The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Semi-automatic Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 3, 2024, 10:52 PM   #26
Jim Watson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 18,532
Cabot advertises “clone technology” but I can no longer find the claim that it makes parts directly interchangeable.

In 1909 W.W. Greener decried the “Machine Made Gun” BECAUSE they were all alike with little scope to accommodate the customer. Our machines are more flexible now but the many 1911 mutants still have the same width slides and receivers and the same hole spacing. Although there was an early Internet Expert who posted that you could not do much with a Springfield “because it is metric”.
Jim Watson is online now  
Old April 4, 2024, 12:30 AM   #27
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 28,796
The classic Man vs. Machine....

which is superior?? Both, each one being situationally dependent and varies with the desired outcome.

A machine can be made (or programmed) to fine tolerances, which is the best solution for a market dependent business, but the "best" products are made by skilled human artisans, who care about what they are doing.

From standardized parts through the assembly line to modern electronics, the "human element" of crafting and fitting parts by hand has been reduced, and as much as possible, eliminated because the "old fashioned" way costs more and produces less volume per time expended, and more production is more profit for businesses whose reason for existence is profit.

Most (but not all) the big name gun companies were started by people who wanted to make guns, because they enjoyed doing it, and could make a living at it. Or they were started by entrepreneurs who had someone who designed guns and was good at it.

Remington, Colt, Smith and Wesson Browning and several others began with gun people. Oliver Winchester sold shirts, but thought B Tyler Henry had some good ideas which would sell. Turned out he was right...

But that was in an era before modern manufacturing and business models.
Today, the people who own those old companies rarely make guns, they make a product. And modern machines can make a product to an acceptable standard faster and cheaper than men can.

Today it seems that the pride in making firearms is no longer in craftsmanship but in volume of sales.

SO, things get made well enough to keep the public buying them, not as well as could be possibly done. Which is why some people make, or have modifications done, to improve on what the factory produces, or at least improve it in their opinion.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old April 4, 2024, 09:54 AM   #28
Jim Watson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 18,532
It was about 1960 that Ken Waters said that "modern machining technology" would soon deliver things like double express rifles at much lower cost than hand fitted. I am still waiting.

There was a gunzine writer who callously wrote that he demanded hand checkering, that the gunsmith "owed him a case of tennis elbow."

In the 1911 field, where I do much of my shooting, I see showpieces with extensive hand fitting and fine finishes at exorbitant prices, and I see "machine made" guns of indifferent quality at "reasonable prices." Not much in between with those Modern Machines run for better quality instead of higher volume.
Jim Watson is online now  
Old April 4, 2024, 10:08 AM   #29
wild cat mccane
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2011
Posts: 3,622
Exactly right Mike P. Wagner

What hand can accomplish the edge of a machine? The only answer is only when the tool or machine or low quality or need replacement.

It would be mythical to equate anything else. A purposeful bump from a master gun smith with the intent of mating later could also be accomplished by a machine. Also, if mating is the goal, one could easily think it through and say...what stops the mating at the perfect point between these two similar hard metals? Could this "perfect" fit...over wear with use past this magical point? Yes.

Again, no precision missile or rocket shot from an actual long gun that is guided is hand crafted tolerance. So immediately we know hand fitting is making up for a lower quality machine because it might not be economically possible for a gun to be made on a missile part machine or with the required tooling.

All about $$$. Is the machine capable of doing what you're doing with your hand?

There is some myth creation in peoples minds too that anything old is always better.

In high school, I did machine shop work on Patriot missiles for a family member who owned the company. Never once hand tooled the actual components that were body parts or flight control. I did hand de burred parts that were inconsequential to fit requirements. Under magnification, hand de burring looks nothing like a machine.
__________________
My wife is a pulmonologist (respiratory Dr) and epidemiologist. If you have any questions on COVID, please reach out to me in PM.

Last edited by wild cat mccane; April 4, 2024 at 10:16 AM.
wild cat mccane is offline  
Old April 4, 2024, 11:04 AM   #30
TunnelRat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2011
Posts: 12,209
Quote:
Originally Posted by wild cat mccane View Post

Again, no precision missile or rocket shot from an actual long gun that is guided is hand crafted tolerance. So immediately we know hand fitting is making up for a lower quality machine because it might not be economically possible for a gun to be made on a missile part machine or with the required tooling.

All about $$$. Is the machine capable of doing what you're doing with your hand?

There is some myth creation in peoples minds too that anything old is always better.

In high school, I did machine shop work on Patriot missiles for a family member who owned the company. Never once hand tooled the actual components that were body parts or flight control. I did hand de burred parts that were inconsequential to fit requirements. Under magnification, hand de burring looks nothing like a machine.
I work in the defense industry now. A good deal of the final assembly is done by hand. This includes soldering, welding, installation, etc. There are times where there isn’t a machine available to perform a certain task, especially in the case of parts that are lower in production counts or where setting up a machine to do that would involve too long of a timeline or be prohibitively expensive. This is very similar to the firearms industry now.

If your point is hand fitting isn’t inherently magical, I agree with you. But some processes are still done by hand in the defense industry. I can also tell you that in second hand accounts I have heard from people working at certain gun manufacturers that while the machines are quite good, at the end of the day they are generally run by people. I have heard of entire production runs of parts that had to be examined and eventually tossed because someone ran the wrong program or didn’t change out the cutting tool at the end of its life. That’s not the machines’ fault, but it does illustrate that just because something is made by a machine doesn’t mean it is inherently flawless.
TunnelRat is offline  
Old April 4, 2024, 11:11 AM   #31
Jim Watson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 18,532
Anecdote Alert:

My FLG once worked on instrumentation in a manufacturing plant.
They needed a precise piece of equipment which came with Italian installers to do Old World Craftsmanship type hand honing and fitting.
The next time they needed something so precise, they went to a precision machine shop in Tennessee where they got better fit untouched by human hand.


Quote:
I have heard of entire production runs of parts that had to be examined and eventually tossed because someone ran the wrong program or didn’t change out the cutting tool at the end of its life.
Right. As the old time factory man said: If not set up right, modern equipment will turn out scrap faster than ever before.
Jim Watson is online now  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2021 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Page generated in 0.04168 seconds with 9 queries