Thread: thoughts
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Old 04-29-2008, 10:46 PM
charles starks charles starks is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: idaho
Posts: 503
Default Re: thoughts

Yep just as puffer says . In fact those of us that produce those rifles in the 1000.00 -5000.00 range and much , much higher are often backed up at least a year on delivery . i know several well know builders of historically accurate pieces that are 3 years behind and referring folks to others.

As far as reputation . Reputation is in the eye of the beholder or beholders .
When it comes to stitch counter ? Well folks who are looking for that type of work know who and where to go to get it . In doing so those folks who provide such works find themselves with their own reputations of quality.

As far as low dollar .?
I don’t find that to be true at all . Take clothing
You can buy at machine sewn shirt of correct muzzling or Lenin for 30 to 40 bucks from most any trader .
However buy one that’s properly hand sewn , from a correct period pattern, of material in the proper weight and color ,,,, your going to pay 3 times the machine work .
The key really is to establish a reputation of being capable of producing that type of work ..
As you say though , you give the people what they want . Im the same with my rifles . I have roughly 250 to 300 hours in each piece. More with some models.
You want a hand made iron barrel instead of a machined one ,, no problem but stand back because the price just doubled
As such when people call and say they want a rifle built and then antiqued to look 250 years old ,I cringe .
I used to say nope I don’t do provide that as an option and suggest the customer do it themselves . I just couldn’t stand the idea of working so long on a piece and then beating it up . Then I started realizing that if the customer wants it that way and are willing to pay more for it ?

Same with the pistols that puffer has posted . While to a skilled engraver these pieces may be lacking . To the folks looking for such authenticity , they would command high dollar prices .
As far as the size of clientele?, well all one has to do is look at the decline of the participation in the simple rendezvous seen and the raise in participation in re-enactments and juried events . The major decline in and closing of companies producing production line, highly incorrect examples of rifles . Compared to the custom gun market which has boomed over the last 10 years

I also think that we are much more concerned about perfection today then they were 250 years ago . Everything from inletting to parts must be perfect, tight and within tolerances .
While its easy to show original pieces where this isn’t so concerning inletting of parts . We must remember these examples are 200 + years old and have wear. However when we look at hand made locks and their workings which often still show the quality of workman ship. They simply would not pass inspection today .
Folks today really want both worlds IE correct examples BUT the quality of today . Sometimes you simply cant have it both ways

Engravings also I think are in this same realm. Today we concern ourselves with perfect scrolls , Balanced layouts, fine clean lines .
While some of the engravers 200 years ago also did this , a vast majority , as has been shown , simply did not . However they produced examples that were still very pleasing to the eye .

So really maybe the reason we see the decline in the works that have been shown in this thread is more to a change of mindset by the artisans themselves more then anything else
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