Sunday, April 07, 2013

Gun nuts are remarkably gullible



In 1942, the Russian Red Army needed a cheap submachine gun to supplement production of their PPSh-41 submachine gun. The PPSh-41 was the iconic Russian infantry weapon of World War Two, but it required several machined parts and had a wooden stock, all of which increased production time and cost. Enter the PPS-43, a design that embodied the concept of a weapon that is cheap and easy to produce. The PPS-43 replaced expensive machining with stamping and welds. The PPS-43 required 2.7 hours of machining compared to 7.3 hours needed for the PPSh-41. The PPS-43 probably costs less than $20 each to produce.

Fast forward to now. Now the PPS-43 is being marketed to gun purchasers in the United States. Federal law requires certain changes. The gun, now known as the "PPS-43c," isn't fully automatic and the folding stock is locked permanently in the closed position, allowing the weapon to be marketed in the United States as a "pistol."

Here's the punchline: this cheap piece of mass-produced Soviet hardware that cost perhaps $20 to produce is now being sold to Americans for $400-500 each. Here's the takeaway: you can sell practically anything to an American gun nut as long as you can find a way to put a (non-functioning) folding stock and a curved magazine on it--and at a 2000% markup!

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