Friday, October 26, 2012

"Drop-In" (Yes, those are scare quotes.)

Erin Palette writes:
...any product with instructions that require you to use a power tool is not what I would consider "drop-in".
Remember, the claims on the packaging are actually in code:
  • "Drop-In" really means "Some Fitting Required". (Either that, or it's so undersized you could drop it in from across the room.)

  • "Some Fitting Required" really means "Take it to a gunsmith."

  • "Gunsmith Fitting Recommended" ...and bring money.

19 comments:

Old NFO said...

ALL true Tam... As I've learned over the years (and it ALWAYS costs more to 'fix' the attempt than it would have to have the G/smith do it in the first place)!

Jay G said...

See, here's the reason that I am happy to let professionals do the work for me. When I get something that's labeled as "drop-in" (or words to that effect), I expect it to be as such (and to Erin's credit, she realizes later that the "drop-in" part referred to other models).

If/when the part turns out to, in fact, require some "assistance", I am all too happy to provide it. In the form of increased muscle. Usually to the point of breaking said piece, the intended recipient of said piece, or, most often, both.

It's the same reason I don't change my own oil. For the $20 extra I spend every 3 months, I don't have to spend an afternoon removing a stripped filter because "MORE FORCE" is my first response...

Ygolonac said...

Especially for 1911s, I always view "drop-in" parts as "drop in to your local gunsmith"...

Kevin said...

I've had ONE thing that was an actual "drop in" - a Cylinder & Slide Safety Fast System hammer & sear assembly I bought for my Kimber Classic. Went in just like the instructions said, has worked like a charm ever since.

The one I bought for my HiPower, on the other hand....

Critter said...

the term 'drop in' was Not developed by Paul Mauser.

Anonymous said...

"the term 'drop in' was Not developed by Paul Mauser."

Or Mr. Browning.

Though in fairness, was either them around today and they labeled something "drop in", it would , and do so with a glorious, perfect, "snick, ker-plunk, sproing" noise.

Garrett Lee said...

See, JayG, I have the exact opposite reasoning on the oil change. I change my own oil because I don't want to spend an afternoon fixing a stripped oil plug because "MORE FORCE" is the first reaction of the local Quik-Lubes. (My father's Suburban now has an oversize drain plug because of this.)

Robert Fowler said...

"Gunsmith Fitting Recommended" ...and bring money.

I always treat my customers well until the one comes in that "worked" on it first. Usually with a hammer and prybar. My favorites though are the 22 owners that have no concept of brush and solvent. I like collecting $25 for cleaning someones 22 because it won't (fire, extract, eject, feed).

Some people really shouldn't own guns.

Firehand said...

Robert, sons' first gun was a Marlin .22 autoloader I picked up cheap because "It doesn't work right." It didn't work because every time they thought it was slowing down the oiled it- again- with what smelled like motor oil without every bothering to clean it. Grey sludge thick inside.

For some reason, flushed all that out and lubed it, and it worked great.

Firehand said...

Friend, when working on cars, takes a picture of each step(and I do mean 'each'), so when it's reassembly time he can reverse the order with no questions as to what goes where how; a definite thought for working on anything you're not familiar with or just want to be sure of.

Erin Palette said...

JayG mentioned it, but I need to make a point of picking up the Idiot Ball and stating outright that I incorrectly assumed all Timney Triggers were drop-in when, by their own advertisement, that applies only to their 10/22 model.

A professional writer having a reading comprehension failure... how embarrassing!

Lergnom said...

I am of two minds regarding oil changes. I always enjoyed the work, as well as saving money, and our local garages took the old oil.
The last car I did that for was a '75 Volvo. The thumb-fingered idiot who last got paid for the chore decided the socket on his air wrench was close enough to the dimensions of the plug. When I went to do it myself, I found myself staring at a scarred, round thing which once had a hexagonal surface.
!@#$%^&*(
After I put a vice-grip on the plug and sllid a pipe onto the handle for a longer lever, I very, very, very carefully eased the plug out, dumped the oil and filed a couple of flats on the now round surface so I could get it back on again with less drama, drove to my local parts place and got a replacement plug which I swapped out on the next oil change.
All my later cars were too low to the ground, which is now harder and colder than it used to be.
Old? Me? Nah.

Ygolonac said...

I suppose I should also counterpoint with "Dumb Luck Gunsmithing". Take:

1 older Springfield 1911 frame (pre-butchered with godawful-looking "stippling", pinged frame rails, 9mm extractor and (possibly a pro job) milled for a ramped barrel). Oh, and two full sets of threaded holes in the dust cover, as the fella had his optic mount backwards at first.

1 1943 GI stamped short trigger.

1 random bag o' 1911 clockworkery, including what appears to be a "drop-in" beavertail, and an aftermarket ambi-safety (all stripped from a police-confiscated firearm and Gunbroker'd as a set).

1 set of RIA smooth grips (and a set of grip screws, as the baggie ones were not for 1911 grips).

1 Advantage Arms "Standard" 1911 .22 coversion kit.

Place in baggie and shake well. Follow up with picking small pins out of the carpet because the baggie had a hole. Eventually, you *may* end up with a functioning dedicated .22 1911.

I'd not bet my lunch money on it, however.

(The only reason I went with the baggie for $30 or so was that I figured they all came off the same gun, and thus had a chance of fitting, if the hole geometery on the SA frame matched the original/correct specs. Worst case? I'd still have to buy the correct parts and fit 'em, and the incorrect ones would give me sacrificial examples.)

I later ended up with everything except the frame/slide/barrel off a Norinco 1911, and am still debating swapping all that in, or just finagling another frame and conversion kit. (Might be worth keeping in mind for frames where the feed ramp has been "polished" to irrepairability.)

Please note that I sure as hell function-checked the Kuhnhausen out of it before ever bringing a live round near it...

Anonymous said...

A very large percentage of the installation failures with our products come from "gunsmiths" (yes, those are scare quotes). -- Lyle

Tam said...

Lyle,

Yeah, and there are "mechanics" and "doctors" to worry about, too. ;)

Robin said...

Lyle, there are a lot of gunsmiths who should be horsewhipped out of the business.

Angus McThag said...

Nothing is quite so distressing as ordering an upgrade kit and seeing that you've made assumptions that were unfounded.

Happily many vendors have gotten really good about putting instructions in pdf format on their web pages. Timney is one; although I think if I were them I'd have made the stock relieving prettier for my instruction book that everyone who does that install will see. Dremel? It think you meant beaver and an angry one at that.

Justthisguy said...

Reminds me of what The Whole Earth Catalog said about the J.C. Whitney catalog; if the ad says "No cutting or fitting needed!" you might have to weld.

roland said...

There are two rolands. The guy who painstakingly fitted a new 1911 safety, staked in a new front sight on Filipino 1911, removed the telescoping recoil rod from a PTR PDW and welded it into an A3 stock, that's me working on friend guns. My own stuff? 1911 front sight profiled with a grinder, Timney file fitted to the 03 pseudo scout and never adjusted for optimal let off, oh, and the M16/9 project which finally runs after eight years, et effing cetera. I'm cool with "some fitting", but have zero patience for my own projects. BTW, The PTR SBR runs 100%. A 7.5" 91 clone is silly fun.
Know your limitations, but don't be afraid to push them.