Posted by Marty on 7/3/2020 to Newsletters
Lots of great announcements from your HausofArms staff.
FIRST THE ELEPHANT!
I spoke with Lehigh Defense this evening (6/29/20), they are making progress on the SSK-50 frames, finally. As I understand it, the first batch of sample castings was rejected by LD. Re-engineering has the 2nd set of sample castings to be in LD hands by 7/10 with a high probability of acceptance. If that happens, the full production of frame castings begins immediately. Apparently, recreating 1960's process technology was more difficult for a tech savvy, state of the art, gun parts casting company to accomplish than initially thought.
So mid-summer now has gone to probably end of summer. I, too, am not happy with that answer, BUT here is something to keep in mind as I share two stories with you.
First...while talking to a customer sharing the latest as I find myself doing more and more of lately, I used a phrase in conversation with him. 30 minutes later he reminded me of what I said. "IT HAS TO BE RIGHT!" He told me that the most important thing I said in our 30 minute plus conversation was that phrase. We all want them now. We all have projects in mind for them. We all have loads to develop for hunting seasons around the corner, BUT the real bottom line is, "IT HAS TO BE RIGHT!"
Second...As I understand the old process, castings by lots and batches were not exactly always 100% the same, leading to modifications to the internals that led to inconsistencies and modifications, sometimes to the internals of a frame to help correct these inconsistencies on the fly, leading to SNOWFLAKES! Not happening at LD. As I have shared before, there are 1000 sets of internals already done and waiting for these castings. So there is no margin for error or "IT'S CLOSE ENOUGH." Personally, I'm glad that Dave at LD is a perfectionist. I expect these SSK-50 frames to be the best Contender frames ever! Is the expectation high? Certainly but remember, "IT HAS TO BE RIGHT!"
I will now repeat what I have said from the beginning, if you have a paid order in place and want your money back while you still hold your place in line, no problem here making that happen. Just call me. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
NOW THE OTHER ELEPHANT
As of this writing as I understand it, T/C still does not have a brand manager in MA. Perhaps soon. Who knows or maybe cares. How would you hire that person? Will they seek to hire from within? Not likely. They have already done that. Will they seek someone from the gun industry, perhaps Ruger? Perhaps Craig Cushman would come back? He was the predecessor to Danielle so I'm sure he wouldn't return the call. How about a marketing genius from another industry? I mean how hard could it be to learn about the detailed history of a once industry leading niche company that started 53 years ago?! Lots of water under that bridge for sure. Or perhaps how about selling the company for $1 to a passionate T/C person that could make it thrive? No, not me. I'm too busy! But...we have plenty of qualified people right here within our community.
A huge thanks to HausofArms friend and contributor, Justin Van Dee, for taking this project on from beginning to end, as we literally started taking about this project about 2 years ago. For some unexplainable reason when T/C created the 1 hole walnut forends for the 10" octagon and step down barrels, they moved the dovetail closer to the muzzle making the round barrel forends unusable for this application. I guess that in a big picture kind of way this issue simply went up in smoke after the late 90's fire that destroyed the barrel contour machine that created these barrels. I'm told by a reliable source that these barrels were so popular (and slow to make) that they required operation by 3 shifts just to keep up. In any case, they have been recreated with a more friendly contour and are in stock in walnut and 5 colors of laminate. So bottom line, if your old Contender with octagon or stepdown barrel is in need of a makeover, you now know where to go, and you can thank Justin for his efforts.
I'm sure Art is providing a current list of barrel sku's in another part of the magazine so let's just cover what makes these barrels different:
1) First of all, they are SSK custom barrels, priced even lower in some cases than factory barrels, that is if T/C even made these caliber offerings.
2) Second many of the Contender barrels are 6 hole prepped so your choice of 4 hole base or 6 hole TSOB base (now in stock). Some of the sku's come with brakes or threaded.
3) Many of the Encore barrels are also prepped for the 6 hole base pattern and some come with the TSOB attached while some even include the brake. Normally, Encore barrels forends are attached with 8-40 screws so in the case of many of our barrels they come with a 3 hole (8-40) hole pattern so you have the choice of pistol or rifle forend. On the heavy hitters though we have installed 10-32 dovetails on 5" centers to eliminate the forend/screw failures. So you say but there are no forends? Read on.
20/12GA FORENDS PLUS
T/C still makes 2 synthetic forends black/camo in each of the 20/12GA prohunter models. HausofArms has stocked walnut plus 4 colors of laminate in each of the 20/12GA forend models with a little longer 13 1/4" overall length. But Marty, those are too long for a 15" barrel with a needed brake? Not when we have had them cut down to 10" overall. There again that word 'choice' appears. By definition the BULL contour (.997") is the same as a 12GA and the FULL contour or MZLDR contour (.865") is the same as the 20GA. Just search 10 INCH on HausofArms.com and you'll see all the options.
You can see these in Art's raffle section. In stock for the G1 and G2 Contender as well as the Encore. These grips come with a 1913 Interface on the back end allowing maximum flexibility to either couple it with the 1913 adapter/to buffer tube to Magpul adjustable buttstock or to use as a folding "pistol brace." These "pistol brace" creations have been determined by the BATF to be a "non stock" (not a rifle buttstock) and ARE a handgun grip. Since they are a handgun grip you can use a barrel less than 16" long (pistol barrel) and not be in violation of the SBR regulations, regardless of whether you actually shoulder this device. How you use it does not change the BATF designation. We have tested first hand, and Eric's video is on our HausofArms YouTube channel showing not only versatility as well as durability by testing with the 444Marlin on the Encore and the 375JDJ on the G2 Contender.
MGM/SSK TSOB BASES IN STOCK
Sadly but not surprisingly, T/C has started discontinuing the Encore and Contender scope bases. The first was the TC9907 silver alloy Encore then the TC9949 12GA base (yes the only one made for the T/C 12GA barrels) and now the Maxima steel Encore bases. It seems MOQ (minimum order quantity) just doesn't justify servicing the T/C customer. Not to worry, we probably should have been stocking these all along--MGM 4 hole steel bases in black and silver, Encore and Contender. These will work on T/C barrels as well with shorter screws we can provide upon request and certainly on MGM barrels. We also have SSK 6 Hole TSOB bases for Encore and Contender, silver and black. These will work on any SSK contender barrel prepped for 6 holes, and on any of the 3 Encore barrel profiles. We are also efforting having other bases made to replace the discontinued ones from T/C. Again, it's all about choice.
MORE JD JONES COLLECTION BARRELS INBOUND
I expect to have the next batch of JD Jones' personal collection barrels inbound shortly and perhaps some TCR stuff as well. Fun Times! Search JD on HausOfArms.com to see what's currently available.
Shoot straight and be safe,