Shernic Gun Works: History

The purpose of this post is to bring up to date all of the new visitors to our site. While we have shared varying parts of this information many times with many people over the phone, we have never put the whole story in black and white for people to read. We apologize in advance for its wordiness.

It started in the mid part of 07’. I had spent a lot of time on the net reading everything I could on SKS Bull pups in an effort to modernize the SKS into a decent defensive arm as California law made it difficult to acquire legal AK’s and AR’s. As I was mowing the yard one day the idea dropped into my head of making a Bullpupped SKS which would be California Legal.  Growing up, I was always coming up with ideas to make this or that, but they were always dismissed as just dreams. The Bullpup idea was different.  Nothing had ever been as clear. In my spare time it took almost a year to build a non-working model out of wood, plastic, PVC, and fiberglass. It took another six months to come up with a trigger linkage that would work.

I was led to a man through my construction work who in his past had actually worked in private and government projects bringing ideas to production. He basically took me under his wing and walked me through the necessary steps to hook up with a designer and manufacturer.

At this point we were able to fairly accurately price out the project.  After finding out the maximum amount I could take out of my retirement, we were still short by a substantial amount.  Based on the number of people who seemed to be interested in a bull pup stock for the SKS (anecdotal evidence), a pre-sale seemed to be the only way we could raise the necessary funds. Also, we were actually helped by the economic downturn which reduced prices of steel and margins to a point which made it possible for us to move ahead.

The design work was to take about six weeks. Long story short it took almost six months. The designer was hit very hard by the economic slowdown.  We felt we were running out of both time and money. Out of the blue, I was told by the designer that he would deliver the completed, updated build files in five days, and the final 3D model within another three to four days.  Now we felt behind the ball. In order to raise the money in time, we felt we had to have Shot Gun News advertisements come out on the same day as our web site went live. These advertisements required a 30 day advance reservation. Simultaneously, we would be hitting gun shows in order for customers to be able to see and feel the stock up close. This “plan” was our first big mistake. We received the build files not in five days but rather six months. We never received our final 3D model.  It was too late to cancel the advertisements, so we felt compelled to move forward. This led to our first two ship dates being moved back.

We finally received the build files and were assured by the designer that all the changes made as a result of our first prototype had been added to the files. The tool manufacturer met the schedule they had originally given us. After receiving our first articles, we found eight items where the revised dimensions and/or changes had not been added to the files. Five of these items could not be easily corrected with a Dremel operation. It cost us five more weeks and several thousands of dollars to have the corrections made.

Once we had received stocks made out of the correct materials, we began testing aspects of the stock other than fit and feel, etc. We had established a minimum level of stock performance we felt the stock needed to meet in order for us to feel right about what we were doing and so that our customers would be getting good value for their hard earned money.  The testing led us to add steel and wood barriers, barrel support inserts and reinforcement plates. We also determined at the end of the testing that the upper hand guard would need to be opened up for better ventilation for those who would do more than casual shooting and plinking. From the beginning, we wanted to build a stock which if you needed to throw several hundred rounds down range in only a handful of minutes, the stock would perform not only during, but after such an episode.

Once we knew what the final product would be, we began to gather parts cost and assembly time data. As we began to see a ship date coming into view, we estimated what out presales would be and added several hundred more to the order that made up our first run.  As soon as the first run was completed we began the modification process of the upper hand guard to improve ventilation. As we approached the end of our presale, which would begin our shipping, we had a surge of presale orders which far out paced our projections.  We put in an order for a second run to put us ahead of the game again. In a few short weeks we received all of the ordered parts except for the upper hand guard. The modification of the tool was still in progress. Based on the schedules we had received prior, we would have the upper hand guards well before we ran out of the first run hand guards. Our second big mistake was that we sold way more presales than we ever imagined at a presale price which should have been $30.00 higher.  Fortunately, my wife and I kept our day jobs during all of this, as we need to eat too.

So here we are at the present, waiting for the tool modifications to be completed. Our parts manufacturer received the tool from the welders today. (1-3-11) I don’t know how this can happen, but the tool had to be sent to the welder four times. If the present schedule holds up, the modifications should be complete by the end of this week/ first of next week. It is possible we could have the upper hand guards by the end of next week. If this plan holds up, we would resume shipping again Monday, January 10, 2011.


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