Post Jul 20, 2017 by HMGTravis
Hello and well met traveler!
Hope everyone has been enjoying the summer months. Sorry for the delay on this and items in general as of late, things have been a bit busy here at HMG® and I’ve been struggling to find some time to write up an update. Thankfully for you all my newborn refuses to sleep tonight so have some time now!
Judging by responses to our social media posts everyone is excited and anxious for the release of the StG! That and impressed about the exquisite hashtags that each and everything is blessed by #youalreadyknow #weouthere
Wanted to give a recap of things that have happened since we last chatted and a look into the future.
TL:DR = The StG is SO DAMN CLOSE to shipping, goal is all orders from 2015 and majority of 2016 out this year. Quantity shipped will be determined on how fast we can reach our maximum production potential. We are full steam ahead, so be easy and stay patient with us, please. We are too close now to fail.
STG STAIN COLOR
The biggest change of late was the decision to change the color of the stain on the stocks. Originally as everyone knows we were going to offer the beech-wood furniture with a simple nearly clear stain. This was one of the largest pieces of push back we got on the rifle and decided to look at some options. So we stained a few different stocks a few different colors and showed them off, giving everyone a chance to vote on them. Little did I know the shit storm this would cause on social media(and also some of the dankest memes I’ve seen in a while). At the end of the say we reached a mutually beneficial solution to the issue. All orders placed before July 1st will have the option of either the original light stain(top image) or the newer darker version(lower).
Anything after July 1st will have the darker look to it. When we are approximately 4-6 weeks from shipping your gun we will contact you and ask about the color at that time. If you would rather call early and let us know that is fine too!
STG PRODUCTION DEVELOPMENTS
“So if guns still aren’t shipping then what have you been up to?” I’m sure everyone is asking…. Quite a bit actually. If you remember from the earlier post we received ALL of our production steel for several thousand guns or so(unloading it was a treat, very much an OSHA approved process used). We have to cut this steel down to workable sizes for the CNC mills to make our parts. This is a very slow process as the steel is thick and our cutting rate has to be slow. That said we have gotten all of the steel cut for the majority of the orders on the books as of now, which is flipping fantastic! These parts have been turned over to the machining department and they are cooking on em! At this point we are limited by machine uptime! While this has been happening we have also been prepping as many of the small sub-assemblies as possible for final assembly of the rifle.
I’m sure alot of our followers have experience in manufacturing but for those of you that don’t, the only true efficient way to manufacture this rifle is in large batches vs just one at a time. We have spent ALOT of time organizing our facility and documenting the proper production steps to do each one as quickly as possible without sacrificing on QC. Thankfully the brains behind the StG was gracious enough to break the rifle down into as many manageable parts as possible. I’ve then taken those parts and turned them into sub-assemblies that can be built prior to anything else being done. What this means is that once we have machined parts that have gone through heat treat: we put those into receivers, roll em, weld them, spray paint them black, slap on some sub-assemblies, spin around 3 times, sprinkle some fairy dust and BOOM, a StG is born(spray paint is a joke, #paintgate2017). We have the majority of our small parts in inventory and have been able to begin prepping them while we wait for the chip makers to deliver finished internal goods to us. This is going to lead to a substantially faster production process and more guns going out the door at a faster rate than before. We are poised for action and are ready to execute.
We have also been playing around with different gas port rates(still I know…) Like I have said in the past the hope was to always have one port size across the board(we love universality here). That is definitely not the case unfortunately, which is fine but our goal is to still have a firearm that functions with as many different types of ammo and in as many different conditions as possible. So while the rifle functions just fine, we are constantly looking for improvement. One of the recent changes we’ve discovered is with 7.62×39. We were getting very inconsistent ejection patterns(keep in mind this is a fixed ejection rifle with multiple calibers so there will be an inherent variability). The root cause was ultimately wildly varying ammunition. The solution? Open that gas port up some more. Low and behold it helped substantially. Also discovered that particularly with Tula, we would get light primer strikes. Seems as though they seat primers slightly lower than everyone else. Solution here is a slightly longer firing pin for 7.62 bolts. These are a few examples of the small changes we continue to tweak on the rifle while not taking any steps backwards! Obviously this will not be anything the end user needs to worry about, everything will come out of the box ready to go.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
The million dollar question: “When will my gun ship?”. Look, I know we have said time and time again a date for delivery that has yet to be met. Trust me when I say that I understand the frustration with it, if not more so. We understand the chance that alot of you took with us by pre-ordering a StG and are not undermining the gravity of doing so. Without you guys we wouldn’t be where we are at today. Every time we give a date is what we truly believe to be the case. Till this point we get close, only to have a friction point arise to where we had to push back delivery in order to not sacrifice on our goal with the project which is delivering a piece of history to the masses without cutting corners. At the end of the day a quality product means more to us than rushing something out the door. Hind sight is always 20/20, and there are alot of issues that we have found over time that had we known at the beginning would have happened we could have properly planned for and executed delivery much earlier. All that is in the past though and we continue to push forward each and every day!
Right now the first batch of machined parts is being delivered this week to us. From here they head to heat treat, come back to us for head-spacing and intermediary finishing steps, and then they begin their journey through our production line until a rifle is spit out at the end. The plan is to ship some number of guns this summer still, realistically end of August into beginning September. Once this process begins, it doesn’t stop and will have firearms continuing to leave our facility every month until there is no more demand for them! It is impossible to give firm quantities and delivery dates right now simply because I do not know when we will reach our maximum production potential(in the several hundred rifle range). Once we ship these first few rifles this summer I will then have a fantastic idea of delivery schedules and plan on publishing just that, a rough schedule for delivery based on month purchased.
This is an exciting time for us here and we cannot wait to deliver rifles to you guys. We are so close like I said and can see the “end in sight”. Although for us it is really the beginning haha. We truly truly appreciate all your patience with us thus far. Truly. We love the support and love the opportunity to deliver something to you guys that you’re going to be very happy with. We take pride in our work and refuse to cut corners or to just settle. We are thankful you guys are all giving us the chance to do so. For those that have pre-ordered we want to do something for you besides just a sling with the rifle. I’m working up some sort of deal for you guys, don’t quite know what it will be yet but more than likely some sort of store credit towards us as a thanks.
As always any questions or concerns please reach out to us. We are always around and always enjoy talking with you guys! Keep posted with us as well for some additional media and videos I’m planning to do. Yes, actually some video not filmed in a cave haha.