Sunday, November 17, 2013

"Did you hear about the new Blastomatic 3000?"

I've owned a Browning BDM. It was a neat pistol. It was going to be the Next Big Thing, swore at least one gunwriter. I couldn't find holsters for it.

I traded it for a Macintosh SE/30, which I no longer own, either.

The pistol'd be worth more than the Mac would be right now, but I miss both about the same, which is to say "very little, actually". As a matter of fact, I might be persuaded to buy another SE/30, as I sort of half-heartedly collect Macs still, but the BDM tempts me not at all, because I don't collect failed attempts at fin de siècle mass-market cop guns.

It's actually one of several guns I went through, back when I was always game to find the Next Big Thing, but I think the shiny of being an early adopter has worn right off for me.

I mean, to be blunt about it, in the world of new self-loading service pistol introductions, it's safest to bet on failure.

Ignoring the churning mass of Brazilian/Italian/Turkish/Filipino dreck down in the cheap showcase, how many actually truly successful new pistol lines have been launched in the last twenty years? The USP. The M&P. Springfield Armory rescued that Croatian thing with a crap-ton of marketing dollars. It's too soon to call it on the SR9, but Ruger can throw a bunch of marketing money at it, too.

In a world where big, established makers like Steyr and Browning and Beretta and Colt and FN and SIG can bomb so abysmally in trying to get a successful design established in the market, it's always left me a little bemused to see people falling all over themselves trying to be Member #3 at, say, CaracalFanForum.com.

31 comments:

rremington said...

Never buy serial number 001.

Steve Skubinna said...

Your mistake was you got your BDM in the wrong caliber.

Plus, you were holding it wrong.

pdb said...

I'm tellin' ya, the Bernardelli's making a comeback!

I love paging through a random Gun Digest from the 80s to the present and observing just what isn't available anymore. The road to sales success is paved with the corpses of CZ75 clones and also-ran polymer.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, my first Glock will be just old enough to run for Senate in the next election, much as I loathe them.

G-d'm Tupperware.

FormerFlyer

Ritchie said...

The basic principles should be well known by now. Apparently the details are difficult, but sometimes tricky. The last interruption of service with my baby M9 was caused by an odd shaped bullet activating the slide stop.

The Raving Prophet said...

The hell of it is that even if a design has real merit to it, if it falls on its face early on it can never recover.

There's been more than one design that had hiccups out of the gate, got fixed, and ended up being solid, but never managed to pick up a big following thereafter.

Still, you're spot on about new designs... I'd not even restrict it to handguns. If a firearm design is THAT new, than chances are there's more bugs in it than the manufacturer managed to find before launch.

The Great and Powerful Oz said...

I think I still have the SE30 that a roommate left behind years ago. Want it?

Erich505 said...

You not counting the Kahrs and LCPs because they're teensy weensy?

Scott J said...

I like my "Croatian thing" very much thank you :)

Tam said...

TGaPO,

Actually, I might, at that... Email me?


Erich505,

Pocket pistols underwent something of a renaissance in the last twenty years, largely thanks to Kelgren and Moon, so the modern pocket pistol niche is more virgin soil and also less dependent on .gov contracts.

batchainpuller said...

Combating my fatal betamax tendency to be an early adopter, I waited until the SE30 to buy a Mac. I actually loved it until someone came into my office suite and stole it one late afternoon. This was just two years before the Silicon Valley Ninjas started throwing concrete blocks through groundfloor windows to harvest memory chips. BTW I could never afford a Hi-Power, but I've got a dandy FEG with C&S ignition.

Anonymous said...

Tam- You must be writing about the second BDM Browning imported to the US of A. The first one was marked Browning on one side of the slide and SIG and on the other. It came in 45 ACP and was later marked only by SIG and was the Model 220.

Tam said...

No, I am writing about the Browning BDM.

You are thinking of the first use of the "Browning BDA" name, for the early heel-release SIG-Sauers in 9, .3 Super, and .45.

Ron Merrell said...

I had a BDM myself, one of the first ones in my area of the country. I liked it, but accessories were REALLY impossible to find. At least the companies that were paying attention have figured out that a new high line product needed to be supported by them until the aftermarket caught up.

Critter said...

i am always amazed at how often some designer tries to make the old 9mm rotating barrel thing work. again. not.

St. Browning already spoke on that one back in 1903.

armedlaughing said...

Got to shoot one, once (a BDM). Not bad.
Didn't know about the holster snafu, though.

gfa

Drang said...

All of which just solidifies my conviction that anything patented after 1911 is just a fad...

FiftycalTX said...

I'll see your BDM and raise you a Rogak. 18 round mag with a GUARANTEED 9 double feeds or a few triple feeds. Should have been standard issue for UN troops as it could NEVER HIT anything it was aimed at.

Anonymous said...

I still love me my Beretta 96 Vertec. It fits me... Anyone up to play the Atari??

Angus McThag said...

Drang, the Hi-Power is still clinging tenaciously to life and still being made by the original company so I put the patent date at 1926.

Besides, the Colt American is going to catch on! Any day now...

Related, Krusty _IS_ coming.

Anonymous said...

Don't be a Caracal hater!

I got to handle one in the UAE in (2009/10?). How any one could mess up a Steyr is beyond me.

What I found interesting was they really were hard pressed to find anyone in country that would be qualified to be called a shooter.

Gerry

Tam said...

Gerry,

Yeah, their first importer was in K-town, and that all ended in tears.

Matt G said...

"Ignoring the churning mass of Brazilian/Italian/Turkish/Filipino dreck down in the cheap showcase..."

Uh, excuse, señorita, but what have you got against the Mexican dreck?

Kristophr said...

The Mac SE30 was an absolute hotrod.


I almost miss mine ... until I boot up a modern machine and start playing warcrack again.

Overload in Colorado said...

I still have both (BDM and my 512e upgraded to Plus with an accelerator card).
The BDM is still very slim for a double stack 9mm. I used it in USPSA Production for a few years, and never had a problem with it. Maybe I'd be happy with a Hi-Power instead?

Of course I like weird guns: still have a Colt Pocket 9 and a Benelli M3.

Tam said...

The only all-in-one pre-Power PC Macs I own anymore are a Plus and a Color Classic.

Windy Wilson said...

I remember the froth for the BDA. Never fingerprinted one, though. I DID get to fire a Steyr GB, which was pretty big, had a nice magazine, and was pretty reliable if you didn't use reloads not crimped enough, but I digress.
My friend has a Glock 17, or whatever the number is for the full size, California-neutered magazine in 9mm. I may yet get one. Unlike the GB I didn't find it really whippy compared to a 1911 in .45 acp.

RevolverRob said...

I nearly bought a BDM for my first handgun. Instead I bought a Ruger P95...there's a series of pistols still going strong...oh wait. I've always wanted a Walther P99 and P5 too.

Yea, my gun safe is filled with guns that just aren't "it". How about: P95, Smith 3913, a Nylon 66, and two (count 'em, two) Mossberg 3000 12-gauge riot guns. It's purely unintentional, really a reflection of my 'thrifyness' over anything else (hey look, when 12-gauge 18.5" pump riot guns are 150 bucks a piece...you buy them and worry about accessories later).

In the scheme of things maybe some day I will have more mainstream guns, but so far the only thing that counts is a well used J-Frame.

-Rob

Roy Hill said...

I owned a BDM, as I found one for cheap after my Hi-Power was stolen in a break-in. The BDM had the funky safety, and the strange ability to flip between "modes." either DA/SA or straight DAO, which is where the "DM" in BDM came from...Dual Mode.

I discovered the pistol's biggest weak point during a shooting session with friends. The brittle firing pin broke clean in two.

Took a long time to find a replacement, too.

I sold it to a guy for just a little more than I paid for it. Never had the urge to get another.

Anonymous said...

I've got a BDM and I really like it, in large part because it fits my hands so well; I'm never able to get a comfortable grip on a HP or 1911. Aside from mags, it's true that accessories don't exist, but it's a good pistol nonetheless. I've had no FTF or FTE, and it hits where I aim. It isn't as accurate as my Makarov, but few guns are.

Antibubba

markm said...

Drang: Are you dissing the Ma Deuce?