Originally Posted by RYT 2BER
The smiths like these always get great reviews when discussed... any idea why sw got out of the steel non1911 pistol business??
Because people wanted to buy all-steel guns at plastic gun prices.
It takes about 30 minutes of machine time (CNC) to make a steel 3rd gen frame (according to S&W). Glock turns a new frame out of a mold every 85 seconds (according to Glock).
The 3rd gen production was moved to the Maine plant to make room for expanded M&P pistol & rifle production. The SW1911's are made on the same equipment, and the SW1911's are selling fast.
How many regular gun owners do you know who would be willing to line up and place an order for a 3rd gen pistol for $1200 (or more)? If you're going to program the equipment to make a steel frame, it might as well be a TSW as a Value Line/American Heritage, if only to recoup the time (money) invested in the machinery operation. Then, they've got to pay the production cell/assemblers to fit/check the extractors & sear release levers, which takes time, too. (And every once in a great while, a new drawbar might require some filing in order to get it to reach back under the hammer's DA notches, which takes even more time.)
How many new 3rd gen's you want at that price? They're not going to make them and then give them away for a loss, or even a break-even cost. Not good business. Not when M&P's are selling faster than they can make them.
Listening to the folks at the company over the last several years, if the consumer public had been buying the 3rd gen guns in enough numbers to make them profitable, the company would still be making them. They didn't, though ... so plastic guns and 1911's are the bread & butter guns (with revolvers a lesser part of the market).
Consumer spending spoke. The company listened.
We have only ourselves to blame.