"Blast" from the past: the USFA Zip 22!

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"Blast" from the past: the USFA Zip 22!

Post by majorhavoc » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:11 pm

I dearly love the Forgotten Weapons YT channel. Ian McCollum usually reviews cool old firearms. And I was aware that the Zip 22 was a spectacularly stupid idea. For some reason, I didn't track that it was also a spectacularly crappy gun. And what I was completely unaware of was that the two in combination destroyed an otherwise successful firearm company. Very entertaining review/breakdown.


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Re: "Blast" from the past: the USFA Zip 22!

Post by w3rdtoyamama » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:14 pm

Not that thing again :rofl:
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Re: "Blast" from the past: the USFA Zip 22!

Post by boskone » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:57 pm

I think that was one of the funniest pairs of videos he's done.

The first because he's usually pretty oblique or at least purely technical in his criticisms, the second because of how surprised he was when it actually worked for a string of rounds.

I think this and the Cobray Terminator are the only things I've seen him actively negative about, instead of "it's got problems" or "it just really wasn't good" or something kinda oblique.

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Re: "Blast" from the past: the USFA Zip 22!

Post by 12_Gauge_Chimp » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:02 pm

Even if they were handing those guns out for free at Cabela's or Academy, there's no way I'd ever own one.


Also, didn't USFA used to make really good Colt SAA clones or am I thinking of another company ?

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Re: "Blast" from the past: the USFA Zip 22!

Post by Stercutus » Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:30 pm

Given that they are actually dangerous to operate I'd have to agree. I'd feel bad if I got one for free and that person then shot themselves in the hand with the idiotic thing.
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Re: "Blast" from the past: the USFA Zip 22!

Post by boskone » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:41 pm

12_Gauge_Chimp wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:02 pm
Also, didn't USFA used to make really good Colt SAA clones or am I thinking of another company ?
Nope, you're right. They even sold the tooling for the SAA clones to finance the manufacture of Zip22s. Apparently the owner thought they'd sell a gajillion of the Zip22s and buy the tooling back later.

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Re: "Blast" from the past: the USFA Zip 22!

Post by 12_Gauge_Chimp » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:06 pm

boskone wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:41 pm
12_Gauge_Chimp wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:02 pm
Also, didn't USFA used to make really good Colt SAA clones or am I thinking of another company ?
Nope, you're right. They even sold the tooling for the SAA clones to finance the manufacture of Zip22s. Apparently the owner thought they'd sell a gajillion of the Zip22s and buy the tooling back later.
That was a bone headed move on the owner's part.

A smarter move would've been to sell off some tooling or other assets, make a few Zip22s and then go from there.

Actually, a smarter move would've been to never make the Zip22 in the first place and keep making the SAA clones.

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Re: "Blast" from the past: the USFA Zip 22!

Post by NT2C » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:46 pm

I think the real question is who bought the tooling and what happened to it? By all accounts, the SAA pistols they were producing were of very fine quality and are now commanding premium prices because the supply ended. So, where did the tooling go and why hasn't it been used to make more?
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Re: "Blast" from the past: the USFA Zip 22!

Post by boskone » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:44 pm

12_Gauge_Chimp wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:06 pm
boskone wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:41 pm
12_Gauge_Chimp wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:02 pm
Also, didn't USFA used to make really good Colt SAA clones or am I thinking of another company ?
Nope, you're right. They even sold the tooling for the SAA clones to finance the manufacture of Zip22s. Apparently the owner thought they'd sell a gajillion of the Zip22s and buy the tooling back later.
That was a bone headed move on the owner's part.

A smarter move would've been to sell off some tooling or other assets, make a few Zip22s and then go from there.

Actually, a smarter move would've been to never make the Zip22 in the first place and keep making the SAA clones.
Trying new things, even if they fail, is usually a good thing. No risk, no reward. However, that's if you have a failback plan. USFA's mistake was going all in on the new without a plan for failure.

There are several points they could have built in bailouts, but...well, it really doesn't matter anymore.
NT2C wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:46 pm
I think the real question is who bought the tooling and what happened to it? By all accounts, the SAA pistols they were producing were of very fine quality and are now commanding premium prices because the supply ended. So, where did the tooling go and why hasn't it been used to make more?
That, I'm afraid I don't know; I'm not sure it's even publicly-available information.

Maybe one of the now-current repro manufacturers has it? I dunno how generic revolver manufacturing tools are, maybe whoever ended up with it repurposed it to other designs or something.

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Re: "Blast" from the past: the USFA Zip 22!

Post by 12_Gauge_Chimp » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:35 pm

The Zip22 could've been a decent little gun, provided they had made it with stronger materials in certain areas and not went whole hog into getting it out to the public before ironing out the bugs in the system.

Had USFA used steel or aluminum for the bolt in place of plastic, placed the charging handle in a less dangerous spot and put an extractor or ejector in it, it might have been better. Oh, and put an actual grip on it instead of relying on a magazine for that purpose.

If I could buy the rights to the design (and I was a smarter man), I'd tweak it a bit and maybe bring it back out in a new version.

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Re: "Blast" from the past: the USFA Zip 22!

Post by emclean » Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:41 am

12_Gauge_Chimp wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:06 pm
boskone wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:41 pm
12_Gauge_Chimp wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:02 pm
Also, didn't USFA used to make really good Colt SAA clones or am I thinking of another company ?
Nope, you're right. They even sold the tooling for the SAA clones to finance the manufacture of Zip22s. Apparently the owner thought they'd sell a gajillion of the Zip22s and buy the tooling back later.
That was a bone headed move on the owner's part.

A smarter move would've been to sell off some tooling or other assets, make a few Zip22s and then go from there.
the impression I got from the video is that it wasn't really a choice, the cost of the manufacturing equipment precluded small scale production (price per unit would have been too high)

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