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All About Guns What's your weapon of choice, and why? Discuss the beloved speargun here!

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Old 03-27-2021, 04:24 PM   #1
Hpwatson
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Wholesale Parts?

Been a while since I've been on the forum! I'm potentially about to start supplying guns to a local dive shop so I'm back to shopping components. It's hard to make a respectable profit paying retail for all the parts, does anybody tips on where a builder can source wholesale priced parts to build batches of guns at a time? It's hard to compete with the big name CNC manufacturers when you're hand shaping each gun, so component pricing is about my best chance to increase margins. Any info is greatly appreciated!
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Old 03-27-2021, 07:38 PM   #2
Marco
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Re: Wholesale Parts?

Look in Europe. Prices are half of what you pay in the USA.
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Old 04-13-2021, 02:39 AM   #3
Mikel_24
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Re: Wholesale Parts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hpwatson View Post
...It's hard to compete with the big name CNC manufacturers when you're hand shaping each gun, so component pricing is about my best chance to increase margins. Any info is greatly appreciated!
Your best chance to make a bussiness making guns if you are not CNC equipped, is not trying to compete with mass produced guns.

You have to sell the "handcrafted + each-one-is-unique + made-to-customer-specs + unbeatable finish + finish options (oiled VS epoxy coated VS cammo dessigns) + etc." idea...

I thope you get what I am trying to say.

I would suggest you to make two or three guns (of as differente sizes/styles as you can) and get them display on that dive shop, along with a portfolio/catalog of other guns you previously made (professional photographed, obviously). That should draw enough attention to get you a few initial orders. Build a reputation after that.

I don't make guns for a living, just for fun. And recently I have been refinishing, rehandling, wood guns made by others. And here are a few things that can be made a lot better:
  • All hardware (trigger guard, line guides, pins, etc) must be cut, deburred and either media tumbled or mirror polished (the latest offers better corrosion resistance and some bling along the way). It is not acceptable to have sharp edges). Cheapest way is to make a few templates and get them laser cut in batches (maybe they can do the tumbling as well). The polishing would need to be done by hand on a polishing wheel with compound.
  • Same goes for shafts, notches, sharkfins and holes. You should be able to rub your scrotum along any part of it (sans the point, that's a given) and almost feel it pleasurable. Stock shafts suck. All of them. None of them have the holes for the shooting line polished to my standars. It takes a few manual action, but makes the shooting line last forever.
  • If you are going to carbon skin something, get a vacum setup. There is no way arround it. Manual hand laying is crap and CF can sometimes be peeled of by hand. I know for a fact
  • IF you are going to make epoxy finish, build a rottisere system, otherwise you will get run outs.
  • At least in Europe, anatomic handles are all the rage (and they do work great). I suggest you find three friends with different hand sizes, trace their hand shape in 1:1 scale and pring them (with measurements), then make clay handles for them (including edge of the hand rest) and finally make silicone molds for them. Then you can pump them in 120 seconds flat (each) in PU casting resin. With the hand meassurements you can offer these choices to your clients. And if someone does not whant the lower hand rest, chop it off.
    *Screws and bolts. Be fancy, I suggest everything to be countershunk Torx A4 hardware. PH and PZ screws slip if you don't press down hard enough and marred screw heads scream Lazy craftsman.

These are a few things I could think for you to up the quality of your guns to set you appart from others.

And do not try to compete with, say, Riffe... because it will not work.

Mikel
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Old 04-13-2021, 02:46 AM   #4
Mikel_24
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Re: Wholesale Parts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hpwatson View Post
...when you're hand shaping each gun, ...
Regarding the hand shaping... Do not. Even if you are not CNC equipped, if you are making guns then you must have one or several routers. Make templates you can screw to your laminated/trued up blanks and mill away the contour, mech pocket, ballast pockets, etc. It is as easy as a flat piece of MDF (or harder material so it lasts longer) cut to shape and then use a copying routher bit.

You can make several for different gun sizes and different mechs. Takes time at the begining, but then are a joy to use. Same goes for pin hole placement if you are going to use pinned mechs. This is the best investment you can make to speed up future builds.

Final shaping of the stock (if you want to go sexy euro curvy style instead of squarish US style) will require some manual work, but minimal and with little chance for error.

Mikel
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Old 04-14-2021, 08:32 PM   #5
Hpwatson
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Re: Wholesale Parts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikel_24 View Post
Regarding the hand shaping... Do not. Even if you are not CNC equipped, if you are making guns then you must have one or several routers. Make templates you can screw to your laminated/trued up blanks and mill away the contour, mech pocket, ballast pockets, etc. It is as easy as a flat piece of MDF (or harder material so it lasts longer) cut to shape and then use a copying routher bit.

You can make several for different gun sizes and different mechs. Takes time at the begining, but then are a joy to use. Same goes for pin hole placement if you are going to use pinned mechs. This is the best investment you can make to speed up future builds.

Final shaping of the stock (if you want to go sexy euro curvy style instead of squarish US style) will require some manual work, but minimal and with little chance for error.

Mikel


Nice. Yeah this will be the first time I'm stamping out multiple guns of the same style so I'll definitely plan on making some templates and jigs. Thanks!
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Old 04-14-2021, 08:37 PM   #6
Hpwatson
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Re: Wholesale Parts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikel_24 View Post
Your best chance to make a bussiness making guns if you are not CNC equipped, is not trying to compete with mass produced guns.

You have to sell the "handcrafted + each-one-is-unique + made-to-customer-specs + unbeatable finish + finish options (oiled VS epoxy coated VS cammo dessigns) + etc." idea...

...

And do not try to compete with, say, Riffe... because it will not work.

Mikel
Yeah this is what I've been doing for the past few years and I definitely prefer this kind of work. But a friend at the local dive shop wants me to design a few standard one-size-fits-all style guns that are more basic and beginner friendly. He mainly wants to stock a scuba style hip loader and a freedive style euro for the average diver. I figure why not, and maybe it'll turn into a few custom orders along the way. I don't make a living on spearguns either, its just fun to do on the side.
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