The Quality of American Firearms...

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by FairChase, Dec 11, 2015.

  1. FairChase

    FairChase AH Senior Member

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    To the first point noted above, my brother works for a law firm specializing in Product Liability. One of their clients was The Freedom Group (Remington) and while he never could tell me all what he knew, he never told me what I asked him was not the truth. I know my brother and his facial expressions...

    He could tell me that there ARE in fact two product categories for the same rifle; 1 WalMart and another retailer and 1 for everyone else. The reason I seemed to target Remington more in this thread was because they are guilty of this deception. Much of the charges that were filed in the Class Action Suit against The Freedom Group pertained to these rifles and their inherent defects, but it was not entirely these WalMart rifles.


    If you don't believe me, and many won't, check the for yourselves. If you or your attorney have access to the Lexis-Nexis Legal database service, you will find many documents entered as testimony. It should be open to the public as public record, but I have had a difficult time finding it there.

    As for point #2, At one time I bought cheaper gear thinking it was going to save me $$. It usually did not. I bought a Swarovski scopes a few years back and when I had a minor issue, they resolved it free of charge. The scope was already 6 years old. I had placed the rifle against a tree and it fell onto a big rock and dented the rear objective. Actually it was my fault, but they never made an issue out of it.

    I had the same experience with a pair of Steiner binoculars. They failed during an elk hunt and when I returned home, the told me to send them back for repair. They sent me a new pair with their apologies. I'm glad I had a back-up pair of Burris Euro Diamond binoculars. I Burris still made them!
     
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  2. Just Passing Through

    Just Passing Through AH Senior Member

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    I am not a big fan of Walmart. However, they do buy their firearms from distributors just like everyone else does so the talk that their firearms are substandard is largely not right. They do order some special packages that are unavailable elsewhere that may be different from the normal product, but otherwise their firearms are normal production.

    Everyone that I know that has a Tikka seems to love them but they are not for everyone. No one product fits every taste or purpose but I think the Tikka is a good value and would suit most hunters.

    All manufacturers have an occasional slip such as the defective extractor . . . (ellipsis added for no real purpose)
     
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  3. Just Passing Through

    Just Passing Through AH Senior Member

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    As a good general source you might find this link useful https://www.law.cornell.edu/

    You will have to know a few facts such as what court, etc. but you might find what you seek.
     
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  4. FairChase

    FairChase AH Senior Member

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    The fact that they buy from a distributor does not mean that the product is not only for WalMart. Besides, many large buyers do not go through a distributor, but buy direct and therefore take advantage of distributor pricing. If you want to buy enough, as WalMart can, you too can be a distributor.
     

  5. Just Passing Through

    Just Passing Through AH Senior Member

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    I am sure that the special Walmart-only packages are purchased differently. Approximately a half dozen times I have been allowed to scan through the distributors' books to help the "Firearms Manager" (aka clerk) identify the item that a friend wanted to order. The distributor books appeared to be the same ones that I have looked through in clients' gun shops. Probably the smaller FFL dealers use different distributors, and the whole industry seems changed with internet wholesalers available to most FFL dealers.
     

  6. FairChase

    FairChase AH Senior Member

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    That would clear that up... thanx for the info.
     

  7. Big5

    Big5 AH Fanatic

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    I’ve followed this topic from the beginning and found it to be quite interesting to say the least. My personal view is that the initial post was intended to be a sales pitch for Steyr rifles more than anything else. I also believe that’s okay because poster ‘FairChase’ admittedly works in the Firearms/Hunting Industry. Being a Steyr dealer I can see nothing wrong with him promoting the sale of an item that will bost sales and benefit him financially.

    My view of his motivation for sales pitching Steyr is largely based upon statements he made such as the following;
    __________________
    “As amazing as they are, why are Steyr Mannlicher rifles not more popular in the US? For me to sell one, it's a "hand sell" every time.”

    “Why do so many Americans prefer to buy the standard American made hunting rifle . . . . when there are clearly better made rifles available?”


    “I ask guys that buy lower end rifles why they made that particular choice”

    Referring to Steyr he states; “Come on, take the plunge... shoot one!

    Referring to Steyr he states; “So, would you still rather purchase a Remington, Winchester, etc.”

    “Check out Bud's Guns. More in line with my prices.”
    ___________________

    I must point out that I don’t own a Steyr and therefore have no reason to either praise or criticize them. I’ve handled them and although they seem well made they simply don’t appeal to me. I’ll also point out that I don’t own any Remington rifles. Once again, I have no reason to disparage them I have just never cared to own one.

    I’ve hunted for many years (55+) and experienced a wide variety of hunting situations in many countries on four continents now. Through the years I’ve also acquired a fair amount of rifles including; a vintage .470 Rigby double, two Holland & Holland magazine rifles and two custom rifles. Besides those rifles I also have Sako’s, Weatherby Mark V’s and Winchester model 70’s.

    The point in mentioning my choice of rifles is to say that I’ve never found that my Rigby, my Holland & Holland’s, or my custom built rifles have performed any better in the field than my Weatherby Mark V’s or my Winchester M70’s. Each of my rifles works well and has been malfunction free. I should also clarify that none of my rifles are ‘safe queens’ or wall hanger ‘exhibition’ pieces. They’ve all seen field action and more likely than not each carries a character mark or two as a hunt remembrance. However, it’s usually a Weatherby Mark V or a Winchester model 70 that I will most often grab to take along on a hunt. They may not have the intrinsic value of some others but they’ve proven themselves to work every bit as well.

    Once again I’ll say that I don’t fault ‘FairChase’ for what I believe to be his sales promotion of Steyr rifles. On the other hand, I cannot think of a reason for me to own one. As with several others who’ve posted here I’m very satisfied with the rifles I chose to own and hunt with. And, even though ‘FairChase’ is of the opinion that some of my well used rifles are just “standard American made” and “lower end” rifles, I remain quite satisfied with their performance. Why do I remain satisfied them? Simple, because they’ve served me well in a wide variety of hunting situations and field conditions.

    I’m very fortunate to have successfully hunted a variety of game animals in many places. Some of the species were relatively small and others huge. Some were known to be meek by nature while others are known to become aggressive at times. Yet I don’t believe any of those animals has fallen to my shot while wondering about the brand of rifle I used to kill him. I believe a well-placed shot from a rifle the hunter is experienced and comfortable with is far more important than the make of the rifle.

    Just my two cents. Good hunting to you all no matter which rifle brand you ultimately choose to own and hunt with.
     

  8. FairChase

    FairChase AH Senior Member

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    My view of his motivation for sales pitching Steyr is largely based upon statements he made such as the following;

    “As amazing as they are, why are Steyr Mannlicher rifles not more popular in the US? For me to sell one, it's a "hand sell" every time.”

    If its a sales pitch as you seem to think, then why would I give a bad signal by saying they are more difficult to sell? I wouldn't, that would be stupid.

    If I was interested in a sales pitch, don't you think I would have done a better job of "buttering you up"? Come on, give more credit than that.

    “Why do so many Americans prefer to buy the standard American made hunting rifle . . . . when there are clearly better made rifles available?”


    I didn't mention any particular brand at all. I used a generality to ask a question. If I was directly promoting Steyr, I would have wrote ..." when they could buy a Steyr?"

    “I ask guys that buy lower end rifles why they made that particular choice”

    The term has to do with price point, not quality. There are some that use the term instead of "cheap". But I don't think it was appropriate or accurate. I refrain from putting a client in a position to discuss their income or financial commitments. A question to someone in person would be "Why did you choose that particular rifle?" or perhaps "What is it that you like/dislike about that rifle?"

    Referring to Steyr he states; “Come on, take the plunge... shoot one!

    Yes, I said "Shoot one", not "Buy one!". I feel buyers should try out rifles before they buy one. Clearly I didn't volunteer to take them out and demo a rifle either.

    Referring to Steyr he states; “So, would you still rather purchase a Remington, Winchester, etc.”

    An honest, straight forward question comparing/contrasting the products...

    “Check out Bud's Guns. More in line with my prices.”

    Yes, exactly! I didn't quote him a price and say "buy one from ME!" now did I? I sent him to an online retailer to compare the price he found online. Who sends business to other people???

    Pretty weak argument, Big5...
     

  9. lcq

    lcq AH Elite

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    Precisely. I look at guns like women, we all have our personal likes and dislikes. It would be a very boring world if we all liked the same thing. Hell if we were Russian we would all be hunting with AK's );
     
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  10. Big5

    Big5 AH Fanatic

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    'FairChase' . . . if you found my post to be "weak" in any manner whatsoever that's your take on things and certainly fine with me. I'm not asking that you or anyone else agree with what I said. Furthermore, my intent was not to form an "argument" as you said, but to express my take on things after reading yours and all subsequent posts.

    I've always found that opinions are like a**holes, we all have one.

    Good hunting to you and everyone else here.
     
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  11. Lomadelray

    Lomadelray AH Member

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    I'm no expert, but doesn't all of that kind of seem like the socio-economic "connotation" that you denied making earlier?o_O

    FairChase said:
    I never stated nor implied any socio-economic "connotation", populist or otherwise.


    ...Just sayin.

    Here is the thing man, I'm not trying to bust your chops at all, but you keep asking the same question and getting the same answers. I can tell you are really fired up about this subject but I'm not altogether sure why.

    I guess what it boils down to is this:

    The difference in performance between high end guns and low end guns in terms of actual hunting success is not great enough to motivate more hunters (average, elite, or otherwise) to choose the more expensive options. I think that the gulf you perceive in quality between current American mass produced firearms, and the European mass produced firearms, may not be as great as you think, as it relates to success in the field.

    Perhaps the product has "gone south", but evidently not far enough south to impact hunting results. I can tell you this if these guns were failing in the field across the board, people would stop hunting with them. Period.

    I'm not saying that higher end guns wouldn't have a lower probability of failure, only that millions of hunters use these other rifles without significant enough failures to change their buying habits.

    Which brings me to my final point:

    Remington, for example, has sold somewhere north of 5 million Model 700's since it was introduced 50-ish years ago or so. If those rifles had a 99% success rate of lifetime operation without failure, that means that 50,000 people experienced a failure and have shared that experience many more thousands of times. If it was 95%, which is still phenomenal by any manufactured product defect/failure rate, then then 250,000 people had a problem. It would also mean that 4,750,000 people never had a problem of any kind...at all...ever. That seems pretty good to me.

    No rifle brand I have ever heard of has a 100% lifetime of operation without a failure. So what really is the difference between a Remington and a Steyr In terms hunting success?

    So again, why do people buy American standard rifles?

    1.Availability
    2. Price
    3. Results

    Just not much there to argue about.
     
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  12. Rule 303

    Rule 303 AH Fanatic

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    I beg to differ with your last sentence. That is your opinion only. My opinion is the reverse. I would take a Steyr over a Winchester M70 any day. I believe that Steyr are far better value and a far better rifle. Simple fact is I have handled a number of Winchester M70 and not one works for me. For the price the bolt travel is rough and notchy and I would have to restock them as none come to my shoulder well. The Pro Hunter stock is unusual in looks but it's function is spot on and they shoot.

    Strange thing is I love the Winchester M94. Go figure.
     
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  13. FairChase

    FairChase AH Senior Member

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    I respect your opinion but have to point out one thing; With the evidence presented in court from a Class Action Suit, its hard to ignore the fact there was a huge problem with them even then. If this is not true, then why did Remington agree to retro fit 7.85 MILLION rifles? Because they are nice guys? No, they had to do so in order to prevent insolvency from bankruptcy. The legal fees alone would have ended this company. Remember, the company is owned by a capital management firm.

    Also try to remember before the internet and how limited was the exchange of information, when a large company set the rules, you followed them. Anybody remember Ma Bell? Maybe warranties weren't as good. Of course I'm speculating but why would they make an agreement like that if there wasn't something to it.
     

  14. Lomadelray

    Lomadelray AH Member

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    A class action suit and recalls are about lawyers taking a small number of failures, in Remington's case, less than 1/10 of 1%. And brokering that into a big payday.

    And it still does not negate the fact that millions of hunters have used Remingtons, Rugers, et al, to efficiently and effectively kill game without ever having experienced a failure.

    Again:
    1. Availability
    2. Price
    3. Results

    If you don't think that those are the reasons people buy "American standard rifles" then what is?
     
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  15. FairChase

    FairChase AH Senior Member

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    Tradition
    Influence from Marketing (Gun Writers, Hunting Shows (infomercials))
    Technical Attributes
    Cost...
     
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  16. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    This discussion reminds me of my days deer hunting in the '60s with my father and uncles, all products of the Great Depression and WW2. Their rifles? Iron sighted sporterized or plain military Mausers, Springfields and Enfields. Why? They were cheap, proven, and worked. I remember telling my pop, why don't you buy a new Remington or Winchester. His and everyone of those old timer's stock answer was " this will kill them just as dead as your new, fancy, checkered stock, blued action scoped Remington." Fast forward 50 years and you have the same argument of cheaper American iron vs. more expensive European iron. I'd almost bet those three aforementioned brands of rifles have probably killed more animals worldwide than every commercially made rifle combined.
     
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  17. Big5

    Big5 AH Fanatic

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    I agree 'Hogpatrol'. It's also somewhat reminiscent of a few hunting camp discussions where someone will express their preference for a particular rifle brand or cartridge as being superior to what others have chosen to hunt with.

    I find that things will become highly entertaining when someone continues expressing their preference by engaging in 'argumentum ad nauseam' . . . . . that's when I pour three fingers of a good scotch whisky, lean back to enjoy the warmth of the fire and just listen with a wide grin. Evening entertainment at its best!

    Recalling a couple of those instances still puts a smile on my face.
     

  18. FairChase

    FairChase AH Senior Member

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    Well, I guess that should put an end to this thread. These two wise ol' sages have imparted their wisdom on us, so there is nothing else to say... Thank you for taking the time to speak with us common folk...
     
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  19. spike.t

    spike.t AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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  20. Big5

    Big5 AH Fanatic

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    'Fairchase', since your post quickly followed mine should I assume that I was one half of the duo you were referring to? If so, my comment was addressed to 'Hogpatrol' and in response to his post ONLY. It was not about you personally.

    Most conversations about loyalty to a particular firearm brand or cartridge do in fact remind me of certain campfire discussions I've listened to over the years. I've long found such conversations to be entertaining.

    Good hunting to you and all others here.
     
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