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Old July 23, 2021, 09:38 AM   #26
Seedy Character
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I agree with most of what has been said.

I don't shop at wally Wawa. I don't have unlimited funds, but I expect a certain level of value for my hard earned dollars. Cheap craps doesn't fit my expectations.

An 1873 Colt sold for $20-$25. In today's dollars, $2000-$25000. Comparable. Today's fit and finish, machining and metalurgy improvement, would make a new Colt a better value. IMHO
Disposable income is a major component, though. The "nessities" vying for that income.

To compete companies have changed. What is the best selling pistol? Plastic.
AR lowers? Plastic

Remington 870 Wingmaster vs Express.
Pre-64 Win 94 vs newer.
Ruger Single Six vs Wrangler

Billet vs sintered metal / cast

High polish, dark, rich bluing = hours of hand polishing

Hand rubbed oil finish on hand checkered Walnut stock vs molded plastic / bolt on.

Not much different than 100 years ago, the masses bought a Ford or Chevy or those who looked at Lincoln or Caddy.

Last edited by Seedy Character; July 23, 2021 at 10:05 AM.
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Old July 24, 2021, 12:40 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by AlongCameJones View Post
So, it's not like product makers have forgotten how to make decent-looking things. The corporate executives just want to stuff their fat faces with profits. My former 1995-vintage Mossberg 500 retailed about $300 new and the trademark stamping and bluing was more than satisfactory to me then and the price was still modest.

I'm real crazy about cosmetics. My mother punished me at age nine for sloppy handwriting. She was Catholic-school-educated in the 1940's.
She once threatened to slap my head right off my body because I was signing a birthday card for my grandmother and the cursive capital G wasn't neat. My mother had sticks and spoons to beat me up. My father was raised old-fashioned too. My parents were spank happy.

Do children these days even know the term "penmanship"?
When it comes to "Penmanship", it is notable that no one writes with a pen and ink anymore and the only cursive needed in our society is one's signature. In sum, penmanship is obsolete, having been replaced with keyboarding. However, I do not know how any of that can be generalized to the subject of firearm manufacturing.
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Old July 31, 2021, 08:58 AM   #28
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It can be as simple as the tooling that does the roll marks is getting at its replacement age/use
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Old August 2, 2021, 04:29 PM   #29
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I think that this original poster's claim is factually incorrect and an example of pining for an imaginary past that never existed.

First, most of the firearms we see from the past are the good ones. People preserve and collect Colts and Smith & Wessons, but they sold low-budget shoddily made guns in the 19th and 20th Centuries just like they do now, but nobody enshrines those.

Second, even the bad guns are better nowadays. The CNC machine isn't going to come in to work hung over, and the laser engraver won't be doing a half-fast job because it's feeling underpaid.
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Old August 2, 2021, 07:06 PM   #30
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The other side of that coin is that the machines have no pride and will never do a better than programmed job to show how good they are.

Admittedly the people making bargain firearms didn't do much of that, either but that was a matter of choice, not programming.

With some exceptions, gone are the days when people were willing to pay more for a "quality appearance".

There are still places where you can get a really good, "handmade" burger, but you won't get that at McDonalds, or for McD's prices.
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Old August 2, 2021, 07:49 PM   #31
Tamara
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I can get better food and better handguns made with more pride now than at any time in my life.

As always, the good stuff isn't cheap, because people who care enough to do superlative work deserve to be recompensed for it.
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Old August 2, 2021, 09:46 PM   #32
4V50 Gary
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I expect more decline in quality.
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Old August 2, 2021, 11:52 PM   #33
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Quote:
I expect more decline in quality.
I expect you're right, but first off, how do you define "quality" and particularly in guns that never had "traditional quality" fit and finish to begin with??

Myself, (and a few others I know) feel S&W revolvers lost a lot of "quality" when they stopped pinning the barrels and recessing magnum chambers. And further changes just made it seem worse. They still make a good gun, but its not the same "quality" they used to be.

The other side of the coin (my coins have lots of sides) what about the mass market "duty class" and ccw autos of recent decades. Military type flat finishes, plastic frames, etc. Good sound, serviceable designs but without a shred of anything to me that says "quality workmanship".

Maybe we need another class, so for now, lets say if it works its quality, if it doesn't its crap and if it works and looks like it was made with skill care and artistry, its "high quality", perhaps??
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Old August 2, 2021, 11:54 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by AlongCameJones View Post
The camera was in focus according to the indicator in the viewfinder. Camera was in close-up mode. Flash was turned off intentionally. Lighting was a 64-watt overhead florescent fixture. The image will look sharper with flash on but naked human eyes don't normally observe things with constant camera flash on. Here is a shot with flash but some of the markings still don't register clearly.
Great excuses for a bad picture.
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Old August 3, 2021, 08:30 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
Myself, (and a few others I know) feel S&W revolvers lost a lot of "quality" when they stopped pinning the barrels and recessing magnum chambers.
Literally LOL'ed at that hoary myth. That occurred toward the tail end of the Bangor Punta era, which was full of horrible QC. Luckily armchair S&W collectors just look at the pinned barrel and recessed chambers on a Model 19-4 and get all excited and pay a premium, even though the barrel and top chamber aren't even remotely coaxial.

Smith & Wesson's QC has been an oscillating wave since the first Model 1's shipped before the Civil War. The very first production change, from the Model 1 First Issue to the Model 1 Second Issue, was to simplify production and increase profit margin. The idea of a lost Golden Age of S&W quality is the Atlantis Myth of the gunternet.
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Old August 3, 2021, 01:59 PM   #36
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I can see your point, but I think that what determines "quality" is also something up to the opinion of the individual owners.

Its not just the mechanical quality of manufacture (though that is a big and very important part) but to me, its also the "quality" of the total package.

IF/When a maker drops or changes features that were standard for generations, features that I expect and want, to me that is a loss of quality in their product. Likewise when they ADD features I don't care about, or want, same thing. I don't care why they do it. I care about what I want, the way I want, for what I'm spending.
And, if I can't get that, because the maker has changed things, then I consider that a loss of quality.

Not mechanical quality (though there is often some of that) but a loss of esthetic quality, which is entirely an individual opinion, and what matters to me, is my opinion.

I'm a fossil, most of my opinions are pretty petrified, I've had dozens of S&Ws over the years, still have about half a dozen or so left, all with the features I want, and none of what I don't want. My needs are well covered and so are nearly all my wants, and what they are making now days doesn't do it for me, so I'm not buying any. They may actually be technically better made, I don't care. FOR ME, they don't have the quality they used to have, and that's enough, for me.

Enjoy what you like, I'll do the same, as best I can in the time I have left. What else really matters?
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Old August 3, 2021, 05:06 PM   #37
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I don't know, but, have any of you looked at some of the Italian replicas? 1873 revolvers and the like? Some of their lever guns? They're pretty damn nice. Fit and finish, timing and overall appearance. Smooth actions; they seem to me, they are made rather well. And , at 1/3 the price of Colt's. Just my thoughts.
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Old August 3, 2021, 10:44 PM   #38
Tamara
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
Not mechanical quality (though there is often some of that) but a loss of esthetic quality, which is entirely an individual opinion, and what matters to me, is my opinion.

I'm a fossil, most of my opinions are pretty petrified, I've had dozens of S&Ws over the years, still have about half a dozen or so left,
LOL

I'm not talking about "mechanical quality".

I'm glad you've owned dozens of Smiths over the years. That's great! It keeps the love of S&W history alive, and that's a thing in which I'm invested. I've owned literally hundreds. Let's flex on each other.

There's more to quality than how shiny the blue is. How square are the corners? How true are the flats? How even are the rollmarks?

I'm beginning to feel that sticking my toe back into the TFL waters was a mistake.
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Old August 4, 2021, 07:00 AM   #39
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The manufacturing industry as a whole is much improved over years ago. Computer aided design and manufacturing technology is leaps and bounds beyond hand drawing and manual machining. Now, it doesn't mean that mistakes are not still made in design or even manufacturing, but they are significantly fewer than in years past. Also, manufactures are much more consistent meaning they might machine 2000 slides and they'll be practically identical something that would have never happened with 20 different guys manually machining parts.

Now, to say that modern quality has deteriorated due to appearance I suppose I can understand that point of view. However, remember manufactures are providing what "most" customers want at a price point they are willing to pay. People like Bill Wilson still make beautiful and well machined guns, but they cost four or five times what a Colt 1911 might.
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Old August 6, 2021, 08:54 AM   #40
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not just the firearms industry. Having just retired from 23 years in a major woodshop,we had quality issues constantly.New employees come and go like a revolving door. Instead of an intensive training period that a new employee needs the company wants to start them off at the top. As a consequence,they do horrible work,get dismayed,and soon quit.We had to hire ten employees to get just one to stay past a year.It can take years to become a master at your trade.Also,many new employees are started on night shift,where quality sucked but the managers didnt care,as its too hard to get people to stay on nights.This is probably an across the board representation of todays manufacturing.
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Old August 12, 2021, 09:35 AM   #41
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I think "sloppy" guns have a place!

Because I "buy em, shoot em, sell em off" I've owned a lot of cheap "sloppy" guns. I had a Jennings 22. Definitely fits as a sloppy gun. We used to call them "Saturday night specials." They are cheap. But, there are those out there who need some kind of SD gun and can't afford much. So they get a cheap, usually sloppy, gun and do the best they can.

Life is good.
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Old August 13, 2021, 02:47 PM   #42
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Seems to me that certain things are better, and certain things are worse.

I'd say attention to detail on engraved lettering, etc has declined, due to there being less craftsmen involved. Almost all checkered grips (wood) are done on a machine nowadays... which is superior to a lot of old stuff, but inferior (aesthetically) at times to some of the better old stuff.

I think the basic gist of it is this- CNC machining has raised the bottom end significantly, to where new "budget" stuff is FAR better than old "budget" stuff. But the issue then emerges, this new bottom end is so good, it's replaced a lot of the middle tiers entirely. So you get things like precisely made handguns and parts, with yucky electro-stencil lettering, instead of sharp engraving.

As far as finish, it's a matter of preference. The old deep blues of Colts were beautiful, but don't begin to match up with a melonite for durable protection. Many find a "painted" gun repulsive, but Cerakote has been a runaway success.

Older isn't always better, nor is it worse. It's just different.
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Old August 14, 2021, 05:27 AM   #43
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"The idea of a lost Golden Age of S&W quality is the Atlantis Myth of the gunternet". (TAMARA)

I agree. The S&W revolvers made today are far stronger and more durable than anytime in history. Is the bluing not quite as nice as the old guns? Yes. Is the lock an obnoxious eyesore? Yes. But today's S&W revolvers are still fine looking guns and extremely strong. I'll guarantee my 29-10 .44 will oushoot any old vintage model 29 S&W, and last indefinitely longer.

My new Colt SAA .45 LC is amazing.

Budget guns, if you buy one, roll the dice and hope it isn't "sloppy". Buy quality, pay a premium and be satisfied. If not, send it back. The bigger companies will make it right.

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Old August 14, 2021, 01:08 PM   #44
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Quote:
I'm beginning to feel that sticking my toe back into the TFL waters was a mistake.
It certainly is NOT a mistake. I, and I'm sure many others, enjoy your posts even though we might not come out and say anything.

I the distant past I used to refer folk to your web site "The Cornered Cat".

Hope you stick around.
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Old August 15, 2021, 08:55 PM   #45
Lima Oscar 7
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Utilitarian Grade Shotguns will vary in quality of workmanship from gun to gun and during management/ownership changes. I have hunted with scatter guns for 50 years, since age 7, including 7 years as a guide in the fourth oldest, continuous Duck Club in the U. S. I’ve seen a couple of Shotguns.

The biggest issue I see these days is small parts failure versus what came out after the Second World War was over. For instance, the Browning Auto 5’s with the “ Suicide Safety “ were not as nicely done as say a 1957 Browning Auto 5 Standard 16 Gauge. Incidentally, my 1957 A5 Standard 16 Bore is the only shotgun I have owned that never bobbled.

Take what I say with a grain of salt. See signature.
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Old August 26, 2021, 02:51 PM   #46
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Well, more proof that the memory is the second thing to go (I forget what the first one is).

Kathy Jackson was the founder of the site "The Cornered Cat" and NOT Tamara. My bad.

I apologize for the mistake and hope Tamara keeps posting here.
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Old August 26, 2021, 08:01 PM   #47
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The wording and numbers are pretty clear on my new (nib) Zastava ZPAP - a duplicate of this gun. And American walnut furniture.

Even the rest of the gun looks good. And very straight iron sights etc. Good luck out there.

Last edited by Ignition Override; August 28, 2021 at 12:31 PM.
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Old September 5, 2021, 12:42 PM   #48
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One can often tell that there is no more pride by the way people generally dress these days too. People aren't as generally well-groomed anymore. The last well-bred human generation seems to be the generation X'ers that follow boomers like me.
Copied from 'alongcameJones' above.............

As far as well groomed-Im always surprised when I visit (not often) or see youtubes from the college campus. The dress of students is like we used to wear for sandlot football. About 3x/year we wore 'grundies'-the days we played the arch football/basketball rival-40 mi down the road, BGSU- Bubble Gum State University.

Now every day is grundies day-or worse. The only new thing are backpacks.
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Old September 7, 2021, 04:52 PM   #49
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I'm one of the Luddites who enjoys the older stuff. I don't often wonder how the CNC machines are doing when they aren't cutting metal, but I do think of the humans who gave their blood and sweat to buid the fine older guns.
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Old September 10, 2021, 01:10 PM   #50
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If I want a quality shotgun, I'll buy a Beretta over a Mossberg......and pay the difference in price for it too! My Beretta Gold Pigeon's markings are beautiful, and still there are some that will poo poo on it because it's not all hand engraved. That's the difference between $300, $5,000, and $50,000 when it comes to shotguns.
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