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Where they're born

1624 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Rich Z
One of the silliest and yet most pervasive arguements on the web relates to where a product is made. I have often read posts saying, "I only buy German optics." or "I don't trust South American guns." If only these posters knew.

One hundred years ago Mausers were made in Germany and shipped throughout the world. During the Boer Wars, guns bound for South America from Germany were diverted to Dutch settlers in the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. Why? Because at that time no one made guns in southern Africa.

Now it's very different. Guns, optics and other military products are no longer made on the other side of the planet and shipped. The modern way is to set up a factory near to the consumers and manufacture the product there.

Fine guns and optics have been produced in most nations of Europe, Asia and the America's. Browning has several of its products made under contract in Japan. Some Zeiss products are made in Eastern Europe. Walther has had a PP/PPK variant, the PPK/E, made in Eastern Europe. It must be a goody since Walther put their name on it. The only Walther copy that I have ever tested that regularly malfunctioned was made in France.

Beretta 92's and their licensed built copies are made in Italy, America and Brazil. The Italian Berettas are made with African iron ore while the American Berettas use American iron ore. Functionally, there is no difference. The steel meets the same spec's.

FN (Browning) Hi-Powers and their copies have been made in Belgium, Canada, Portugal and Argentina. The major supplier of binoculars to the U.S. Army has their lenses made in Japan and shipped to Germany for assembly prior to the journey to America.

Some of the guns made in South America that I have tested have been among the most reliable in the world. The .22LR Argentine copies of Walther PP's will often shoot 800-1000 rounds of high velocity .22LR without fail and the centerfire versions are even more reliable. I know because I tested them for someone.

Where your guns or optics were born doesn't matter, it's the care with which they were made.
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An argument *for* this sort of distinction would be the collectibility of firearms with certain specific originations. If I buy a High Power or FN-FAL, I want one actually made in Belgium. Why? Well, because I believe there is a bit more value attached to them because of that origination. Are they better then the ones coming out of Argentina or elsewhere? Beats me, but when I look at resale values, it seems to tell a story about what people are willing to spend more money for.

Heck, I have seen some guns bring a premium price just from the IMPORTER stamped on the gun. Haven't been able to figure out that one, though....
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