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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  USFA CSS (Moderator: Capt. John Fitzgerald)  |  Topic: The Zip... 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: The Zip...  (Read 386 times)
Skeeter Lewis
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« on: September 16, 2018, 09:39:40 am »


Ian McCollum analyses and tests the Zip...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9bULArrKs4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3fd4goVs-4
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Dave T
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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2018, 03:42:47 pm »

Being a USFA owner I was curious to see what it was that Donnely (sp?) thought was important enough to discontinue SA production.

I watched both videos and all I can say is the ZIP is pathetic and embarrassing. What a sad story of the demise of what was for a brief time a really good gun maker.

Dave
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OD#3
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2018, 04:42:20 pm »

My take on the Zip was that it was never supposed to succeed.  It was Doug Donnelly's middle finger to the single action world for their loyalty to Colt.  USFA never could sell their all USA-made single actions for enough to make a profit, because he could never charge as much or more than Colt.  Though most conceded that USFA's were very high quality guns, and many believed them to be much better built than Colts (myself now included), the popular opinion was still something like, "Why pay that much for a premium USFA copy when, for just a couple hundred more, I could get the real thing?" 

Colt was producing fairly decent SAA's by then and were making enough of them to be encountered online at major distributors.  I remember ordering one through Bud's in 2010 (I don't think we'll ever see a new one at Bud's again).  That was a year before USFA ceased production of single actions.  I got a really good deal on that Colt.  I think I paid maybe $1,000 for it, and I counted myself lucky to have acquired a "gen-u-wine" Colt Single Action Army for close to what a new USFA premium cost.  I'd have been better off with the USFA.  Even my Rodeos are better built than that Colt was.  But I, too, in my naivete, preferred the pony back then. 
 
So Doug shut down the single actions and instead produced the crappiest .22 pistol ever made, appropriately named the Zip--as in Zilch, Nada, Nothing.  I always imagined him thinking, "If price is all they care about, then THIS is what that sort of money buys you!" 

I never met Doug Donnelly.  Perhaps he was just a wealthy man who got bored with his hobby.  But I could understand if he was thinking precisely what I laid out.  Ironically, probably the people who felt screwed the most by their purchases were the ones who bought a ZIP based on nothing more than brand loyalty to USFA.
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2018, 11:11:43 am »


PLUS ONE to OD#3

Betcha nobody was dumb enough to buy two  Roll Eyes
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Major 2
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2018, 03:35:40 pm »

" My take on the Zip was that it was never supposed to succeed.  It was Doug Donnelly's middle finger to the single action world for their loyalty to Colt "

Were I tend to agree, with "was never supposed to succeed"  I prefer it was designed to fail...

I don't think Donnelly was in fact was extending the "middle finger" as it were ...but flat lost his mind !
I spoke to him at Shot Show 07 when he was touting the NEW Remington (forging by Uberti BTW ) and before Berretta/Uberti  hung him out to dry completely.
Remington pulled the plug too.... and he was in the throngs then, of doom as he was left on base with the 3rd. out pulled in...
"base ball metaphor" he was angry then...he went mad !

I held a ZIP, it had all the attributes of plastic five & dime store cap gun.  It was more styrene plastic feeling than Plastic fantastic black guns feel....
It reminded me of the $1.50 bean guns of the 60's, only they worked and weren't so STUPID looking !



 
 


* bean gun.jpg (244.41 KB, 816x612 - viewed 10 times.)
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OD#3
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2018, 04:17:56 pm »

You'd know better than I, as I never met the man.  But I have sometimes waffled between my theory of his getting "fed-up" and his going crazy.  The best evidence for the latter is possibly how little those who knew him the best are willing to talk about those last days at USFA.  Some of the nicest photos of USFA's I've ever seen are posted on the Colt Forum by a couple of individuals who appeared to be friends of his.  One mentions shooting with him regularly and having been the recipient of at least one custom USFA from Mr. Donnelly as a gift.  He is in possession of some very scarce (perhaps only) varieties of USFA guns, which would seem to have required a fairly close relationship between him and Donnelly to acquire, yet he remains fairly tight-lipped about Donnelly's motivations at the end.  I have often wondered if that was out of politeness.  Regardless, though information about that company has been pieced-together over the years, there remains a dearth of authoritative information on USFA, and I find that frustrating.  Mr. Granger has shared some gems, but sometimes it seems as if there is some sort of nondisclosure agreement being enforced when it comes to USFA.
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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2018, 06:19:04 pm »

Here is the man himself, as he was showing the still birthed Remington's (Shot 07) 

I held the as forged frame and a near machined version, he was just months from the projects demise .


* usfa remmie.jpg (121.78 KB, 550x413 - viewed 33 times.)
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2018, 07:53:33 pm »

After the agonizing death of USFA, I always felt the failed Remington project was the last straw.  A also felt that Beretta/Uberti colluded after their merger/acquisition to finish off USFA.  While USFA didn't have a major market share, and Colt was already on the floor in convulsions, I think the truly resented the single action public holding the USA made Uberti up as the "STANDARD" to be judged by.  Poor business acumen and really poor product decisions really hurt.  Where was I.  

As USFA rolled over and cooked, I couldn't help but think Donnelly would have so much better off to have gone after the Merwin Hulbert, entirely on his own hook independent of outside influence.  I believe the Merwin could and would have garnered much more market share than could ever be realized by "just another Reimington."  Had he elected to build the Merwin in the Single Action only version, with both Grip shapes available, offering two barrel sets (4 inch and 7 inch) he would have had a real winner.  Fewer vacations of the SAA platform with some mechanical updating could also have had a positive influence.  Just my take.

Holy KRAP Batgirl, I ever mention I hate "Auto Correct"
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LonesomePigeon
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« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2018, 08:57:12 pm »

 Well, I only know rumors posted on old forum posts but one was that Mr. Donnelly planned on bringing back the SAA replicas after a two year or so hiatus. Therefore, I think he thought the Zip would succeed and that it would provide the funds needed to bring back those amazing SAA replicas. People seem to love cheap .22's and if the Zip had actually worked it might have been a success.
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Galloway
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« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2018, 10:57:18 pm »

Quote
I spoke to him at Shot Show 07 when he was touting the NEW Remington (forging by Uberti BTW ) and before Berretta/Uberti  hung him out to dry completely.



How did they did this? I believe they were partners at one point werent they?
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« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2018, 08:49:24 am »

at the out set in the early 90's  Donnelly was an importer of Uberti and his Early conversion was ASM..
as you know it was known as  USPFA ,  I aquired one of the conversions of " SHOT 93" ....

(side bar Colt threatened the USPFA  as you know and it was Re-branded  USFA
They started to order the guns from Uberti in the white ( much as COLT/ Imperato had done a decade earlier )

Donnelly, began in house parts and finally guns by 2003-4 using Uberti Software designs & dim's

USFA was more client than any form of partener ...enter Beretta and the acquisition of Uberti.... the relationship
went south after the Remington pipe dream....

Uberti (nee Beretta) would provide R&D and Remington USA would licence the Brand ( name ) 
Donnally was to fit & finish and broker...

I'm not sure of the order of first card of the house to fall...

Whether is the Beretta that ditched the plan, rf if it was Remington pulling out ( I suspect wanting a bigger piece of the pie for the licence )

Course Uberti ( under Beretta ) was developing a Remington conversion that would be a duel cylinder (1 percussion -1 cartridge )
( Taylor's & Beretta USA Accokeek had cataloged these )
These did not materialize and became the Remington Forge Frame conversion shown @ "SHOT 2008" without a percussion cylinder
and replaced the former plan...

These 3 coffin nails were the demise of Donnelly's plan for the USFA Remington he showed at SHOT 07.

Things soured from there.. with Beretta/ Uberti & Donnelly , or so he alluded to me  in an interview
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Dave T
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« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2018, 11:24:04 am »

To add to his difficulties, over on the ColtForum there was a discussion about a possible collaboration between Colt and USFA. One commenter said he personally knew the two companies met and discussed USFA making SAAs for Colt. There were even a few prototypes made to exact 1st Gen Colt dimensions. Then at the last minute the deal died, just like the deal for the Remington.

Pure speculation on my part but maybe these were the "1 & 2 punch" that did USFA (and Donnelly) in.

Dave
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« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2018, 01:25:14 pm »

Can't say it's what happened....* for sure

But COLT was planning a move to Kissimmee Florida , in December 2011.
The state is was giving Colt tax breaks and other incentives.

* I believe Connecticut laywers and the UAW , jinked those plans and it never happened ...

Colt was forced to repay the incentives with interest.
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sack peterson
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« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2018, 03:01:07 pm »

After the agonizing death of USFA, I always felt the failed Remington project was the last straw.  A also felt that Beretta/Uberti colluded after their merger/acquisition to finish off USFA....

'Collude' is too pejorative a way to describe the business machinations that went on in the sixgun business then.  

The sale of in the white guns was negotiated in what, 1995, between USPFA and Uberti.  Beretta buys Uberti in 2000... One of Uberti's most valuable assets is the Cattleman, and Beretta decides after a while they don't want the product diminished by schattershot distribution, and they want to sell a Beretta version of it, the Stampede.  So actually a few distributors were cut at that time.  USPFA, EMF, and Navy Arms were cut.  Cimarron and Taylors remained.

That's just business.  Beretta wasn't obligated to furnish any of those outfits with product so that they could remain competitors.  

Part of the Beretta strategy was no doubt in mind of the absence of a second Italian competitor at the time as ASM had just gone under.  But then Pietta cam out almost immediately with their 1873.
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