cost more than the rebuilt alternator did.

      Back then and up till about the mid 2000s the failure ratio of parts for motor vehicles was at 4 to1 which means that part was designed to last 4 times the length of the warranty period, but today the failure ratio is 1 to1 so that same part will fail just as the vehicle runs out of the warranty period ands customers today generally go out and buy a new vehicle, it is a form of planned success for motor vehicle companies because if the vehicles fail when the warranty is up and the cost to repair is high enough to make it more practical just to buy a new car they have a perpetual source of customers.


      • It is just a change. Like everything else in life. Adapt or die. I used to rebuild parts and that was fun. But now I am just replacing parts. But not the parts I used to rebuild. Now we do a lot of wheel bearings and tires . I am working in places that do everything from body work to scheduled service. Since 2008 the industry has changed dramatically. I had two jobs in twenty five years and four in the last seven. I come to work and the boss says they are closing the doors. Insurance costs and Maryland taxes shut them down.

        • RacerX
          I know it just a job and everything changes but when I went from Gm and Cadillac in 98 to work for Harley in a research and development until 09. I was making 16.50 hr flat rate in 98 and after being laid off in09 from Harley I went back to the auto industry for Nissan and was only offered 17 hr flat rate and I have been a ASE Master certified technician since 1977 and still am to this day, it expires in 2015 and I will not be renewing it because there is no money in that field ant more and my body has given up on me from doing that type of work for 45 years.

          But to be out of the field for eleven years and going from making 25 hr salary at Harley to 17 hr flat rate at Nissan and working 45 hours a week and turning an average of 30 to 35 hrs a week because of warranty not paying what time the repairs actually take I just could no longer give the dealer and Nissan 10 to 15 hours of my time a week for free. That is why I left GM in 98 to work for Harley because at that time in 98 I was also a GM master technician, Cadillac Master tech and Oldsmobile master tech as well as ASE master and even was one of the first tech to pass the L1 emissions and performance test in 96 in the southeast area and there were no schools that GM could senf me to because I had already been to them all and passed them. but even with all that training and certifications I was working on 50 plus thousand dollar vehicles and made no where near that amount in a year so it was time for a change as you put it.

          I would still be at Harley if they had not closed the facility and moved to Arizona. It is also why the auto industry is having trouble finding qualified young people to repair these new vehicles and keep them because they arte not willing to pay enough for what is involved in time and knowledge to fix the new vehicles.


          • Ya I’m out. This is the last auto job I will have.. I am going to go into the power sports industry. I have the connections and experience as a tuner. Plus I can rebuild carbs. I feel like an old watch maker after they came out with quarts watches. Life goes on. Now if the salt flats would just dry up

            • RacerX
              I just do small jobs on Harleys and four wheelers at the house now and have really started to rebuild air guns for people in my area as it is picking up quite a bit due to the cost and shortages of ammo nowadays. I have all my 45 years worth of tools here at my disposal so there it not much I can’t do tool wise it just limited by what my body will allow me to do. That’s why I have started to build a client base by word of mouth for working on air guns because it does not involve as much physical effort to build them versus bike and four wheelers.


            • I know what you mean. In smaller towns, it is hard to find anyone who knows how to work on a carburetor. By 1985, almost all cars had gone to fuel injection. The remaining mechanics who can work on or rebuild a carburetor are all almost my age or older.

              In a few years, they will be retired. I like old Lincolns to drive as second cars. My last one had a 460 engine with a four-barrel carb. My present one has a 400 engine with a two-barrel carb. I deal with a corner garage (literally, it is on a corner). I trust the mechanic there (almost my age) with all my vehicles. A good thing, too, as the other garages with young mechanics consider my car a mystery. They could probably handle a complete carb replacement, but, then, so could I.

              Who would have thought a carburetor would be considered an arcane device?


                • Wulraed and Desertdweller
                  An SU carb satanic heavens no that could never be so wrong as the venerable SU carb is one of the most sophisticated and yet simple carbs to tune and work on. I used to race a 74 Datsun pickup with the L series 4 cylinder engine in it that had a Datsun triple S head, rally camshaft, header with 2 1/2 inch exhaust all the way to the back and a set of SU carbs from a 63 MGB on a factory Datsan manifold that would run 14.5 second 1.4 miles all day long and surprised many a V8 muscle car when I out ran them in the quarter mile.

                  The Skinners Union carb was way ahead of it time in terms of performance and tunability and parts to rebuild them are still available today as I still have that 74 pickup with the 63 model SU carbs on it and it runs perfectly all the time. The problem for most people is they try and make tuning them more difficult than it really is. there are only a few adjustments required to be made for them to run correctly on any engine you chose to put them on and they can be tuned for a 1200 cc motor all the way up to a 400 ci v8 if you understand how they work and how to adjust the fuel mixture properly.

                  I will take an old set of SU carbs any day over a new 4 barrel carb or fuel injection because the SU can be repaired on the side of the road with a screw driver and a pair of pliers for the only tools required.

                  Every motorcycle and four wheeler carb made today use the exact same principles that the SU carbs used since the mid fifties when they were first produced and did not need to be changed for several decades to still meet the requirement of most every British sports car they were used on.

                  They are a perfect example of the KISS principle in that their simplicity of operation made them very simple to tune and repair and self adjusted for elevation changes without any need to rejet or adjust, they were the very first of what is now known as constant velocity carb ie CV carb.

                  Desert dweller there are some of us old geezer that much prefer a carb to a fuel injected vehicle and still have the knowledge and special tools to build most any carb that was ever made. Give me a Quadrajet or an SU and I can build and tune them to outrun any holley carb and most fuel injected cars, I will not state that you will get good fuel mileage but when you step on it there will be no lag or hesitation and you will need to buy tires on a regular basis.


                    • Gunfun1
                      Spread bore or square flange ? I did have a 86 cutlass 442 that someone replaced the 307 smog with 350 rocket and I kept changing carbs and intake manifolds to get the most out of the car because of different set no more computer to plug in to the Holly carbs Weber carbs and the Predator carb till one day our hot shot mechanic said toss the 350 rocket and get 455 big block. A year later I did get the Buick GN that car was the best combo of gears in rear end 343, transmission 200r and how the 231 cid engine 235hp power band kicked in making it the fastest 1/4 mile car produced in 1987.

                    • Gunfun
                      Amen for the quadrajet for sure. I can tell you right now that if you know how to tune a quadrajet it will run circles around a holley every time and get better gas mileage in the process if you keep your foot out of the two rear barrels because of the spread bore design it had the best of both worlds with fuel economy and performance at the same time and you did not have to adjust it every other day.

                      As I said give a quadrajet or a pair of SUs I can tune an engine to flat out haul butt way easier than any holley or carter carb.


                  • buldawg
                    I will never forget the look a guys face that had a tubbed big block 72 Camaro with the bottle on it. I beat him with my 79 big block Camaro with the bottle and small 10” dot tires And a Q-jet carb.

                    He was running race gas. I was running pump gas. I stopped at the gas station to put some gas in and he pulled in saw that then I showed him the engine. He was like in shock when he saw the Q-jet sitting on top. His words were. “you got to be kidding me a quadra junk” And I said. Well I think you may just want to start calling them by there right name from now on. Don’t you think. I just beat you. 🙂

                    • Gunfun
                      The problem was most so called mechanics did not know how a quadrajet worked so they had no idea on how to tune it because there were no jets that could be changed like a holley, but instead you would change primary and secondary needles and power valve springs and adjust the secondary air flap for a perfect transition from the two barrel to the four barrel without the notorious hesitation or stumble that most of them had from the factory.

                      Once you learned how it worked and what to change to tune it, it would run circles around any other carb and you did not have to fiddle with like the holleys because there were no screws or float level adjustment to move or go out of whack.

                      That’s why I stated give me a quadrajet or SU any day because they are so easy to tune if you know how. I was taught all that at my first mechanics job by the owner that had been repairing cars since the 30s and you could drive a car buy him and he would tell you what was wrong with it just by listening to it as it went by.


                    • Wulfaed
                      The company that invented and built the SU carb in Britain was “Skinners Union” and that is where the abbreviation SU came from as they are a side draft carb. The term updraft would imply that the air flow would move in a upward direction some where in the intake system which in an MG, Triumph, Austin Healey or Jaguar all of which used SU carbs had no intake system in which the airflow ever went in an upward direction.
                      Google Skinners Union or SU carb and see what you get.
                      Do you know that MG stand for Morris Garage.


    • Racer X, I agree, I work at a small shop and we have to inform customers that parts have failed before their warranty is up! Then we send them to their dealer or one we trust and even then they may not be fixed under warranty. Then they come back to us and we take care of them as best we can for the price of these parts… Then the dealer parts, if required, fail early again.,.. I too have been thinking of packing it up and moving to Ohio to work for Pyramyd…

  5. As a lifetime …sales..and engineering person,…in few more than the “25 words or less” I can say you’ve succinctly outlined ALL the idiocy of the Harvard MBA model of business administration.
    Or, as the appropriately entitled Bugs Bunny used to say (slightly modified,) “What a bunch of maroons!”
    While not claiming genius business status, i can also claim close association to a long sequence of failing businesses with the consistent attribute of automated deafness to “underlings” desperately trying to tell “management” there was a problem and how to fix it.
    While there remain businesses that understand that one has to have a box ( good product, excellent service,etc) before one can think outside it, too often they jump to the (really) unattractive alternative of the truly ghastly phone trees; When you can actually get an actual human, an accent that’s borderline incomprehensible; Or, worst of all, a substandard rip-off of poor Siri.
    I can go on about corporate buyers refusing to buy products people want, thinking they’re making a political statement; Low level managers that literally don’t know how to schedule employees; And…

    Well, there’s (as you might well imagine) much more I’ve witnessed, but when that new manager shows up and you ask where he/she went to school…when he/she says Harvard/Stanford/ etc, think to yourself why the hell he/she is here instead of someplace “better?”
    And by the way, it’s okay to pitch that at them, and if you don’t like the answer, call THEIR boss.
    Just document (write down) your questions and calls.
    Just preface your comments with the phrase, ” I’m concerned because I know nothing happens until someone sells something.”

  6. B.B.

    Everything you said up there is so true about customers & also about how some of today’s companies are failing because they are not getting it right from a customers perspective.I also agree with you on how star performers are treated cos I have been a salesman for 26 years and seen it countless times in my company & others and just can’t understand the stupid mindset of these employers. These affected Stars leave in disappointment and they don’t realize it is they (the company) that are poorer. Am really impressed by your marketing knowledge. You are expert in more than one subject. Good for you Sir!!


    • Errol,

      I used to work for a company that managed and also franchised hotels. The man who started the company had previously worked for a very large corporation that was the leader in weightlifting/bodybuilding equipment. He sold a lot more equipment than any other salesman. One day, the CEO realized that this salesman was making way more money than he was. I don’t know exactly what was changed, but the net result was a serious reduction in pay either through commission cuts or splitting up the territory. Of course, the salesman left.

      The CEO didn’t have the brainpower to know that if the salesman was making that much money, then the company would also be making wads of money. He had tunnel vision. He saw only one thing, and it wasn’t what was best for the company.

      I’ve seen similar scenarios in other companies. I often wonder how long these stupid people last in a company after they’ve gotten rid of their star performers.


      • Ms. Edith,

        Exactly my point ma’am. They just don’t seem to understand the damage they are doing to their own company by such petty mindedness. The best part of it is that they have a file full of impressive qualifications which should mean that they are more than capable. I often wonder if these are bought & not earned as I heard that its possible in some cases. As for me, I firmly believe that there is NO substitute for practical experience & common sense, coupled with good intelligence. By the way stupid is too mild a term for these people!!!


      • Edith
        Those people try to last. But for not long. I think they are better sales men then the sales man. They usually are the ones that got somebody in the company snookered. I was going to use another word but I know that’s not appropriate here.

        I have seen it at the place I have worked at for many years. You cant believe how many have come and gone. One of those type of people was trying to pull one over on another person that was up there in the ranks if you will. The thing is the owner new the truth and he just let the guy hang himself. We all started making bets out on the floor of the shop how long they would last. I could be a rich man right now if we were betting real money. But as I say. “Time Will Tell”

        And by the way Edith what are you doing up so late. Or should I say so early.

          • Edith
            That happens to me also. Sometimes with good results and some times with some that I wish didn’t pop into the ole brain.

            I hope your having the good ones. 🙂

            • Gunfun
              I got the brackets for the forearms ordered today from crosman buy using the part number for the 2250B gun.

              This is a shining example of the issues and ways that what BB has brought up in this post affects a companies perception and willingness to keep and satisfy its customers. I called them back on August first to order a 1377 steel breech, two forearms for a SSP250 and the barrel band and bracket to hold the forearm’s in place on my 2240 projects. I was told the price for the breech and the forearms and was told that the bands and brackets were obsolete. The forearm actually had been updated to a new number which by chance was the number that fit the 2250B gun and instead of taking another 5 minutes with me and asking what exactly I was wanting/using these parts for they just took my order for the breech and forearms and that was it.

              Move foreword to this morning and I just get off the phone with then and find that the band and bracket that I asked about on August first for a SSP250 and was told that were obsolete are in fact still available for the 2250B which was what the 2 forearms had with the updated number fit so if they had taken just another 5 minutes and asked a couple simple question I would have all the parts I was originally wanting and be very happy with them, but instead I had to do several hours of research and discussions back and forth with Gunfun and fellow Bloggers to find the correct part numbers to give the salespersons at crosman to get what I wanted in the first place. On their bright side they got 4 bucks extra from me for shipping and now I have to wait another 2 weeks to get the parts to finish my projects.

              The new age of customer service is in full swing, and they know since they have the monopoly board in their hands why should they change for us small group of some what loyal customers. If the parts could be found elsewhere at close to the same price I for one would no longer do business with them.


              • Buldawg,
                Did you get my E-mail regarding the repeating breech? I don’t know how interested you might be in turning one of your projects into a repeater but GF1 has been talking about it for a while and if I had the funds I’d like to eventually slap one together.There are other options but this one has been on the shelf for quite some time so reviews should be easily accessible.Glad to hear you finally got the parts you been trying to get for too long and hope all goes smooth enough to work well with just enough massaging needed to keep you from getting bored.


                • Reb
                  Yep I did find the breech kit and sent you a thank you I think it was in the 2240 conversion blog where you gave him the search phrase. I may look at that upgrade in the future but right now the funds are not here right now for that. I have the hatsan as a repeater for now but down the road It may be a future project.

                  Have you got that stock done yet for the 36 or you still trying to get the oil out of it to stain it. I think the stain would still work even with the oil on it. let me know how it turns out.


                  • I think I’m done with the stain now, I just cranked up the compressor to keep me on my toes. I had to sand all the way back down to the wood to get the stain to soak in again but I found a couple spots that still had a pinkish tint to them from whatever they stained it with.I just put a light coat on it ad we’ll see what it looks like when it dries.

              • Buldawg
                I think I mentioned it before. That was the first thing I learned about Crosman when I purchase something from them. You have to have part numbers. They definitely don’t like looking anything up for you.

                There is one thing though. I’m glad they do have the schematics available. I my self do work on airguns also. Crosman and Benjamin to be exact old and new, stock and modified. And I only will work on the pcp, pump and Co2 guns. Believe me you don’t know how much crosrefrencing I have done building and working on these type of guns. So I am thankful that’s there.

                But I also have to say that I use to run into the same thing when I was hot rodding the muscle cars through out time. One Chevy dealership would bend over back wards to get me the high performance parts I was looking for to build a engine. The other one on the other side of town didn’t want to even look at you. Its like you ruined their day or something. Which dealership do you think is still active to this day.

                And it wasn’t only Chevy. We had a Dodge dealer by us that was a motorsports dealership. That parts guy would also bend over backwards to help also.

                And then there was the speed shops in my area. A couple of them would only do the machine work the way they thought it should be done. And then about 3 other shops would do anything you told them you wanted done. Those 3 shops definitely were competing with each other. I ended up only going to the one because he would do what I wanted done even if he told me I was crazy for trying that. Well that’s a shop that I started working part time at. So people knew me from the dragstrip where me and my buddies always had the Tuned by Nitrous George T-shirts on. And I teched cars at that local dragstrip also back in the day. All I can say is that machine shop/speed shop was the one that won out over the others. He gave the people what they wanted. How they wanted it and when they wanted it.

                So yes I do wish that Crosman and other company’s would restructure their businesses. I think they would sale more and maybe even get more people involved in projects that they would shy away from because all the little difficulty’s to get what they need. And the parts thing is just one aspect of the whole big picture. They need to look at the whole company and see what would make things work better.

                Any way I got to go get some shooting. And I think I’m all griped out for the day. 🙂

          • Hmmm, sounds just like somebody that just turned sixty-something, just like me. How did this happen? It doesn’t seem it took us that long.
            I just got a terrifying letter. No, not my visa-card bill, no, not even something from the IRS, both bad enough, but even worse than those.
            “Hi!” It said, “It’s time for your High-school reunion! (And then the really scary part, the magic number…) “50!”
            As my sweetie’s Mom used to say about us-of-a-certain-age, “Hrumph! You kids today…”
            She just passed on earlier this year at 107, and I think she was right. We’re all still kids.

      • Edith
        That is basically the scenario that took place at Harley back in 09 when the big wig head of FVT&E ( full vehicle test and evaluation) decided that he wanted to consolidate the three test facilities that Harley had to just one in Arizona. We had one in Naples Florida that did braking and handling only, Another one in Arizona that was on property leased from Chrysler corporation on their proving grounds ( used to be Ford motor company proving grounds in Yucca Arizona) that did durability testing only. Then the Talladega test facility where I worked that did durability, powertrain, emissions, sound ,braking and vehicle measurements testing which comprised 80% of all the testing for the motor company. Our big boss John Herbrand decided that he wanted to move everything to Arizona to save the company money, to make a long story short the proposed move was going to cost roughly 5 million dollars, but by the time they picked up everything from Talladega and moved it to Arizona to set back up it cost over 20 million dollars because he had not figured in the cost to have the power upgraded from 3 phase of 240 volts to 3 phase of 480 volts that the powertrain test stands required to operate with ( 4 million to Arizona power to run the lines 40 miles ) then the 5 million to bring in an air handling system to create an artificial environment to be able to run emission tests because there is no humidity in Arizona for the proper testing to be done, then because the facility was in the middle of the Mojave desert and the powertrain test stands have fans that blow air into the stands to simulate road speed airflow over the bike for engine cooling and these fans would produce wind in the upper limits of 120 mph they turned in to large sand blaster which would destroy the mechanical servos that operated the throttle, clutch and shifter operations not to mention filling the stand with 2 to 3 feet of sand that had to be vacuumed and swept out every day and that is just the tip of the iceberg of issue that they ran into with that move.

        The icing on the cake for me was when in a year and a half later after John Herbrand who made the decision to move to Arizona came to work in Milwaukee one day and was escorted of the property by security and fired on the spot for that decision and the fact that it cost over 4 time the budget he presented to the board when he made the decision to shut down Talladega and move. Harley’s testing has suffered ever since that move in that they can not get the last minute tests completed in time for new product rollout every august like we were able to accomplish for them at Talladega.


        • Sometimes, things work out. While not remotely in the same league with your Harley adventures, I’ve had the pleasure of warning my employers about a “certain employee” and then, a month or so later, clapping the handcuffs on and escorting him off the property.
          Man, that was fun.

          • 103David
            While I was just a very low level employee at Harley I still had a vested interest in the company because of their STIP program and I saw many people come and go also in my 11 yrars there.

            Although the head guy John Herbrand was not hurt by being fired as he had been with Harley for over 30 years and had enough stock options and other bonuses that he was set money wise for life it did make me feel good to know that he was not irreplaceable either. We had been asking him in town hall meeting for 3 years if Talladega was going to be closing and he assured us every time that we had nothing to worry about until 3 months before they planned to lay every one off.


            • buldawg
              They will never tell you there will be a lay off or if a job will be going away that will eliminate people.

              My dad worked at a metal printing place as well as ran our small farm we had. He had about 6 or so years left to go before he retired. He went in to work the next day as usual and it was a Friday which was payday after working all week. The doors were closed lock and chained with a note saying we will contact you with further instructions.

              Well no contact, no further instructions, no pay check. The employees had to get together to find out what happened. The company filed bankruptcy. Alot of things had to happen by the employees and their money spent to get anything out of them. But in the end it worked out for the good. Well a little good. All I can say is the lawyers were happy. And the judge did rule in favor with some things that did help the employees.

              Its just amazing what can happen in a blink of a eye.

              • Gunfun
                We were fortunate in that we all got a severance package that was pretty good. It paid me 23 1/2 weeks salary the same as if I was still working there and continued all my benefits also for that time as in health, dental, vision and prescription coverage, the only thing that I lost was my life insurance that I had in the amount of 500,000 with a yearly premium of 175 dollars. I was also allowed by the state of Alabama to collect unemployment compensation while on severance leave so I got a paycheck for almost 6 months with health coverage also and collected unemployment checks at the same time. That is what is keeping me surviving right now while applying for disability because I invested that money in an IRA that is what I am living on along with my 250 dollar retirement check from Harley so I cannot be totally upset with Harley as they did do everyone right in the layoff. But I would still rather be there working than not, even if I hurt all the time because it was one of those truly love what you do kind of jobs and I even passed up some promotions because they would have taken me away from being at the hands on level of research and development which is where my heart was so for 11 years I never felt like a worked a day in my life.

                If only things would never change.


                • buldawg
                  I have been lucky so far at my job. Full machine shop access if I need it. And I’m still working.

                  Now days you never know what can happen. All I can say is I got my fingers crossed that they keep on roll’n on. I got a few more years left than I would like before I retire. But I hope I keep working till I retire. Bills, bills, bills you know what I mean. Well and airguns, airguns, airguns to get also. 🙂

                  • Gunfun
                    I am lucky in that my house is paid for so all I have is utilities and food to buy, and airguns, airguns and so on. I f it was not paid for I would still be working;

                    Did you see my post about the metal mags not fitting by about .030″. The tray for the hatsan would not only need to be angled in the horizontal plane so the pellets would roll into line with the barrel it would also have to be angled in the vertical plane so the tip of the metal mag would slide into the barrel all at the same time, very complex piece for what we would want it for and it still may not work as designed.


                    • buldawg
                      Or make the tray normal and make a little grove in the breech. That way the point of the metal mag could slide in that groove.
                      I will look at it some more.

  7. BB,

    I certainly do hope this is read and taken seriously by the various airgun companies out there. Some seem to do such from time to time. An example of such is Crosman. They were sliding downhill and then seemed to start listening to their customer base and started producing some real nice products. Then they seemed to rest on their laurels for a bit and everything started tanking again. Now they seem to be trying to turn things around and listen to the customer base again.

    Unfortunately for me, I am a member of a miniscule minority of that customer base who do not care for the Mattelomatic and would much rather have something with more classic styling, but hey, it is a numbers game.

    Any company would do well to read and heed today’s blurb, however many of them have Jack Welch’s book on their shelf and are already brainwashed.

  8. “Disconnecting some of those plugs required the services of the proverbial left-handed double-jointed skinny mechanic.”

    Very funny 🙂 Describes my mechanic friend David to the T. He has improved …hahaha

    • I do recall a 60’s Buick that did require removing the air-conditioning compressor to get to the two front-right plugs… And this was a large slush bucket, not a tight sports car (the doors were so long they had release handles at both ends — so rear seat passengers could open the doors without having to crawl over the seat back).

      My ’90 Plymouth Laser RS Turbo had easy to reach plugs (and the unusual set-up of using two ignition coils and no distributor per se — one coil to a pair of plugs, and fired both at a time, on was in exhaust stroke so no effect)…. The fun part was changing the fuel filter. THAT was the size of a soda can, mounted on the firewall, with solid tubing from the fuel tank to the injectors.

      One had to A) unplug the electric fuel pump (located in the tank); B) run the engine until it stalled (to remove the 40PSI pressure in the fuel system); C) jack up the front end and DROP THE SUSPENSION CROSS FRAME — this gave enough free play to the fuel lines that they could be taken off the filter canister.

      • In the Eighties Pontiac had the bright idea of having you take a special pry bar and roll the engine out of the compartment on hinges to change the back plugs.

        The automobile industry has led the way, but so many products today are designed to reduce the cost of manufacturing. They are not designed to last long and they are certainly not designed to be repaired. I cannot change the oil on my wife’s car because I do not have a lift. The only reason I can change it on my truck is because they put a special hole with a flap cover in the fender well so you could get to the filter. They even mounted a funnel with a hose below it to help reduce the mess. How thoughtful.

  9. The “Listen to your customers” segment of this article is spot on and the root of many product and service issues discussed.

    Since there are many tiers of customers/consumers which ones does the manufacturer/distributor listen to?

    In this day and age most manufacturers/distributors that sell their wares in the USA listen to the biggest market segment of the customer/consumer. The biggest market segment are those customers/consumers that are primarily driven by price point.

    These customers/consumers won’t pay for quality and realize that they aren’t getting an heirloom product but are satisfied IF the retailer will exchange it or refund their money if it quits working in 30 days. These customers/consumers are the mass. They speak with their wallets.

    When it comes to airguns the folks on this blog are the minority since we are seasoned and educated consumers. Since we’re the minority we have a very faint voice for most manufacturers. Welcome to the new millennium.


    • Kevin,

      You are right about the tiers of customers. And you can’t satisfy them all.

      As a writer I can create the fiction of an ultimate customer and make the reader believe things are that simple, but when corporate buyers are also customers, things get convoluted.

      Still, there is a bottom line, and that is the general health of the company. If the company isn’t buying things that their customers want (and I know that this may also be a multi-tiered group full of distributors, dealers and end users), they will fail.

      That is why I forget the entire equation and only focus on the end user. If they are satisfied, things tend to right themselves in-between.

      I believe that the faulty middle-men will fail at the same rate as faulty companies. But you will always have the end user. So that is the only one you should focus on.

      My way is risky, and many will not want to take the risk, but I think it is the only way to do business.


      • B.B.,

        Our business philosophies mirror one another.

        Quality of service and product withstand the test of time. It’s my mantra and the reason I believe that I have survived in my personal business for decades. I think this is the only way to do business and I won’t change. The majority of US consumers have changed though.

        There have always been consumers driven by price point and not quality. I believe they’re the majority today in the USA.

        If you need me look over where the dinosaurs are kept.


  10. I have two office examples from my employer. We are losing proposal printers and being forced to use a central printer. I print out papers for my accounts maybe 30 times per day. Rather than reach back for the printout, I will have to get up and print (the new high tech printers require either your pass code or an id badge. So now I use up one minute times thirty times five days. I assure you that I make more in 2.5 hours than the savings of a small printer. But someone in the home office didn’t think this through. Second is when we travel, must use the company travel website. It does not allow you to fly certain airlines as they don’t give my company a kickback. My flight to TN was $459. I was able to find a flight on SW Air for $300 on my own but am not allowed allowed use the cheaper flight but that’s not the best. The company approved flight involves 4 hours in transit each way (connecting flight). My SW flight is direct and take 2 hours each way.

    Don’t you love it?

    Fred DPRoNJ

  11. You have to take care of your customers. When I was selling Chinese Airguns in the 90’s, the quality was such that some were sure to break. When one did, I took it right back and replaced it with another one. It was well worth it. I also shot them myself so I knew them. Each new one was checked out by me prior to selling. I would give it a cleaning, tighten all the screws, and zero it at 10 yards to make sure it worked. I had a lot fewer problems that way.


    • Mike,

      I never bought a Chinese spring gun from you, but I did buy a few from Compasseco. They had the same philosophy. Even after I said in my newsletter that the stock of a gun they sold me looked as though it had been gnawed on by a rabid beaver, they still wanted me to review their stuff, because they said they wanted their customers to know what they were getting.

      Honesty does seem to work.


  12. B.B.

    Great report! As a retired software engineer for a major telecom company I plead guilty to ignoring usability for ‘elegant’ design. We all rebelled when Quality Control based on Demming’s methods were introduced in the mid 1980’s. QC never really took hold so it wasn’t surprising that a once renowned American tech company was sold to an overseas conglomerate. By that time I had bailed out and landed a job teaching computers in a local community college. Fortunately I had saved enough to fund a comfortable retirement and support my air gun addiction, I mean hobby.


  13. I’ll try to keep it short.#1 BB is correct.Even talk radio is a good example when people are not happy with the subject of the day.It takes anger,dissatisfied,or any disagreement before people will react.Most will not sound off unless dissatisfied with the subject.Talk radio would not work unless human nature wasn’t wired this way.Next I consider myself a ”victim” of a jealous boss because I mad more then him.I was a jewelry designer.Wax carver,caster,Fabrications, repair,stone setter etc. Fifteen years for a major company 1500 stores nation wide.On the 15th year came along a little fellow with a very large ego and no understanding how things work.Meet my new and improved boss? In short I made this company hundreds of thousands of $ with my mountings.Even if they sold a diamond worth $20.000 they may even give my labour away for free just to make that sell and that is OK because with my custom ring designed by the customer and me,they may have not made the sale etc.Any I had with this jealous little fellow and one day he crossed me the wrong way at the wrong time with his slanderous comment.I think there is still a hole in the drywall about head high and that’s all I’ll say about that.But wait were not threw yet! One year later after I quite,Mt good Friend that had surpassed him and now was his boss found that he was cooking the books to make his region look the best.Mt buddy in the higher ups called me that night and fired the little fellow for deception.I gave up a good retirement over a guy like that? Let it be a lesson to all! try to hang in there and unlike me and the untrusting will probably get found out given time.

      • BB,simply put I made much more then he did.Put it this way If I take a man fishing to my secret place,I want him to catch more then me.If I take a man deer hunting I want him to bag a trophy.If I train a man or women to be a goldsmith I hope they will sir pass most in there talent as my brother has that I taught years ago.I’m proud of him and wish I could have let the water roll off a ducks back as he has.He has been there at that company now almost thirty years and he’s a fine craftsman.Point here is to many don’t like to see others do as good or better then them self’s.I was offered a seat in that store chain this spring but I’ve been spoiled living up this hollow fishing and hunting and I’m am no longer willing to drive to Lexington KY. on the eight lane road in the center of town anymore!

          • BB,wished it was.I bought one years ago,I can’t for my life get my fingers and my ears and my brain to all just get along when it comes to music.I’ve tried but it just won’t work.I have a son that picked up a guitar and self taught himself and become very good.The other son just bought himself a banjo and its not coming along to well.And no they did not film Deliverance up this hollow!

            • steve
              My dads hbby was making giutars and playing them. He could pick up a giutar and just start playing right along and never mis a beat.

              Not me. Im lucky if I can get the first 3 chords of “Smoke on the Water”.

  14. Drive buy comment off subject here. First two squirrels of the season this morning.Head shots 65” 25 cal.Polymags -w- Airforce TalonP -w- 24” barrel.Saw four cutting walnuts.Polymags have no mercy!

      • Gunfun1,Remember when we were talking about bipod few months ago?You said you got a good one at Rural King.Well I went today for the first time and got me one.This is right up my alley.Perfect for my needs and not a bunch of money either.I believe I’m gonna like the strap on the legs thing and mostly the way the rest swivels and super light weight! Lets see what the squirrels think off it in the morning.Thanks for the info on this.

        • steve
          Well if I remember right you got me thinking about shooting sticks when we were talking about the work you did on your guns. 🙂

          Then I posted that I got that one from Rural King. I really like using it now. I do a lot more shooting from the standing position in the backyard now. No trees or nothing to lean up against. So most of the time I was shooting off of a picnic table when outside. Or out the window in the breeze way. And I do carry it with me in the woods when I get a chance to get in there.

          But yes its definitely a nice little tool.

  15. …So the story goes (and this one has the ring of truth to it,) the final test of ascension to upper management in the Ford Motor Company was an interview with the father of the Mustang, Lee Iacocca. The question he would ask the supplicant was, “We’re thinking of discontinuing the Mustang. What are your thoughts on that?”
    Most normal, rational humans, as a class (meaning us) know the answer to that…which amounts to telling Lee that he’s nuts and that’s the one thing that should NEVER be done. Which was, is, and continues to be the right answer.
    Hardly a trick question, more of an intelligence test, but the amazing thing is the high level of MBA’s that chose the wrong answer.
    Wrong? Oops, back to the dealership for you, buddy.
    (As an aside to our esteemed and respected non-Americans followers on this blog, discontinuing the Mustang would be equivalent to…Well, not wanting to be specific, I cannot emphasize how horrible a disrespect to the culture that would be.)
    Anyway, one can do much worse than getting Lee’s book and giving it a bit of study.

    • I’d never get to finish the interview I suspect…

      “Well… The first time the Mustang was discontinued it turned into the Mustang II — How well did that work out? And around 1990 wasn’t the Probe supposed to take the role of sports coupe? I don’t recall those getting very far either… CHP picked up some Mustang GTs for pursuit cars — hearsay is the CHP couldn’t corner with them; straight line pursuits were okay, but no high speed through a cloverleaf.”

      • Of course FordMoCo is still, rightly, trying to live down the Mustang 2 as Chevy works to erase all memory of the Vega, but I think it more a general symptom of the 70’s and the business mindset of that time.
        At one time I had a Colt Diamondback revolver in .22, normally a most desirable item….unless manufactured in the 1970’s… Believe it or not, the barrel was screwed on crooked.
        Leica was contracting in japan to make their pathetic CL model. I was selling them in San Francisco at the time and they were evidencing nearly 50% failure rate within the first year, followed by something like 90% in the following decade. It’s almost impossible to find a fully functioning one today. (To give you a sense of what that means, my zero maintenance 1934, and 1956, and 1968 Leicas all work perfectly today’, which was the rightful expectation of the purchaser.)
        Part of my semi-retirement involves buying & selling old, used stuff and one of the hard lessons learned is extreme reluctance to buy or even worse, sell anything manufactured in the ’70’s. And I mean ANYTHINg. It seems whatever it is will be non-functional when you get it, or you’ll have to take it back because it will soon be non-functional.
        The post Mustang 2 versions of the Mustang/Capri breed were pretty good cars, I had two of them in sequence, 1986 model Capri’s, also known as the bubble-back. I’d learned the fast-back Capri version was something like 10 MPH faster than the notch-back Mustang because of the slicker streamlining.
        It was, too.
        Top-end with the box-stock 5.0 initially was only about 125, but once I read up a bit on aerodynamics and learned to put the T-Top in, remove the radio-aerial, the windshield wipers and the rear-view mirrors…and roll the windows up, plus open up the faux hood scoop to make it a real hood scoop, the car would actually do somewhat over 140. How much over140 I don’t really know since that’s as high as Ford’s aftermarket speedo would go. You wouldn’t think all that little stuff would make that much difference but you wouldn’t believe the power/speed curve if you graph it out.
        But you (and the CHP) are certainly right about one thing. That generation of Mustang/Capri had a wheelbase that was really about 5 or 10 inches too short which made them kind of squirrelly in certain types of turns and prone to abrupt end-switching. (Which, by the way is why I had two of them in sequence. Ask me another time and I’ll explain how it’s possible to roll a Mustang while speeding along at about 30 MPH. Really.) High end, high performance (High Cost, ouch) tires largely, but not entirely helped with this problem.
        But this was all just a short phase i was going through, lasting only through about age 23 to about age 53 or so. And then I re-discovered motorcycles…
        At this point, I must thank the Gods of luck that have so kindly allowed me to live and even let me know when to move on.
        I drive a Prius now…

        • My father had (in the 80s) a used Mustang II.

          I’d had a TDY to the UK in November, came back to my rather under powered Plymouth Turismo 2.2 (2.2L of around 94HP). No problems transitioning from right-hand drive to left-hand drive with manual transmissions… Then came Christmas, when I flew up to MI for 3-4 weeks of vacation. Took that M-II to town, and I distinctly recall reaching the traffic light in Ada and my LEFT hand grabbed the WINDOW CRANK as I went to down-shift for the light.

          Then again, said front-wheel drive Turismo managed to out corner a Mazda RX-7… I’m really glad I didn’t see how… the RX-7 was in front of me going into the 90deg right turn towards the company main facility. Then I came into the turn, glanced down at the speedometer (35 slowing to 30). Looked back up and no RX-7 in front of me.

          Rear view mirror — the RX-7 was on the inside shoulder facing backwards! He’d spun 180 degrees on a turn where my main concern was keeping the engine from stalling (a design flaw in the the staged 2-barrel [yes — /staged/] — a fuel cut-off solenoid was mounted transversely on the carb; a hard right turn could cause it to cut off the fuel flow!)

      • Edith

        Barely enough room for the ignition key. Got to get her to quit shopping so much, but there is always the web. Every FEDEX and UPS driver knows exactly where her house is.
        I worry enough when she wants to take the Captiva to town.


    • Aw man TT I love them little sons of a guns. I call them mini Corvettes. Is it the turbo charged version?

      If its the turbo charged one; them cars run. My nephew has 2 Cobalt SS’s. One is the super charged 4 cyl. and the other is the turbo charged version. They both rock and roll.

      I also had a 05 Sunfire with that Echotech 4 cyl. and I put the same super charger on it that the Cobalt SS has. GM offered a supercharger kit through the Performance parts catalog. I think it was 3400 dollars back in 08 when I put it on the car.

      But cool stuff I like them. And glad to here from you. Have you been getting any shooting in?

      • GF1

        No, not the turbo. Still fun to drive . Windshield has a stone chip, left front has a screw imbedded in it, the ignition switch has a recall waiting to be fixed, and waiting on a holder for the front tag . This state requires a plate on both ends, even though we see quite a few cars without the front one.

        At least I did not have too much trouble keeping the wife from buying the ’14 Vette .
        Kept her off of a few already because she can’t handle a manual gear box on the floor. That includes a Shelby 500 she looked at.
        I told the dealer that I want him to stock nothing but manual transmissions.

        Not much shooting lately.


        • TT
          Yep I bet they handle nice.

          And I think you told the dealership right about the transmissions. 😉

          And you got to work some shooting into your schedule if you can. Its been crazy with me lately too. But going to try to go shoot for a bit now. Talk to you later.

          • GF1

            The dealer is going to fix the bad stuff when he gets the parts up . Gonna probably have it all day.

            Has just short of 30K on the meter. Not much more than just broken in.

            Need to change the wiper blades too, but can do that myself with blades from China Mart .

            Tried out what happens when the ignition is shut off (recall crap) . Did the same things I did with the Camaro . Brakes work good, but steering gets tougher as you slow down. Not as bad as the Camaro, but seriously like a truck .

            The stereo sounds like you are inside the speakers . Really cool. Tested with AC/DC .

            Not many of these little cars around. Makes me a bit claustrophobic with the top up . Don’t much care for the top down, but my wife likes it that way. Way too low of a ride for running over small animals …even road kill unless it is squashed REALLY flat..


        • Why don’t you show her to drive a stick shift? I showed my wife and no more automatic transmission for her!
          Those little cars are so much fun to drive with a stick. I remember the first gens Miatas I tried for the first time. I was driving an 80’s Monte Carlo with a souped up 350 that was double the size and weight Miata. Man did I have some fun that day. But I was still happy to go back home in my comfy and rumbling car at the end of the day.


          • J-F

            I don’t think it would be a good idea. She got a Stang and a Chrysler 200 stuck where she had them parked out front last winter in a couple inches of snow ….both automatics .
            She would be hopeless (even worse) with a stick.


          • Some time in the 80s one of the car magazines did a somewhat sarcastic editorial about how all these “macho” drivers in their muscle cars tended to stall them easing through a drive-through window… While mousy secretaries in Japanese imports, without trying, had mastered such things as double-clutching small engine manuals while applying make-up using the rear-view mirror…

  16. Reb
    Glad to hear you got the stock stained and hopefully it will look good this time for you. if it does look good and you want it to shine even more cover it with polyurethane and it will be impervious to all the elements that will destroy wood, but then some good coating in that Tru oil you told me about will probably work just as good. I know back in the old days I used linseed oil to coat all of my guns and they still look brand new even after several soakings in the brackish waters of the intercoastal waterways as a teenager out in our little boats hunting and shooting anything that moved.

    Let me know when you have it together and shooting again,


  17. Gunfun
    I know what you mean about good and bad dealers in the way they treated their customers and yep the ones that cared about the customers needs are still in business.

    As far as machine shops and speed shops go in the small area of Brevard county Florida where I grew up in and did my racing with dirt bikes and cars, there was only one speed shop and they did try to keep you satisfied as best they could. But without any real competition in the local area they were still not up to par by my standards. There were several machine shops and one that I used was owned by a racer himself and also the brother of one of the owners sons that I first started my auto career at so he understood what I was wanting done and used the secrets that we would discover to make all our cars faster than the other kids cars that we ran against in town and on run what you brung night at the local strip.

    Since I moved up to Alabama I have gone from cars to bikes and was able to do most all of my own machine work on my Harley and Kawi at work because they had a complete machine shop there also. We would have to make some parts for the test bikes from a blueprint that the engineers would send us because the machine shop at Milwaukee was unable to get it done when they needed it completed.
    That is why I say we always stepped up to the plate and got whatever issue Milwaukee had completed and tested by the time lines they required them to be completed in.

    On the metal mags fitting in the hatsan breech area I was correct in that they would have to be loaded in at an angle with the tips first because they are about .030″ longer than the breech is wide so they will not even fit if the magazine had no o-rind on it and you just centered them in the mag. the only way they would fit is if you filed some off the tail end of them or off the tip up front. Neither of which would be good for ballistics or worth the time and effort to do, so I guess they will be reserved for my 60C and 2240 conversions. Hopefully I can get the 22 cal conversion up to around 900 fps and 20 shot range with some tuning and 3k psi. but the hatsan is still going to be a turkey killer with those rabbit magnums and the JSBs also.

    Got to get some shooting done also so talk to you later.


  18. Gunfun
    That would be a possibility as long as the groove would not interfere with the way the magazine fits which I don’t think would be a real issue. If you need me to send you a couple of the metal mag pellets to use as a guide/template just let me know and I can give you my email address as Edith has already ok’d that when I sent Reb the spring for his QB-36. It sure would be nice to be able to shoot the metal and poly mags in the hatsan, the way I checked for them fitting was holding the pellet with a pair of hemostats so I could get it down in the breech opening because my big fingers were not going to be able to hang on to it and get it anywhere close to the barrel opening.

    I may try to shoot some in it to see if they are even accurate enough to make it worth the time to make the trays. I don’t think you would really have to groove the breech if you could just drop the pellet hose first into the tray it would likely allow the point to slip into the barrel ok.

    I have not got to shoot yet either as I just sold some stuff on ebay and had to rush to the post office to get them in the mail for part of the deal I agreed to but it is worth the extra money for more airgun stuff. That’s is how I am supporting my habit just like you by not using the money to live on for my hobby/habits.

    Let me know if you need some metal mag for testing and I think the poly mags are the same dimensions so it should work for both. I will go over to the range and test some to see how accurate they are at 50 yards.


    • buldawg
      This could be another problem.The probe dia. could be different on your .22 cal. verses my .177 And the clip could be a different thickness also for the different calibers.

      Alot to look at to see if same or different. I dont know what the best way to go would be.

      • Gunfun
        I will measure my bolt dia. and the probe tip dia. then measure my magazines thickness and dia. and any other measurement I may think you would need.
        Hopefully if they are like crosman the bolt will be the same diameter with only different diameters for the o-ring and probe to fit the particular caliber and the same for the magazine. It would be much easier to mass produce when the external dimensions are the same and only the probe tip, o-ring and pellet hole size in the magazine would be different for each caliber offered.

        I will make some measurements and send to you to compare with your gun to see how much is different.

        I tried to shoot some with my grand son this evening but those darn yellow jackets that I thought I had killed were out again and would not leave us alone, I got my brake clean and I know killed a least 20 or more but it did not even seem like I put a dent in them and one got me on the leg again only it not in as tender a spot as my ear lobe thankfully.
        I am going to go first thing in the am and get some wasp spray to get rid of them once and for all, brake clean works good to stop them dead in their tracks but evaporates to quick to keep killing for hours after and you have to get a direct hit with the brake clean. If they had not been in a crack in the vinyl siding of my house I would have just tried to pick them off one at a time with my pellet guns, but did not want a bunch of holes in the side of the house. That would have been some good target practice though hitting something the size of a yellow jacket, I have got lucky and hit a wasp out on my backboard before by luck with my guns.

        Talk to you tomorrow.


        • Brake-clean is fun to play anti-aircraft with but if you really want to eradicate the nest without poison you might try this; Some years ago a colony took up between the walls of my (very) old house and their entry/exit point was a ground floor window frame. It was rather interesting how they’d walk out on to the sill, rev up and take off. Their return was like watching recovery on an aircraft carrier, swoop, flare, set down, walk to the hanger/nest.
          After watching this for a bit and entertaining a number of ideas involving tack-hammers, BB guns, flaming hair-spray, and fly-paper (the flaming hair-spray being a particularly bad idea,) the winning idea came to me. The vacuum cleaner.
          I gaffer-taped the hose just below the their flight deck (the end of the window sill, I mean) and it became very entertaining to watch the take-off sequence end with quick and quiet “ga-dunk” as the offending wasp made the last journey through the hose to the collection bag. The landing sequence was even better as the evil critter flared to put down and abruptly experienced the “ga-dunk” phenome.
          Normally, if we were talking bunnies, deer, ducks or even squirrels, I’d have at least a passing regret at the termination process. But wasps, I rank only slightly below mosquitoes, fleas and ticks. And that’s coming from a (mosquito borne) West Nile survivor.
          I found a pleasant way to pass the afternoon was sitting on the patio, gin ‘n tonic in hand, reading a Travis McGee and counting the “ga-dunks.” After every 10, I’d make a mark on a yellow legal pad. After an hour or two, or three I did notice the sound-effects diminishing , finally almost completely stopping. Of course I then realized I was going to have to open that bag for disposal. Uh-oh. I checked the yellow legal pad for the wasp-count and further realized I may well have to deal with over 2000 really ticked off wasps.
          That’s a lot of really angry birds, so to speak.
          After suiting up in my Army flak jacket and motorcycle helmet, i carefully peered into the bag and was most relieved to find the wasp journey around the corner, through the hose, and into the bag was not a survivable one. Wasp mush was all that was in there. Very satisfying and didn’t seem to cause the vacuum cleaner any distress either.

          • 103David
            That is a very imaginative idea and as you said rather fun to sit and keep track of the fighter pilots crash landing or taking off. My are coming and going from the lower corner of where my screen door close against the door lamb and vinyl siding through a small gap in the siding. I have went and bought a two part trap designed to trap bees, wasps, and yellow jackets with two different chambers and attractants so I will see if that works and if not then it will be the tried and proven vacuum of death for them.

            The main issue is my wife is allergic to bee and wasps so I have to get them gone fast. After my anti aircraft gun spray attack on them and their nesting hole they were retaliating by finding a passage into the living room as we watched TV and landed on the lamp next to my wife, holy *&^%$ you know what happened next with her locking herself in the bedroom with a towel stuffed under the door.
            I then for the next hour proceeded to play anti aircraft gunner with about 2 or 3 every 10 minutes until it finally got dark outside and they went to bed. Then this morning for another hour it was back to the gunnery position for another 10 kills, and so far (fingers crossed) they have decided to end the battle for now.

            I will see if the trap works later this evening and if it does not then it will be the mighty shop vacuum gun to the rescue. thanks for your well designed and proven yellow jacket elimination weapon, I believe every household should not be without one. You know though we better keep this to ourselves because if the all knowing elite in DC get wind of this killing device we will have register it with the ATF and NSA or face prison time.


          • I hate wasps, they’re the lowest form of moving things in my mind. I love to hunt them. Once the nest close to the house is gone they’ll survey the area to build another one and that’s when the pellet guns come out.
            Hitting one mid flight is SOOOO gratifying. I’m not sure a bug-a-salt gun would be powerful enough to get the big ones, but it would sure be easier.


            • I just turned watering the dog into a 15 minute backyard safari with my Redryder, wiggling abdomen and thrashing thorax laying amongst the litter of separated limbs and wings,Kinda hard to get headshots but I did take quite a few from the hip. I might try the 953 with it’s dot sight next time out, I’ve bumped into 2 nests so far this season and I ain’t takin’ no prisoners.


        • I saw an old farmer freeze a whole nest instantly with a wide mouth jar and 1/4 cup of diesel.The result astonishing, a couple dropped immediately followed by a couple per second until the nest was empty and then the larvae started falling out.It worked even better than the spray! Ya gotta get pretty close to make sure you get ’em all the first time, but they freeze as soon as it hits ’em so there’s no threat of them flying in your face. My dog’s been knockin’ over his water by climbing in it the last week or so, when I go out to fill it back up there are paperwasps, red wasps and yellow jackets all over the ground and spigot. I took my Redryder as my escort.I actually tagged a spider hawk a couple days ago,I was working on my bike and it was doing a grid search and kept closing in on my space. I grabbed the Redryder and let it get about 15 feet away,the shot looked a little low but I think I musta took a leg off or something.He came straight for my face! I stumbled back a couple steps as I assumed a batter’s stance.Just the impact alone of one of those things would hurt let alone a stinger the size of a scorpion!

          • Reb
            My issue is the nest is inside the wall or behind the vinyl siding so I cannot get the diesel directly on the nest. When I have found nest in the ground I would take a beer bottle and fill 3/4 full of gasoline and wait until dusk when they are all in the nest and shove the long neck of the bottle into the hole trapping them from escaping and the gas fumes would kill them all without any further incidents.

            But those strategies will not work in this case. I will wait and see if my wasp trap I put out works or if it doesn’t then it will be 103davids vacuum of death trap.


            • Good luck with ’em! I went into anaphylaxis when I was about 10 from bumping into a nest with my elbow. If they get you in the neck or any mucus membrane it’s Benadryl naptime.


              • Reb
                They don’t bother me other than hurting a lot, but my wife is allergic to bee sting and carries an epi pen with her at all times. Then also my problem would be if I was allergic to them is that I am allergic to Benadryl it makes me want to crawl out of my skin and hurt anything I can get hold of so I am just lucky that they don’t bother me.

                I hope my traps work or I will soak the wall or where ever they are inside the siding with wasp spray and get the shop vacuum out to collect the fighters on their attack mission.


      • Gunfun
        Here are some measurements that I took from my hatsan to compare to yours for possible build of single shot tray.
        Magazine width = .403″
        Magazine width at rotation pin hole = .469″
        Magazine diameter at high points for rotator tab to engage = 1.265″
        Magazine diameter at low point for rotator tab to engage = 1.152″
        Bolt pellet probe pin diameter = .118″
        Bolt diameter maximum diameter = .215″
        Breech width for magazine clearance = .407″
        Height from bottom of breech opening to lower edge of bolt probe hole for barrel opening = .187″ This was measured with an allen wrench slid in between the bolt and breech lower shelf with bolt in closed position and would represent height of the groove in tray for pellet to line up with barrel opening.
        Distance from right edge of breech opening to outer edge of bolt diameter = .404″ The distance the pellet tray groove would be from right edge of breech side surface not to include the recess for the raised dimple on the Magazine for lining up with rotation pin in breech.

        This is all the measurements I can think you would need to compare for the making of single shot trays. if there are other measurements needed just let me know.


        • buldawg
          Probably more dimensions there than I need. I think the bolt that holds the clip in will have to be put in the position like when your changing clips. It will get in the way of trying to put the pellet on the tray. I guess the gun will fire with it in the open position. I know mine will dry fire with that bolt that holds the clip in closed as well as the loading/cocking bolt. But we have to see if it will fire with the clip bolt open.

          I will make it out of a piece of derlin so if I make it a little big on width you can sand it a bit on a piece of 80 grit sand paper setting on a flat surface. That way you can make it a nice fit to your gun. You will have to take it off the side closest to the loading bolt so that back notch that I will have to make for the rotary advance arm doesn’t make contact.

          And the bolt is centered to the breech so I’m good with that. And I may be reading wrong so I’m going to ask for these dimensions. And also I will put in the dimensions from above to see if I’m right.

          Floor of breech to bottom of loading probe at biggest dia. (.187”)

          Depth of breech from the right side where the clip would be inserted to the left side wall full distance. (not sure)

          Width of opening in breech where the clip would be loaded. (.407”) but you also gave this dimension(.469”)

          What I was going to do is make the tray even with the top of the bolt on the left side of the tray. That way when you place the pellet in the tray you should be able to put the point of the metal mag pellet in the opening of the barrel. It should stay in place till you close the bolt and load the pellet.

          The only thing I’m not sure of is the full depth dimension like if we are slipping the tray and it is stopping on the left side wall in the breech. I will be able to get the other stuff clearenced right by looking at mine.

          I just need the 3 basic dimensions. Height to bottom of bolt. How wide it is when you slide it in. And depth to where the tray will stop when fully inserted. Go ahead and give me those 3 dimensions so I can be sure its right.

          • Gunfun
            The height to bottom bolt from breech floor is .187″
            The width of breech opening when slid in to breech is .412″, this is a couple thousand over the width because it will have to be a snug fit to keep the spring loaded tab that rotates the magazine depressed and I will sand to fit as you stated with my granite flat stone and sandpaper.
            The depth of tray when fully inserted is .912″, again this a couple thousand over the length so as to allow for a custom fit, there is the magazine rotation stop plate that sits in the foreword edge of the breech opening on the left side that I will have to remove some material from the front left edge of the tray to clear it and it has an angle on it so it would be easier for me to file and sand to fit.

            The first 4 measurements of .403″ and the .469″, 1.265′ and 1.152″ are on the magazine itself not the breech of the gun.

            The gun will fire with the magazine bolt in the open position so that is not an issue.

            If you make the tray .295 inches tall, .412″ wide and .912″ long with a half circle groove of .215′ diameter with the center of the groove for pellet at .5135″ from right side of trays edge I can finish it by hand to fit the rest of the way.

            If you need more explanation or measurements let me know.

            • buldawg
              The tray is done.

              I want to see if it fits my gun tonight when I get home from work.

              I wont get home from work till late tonight. Probably after midnight.

              But I think that .5135” centerline should off been called off from the left side. The half round diameter where the pellet is placed is to the left of the center of the .912” dimension. Is that the way th probe looks on your gun? I dont have my gun here to tell untill I get home.

              But it turned out nice if we got the probe location right.

              • Gunfun
                Yes the half round groove for the pellet is to the left of the centerline of the tray because there is a small protrusion at the left side inside the breech to keep the magazine rotator slide from moving foreword in the breech area and there is also a magazine rotator stop guide on the front corner in the left side of the breech and that is where I will have to hand fit by sanding and cutting a small triangle out of the front left corner of the tray.

                The dimensions I gave you for the width and length where 2 or 3 thousand oversize so I would have some room to make it a snug fit. The tray has be a snug enough fit to keep the magazine rotator slide depressed when fit in place or it would want to slide out when pulling bolt back to load the pellet. You will see when you get home what I mean and hopefully I am right in my thinking that it needs to have the magazine rotator slide compressed, but if not I can remove some from the left side to make it clear the slide.

                I will be up when you get home most likely as I generally don’t go to bed till 1 or 2 am so send me a post and let me know if it is a good fit and as I said it may be just a little to wide and long as I gave some wiggle room for hand fitment.


                • buldawg
                  It should work then. I did get about .005” taper in the .412” width dimension. Its undersize on the outer side of the tray like wher you lay the pellet and let roll down to the probe area. Thats only .0025” a side so it should still be a snug fit I believe. I do have some different thickness plastic shim stock that could be cut to shape and put on one side or the other. But I think it will work fine without having to do any thing.

                  And I did make the notch in the tray were the rotating arms at. It may need to be clearenced more. I will know tonight when I get home for sure. That way I can measure my gun also. If it works out I will be making one for my Hatsan. I hope it works.

                  • Gunfun
                    I do appreciate you making it for me for sure and with mine being the prototype you will be able to test fit it and make you one that is a perfect fit. It can be a little under on the right side as long as it fits in the breech and does not try to move around to much when loading it will work fine. Hopefully your 177 is not any different other than the pellet probe diameter because of the smaller pellets.

                    Got to do some more shooting with my 2240 22 cal today and got it sighted at 15 yards spot on, but I have noticed that when filling to 2K that the first 7 or 8 shots seem to be flyers then I would get 30 to 35 very accurate shots before they started to drop on the POI so the 64 shots on the fps test with 62 above 500 fps will give me roughly half that number of accurate shoots per fill at 2K and those were probably the ones up in the high 500 and low 600 fps range right in the middle of the two 32 shot strings.

                    So hopefully when I get my adjuster and go to a 3K fill I can get 20 good accurate shots per fill and that would make me very happy with the 22 cal. My 177 I am going more for highest accurate shot count with the highest FPE range available on what ever fill pressure give me the best numbers because I plan on using It for the hunter class at the Field target range matches.

                    Give me a shout when you get home and check the fit of the tray


        • Now — who has a 3D printer running? Seems like an ideal project for one (considering the one at work [GE Aviation, so the following is a given] produced a cut-away jet engine with rotating turbine shaft/blades, a simple slide in single-shot tray should be easy).

          • Wulfraed
            What about the kid that printed a gun on a 3D printer in a 357 caliber recently that was in the news and I believe was arrested by the FBI and ATF for manufacturing a firearm,

            Welcome to the 21st century where a zerox machine can actually kill someone.


  19. B.B., well done, this one really has me thinking on all different levels and angles. In my working life I have held many different positions and have seen many bad decisions and employees. Know one listens and they treat you like a whistleblower or snitch. All I wanted was the companies to run smoother and make my job simpler, selfishly I suppose. I see things different I guess and always find ways to be more efficient at work. Less energy, less stress, more fun… But not everyone has vision… And I am the left handed double jointed small skinny mechanic. Have a good weekend all!

      • Buldawg76, I agree, it’s not like every where I have worked was a disaster and I was the only smart guy but I always see ways to streamline and remove the wasted time.

        • Ricka
          When you work in the auto industry and get paid flat rate Time is money so the faster you can be the more you make provided you do it right the first time. You don’t get paid for the second time.


          • Buldawg76, i’m lucky to a degree that I work for hourly wage, but I also work in the office daily and run the show when the boss’s go play. All I can say is it all starts with the front office and trickles down. Strong businesses start with a good office and strong customer relations, so no communication issues hurt the rest of the business… I have days turn to poo fast due to this.

  20. Hi everyone. I have a idea for a blog similar to the “Invisible Airgunner”, basically everyone would chime in and tell us what air guns you have what you use them for. It doesn’t have to be a blog, but that would get more people to voice.

    • Chris in ct, everyone loves a good Friday blog topic, like this one. Maybe you can co-host with B.B. and people can chime in whenever they have a chance through out the weekend. I usually check in on the weekend to see what’s up and more than happy to talk shop.

    • chris
      I like the idea. Its always interesting to know what kind of airguns everybody has and what they use them for. Or why they got them.

      And its nice to talk to people that have a understanding about airguns. I would say there would be something to be learned that’s for sure. And why not a blog. That could be a pretty open topic.

    • chris
      I answered down here. No room left up there.

      I have never seen a seen a square bore Q-jet only the spread bores. Maybe it was one of those Edelbrock carbs that replaced the AFB Carter carbs. They were square bores. Now I have had square bore and spread bore Holly’s. And my brother had some side draft Webers on his 72 Corvette sitting on a little 142 cubic positive displacement blower. Those are some neat carbs.

      But you had a Grand National. I had two different ones at different times. The last one I had I did a bunch of stuff to it. It was running in the mid to low 11’s in the 1/4 mile. Way cool cars. Ain’t noth’n like boost. 🙂

      • Gunfun1
        I dont remember wich carb came in sqare bore maybe chevys( edelbrock)did but I did need new intake and i did have a riser for factory intake so I can use both . No no I still have my 87 Grand National 21k on odometer.but its been siting in garage 20+ yrs my now wife crashed it . Has about $5000 damage to it all in rear of car

          • Gunfun1
            No no full coverage ins. I am plan on fixing asap I have the trunk and rear bumper( its one of a kink all black) and tail lights. I had a body shop look at it, they claim they can put it on frame machine to straiten the frame and keep the quarter panel. I’m skeptical I don’t want a bunch of bondo that will crack off in a few years. Id rather find a clean Buick body and swap over and pay the $5000 for good paint job.

            • chris
              I didn’t see this reply yesterday.

              Glad your getting it fixed. And don’t let them load it up with putty. Tell them you want a new quarter panel. Hopefully they are a good shop where you are going to have it fixed at.

              My buddy that I have drag raced with since I was a kid is a body man. His main job is frame straightening and painting. He always tells me there are good frame straighteners and then there are excellent ones. Hope you get the excellent one.

        • Chris in Ct and Gunfun
          There were some 66 and 67 SS 396 and 427 chevelles that came from the factory with 600 cfm square bore holleys on them and that may have been what you were thinking of but to the best of my 30 years of working in GM dealerships I have never seen a square bore quadrajet that was made by Rochester. I know the 66/67 chevelles did have 600 holleys on them because a friend gave me one to put on my oldest sons 79 302 mustang cobra when I built the motor to replace the motorcraft two barrel it had on it stock. There were possibly some made by edelbrock when they bought the rights from Rochester in the late 80s/ early 90s to the quadrajets design and started marketing there own style quadrajet carbs. I know I have never seen a Rochester square bore quadrajet in the time that I work in Gm dealerships from 1983 to 1998.

          One of buddies in the GM dealer in Florida had a buick GN and would let him take it out for a night once in a while and that car would blow the tires off it if you did not pedal it from a light. it was amazing what that little 231 V6 could put out. They made a very few GNXs that were twin turbos and those were a wolf in sheep clothing. There was a body man at the caddy.olds dealer I worked at that had a GN with nitrous on it when nitrouis was first hitting the market and I remember him going to the strip one Friday night and did a few passes and was not satisfied with the boost he was getting from the nitrous so he up the nitrous to much without changing when it hit in the rpm range and when he did the next pass about 60 feet off the line it blew the heads right of the block when the boost and nitrous peaked at the same time. He never did get that car to run right again and I think it scared him to much to really try to fix it back to what is was like before it blew.


          • buldawg
            I have never seen a square bore Q-jet. Even nothing on the Edelbrock carbs.

            And I had a 69 Chevelle SS that was a 396, 4spd. car. It did have a square bore Holly..

            And the GNX’s had a different rear end set up. It used the torque arm set up that ran up to the transmision. Kind of like the mid 80 to early 2000 F body Camero’s and Firebirds.

            Also it was liquid intercooled were as the regular GN’s were not. But I dont recall them being twin turbo though. I belonged to the local Buick club at the time and a guy there had one. I could swear it was a single turbo.I could be wrong though.

            • Gunfun
              You may be right on the twin turbos as it was along time ago when I raced and hung out at the strip all the time. It seems that I have forgotten way more than I realize sometimes. It may have been a GNX that one of the local racers put twin turbos on himself I know they only made a very limited number of GNXs.

              I am thinking that the one edelbrock came out with was more based on the carter style carb than a quadrajet, but there again it was along time ago. Chevy may have used the 600 holleys for more years than 66 and 67 I just know the numbers on the carb that my friend gave me for my sons mustang had numbers on the air horn that coded it to be from a 66/67 SS 396 chevelle. I told my son that if he ever sold the mustang to let me know and I would get him another carb to put on it, because that carb was worth more than the mustang was to some one restoring a 66/67 chevelle to a numbers matching car.
              But he didn’t tell me and then asked me why I wanted that carb so bad and when I told him how much it would be worth to some one restoring a chevelle he his jaw hit the floor. I think he sold the car for 500 bucks and he could have made twice that from the carb alone easily.


                • Gunfun
                  You and me both, Now if it was a 66 Shelby SC 500 Cobra being restored that would be a different story but just a 60s Chevy SS 396 or 427 muscle car not so much. But then again if you had the money to spend to restore one you most likely would not be doing it yourself.

                  My dream car of every car ever made was the one mentioned above. The Famed Shelby SC 500 Cobra that set a record of 0 to 100 mph and back to 0 in 12 seconds back in 1966 that was not broken until 2005 by a Maserati or Lamborghini.


                  • buldawg
                    My favorite car I had was A 72 copo Camaro that was not suppose to exsist for that year.

                    It had the all aluminum ZL1 427 with a Muncie M-22 rockcrusher (strait cut gears) 4 spd. factory 4.56 gears in a 12 bolt posi. Heater and radio delete. It got crashed sitting in my driveway.

                    That would be the car for me right now. If one could be found. And its nice to keep dreaming aint it.

            • Buick GNX had a upgraded Garret ceramic turbo, upped the boost 15psi, inter cooler with better hose connection, side vents in fenders, traction bar, better gauges, bigger rims and wider tires, and a new chip in computer and basically a second faster in 1/4 mile. I don’t think they made twin turbo, but not to say that you could get a after market Kenny Bell kit for that or else where

              • chris
                The GN’s and GNX’s was s testing ground for future cars to come.

                The one of the most important feature of the GNX was the liquid inter-cooling..

                Thats what the the supercharged Cobalt SS’s use. The supercharger wil feel ice cold after a run.

              • Chris in ct
                I believe you are right as it was a long time ago and this GNX had been worked on quite a bit so it very well may have an aftermarket kit on it.
                I know it was a real sleeper and actually reminded me of my 64 GTO with 389 tripower, 4 speed and 3.30 posi 12 bolt rear end with delete every thing except an alternator and it was the car that was considered to be the start of the muscle car craze in America. I would turn a 12.70 off the showroom floor and out ran the 327 fuelie vette for showroom stock in 64. The car weighed 2875 pounds and would smoke the bias belted H 60 x14s all the way to 100 mph if you wanted it to, you had to pedal it to get it to hook up with the cheap tires we had back then and yet it would get 18 mpg around town and 22 mpg on the highway at 80 mph if you stayed out of the tripower.

                I do miss that car.


  21. Took a few minutes to get past the opening quote… my mind got lost on

    o/~ John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave… o/~

    {Making it rather hard to sell to him}

  22. Edith, is it me or are you getting an ever increasing number of SPAM?
    I have received close to 450 emails from word press in two days. If you take the close to 200 valid posts made it’s still around a 100 pieces of crap per day!
    Can’t PA change the math question to something a bit harder for hackers to go thru? It must be quite time consuming having to deal with so many of them everyday.


    • J-F,

      The hackers don’t get through. They go into a spam basket that we empty several times each day. I have been reading 200-300 email messages a day 7 days a week for the past 4 months.

      I guess when the site is successful the barnacles will be attracted.


      • All my wordpress feed goes into one folder but only a small fraction gets caught by the SPAM filter. So I have to sort thru it to get the good stuff so I’m reading less of it that I used to 🙁


        • JF, it is possible for you to filter those spam messages by building a filter to direct these pieces of crap to a separate folder you can create or just directing them to a spam folder that you empty. I get these messages from word press on my gmail account. I made a filter that any email coming in containing the phrase “my blog” or “href” gets dumped there. I then empty the folder.

          Fred DPRoNJ

          • Really? How cool, I’m gonna try that!
            I already made a wordpress folder and part of it is going to the SPAM folder already but I’ll try your trick. When I tried manually it started putting all wordpress mails in the SPAM folder.


  23. What motivates people to buy? We should all be experts on that question. I think the John Brown quote is correct, and what’s tricky is that people’s priorities can change along the whole spectrum of expense. Some people want the best that money can buy. Some want the best value (like me). Some want the cheapest thing they can get. But at bottom, I think it’s all about people ending up better than how they started out in their eyes.

    B.B., in anticipation of your future blog on military airguns, I’m guessing instinct shooting is one purpose but otherwise I’m coming up empty. ZimbabweEd, I see the logic behind the various reasons you gave, but none of them really pans out. My Dad was a 6 month volunteer in the army with some record number of weeks spent as Kitchen Police (KP), and even he was exposed to an M1 Garand with live ammo. A more inept soldier you could hardly imagine. When addressed on the firing range by the drill sergeant, what does he do but wheel as one unit and end up pointing the rifle at the sergeant… If there’s any lower level of recruit intended for the airguns, maybe they better find someone else. Hiding the weapons from your own troops sounds like the same issue although I guess you can see the reason from the experience of Iraq. You give people first-class weapons, and at the first sign of trouble, they run away. But doesn’t mixing up bolts when storing rifles, give you headspace problems which could lead to the guns blowing up? The whole idea seems like a non-starter.


  24. Matt61, Your father was in the U.S.Army, not some south of the border banana republic. Those were Mauser rifles (German, FN, Brno manufacture). The standards were so good, that the bolts interchanged almost all the time . It is possible that when the time came to put mismatched bolts in the rifles, it was done by armorers with field gages. I recently tested several MN rifles, with dates from 1898 to 1936, and all the bolt heads would interchange , no head space problems. I tried the same thing with 1903 and 03-a3 rifles 35@ years ago. The only problem was with a 1929 03. It had insufficient head space. a few GI rounds would not let the bolt close. It was the only 03 that I ever had that consistently shot 2″ groups (prone at 100 yds) with GI ball and service sights. I wish that I still had that 03. Yes, I had head space gages, and that 03 would not close on the minimum gage. If you read Hatchers note book, an NRA member returned a dcm m1917 (in 1946 ), claiming that it had excess head space. Hatcher performed an experiment with this rifle.” It,s headspace was 1.9439 (the problem was caused by a soft case rupturing).Hatcher reamed the chamber , increasing the head space 3 times and fire testing each time. He ended up with a head space of 1.965, twenty-five thousands over the normal minimum. The cases showed only a slight indication of stretching, and no ruptures.” Page 248, 9 Hatchers notebook. Headspace has often been blamed when the real cause has been a defective case (often reloaded many times), wrong die settings that set the case back too far, grease in the chamber or bore, barrel obstructions (often a stuck cleaning patch) , etc. I could go on, but school,s out for now Ed


  25. Gunfun
    You had a COPO Camaro, 72 was definitely a rare one. Heck most people don’t even know what a COPO Camaro is much less what it stands for, My goat got wrapped around a 72 caddy on a wet road when I forgot I had the tripower hooked up. How did it get crashed in your driveway, was it insured, not that it could be replaced but did you at least get money to build another hot rod.

    I don’t know how I would have dealt with that because that car ranks right up there with the SC 500 Cobra in terms of ONE OF A KIND.

    That makes me think of my friends uncle that I told you about owning the 68 Yenko Camaro that had the 427, 2 fours, 4spd crash box and 4.11 rear end with blankets around the tranny and rear end.


    • buldawg
      The car got killed sitting in the driveway in around 1980 by a girl learning to drive. She wiped the back half out from the rear window back.

      The insurance company paid me off minus 200 dollars if I kept the car. I did and parted it out. I put a add in the news paper (remember them days).

      Somebody from Detroit came and bought the engine and gave good money for it. Cash at that. A local person in my area got the rest of the car. He parted it out the rest of the way.

      And you know what it qwas manual stearing and brakes. But here is something I never seen ever again. It had front disc brakes with the manual brakes. And that was wierd also with the car. Most people wanted manual brakes because of no vacum with the big overlap duration and short lift camshafts they used back then. And people wanted the drum brakes for drag racing so you back off the adjustment for zero drag on the brakes. So that was something I didnt understand about the car to be ordered that way with the manual disc brakes. Question marks for me.

      • Gunfun
        You do know what the term COPO stood for don’t you, it was for Corporate Office Production Order which mean’s that a Corporate Executive wrote a Production Order for the assembly line to build a car with a certain exact set of components and options that were not on a normal build sheet option list.
        So that car could have any number of odd mismatched options like non power front disc brakes with manual steering and any engine /trans option. It was built to what ever set of option levels and accessories that the particular corporate executive wanted it to have or not have. Most were 427 no frills delete everything not necessary for the car to drive and make it as fast as possible. They were built to order by the big chiefs at chevy for their personal use or a family members dream car. Then over the years they made their way into the general populations hands when the big wigs wanted newer toys to drive.


        • buldawg
          Yep I did know that’s what it meant. And I also heard that if you knew a willing sales person that they had a code available that they could mark down on the sales write up slip. And I believe that the owner or manager of the dealership could call the corporate headquarters and get it approved. But of course there was a big mark up on the sale price of the car that I’m sure the owner or manager got. And of course a nice little bonus for that willing sales person.

          And yep I knew it meant that you could get whatever you wanted basically on the car. I just thought it was a odd choice for whoever it was that originally ordered my old Camaro.

          I did have the build sheet for that car. And where the VIN number was supposed to be it said special order with a bunch of X’s following then the last 4 digits of the VIN. All of my other muscle cars I had; the build sheet had the full VIN number written down. And it had a hand written receipt of 7200 dollars with a hand written signature. That was almost double of what a production Camaro costed in 72. So maybe even the executives still had to go through a dealership to get them cars. I don’t know but I bet somebody was a happy camper when they turned that key when it was brand new. All I can say is even with slicks the car was squealing the tires every gear the whole 1/4 mile run all the way up to the finish line at almost 130 mph when I had it. If I shifted fast enough the front end stayed up on the suspension the whole run. It never dropped the nose a bit. Even at 130.

          • buldawg
            See you got me talking about cars again and I forgot what I was originally going to tell you.

            I tryed to see if the tray would work in my gun. And it fits like a glove and works like a charm. Your gonna like it. And I will make me one now.

            So I guess give me your email and then I will contact you with a email and you can email me your address and phone number if you want. And then we can talk also. But I really don’t want my email given out ok. Let me know what you think.

            • Gunfun
              I scored me another 40 buck break barrel on gun broker today, it is a Chinese pioneer 3 military training rifle in new condition with wood inlays on the forearm area. It is supposed to shot good and the pictures look very good ,so well see it may be a good little target gun for out back and I can always sell it and make a few bucks. I am watching a webley hawk mark III also for 20 buck plus 20 shipping but it has a reserve so it most likely wont sell at 20 bucks, but its been listed several times so the reserve may come off.

              • buldawg,

                First, the guy listing that Webley Hawk on GB is known for never selling his airguns. His reserves are much too high. I have been watching a BSF S20 pistol of his since 2009!

                Second, that rifle is not a real Webley Hawk, It’s some sort of Turkish thing that somebody put the Hawk name on. A real Webley Hawk is a very nice vintage air rifle.


                • BB
                  Thanks for the info, because you are right that air hawk has been on their for quite awhile. Why not just price it at what you want for it so it will sell, it makes no sense to price it so low and then set a reserve so high no one will buy it.

                  What can you tell me about the Chinese pioneer 3 military training rifle the I got for 43 bucks.


              • Buldawg,
                I got interested in this gun because it seemed to be a good deal.It”s made in Romania and B.B. did a couple pieces I believe.Here’s one;/blog/2009/06/romanian-spring-rifle-part-2/
                Let’s see what it does!

                • Reb
                  Thanks for the link as that is the gun I won. I glad it was only 23 bucks with 20 for the shipping and it appears to still have the front sight globe on it I will have to wait till I get it to see if the post has been cut off. I hope not and if it is as easy to cock as BBs review stated my 8 year old grand son should have some fun with this gun.

                  I will go thru it and see if I can make any improvements to it power or trigger pull. I will let you all know how it shoots and if I can get it improved some, glad to know it is a Romanian gun not Chinese.
                  it looked pretty good in the picture of it.

                  Will know more when it gets here.


                • BB
                  So at 23 bucks I didn’t do to bad huh. I will go through it when I get it and see what tweaks I can do to it, I am glad it is an easy cocker so my 8 year old grand son will be able to cock it. He is getting to be a real good shot with his 760 pumper with a 3×7/20 scope on it, he had to master peep sights first before he got the scope put on the gun.


            • Gunfun
              So my measurement were good, that sound great and your email will not be sent to anyone else I assure you of that as I am like you and don’t do all the social; media stuff. here is my email so just send a message and I can give you my number and address. Let me know what I owe you because I do appreciate you doing it for me, I will send you some metal mags to test for your self.

              Email buldawg76@cableone.net


          • Gunfun
            That price actually wasn’t that bad considering what it was. I never heard that a dealer had a code and could order one ,I was always told that those cars were special order by some high up executive in the corporate offices that wanted his own custom plat toy. but I may be wrong.

            The brake option was not that odd as my 64 goat had four wheel drum brake with a single cylinder master cylinder with no power anything, it only had an alternator.

            That friends uncle that bought that 68 yenko paid 10 grand for it in 68 brand new with 16 inch slicks on the back and 4 inchers up front and it was set up for straight line drag racing only and like your COPO it would squeal the slick in all 4 gears.

            Have you got home and checked the fit of the tray yet, how good were my measurements and does it fit.


            • buldawg
              Yep I had a 64 Cutlass that was like your Goat. But I still to this day have never seen a manual brake car that has front disc brakes.

              I know my buddy that is into Pontiac’s (the one that got the Nitrous George thing started). Had a few 70 to 80’s model Trans Ams and Formulas with disc brakes all the way around and with power assist. But nothing like my 72 Camero. Oh and mater of fact he has a 74 Super Duty 455 4spd. car that is a driver but needs some restoring. Plus a 76 Trans Am door slammer full cage car. Basically its a ex pro stock car. Its street legal though. And its a pure Pontiac powered 555 cu.inch motor. 8.50’s@149 mph is best so far.

              And see its bad to get me started talking about cars. Too, too many stories to tell. I will be quiet now.

        • I had one of those though I never knew the COPO origin until just now. One of my neighbors had moved from from Youngstown or somewhere in that neck of the woods. When he he wanted to sell me his car, he related how the local Chevy factory had blessedly discontinued the Vega and many of the locals were invited to have their custom built car, assembled from the now surplus parts bins. The only catch was, it could not be named a Vega but rather a Monza.
          And this item looked nothing like the already existing Monza, but rather pure Vega. But that’s where the resemblance ended and became more like an extended scene from “The Blues Brothers.” My neighbor says, “it’s got cop-shocks, cop-Posi-traction, cop-suspension and except for a thin layer of upholstry, the interior looks as military as that of an M60A1 tank. it’s blindingly fast and when you look under the hood the first thing you notice is more than the usual number of spark plug wires.”
          And it wasn’t just any old engine but that really hot Buick V6 from that era that put out more horsepower
          Than your average V8. When I looked, I was a little disappointed not to see the twin turbos but the carb looked slightly larger than an entire Vega engine.
          I had much fun with that one, in fact it was likely the only car I really still miss.
          Most enjoyable was post dusted-off moments when there’d be be that short bit of dialogue that went something like, “You know, I don’t think there’s a 4 banger in there, is there?” Or, “That’s not really a Vega, is it? Or, “you know, around here, we call that a ‘Killer Mouse.”
          The same thing happened to it as yours, murdered at a stoplight, not moving by a women who’d had her driver’s license for 3 days, her insurance for 2 days, and her car for 1 day.
          I still go over to her house every year on the anniversary of the event and shoot out her porch light with my air-gun.

          • 103david
            yea that is what the term COPO stood for, but I never knew that there were vegas that got special ordered that way the was a cool little car and a sleeper for sure. it reminds me of one of the first episode of Pinks where the guy bring that vega wagon with the body covered in fur and had a 427 under the hood and carried the nickname as the wooly mamouth. It won like two or three shows and then finally lost and the guy that won it came back to race it against the first owner and lost it back to him and it never raced again on the show.

            It was kinda like my 74 Datsun truck which did not have a vb8 but I had builtthe four cylinder with Nissan motorsport components with a sss head ( like double hump chevy heads) rally camshaft, headers and SUs off a 63 MGand it would rin 14.5 second quarters and surprise a lot of V8 mustangs and chevys. they would come over and ask what was in that truck and when they saw a four banger in it made them feel even worse. The power band was 4 to 8000rpm and I would come out of the hole at 6 grand and it would jump thru the gears to 105 mph at the traps


          • 103David
            I do recall hearing of those cars. Did you ever here of the Motion Camaro and Vegas. And then there was the Dicky Camaro’s. And I think the Baldwin Cars. They were Dealerships that was trying to cash in on the muscle car wars. They would put bigger engines in the cars and some stripes on the cars and other options also. And they would sell them for alot more money.

            And I really try to forget about my old 72 Camaro but it just keeps on coming alive in me. If it comes up in a conversation I will usually just say yep I once had a big block 72 Camaro and leave it at that.

            But you know how cars, guns and other fun things are. Sometimes you just cant stop talking about the good memory’s you have about them.

            And do you really go shoot out her porch light? 😉

            • What was even more interesting about the Monza was the original owner had clearly designed himself a stealth fighter in a simple gloss-black with no stripes or any other giveaways other than the dual exhaust. Even that was subdued. Well, of course the other give-away was how it sounded. Quiet by intention but still… Occasionally i’d get, “That don’t sound like an 8. What you got in there?”
              When I changed the tires I did replace the wheels with a set of mags but really that done to improve the handling more than anything.
              Well, okay, they looked pretty good, too.
              About the only other oddity was power-steering but the original guy said the sales guy had advised it because the somewhat heavier V6 made parallel-parking an unpleasantly memorable experience. Wider turning circle too, because of the wheel stops changed due to the wider engine block.
              But the car really did handle quite well, certainly better than either the ’55 Pontiac or the ‘4-door ’67 Biscayne I’d had before.
              Very clearly there had been some real engineering talent applied to this one.
              Okay, I hadn’t yet moved beyond the Red Ryder in those days, and her white poodle was a pretty nice pup so dyeing her green I thought to be excessive, so really no porch light fatalities nor not-found-in-natured-colored canines ensued. 🙂

              • 103David
                That’s the way I liked my cars. Sleepers. Stock as a rock on the outside but everything race inside. I loved those old cars. And they were easy to work on.

            • Gunfun1, your correct, there were many dealership’s and independent shops that built these cars so they could drag and circle track these cars. Many were built with leftover parts and performance parts combined and could be special ordered to your preference. Baldwin motion was best known for their Chevelle’s, Yenko for their Camaro’s, also Hurts, David’s and many other guys. I recently spoke with one of our regular customers about his Baldwin Chevelle and it was like three Chevelle’s in one. Paint, interior, trim, and options were all oddball one to the other but it had a screaming drive train that no hot rodders around could touch. Wish I had been around at those times, I have had chances in my youth to grab up oldies sitting in yards but never had enough money to pull them away from the owner so they sat and rotted, what a shame. Almost got my hands on a 69 Camaro RS/SS with a 427 4speed, another oddball special ordered car actually, but the owner wouldn’t part with it and it’s rotted into the ground now.

              • Ricka
                I forgot about the Hertz rent a racers.

                Go to your local Hertz car rental places and get you one of those Mustangs that was white with the blue stripe on the bottom of the sides of the car. Weren’t they designated 350 H somewhere on the fender or door behind the front tire. Go drag race it and take it back. I don’t think they advertised it that way but that’s what they wanted you to do to get the sales money from you renting the car. Hows that for marketing.

                • Gunfun1, yes there were a couple of different modelustangs you could rent and they all have a designation like you said. Most aren’t worth much because they were crashed and brought back to the rental agency, then scrapped or rebuilt and rented again. There are a few rare ones that either never mass it to the rental agencies or made it but never took to the street or were pulled out of service early by agency owners. First dibs for the owners just like the dealership owners as well with their inventory. Love watching old documentaries on this stuff on a lazy afternoon or evening.
                  Also you guys were talking Grand Nationals and GNX’s so I you get on YouTube punch in Grand National twin turbo dyno test, you won’t be disappointed, there are also some newer videos I haven’t watched of the same car I believe and it looks like he’s boosted the horse power… Are you supposed to melt the tires during a dyno test?…

          • J-F
            Yes it was that indeed also which seems kind of non realistic for a marketing standpoint because it was also when NASCAR was just starting to get going strong and the motto “win on Sunday sell on Monday ” was in full swing. Kind of hypocritical if you ask me you know.


      • Gunfun
        That’s how the 64 GTO came about, it was the brain child of Fred Wagners and John Delorean which were two top tier engineers at Pontiac in 64 and were in charge of new model design. They were tired of Pontiac being beaten in the performance wars by chevy and the corvette. GM corporate policy at that time was that a midsized car like the leman and tempest could have no larger than a 350 ci engine in them. Well John and Fred found a loophole in corporate policy that allowed certain options to be ordered at a dealer level which allowed the 389 and 421 from the Bonneville’s and Catalina’s to be ordered at the dealer to be put into a tempest body with several different performance levels of engine accessories like tripower and four speed trans with posi traction rear-ends. so they came up several different option that a buyer could go to a Pontiac dealer and order the tempest equipped with the GTO options, one of was the 389 tripower ,4 speed close ratio corvette trans and posi rear end in several ratios with a delete all accessories except an am radio and alternator. there were 650 of that optioned car ordered in 64 with a total of 6500 GTO optioned tempest ordered. BY doing it that way they were able to sneak the cars out under the radar of corporate GM policy makers and insure that all GTO optioned car were sold because it was ordered by the dealers not the factory. that continued until 1967 when the GHM policy makers figured out what they were doing and the fact that all of the GTO optioned cars sold, so ion 1967 they gave the GTO it own VIN nunber and it was now an official model instead of an option ordered at the dealer level. And the muscle car was born.


        • buldawg
          Yep and the one I thought was funny was later on around 65 they lifted it to 400 cu. inches or under in a intermediate car then came the pony cars. That’s why that 302 zapper engine came about in the Z/28’s those Little 302’s and a 4 spd. with some gears were a heck of combination. That’s the car Penske was Trans Am road racing in the day. Then Pontiac came up with their destroked 350 and made a 303 for the Firebirds. You always here about the white with blue striped 400 cu.in. Trans Ams in 69 but the 303was kept quiet.

          Then in 69 alot of people were special ordering the cars from Canada. You could get a 455 in a Cutlass. Or a 454 in a Chevelle which had another name they gave it in Canada. Then there was the little Nova from Canada that I believe they called the Arcadian that could be got with a big block.

          Then came 70 when they lifted the ban. Musclecars was full steam ahead for a good 5 more years before they started restricting things because of emissions.

          And I always said this is something that should of been taught in history class at schools. It was a big part of American history that got thrown under the rug.

          You talk about marketing strategies back then with the muscle car wars it was there. They went as far as cartoon characters for the Mopars like the Roadrunner with its “Beep Beep” horn. And then Oldsmobile with its live people that they advertised as a group of mad scientist dressed in with white over coats or whatever they were. Each on had their specific thing they knew about. You would see them all standing around a gold 70 442 in like a laboratory room And all kinds of things written on the green chalk board like engine sizes and transmissions and cold air induction options. Basically all the options you could get on the 442.

          Yep those people new how to market the muscle cars.

          • Gunfun
            Yea those were the days, I never knew about 303 in the Pontiacs though but you are right because back in the trans am days they were limited to 305 ci. I never knew about the Canada cars because living in Florida we were a long way from Canada.

            Yea you know they should teach that in school because it is as much a part of our history as any other event in this country back then.

            Pontiac did not get the 400 until 67 when the GTO first got its own VIN before that it was either a 389 or 421 in the option list for the Goat, the 421 made more HP and torque but the 389 revved quicker so it was actually faster in the 1/4 mile. And in 67 is when Pontiac came out with the sales pitch of put a tiger in your tank for the goats and Bonneville’s.

            I had a tiger tail hanging out of the trunk on my goat.

            Send me an email.


            • buldawg
              Believe it or not my younger brother had a 2 door 54 Chevy back in around 80. We took the 6 cyl. out and the one piece tube and rear end and put in 421 Pontiac engine from a Bonneville I believe and a 4 speed and 8.5” 10 bolt posi from a Nova. The first time he put slicks on the car it sheared the wheel studs of the back left tire And broke 2 on the back right. That car was scary to drive. When you got on it you could feel the steering will trying to torque over. So you had to be paying attention if you got on it or lifted. But yep those old Pontiac’s and Oldsmobile’s were torque monsters.

              And I did send you a email again. I’m sure I got the email right this time. ???

              • Gunfun
                Got your email in went to my spam folder and is now marked as not spam and added to my contacts.

                Yea Pontiac actually made 421s in 64 and 65 for the Bonneville’s 2+2 package that were 13 to 1 compression motors with aluminum exhaust headers and tripower with electronic ignition that were drag race only cars because the header would melt if you tried to drive them for more than 10 or 15 minutes.

                The first garage I started working at had a customer that was a marine and he bought a brand new 64 Bonneville with the 421, 13 to 1 compression 4 bolt block with stock cast iron manifolds with tripower with vacuum operated outer carbs and electronic ignition all factory stock. That car was not real fast from a stop it would burn the tires, but if you stomped it to the floor at 50 mph or above you would be doing over 100 before you realized it. I had a chance to buy it for 400 buck but just could not come up with the money and all it needed was a paint job because of the Florida sun fading the paint.

                Sending you my info right now.


                • buldawg
                  The intake was gone of the engine when we went to get the engine out of the car. But the factory aluminum headers were still there. And yes this engine did have electronic ignition it was still there. It was kind of like that Pentronix module they have now days to convert from points. My brother ended up finding a low rise aluminum intake with 2 AFB Carters on it.

                  He had that car when he was a senior in high school. Could you imagine a 16 year old kid driving the kind of cars we are talking about. But we all had them back then. It was like world news when somebody found a new muscle car and was cruising it through town. Everybody couldn’t wait to see what it was about.

  26. Off topic. Question about beeman r1\weihrauch hw 80…. Peepsights.
    Who had experience with peepsights on this rifle?
    Im currenty shooting this rifle with open sights, but Im thinking about getting peepsights for this gun.
    What brand would you reccomend?

    What can I expect With different light conditions

    What range would I be able tot Hunt rabbit and crow?

    Any other input.


      • BB
        So if you have a R1 and a peep sight your asking for a airgun tattoo. Ain’t that what they call it when a hunter with a big caliber gun gets tagged in the eye by the scope. A hunters tattoo.

        So now we know there is a way to get a airgun tattoo. 🙂

      • BB
        I never even thought about the spring recoil causing that tattoo issue, but you are right because with peep sights you have your eye right up on the rear sight.

        My friend came over the other day and we shot some out back and when I let him shoot my Firepower break barrel with the scope on it instead of sitting down to shoot it off the porch railing he bent over and shot it and by being bent over he got that airgun tattoo himself and I forgot about that happening and the same issue would occur with peep sights only worse.


      • My oldest daughter got one from a Gamo Whisper (yes I had one) with a scope I think when she was around 10 yrs.old. I had explained that to her and she already was shooting since 7 yrs old but with a scope for only about a year. But she had her eye to close and got a slight black eye. But you know what her favorite kind of air gun is to this day. PCP’s

    • dutchiozef
      I am not familiar with the Beeman R1 or Weihrauch HWE 80, but I have a Daisy Avanti 853 cadet target rifle with peep sights on it and a crosman 1400 with peep sights. They are the daisy brand peep sights that come on their 753, 853, 953, 887 and so on for their 10 meter target guns that are used by the beginning youth target shooters.

      I use them in my backyard range of about 15 yards and they are very accurate because they have very precise positive click adjustments for windage and elevation and the rear sight fits on an 11mm dovetail and the front is a barrel weight/globe front sight with different inserts and fit a 7/16 dia barrel.


      Above are the sights that I use, the only issue with the front sight in the above link is it does not come with the barrel weight to attack the globe sight to but you could call Daisy and see if they offer the front sight with the barrel weight as a package and just tell them it is for a model 853 rifle and as long as your barrel is 7/16 dia it will fit or if the barrel has a dovetail grooves on the front for a sight then the globe will fit on without the weight.

      Hope this helps


  27. i have a beeman r9 with williams peep sight i love it,i have never shot an r1 but would expect it to recoil a lot more.the peep works much better for old eyes,and works well for crow and rabbit if theres enough light in low light scope is mutch better

  28. one more squirrel this morning at 70 ” TalonP turned his back to me and stopped.Sent the Polymag thru his right shoulder and out what was his left eye. Waited alomst one hour for him because he saw me first. headed back out about 6 if it ain’t rainning to hard.

    • Good shot steve! That’s 3 now. When ya gonna start cookin’ ’em up? The last one I took basically stared me down. My 392 was sighted for 30 yards and he was under 10 so. I wanted the head shot but played it safe.It took a little time but the pellet entered just below his sternum and took the tip off his heart.No chasing that one, he fell straight to the base of the tree.


      • Reb,Now it’s 4.Nailed one up the old gravel road.I had to look up for ten minutes or more watching him eat wild grapes and my neck was hurting man.He finally stopped strait up and behind some cedar needles were the head shot was iffy at 60” and only the head and tail showing. Put that Hawk Sidewinder on his head and out he rolled even threw all that cedar.Now to answer you about cooking them.Did ya know they are cholesterol BOMBS.So seance I had the big one two years ago I pretty much quite eating them and I clean every one and take them to my neighbor.Ya he also knows about the cholesterol but eats um anyway.I’ll cook one now and then.He also got a nice fat rabbit I found eating my garden tonight.So as long as people want them, that gives me reason to live under a tree.So do ya here Banjo music yet?

  29. Fred_BR, don’t know if you can find this amidst the 250+ comments, but I wanted to say that there is no danger of starting a war about the FAL. My old WWII rifles from the various combatants are now like a mini-UN resting all together. I suspect that you’re right that the differences between the main Western battle rifles are less than the preferences between them. Interesting that in terms of next generation rifles, the universal design is the short stroke gas piston with a regulator. While there are exotic looks and new features and much market hype, they seem to be sharing the same operating system. The long-stroke piston used by the M1 Garand and the AK have not persisted any more than the direct gas system of the M16. The HK roller-locked system which I’ve never understood but heard much about is another road not taken. It has quite a distinguished pedigree as the operating system of the little-known STG45, a late-war improvement on the STG44, and the system was the basis of the G3 rifles which have received high praise, but this system was another evolutionary dead-end. I suspect this may have been because of the dominance of the U.S. military and its equipment rather than the merit of the designs.


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