The realities of gun manufacturing

Below is an excerpt from an article that should be considered required reading for both prospective and veteran gun buyers. No manufacturer is without flaw. They all have issues from time to time and even some of the big names manage to produce crap guns.

Trust No One: an insider’s perspective

Trust No One

by Todd Louis Green,

Trying to decide which pistol to buy? If so, you’re probably looking for one that is guaranteed to be durable and reliable. Well, I’ve got bad news for you. There is no such gun. The day when you could point to a particular brand or model and be certain it would work 100% out of the box and last forever is gone.

After ten years in the firearms industry, including jobs at two major prestigious gun manufacturers, I have come to a very simple conclusion: no one makes a gun that you can be certain will work. Bias and personal preferences aside, most of the major manufacturers are more or less equal nowadays in quality. It wasn’t always that way, but as price became an increasingly important factor in buying decisions of both individuals and government entities, everything changed.

As major gun companies began losing marketshare to Glock, surveys of customers made it very clear that price was one of the driving factors. So what could gun companies do? They had to start competing on price.

The result is, throughout the industry, reduced attention to quality. Both companies I worked for, when I started, had a strict policy of test-firing every single pistol that left the factory floor. Each gun was subjected to two or three full magazines of shooting before it was given the stamp of approval. By the time I left each job, both companies had stopped test-firing pistols destined for the commercial (non-law enforcement, non-military) markets … and in some cases, they stopped testing the LE guns, as well. Why? Test-firing costs a lot of money. You need a range, specially trained and equipped employees, and of course, ammo … lots of ammo. Test-firing a pistol easily adds $25 or more to the price you pay at the gun shop.

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2 thoughts on “The realities of gun manufacturing

  1. Could not the same thing be said about every industry today? Cars are constantly being recalled. Airplanes suffer catastrophic failures from design flaws in spite of multiple levels of review. Ever heard of Blue Bell Ice Cream? The final quality assurance check is the consumer but profits have never been higher. If we lose a few customers here and there, well that’s just the price of doing business and we’ll pay off the survivors in an out-of-court settlement that guarantees their silence. The fact that my Kimber tends to unscrew its own guide rod every seven or eight rounds is just my tough luck as a trusting consumer.

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