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Old 11-14-2012, 11:48 AM   #71 (permalink)
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Setting up to make a barrel with a blank area at the threads would be pretty much the same as setting up to do a specific thread. It's no less work or hassle.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:00 PM   #72 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ironnerd88 View Post
But if it's so cheap, quick, and easy to do, why can't I order a barrel in whatever thread I want? I mean, there are cool old guns out there. And paintballs are shrinking, making their barrels less-than-optimal. Why not hold a few barrels out as blanks and drop them in the CNC when an order comes in. Charge a little less for the service than most airsmith's charge to re-thread and make a little extra coin. Perhaps not something a high-rate producer can do - probably a smaller barrel maker. I mean we do live in a world where people pay $350+ for a PGP clone or $700+ for a nelspot 007 clone- why not pay a little extra for a nice barrel that fits your cool old gun?
nobody who runs a business has a CNC lathe just sitting there waiting to thread these barrels... and different barrel thread specs often require different tools. lets say you change three tools and set that up, that's one hour right there, which is easily $100 to get going. With an expert setter operator, no material will be wasted, and if there are guages made for all these possible threads it's quick to verify... but that's best case scenario. Essentially it would be fair to say that a one-off barrel threading job (just the threading end) would run about $200... so how does that compare to an airsmith doing it in a manual hobby shop again? This is why nobody does it. Sure, if you can find a small CNC shop with low workload, competitive or desperate for work you may get such a job done for half that, but it would be tough to make that kind of deal happen under normal circumstances.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:17 PM   #73 (permalink)
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^^^^
So why does it cost substantially less than that $100 figure to have a barrel re-threaded? I mean, I have had barrels re-threaded - somewhere there is an ACI hornet with an all-american barrel on it - and it did not cost even half that $100 number which is half the base cost of threading a barrel ($200).

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Setting up to make a barrel with a blank area at the threads would be pretty much the same as setting up to do a specific thread. It's no less work or hassle.
Maybe. In our shops sometimes things are processed all at once, sometimes they get certain jobs done on one machine, others done on a different machine.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:18 PM   #74 (permalink)
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Maybe it is because it is done by a hobbyist machinist who is likely not pushing the entire true cost onto the consumer? If it takes an extra 5 minutes of their time to do something they probably won't care. But to do it 1000 times...
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:44 PM   #75 (permalink)
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Here is an interesting mental exercise. Without doing the math:

What do you consider a fair annual salary for a skilled machinist. One capable of taking your project from "I want a freak back with freak front threading on the front and ________ threading on the rear" to an actual piece in your hand. That means he has to be able to set up all the equipment, run the production equipment to a level that makes it work, and deliver the product.

What do you consider a fair rate for you to pay to have this type of work done per hour?
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:08 PM   #76 (permalink)
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-Actually, one of the things that started off AGD was their then-cutting-edge automated production equipment. Kaye, as I recall, started out making vacuum-formed face masks out of a plastic much like Kydex. (If not, you know, actually Kydex.) They then used a computerized 3-D router/mill that they had designed and built, to trim the raw mask blank down to size and open the eye holes.

AGD was using top-end CNC equipment back when Smart Parts was still using a drill press.
(lol smart parts.)

Right, that’s what I’m trying to say. “Pain/cost of manufacturing” probably wouldn’t faze AGD so much, so if a twistlock is more painful to manufacture (especially if it’s someone else who’s making those twistlock barrels anyways), it’s hard to see that as being a primary motivating factor to move away from it. My impression is that it was something else that did it... /me points to grassy knoll.


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If they'd wanted to go with a threaded barrel, they'd have had to make a threaded "sleeve" to fit into the body- that's a greater cost and more machine time.
Huh... a threaded sleeve... you mean, kinda like this?



Sorry, couldn’t resist.

AGD could have been making stuff like that themselves. Could have just made a plastic sleeve/breech with all the trimmings, threaded for damn near any barrel you wanted. I mean, if I can do it for $15 without ever touching a machine, I’m sure AGD’s “machine shop of the future” could have done it better and cheaper. If they wanted. Which they didn’t. Oh well.



While we’re talking about barrel mechanisms, the other idea I had was actually to use interrupted threads ( Interrupted screw - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ) for a cocker barrel. You get the best of all worlds -- lots of threads to hold a barrel in, plus really fast barrel removal -- like a quarter turn and you’re out, no need to confuse Juggalos, and you could also potentially retrofit old guns and old barrels to do this.

Problem is that the thread orientation and variances across different barrels/guns might make this too difficult to retrofit everything to be compatible with everything else. Might be able to do something like Ninja's ASA shims to make adjustments though.

Ultimately, the Blazer barrel still gets my vote though.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:10 PM   #77 (permalink)
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I'm not going to pay the annual salary for the machinist with the purchase of one re-threaded barrel. Our guys make about $60k-65k/yr plus benefits. So for an hour's work he would get $30ish. This is in addition to overhead like the machine he is using and the building he works in.

The guy who re-threaded my barrel was not a hobbyist, and I'm pretty sure he charges a fair hourly shop fee or he would have gone out of business a while ago.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:10 PM   #78 (permalink)
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Something just popped into my head but there are probably reasons why it wouldn't work. Is it possible to have a magnet retained barrel that can be pulled straight out?
take a look at the Dye Dam. The barrel threads into a carrier and that is held in by 1 set screw.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:44 PM   #79 (permalink)
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Doesn't matter what a machinists salary is. Shop rate for a business is much higher than that, usually between $90-120 but sometimes more or less, depends what part of the country and how busy they are (and how close you are with the shop). "shop rate" for a hobby shop or airsmith can be much lower, because they are privately doing it on their own schedule, no overhead and their actual income is usually a day job... and they may have low cost manual machines which are dedicated to specific types of work. In this case we could be talking $20 an hour or less, some guys don't make a cent on a job or they lose money just to get it done (whether for experience, helping out a friend or just plain don't give a ****).
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:47 PM   #80 (permalink)
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My point is this: I think some people expect a machinist to do a whole lot of work for a little bit of pay so they can have a _______ threaded barrel. The math does not work out
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