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Old 03-29-2011, 02:45 AM   #11
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Old guns are more than just a gun, they are a work of art. In a day when people put passion into their work. Now they have a machine make the barrel and squirt some plastic into a mold, have another machine and or sweatshop employee slap em together and BAM you have a brand new glock. As for the "you dont find plastic on guns unless they are junk" hey kid guess what, plastic=polymer. If the material is a petroleom product than it is plastic.

You can still find guns that are hand made and people put their dedicated time and effort into to make good, quality firearms and not to make a buck, but they are few and far between and expensive. Im not trashing modern firearms, they do the job, they go bang when you pull the trigger. But there is an inherent beauty in wood and steel. Sure they are heavy, but thats on purpose so you can use them like a club when you run out of ammo and you wont damage the firearm

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Old 03-29-2011, 03:36 AM   #12
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I don't doubt the effectiveness of these changes just nostalgic. And yes I have owned guns made in the USA that were junk,notably a colt .380, bought new about 15 years ago that would not feed properly,slide would not lock open half the time. Sent it back to colt and it came back with the same problems.Had a 94 winchester once {80ish} that would shoot consitentl 12" grops at 50 yards It sold with full disclosure to a new owner for a fraction of what I paid for it. My thinking is,when it comes to guns,more pride was placed in there name in years past.And yes cost cutting was inevitable.A model 70 made the same way as they did in 1960 in 2011 would cost $4,000 or more.

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Old 03-29-2011, 11:21 AM   #13
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I don't doubt the effectiveness of these changes just nostalgic. And yes I have owned guns made in the USA that were junk,notably a colt .380, bought new about 15 years ago that would not feed properly,slide would not lock open half the time. Sent it back to colt and it came back with the same problems.Had a 94 winchester once {80ish} that would shoot consitentl 12" grops at 50 yards It sold with full disclosure to a new owner for a fraction of what I paid for it. My thinking is,when it comes to guns,more pride was placed in there name in years past.And yes cost cutting was inevitable.A model 70 made the same way as they did in 1960 in 2011 would cost $4,000 or more.
I agree 100%. The issue is the pricepoint at which the masses will buy. Today everyone expects to get a good bolt action between $400-$600 and there is no handfitting and pretty at that pricepoint. For a few dollars more some guys still spring for the wood stocks and blueing.

Some companies still put pride in their rifles and select nice wood stocks and do some hand fitting in their guns. Kimber and Weatherby are good examples as well as Sako and Beretta. Considering what you buy those guns for (slightly over $1,000) you are actually getting a bargain over what folks where paying for Winchster Model 70's in the 50's (adjusting for inflation etc).

Kimber in particular makes a very handsome modern version of the old Model 70 and gives you a nice grade of wood to go with it. Here is my personal M84 in 7mm-08:

The rifle sells for a hair over $1,000 and that's not bad considering what you get. Now I happen to really like the combination of matte black metal and pretty wood but Wayne van Zwoll of Guns and Ammo recently wrote about having his own personal 84 profesionally polished and blued and it does look good.

But all in all I still think a modern made, carbon fiber/fiberglass stocked matte black rifle still looks pretty good when executed well...

Here is my .35 Whelen bedded into an HS Precission stock sporting one of them newfangled synthetic metal finishes. I just can't see ugly in that picture, specially when I carry that slimed down 7.5 lb rifle in the woods all day...
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Old 03-29-2011, 02:31 PM   #14
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I guess I'm old school also. Most of my guns are good ol blue steel and have organic furniture. Just like some other things in life, they just get better with age..........


Jim.......

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Old 03-29-2011, 04:06 PM   #15
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Dont feel old.. Im a youngin' and i collect old guns, most are at least 2-3 times my age..... Even my "plastic" rifle is a 1954.

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Old 03-29-2011, 06:01 PM   #16
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I don't think the machines used make any difference. Today we have computer controlled CNC machines that can and do hold much tighter tolerance's than machines of the past.

Take the 5 axis Daishin CNC mill. Look at the time it takes that machine to carve out a precise shape. How long would that take a non CNC machine to do that same thing.

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Old 03-29-2011, 06:49 PM   #17
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I don't think the machines used make any difference. Today we have computer controlled CNC machines that can and do hold much tighter tolerance's than machines of the past.

Take the 5 axis Daishin CNC mill. Look at the time it takes that machine to carve out a precise shape. How long would that take a non CNC machine to do that same thing.
Excellent point! I submitted a drawing for a reamer for a wildcat we built last year and the specs called for dimensions with 4 numbers after the period. That's 1/10,000th of an inch. In the old days there was a lot of handfitting because the gun manufacturers used to let the tool heads wear down to nubs so the files and stones in the hands of the employees had to make up the difference. Today when a part comes out of the CNC machine all it needs is a quick cleanup and into the gun it goes.
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:19 AM   #18
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Excellent point! I submitted a drawing for a reamer for a wildcat we built last year and the specs called for dimensions with 4 numbers after the period. That's 1/10,000th of an inch. In the old days there was a lot of handfitting because the gun manufacturers used to let the tool heads wear down to nubs so the files and stones in the hands of the employees had to make up the difference. Today when a part comes out of the CNC machine all it needs is a quick cleanup and into the gun it goes.
I still would not trade my smooth as glass Swede hunters for a new rifle. 1943, 1955, 1962. No plastic or composites at all. '94 action, large ring '98 action and small ring '98 acion. Just outstanding. The heaviest trigger is 6 pounds. I love those old 2 stage triggers. They are like a warm woman on a cold night.
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:20 AM   #19
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Your photography skills are remarkable and indeed the Kimber to my eyes is beautifull and I'm sure the whelen shoots like a dream a great part due to the synthetic stock. As far as tolerances / cnc machining,I spent most of my working life as a tool grinder making form tools,reamers, step drills, circular form tools, dovetails. The reamers almost always had tolerances of + / - .0002 and the dovetails often had tolerances of + / - .0001 on the drops.Now a single point throw away carbide insert can whiz these tolerances out on a cnc consistently. CNC machinery has greatly reduced the need for cutting tools such as those mentioned. I think I.m getting off the subject! But it all ties in with what guns are to-day.

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Old 03-30-2011, 01:55 AM   #20
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Your photography skills are remarkable and indeed the Kimber to my eyes is beautifull and I'm sure the whelen shoots like a dream a great part due to the synthetic stock. As far as tolerances / cnc machining,I spent most of my working life as a tool grinder making form tools,reamers, step drills, circular form tools, dovetails. The reamers almost always had tolerances of + / - .0002 and the dovetails often had tolerances of + / - .0001 on the drops.Now a single point throw away carbide insert can whiz these tolerances out on a cnc consistently. CNC machinery has greatly reduced the need for cutting tools such as those mentioned. I think I.m getting off the subject! But it all ties in with what guns are to-day.
Thanks for your compliment. I love photography almost as much as I love my guns and my firearms are some of my favorite subjects. I find metal working fascinating and obviously the link to accurate rifles is a big plus. A good friend who unfurtunately just passed away was into hyper accurate bench rigs and he used to toss 4 and 5 decimal point numbers like they were common but he never failed to blow my mind.

Please don't get me wrong. I love older guns and I have spent tons of hours at the range having fun with some of my old wood and blue steel gals. I just also have a warm spot in my heart for the precission that one gets out of some of the modern synthetic counterparts. It makes me happy to shoot little cluster type groups out of some of the ugly/utilitarian ladies too.
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