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Old September 6, 2013, 10:27 AM   #1
jbrown27
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Clones? Please inform me on the why?

I was just thinking (now my head hurts) about different clones and I kept thinking about cz and p99 clones. I am sure there are lots more but why are the cz variants clones so prevalent. Same for the p99. I can think of at least 3 different makers of that gun as well. Is it patent related or do these original makers sell the rights to make these clones or what. Just curious. Why no glock (sigma excluded), springfield, hk, Sig, etc.etc. clones.

Please enlighten me so I cam stop getting headaches from thinking. Thanks
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Old September 6, 2013, 10:32 AM   #2
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Patents.

1911 clones are certainly most popular.
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Old September 6, 2013, 10:51 AM   #3
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I guess I just don't understand how patents completely work. Why can a glock 17 (1982 first produced) not be copied but a walther p99 (1997 first produced) can.
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Old September 6, 2013, 10:54 AM   #4
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Smith and Wesson and Walther had a partnership. Walther licenses copies. http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2...her-p99-clone/
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Old September 6, 2013, 10:59 AM   #5
Fishbed77
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Quote:
Same for the p99. I can think of at least 3 different makers of that gun as well. Is it patent related or do these original makers sell the rights to make these clones or what
The two most prevalent "clones" of the P99 (the S&W SW99 & Magnum Research MR9) were more like joint ventures than actual clones, since Walther actually made the frames of those pistols. Many parts (icluding mags) are interchangeable between the P99, SW99, and MR9.

The Canik TP-9, which looks a lot like the P99, is actually quite different mechanically, with no parts that interchange with the P99.
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Old September 6, 2013, 11:04 AM   #6
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Magnum Research gives Walther money so that they can produce the MR9. This is an example of a licensed copy. They also buy some components of the pistol from Walther, and outsource magazines to the same company (Mecgar) who makes P99 mags for Walther.

In contrast, the S&W SW99 was a joint venture between S&W and Walther. S&W didn't have to pay Walther to make the pistol, but Walther did get money out of the deal, as S&W bought components for their pistol from Walther, as well.
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Old September 6, 2013, 11:05 AM   #7
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CZ 75 and 1911 are old school guns, made out of machined steel.
Anybody with the machine tools (and maybe a hot line to the Indian MIM contractors) can build one.

The "modern" guns call for specialized heavy industry.
Sure, it is cheap to mold a plastic receiver, once you have the molds and high pressure injection systems, and the stamping presses to make the metal inserts and working parts. But those are not cheap or simple or standard equipment.

Consider the AK47. Everybody looks for the milled AK without realizing that the gun was designed to be stamped. The only reason there are milled AKs is that there were a lot of unoccupied milling machines and machinists as they changed from MNs and SKSs so they put them to work while they got the big presses and learned to use them. Eventually the AK was made the way ol Mikhail meant.
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Old September 6, 2013, 11:53 AM   #8
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The answer is pretty simple good designs like the CZ and 1911 get copied.
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Old September 6, 2013, 08:31 PM   #9
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Put yourself in the position of a company that's either a start-up, or an existing company just wanting to break into the manufacture of firearms. You want to make guns -- what are you going to make? To make guns, you have to have a design. Hiring a firearms designer/engineer to come up with a new design, one that doesn't violate any existing patents, isn't easy and it certainly isn't cheap.

But wait! There are successful firearms designs out there for which the patents have long since expired. They can be reverse engineered and cloned just for the cost of buying one (can be used), taking it apart, and measuring the parts. That some of these (like the 1911 and the CZ-75) just happen to be some of the most widely used and universally acclaimed firearms in the history of firearms probably doesn't hurt. The fact that the 1911 was designed by a firearms genius AND that the blueprints are readily available on the Internet also doesn't hurt.

So, what would you do? Spend months shopping for a gun designer, wait still more months while he designs you an all-new gun, then build and test prototypes -- all of which costs YOU (and your investors/backers big bucks)? Or do you just pick one of the two most popular guns ever known and jump right into the market?
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Old September 6, 2013, 08:40 PM   #10
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The CZ75 was a Communist Bloc product, which was not readily available in the US and whose intellectual property rights were not much respected over here. This created an opportunity for a Western European company (Tanfoglio) to produce a copy for sale in the lucrative Western markets. By the time the politics thawed out, the clones were as well established over here as the original.

In the case of the 1911, its patents should have run out during the Depression. I don't know when the copies started, but I'm familiar with some from the 60s.
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Old September 6, 2013, 08:44 PM   #11
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^^^^^give The man a Chek cigar, or a copy of one! 100% correct on the Cz clone info^^^^
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Old September 7, 2013, 03:22 PM   #12
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Patents can be renewed or extended. This costs $$$$. Many companies are not filing for extensions due to the cost and the cost trying to defend the patent. This is happening in many industries.
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