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 Post subject: Re: Turkish Shotguns
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:31 pm 
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Turkish = Junque. Bottom line is that there are better choices.




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 Post subject: Re: Turkish Shotguns
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:56 pm 
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oneounceload, ditto.

You know of a source of UTAS shotguns? Do they still offer round body SxS like the Elite Gold?

SS I would have agreed with you, but the Elite guns are nice, the triggers are perfect (DT guns anyway), the rust-blued barrels are mirror polished like nothing else anywhere near the price, the bone CCH likewise, handling is wonderful, and overall fit and finish are great. The concave tapered machined rib is as nice as anything I've seen on a field gun, and a good deal nicer than anything else near the price. It is possible to get a good gun from Turkey that represents a great value, not a cheap price. However, most importers are looking for cheap.

I'd get another UTAS, if it's built to the standards that Smith and Kimber had for their guns. If S&W was as savvy as Tony Galazan, and sold the FIRST batch for a deep discount, I suspect that the word would have gotten out sooner about the Elites, and they'd now be selling steadily. Check all around this board for happy owners.

But... I would not advise a new shooter to get too caught up in that. Toys like these are for those of us who have a feel for what's good and bad, already have the guns we really need, and can afford an occasional experiment. A new shooter is generally best served by something tried and true.

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 Post subject: Re: Turkish Shotguns
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:25 am 
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BarryD....

I'm really hoping we can get some sort of handle on what is up with UTAS. I can't imagine that the plant that was producing the Gold and Silver Elites has simply been shut down. I find it almost equally hard to believe that it has been totally devoted to churning out cheap pumps.

As a longtime Huglu fan, I can say without reservation that there is a whole lot of difference between even the better Huglu products and the S&W Gold Elites.

I tip my hat SS.

Speaking again to BarryD....The economy tanking certainly did not help S&W in their marketing efforts for the "Elite Series" but I am not sure even a booming economy would have made it work. S&W did a MISERABLE job marketing these guns...as they have every time they have tried to introduce a line of doubleguns. S&W does some things VERY well. Marketing doubleguns just isn't one of them.

At the CDNN price of $1190 the "Elite" guns were/are a steal, but if they could be made available in the US with a "street price" of $1400 to $1750 I think they could sell very well. Between the price of a CZ/Huglu SxS and a BSS, Beretta etc SxS I think there is a big gap both price and quality wise that someone could fill quite profitably.

If you succeed in learning anything more on this subject, please let me know.

Best....2few

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 Post subject: Re: Turkish Shotguns
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:45 am 
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2fewdaysafield wrote:
oneounceload...

Having recently purchased one of the remaining S&W Gold Elite guns (UTAS) and generally being a booster of some Turkish made shotguns, I'd like to know what has happened to UTAS and if their doubles are still being imported into the US. The Gold Elite I bought was an absolute steal at $1300 and I'd like to get a couple more of their guns if they are of similar quality.

I'm not too good with computers and haven't been able to find much on UTAS other than their website.

You seem to know something about what UTAS is up to now. Can you enlighten me a bit please?

Thanks....2few



All I can say is what a gun writer friend told me - they were imported by a company Dickinson and Sons (NOT the Scottish folks), and had one large order delivered which seemed to sell out quickly. This was to my understanding, fairly recently. Whether it was a one-shot deal or not, he couldn't tell me.

(I told him HE should import these things as he convinced 9 folks at the local gun club to buy one)

They make a great SxS for the price point. Hopefully, they'll get an importer who will steadily bring them in. Maybe DeHaan or LCS would be good choices?????

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 Post subject: Re: Turkish Shotguns
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:12 am 
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Can't find anything on a Dickinson and Sons.

I've been intrigued lately by a number of pretty good guns that aren't coming to the US, particularly side-by-sides. Off the cuff, I can think of some from Spain, Italy and Turkey, all of them good (or could be good if the importer spec'd decent wood), modern, steel-proofed ejector guns with decent handling.

I don't know about the hoops one has to jump through to import shotguns, but I'm certainly intrigued by the idea. I have been in business before. I'm not broke, but I don't have 7 figures lying around to start up that business alone. But it does have potential, if I could find others to join in the venture with cash and knowledge. Sooner or later, the economy will come back, but more importantly, I think that well-marketed quality stuff seems to sell just fine, especially if it's unique in the marketplace. It can't be THAT hard to undercut the price tags of most decent SxS guns, that start at $3000 and go up fast from there. AFAIK Uggies can't shoot steel, and while I generally don't, I'm reluctant to drop much cash on anything that won't. And Huglu doesn't make ejector guns, even in highest-end trim.

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 Post subject: Re: Turkish Shotguns
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:51 pm 
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I suspect that the USA market for double guns, and particularly SxS's in the price range we are discussing here, is very small. One has to wonder why perfectly good guns by Stephens-Savage, BC Miroku, SKB, etc, made with modern machinery, are no longer available. Why make three guns if the same revenue accrues from the sale of one?

I think that the folks posting here have a predilection for double guns, but many of us cannot afford what is generally available. This makes the Turkish product attractive to those of us with very limited budgets. But from a manufacturer's perspective it is not worth the effort, although it is very doable.

There is also a cultural problem as well. If you are trained on automatic weapons and a gun is just another tool, why fool around with a old-fashioned gun? When my oldest son returned from Iraq he was walking around with a WalMart Benelli on a shoulder sling as if he was still on patrol, and the pheasants didn't know the difference. It has taken me almost two years to get him to "try" Grandpa's old 20 ga. Flues!

If you are manufacturing firearms, you are a businessman. And the Turks are businessmen. Just because they are not US citizens doesn't make them idiots. A profit is a profit; if you are in Louisville or Istanbul!


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 Post subject: Re: Turkish Shotguns
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:12 pm 
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AFAIK SKBs are still around in another form. Didn't they sell the tooling to CSMC, to make the RBL?

I'm sure the market isn't huge, but I wouldn't be looking to compete with the 870. Orvis and Galazan are businessmen, too, and they seem to be doing all right. That doesn't mean I've researched the specific market, but sooner or later, the kids grow up. They start looking for a woman with attributes that go beyond huge boobs, they start drinking something besides Captain Morgan, and they start showing interest in something beyond a plastic shotgun.

Unfortunately, by then, some of them have criminal records and a lot of child support to pay, so it's hard to sell them shotguns... :?

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 Post subject: Re: Turkish Shotguns
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:30 pm 
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BarryD wrote:
AFAIK SKBs are still around in another form. Didn't they sell the tooling to CSMC, to make the RBL?

I'm sure the market isn't huge, but I wouldn't be looking to compete with the 870. Orvis and Galazan are businessmen, too, and they seem to be doing all right. That doesn't mean I've researched the specific market, but sooner or later, the kids grow up. They start looking for a woman with attributes that go beyond huge boobs, they start drinking something besides Captain Morgan, and they start showing interest in something beyond a plastic shotgun.

Unfortunately, by then, some of them have criminal records and a lot of child support to pay, so it's hard to sell them shotguns... :?



Barry,

You are onto it. The potential market for double guns could/should be growing. It's the same market that needs to be tapped to grow hunting and the shooting sports. The market is 45 - 75 suburban/rural white males with an annual income over USD 100,000. That's a lot of people. Within that market segment, increasingly as it skews older, there is both disposable time (kids are out of the house and possibly they're retired) and income as well as enhanced geographic opportunity to hunt and shoot. It will be, as you so eloquently put it, this group that will appreciate and be interested in reasonably priced, aesthetically pleasing double guns. Marketing? Follow the Removed by Word Censor ad spend. Pretty much the same target audience. These are people who finally have the time and money to hunt and shoot, and who won't want a plastic wondergun when they do.

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 Post subject: Re: Turkish Shotguns
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:40 pm 
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This WSJ article, for example, from this year, might help sell some shotguns. It won't help sell plastic guns. :)

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 82308.html

What was Removed by Word Censor? :)

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 Post subject: Re: Turkish Shotguns
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:40 pm 
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The advice was follow the V - I - A -(letter in alphabet that follows F) - R - A ad spend.

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 Post subject: Re: Turkish Shotguns
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:44 pm 
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BarryD, RPRNY and oneounceload....

I have to run to work and play at being a "chef" but I will respond to this thread more fully tonight. I don't have a lot of money....probably less than either of you, but I've been looking to "buy a retirement job" that I would enjoy for a number of years.

I'll reply in more detail tonight.

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 Post subject: Re: Turkish Shotguns
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 4:19 pm 
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I just checked my account. I have $292.73

For your sake, I hope you don't have less money than I do. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Turkish Shotguns
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:33 am 
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RPRNY wrote:
(my partial)
You are onto it. The potential market for double guns could/should be growing. It's the same market that needs to be tapped to grow hunting and the shooting sports. The market is 45 - 75 suburban/rural white males with an annual income over USD 100,000. That's a lot of people. Within that market segment, increasingly as it skews older, there is both disposable time (kids are out of the house and possibly they're retired) and income as well as enhanced geographic opportunity to hunt and shoot. It will be, as you so eloquently put it, this group that will appreciate and be interested in reasonably priced, aesthetically pleasing double guns. Marketing? Follow the Removed by Word Censor ad spend. Pretty much the same target audience. These are people who finally have the time and money to hunt and shoot, and who won't want a plastic wondergun when they do.


There is another whole issue at work here. You can build a better and cheaper mousetrap but that doesn't mean anyone will want it. "Pricing down" takes you out of the market that truly has disposable income and into the market where people have to save up in order to buy a $1200 gun. There's nothing wrong with that, but it simply isn't where the money is. If it were, then Van Cleef & Arpels, Barneys and Sak's would have been long out of business. I've been involved in a number of venture capital start-ups and the amount of money needed to start a biz like this is staggering. The burn rate is enormous. The markets for luxury discretionary goods is not the same as the market for Ford trucks or canned beans.

From all the comments I've read on SGW regarding the S&W Elites, they are great guns. I have never seen one nor do I know anyone who has one and I doubt that any of the 3 or 4 guys I know who are currently in the market for a SxS would ever consider one and price is not the issue.

If that makes sense, you understand the market. If not, then my advice would be to steer clear of the gun-making trade!

By the way, inexpensive doubleguns are far more difficult to make than meets the eye- Cabellas is currently taking a bath on their DRs made by Sabatti.

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 Post subject: Re: Turkish Shotguns
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:40 am 
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We have numerous examples of good guns that were in the 1k to 1.5k range that are no longer around. When I shot a Savage Milano at a demo days I really liked the gun. When the guy told me the MSRP was 1500 I asked him why would I buy this gun when I can get a Bereta for close to the same price? Milanos are no longer being imported.

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 Post subject: Re: Turkish Shotguns
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:57 am 
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Legend has it that when Willie Sutton asked why he robbed banks, he rreplied "that's where the money is"

If you're going to manufacture a product and want to price it low you need to sell vast numbers to make a lot of money. One is not going to sell vast numbers of newly-introduced cheap shotguns.

So, if you're only going to sell few guns then you have to go where the money is.

Wanna see someone who is trying this? Look at the Longthorne Hesketh
O/U http://www.longthorneguns.com

That gun is priced at a very sweet spot.

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"Pumpster" is because of pumpkins, not pump guns.
It's SxS, DT splinter/English for me!
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 Post subject: Re: Turkish Shotguns
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:02 pm 
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Pumpster and Chaco1, these are all good points.

First, I don't think that $1200 is the right price point. And I wouldn't bother with the O/U market at all. I think S&W's ~$2000 price was the right ballpark. Their largest problem was that I never saw a single one of these guns before they showed up at CDNN. Not one. If they'd been on the store rack next to the AyA 4/53s they'd have looked pretty attractive. Also, as I said, Tony Galazan's "buy one early and you can have it for half price" is a good strategy for introducing a new gun. S&W did NOTHING that would have been required to generate "buzz" or get the gun in front of buyers.

I do think that Pumpster's assumptions are colored by the unique northeastern milieu, where people buy $25,000 mechanical wristwatches with "complications" for which they have no genuine application. Insofar as there are people, especially there, who can't shoot their way out of a paper bag, and buy high-end shotguns to put them in the den and show them off to others, that's not the market I'd be shooting for, either. Thank God, most of the US is not like that, even among luxury buyers, or the country would be so excruciatingly annoying that I'd have to defect to Haiti or something.

I believe there are several niche markets for a good, attractive SxS in a mid price range, for people who actually intend to use the gun. Can one compete, in a sustainable business model, with the 4/53, 471 and Ugartecheas? That's another question I need to ask, and I don't have the answer.

I'm leaving out a lot of details and questions, like "how and why do people go about making a purchase decision?" These are vitally important. Clearly, if Orvis is selling CZ-level Huglus for $2000, they're selling them to people who go to Orvis like a theme park and buy stuff on impulse, not to savvy upland hunters who know about guns and the market for them. That's just a start, but a very important start to doing market research and checking for any kind of viability.

The greatest problem I see is what Pumpster wrote: an off-the-charts "burn rate". S&W has deeper pockets than I, and they apparently didn't figure it was worth their expenses to wait for the market to catch on to their product. Honestly, I think it would have, and they did a horrific job at marketing, but the problem with "burn rate" still applies. Also, while an importer doesn't have to build a factory, a small initial order of shotguns from one maker will run into 7 figures, I'd guess.

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 Post subject: Re: Turkish Shotguns
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:33 pm 
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Barry- I thought Texans bought those watches! :lol:

Seriously, Orvis can sell those guns because they're Orvis. Some newcomer to shooting will buy an Orvis gun and Orvis will back it. That brand is worth a fortune and you are right - the Orvis store is treated like a theme park. So is Cabellas, but the Orvis people have more money and don't sport camo-covered bellies hanging over their beltlines. A newcomer to the field will have staggering burn-rates trying to even contact those same Orvis customers.


Didn't DeHaan try something like this with Huglus?

The object of starting a business is presumably to make money, not social statements. One of the most difficult things in working up a business plan is realizing that there are areas where one will not be comfortable and those might be the areas of great profit. Why should anyone care what some hypothetical New Englander does with an expensive gun as long as he pays for it? And a second one later.

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"Pumpster" is because of pumpkins, not pump guns.
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 Post subject: Re: Turkish Shotguns
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:32 pm 
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Barry - good point - S&W and Kimber BOTH sucked at proper marketing of these guns. UTAS is NOT out of business - but their main focus is definitely NOT in the SXS market - more like HD/SD/Military guns in a variety of flavors.

I still think DeHaan or someone similar could make these guns work - the S&W version on the low end and the Kimber variant on the high end

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 Post subject: Re: Turkish Shotguns
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:35 pm 
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SS wrote:
Turkish = Junque. Bottom line is that there are better choices.



Incorrect. One might say the same about the current crop of jack handles from US makers, but then, ANY blanket statement would be incorrect

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 Post subject: Re: Turkish Shotguns
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:41 pm 
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DeHaan does that with Huglus now, with custom ordered, rather attractive guns, and they are selling to people who are very much part of the luxury buying demographic. I know a few who have them. BUT, and this is important, they are all Sporting Clays shooters who want to dabble in SxS side matches, so they're buying these guns in part for the fun of it, and in part because they are relatively inexpensive compared to other alternatives, NOT as luxury items, and particularly not as "prestige" luxury items. Just the wood blanks for their custom-stocked competition guns cost more than the DeHaans did.

WRT what people do with the guns, I wouldn't care -- but it's a very, very important question to ask about the market. The "Chivas Regal effect" applies to the market for stuff that people want to show off. An aura of "expensiveness" will sell a gun that a serious shooter wouldn't even want, in some cases. You won't sell a gun based on its merits, to someone whose top ten priorities in buying are ALL about having a nameplate that will impress people. Trying to sell a non-prestige brand based on handling and "value" won't wash, if this comprises the market.

The term "Chivas Regal effect" is more accurate than most Econ profs tend to say, IMO. I tried some of that stuff, and frankly, if I were not at someone's house, drinking on their hospitality, I would probably have spat it out in the sink. The worst bottle of single malt I've bought -- one that I will not buy again -- was better. To me, it means "associated with prestige by people who don't know much about the product." I think this can have a huge impact in the shotgun market at all levels! I need only say, "Browning"... (They make some good stuff, but they do manage to sell some real deusies using their name, also.)

So I really do wonder: how many actual SxS shooters are there, who judge a gun on its merits?

WRT Orvis, I think this also applies to shotgun name brands. Even at the lower end of the market, there can be a significant price premium for a "proven" gun, and probably rightly so. Short of having the gun destructively tested and analyzed, how do you KNOW that a relative unknown won't break firing pins every few months? The answer is that, as a buyer, you don't. That could be insurmountable in the marketplace, due to the burn rate problem. How many years did it take AyA to go from the perception of "low-cost supplier" to "affordable fine gunmaker"? Decades, I think.



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