I had to contemplate for quite a some time before including the manufacturer's name in this thread's title.
However... this one has such a great name in our community, due to a long history of delivering very good, quality, reliable products.
It's name is quoted on a daily basis as a recommendation in just about any class or discipline on this and many other airgun forums/platforms.
This brings me to my "quandary"...
I feel that some "big name" companies are (unjustly) thriving today, only because of a reputation of years gone by...
I have, over many years, handled, used, bought, borrowed, and tried very many airguns, of as many different makes and names, from cheap unknown to universally recognised as the absolute best in it's class!!
I think I can acknowledge the fact that some were masterpieces, works of art deserving every bit of their reputations... yet, some others, much less so...!
I have seen on numerous occasions, that the level of quality has dropped over the years (whereas price definitely not). Especially out-of-box-failures, and reliabilty issues...
I cannot say if it is because of labour being outsourced to "cheaper" countries, or perhaps due to the fact that these products need to be produced at a specific bottom line?? Or maybe bad QC??
We have all heard of people feeling that some of the current produced Weihrauch rifles, for example, seem "lacking" compared to earlier made models!
This is also where I have to mention my own experiences with Air Arms products, hence the name of the thread...
I have bought two brand new Air Arms airguns during the past year. The first was an Alfa PCP Pistol. I received the first one a week after payment and ordering. It started leaking from the first fill, probably a very easy fix, but annoying nonetheless. Distributers/importers refused to supply a new gun and insisted on repairing...which was unsuccessful, and eventually a brand new gun was sent. (I do realise that after-sales-service is a completely unrelated point, but will include it for interest sake)
This new pistol worked well for a few months before the cocking lever started to become loose. Eventually had to tighten it between every shot, as I did not want to use locktite for the threads, and dreaded the long wait and issues had I decided to send it away again!!
Well, I had to replace this lever/cocking pin with a decent homemade one, because the threads on the original one was damaged beyond repair. Flaweless ever since!!
Which brings me to my next aquirement, an Air Arms MPR, also bought brand new during the same period. From day #1, I was less than impressed! Where was this legendary Air Arms quality? The "white" stock looked like cr@p, it was rough and badly finished.
The receiver/breechblock had sharp edges and a once-over revealed more than just one loose fastening screw.
The two barrel screws in the front barrel band were completely missing, I assumed this was because of some design changes, but cannot find any proof of anything to that effect.
The bluing on the barrel proved to be so "thin", that after two months it started to show signs of pitting and I had to apply several applications of "cold blue" to remedy this...
Today this rifle has also started to leak, seems like a firing valve leaking... So, yet someting more to sort out myself, as, these guns are used daily for school shooting. I can't afford to be without one of them for more than a day or two...!!
I just cannot agree that any one of these guns is a quality, reliable product from a well known company.
What are the chances?? One guy buying two (actually three) different products from the same well known company at different occasions and ALL having/giving problems???
So, is this the norm? Are we supposed to just accept this? Do we actually have another choice?