C Drum Update...to Clarify Some Things
Posted 16 June 2005 - 07:44 PM
Just got off of the phone with Frank Harris of Kahr arms. I must correct myself on an error that I posted previously. The dies that Kahr has are the NAC dies. You nailed it PK! There is a silver lining to this cloud though. The engineers at Kahr have rejected the Dies and are building new ones! Evidently they have compared the dies to the prints and mint 20's C drum that Tracie has loaned them and decided that instead of monkeying with the NAC dies they are expending a great sum of money on the new ones. I was told that they want a good drum or no drum and they do not want to go through the problems that they had with the L drums again. So far it is all talk but good talk. I feel that Frank is sincere and am hopefull none the less.
I...as well as the rest of us...am getting antsy waiting for these things so I just worked things out with Frank to Test the drums together before they hit the market. We will test these on a Colt (hopefully all day long!) and I will have tons of pics and videos so we shall all get a good preview. I can't wait! If there are any specifics that you all would like to know when I examine them...please let me know and I will be sure to document it properly.
Serial numbers...90% chance that the drums will be numbered but the final decision will be made soon and I will be kept in the loop and pass it on when I find out.
I am a little dissapointed that they did not have the original dies but...didn't they have some problems anyway? I seem to remember that is why they were discontinued...need to bone up on my history a bit yet. With the print and a good sample (and a bunch of NAC paperweights) I am starting to feel lucky.
Phil...keep it positive man or you may will a shitty drum into existance. We all know they do not need any help in that matter. Keep the fingers crossed. Will pass it along as it comes in.
Posted 16 June 2005 - 08:05 PM
Come on now, you have to at least give us a range for the price of the new C drums!!!! Just ball park it, say between $300.00 and $399.00 or $400.00 and $499.00 or $350.00 to $500.00, but something!!!!You're not telling us "the price" as your swore you wouldn't.
Here is something that Kahr should do for us guys who have bought guns since they took over operations (or anybody with a 1927A1 for that matter). Assuming they number the drums, give us guys the option of buying the drum that matches the serial number on our guns. If we don't speak up within a certain amount of time (whatever they allow) and claim the drum, then Kahr can sell it to whoever. If they are not going to number them, then have them leave a blank space on the plate so we can have it numbered ourselves. I have a relative low numbered Kahr 27A1 (that works very well) and I want a matching C-drum for it!!!!! Either leave us a space so we can do it, or let us buy our numbered drum!!!!
I knew Tracie had either the original C-drum drawings from Auto Ord or copies of the originals. I heard about 2 years ago (it seems like) that Tracie was helping Kahr. So if they are doing this right, we should come out on this deal O.K.
Phil gets no C-drum from Kahr!!!!!
Posted 16 June 2005 - 09:23 PM
Thanks for the updated information. I had given the die question on the previous thread a little thought before you started this thread and here is what I came up with. It fits with what you posted but goes a little further. Of course, it is only being offered for conversation; I do not know if it has any merit. Here goes:
Given what others have stated would be the enormous start-up cost for producing a Thompson C drum from scratch, do you not think it very possible Numrich Arm Corporation (NAC) used some/part/all of the original C drum tooling when making the WH C Drum. NAC certainly used some/part/all of the left over Savage/Auto-Ordnance tooling when making the West Hurley Thompsons. This Savage/Auto-Ordnance tooling contained, at least in the beginning, some/part/all of the original Colt tooling and fixtures. Is it not possible, perhaps very likely, the original tooling for the C drum was in the crates purchased by George Numrich in 1951 when NAC purchased the Auto-Ordnance Division of McGuire Industries from Frederic Willis.
These are my thoughts on the matter: I do not believe George Numrich would have begun production of the C drum from scratch – especially at an enormous cost. It doesn’t fit with how he ran his business. However, I can see him looking a pile of old fixtures and tooling for the Thompson C drum and figuring how much it would take to make the machinery operational and how much of a market he would have being the only producer of a Thompson C drum (think both full auto and semi-auto market). Obviously, money invested in production could be offset against profit when it came to tax time. And I believe he ran a profitable business. As I stated above, I really do not know the answer. However, I think it highly possible some of the same machinery that produced the Colt C drums was used to produce the WH C drums.
Does anyone know the answer?
Posted 16 June 2005 - 10:08 PM
Posted 16 June 2005 - 10:25 PM
That is a good Idea about the serial numbers. I too would like to have one to match my 1992 1927a1. I will ask on that the next time Frank calls me. Would be great if they sell the new T150D packages with matching serial numbers on the gun and the drum.
And on the price A-N-T-I-C-I-P-A-T-I-O-N! They will be retailed between $400 and $600. That is as close as I will venture to go on the prelimiary pricing taht I was told. I will sell them cheaper of course.
TD...Sounds like a real posibility. I personally believe that the early WH 1927's were made with the mix match of m1 parts because that is what they had the most of to work with. This would fit right in with your ideas. Wonder if anyone can shed any light on this.
Posted 17 June 2005 - 12:18 AM
|QUOTE (full auto 45 @ Jun 16 2005, 10:08 PM)|
|That would be a nice deal to have a drum to match your gun. I would like to have #587 in either a "C" or a "L" for my '28. In fact if someone has that number "C" drum now, I would trade WH #1652 for it.|
What you don't have an electric pencil? Hmmm I think I have an serial #587 "L" drum.... For the right price. Sounds like they are going to be more deligent than with the L drums which is a step in the right direction.... I'm thinking it has to be over five bills though if they are actually doing R&D of sorts, and building new equipment
Posted 17 June 2005 - 07:54 AM
Posted 17 June 2005 - 03:22 PM
Damon: You stated "So far it is all talk, but good talk". So am I correct in saying that this effort on a "C" drum is still very much in the preliminary stages and there is still the possibility that drums may never get made if they don't feel they can make a quality product for a reasonable cost outlay? They may "want" to do this, and they may "want" to do that, but from what you are saying, it seems far from certain this project may ever be completed and drums actually produced.
Posted 17 June 2005 - 06:10 PM
It is my understanding that the C drum is a definate go. The tooling is being done as we speak and the normal supprise hurdles are presenting themselves as is to be expected. The information is in flux as is to be expected...I was just told that the expected completion date may be pushed back to December. I actually expected some setbacks to arise to push things back. It happens every time I go to develop a new product. It is my understanding that a large investment has already been made and they are pushing ahead. I will keep dishing it out as I hear it. I hope for all of us that the new, working C drum becomes a reality. The big "IF" seems to be if they will work in the Full Auto's. Would love to be a fly on the wall there.
Posted 18 June 2005 - 09:10 AM
"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?"
Oddball, Kelly's Heroes (1970)
Sorry Phil, couldn't resist.
Speaking for my self, I would be more than satisfied if they made a C drum that worked as well as a Colt even if that wasn't "100% reliability 100% of the time".
Posted 18 June 2005 - 01:49 PM
|To put it another way, Kahr has had, and inflicted, a lot of heartache selling things that dont work|
There are a lot of parents this group (the moonies) has caused and inflicted heartache to, long before they quit selling Elvis door to door and went to selling guns.
Posted 18 June 2005 - 04:53 PM
One has to wonder what Kahr is looking at as a return on their investment in this production? It seems to me they would have to sell quite a few of these beasts to make engineering and a production run worthwhile.
One concern that I have is that Kahr may be looking at making these primarily for sales to go with their semi-auto Thompsons, thereby the main concern is drawn away from these drums having to work well in a full-auto Thompson.
In fact I'm certain this is the case, I belive Kahr may "want" to produce a drum that can work well in full auto, but what will it cost them in the end to produce such a product? When it comes down to it, I don't think it will matter. In the end, they will just want to generate sales, and most of the sales will be to those who own semi-auto guns. Let's face it, this is how they marketed the recent production of their "JunK" 50 round drums.
The price of the drum will have to be low enough to sell to the semi-auto market. After all, this is the gun they make and sell. Most of the people who own those lower priced guns are not going to spend $500 to $700 on a drum, which the owner dosn't really care if it fires in full auto anyway because his gun doesn't work that way. No, I have to remain very skeptical here that they can produce a working full-auto "C" drum, at least for a reasonable price. Kahr just hasn't shown me anything in the past to put my faith in their workmanship. I will be glad to be proven wrong on my opinion, in fact I'll be elated. We will just have to wait and see won't we?
Posted 18 June 2005 - 07:21 PM
Like some others posting on this subject, I too hope I am wrong. Quite frankly, I am surprised from a marketing/return on investment standpoint, that a company like Kahr would even attempt such a project. It has GOT TO BE AN EXPENSIVE accessory for semi-auto Thompson owners. And even if their c-drums work as well as originals, I doubt the full-auto c-drum purchasers would order enough to justify the R&D and tooling needed, whether they used all old equipment, some old equipment, or all new equipment to produce them.
Have to digress a second and realize how things have changed.
Some of you know that I got into Thompsons and accessories as early as 1971 (hence my board name October1971).
I was at a gun show in Florida in the 1970s and a table-holder I'd known for years had an original C-drum on his table. And he collected quality condition Colt auto pistols, all calibers and models.
Well I just happened to have a .22 caliber U.S. Property Marked Colt Match Target Woodsman with the elephant ear grips and in about 110% original perfect blued finish.
I asked how he would trade on the Woodsman? He said "even up."
Well I had $125 in the Woodsman and his c-drum was priced at $120. So I said "okay, you got a deal."
I guess everything is relative!
I first bought (5) Colt TSMGs (with a partner) in 1974 when the MA State Police sold them through an intermediary who bought a lot more than (5) guns.
The price, per gun my partner and I paid was an average of $275. When they came in, the best one was serial #444 at about 98.8% finish.
I wanted to keep that one but so did my partner. He didn't want to keep any if he couldn't get that one. I suggested we flip a coin, best 2 out of 3. I lost the first toss...and won the other 2 !! And number 444 was mine.
He and I quickly resold the other 4 Colts for around $675 each and congratulated ourselves on what smart businessmen we were...! HA!
EPILOGUE to that story...
A couple years later, when Roger Cox heard about # 444 he wanted to trade me out of it. I resisted, but he persisted!
He offered another Colt almost as nice as #444 (#6582 from the Champaign, ILL PD) and a numbered NY L-drum, nickel oiler, AND an M16 01 Model, ser # 000747 with green furniture and waffle mag, from the Cooper-McDonald marketing company. I said, "you got a deal." In his then current price lists, the "trade items" he offered added up to over $4000.
I later asked him why he wanted #444 so much? He said he had a collecter in Switzerland who liked "condition" "low numbers" and "Unusual numbers" and Colt Thompsons and that he was exporting it out of the country. (If I had known #444 was going out of the country, I'm not sure I'd have done the deal.)
I hope the above story is not considered as "bragging" on my part. At the time I could not believe I had pulled off what I thought was the trade of the century! But can you imagine what #444 would be worth today if I had been smart enough to hang onto it?
To come full circle on the C-drum thread, I later wanted an original FBI hardcase in the worst way. Once again, enter Roger Cox. He said he would be happy to trade me an original FBI hardcase for the C-drum I had traded the Colt Match Target Woodsman for. So I did!
Once again, everthing is relative.
Sorry for the lengthy story. It's just that when I saw all the threads about the "NEW" C-drums, it brought back memories...
Posted 19 June 2005 - 06:49 AM
P.S. oh ya,..Bill, I have a couple of Colt Woodsmans I would be willing to trade for that C drum you got hanging on that Navy Overstamp...tacky,tacky,
Posted 19 June 2005 - 08:24 AM
You hit the nail right on the head. Whatever Kahr can make, Merle can fix. I am thankful that someone is at least trying to produce a C drum because without the drum body and rotor, Merle has nothing to fix. That said, I am optimistic Kahr Arms with Tracie Hill’s help will produce a pretty good product right out of the box. Actually, I am pretty optimistic about a lot of things in the machine gun world since the AWB sunset. I have a Kahr L Drum from the first batch of Kahr drums that I am very happy with for $200.00. Yes, I wish the price were cheaper, and I will buy another or two or three, but now I am looking for bargains. If the AWB was still in place, that $200 Kahr Drum would have never been built and the market price of a West Hurley C drums would be $2000. My hats off to Kahr for attempting production of the C drum.
Posted 19 June 2005 - 12:17 PM
|Whatever Kahr can make, Merle can fix.|
That is true, but I would hope that they would consult him (or even hire him) to manage the "C Drum" project. It would benifit everyone.
Posted 19 June 2005 - 07:41 PM
Posted 19 June 2005 - 08:44 PM
|QUOTE (Norm @ Jun 19 2005, 01:17 PM)|
That is true, but I would hope that they would consult him (or even hire him) to manage the "C Drum" project. It would benifit everyone.
I like that idea Norm. At least it is righteous and hopeful! However, it really is a shame that the people at Kahr, the Moonies, or whoever is screwing up the works over there, do not seem to care about producing a quality product. I am not holding my breath.
Posted 19 June 2005 - 09:25 PM
My opinion is that there will be a decent niche market for the C-drums if they are produced. If they achieve their ROIC within 1000 units, as has been suggested by numbers mentioned in this thread, my prediction is they might recover their investment within a year, which is a good ROIC timeline. Of course, the tooling-up costs are not known to us, but at a $400-$600 retail price, their margin is probably sufficient to make it a viable enterprise. I'm going to guess they will sell for $500, right in the middle of the range offered by Damon.
Should be fun to see how all this turns out. At least none of us are being asked to front the development costs, as is the case with a well-known, and well-hyped M-16 belt-feed conversion. When and if the drum is produced, we can all choose to buy the first ones, or wait and see how they work, and decide based on what we hear. Sounds like we may get some advance reports, which I look forward to. Any photos or videos of the new C-drums in action, when they are produced, will be greatly appreciated by most everyone on this site.
Posted 20 June 2005 - 01:13 AM
Now I am going to blunt. If you don't want your feelings hurt stop reading now.
I wouldn't have anything else from Kahr if they gave it to me. I could care less of what it cost. If they gave me the fucking thing I would send it back. They produce 99 and 44/100% complete pure shit. Kahr is looking to sell junk that simply will not work. I wouldn't buy a goddamn roll pin from these imcompetent pricks. I wish a tornado would come along and blow the whole factory into the drink.
Thats a mild assessment of how I feel about Kahr.