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Thread: Why do they always drop quality instead of improving it?

  1. #1

    Why do they always drop quality instead of improving it?

    Just acquired a couple of new sets of scope rings suitable for the BSA and Parker-Hale dovetails. These are the newer Hilver made by B-Square. Now I have been using Hilver rings for many years and on opening the box the cost cutting is obvious. One set of rings were loose in the box with the allen key, no instruction leaflet, just the rings and key loose. They are usually in a plastic bag which originally with Hilver was sealed with key in one part with any extras such as recoil stop or alternative fixings and the rings in the other compartment in the bag.

    One set has the key sealed in a bag with the rings in the other compartment of the bag but no recoil stop but there is a leaflet which explains how to fit the recoil stop Huh what stop? neither set has the stop nor are the rings drilled for it!

    The other box just has rings loose with key and nothing else.

    Neither boxes have the stickers saying what the rings fit as Hilver used to do. Also Hilver used to have a preservative on the rings these new ones................................... Nope I suppose that saves a few pennies .

    I shall contact the seller asking why this should be? These are new so what is going on. It's not the first time I have brought from them so this is not the norm.

    Meanwhile in my old boxes I sorted out a bag for the rings, one with the key still sealed inside it and traces of the preservative inside that came from the box for the Brno ZKK 601 rings I brought back in about 1998. I do not have any of the recoil stops though so it looks like I will have to make some.

    So much for Modern business practice . Thank You B-Square for cheapening a good product!

  2. #2
    I'm starting to think I got a good deal on my ZKK ('94 model). 150, less than 100 rounds through it in its life (barrel condition confirms it must be reasonably accurate to 100 rounds), started at 375 with a junk scope on top, haggled it down to 150 without scope but with 1" original Hilver rings on top. Original owner just wanted rid of it as it couldn't hit a piece of A4 paper (clearly they hadn't realised that the stock was putting intense pressure on the barrel, and 15 minutes with sandpaper and some oil got it shooting sub inch).

    this is now my restoration project rifle... there was a similar rifle sold in .308 on here sold lately for just pennies I believe, same issue, and even though I told the seller they didn't want to do the work - someone got a DEAL,,,you know who you are if you are reading this- LOL..

    in any case..yep, BH is right, quality is going down, never up..a great shame really, but it shows how companies struggle in todays economy...now if they relaxed the gun laws and reduced import taxes on rifles and bullets, etc. maybe people like us would start buying more goods and increasing domestic demand for associated/complementary goods such as locally manufactured rings/bases, threading, mods, etc. etc. etc...

  3. #3
    It's a symptom of the short-term blinkered view that is bedeviling all manufacturing. Having had this discussion endlessly with accountants and accountant derivatives, their argument goes like this:

    We make a product - considering competing products, our product has a maximum price - if we reduce costs, we can make more profit.

    It should be immediately apparent that the most obvious ommission from the rationale is the customer. Not only does the customer have the potential to make a quality choice from amongst the competing products, ultimately (if all of them are rubbish) he may switch to a different sector.

    In the present circumstances, Brit can switch to a different manufacturer/supplier or he can switch to a different make of rifle (yes I know that won't ever happen but let's pretend) which gives him a completely new range of manufacturers/suppliers for rings or he could give up shooting altogether and get into pimping his ride instead...

    All of these outcomes mean ultimate failure for the sector-specific rings manufacturer, the rifle manufacturer (yes bit late on that one), and the shooting sector.

    The alternative view I always propose is this:

    Am I making what the customer really wants? - can I make enough profit to continue the business and reinvest in getting even closer to what the customer wants now and in the future? - do I want to still be in business in the future?

  4. #4
    law of diminishing returns of course mean that there's only so much cost cutting that can be done, so manufacturers IMHO have to be VERY careful with playing that game. it's difficult, they still have to survive of course and if cyclical demand means orders are down, they do have to take some sort of action.

    in any case, I think that there should be a more universal approach to dovetails and scope mounts/bases so that you open up the market much more. I find it ridiculous that depending on the type of rifle brand you purchase you have to shop around for a scope ring/mount/base provider that makes a fitting product...I mean really, that means a base/mount manufacturer has not run numerous batches of the same product, in different heights, just to accomodate say a sako over a remmy over a parker hale - crazy!!! no wonder the prices are so high and small companies are failing!

  5. #5
    I firmly believe companies are struggling exactly because they cut corners. People don't want crappy quality they was decent quality not just fancy marketing and flashy bling bits. Just look at the manufacturers who have moved poduction to get get cheap labour and how their market share has fallen or is falling.

    Tasco did it and look where they are now! Nikko Sterling are finding the same. You can fool some of the people only some of the time.

    Edit:- Sorry got distracted dealing with issues here at home so this was supposed to be the 3rd post.

    Now I know they are defunct due to a wasteral spender but BSA designed their rifles to use the already established, at the time, Parker-Hale range of mounts. Which at that time was quite comprehensive in relation to the scopes commonly available.

    This cut corners to maximise profit and be damned with the customer or loyalty is a fairly new phenomena . I blame the teachings of places like The London School of Ecomonics who have lost sight of the long term plan and goal for large quick cut and run ideas. Tis starange that the very people who got th banks and the country into this mess we are in now all graduated from place like this and were taught these ideals. You would have thought at least a few of them would have had the gumption to realise how shallow and faulty it was.
    Last edited by Brithunter; 28-02-2012 at 13:02.

  6. #6
    So Hilver rings are not what they once were, is that because they were not competitive, went out of busines and were bought by Tasco, then sold to B-Square who seem to make eveything in china.
    I have a set of original Hilvers for 3/8 dovetail, and a set of Tasco made ones for the same dovetail, the Tasco ones are cheaply made (but usable), the Hilvers are ok, but not brilliant.

    Neil.

  7. #7
    One of the problems is the need for repeat sales in a market that is not really growing. If you make a product to the standard of a 1970's or 80's Sako, or a Sauer 202 for eg, how often will the customer need to buy another one?

    Bloody hell, I am agreeing with BH. Time to examine the navel.....
    Brian.

    Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you......

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Hornet 6 View Post
    So Hilver rings are not what they once were, is that because they were not competitive, went out of busines and were bought by Tasco, then sold to B-Square who seem to make eveything in china.
    I have a set of original Hilvers for 3/8 dovetail, and a set of Tasco made ones for the same dovetail, the Tasco ones are cheaply made (but usable), the Hilvers are ok, but not brilliant.

    Neil.
    Actually Hilver were out out of business by a nasty vindictive anti gun government in Australia. Who were most put out when teh deal was done to sell the rights to lynx of South Africa. Where B-Square got involved I do not know.

    Hilver used to make a lot of Rings/mounts for others to sold under their own names. The Tasco World Class being a case in point.

    It was not the business which failed but forced out due to political whim.

    B-Square of course got swallowed up by Blount and have declined since along with RCBS if their case mouth deburer is anything to go by.

    I must have about a dozen sets of the Hilver mounts.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Claret_Dabbler View Post
    One of the problems is the need for repeat sales in a market that is not really growing. If you make a product to the standard of a 1970's or 80's Sako, or a Sauer 202 for eg, how often will the customer need to buy another one?

    Bloody hell, I am agreeing with BH. Time to examine the navel.....
    Don't worry you will get over it and I cannot see it lasting I believe this is the second time too but am not counting you know .

    Oh yes funny how in reloading stuff the axim is buy the best same with optics........................... they seem to do allright.

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