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Spolar

4200 Views 39 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  losclay
Just a heads up that Spolar has raised their base price To $2795. I guess that material costs are going up. Will make used ones more valuable too.
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The Spolar Gold loader is certainly a premium product and like any premium product ain’t cheap & will retain most of their original value. Probably one of the few products out there that sell used within a few dollars of new. Spolar owners know their machines will provide decades of reliable performance & should they decide to dropout of loading they will recover most if not more (depending on what decade they purchased) their initial investment.
The bigger issue may not be the cost of equipment but rather the availability of the basic reloading components. Even the best of loaders is useless without powder & primers. Is there relief on the horizon or how much longer will this drought continue?
 

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Ordered two months ago and they quoted about 6 months out, but also said they had hired two more machinists and were in hopes to pull the date in. Sounds like I might be only a couple months away now :)
When did Spolar buy any production CNC machines? Spolar has always outsourced all their parts and the anodizing and blueing. Carter started the business when the CNC machining industry was hungry for business due to Aerospace slowing down dramatically in the early 1970's.

Maybe they hired some assembly help but I doubt their bottleneck is in the assembly of the loaders. I suspect they are having difficulty sourcing the parts. When I talked with the fellow that ran the business when Carter was in the hospital a few years ago he told me he could assemble all the orders by working just three days a week. He considered buying the business (it was for sale when Carter and Dixie decided to retire) but did not believe he could make a descent living with it.
 

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When did Spolar buy any production CNC machines?
I wouldn't know. I'm only repeating what I was told when I placed my order with them on the phone. I believe the gentleman's name I spoke with about my order was Chris. Assembly was never mentioned as an issue - only the manufacture of parts, and hiring two machinists was what I was told gave hope to shorting delivery time. I have no details beyond that. Makes me wonder if they did the hiring, or a partner/subcontractor?

Regardless of how they have done it, it sounds as if lead-times are shorting which is appreciated. If they are increasing price and honoring the older price for those in the queue that speaks very well of them. I've seen that go both ways in the past with other vendors, happy to hear that's their choice.
 

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The Spolar Gold loader is certainly a premium product and like any premium product ain’t cheap & will retain most of their original value. Probably one of the few products out there that sell used within a few dollars of new. Spolar owners know their machines will provide decades of reliable performance & should they decide to dropout of loading they will recover most if not more (depending on what decade they purchased) their initial investment.
The bigger issue may not be the cost of equipment but rather the availability of the basic reloading components. Even the best of loaders is useless without powder & primers. Is there relief on the horizon or how much longer will this drought continue?
No one knows at least for sure.

Emailed @skeeljc earlier today to let him know that his MEC 25 pound shot reservoir works fine with a MEC 9000 and automate. At least with one of Ben's first Automates (ATS) before he sold it to MEC. And wished that 20 years ago that I would have just gone with a Spolar to begin with. However-

Shot is pretty much $50 a bag for Lawrence and West Coast don't see that changing anytime soon. W209 when listed are running $65\1K but no one has them in stock of course. The 10K Cheddites I got at $35\thousand are starting to look really good. Have a good amount of Green Dot and IMR Green along with International and Clay Dot. But Recobs who I consider a good barometer for pricing has Green Dot up to $203 for a 8 lb. keg, Clays and International is still $150 a keg. Guessing here but am thinking Alliant has already given them new pricing and would expect Hodgdon to soon follow suit.

Using a reloading cost calculator that brings a box of 1 1/8 oz. with 19.5 gr. of Green Dot to $7.88 a box.

Not including sales tax, shipping or Hazmat if required.

Going to take a LONG time to pay off any reloader at those prices no matter which one you have. But at the cost of a Spolar a very long time.

Been a couple of years since I've been in a Walmart and then it was when they were clearing out 1 1/8 oz. 16 ga. shells with #6 shot at less than $5 a box. I bought every box they had in a 75 mile radius of me and have enough ruff grouse loads to last me the rest of my life. Heard some have STS and Nitros for $8.50 a box on occasion now. I will step inside Walmart for those prices today. And tomorrow. And maybe into next year....
 

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I believe the shortages and high prices are caused by the pandemic. You cannot shut a supply line down completely in this day of "Just In Time" inventory and expect to turn it back on like flipping a switch. It would be interesting to know how far Winchester, CCI, Hodgdon, Lawrence, and Cheddite shut down during the height of the pandemic. Making ammunition and components are not work from home jobs. Panic buying and hoarding are responsible for driving the prices up.
 

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I believe the shortages and high prices are caused by the pandemic. You cannot shut a supply line down completely in this day of "Just In Time" inventory and expect to turn it back on like flipping a switch. It would be interesting to know how far Winchester, CCI, Hodgdon, Lawrence, and Cheddite shut down during the height of the pandemic. Making ammunition and components are not work from home jobs. Panic buying and hoarding are responsible for driving the prices up.
Great point Jim!

When I retired from the Navy in 95 I ended up in the world of Dilbert. Business Process Reengineering which became a dirty world eventually. While I worked in many vertical markets JIT in manufacturing caught on fast, storage cost was the main reason.

Did consulting in the SE where delivery to plant was an hour or less. When BMW went into SC due to the tax advantage there were some suppliers that were an hour out or less on JIT. And they were waiting on sheet metal to be delivered due to hydraulic press machines from Germany to press the metal in shape. The guys that were hammering the metal into place were working in unairconditioned factory with all the doors open. All black and singing as they worked slamming what they had into place to send to Greenville, SC. And they never missed a beat they knew they were working for their future, and to say that I was impressed would be an understatement.

I've always said that JIT Inventory is overrated.

Pretty sure the plastic supply of resin in the Gulf Coast would reinforce that by now. But then again so many drink the Kool Aide that they refuse to see the big picture. DR16 wads from Downrange are an example but Kevin is doing what he can. With what he has and can get. JIT? Give me and especially him a break LOL.

Shipping empty boxes out to make quarterly projections is a good example that IBM has taught many that have branched off from the Itty Bitty Machine Company. To make projections.

The Ballad of John Henry still applies today from what I have seen in CivLant, at least IMO.

Man vs. Machine. The battle is old and long. JIT is just an extension and example of it.

 

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When did Spolar buy any production CNC machines? Spolar has always outsourced all their parts and the anodizing and blueing. Carter started the business when the CNC machining industry was hungry for business due to Aerospace slowing down dramatically in the early 1970's.

Maybe they hired some assembly help but I doubt their bottleneck is in the assembly of the loaders. I suspect they are having difficulty sourcing the parts. When I talked with the fellow that ran the business when Carter was in the hospital a few years ago he told me he could assemble all the orders by working just three days a week. He considered buying the business (it was for sale when Carter and Dixie decided to retire) but did not believe he could make a descent living with it.
You have a good point When Carter and Dixie finally give up the business will there be someone to continue the business in these uncertain times
Jim you have made some interesting changes in many loaders.
No one will miss me.
Steve
 

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Sounds like someone ran the numbers and determined they could not make a go of it by buying the business. One valuable part of the business is all the customer records. Back of the envelope suggests its not very profitable long term. OK when it was just the Spolars.
 

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You have a good point When Carter and Dixie finally give up the business will there be someone to continue the business in these uncertain times
Jim you have made some interesting changes in many loaders.
No one will miss me.
Steve
My understanding is that Dixie and Carter's Grandson is now running the business.
 
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