Back to the Armi Sport stock contour issue. It appears (from the mouth of Rino Chiappa) that they will be improving the stock or at least going back to the original oversize configuration and they were just selling off their existing inventory of radically miscontoured gun stocks first. There are of course issues with that, but we really should not be surprised. The good news, or least bad news, is that Armi Sport will have something in the game that can be modified (defarbed) to reflect a reasonable level of historical feature accuracy. Now whether they do that a level which is cost comparative with Pedersoli remains to be seen. $849 at Cabella's for the Pedersoli is pretty tough to beat.
Craig L Barry
Author: The Civil War Musket: A Handbook for Historical Accuracy
Yep. It can indeed be done - for about $100,000 for the 1st one. I looked into it a few years back and kept plugging along for better than 2 years on just making the Lorenz. Getting anyone at any of the parts manufacturers in the US to talk to me was next to impossible. I dreamed foolishly of an all American-made gun. I ended up seeking parts makers in Mexico, China and India as well. Very little contact came back and what did was talking about only making items in lots of thousand part quantities. Finally I got ahold of a nice older machinist in a smaller firm that makes AR parts for the military using Electro-degrading technologies that could take any item at all and 100% duplicate it in any metal with 100% reliability. He talked a long time to me about the process and how precise it is and that yes, you can give him any part, say, a Lorenz hammer, and in a few minutes he can hand you a 100% precise duplicate even with the engraved traction diamonds on the thumb! This was great news to me until he told me the reason nobody else was talking to me. To make casting molds, or program CNC machines or even forge molds, it will cost a bunch of money and they then have to charge enough per part made to help recooperate the price of manufacture as well as metal, as well as labor, etc. Using his off-the head calculations it showed me that the price of the first unit of my dream mass-produced duplicate Lorenz (not replica, but duplicate) would be over $100,000. Of course I can't charge that. Later I was talking to Armi Sport regarding their new commemorative line of "de-farb" guns they plan to release each year during the 150ths. They told me essentially the same thing. The reason nobody makes a good Lorenz is none of the parts can also make other guns. The Enfield and 1861/1842 have been around a long time so they are making profits on those. The Zuoves have been around a while too and they make some money on those, and some of its parts are passable for the MS rifle so that is why it was somewhat profitable to offer a Zuove and MS rifle at the same time. But, to try tooling up to offer the Lorenz, or an 1816, or Dresden for instance wouldcost way too much to do at all much less right, and only will remove their customers already willing to buy an existing item to instead buy some different item. They then end up competing with themselves.
Yes, a MASTER machinist (no such thing as a master gunsmith although many like to proclaim that title showing they are not to those of us that know) can reverse engineer a perfect duplicate gun. But you are looking at literally hundreds of hours of specialized labor costs. True master machinists are going to be charging in the neighborhood of $30-$50/hour. Some higher even. If it only is 100 hours, you have just added up a $3,000-$5,000 labor bill for that one gun not including cost of material and the wood carving costs, heat-treating costs, and profit margins. I don't know about anyone else here but I'm not going to take that finished product afield at all except to a nice clean range for light plinking after spending that much!
Last edited by Todd Watts; 08-28-2013 at 12:46 PM. Reason: spelling
One possibility to consider is crowd sourcing.
If it were possible to generate a 3D CAD model of the components than people could make them themselves. I've been modeling some lock components and Gatling parts as part of testing CAD software.
I do believe that Enfield's are over represented in the field but for my unit it is accurate for us to carry the Enfield we portray the 7th Arkansas and after Shiloh they were armed with the Enfield after capturing 2000 brand new still in the crates from the Yankees lol. I think research on your unit and trying to stick close to it would bring more diversity to the arms on the field.
“We may be annihilated, but we cannot be conquered.”
General Albert Sidney Johnston, CSA, in accepting his command rank, August, 1861.
" I think research on your unit and trying to stick close to it would bring more diversity to the arms on the field."
I am not quite sure on the thinking there. Diversity?
While I am a advocate, if not heretic, when it comes to researching and using the same clothing, gear, and weapons as the unit in time and place actually did... the obvious stumbling block and fly in the ointment is what happens when that arm is not a mass produced, commercially available, "low price" readily available option?
As Herr Todd has well explained above, the Italian repro arms industry's "Cash Cow" is entrenched. They keep churning out pretty much the Samo Samo, and we stand in line, decade after decade to buy it. A handful of lads get into so-called "de farb" semi-improvements of making bad less worse as far as is possible. A VERY few fewer lads spend the $1500-$2000ish for an accurate custom-built. But even in the realm of custom-work, gun-builders are limited to what pieces parts have been reproduced, or what original parts can be scavenged and cannibalized to reuse in lieu of accurate repro-original parts.
My point is this...
If Research and Documentation show a unit being recreated used X or Y longarms, and there are no private or commercially available parts available to custom built it.. or, the unit members do not have the disposal cash and gumption enough to use fully restored originals... they WILL near universally turn to commercially available alternatives such as say Italian M1861's or P1853's as a mater of economy AND expediency.
I once had one of the Pedersoli "M1857 Mausers." I think they sold three in the US.
At any rate, Herr Todd said it best. .. paraphrased... it is "prohibitively' expensive to introduced a new line of arms,, and we have taught the Italians that, by and large, with few minor exceptions, we are great consumers of what they make, have made, and will make so there is no incentive for them to significantly or extensively change (much or at all).
In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt
Not a real Civil War reenactor, I only portray one on boards and fora.
I do not portray a Civil War soldier, I merely interpret one.