I had a friend call Sharp Chiba in Japan last week to see what the current status was with regard to Sharp Airguns. I think the current exchange rate will prohibit importing anything, but thought it might be of interest to those who like Sharp airguns. I posted the information on the Japanese airgun forum - here's the link:
If there were a market for Sharps at that price then I'd rather a reissue Supergrade
July 1 2012, 2:41 AM
In other words Sharp is evidently not interested in selling Stateside and if they could at that price, then there could potentially be a market for high quality domestic reissue limited run MSP's like the Sheridan Supergrade or Crosman Town & Country. Personally I'd rather own one or both of those than the grossly inflated Sharp Ace. But alas, I'm only one man, and one man doth not a market niche make.
The Japanese would be all over a Kentucky edition Supergrade.
July 1 2012, 11:44 AM
There's a market out there for a high grade pumper, both here and in Japan. Since the Japenese go crazy for all things American, particularly high end items, Crosman could certianly sell modern Supergrades over there too. In fact, Crosman could probably get $3500 a copy with a Japan market "Colonel Sanders" edition Supergrade with his likeness on the Breech...
I have friends who work for companies that deal with/import Japanese products and they say the exchange rate is absolutely hammering business in the US. Years ago the exchange rate was 300 Yen to the US dollar (ok, I know this was a long time ago - ha) - at that rate a Sharp Ace Hunter would be $448. My friend who called Sharp said she remembers when it was 369 Yen to the US dollar, which would put the Ace at around $365. So it's basically the weak US dollar that prevents the purchase of a Sharp - or at least a significant factor. My question is regarding the other side of the equation: Is 134,400 Yen expensive in Japan?
When I bought what was probably the last Sharp Ace Hunter available from Dave's Airgun Service (late 90's?), I remember he said the exchange rate was getting to where it would not be profitable to import Sharp Airguns. Who knew this would be a decade+ long trend?
All that aside, I was just surprised to learn that Sharp Chiba is continuing the business of making the Ace Hunter and Innova. From various websites/forums I have visited, I had the impression that they were no longer in business.
Your question as to do they actually bring the amount in yen in Japan they are advertised. I believe the answer is probally yes, from rumors I 've heard they have no problem selling their limited production each year., and they are VERY EXPENSIVE for the average consumer. Airguns in JApn is a replacement for powder rifles , they are an expensive ADULT hobby, every 9 yr old doesn't get a crosman like in the USA.
I expect our products (crosman) are mega expensive over their , probally due to the traiffs , taxes, and shipping. Legal restrictions probally rule out people on low income as they just can't afford all the licenses , ammo and member ship to clubs... ect.
I have one of the last Innova's II bought in I'm sure, it looks like an ACE because of the redish fine finished wood.. It looks exactly like the present production . It is unusual in that it is a 5mm Cal. ,only INNOVA I have heard of in this cal.. Anybody else got one? It is dressed up exaclty like an Ace with the same exact deluxe wood and redish stain of the latter SHarps. Probally my favorite SHarp , weight only a little over 4 lbs , yet has the big ACE stock and pump handle. Typical Sharp its shoot very accurate.
if that was considered a lot of $ to the average Japanese citizen. It translates to $1,700 in US, which is definitely very expensive, but of course that has a lot to do with the exchange rate and a weak dollar.
I didn't know there were Innova II's out there until I browsed through the Sharp Chiba site. That looks like a very nice airgun, and I'd say if you have one of those, there may not be any reason to have an Ace (unless you just want one, of course). In addition to the Ace Hunter, I also have an Innova in .177cal, but it's definitely not as nice looking as the Innova II. It has the plastic receiver - (the typical Innova). When I bought my Innova several years ago, it was advertised as LNMIB, which was a total crock. It showed signs of use on the stock & pump handle, and there's even a few spots where it appears someone had re-blued. I told the seller that I'd like to send it back, but he only offered 10% off the next airgun he sells. Put it in the closet where it sat until I sent it to someone (can't remember the full name but I think his first was Randy) to reseal and fix the safety. Works fine now, but I'm still disappointed I didn't get an example in mint condition.
Just out of curiosity, is there anyone stateside who knows Sharps and repairs/services them?
money (yen)to the average Japanese fellow as well.
There are two grades of INNOVA II . I have a Mint INNOVA II .177 STD stocked MODEL, it has the INNOVA I or original style rectangle pump handle and plain stock. I had it bought over from the UK not long ago. with the original box . It had sat in closet since new. There is post and pic of it on the Japanese forum.
The INNOVA II at some point was up graded with ACE like appointments and wood and became the INNOVA II DELUXE. I believe the INNOVA II was offered a number of year as either a STD or upgraded Deluxe model.
It appears all the new INNOVA II's are now DELUXE issues. ....just in three calibres to choose and have the identical cut and red stained tight grain wood of the ACE. Innova II still has the plastic reciever and plastic tube cover over the steel barrel. The Deluxe II has most all the nice ACE stock appointments.
I 'm going to post a pic the 5mm INNOVA Deluxe when I get some pics taken. I have a very very late 90's boxed ACE (Also posted n the Jap forum as well) with the red colored stain and tight grained wood. . The wood in my .22 ACE is a dead on Match for the 5mm INNOVA DELUXE 's.
Thanks for the info on the Innova II. I like the fact that they upgraded - a move in the right direction. When I get the chance, I'll take pics of my Sharp Ace Hunter (.20cal) and Innova (.177) and post them. It's a bummer about the $cost of new Sharps - I'd like to add a couple more to my stable.
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