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Thread: What is quality...today?

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    Default What is quality...today?

    Many of our threads touch on this question...either directly or indirectly.

    Personally, I look for both form and function.Whether its a rifle, shotgun, handgun or optics, I purchase those models that ,in my opinion, will not only address the immediate need/desire but will also have long term benefits.I like guns that look good...work right...and are a pleasure to handle and shoot or hunt with.Guns that require little to zero modification.Guess I'm not into fixer uppers.

    Actually, I have a "fixer upper" right now...and it has so far been a pain.Let me be honest...a pain that will be as sweet as it gets once "fixed".

    The shotgun I'm describing is a 34" single barrel trap gun stocked by Jack Dockweiler.It was left to me by a late friend who knew I was the only person who would love and cherish this gun.If you know anything about
    "Doc", you know he made some of the most beautiful shotgun stocks ever made.Works of art...like Michaelangelo.

    Problem is, I shoot this restocked Baker 32" high.In order to center punch clay birds, I need to see almost 3 feet of daylight under the bird.

    So I need to find a top quality stockmaker on the East Coast who can work on a Dockweiler stock...lower the Monte Carlo a bunch...and then refinish the stock perfectly.

    In truth, a nice high class headache...for what will be for me the ultimate trap gun.Shooting the Baker is as good as it gets for singles trap.

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    A high end east coast shot gun gunsmithing shop that I've heard of (no personal experience) is:

    http://www.colegun.com

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    Unfortunately quality is a relative term subject to the individual both in requirement and judgement. I believe that's why there are so many arguments about what constitutes a quality anything, gun, car, pack, etc.

    Let's take my new Ruger American for example. For my intended use (beater mountain gun) it appears to be a quality tool in that it shoots tight groups, the important parts are metal and seem to have enough of it, and it seems to function as expected. To me it is a quality tool relative to the intended job.

    I own what I would consider a "higher quality" M70, that I wouldn't use for that function. But it doesn't mean the RA isn't a quality tool.

    Seems to me the terms value and quality often get mixed up, which complicates the conversation too. I don't think a M70 is a good value for a mountain gun compared to the RA I just bought, but it's still a higher quality piece in my opinion.


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    IMHO a high quality anything may still require some adjustments or modifications to make it suit the owner. That is what makes us so persnickety about what we like- differences! I admire Glocks for what they are and yet i hate the way they feel...until Texas True Bore Customs does what they do to the grip/frame and then it fits me just right. Not a high dollar gun by any means, but a quality one for sure- and better with a few modifications. The most wonderful rifle may need a slight adjustment in stock fit, etc. Good luck with the stock work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    Seems to me the terms value and quality often get mixed up...
    Yeah, they do, and that's a sticking point for me.

    Some folks equate insanely stupid high price with quality, i.e. a cheap gun is poor quality no matter what. The opposite is also true.

    Your Ruger American is probably a good example. You didn't pay as much for your RA as you did for a pre-64 model 70. The fit and finish on your Ruger probably isn't as well done as the Winchester. But it will serve you, hopefully a lifetime, and so it's a good value. (That's why, as much of an absolute Winchester fanatic I am, my bolt gun is a Savage.)

    I'm having a similar dilemma with revolvers. I really like the Colt Anaconda. Insanely stupid high price and a high quality gun. I could buy a Ruger Redhawk, also at a stupid high price, and it would be a better value. (Can you imagine the sick to your stomach feel from dropping a Colt Anaconda on a rock while backpacking or fishing? OMG ) Or I could buy a Taurus Tracker for a reasonable price, but the quality is so bad that I might be better off throwing it at a bear than shooting it. (Actually, define "reasonable. Is it "reasonable" to pay $500 for a Taurus. Not IMO.) Sure the Taurus is the cheapest of the three, but it's the worst value. So in this case, low price does equal low quality. Still, it's the only one in my price range, so I'm better ff not buying any of them.

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    Default What is quality...today?

    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    Yeah, they do, and that's a sticking point for me.

    Some folks equate insanely stupid high price with quality, i.e. a cheap gun is poor quality no matter what. The opposite is also true.

    Your Ruger American is probably a good example. You didn't pay as much for your RA as you did for a pre-64 model 70. The fit and finish on your Ruger probably isn't as well done as the Winchester. But it will serve you, hopefully a lifetime, and so it's a good value. (That's why, as much of an absolute Winchester fanatic I am, my bolt gun is a Savage.)

    I'm having a similar dilemma with revolvers. I really like the Colt Anaconda. Insanely stupid high price and a high quality gun. I could buy a Ruger Redhawk, also at a stupid high price, and it would be a better value. (Can you imagine the sick to your stomach feel from dropping a Colt Anaconda on a rock while backpacking or fishing? OMG ) Or I could buy a Taurus Tracker for a reasonable price, but the quality is so bad that I might be better off throwing it at a bear than shooting it. (Actually, define "reasonable. Is it "reasonable" to pay $500 for a Taurus. Not IMO.) Sure the Taurus is the cheapest of the three, but it's the worst value. So in this case, low price does equal low quality. Still, it's the only one in my price range, so I'm better ff not buying any of them.
    Funny example, I carry two different trackers!

    I actually watched a co-worker drop another co-workers S&W .454, talk about awkward!

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    If it works well for it's intended purpose and lasts a few lifetimes, it is a quality firearm.

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    As far as I'm concerned, "Quality" is a superior grade of whatever in being judged, but not just by name only, because of some added features and shiny stuff. In other words, "Well Made with excellent and suitable materials".

    I have respect for the RA, the Rem. 783, and other LIKE rifles. I'm glad they are made because they fill the need of a moderately priced and reliable rifle. That alone makes them interesting.

    However, they don't meet my definition of "quality". On the other hand, they don't LACK quality because to a large degree, the things that I've learned to consider "quality" are not even present. They weren't even made by hand, like "quality" rifles of OLD.

    I consider their "design" to be "clever" rather than "quality". If they function well,,,,, Well, that's what rifles are spose to do. I guess, that's "quality" enough to serve their purpose, but it's not "ART", or even "craftsmanship", or "tradition", or "romance".

    Maybe, I need different "word" than "quality" to describe the difference when you work the lever of an older, almost antique, Mdl 94 Winchester compared to a more recent version.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    Maybe, I need different "word" than "quality" to describe the difference when you work the lever of an older, almost antique, Mdl 94 Winchester compared to a more recent version.

    Smitty of the North
    On an similiar post I suggested "grade" rather than "quality"....but I know what you mean. I inherited a well loved Model 12 Winchester....it ruined me on pump guns forever. I've never felt another one like it and am unlikely to ever find its equal in a modern production.

    That much hand fitting just feels different when you shuck it. No matter if something new works reliable, it just doesn't feel like that.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    On an similiar post I suggested "grade" rather than "quality"....but I know what you mean. I inherited a well loved Model 12 Winchester....it ruined me on pump guns forever. I've never felt another one like it and am unlikely to ever find its equal in a modern production.

    That much hand fitting just feels different when you shuck it. No matter if something new works reliable, it just doesn't feel like that.
    Wished I could have sent you rep points on that one. You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to hodgeman again.

    My Model 12 was built in 1935, and it "feels' nad functions better than my friend's new 870 (and an 870 is considered a pretty darn good gun.)

    In truth, I have a bias towards "old" stuff. (Not just guns-almost everything.) "They just don't make'em like they used to." is a truism.

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    A few years ago I was thinning the gun safe and I held in one hand a Winchester model 70 30.06 from the early 80's with iron sights, I believe it was a Ranger model from a big chain store. In the other hand I held a Remington 721 in 30.06 from the late 50's or 60's with a barrel cut and crowned to 20" and a plain Nikon Prostaff 3X9 on it. I decided to get rid of one as they were both worth about the same amount and were usually used as a loaner rifle for family and friends... I held them both and cycled them both and it was a no brainer. The 721 still sits in the safe.
    The solid feel and the smooth bolt of the 721 just say quality and I find it humorous as the 721 was a budget/entry level rifle in it's day.

    Mountaintrekker

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    A quote from John Ruskin: "Quality. There is hardly anything in the world that some men cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey." Another one from the car folks: "Cheap, fast, or well made. Pick two." I believe "quality" implies materials well chosen for the intended use, care in workmanship, and a design that will stand the test of time. Quality materials and workmanship cost more in general, and I am, upon careful examination of a product, willing to pay for such attributes. Such items generally are a pleasure to own and use, and generally hold their value. Just like quality tools.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

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    I judge a piece of equipment by how well it works and how long it will last. A fancy piece of wood or gold inlay does not make it higher quality it just make it more expensive and expensive does not necessarily make it higher quality. Look at British cars. Some real expensive junk.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Some Baker history. http://www.bakercollectors.com/index...the-Baker-Guns

    Often you can change poi by changing the beads much like changing sight hight on a pistol or rifle. For me I would change to a adjustable pad and save the old one before messing with the stock. I also believe Mike Orlen back east could bend your stock for perfect fit.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Amigo :

    Thanks for the link.The Baker I have is a very special shotgun...as is the stock.

    Doc used the highest exhibition grade wood on this one...money was no object back then.

    But my late friend and I have very different cheek to eye dimensions.When I mount the gun as is, I'm looking down on the rib...substantially.Which is why I shoot it 32" high at trap bird range.

    So one option is to learn to live with it.After all, I ran 47 straight from station 5 once with this gun.Once I learned how to daylight the birds.

    Option 2 is to adjust the stock to fit me.Again,I have the dough...but need to find the right stock smith that I'll turn loose with a wood rasp to do it.And more importantly to refinish the stock back to Doc's specs.

    Like who do you allow to work on your guns...and trust/hope they won't screw it up.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I have been out of it for some time now and like myself the folks that were brit trained on fine guns retired. You should go to Doublegunshop.com forum and ask about stockers doing the work now. If you want to try bending down call Mike Orlen. http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=36237
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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