That pretty much was my experience building them. You've gotta tip your hat to their basic reliabilty though. TONS of folks who would be lost with a 'cocker in that period used them with very few reliability problems.
Since we're discussing "raincovers" over on another thread, my friend Fran had a PMI III with a first generation Smart Parts bbl, and with a buffer on the rear action cap, the sound of the ball slicing through the air next to your head would totally drown out the sound of the shot. he would lay in the deep grass and blend in, picking the unsuspecting off...
Anybody here make buffers out of wetsuit material?