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Education / Training It’s always something: Part 2

It’s always something: Part 2

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Rolex watches
  • Fakes
  • Airguns?
  • Where is the B40 today?
  • No politics
  • Summary

Today we’re going to take a not-so-sentimental journey through the recent history of airguns. The “not-so sentimental” part of this journey is the pie in the face that some (many?) will get as we explore the development of airguns in recent years.

Rolex watches

And of course the natural place to start our journey is with the Rolex watch. Now, Rolex hasn’t published the number of watches they make per year for many years. But since each chronometer they make must be individually certified by Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometres (COSC — the official Swiss Chronometer testing institute), and, when they last published the number for Rolex in 2015 it was 795,716, everyone agrees that today it’s probably about one million watches per year.

Most Rolex watches are not dress watches. They are rugged timepieces suitable for explorers, scuba divers, cowboys, Mike Rowe, soldiers and anyone who works in a rough environment. But they have become fashionable to wear on all occasions and therein lies our story.

Rolex watches cost a lot of money. And, because the demand for them exceeds the supply, they sell for twice to even three times their official retail price. With some going for up to just over a million dollars (and most models going for $35,000 or less) they may seem expensive, but when you compare them to Patek Phillippe, Audemars Piguet and other premium brands they pale, in comparison. Try $10,742,000 for a rare Patek Phillippe!

Fakes

When something is both desirable and expensive you get fakes. Thirty years ago a fake Rolex was a quartz watch that could be spotted across the room because its second hand jumped forward with each passing second. The mechanical Rolex second hand sweeps around the dial smoothly. The name on the fake’s dial could have been Brolex. BB has owned such watches.

Today a “fake” Rolex isn’t called a fake. It’s a clone. Rolex clones sell for $200, $500, $900, $1,100 and the very best of them, which are called 1:1 super clones, sell for $3,000+. The best ones use the same Swiss watch movement that Rolex uses, the same case materials, the same sapphire crystal and the same bracelet materials. They weigh the same and keep time just as well. You can see them on You Tube (look for 1:1 Rolex clone), with people magnifying them up to 200 times to show how they differ from the real thing, and now some super clones have certain features that are even better than the same features on the Rolex models they imitate.

When You Tubers asked the clone watchmakers in Asia how they were making such vast improvements in their clones, they said they watched You Tube and saw the discrepencies people were pointing out. Hmmmm. I guess you could do it that way.

What this has done is turn around the luxury wristwatch market. People used to say, “Some folks can’t afford a Rolex, and these fakes are great for them.” Now they are magnifying the clone watches 200 times and saying, “If it’s just as good as a Rolex, less expensive and available — why buy a Rolex?”

Airguns?

And what has this to do with airguns? Everything, as it turns out. Just yesterday Ian McKee showed us that his $320 standard Airacuda is just as accurate as his $1,695 Daystate Wolverine. And it hasn’t been too many weeks since I showed you that my $665 PCP named “BB’s Goldie” that is a painted version of the $350.00 Air Venturi Avenger is slightly MORE accurate than my $1,800 Air Arms S510XS with Laminate Stock. Now, the triggers on both low-priced airguns were not as good as the expensive ones, so where do you think the manufacturers should concentrate their efforts next?

Do you see where this is going? If not, here is another hint. In the early part of this century I owned a BAM B40 underlever air rifle. Let me show you a picture of it.

BAM B40
That’s my beloved TX200 Mark III on top and the BAM B40 below.  Not only did the B40 look like the TX200 — it was just as accurate and the trigger was almost as nice!

Where is the B40 today?

Well, as it turns out, to make an airgun that’s nearly as nice as the TX200 Mark III, you have to spend a lot of money. And people don’t like to pay a lot of money, so the B40 went away after a few years. As I recall the B40 last sold for around $250 when the TX 200 was selling for around $350. Hey! How is that different than the three-thousand dollar 1:1 super clone Rolex that copies the $13,000 Rolex Submariner (that really sells for $18,000 because of the high demand)? How is it different, you say? Because the fake/copy/clone is made in China or Malaysia and you wouldn’t buy anything from them!

Oh, yeah? What about your Chevy truck? 

“My Chevy truck was made in Fort Worth, Texas,” you say! Yep, and it probably contains computer chips that were made in China! In fact there has been a computer chip shortage in the US that has slowed and even halted automobile production in this nation in the past few years. However, in 2021 the US passed the CHIPS Act that provides $52 Billion in grants and loans to create computer chip manufacturing capability. And guess what, chips are now abundantly available — from Asia! Hmmmm — maybe there wasn’t a shortage after all?

Hunting Guide

No politics

I don’t want to get into politics in this report, but listen up, because here comes the “not-so sentimental” part of today’s report. Maybe, before we say we will never buy products that are made in certain countries, we should examine things. Airguns are back burner items compared to wristwatches and way back burner to automobiles, but the lesson is every bit as germane. The “other guys” (foreigners, them, those who are not us) aren’t stupid. We airgunners have derided the Chinese airgun manufacturers for decades when it was really the clueless American airgun buyers who were holding us back. The Chinese watched the market, too, and they discovered what we airgunners said we wanted. And some companies like Snowpeak and Nova Vista caught on. And American companies like Air Venturi have used real airgunners like Tyler Patner to get with these companies and give us airguns like the Dragonfly Mark 2. That is the real story today.

Yes, shoot the spy balloons down BEFORE they cross our borders. Don’t put it to a committee. Yes, fund NASA if you want to retain a presence in space, and quit getting angry about SpaceX poking their finger in your eye. Turn it around and reward them for doing the job you were created for (but were too underfunded, politicized and afraid to do).

Summary

Guys, the world airgun market is changing. The world everything markets are changing, but we’re just talking about airguns today. We see some older and established companies following failed marketing plans that were good twenty years ago but are the kiss of death today. And we see some smaller companies that understand rising to become the new kids on the block.

There — that should give you something to talk about this weekend! Talk amongst yourselves and smoke ’em if you got ’em!

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.

159 thoughts on “It’s always something: Part 2”

  1. Tom,

    At least some people a wizening up to what should be sold for a long term stay in the market.

    Siraniko

    PS Section Summary 1st paragraph 2nd sentence: “The world(,) everything(,) markets are changing, but we’re just talking about airguns today.” I’m thinking it makes more sense with the commas than without.

  2. BB: With this new Blog format, I miss the easy access to the 3 past blogs that were imbedded at the end of each daily writing. I know, I can still do a search, but where’s the fun in that? Change for the sake of change? I’m not a big fan of that. Orv.

  3. BB,

    I almost bought your B40 at the Roanoke Show. I bought my Izzy instead. Yours may have been a real nice one, but I was not sure. At that time they were still hit or misses. I tried out Lloyd’s once and it was very inaccurate.

    Nova Vista and Snowpeak have really been paying attention and have stepped up and are manufacturing some pretty nice airguns these days. They still have a way to go with their triggers, but they are learning.

    There are some other rising stars out there, some in the East and some in the West. I have been sorely tempted by some I have seen lately, but being the old curmudgeon that I am, I have to walk away from many of them. I do like seeing what they are up to though. I myself have been paying real close attention to what is coming out of Eastern Europe. They have been paying attention also.

    • RidgeRunner,

      I have a Snowpeak (SPA) s400, which is a copy of the Beeman P17. It cost me about the same as my P17, but it is a much better shooter. The barrel is longer, so it has a little more velocity than the P17. The trigger is basically identical. And most importantly, it is much easier to cock, almost effortless, because the faux slide is significantly longer than the one on the P17 (see below).

      Michael

      • Michael,
        That S400 looks pretty cool, but when did you get it? I went to the website for Snowpeak, and searched for that pistol, but could not find it; thanks.
        Take care,
        dave

        • I bought it about 3 years ago from a wholesaler who no longer carries air guns. :^( They are usually labeled SPA s400. I bought one in .177 and another in .22. The one in .22 chronies at about 280 fps.

          Michael

            • Dave,

              They were hard to find even then. I looked and looked online for perhaps two years before I found them. I first learned of them from a website (don’t remember the name) by a very small company that had developed a few mods for them. The mod I remember is they sourced extra length barrels that had to extend out the front but added velocity. I believe they are long gone, unless they started up again.

              I’d create an automated e bay search for one, although that didn’t work for me.

              Good luck. If you find one, get it.

              Michael

                • I believe the company you guys are referring to is MRod Air. It does seem to have ceased to exist. They sold and modded mostly Snowpeak. Snowpeak makes the Stormrider, Dragonfly, Bandit, etcetera.

                  • RidgeRunner,

                    Wow, did you just bring back memories for me. No, it wasn’t MRod Air, but years ago I would go to their site and drool over all of the off-the-beaten-track air guns they carried.

                    I just looked and looked through my bookmarks and did a number of google searches, but I’ve had no luck. My recollection is that all they did was modify the s400. That’s a rather narrow niche!

                    One thing I did remind myself of in my searches is the pistol was also sometimes sold as the SPA Artemis s400.

                    Michael

  4. BB,

    Just reread Part One. Most of my .177 airguns shoot at under 700 FPS. That is all I need.

    P.S. Another thing from Part One. The company I work for is now run by a board. There are not many enthusiasts left.

  5. Today’s article brought back memories of a beautiful wristwatch…

    Bought a beautiful black Casio Edifice, which is a beautiful, sporty style wristwatch, because it was beautiful AND cheap. When I received it, I discovered that it was even more beautiful than expected. Happy Days! 🙂

    I thought the reason for it’s low cost (from what I remember, it was only about a fifth of the manufacturer’s recommended price) was that it came without the original packaging, instructions, etc.
    Not a problem because that beautiful watch was meant for my wrist, ie no need for a box, and besides, I easily found the instructions online. Happy Days! 🙂

    Trying to get my beautiful new watch to behave as described in the manual, was more difficult than expected. Some functions were exactly as described but others required a different sequence of button pushes that I only discovered after a lot of trial and error.
    I can’t quite remember how, but I did manage to confirm that the movement in my beautiful wristwatch was that of another Casio.
    So I raised my concern with the online seller, who apologised and immediately sent me a full refund, including shipping costs.
    The beautiful “Edifice” on my wrist had suddenly become not just cheap but free. A present from someone I didn’t even know! Happy Days! 🙂

    After several months of checking the performance, I was confident that inside that beautiful watch, was one of those very rare movements that is more accurate than it was designed to be. Happy Days! 🙂

    Here’s the odd thing: the beautiful case and face became increasingly transparent. When I looked at it, I saw the lie beneath more and more. People who inquired about it, I had to tell that it was not quite what it seemed. I became embarrassed to wear it and so it was put away in a drawer for quite some time.

    In the end I decided to discard it. And discovered another quality: incredibly, a hammer didn’t break the glass, but cranking with all my might on the handle of my vice, finally busted it. As you can see, I kept only the strap.

    What an amazing, beautiful fake that was! 🙂

    • Hihihi, so you say you had a Casio Edifice that had another Casio movement in it? So, essentially, it was still a Casio? I don’t think I would have a problem with that, especially if it was free. I might even brag about it.

      I once found a business suit on a clearance rack at Joseph A. Bank that had been altered and then returned, and which happened to fit me perfectly. I wore that suit to work twice a week and sometimes on Sundays to Church and literally wore that suit out after 5 years or so. Best $39 I ever spent!

      I also bought Pellgun Oil from an online seller who I considered notorious for his low prices but super high shipping fees, but this time, he listed the oil with the decimal in the wrong place. For example, instead of $3.00 the price was $0.30, or perhaps ot was $0.03 per tube, I can’t recall exactly. So I bought 30 tubes. With the outrageously high shipping cost, though, the seller still probably made some profit, and I got a nice discount.

      • Roamin Greco, sorry, I failed to make it clear that the watch only looked like an Edifice and that that knowledge was a problem for me.

        The astonishing thing about the movement for me, was, it’s exceptional accuracy.

        The initial low price followed by the refund made no difference in the end. However, I remain impressed and humbled by the seller’s reaction. It cost him the watch, postage and packaging, an apology and the refund payment and all that took time too.

        The enigma to which I have no answer is : why do I like, and have, airguns that resemble firearms? 🙂

        • Because they are cool!

          Why do kids play with lightsabers? Why did I buy my kids the kind that hum and change sounds when they change direction, and flash and make that arcing sound when they touch something? Because they are so cool.

    • Hi. HiHi

      Beautiful, accurate, fake,, and with a story to go along with it. I don’t think I would have taken the vice to it, myself. The opposite can often be the case,, it could have been genuine, easily scratched, and inaccurate.

      I have had too many that were the latter to have tossed the former,, particularly since all it cost was space in a drawer.

      Maybe that’s why I keep buying cheap air rifles.

      Everhopeful Ed

      • edlee, I too have bought some cheap airguns, not for their price but to satisfy my curiosity.

        My big problem is lack of storage space, but, I have a solution. As it involves carpentry, I am currently very busy procrastinating… ! 🙂

        pictured is one of my cheapies 🙂

  6. Your observation that chips seem to have become more available since the announcement about increasing our manufacturing capacity here is making FM think maybe Uncle Sam should consider doing the same for other products for which we are relying too much on the goodwill and quality control of foreign suppliers?

    It sure is a complicated world, made so by us complicated humans. FM is a Human Bean and he approves this message.

    • It’s not often that I commend a Republican administration, but Mike DeWine, governor of Ohio, has managed to bring a HUGE investment in chip production to Ohio SE of Columbus. The core values of that old party still exist despite more contemporary circumstances.

      What DeWine has done, a fellow Miami University alum, is bring chip production home. That should do two important things: 1.] make us less dependent on foreign vagaries for every day products, and 2.] increase national security. I am concerned more about the latter than the former – we need certain industries to be, by law, domestic for the majority of consumption. Our modern military is chip dependent in so many ways, and one can’t risk those chips to torpedoed container ships.

      I suspect as the plants are built, people are hired, and production starts that it will have a wholly positive effect on our supply chain and even potentially lower costs. The Orient will lower prices to attempt to maintain market share. In the end, the consumer will win even if we must subsidize those plants in order to maintain our leverage.

      I have confidence, in a 180 flip, here, that the Asian, particularly Chinese, manufacturer will improve in quality as meets the demand. I am old enough to remember the slurs about “made in Japan” that seemed to quit in the gas crisis of the early 70s and continues to this day; quality of manufacture rose to meet demand – as evidenced by the Honda Odyssey in the garage that was made in the Japanese prefecture of Alabama! Korea has followed Japan’s lead and its quality now threatens the mighty Japanese auto grip.

      If we demand of China, or others, quality, we will get it. China can produce high quality goods; consider the Ming Vase. Our response, is to demand that quality – BOTH abroad, and, are you listening American industry, HERE AT HOME.

      • Buy American has been a slogan that has been slow to gain traction for the last 40 years,, or even a bit more. It has always been a good idea.

        The issue is that as more and more people chose not to adhere to it, the businesses they did NOT support had to close. That left few choices for those of us who wanted to follow that credo.

        When death spirals like that occur,, it would require political suicide for a president or legislator make a real effort to stop it.

        Oh,, they will pontificate about it or even make a show of enacting a tariff or two,, but any real action that worked would soon see them replaced by anyone who told the voters he/she would make their TV sets and birdbaths cheaper.

        It’s not a “they” thing,, it’s a “we” thing

        Ed

  7. Tom,

    I have an excellent clone of the Rolex Day-Date. It cost me about $300 because it is a “sterile” clone, mechanically and cosmetically identical except it does not have “Rolex” anywhere on it. The exact same factory makes the exact same watch with “Rolex” on it, and without trying to look up its serial number, a Rolex dealer, even after opening it up, would be hard-pressed to tell it did not come from the factory in Switzerland. My recollection is that a few years ago they went for $3500.

    Michael

  8. BB,

    Seen this many times over.

    When the demand for a quality product exceeds its availability the company (and/or the resellers) will take advantage of the situation and increase the cost up to what the market will stand.

    This price gouging creates a market for a copy or a clone. A copy looks like the original but is inferior in materials or manufacturing (poor machining, loose tolerances) making it a questionable investment. A clone, as a replica of the original ( form, fit, function and quality) that is being sold at a reasonable price and is good value for the money.

    With complex products (like high end airguns) investing in copies are a bad idea, clones may be OK but bitting the bullet ( pellet 😉 ) and paying for the original is most likely to result in a happy long term experience (use, retained value and product support).

    With simple products (like the scope level rings I mentioned yesterday) there is probably very little difference between the copy, the clone and the original. …If you equate high cost with high quality, then you might be willing to pay $70 for a $5 product. I prefer to judge a product based on its merits, each to their own.

    But high cost and high quality are not necessarily the same thing. As an example, a well known company manufactured contact lenses, sold the same product at a premium as a “long life” lense and at a fraction of the price as a “disposable”. …I’m sure they weren’t losing money on the disposable lenses as I’m sure that they were taking advantage of their customers for the “premium” lenses.

    Having worked in an engineering environment my whole career, I’m aware what it costs to design, develop, test and bring a product to market then support that product for its warranty period. That being said, I don’t begrudge someone a fair and reasonable profit.

    At the risk of kicking a hornets’ nest, I’ll comment on the Atlas bipod. IMHO, the (original) Atlas is a is a low complexity product being sold at an exorbitant price ($495 Cdn). I say that the price is exorbitant because in comparing the development costs, amount materials, machining, hardware and packaging to a similarly priced item like, say, a gas lawn mower, the mower is hundreds of times more complex/costly to bring to market. The the mower is reasonably priced (and still profitable), by comparison, the Atlas is a gouge.

    The lack of a reasonably priced Atlas has resulted in a rash of inexpensive copies and clones. The quality of these sub $50 bipods ranges from poor to not bad. They’re not suitable for a heavy recoiling rifle but, with a bit of TLC they are serviceable for casual airgun use.

    The knock-off bipod I got says “Atlas” on it. I strongly disagree with that and would have purchased a different one if I’d known. The flip-side is that I also disagree with “public domain” things being patented as proprietary just to grab money. From that perspective, the Atlas is a copy of the basic bipod design that has been around forever and doesn’t warrant a patent. A patent on intellectual property is valid, one on public domain items just sets up a price gouging opportunity.

    I always say that quality is subjective… a quality product exactly meets the needs of the user. A $3 hammer is perfect for the apartment dweller who hangs the occasional picture and a $30 carpenters hammer would be exorbitant. The $3 hammer is junk to the carpenter.

    In the end, it’s buyer beware, know what you (really) need and buy accordingly 🙂

    Done rambling, soapbox is free. 🙂 Have a great weekend!

    Hank

    • Hank,

      Well said. Especially this bit:

      “I always say that quality is subjective… a quality product exactly meets the needs of the user. A $3 hammer is perfect for the apartment dweller who hangs the occasional picture and a $30 carpenters hammer would be exorbitant. The $3 hammer is junk to the carpenter.”

      I sorta danced around that in the report. You nailed it — pun intended.:)

      BB

      • Nonsense,

        I am an apartment dweller with a titanium handled hammer. Quality is something that you perceive everytime you use it. My front door has a $600 lockset. It is a joy everytime I open the door. Nice showers are something that you enjoy everyday, twice on Sunday…lol
        Everytime I close the door of my 25 year old Porsche, I smile. Everytime I close the door of my 20 year old Toyota, I cringe that it might break.
        Quality is a joy to use, everything else is just sufficient!!!!

        -Yogi

        • Yogi

          Where one finds their joy is a very personal thing. It is altogether possible that your hammer, or lockset,, or even Porsche would be wasted on someone else.

          Myself, for example. Your Porsche is obviously dear to you,, but to me,, it is simply a vehicle. I enjoyed my Sunbeam Alpine, and my MG Midget and they gave me a great deal of joy.

          I have never been overly interested in “things”. Perhaps it is that I am still, at my late age, a child in that regard. On the other hand,, I am less often disappointed and more often satisfied than most. I am content with that.

          Ed

        • *** Quality is something that you perceive everytime you use it. ***

          Agreed Yogi!

          And there are different levels of perception… it’s good quality because it preforms well, maybe it’s exceptional quality because it makes you smile every time you use it.

          Just came up for lunch. Been shooting my P8x and doing a lot of smiling 😉

          Cheers!

          • Vana2, I had to look up “P8x” to discover that you were talking about a precharged pneumatic, Feinwerkbau, 10 metre, target pistol.

            I remember that you also have a Weihrauch HW44 (another precharged pneumatic pistol but otherwise rather different, eg it’s a much cheaper repeater).

            Please, would you share how your smiles by those two compare? 🙂

            • *** how your smiles by those two compare? ***

              hihihi,

              The short answer: 3.8 to 8.7 fpe 🙂

              The .177 P8x is an awesome target pistol in all ways; the .22 HW44 is awesome as a plinker, and I also have an .22 Artemis PP750 (that I got by a trade) which I like as well.

              They all get used for target shooting, plinking and some pesting. Each has its forte but they all get smiles.

              I appreciate them all of them as they are fun to shoot. Not being a pistol guy, I can’t claim that my shooting is better with the P8x than the HW44 or the PP750 …my groups are all consistently poor 😉

              I really like 10 meter airguns (have 2 FWB rifles and 2 FWB pistols) – they are just so accurate! I do admit that the P8x is my favorite.

              If you have never tried a 10 meter airgun I highly recommend you checking them out – it’s like taking a Lamborghini for a test ride, be prepared to be impressed …but don’t bring your wallet LOL!

              Hank

              • Thanks Vana2 for your reply.
                I had forgotten about your precharged pneumatic Artemis PP750 repeater, which I imagine, has to be more similar to the HW44.
                How do you get on with it’s extendable stock?

                I’m familiar with some 10 metre target airguns but a Lamborghini? Hmm… 🙂

  9. A couple of decades back, I was standing outside a very popular restaurant waiting for a table. A well dressed man approached me, and asked me for the time. I looked at my Seiko and told him, and as he adjusted his watch he asked “Do you know how to tell a fake from a real Rolex?” I said no – he said “the one with the correct time is probably fake”.

    • Jerry

      After buying a multitude of ‘expensive’ watches that were junk I bought a Seiko. Every watch I have purchased from then on is a Seiko. They keep perfect time and don’t need batteries.

      I little while later I bought a Toyota. Same deal.

      • Slinging Lead,

        I understand completely. My Seiko 5 automatic keeps time within 5 seconds a day, which is all I need. My Tundra truck runs so reliably that I hope it is the last vehicle I will ever own.

        My whomptydoodle Citizen Eco WR200 atomic watch broke while I was at the SHOT Show this year, leaving me using my phone to tell time. Yuck!

        I was attempting to change time zones, as it has a two time zone function, but you have to be an 11-year-old gamer to understand how it works. I kept fussing with it until it broke.

        BB

        • BB, great minds think alike.

          Just as an aside, I was one of those people who when Crossman was continually ruining the reputation of their MSPs said “If only someone would make an all wood and metal MSP that was accurate I would run out and buy it.” After reading the Seneca Dragonfly 2 review, I ordered one right away. I haven’t been disappointed. Now I am trying to resist ordering the Avenger.

          Have a great weekend.

          • SL,

            Wait just a little bit on the Avenger. Tyler has been working with Nova Vista to improve on it. Play with your Dragonfly a little longer and get the AvengeX when it comes out. I am certain it will cost more, but it will at least have the input of someone who has a pretty good idea of what we want over here.

      • The irony is that a cheap, cheap, cheap watch that one might give to a kid as a first time piece that has a quartz oscillator is probably infinitely more accurate than any mechanical watch.

        I used to buy Seikos exclusively until I got one that was light powered that promptly quit on me. It was a gold tone watch that I bought to go with my real gold rings. I contacted the company for repairs and found that the repair would be worth more than the watch, so it, the watch got shelved. Note: it was the calendar feature that buggered the thing.

        Prior to that purchase by some years, I bought a Citizen watch. It just kept on working until it quit and owed me nothing. With the bad/unfortunate experience with the Seiko, I switched allegiances. I am happy with Citizen as they just keep going and going for the same or less price.

        Given the price of “repairs,” which is more likely a swap-out of the mechanism, buying new is as economical as sending something in after the warrantee period expires. I hate to say it, but I’m becoming like my late very wealthy farmer uncle who bragged that the “never bought a set of car tires!” That became a family joke, of course. Thing was, uncle replaced the worn set by trading in the whole damned car! These watches have entered the territory of “never buying a set of car tires!”

  10. On the subject of “chips” (I term I dislike) for autos, here’s the deal. Auto manufacturers are adding more monitors, processors, and sensors every year. They have all kinds of control functions. The little warning beep when someone is coming up on you, the adaptive cruise control, your rear view mirror, the thermostat to control your A/C, the tire pressure monitors, the interface for your smartphone, etc. etc. Add to that, EV’s that need more circuits and controls than a conventional gas burner.

    It’s not predominantly the wafer fabrication that limits availability. The automakers have very stringent qualification and acceptance testing for the finished, packaged devices. They must be able to withstand temperature extremes, vibration and shock, and have a demonstrated MTBF. All those things must be “qualified” on a production line, and meet targets established by life testing. It takes a long time to do this, and the “back end” packaging is more difficult than the wafer fab in many ways. You have every auto manufacturer in competition for the proven manufacturers who make all these modules, working very hard to add new parts every year. Adding a new wafer fab will help, but the entire process of getting these components and modules into production is the bottleneck. High volume wafer fab is not.

  11. Tom,

    One thing I think everyone here can agree on is that because excellent clones of a Rolex are readily available, the extra “value” a genuine Rolex has over the clones is the caché of it being a real Rolex. What one pays for is the image. To some people that image is worth the extra money, and I say, “Fair enough.”

    But here’s the thing. About 15 years ago a well-healed, high-end guitar collector/broker I was close and longtime friends with (until he died much too young a couple years ago) used to let me tag along on some of his business calls. On his wrist was a genuine Rolex Explorer he bought new from Tiffany and Co. on Michigan Ave.

    The fellow we called on was very well-acquainted with my friend, and they had a friendly rapport. He saw my friend’s genuine Explorer, and the conversation went like this:

    “Hey, that’s a great-looking fake Rolex.”

    “Thanks, but it’s actually a great looking genuine Rolex.”

    “Heh, heh. Yeah, right.”

    “It’s real. I bought it new at Tiffany’s for $______.” (I don’t remember the price.)

    “If you say so.”

    He refused to believe my friend, even though he had to know he was quite wealthy and definitely knew my friend owned dozens of vintage guitars worth about as much as a couple Aston Martins. He brokered sunburst Les Pauls from 1958/59 for upwards of $500K. Nope. The client could not be convinced. My buddy told me he got that same treatment from others all the time.

    My point (finally) is this. If the extra $15K for the caché of a real Rolex cannot convince most people it’s real because of the preponderance of fakes, is there really that caché? If there isn’t that prestige, then why would one buy an expensive Rolex? They keep great time for a mechanical movement watch, but a $150 Japan-made Seiko Quartz watch keeps better time, and many mid-priced sports watches are every bit as shock resistant.

    Michael

  12. Expanding on JerryC’s comments, the shortage of chips is serious and still very much in place although showing signs of improvement.
    The problems have at least one of its origins in the ‘just in time’ global manufacturing philosophy. When marketing forecasts at the beginning of the pandemic indicated anemic sales, purchasing managers cut down on orders. When it became obvious that the forecasting was wrong, and people kept buying cars and appliances, the manufacturers placed new orders. Curiously, of all the automakers only Toyota – the first large adopter of the JIT – had a large inventory of chips. Everyone else, Asia, Europe and America, had empty bins.

    The new orders were accepted and placed in the cue with others, with typical lead times were 52 weeks or more. Of course, the major chip manufacturers, TSM being the largest to my knowledge, placed orders for more microlithography machines, which pushed the delivery of these $100M machines to more than two years.

    What I am trying to convey is that this crisis was a massive snowball, and it is not easy to find one culprit, much less a conspiracy. And on that matter, most chips come from Taiwan and Korea, not the China of the weather balloons.

    My other take, is that in spite of government billions pushed into this industry it will take many years before the first domestic chips start to make a dent in the market. By then, barring a war in the region, the Asian manufacturers will have eliminated the shortage and pushed the technology edge even further. In other words, I am pessimistic. Unless the western industry giants can expand their horizons to decades instead of expecting positive quarterly reports it will be very difficult to obtain and maintain a lead in the semiconductor industry.

    Henry

  13. Hello All,
    As to copies and clones, quite often when you get a 1:1 copy of a product that is just as good, it probably costs as much as the original to produce and all of the rest of the price that you pay is “additional markup”.
    Kodak company found out when it wanted a substitute a cheaper “plastic” lens for their Instamatic cameras (anybody remember them?) that a plastic lens with all of the optical characteristics of a glass lens would be more expensive to produce that a comparable glass lens.
    Also, companies that are run by a board, as opposed to one person with a ‘vision for the future’ can be good or bad. But it reminds me of this joke- “What is the definition of a camel? A camel is a horse that was designed by a committee.”
    Enjoy your weekend.
    May all of your 9’s be 10’s and all of your 10’s be X’s.
    Bill

    • Yes to that. Fake copies benefit from the reputation and marketing of the original product manufacturer. An acknowledged clone benefits from the existing consumer demand for the original. They often offer equal performance at a better price in exchange for lack of a brand name. I’m thinking way back to the IBM PC clones. Many were quite excellent machines. Also the Asian factories that make the same or similar product for different brand name companies today often start selling product under their own name. (I’m thinking of Samick and Cort stringed instruments off the top of my head.) Potentially the product quality is the same, with some variations. However, some brand name companies may specify and demand higher quality from these offshore factories and their brand name products are actually better. So, caveat emptor. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

  14. Good morning everyone.

    Thanks for the great blog BB. I had completely forgotten that I own a BAM B40. Last I remember it shot nearly as accurately as my TX200. But it has 2 spots of filler in the stock so I wouldn’t take it out of the case if anyone else might see it.

    I appreciate the warning about the Warthog sharpener. I hate wasting money.

    • Slinging Lead,

      If you would like to part with that B40, contact me via the email link on any guest blog. I say that because you don’t want to take it out of the case so others can see it. If you still own it with pride then I understand.

      BB

        • Michael,

          The old Warthog that I wrote about is fine. But the company cheapened the design and pretended it was an improvement, which it wasn’t. I have both and the new one is junk.

          BB

          • Tom,

            Ah, OK (or not!). I bought mine, a 1st generation, almost immediately after I read your review. I like it because it quickly sharpens dull knives in the kitchen in an almost foolproof manner (and I am nothing if not a fool when it comes to blades).

            Michael

          • B.B.,
            Sorry to hear about the Warthog knife sharpener upgrade. It seems to be the business plan nowadays.

            I was at my daughter’s for dinner at Christmas when she ask if I would sharpen some of her kitchen knifes. She gave me the stone I gave her a few years ago. It still looked new, no wonder the knifes were dull.

            After quite a bit of sharpening with the coarse side of the stone, the first knife I grabbed was still so dull I could see the edge. My first impression was the knife had to be junk to get that dull. She looked at me like I was nuts, then said that is a Cutco knife. I took a closer look at the knife, not sure if it is a real Cutco or not. The handle did not have the workmanship I expected. I think Cutco will sharpen them at the factory for free. In any case she had a drawer full of dull knives.

            Anyway the Warthog seemed like a great gift; too bad the new improved version is junk. I have been looking for a foolproof knife sharpener for gifts. Seems most folks have dull kitchen knives.

            Don

  15. I collect pocket knives, and have some that were expensive. My favorite is a Sebenza, small carbon fiber. It’s factory made, but with a goal of perfection using the best materials available. I was recently (a couple of years ago) given a large Sebenza by someone who knows me well, which seemed wildly extravagent until I was told what it had cost. Turns out, it is a clone. It is a close copy, and I would not have questioned it based on even close inspection. The blade steel is OK, but not nearly as tough as the S45VN on the genuine article. It cost about 1/10 what the genuine Chris Reeve item does. It bothers me to see this sort of thing, but I have kept it. These days you had better be sure of any seller for such items, the cloners are pretty good.

  16. Who is to say I am not a clone…or a chatbot. [Evil-sounding laugh].

    What I lament is the loss of good paying jobs and the losses our culture suffers because of it. It is a depressing downward spiral. And one of the problems is that we are not playing on a level playing field, but we keep playing this losing game. In my town, which is an old manufacturing town, another one of the old brick factories is getting torn down today.

  17. B.B. and Readership; Real and Clones!

    I’ll just keep it simple: a single guy, with a little help (okay a lot) from his spouse, in Urbana Missouri makes my favorite rifles and pistols he makes them on some WW2 vintage equipment and uses steel, hot dip blueing and BEAUTIFUL hunks of wood to fabricate his airguns. He is at the point in his work that probably the vast majority of what he builds has already been sold to a relatively few lucky individuals. Some FAKE Quackenbush airgun examples are out there but they are easily identified with a call to Dennis A. Quackenbush. That will someday change as he builds his last example and his airguns move to their eventual final places in collectors safes and museums; i hope and pray a few of his airguns will continue to go a field to hunt game for a long, long, long time!
    With minimal care these DAQ airguns will last at least a few generations and still be able to hunt game from the smallest to the largest on any of the eight continents when held by skilled shooters; until Pangea returns!

    “There — that should give you something to talk about this weekend! Talk amongst yourselves and smoke ’em if you got ’em!”

    shootski

  18. Jon Doe is angry that the balloon was only shot down after completing it’s missing.
    The military advised exactly to do that, possibly for studying the balloon and the signals it emitted, before destroying it.

    • Mel83,

      What about the other 3 (possibly more) balloons that they only found after reviewing previous intelligence take in retrospect!

      BREAKING NEWS!!!!!
      New UAO object detected and shot down off the coast of ALASKA!

      You must be kidding!
      This is a huge US Military FAILURE and needs to be investigated promptly…also a few heads up high should roll!

      shootski

  19. B.B. and Readership; FAKES and the Real Deals!

    Up a few REPLY there is an exchange between Michael and Tom about the Cache of the REAL being lost to Owners of the REAL because of the many FAKES making other folks believe all are FAKES!
    When the Original Top Gun motion picture was in theaters an interesting phenomenon started to impact my life: when I wore my goatskin G1 with the US NAVY punched into the wind flap behind the big brass zipper along with my blue and gold name tag patch over the left breast I started getting perfect strangers in bars and restaurants come up to me and say things like: “As If!” and worse questions about my being a FAKE! At first i was in disbelief at their audacity but in time i just let it roll off my back just like a duck. When you know you own the Real Deal or are the Real Deal being called a FAKE or told your watch (or whatever) is a FAKE is no big deal! After a few years I could wear my G1 and none commented. Interestingly, Tom Cruise wears a Green Nylon JACKET FLYERS, COLD WEATHER TYPE CWU-45/P in MAVERICK and when I wear my 45/P these days i’m getting the question, “Where did you buy that? To which i’m happy to look incredulous and reply: It was ISSUED.
    Usually i get looks of CONSTERNATION especially if i’m laughing as i tell them!

    If you have or are the REAL DEAL why oh why should it matter what others believe!

    The Real Deal,
    shootski

    • Shootski
      My sister has her purple hippie vest with other items under glass in her home and I thought it would be cool if I did that with my VF-24 black and white checkered flight deck troubleshooter jersey. And even my old cut off Levy jacket with the Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth “Iron Coffins” colors on the back that we wore in England in the 60’s. A skeleton sitting on a coffin with a long springer out front. Complete with my original blood spots. 🙂
      However, I believe they both disappeared with an old girlfriend. I never found them. Duplicates will never do.

    • shootski,

      When it comes to momentos of your legitimate service, you bet, the value to you is what it represents, and to heck with those who seem to forget that there is the Real Deal, both jackets and the wearers. But the only reason to buy and wear a Rolex is the cache, having it seen. If most folks think it’s fake, that cache doesn’t exist, and the watch is merely a heavy, thick watch on your wrist.

      Incidentally, I have a longtime online friend who is getting up there in years now, but he was an Air Force (I think. Army, maybe? I’ll ask him.) fighter pilot during the Vietnam War. He was stationed for most of his hitch at Clark. Anyway, I vaguely remember his writing once that right after he left The Service, his first job was right back with the government, as a civilian working for a certain alliance we have with our immediate neighbor to the North.

      With all of this spy balloon news, yesterday I e-mailed him to ask his opinion of the first balloon being allowed to fly diagonally across North America before shooting it down. I expected to get a rant about how stupid it was not to shoot it over Mantana or earlier but instead allow it to keep spyng on us.

      Instead his response surprised me. He started by writing when it comes to the Federal rationale of being concerned for civilians, he didn’t buy it. He thinks it was allowed to do its thing so we could gather intel from IT, such as what are they trying to spy on, what control do they have over its route and how, etc.

      And as for allowing it to transmit data back to its owners, he was unconcerned. He wrote that even back in the early 1970s we had the world’s most powerful and versatile wireless comm blockers for not just radio but by now probably satellite and microwave, etc. He thinks it was jammed almost immediately after it came on military computer screens. And because it crashed at sea, there is more intact debris to be studied, probably at Quantico.

      Just his two cents.

      Michael

        • FM,

          You got that right about Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer (Retired) Malcolm Nance! He is a combat veteran of many different military missons, decorated, and an expert in counter-terrorism and military intelligence. In other words, he is among the very best of the very best. And, as many know, he doesn’t just talk the talk; he also walks the walk, gearing up and carrying a weapon with a foreign fighter unit in Ukraine.

          Michael

      • Michael,

        “…first balloon being allowed to fly diagonally across North America before shooting it down.”
        IF only…it had been the FIRST (1st) one to intrude on our sovereign airspace and apparently elude our detection systems. IF ONLY all had been out of service due to IC shortages I might have a little less to RANT about. But there are other issues that may or may not become media, political and White House SPIN fodder; the potential of failures in our Diplomatic, Intelligence, and Military Doctrine.

        The US Army didn’t fly fighter aircraft during the Vietnam Police Action.

        I never bought a Rolex since my first Chronograph given me as a HS Graduation gift was a Heuer Autavia, 3 register model (ref. 2446M, 39mm case) using a Valjoux 72 chronograph movement with a current COSC Chronometer certification. My current everyday watch is an original LUMINOX H3 LX/MB – MICROTEC – SERIES – 6400 NIGHTHAWK. It has Tritium gas tube lights on: second, minute, hour hands, the dial hour marks, as well as the 12 hour increment on the bezel. The originals were far better equiped than the more recent iterations.

        “And because it crashed at sea, there is more intact debris to be studied, probably at Quantico.” Since you or he probably don’t have parachute water entry training you need to know that hitting the water isn’t the soft landing everyone assumes it to be. To my way of thinking, instead of a catastrophic air-to-air missile attack, a strafing with a cannon would have been a better choice and caused balloon skin integrity degradation resulting in a negative buoyancy descent/touchdown and a much more intact recovery possibility.

        It will be interesting to see how the PRC gasbag(s) story deflates over time.

        shootski

        • shootski,

          Wow. A lot to respond to.

          “And apparently elude our detection systems” The balloon last week was indeed picked up by our detection systems. When that occurred is probably never to be revealed if Malcolm Nance and my friend are correct about it being studied before being shot down.

          “The US Army didn’t fly fighter aircraft during the Vietnam Police Action.”

          I reread some of his e-mails. He was Air Force, not Army.

          I don’t know if he flew missions in Vietnam, but he was at Clark during the Vietnam WAR. (I know some fellas who’d hurt you badly if they heard you say they fought and their friends died in a “police action” instead of a war.) I owe him an e-mail, so I’ll ask if he has had “parachute water entry training” or not. He was Air Force, not Navy, so . . . As for me, all of the jumps I did ended on land, with a static line and very low altitude. I was injured in other training before I could train at night. I have mixed feelings about that.

          Your Heuer sounds nice, but I’m not familiar with too many chronographs (chronometers are a different story). They have a lot of gadgets I would never use and always look a bit gaudy to me. I’ve even felt a bit self-conscious wearing my 1970s Seiko diver.

          The watch I enjoy wearing on special occasions with a suit and tie is my vintage 18k Calatrava with no complications, not even a seconds function, an extravagance I allowed myself to celebrate earning my first Masters. Other than a few guitars, automobiles, and houses, it’s the biggest single expenditure I’ve ever made, at least if adjusted for inflation. It is the antithesis of a chronograph. It is soooo thin and elegant.

          “MICROTEC”? I have a Microtech knife somewhere in a drawer, but I don’t know what that means otherwise.

          Michael

            • shootski,

              I know what chronographs are and what chronometers are. I confess, however, I am unfamiliar with the Luminox brand. I’ll look them up sometime.

              I do have a watch called a Luminor Panerai, but I don’t think that is the same as Luminox.

              Now I see North America is being inundated with unidentified floating objects. We’ve all heard the myth of Chinese water torture. This might be a new one: Chinese AIR torture.

              Michael

              • Michael,

                I’m not surprised that the brand would not be on your event horizon.
                The LUMINOX brand is the go-to brand for modern adventurers, explorers, flyers and operators that once was the publicity realm of the ROLEX brand.

                shootski

            • shootski,

              I almost forgot. (I haven’t had my coffee yet.) I looked up to see if my comment that our systems had indeed caught the balloon of last week was right. I was incorrect. Well, mostly incorrect. The Pentagon says it was picked up after it entered Norad Air Space, not before. The excuse for that was that our detection systems are geared to missles and planes, which move quickly and produce heat. So if ever an enemy country decides to change to a (non-hot air) balloon warhead delivery system, we might be screwed!

              Michael

              • Michael,

                Although I have a proclivity for kinetic KILLS it always is surprising how we forget about the “soft” kill capabilities of Electronic Warfare or even the softer yet seeming kills of Intelligence driven Victories!
                The overlooking slow flyer excuse has been used before! It was the method of one Brutus best known for the SLOW thrust of the blade that brought down a Caesar.

                shootski

  20. B.B. & Readership,
    About 15 years ago, I complained to my wife about how tired I was of having to get watch batteries replaced (right now, I have a “25-years-of-service” Bulova watch sitting on my desk awaiting a battery replacement); her solution was to buy me a Fossil watch, a mechanical self-winder; it even has a “fuel gauge” on it, all the way to the left means fully wound up.
    I don’t know what she paid for it, but I would guess about the price of a new HW30S; it’s no Rolex, but it’s a nice heavy solid piece of engineering. I wear it everyday (the battery-powered watches can sit together in a drawer =>); and it’s a wifely gift, so, of course I love it (I’ve been married 30 years: if your wife buys you a watch, you MUST love it, and wear it everyday!) 🙂
    Blessings & happy shooting to all,
    dave

  21. Some advice. Don’t give children good watches. My grandmother gave me a fancy looking watch when I was a kid and did not tell me it was special, so I proceeded to smash the glass and knock off the second dial while playing outside.
    Little did I know it was a Swiss made 14K gold Le Coultre watch. Been sitting in its green velvet box for 60 years now.

    • RG
      I wonder why you ask; is he a Rolex representative? (smiling emoji cannot be edited, pls help).
      Anyway after going through some basic Rolex models I realized myself that accuracy is not their highest point. Durable maybe, recognizable status all the way. Something like Wheirauch series. Please don’t fire at me…
      I have a Santos 100 for almost 20 years and I keep it for my son. At 26 he is not mature enough yet to have it along with an Omega from the 50s which belonged to my father.
      In any case if I was to buy a new watch it would be a Citizen eco drive.
      Self contained quartz mechanism for the next 20 years, if I will make it to my 81st birthday.
      B. B., another great Friday blog.

    • hi3,

      Beeman IS Weihrauch. Beeman used to make nothing. They bought from Webley, Weihrauch, BSA and some others. Now that the Chinese own the Beeman name they do make some airguns in China with that name, but the best Beeman airguns are still made by Weihrauch.

      BB

      • What a surprising reply Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier).
        I had expected to hear that ‘Beeman’ and ‘Weihrauch’ are interchangeable, ie different names for the same product.

        Interesting indeed! 🙂

        • hihihi,

          Yes, German Beemans are made by Weihrauch, and under the skin each is, I believe, identical to a particular Weihrauch model. The Beemans are a little more expensive and have slightly different cosmetics and are often packaged with scopes and other acessories.

          Michael

          • Michael, “..German Beemans..”, really? Crikey, I thought all Beemans were North American! 🙂

            (only joking, I know you’re referring to their country of origin/ manufacture)

            I didn’t know that a Beeman looks slightly different to it’s Weihrauch equivalent.
            Being offered as a package with other items suggests to me that they’re aimed at new-to-airguns customers. 🙂

  22. All these comments on watches!

    HATE THEM!!! 🙂

    After being time constrained my whole life, the first thing I did, on the first day of my retirement was to throw my watch into the swamp.

    Haven’t missed it yet! LOL!

  23. B.B. and Balloonists,

    When will it all END?
    An American fighter jet, acting on the orders of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, shot down another unidentified flying object on Saturday, Canadian and American officials said, in the latest twist of the ongoing drama playing out over the skies of North America.

    “I ordered the take down of an unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace,” Mr. Trudeau said in a statement he posted on Twitter. He said an American F-22 with the North American Aerospace Defense Command, which is operated jointly by the United States and Canada, “shot down the object over the Yukon.”

    shootski

      • Vana2,

        That my friend is one of the few verifiable facts available to us all these days….

        Any word on expected arrival of the package?
        A police department just negotiated the purchase of my favorite indoor range with the 100 yard/meter and 8 lanes that I have haunted regularly for years with smoke poles and cold smokeless devices! I’m really bumed out since they probably won’t allow mixed use!

        shootski

        • shootski,

          No word about delivery, think it will be a while yet – I’m not holding my breath LOL!

          Been doing research into a dual bottle configuration. Evidently there will be a couple of 3rd party solutions so I’ll be ordering the extra components to be ready. At worst case I can modify a stock part easily. End result would be 1005 cc, 300 bar capacity 🙂

          Performance reviews are mixed but knowledgeable people are doing sub-MOA at 100.

          Bummer about the indoor range, there seems to be a lot of range access issues going on these days. Glad I can shoot in the backyard. I’m thinking about putting up a lawn shed so I can shoot in cold and rainy conditions.

          Fun stuff!

          • Vana2,

            “Performance reviews are mixed but knowledgeable people are doing sub-MOA at 100.” You knew that was going to happen Hank…the number of sub MOA shooters is a very LIMITED set at any range.

            Hope it comes before the thaw is done!

            shootski

            PS: I’ll bet there are a bunch of P.O.ed RCAF CF-188 Pilots who could have used their cannon for a bit of Target Practice, way cheaper than AIM-9’s.

  24. I would like to point out that here is at least one commenter who considers the destructive element of any military objectionable.
    Yes, I understand and respect why some consider death and destruction to be necessary, however, I do not accept this.

    Having said that, I can see beauty in a shark, before it bares it’s ugly & scary teeth. 🙂

    Peace… 🙂

    • “If you will have peace, prepare for war.”
      -Marcus Aurelius

      The day we are able to talk reason with bad people and so dissuade them from doing destructive things through misuse of military force, the good guys will be able to reciprocate in kind. Unfortunately there is no resoning with the deranged sociopaths in charge of some of the world’s most militarily powerful countries. Keep on praying for peace…

    • hihihi,

      Peace; my take.
      The opposite is chaos; not war as many have been taught to believe.
      I find peace valuable to maintain but find CHAOS abhorrent.
      Peace exists at a minimum of three levels in my opinion: at the personal level within the individual. Peace also exists within a family/tribe/society (partly stolen from the Constitution of the USA) that has Liberty, equal opportunity and justice for all. Peace among Nation States is a negative concept and therein the problem of dissimilar comprehension of POWER frequently resulting in war as the final arbiter of the imbalance question.
      The military of itself at the third level (Military Governed countries prove the rule) is not the source of war; it is simply one of the tools of a Nation State’s POWER.
      The “destructive element” of a military can also be seen as the FINAL guarantor of the “peace” between Nation States through deterrence.
      I agree that Sharks are beautiful in their killer machine simplicity but are of no military value. (Interestingly Dolphins with far greater apparent intellect can be taught how to be excellent soldiers and seemingly know their roll and enjoy performing it well!)

      I pray for Peace but hope the Nation State which holds my family is prepared well for war when Nation State Chaos is loosed upon the World.

      shootski

  25. This little Juvenia self-winding watch was a gift to yours truly from his mother and father back in the ‘60s; mom and dad had a retail jewelry business in Miami FL back then. They sold Juvenias and other brands in their store. No Rolexes – unaffordable for most of their customers.

    It runs, though it could probably use “tuning.” It was damaged when FM managed to drop it right under the turning crankshaft pulley wheel of his VW. Fortunately only the glass suffered. Don’t wear your timepiece when working around machinery.

    As with the Crosman 38T, the watch is going nowhere except to family when FM transitions from Time into Eternity.

      • FawltyManuel, your watch looks like it has led an active life and yet, I think it’s still handsome with a nice face! 🙂

        I would ask a watchmaker to service it, including glass replacement!

        I bet your Juvenia would look good, worn with a plain, not too thin, leather strap with thick attachment ends (to cover the gap between the lugs). 🙂

          • FawltyManuel, thanks for considering my suggestions, after all, they were not asked for… 🙂

            We have seen your Juvenia as it is now, and it seems they may become the ‘before’ pictures. Please, if and when appropriate, would you show us (me) your ‘after’ pictures too, thanks. 🙂

  26. Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier) and all, one of my favourite wristwatches is a smartwatch which I prefer to use as a dumb watch (disconnected from the internet).

    It has several functions including the best alarm of any wristwatch I have ever owned, ie it is so effective (vibrrates and is LOUD) that I can use it to reliably wake me up. 🙂

    But the best thing by far, is, that I can personalise it!
    Using a watch face design program I spent years having fun assembling various modified watchface elements to give my watch a personal look.

    Trouble is, if I want it’s battery to last more than about two hours, I have to turn the screen/ watchface off. 🙁

    picture inspired by “…The name on the fake’s dial could have been Brolex….”

  27. B.B. and Balloonists,

    Three for three in the last three days with the Great Lake’s Lake Huron shootdown today. Potentially the one detected over Montana but not acquired by interceptor(s) until this afternoon with at least one more Sidewinder (AIM-9) expended.
    Go National Guard!
    Going to need a Score Card soon to keep up with the gasbags!

    shootski

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