Do you really get what you pay for?
This report covers:
- For some
- The deal
- Today’s report
- Parts availability
- Special tools?
- New technology
- Where does that leave us?
On the way to the grocery store this morning I saw a sign that dicated today’s report. Here it is.
The sign that triggered today’s report.
Okay, BB is going to kick over a few anthills today. And I’ll start loosing folks right now. Do you see anything wrong with what that sign says? What if I substituted surgery for lawn service? Would that make it clearer?
It would clear things for some but for others it wouldn’t. They would tell you that surgery is an important decision and cost shouldn’t enter into it. But who cares about grass? Granted, I can walk around my neighborhood and pretty much pick out the homes where the people who feel like that live. However, there is a deal.
My house looks good from the street. I used to have a despicable front yard and it cost me a bundle to have two large trees removed and the lawn re-sodded. But now my house looks presentable from the street. And it has increased in value considerably in the 19 years I have lived in it. Most of that increase is due to the current housing market boom and not with the presentability of my house, but there is a deal.
The deal is, if my neighbors keep their houses up too then the rising tide lifts all our boats. But if my neighborhood gets filled with enough people who don’t care about how their houses look my neighborhood gets pegged as a bad one and one to be avoided. And the property value no longer rises as it once did.
I used to mow my own lawn, but after my accident with the electric bicycle a few years ago I had to take it easy for several weeks. So I hired the lawn service that my neighbor, Denny, uses. I noticed they did a better job than I used to. And the cost was low. Why would I spend time mowing my lawn when I can make more money writing and let someone else who is better take care of the grass? Low cost lawn maintenance? I don’t think so. No more than low cost surgery.
We are not trying to buy lawn care services. We are trying to buy airguns. This blog exists to help you do just that. My focus is on you and what you will see with each airgun I test. I’m not trying to pump sunshine up your skirt like some people. If the airgun gives me 1.5-inch groups at 25 yards I show them. If it gives 0.05-inch groups I show them.
Given that airgun X is a good one in my tests, is price the only other consideration? What goes into buying a good airgun? Cost is an important factor, but it’s not the only factor. Those who think that it is are very likely to be disappointed by one thing or another.
Usually the cut-price dealers will also be the most difficult to deal with. You can’t get them on the phone and they never return your emails. When you do finally connect with them they are only too happy to take your credit card information and then — nothing. You are on hold for a month or longer.
What you don’t know is that these dealers have very few airguns in stock. There are lots of pretty pictures on their websites, but they only order things when you order from them. And they don’t order them the same day that you place your order. They wait until they have more to order from the same distributor, then they place one combined order. As much as a month or more can pass while this takes place. Meanwhile you think your airgun is on order and will arrive any day. So, after several weeks pass you call and email and hear nothing. You look at their website and they are still accepting orders for the airgun you ordered. It’s not backordered. What gives?
Apparently you do. Your credit card was charged, not on the day you ordered the airgun but 25 days later. It was so much later that you didn’t remember what it was. And when you look at who charged your card there is nothing to link that charge to that dealer.
And don’t expect to find the airguns I test in discount stores, either. The airguns there sell on price alone, and I will have nothing to do with them.
I could go on and I bet some of you will. The point I am making is when you buy an airgun it’s not just the gun you buy; it’s also the dealer. Cheap dealers often cost the most.
Is the manufacturer one who brings out new models every year and then takes them off the market in a few years? Or are they dedicated to their products and do they work to make them as good as possible?
Will your new airgun ever need service? Perhaps. So you send it back to the dealer — oh no. Not this one. They want you to send this one straight back to the manufacturer. Okay, their name is on the box, so everything should work out — right?
Maybe; maybe not. You see this manufacturer is a large one that is well recognized. But they don’t repair the gun you bought because they didn’t make it. They had somebody else make it for them. They keep the gun you sent in and they exchange it for another gun just like it. Except it isn’t. The gun you sent in was deadly accurate. The one they replaced it with is only mediocre.
Okay, you have gotten stung this way before. So you don’t send the gun back. You buy the parts online and fix it yourself. Now you have opened the gun and violated your warranty, so no more exchanges for you! But do you care? Maybe; maybe not. There are many circumstances to consider.
Will there be parts, if and when you need them? I bet those who bought the ASP20 from Sig thought parts would always be available. I sure did. But to everyone’s surprise Sig left the building and left their customers holding the bag.
Okay, don’t believe me. Here is what Golden State Airgunner said on the Airgun Nation forum on March 15 2021:
“Decided to call Sig and get the scoop on the ASP20. A couple reasons why they are discontinuing ONLY the ASP20. First one is centered on profit margin. They aren’t getting the returns for this model based on the amount of investment they have in it. The second reason is on par with what I mentioned to AGN member Glenroiland in a PM. The machinery they use to make firearms is the same equipment they used to make the ASP20. They want to retool the machinery used to make the ASP20 so it can go back to firearm manufacturing. The 5 year warranty will still be honored as long as they maintain parts. Which tells me they aren’t going to continue producing parts. Kind of sucks ! Ten, fifteen, twenty years from now if your ASP20 breaks down it might be nothing more than a conversation piece. And no, they still aren’t going to offer parts to the public.”
They weren’t getting the returns based on their investment??? Excuse me, but Sig Sauer was never known as an airgun manufacturer. Yes, everybody knows they make firearms, but so what? Colt makes firearms, too, but they don’t make airguns. They LICENSE others to make airguns with their name on them. Big difference, and the world knows it. And Sig doesn’t make the other airguns they sell under their name. They have those made overseas. My point is, I don’t care who you are, you don’t earn a reputation right out of the box.
Chevrolet doesn’t make the Spark automobile, either! What — an American car that’s not made in America?
The following was copied directly from motorandwheels.com
Where Are Sparks Being Made?
“The Spark is one of the few Chevrolet models made solely overseas. Presently, the Spark is manufactured in Changwon, South Korea, by GM’s subsidiary GM Korea.”
BB Pelletier was a huge cheerleader for the ASP20 when Sig was making it. Just read the glowing reports I wrote about that air rifle. And BB Pelletier thought that if anyone would support what they made, it would be Sig. Turns out even BB Pelletier can be fooled when big business decides to go a different direction.
Does your airgun require special tools for repairs? How about a mainspring compressor? What about a pressure fixture to pressurize a gas spring after repairs? These are things to consider when buying a new airgun. You can’t just say it’s a Sig anymore, because even Sig may change their mind.
Is it wise, therefore, to buy only airguns that are made by recognized airgun manufacturers? Yes, I think it is. And watch them, as well. When their management changes, watch for other major changes and stay wary of new policies.
At this point I could get in real trouble by reporting those airguns whose technology was new and unproven. By “reporting” I mean telling you the whole story, rather than just the foot-pounds, velocity, and accuracy. Sometimes all that is new is not the latest and greatest. Watch out for the hype!
Where does that leave us?
BB Pelletier thinks you need to shop for three things when buying a new airgun:
1. A reliable airgun — based on reports you can trust.
2. A reliable dealer whose reputation is stronger than that of the manufacturers.
3. New technology only after it is proven.
Buying airguns is like everything else in life. You have to be very careful to get what you pay for.