I am a springer guy, and so as not to intrude too much into the "vintage" forum, I was wondering how old a springer should be to be considered vintage, and warrant discussion here. I have only been at it about 15 years, but think that the golden era of springers lasted until the early 80s.
Steve. Some purists say anything post-WW2 can't be vintage! Others say the cut-off should be the '60s, when plastic parts arrived, or the '80s, when the HW77/FWB Sport generation was overtaken by the puff guns... the debate goes on. I think a lot depends on how old the collector is and when his nostalgia 'sweet spot' occurred.
A few years ago the proper use of the terms "vintage," "classic," "antique," etc., etc., was debated at great length here. IIRC, we ended up with some pretty detailed criteria...which were promptly forgotten by most of us!
Few would argue with your "early 80's" point in time, and speaking from experience I can say just about any out-of-production airgun will be welcome here, and far from an "intrusion!" Unlike some forums you might find, this bunch loves airguns far more than splitting semantic hairs...
This message has been edited by MDriskill on Aug 5, 2012 7:15 AM
The reason I ask is that it seems like a nice fusion of old and new ideas must have been occurring from after WW2 until the great power race, and more plastic. I would think there is a bit of nostalgia for 60-70s guns with the members, as they may have grown up in that era.
Similar to cars and motorcycles of the era it seemed that the manufacturers were open to many different ways to do the same job. After the early 80s I would think labor costs, material costs, and marketing played a much bigger role, and the variety of styles, and manufacturers, and mechanisms shrank.
That post-war era benefited from acquired engineering knowledge, improvement in steels, but still benefited from lower cost labor, and still had old school craftsman on the factory floor.
The better spring steel led to more power which led to a marketing power war etc until now when only speed sells. I appreciate steel and wood, and quality old school manufacturing, and I guess that may be my definition of "vintage".
Steve, I certainly agree! Airguns of the postwar era have become my favorites over the years, for exactly the reasons of combining "old" quality and "new" ideas which you describe. Plus, on the practical side, they tend to be relatively easy and economical to find in good condition, acquire parts for, etc.
I think my favorite example might be the Diana 60-series target rifles. Traditional styling and barrel-cocking format, lovely hand-oiled stocks, gorgeous metal finish--from a distance, they look like something that could have been made pre-WW2. But then you find inside a recoilless powerplant with two pistons and three springs, and an amazing feather-light trigger--items of complex design, precisely assembled on modern production equipment.
But most guns of the era have many interesting details and a lot of quality.
This message has been edited by MDriskill on Aug 8, 2012 6:27 AM
The match guns are a fine example. Diana did it different from FWB who did it different from Walther, but all are exquisite. Even basic springers; ball detent, chisel, and various lever latching mechanisms. Various piston latching operation. Very interesting is the various ideas of bore/stroke. Spring wire dimensions and quality. Triggers from the basic to the Rekord. An interesting era as the manufacturers sorted it all out. Unfortunately a lot of the cream of the crop got dropped because of manufacturing costs, but as you said, that is where the collecting gets interesting. Like they say, they couldn't possibly build guns like that today.
As some of us grow older (I would say "mature" but that might leave me out), we find more and more folks calling what we might say are contemporary air guns "vintage" and find our "vintage" guns are now, alas, "antiques". Same with cars. To me, a Fifties car isn't so much an antique as a Thirties roadster. That is, until I do the math.