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Old June 23, 2021, 07:02 PM   #1
AlongCameJones
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Many new firearms these days look sloppy

in cosmetic appearance. This is especially true for metal finishes and stamped markings in gun metal. Most older-production guns looked so much nicer like the builders took pride in their workmanship.

Commercial manufacturing sloppiness is also true on many other consumer products these days from air conditioners to lawn mowers.

Neatness no longer counts. Old-fashioned pride is no longer appreciated.
Work ethics have gone to Sam Hill in a rusty old wheelbarrow, figuratively speaking. Frankly,a rusty old wheelbarrow is likely to originally have had better craftsmanship and materials than most new wheelbarrows.

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.

People don't speak and act as proper as they used to and most dogs have better manners than most children and many young adults.

Consumer products therefore reflect the quality (or lack thereof) of the people that build them. It's all about being lazy, corporate greed and taking as much money as possible from the consumer and giving as little as possible in return.

The following is a comparison picture of two Mossberg 500 receiver underside markings side by side. One a current-production model and one a vintage model. Which one looks much neater and more legible than the other? The camera was in focus on the right-hand picture with the flash turned off under a bright desk overhead light so you can see what it looks like to the naked human eye.
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Old June 23, 2021, 09:57 PM   #2
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right hand picture doesn't look in focus to me...
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Old June 23, 2021, 10:52 PM   #3
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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.
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Old June 23, 2021, 11:05 PM   #4
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Just for comparison, look how clean, crisp and legible the markings are on this dark blue Colt Trooper barrel. That Colt was built when American gun makers were proud of their workmanship.
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Old June 24, 2021, 03:19 AM   #5
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While consumers will state that they want Quality and great customer service what they really want are lower prices. For instances places like Nordstrom's that have great customer service and quality products are struggling, but places like Walmart with cheap goods and low customer services are booming. While many of us that take time to access an on-line firearms forum may be willing to pay a little more for a nicer fit & finish this may not be true for the majority of people buying guns.

As a long time manufacturing professional I can assure you that manufacturers can make great products, but have to be conscious of cost if they want to sell them. So, sadly, sometimes they are forced to cut corners in some areas.
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Old June 24, 2021, 03:44 AM   #6
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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"?
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Old June 24, 2021, 05:49 AM   #7
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Crazy about cosmetics, yet posted a terrible out of focus picture, that even if the indicator said it was in focus should have been reviewed. Would mom spank your hand?
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Old June 24, 2021, 06:36 AM   #8
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Come on Man, your out of focus picture reminds me of a cosmetic ad. They do a before and after and of course the after is a glamor shot.
Instead of the letter you sent, if a concern, I would have simply asked what kind of coating now used on the Newer models.
Sorry to hear about your childhood issues. Maybe not the right place to seek help. (although there are some that will most likely give you some, have a couch nearby?)

Here is a terrible picture I just took off of a cheap refurbished cell phone. I can assure you that in Real Life visual the Clarity is perfect.


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Old June 24, 2021, 07:26 AM   #9
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I still like the looks of the 1990's style Mossy trademark much better. I have a Nikon Coolpix I paid $100 for new in 2011.

I endeavor to find such a preowned older vintage 500. Some people think I have OCD.
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Old June 24, 2021, 07:30 AM   #10
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Now Ithaca Gun Company seems to make nice-looking pump shotguns today, but goodness sake, $1K to $2.5K for a stupid pump shotgun!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvtqcFAEgNA


My 1995-vintage Mossy 500 I paid all of $3oo for new in 1995 had that clean trademark stamping style and quality and finish I liked.

The all caps lettering on the new model looks all run together and sloppy. It looks like it was "Chinese made" in terms of shoddiness.
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Keep America and this planet beautiful. Don't litter. Take the time to find a garbage can. Don't be lazy. Report litterers in to the police. Use peer pressure against those you know who litter. Litter is ugly. Litter hurts animals. Litter injures people. Please pass it on.

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Old June 24, 2021, 10:46 AM   #11
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The Golden age of US gun manufacturing was the fifties thru the early sixties, ever since we’ve been on a slow downward slide.

cheap guns were always cheaper but workmanship on the common guns was better.

Mossberg was always a second tier brand made for a price point.


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Old June 24, 2021, 04:33 PM   #12
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Mossberg was cheap in the 1990's but modestly decent to my eyes still. Was Mossy ever as refined as an Italian over/under or an English double? Not by a damn sight.

Yes, older common guns still had better fit and finish. My former 1971 Colt Lawman Mark III was nicely done but I think Colt d/a revolvers were always more pricey than Smith & Wesson. The common cops carried Smiths while the police top brass had the prestigious Colts.
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Old June 24, 2021, 11:06 PM   #13
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Yeah picture is blurred Jones. Not having the flash on in anything but near daylight with a cheap camera will do that. Especially one from 2011.

I have a Mossberg circa 1996. I wouldn’t call it some well finished looker of a gun. It was a cheaply made, but very functional gun then. They are the same now. Maybe a few more corners are cut to keep prices competitive, but otherwise they aren’t much different.

As to “making em cheap to put money in the CEOs pocket”... dude get real. They keep them cheap to compete with the free market. Want quality? Go drop some money on an expensive firearm. Want a good value? Get another mossberg and appreciate it for what it is.

*yes, appearances do matter. I lament the fact that fewer people press and starch their suits or strive for a clean shave. I actually am a stickler on that to a degree. But we can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the very good. Asking mossberg to dress up their F&F on an entry level shotgun would be asking too much... unless you just want to pay $650 for some finish work as opposed to $400 for serviceable and well made but not polished.
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Old July 6, 2021, 07:41 PM   #14
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Lots of 1950s-1980s guns looked nice on the outside, but inside they looked like they'd been finished with an angle grinder and 40-grit belt sander.
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Old July 7, 2021, 08:23 AM   #15
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When evaluating a shooter, stamping/rollmark 'quality' are at the very bottom of the list of considerations I look for in a gun.
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Old July 9, 2021, 10:43 AM   #16
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Quote:
I lament the fact that fewer people press and starch their suits or strive for a clean shave.
Speaking as someone who's last suit "went away" after my daughter's first wedding some 20+ years ago, and who has been sporting a full beard for the past dozen years or so you have my sympathy that so few people today meet your arbitrary standards of dress code.

AS I see it, if you're paying me, you have a say in how I look and what I wear ON THE JOB. Otherwise, not so much.
I'm old, grumpy, and not looking to impress anyone, about anything, least of all my personal appearance.

Just as when buying a gun, you have a say in the quality and appearance you are paying for. You do this by not buying guns that don't meet your standards. You don't do this by complaining about not getting what you want at the price point you want to pay.

Reliable, dependable function, High quality fit and finish, low price....
You can have TWO....
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Old July 9, 2021, 01:36 PM   #17
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My experience is polar opposite.

Objects today have a far better fit an finish than those of the past. Cars, guns, refrigerators, even food.

Folks today are much more likely to turn something down that is not cosmetically perfect.
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Old July 9, 2021, 03:02 PM   #18
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The guns are ok. The worst thing is the finish they put on them. Gone is the lustrous blue/black of yesteryear.
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Old July 9, 2021, 04:43 PM   #19
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Barry Lee has it right- guns are much less expensive today.
An old adage used to explain inflation, and has generally been true since 1873 is “a damned good handgun is worth an ounce of gold.”

An ounce of gold is about $1800 today. For that money, you can get a Freedom Arms single action revolver that makes any Colt blush and talk about it’s bluing while I prefer the brushed stainless steel.

I was itching for a new Ithaca model 37, but a used Fabarms semi auto factory cut to my lop showed up for a heck of a deal. New? It would be the same price as the Ithaca.

I’d bet that the Rock River (not island) 1911 I should not buy is a beautiful gun for $1800.

It used to be a gun was a month’s pay or more… not about the cost of a golf club.
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Old July 10, 2021, 06:37 AM   #20
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gun owners / users were a targeted group in sales. quality was offered to them and it was expected.
but, it was a limited market, so gun makers began making mass production guns for all the others, attempting and (succeeding) in putting more guns in more peoples hands...that possessed little or no appreciation for quality or had no ability to shoot them. the industry didn't care. all they want (to this day) is more sales. and, with quality American makers going away or being forced out of business, the marketing strategy of making fine guns is obsolete. granted, fine guns are made but like the days of old, they are marketed to the elite group that appreciate them and are willing to pay more to have them.

its a throw away society now. young lads want videos and smart apps, not gramp's parker or Winchester 94.
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Old July 10, 2021, 09:25 PM   #21
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Quote:
An old adage used to explain inflation, and has generally been true since 1873 is “a damned good handgun is worth an ounce of gold.”
I'd never heard it put quite that way, until now. And I think it seems a bit overvalued.

The one I heard, from back in the early 70s was "in the 1970s a $20 gold piece would buy you a Colt revolver. Today, that same $20 gold piece will still buy you a Colt revolver. But a $20 Federal Reserve note won't even come close. (alternate: "but a $20 Fed reserve note will barely buy a box of ammunition" which, in those days, it would but today won't come close...)

The base price of a new 1873 Colt Peacemaker in the 1870s was $20.

An 1870s $20 gold piece was not an ounce of gold. More like 7/8 oz or so, and the gold in it wasn't pure gold, it was coinage gold.

The considerable value of a $20 gold piece today is not because of the metal content but because of its value as a rare old coin.
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Old July 11, 2021, 03:42 AM   #22
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I'm an old guy, about to turn 65 and I don't know exactly why, but I always from as far back as I remember, thought suits and especially, ties, were just silly. My dad wore a suit, no tie, to work, and I just didn't get it, he was the boss, and could wear whatever he wanted. Nobody who worked for him wore a suit. Nobody.

Even when I was a little kid, I knew it would be unlikely for me to ever have a job where I wore a suit and tie. Last time I wore one, it was to a funeral, and almost nobody else had one on. Times change, and dressing up is sort of a thing of the past..
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Old July 21, 2021, 04:07 PM   #23
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This post rather reads like you're lamenting the differences in life as a whole now and using guns only as a passing point to keep it relevant.

The amount of labor hours required to make guns the way they used to be made would make them exorbitantly priced in comparison. The cost of everything has gone up and the buying power of the average American has continued to decline year over year relative to productivity. People are able to afford less. When I was working as a gunsmith, I (meaning the shop I worked for, I didn't set prices) would charge more to cut your supplied barrel blank and apply a finish than some off-the-shelf rifles cost.

There are still very fine, hand fitted firearms available. They generally are found in the $3,000+ range. Nighthawk, Wilson Combat, many custom manufacturers, Korth, etc. I just saw Beretta is importing Manuhrin's MR73 revolver from France. They're famously overbuilt with ordnance steel and heat treatment, beautiful deep blue finish, and over a dozen hours of hand fitting each. Price is expected to be $3,300-$3,500. Doesn't get any cheaper to make that in the US even if you pay your labor barebones rates (labor that then can't afford the quality of product you're talking about).

Guns at this price range are luxury items, so even people who can afford them often baby them and have separate hard use firearms so they don't ruin the ones they had to save up for. I can't afford for all of my guns to be luxury firearms. I'll take something that works well and has cosmetic issues versus one where all of the money is put in the fine finish and you have to worry whether it will work in hard conditions.

If you want fine manufacturing, support your local gunsmith. A good one will be happy to do a high-quality, hand-fitted build on very high end materials to your exact specifications and a finish like you won't believe. Just don't get sticker shock when you see what that kind of quality costs these days.
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Old July 21, 2021, 08:07 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlongCameJones View Post
in cosmetic appearance. This is especially true for metal finishes and stamped markings in gun metal. Most older-production guns looked so much nicer like the builders took pride in their workmanship.

Commercial manufacturing sloppiness is also true on many other consumer products these days from air conditioners to lawn mowers.

Neatness no longer counts. Old-fashioned pride is no longer appreciated.
Work ethics have gone to Sam Hill in a rusty old wheelbarrow, figuratively speaking. Frankly,a rusty old wheelbarrow is likely to originally have had better craftsmanship and materials than most new wheelbarrows.

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.

People don't speak and act as proper as they used to and most dogs have better manners than most children and many young adults.

Consumer products therefore reflect the quality (or lack thereof) of the people that build them. It's all about being lazy, corporate greed and taking as much money as possible from the consumer and giving as little as possible in return.

The following is a comparison picture of two Mossberg 500 receiver underside markings side by side. One a current-production model and one a vintage model. Which one looks much neater and more legible than the other? The camera was in focus on the right-hand picture with the flash turned off under a bright desk overhead light so you can see what it looks like to the naked human eye.
There is still well made stuff out there. Problem is that most consumers prefer functional and affordable. High end , pretty guns have a niche market; but they are not what the masses want to pay for. I am getting just as bad. All my pretty guns stay in the safe.
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Old July 22, 2021, 04:40 PM   #25
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Such gloomy outlooks.
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