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Wanting what isn’t

This report covers:

  • What does it cost?
  • Just the box
  • More
  • Hypothetical Airguns, Inc.
  • You tell us…
  • A well-thought-out comment

Today I’m turning the tables on you. Today, you become “they” as in, “What they otta do…”

I had planned on testing the velocity of the Crosman Fire today, but I got a comment to Part 1 on the Fire that said, “He probably would have better results with the Shockwave. I am really curious about the Clean Break Trigger.” That came from reader RidgeRunner, and it started me thinking about what I’m going to write today. Then I published Part 3 of the Webley Mark VI CO2 Pellet Revolver with 2-1/2-inch barrel and the heat was turned up!

BB,

The short sight radius really puts a demand on the shooter to concentrate on his sight picture to achieve accuracy. I wonder if it would be practical to make a front sight extension to demonstrate how much easier it is to shoot with a long sight radius? Then again it would be simpler if there was a long barreled version to compare with.”

Siraniko

Mike in Atlanta responded to that by saying,

Siraniko,

“There is the 6-inch version over here, and if I were interested in pistols that would be my choice.”

Mike in Atl

To which RidgeRunner responded,

“They also have the four-inch version

I myself would also prefer the six-inch. Hopefully they will get it back in stock soon and if I should win the lottery, which I never play, I will buy all three.”

Now all of this got my head spinning. And I hope to do the same for you today. You are now in the marketing department of a large airgun company. Let’s say that it costs your company one hundred thousand dollars (it’s probably more) to bring each of these models to market. It’s probably a sliding scale with the first gun costing the most and the last one costing the least. But however it breaks down, it’s an expense.

What does it cost?

Okay, some of you think that turning a BB pistol into a pellet pistol is a simple matter of parts swapping. It’s a lot more than that. Many parts that we don’t think about have to be changed or modified in some ways to accommodate the different ammunition. I will agree that starting from an existing design is easier than starting from a clean sheet of paper, but there are always things you don’t consider that have to be created. Take the box, for instance.

Just the box

The Webley Mark VI with a 2-1/2-inch barrel has a lithographed box that’s specific to it. It can cost many thousands of dollars when you have to create an entirely new box with lithographed graphics. I remember when I worked at AirForce Airguns, I got to watch them create a new box for several new models. The box salesman would come in and be met with dozens of questions about things you never consider. Things like the current boxes can’t be stacked higher than X many because then they start to break down and flop over. How can they be reinforced and not cost an arm and a leg for each one? Sure, everyone knows that folding the end flaps over strengthens the box, but it also adds cost to each box because it then has to be cut out of larger cardboard. That can drive the cost per box up by several dollars, depending on what you do.

Then there is the pick and pluck foam box liner. It has to be custom made for each airgun — UNLESS the guns were designed with that in mind and the foam can work for shorter guns as well as longer models.

If you buy the foam 500 pieces at a time the cost is $X. Buy 1,000 and the cost drops by 10 percent which is mostly the setup cost. There are more discounts beyond that but at our sales volume they aren’t worth it. Where do you store the extra foam pieces, since you only need 250 per month? This is where a single box liner for three different models really pays off. And it takes from 60 days up to 4 months from the time you order to get more foam pieces, so how many should you keep on hand? It won’t do to build airguns if there aren’t boxes to put them in!

More

We were just talking about the BOXES! If the box and the insert costs you 7 dollars, that’s $28 you have to add to the price of your airgun. Yep — you multiply each of your costs by 3-4 times to cover the cost of employees, which includes their health care plan plus any retirement and bonuses (plus holidays) they get, your equipment, your building, utilities, advertising (that alone can be one whole multiplier), what you hope to wholesale your products to retailers for and make any profit.

Hypothetical Airguns, Inc.

And then we come to the gun. Marketing Marty just joined your company, Hypothetical Airguns, Inc. this year. He used to work for a kitchen utensil manufacturer and let me tell you, a lot more people eat food than shoot airguns! The good old boys at Hypothetical told Marty that speed sells and the sales VP has a spreadsheet to prove it. Yessir, Bob’s Big Box Store buys several million dollars of our stuff each year and what sells to them is a nice lithoed box with a high velocity number printed on the outside. So spending money on a nice box is what generates the big sales. Who cares what’s inside?

Well, Ancient Annie cares. She’s worked for the firm for 25 years and worked her way up from assembly (when we used to build all the guns in-house), into the marketing department seven years ago. Annie reads this blog every day and she reads what you guys say you want. She knows that when BarrelBobberBlake says, “If only they would make…” she can disregard it entirely. He is the guy who stands on the sidelines and cheers people on. He doesn’t buy things. But readers Humpty Dumpty and Crosscut Carl do buy things. When THEY are interested, Annie takes notice!

So, at the next big Hypothetical Airguns budgeting meeting where marketing and sales are discussing the new models for the coming year, Marketing Marty proposes a new air rifle — the Hyper MashemFlat Magnum! Blue Sky enterprises, the manufacturer in Hong Kong, claims they are getting 1550 f.p.s.  in .177 caliber and the two samples we have are getting 1,520 and 1,495. Close enough.

Our company can buy these rifles from Blue Sky for $109 if we will commit to buy at least 2,000 guns in the next year with 1,000 up front. Our company will stick a 4-power scope and mounts in the box that will only cost us $5.00 because we have a warehouse full of those scopes left over from a big purchase made a few years back. The  new box will cost $25,000 to design and $6.00 per box if we buy 2,000 or more, so Marty proposes a retail price of $375 for the new rifle. The sales VP says it can’t sell it for more than $349, and Bobs Big Box will get a thousand of them at $261 right off the bat. That cuts our profit to the bone. But if the rifle is successful we will start making money after 2,000 have been sold. Heck, Pyramyd AIR will buy 50 up front, you just know it!

Then Ancient Annie proposes a small breakbarrel springer that gets 850 f.p.s. in .177 and 700 f.p.s. in .22. It cocks with just 22 pounds of effort. Nobody but the chief executive officer listens to Annie because he knows she has been right every time over the past several years. Her stuff doesn’t bring in the big bucks, but for some reason Pyramyd AIR sells the heck out of everything she recommends. Her new rifle with the plain cardboard box with one-color lithography that she is recommending will cost us just $129 and we can make money at a recommended retail price of just $229.00 He doesn’t know why but the CEO knows that backing Annie is a sure thing, and when he goes before the board in six months from now he is assured of some success.

Well, we do everything that was recommended and we continue to sell our Bandito repeater that’s in it’s 14th year of production. It was designed in-house and is now a world standard against which all other low-cost repeating airguns are compared. So the CEO keeps his job for another year.

Marketing Marty’s Hyper MashemFlat Magnum was a horrible flop. After the initial sales there were 40 percent returns, of which 27 percent were legitimate mechanical problems. The rest were mostly complaints that 54 pounds of cocking force is too much for an airgun. Oddly enough this rifle was/is very accurate, and Annie debated going to the CEO and recommending a detuned version that cocks at half that force. But when she saw what happened to Marketing Marty, she decided against it.

Marketing Marty was let go and now works for the manufacturer of a low-cost one-time-use defibrillator. He hopes to jumpstart his career in marketing again — pun intended.

Okay, guys — that’s what the “real world” looks like. It’s not a “borrow-from-this-to make-that” world. It’s a “you-bet-your-career” world.

Hunting Guide

You tell us…

So guys, tell us — what would sell? What would sell big?

A well-thought-out comment

And then there was BobM, who said:

BB
I would love the challenge of finding out why this pistol (the Webley Mark VI with 2-1/2-inch barrel) or any did not put 10 out of 10 in the bull.
I would check the barrel for any play, bore irregularities or its ability to rotate in the pistol. Need to correct that.

Use the same shell in every cylinder hole, shooting six pellets out of each of the six holes keeping track of which cylinder shot where on the target. Shoot slow enough to make sure the cylinder is seated on the barrel and not still in rotational movement or bouncing back and fourth from play. Do it again with 6 different shells, one at a time.


This would show if the barrel, one particular shell case or a cylinder play, bore alignment (with) the barrel is the problem. The pistol would have to be ridged in a vise, eliminating the shooter and every pellet would have to be exactly the same in size and weight and changed to find which type of pellet works best in the barrel. Also measure each pellet speed to see if the hammer, air valve is consistent. And obviously done in a controlled environment.


A lot of trouble. May be more than one item causing it and you would have to replace parts till you found perfection, if possible?


Worth the trouble? Not really, unless you had to or had good reason for doing so, but I think it is possible to identify the cause of inaccuracy…. Eventually!


Unless, one or more parts are simply not manufactured to a tolerance that permits it.”

Bob, your comments got my head spinning in a different direction. Some of what you say can be done. Other stuff is impossible, but I will address that in the next test of this air pistol.

Oh, and RidgeRunner, your chances of winning the lottery are about the same, whether or not you play!

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

46 thoughts on “Wanting what isn’t”

  1. B.B.
    What i want and WOULD sell, is you convincing Meopta to make a Hunter Class FT scope.
    10yard min focus, hold-over reticle(preferably Christmas Tree style), Shallow depth of field.
    8-16 is all that would be needed. Hopefully for around $600.

    Do it! Please,

    -Yogi

  2. BB,

    So that’s why they have opted to go to the plastic clamshell packaging as much as possible since they don’t have to invest much on a mold since the product itself becomes a mold during the vacuum forming process.

    I do sort of wonder how often Marketing gets called out on their velocity claims? Not much I’d bet because how many of those who purchase would bother running their airguns through a chronograph? How many of them would actually own a chronograph?

    Finding an airgunner who is satisfied with their purchase is a rare individual with a rarer airgun.

    Siraniko

    • Siraniko,

      They do indeed use a mold and they are very expensive.

      I work in the plastics industry. Their savings comes from volume. You will not see things like a TX200 in a “clam shell”. They do not offer enough protection.

      You see them at Bob’s Big Box Store because the contents of the packaging is cheap. Others may carry products with that type of packaging because the product inside is likely cheap/rugged and can stand some rattling around.

      There is some “clam shell” packaging that has very tight tolerances and can hold a product quite well, but you usually find it inside a box, suspending the product away from all sides.

    • Siraniko,

      IMHO dissatisfaction comes from a product that doesn’t meet the purchaser’s expectations and a quality product exactly meets all the customer’s requirements.

      People would probably be happier if they were realistic about their expectations.

      **Finding an airgunner who is satisfied with their purchase is a rare individual with a rarer airgun.**

      I have airguns (Springers, SSPs, PCPs) from several companies that I’m extremely satisfied with. They are out there 🙂

      Just my two cents.
      Cheers!
      Hank

  3. B.B.,

    Well, my first assessment is that Hypothetical Airguns has a leadership and likely company culture problem (being as the two are inextricably linked), and until they fix that, a continued slide into irrelevance as they keep floundering is the most likely long-term outcome.

    If Hypothetical didn’t know Marketing Marty lacked industry knowledge, then their hiring process is useless. If they knew, hired him, and did nothing to give him that knowledge, then their training or mentorship system is useless, especially when Ancient Annie is literally right there. Then they put the lost new guy in charge of the big project and (with all that experience in the room) have no feedback on guidance on product direction.

    Then they’re surprised it goes sideways. If Marty was remotely observant, he’s learned lots of valuable (and very expensive) life lessons on Hypothetical’s dime, and he’s just taken that with him to his next career stop. Oops.

    The most important questions haven’t been answered (by anyone in marketing). in this story.

    What’s Hypothetical’s brand?
    Who are the target customers and what needs or desires does the product fill?
    Why is a new product needed? Is this a hole in Hypothetical’s product lineup or is it replacing an existing product?
    How long in the lineup will the gun remain? What if it unexpectedly blows up? What if it’s a slow burn?
    Are there existing products that can be modified to fill the niche? Existing products are proven. New designs are risky!

    Nathan

    • Nathan,
      Hypothetical Airguns, Inc. is a real airgun company. At one time most of the people there knew airguns. Then they were laid off and a bunch was hired who did not know airguns or airgunners, but knew spreadsheets. So began the death spiral. The company started catering to the big box stores and started producing gee gobs of different models, all based on the same airgun and all cheap.

      Two things saved them. One is they hung on to and kept producing their real winners. The other is someone with some idea of what was going on bought them out. Now they are trying to bring back the “Ancient Annies”. If we the airgunning community can be patient, we will likely see this company claw its’ way back to the pinnacle.

      Your analysis is pretty good. It sounds like solid front office thinking.

      • RR,
        Thanks! I think one thing that often gets lost in the day-to-day grind of the office and jostling for position is that if an employee does poorly, the company bears most of the cost in unhappy customers and financial losses. Nothing specific to airguns, but something that’s just generally true in all kinds of organizations.

        On the other hand, if an employee does well, the company gets almost all of the benefits and resulting opportunities. The employee hopefully gets recognition, a nice achievement on their resume, and a nice bonus, but it’s the company that will keep seeing the profits and goodwill from potentially decades of sales.

        What has Weihrauch gained over 70 years of HW35 sales compared to the engineers that designed it or the sales and marketing efforts that established it over the decades? Or Crosman and the 13xx series?

        It’s always in the company’s interest to make sure everyone is set up to succeed and bringing their A-game and definitely not (unintentionally or deliberately) undermining each other.

        Nathan

  4. B.B.,

    Okay, it’s my turn to play product owner.

    Here’s the elevator pitch:
    A blowback CO2 BB M1 Garand for the replica market with multiple trim and finish levels, but sharing common metal parts.

    It’s the same idea as the Air Venturi CO2 M1 Carbine, likely using the same supplier and powerplant with a different magazine arrangement, and a parallel Airsoft version should also be made to amortize tooling costs.

    Obviously only 8 shots in a magazine, and it needs both a last-shot bolt hold open and to make the ping sound on the last shot!

    – Offer both collector-grade models with real wood stocks as well as entry-level faux wood plastic
    – Offer a rubber bayonet (with cover/sheath) with the collector model, dummy display enblock clip with fake rounds…
    – Stock lots of accessories – bandoliers, pouches, replica M1 helmets, slings…
    – Offer a ‘battleworn finish’ SKU (possibly with utility-grade wood depending on availability). A perfect excuse for handling dings in transit! In lieu of a box, mate them up with canvas carry bags at the factory and send them to big retailers by the crate, milsurp-style.
    – Provide plans for an armory rack that stores can have their local hobby carpenter hammer together for a display. Did they get dinged up in transit? Fits right in!

    Nathan

      • BB,

        Thanks, I notice that many of those ideas could work for the Air Venturi M1 Carbine and Umarex Legends Thompson.

        The 80th anniversary of D-Day is only a couple years away. Aside from ceremonies, there will likely be another regularly scheduled spike in WW2 media (films, TV series) making the rounds again. With production lead times and shipping delays, now’s the time to get serious about having a lot of stock ready and serendipitously on display at all of your big box sporting goods stores ahead of time…

        Oh, and for Air Venturi and Umarex specifically, where are the full-auto M2 BB carbine and the A1 with the paratrooper folding stock? Note to Umarex on shipping: the folding stock can save a lot of box material, retail shelf space, and shipping container volume! .

        Nathan

        • Nathan,

          Hear hear!

          Completely agreed. I was also thinking of more WWII era replicas. A M1 Garand would be at the top of my list, though I’d have a preference for a PCP repeater.

          There is such an amazing library of other WWII small arms. It could be a blog all on its own. Beretta 38…. Bergmann MP18….Sten….

          One strong suggestion for the replica market manufacturers: keep the furniture REAL wood. Or at least offer it for an upcharge. I’ve passed on some replicas that are plastic. Just doesn’t feel right.

          StarboardRower

  5. BB,

    Indeed. I would rather save up my pittance until I can afford what I desire. If it disappears before I reach that point, so be it. It is just stuff.

  6. BB,

    By the way, this is a superb blog. If you are getting such excellent responses from the “early risers”, I cannot wait to read it this evening after the “sleepy heads” wade in.

  7. Today’s “..turning the tables on you..” story placed me into a situation so unfamiliar that am unable to answer the challenge, sorry.

    However, I particularly enjoyed (!) the various names:

    Marketing Marty
    Hypothetical Airguns Inc.
    Bob’s Big Box Store
    Ancient Annie
    BarrelBobberBlake
    Humpty Dumpty
    Crosscut Carl
    Hyper MashemFlat Magnum
    Blue Sky enterprises
    Bandito repeater

    Oh what fun! 🙂

  8. Here’s one, conjured from the dark recesses of FM’s warped mind – “Unobtainium Air-Tillery, Ltd.” Company slogan: “We produce no thing before it’s time, when we get a Round Tooit.”

    Good post – reminds FM of some of the case studies he went thru when studying for his Business/Marketing degree. He learned not to even attempt to start his own business and/or market anything. Truth be told, he woulda enjoyed getting involved in a craft or trade – gunsmithing comes to mind. 😉 On a more serious note, amazing how many companies come up with good products that become popular and at least generate modest profits, then allow the bean counters to talk them out of staying the course “because we can make other stuff cheaper, sell it for more, make mucho money!” Many times that’s a recipe for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

    “Greed is good.” – Gordon Gekko

  9. BB

    Good topic and heads up to you and reader comments. Bean counters in charge of design, not knowing target customers, etc

    One way fascinates me. Taking an old and proven Crosman 160 design and selling it all dressed up in different outfits to appeal to beginner 10 meter shooters, old deck shootin geezers, hunters and plinkers. Beeman took a reliable power plant that turned out to deliver nice accuracy with modern pellets, found a low cost manufacturer and is still selling it at popular prices.

    Deck

  10. BB,

    Great breakdown. I worked on the maintenance side of manufacturing all my life and saw how all those logistics concerns had to be addressed and, many times, re-addressed.

    In the lead in to your tale you mentioned testing the impact of sight radius on accuracy. I don’t think using three different barrel length would shed any light on that issue. It would be three different barrels being tested and their individual characteristics would come into play. I have a Daisy Powerline 44 co2 pellet revolver that has 3 different interchangeable barrels of various lengths. In the past I shot them with the gun clamped in a vice and the point of impact and size of the groups varied widely, even though I took the sighting system out of the picture altogether.

    I have the full sized BB version of the Crosman 357 Python and found it to be very accurate, so I bought the snub nosed version when it came out. That gun’s point of impact changed as you fired additional clips. Turned out not to be the clips but instead, the barrel. It is molded into plastic and it seems as the barrel cooled from the co2, it was happening unevenly and was flexing the barrel in a very repeatable direction. When the barrel warmed back up the POI returned to the original point. I returned that gun. Apparently the longer barreled gun had enough mass that this flexing didn’t take place.

    Half

  11. B.B. and Readership,

    Great Blog today Tom and very impressive responses from the Readership! I hope the topic(s) will bring responses from some of the folks that haven’t yet commented; new ideas are out there for our sport and hobby.
    I think Yogi is on to something about .25 (6.35mm) caliber here in the USA and in at least a few other countries. Only a few manufacturers have tried to be integrated in selling both ammo and projectile launchers and usually for Brand/sales exclusivity and not for the benefit of the buyer. The velocity sells concept is based on a poorly educated buyer which is only true in some countries and typically have the Greed is Good BIG BOX stores run by the likes of the former CEOs of Hypothetical This, That, and The other Thing Inc. the ones who bet on Marketing Marty over and over again.
    One thing that interests me that you didn’t touch on is the impact of the middlemen in the airgun industry? Is the airgun industry different? No Wholesalers just direct sales and perhaps Importers? That adds to the problem of both the manufacturers as well as the retailers and the buyers. It seems (to me) there is a shift going on with big retailers becoming hybrid Importers/Wholesalers/Franchisees?
    As far as wanting what isn’t parts of the airgun industry have embraced the platform airgun that I talked about at least a decade ago based on the success of the Stoner firearms. It is still hit and miss in how the Marketing Marty types comprehend it and unfortunately many of the Ancient Annie types don’t have any history about the platform concept to fall back on.
    With the PCP powerplant the key concept for multi-caliber is the externally adjustable regulator coupled with the variable volume plenum. What is/are the key design concept(s) for the other powerplants in the future.
    And one final thought on the boxes, actually two: where is the LINK to the video quick start manual and features/accuracy demonstration for the buyer to watch on his/her smartphone and how about using a standard dimension rifle box with exterior slip on product specific card sleeve like SIG did for the ASP20 with precuts in the inner foam for removable spots for a scope, bipod etc. That at least lowered their warehouse space requirements and cardboard box inventory.

    One final comment
    Non optical sight radius increase will only help a shooter’s targeting accuracy because it is directly related to the geometry of the sighting system impact on vision; it has ZERO effect on the precision of the projectile launcher.

    shootski

  12. BB,
    I have always thought that a PCP version of the R7 would be a good seller. Accurate, good trigger, lots of shots, but otherwise very traditional. Now that I think about it, the AA S200 may be that rifle.
    David Enoch

  13. “What would sell? What would sell big?” Hmm….

    Invent 3 gr. .177 pellets. Produce a powerful break barrel springer. Somehow advertise it as 2000 fps.

    .177 versions of 362, 2260 and 2240. They will sell; even the people who have these in .22 would like to buy them again in .177.

    397 and 392 with low cheekpiece stocks – current stock for the scope, the new one for the sights.

    I tried to think about the most sales with minimum costs.

    • Lexi, in your opinion, what is the advantage of the 392 over the new 362?

      I agree with you about the 392 in .177 cal. I would probably buy at least one.

      Have to improve the trigger and quiet the clackety, wheeze, clap, though.

      • Roamin,

        To me, 362 is better than 392, just because I can use her open sights.

        The .177 version of 392 is 397. It already exists. I think you meant to say 362.

        I answered the question considering what would sell, not what I would buy. 2000 fps was a joke.

        For me, the ideal multi pump would be a 397 with wooden stock, no cheekpiece, Lothar Whalter barrel, HW30 open sights, and Marauder trigger. But the question was what would sell crazy. This would be too expensive to sell in large quantities.

        I would also want a full auto BB Sten.

  14. B.B.,
    With the [sad] loss of the Bronco, there is still not currently (in my opinion) a good “youth rifle,” that can also double as an adult “fun” rifle. Something like a Haenel model 1, or a Slavia 618, something that spits out .177 lead pellets in the 500-550 fps range and only weighs about 4,5 pounds without a scope…
    …oh wait, Umarex almost does have such a thing…it they would just get rid of the plastic, their “Embark” could be make into a really nice lightweight “wood and steel” rifle. The big box stores might not want it; but once they sent a sample to you, and it got good reviews, it would sell well…provided it can shoot at least 1/2″ groups at 15 yards. 🙂
    Just my 2 cents!
    Blessings to you,
    dave

    • dave,
      That’s just an HW30S with a youth-sized stock! Or at least real close. 600-650 fps, 5.5 pounds.
      Actually, the Cometa 100 probably fits the bill too. It is shocking how light the Umarex Embark/Ruger Explorer are, and how light their cocking system is compared to other air rifles with similar power.

      Nathan

      • Nathan,
        I love my HW30S! The gun I pictured on the bottom is my Haenel model 1, which is a bit less powerful (4.74 fpe for the Haenel versus 7 fpe for the HW30S), perhaps more on the order of an HW25. And it only weighs 4.4 pounds; that’s why I thought the Embark could be re-done in a similar fashion. I shoot the Haenel way more than I ever expected I would, because it’s light and handy and I can cock it with one finger. 🙂
        Happy shooting to you,
        dave

        • Dave,
          Happy shooting indeed! The HW30S cocks more easily than the slower Diana 24C, and is a bit lighter and far more balanced in the hand to boot. The Diana’s large diameter spring tube doesn’t do it any favours.
          I have to agree with you though, for a 500 fps rifle, the Umarex Embark/Ruger Explorer require almost no effort at all to cock. It’s uncanny!
          Nathan

    • Yay! Logged in on first try today.

      Dave, after a lot of research, I purchased one of these Embark rifles as my re-entry into airguns and as a tool to teach my kids shooting and safe gun handling. It came with a spacer and longer screws to make the length of pull 13″ instead of 12″. Changing back and forth is cumbersome..

      Unfortunately, 12″ was still too long for my then 8 year old who couldn’t keep up with his older siblings. Also unfortunately, I think the barrel is misaligned slightly with the dovetail, making using a peep difficult. I think an adjustable stock would be very useful for growing kids, and then one could drop the barrelled action into a wood stock as an adult. I found a used Diana 23 (Daisy 230) with a cut down stock (10″ LOP) for him and purchased a replacement stock from JG Airguns for when he’s bigger.

      But I don’t think plastic is a turn off for newbies, but I can tell you that the biggest turn off for a newbie is inaccuracy. If you can’t hit what you aim at, you will lose interest. For example, it pains me that my youngest could not shoot that gun accurately, and he has lost interest in shooting airguns for now.

      • ” I found a used Diana 23 (Daisy 230) with a cut down stock (10″ LOP) for him and purchased a replacement stock from JG Airguns for when he’s bigger.”
        Roamin Greco, smart move, man! 🙂
        “…the biggest turn off for a newbie is inaccuracy.”
        Yes, roger that! That’s why I made the comment about the 1/2″ accuracy; I use little plastic disks that are just a bit smaller than a dime as targets at 15 yards; and, even with open sights, the Haenel has the accuracy to hit them; that’s what makes it a fun gun. From a bench, it can do the job; so if I miss standing offhand (as I often do =>), I have no one to blame but myself. 🙂
        Blessings to you,
        dave

  15. Want some easy sales? Redesign that ancient Crosman 1399 shoulder stock that’s too long for darn near everyone in the room. Make it Magpul-style, telescopic for easy length adjustment and fit it with a QD socket for todays slings. It’d fit kids through adults and it would update the design to this century. Similar side project? Add a hinge and make the stock a side-folder. Another Crosman idea–update the 2260 with the aforementioned stock and a new forend thats got M-lok slots. Make it plug and play with the trillion AR15 accessories out there–bipods, vertical grips, lights, lasers, hand stops…

    • ” Redesign that ancient Crosman 1399 shoulder stock that’s too long for darn near everyone in the room.”
      Derrick, yes, for sure! My Crosman 1322 with the 1399 stock was not a fun gun, at least not till I chopped about 2″ off that stock; then it became a great tool with which I taught a bunch of kids to shoot; but it’s still got enough LOP that I can shoot it comfortably myself; at just under 2 feet long, it’s almost as handy as a pistol, but has more intrinsic accuracy that makes kids happy, as they could hit targets more easily than they could with the air pistols that I also let them try. 🙂

  16. For whatever it is worth

    Meanwhile over at Amazing Airguns Bonnie walks into Mike the hiring managers office and says here are some new resumes for the marketing position.

    Mike Thank you Bonnie, I will give them a look. Have the new sales numbers come out yet.

    Bonnie Yes they have and they are looking very good except for the MegaBlaster2000, but overall profits up 20%.

    Mike Go ahead and just kill that MegaBlaster2000 it has not sold at all and when it does it comes back reported as junk.

    Bonnie Will do.

    Mike Thanks.

    Mike Well lets call this Marty and see what he has.

    ring ring ring

    Marketing Marty Hello

    Mike Hi, is this Marketing Marty?

    Marketing Marty Yes it is.

    Mike Great to catch you, it seems more often I get to play voice mail tag, just following up on the resume you sent us and you seem qualified for our position. I see you worked for Hypothetical Airguns Inc and I just wanted to ask you how much experience you have with airguns.

    Marketing Marty Not so much with airguns but I know marketing.

    Mike So no airgun experience, I hoped I could call you in for an interview but without airgun experience I just can not justify it.

    Marketing Marty But that is discrimination, that is not legal.

    Mike Really, I also have a position in Information Technology, I need a Microsoft Server Administrator could you do that.

    Marketing Marty No I have no experience with Microsoft.

    Mike So how is it discrimination if you have no experience? Microsoft or Airguns we need experience.

    Marketing Marty Hangs up phone.

    Mike Where the heck am I going to get some good help?

    Running an airgun company cannot be easy.

    Mike

  17. For me, the perfect airgun is one that will grow with a kid, but first and foremost it has to be accurate and easy to shoot. That means it has to have a good barrel, good, adjustable sights that are well aligned to the bore, and a decent trigger with a decently crisp release. You have to be able to get minute-of-a-bottom-of-a-pop-can accuracy out to 15 yards, minimum. If you can’t do that, you are not going to draw them into the sport and you lose repeat business. The airgun ends up in the far corner of the attic or basement. A lot of firearms advertise an accuracy guaranty–3 shots under an inch at 100 yards, etc. Let’s have accurracy be the next airgun arms race. Put that on a box and when the wallyworldmart customer returns the megablaster, maybe he will see the little ssp or spring piston rifle that advertises 1″ groups at 15 or 20 yards. The Umarex Embark is almost those things, but mine has a bad trigger with too much second stage movement and creep, the barrel on mine was misaligned with the line of sight and the dovetail so it would be hard to shoot accurately at different ranges.

    Next make it adjustable. I like the comment about the AR-style adjustable stock–something solid that will grow with a kid, but work for an adult.

    Finally, make it quiet for backyard plinking.–an integral silencer or barrel shroud should do the trick.

    It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it has to be better.

  18. Boy I wish I read this Off Topic Blog earlier today. 2AM now and too tired. I’m ready to sleep, always been a night person. Would enjoy contributing to it, perhaps tomorrow.

    When I say, “I wish they would make” or “I’d like to have” I was never expecting some company to read it, act on it or even consider it. I was sure they considered much more than one persons desire. We may be picky and knowledgeable air gunners but I don’t think we represent the vast majority of them for marketing information. New ideas, perhaps.
    Although I was glad to see blowback / bleed air used for semi and full-auto bolt action.
    Basic airgun with lots of options to modify it would save money, I think. Airsoft is good at that. And I do like replicas.
    Time to think out of the ‘Box’ ?

  19. Random product idea addressed to no one in particular – where are the takedown air guns for backpacking or camping for recreation or survival? Or just easier storage at home?

    Case in point 1, the Crosman 1377/1322 with the 1399 stock would be half the length if the stock was foldable or if it could be removed/reversed without tools.

    Case in point 2, the Ruger Explorer (and thus also the Umarex Embark) almost fits within its own stock backwards. All it needs is to switch to thumb screws for attachment. Modifying the contact points inside the stock to let it sit more cleanly in stowage would be helpful but not necessary.

    Nathan

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