Author Topic: Considering the Beginning…and the End  (Read 17284 times)

Offline DDGator

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Considering the Beginning…and the End
« on: March 30, 2014, 10:37:57 PM »

We are fast approaching the ten-year anniversary of this forum, on May 20th.

I started the forum in 2004 before I even had an R-9, and very few people actually had one.  Many of the early adopters joined the forum and we hung on every word…  We were a small group very passionate about our unique little pistols.

Being a rule follower, I contacted Rohrbaugh Firearms before taking the website pubic to see if they had an objection to me starting a forum using their name.  They weren’t quite sure at first, but consented.  I eventually went up and met everyone at the factory (in Farmingdale) and then spent time with them every year at the SHOT Show.  I got to know Karl and Eric and we became good friends.

As a result, the forum had an “inside” connection, and was usually the first place for new Rohrbaugh information.  Even though Eric could not participate directly in the forum (for legal reasons), he often provided insights and answers to the forum through me.

I used to be an active participant in a lot of firearms forums -- KTOG, Glock Talk, the Firing Line, the High Road, the S&W Forum, and others.  But ultimately I got burned out on all those places.  The level of discourse was unimpressive after a while, and more often than not every post turned into a name-calling dispute over something.

Over time I realized the Rohrbaugh Forum was not like that.  The discussions were intelligent.  People were very helpful and polite.  Before long we had a really nice community of like-minded shooters who appreciated our unique “pups.”
Aside from the very occasional troll, the forum required very little moderation. (As of today, I have banned 3 people and deleted only a handful of posts.)  Over the years, I met and got to know a number of great people that I consider friends.

However, I feel as though an era is coming to an end.  The R-9 has matured as a product, and most of the hard work on our end has been done.  The change in ownership of Rohrbaugh Firearms means significant changes are coming.   I suspect the new owner is going to produce lots more guns and changes are inevitable.  In essence, I think the R-9 is going to fork into a “post-New York” product line that will be, to a greater or lesser degree, different.

Going forward, I suspect my connection to the factory will be no different than anyone else.  Even with Karl and Eric there, I know that communication and answers will be more limited.  Obviously the new owners like to control the flow of information--as big companies tend to do. 

My point is this -- it will be a new day.   The name may be the same, and the guns may look the same, but it will be different. 

For that reason, I am thinking it may be a good time to draw this forum to a close.  Shutting down after a decade, to coincide with this transition, will provide a good bookend to the noble experiment we have been conducting together.

My thinking in this regard is not a direct result of some of the recent unpleasantness  on the forum.  However, it has reminded me of what gun forums tend to be like outside of our isolated little world.  As the R-9 becomes more mainstream, and sells in larger numbers, this type of change in the forum’s environment seems inevitable.

However, I know that I am not in this alone.  The forum is a product of a lot of contributors over the years.  So, I thought I would at least solicit your input while I weigh this decision.  Feel free to reply here with your thoughts, or send me a PM if you would prefer.

Thanks to everyone in advance.  And please, let’s keep this thread on topic.

DDGator (Duane)
Duane (DDGator)
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Offline bamboobob

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Re: Considering the Beginning…and the End
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2014, 11:06:12 PM »

I hope you can keep up the good job here.
I hope and expect the change at Rohrbaugh will be for the better.
All we can do is wait and see.
Do not stress / burn yourself out.   (MOST IMPORTANT )
Change is inevitable.
Change, good or bad is stressful.
I feel people asking for help / advise here is helpful for others.
I feel increase in text volume here is mostly good.
                          (I am very slow / poor typist so I respect it more so)
I hope I have contributed some here, even if only for a small # of people on a 1 to1 basis
                                                                                                     ( telephone conversations ... )
Please take your time to decide.

Thanks again all,    Bob

( The new Rohrbaugh if any may not want / allow Forum )
« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 11:08:54 PM by bamboobob »
The term pup is fine  -   I call mine Karl Jr.
I hope it ketches on!

Offline JoshA

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Re: Considering the Beginning…and the End
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2014, 11:12:47 PM »
Considering your position I could see how that would seem like a logical concept Duane.

I know I would have been LOST in trying to get my used R9 running as well as it was before it broke without the help of all you guys.

I imagine that if you do decide to close up shop many of your buds on here would be saddened. I know I am not yet attached enough to call anyone my friend here; however the helpfulness and intelligence as well as the general quality of individuals on this site is rare air. You don't see this collection of fellows gathered on a public forum.

This was an earlier post of mine made with all sincerety:

"Thanks for the tips and advice.

This forum is the best thing for the sales of Rohrbaugh out there. If it weren't for it I would have thrown in the towel by now."

I guess you have some soul searching to do.

I hope my posts were not the beginning of the demise of the forum. I kinda feel like I got this thing going south. If so, I apologize to all. It is/was a great site.

I personally would ban me (and others malefactors if I am one) from being on here and keep your happy camper status. Truthfully.

Best wishes to all.

I personally hope the forum stays alive and well.

Thanks for all the hard work keeping up the site Duane.
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse.

John Stuart Mill
English economist & philosopher (1806 - 1873)

Offline CaptBW

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Re: Considering the Beginning…and the End
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2014, 05:53:13 AM »
Do not debark ship prior to making port.

Offline backupr9

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Re: Considering the Beginning…and the End
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2014, 07:57:26 AM »
I personally hope you can find the will to hang in there.  There is no question that the site will experience change and that we may have to change with it, but the need for experienced input and assistance that we each will need will not disappear.  I would suggest that several new topic headings might allow some relief:
1.  Deer Park/Farmingdale pistols owners
2.  New production/Carolina owners

Best wishes to you whatever you decide, and thanks, if only for the memories.

Non Illegitimi Carborundum
"Those who would sacrifice a little freedom for a little order, will lose both, and deserve neither." 
Thomas Jefferson

Endur Fortis

Offline wildmanwill

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Re: Considering the Beginning…and the End
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2014, 09:35:23 AM »
If it hadn't been for this forum, I likely would have never purchased a pup and I surely wouldn't have met the nice group of people who are the regulars on here.  Up until recently I did enjoy coming here to read and/or discuss all things Rohrbaugh along with all sort of other things. I'd like to think that things will improve.  I'd say stick it out for a little and see what transpires?  Thanks for the forum and for your patience as of late, you are a better man than me.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2014, 09:40:12 AM by wildmanwill »

Offline Drumbum

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Re: Considering the Beginning…and the End
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2014, 02:39:17 PM »
This forum helped convince me to buy an r9. In addition, when problems with the gun arose & I questioned that decision 
Backup9 & others helped me diagnose a bad firing pin retainer. The result was a perfectly  functionong gun via a pleasant  and professional warrentee repair. NONE of that would have happened without this forum. I totally respect your decision Duane, but perhaps the bad behavior of a very few should not end an era for so many others.

Offline bobsmith

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Re: Considering the Beginning…and the End
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2014, 02:49:35 PM »
I think closing it would be a bad move since there is a lot of great information here built up over the years.  The site is in a state of change like the company.  Who knows what the future will hold and perhaps more traffic down the road could generate some revenue for the site owner.  Where are all the people going to get information about their old R9s in 8 years?

You might not have the time or energy to moderate things over the coming years depending on how it unfolds. If the new owners don't end up honoring warranty claims you can expect more of the same for a while.  You don't have to be the only person doing this though.  I would put a guy like JoshA or some other level headed user in charge of it and fly at 20,000 feet for a while.   Ask for volunteer and pick a user who has balance and diplomacy, not just one with the most posts or seniority.   

Delegate the details and move on with your new interests.   

Offline lws380

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Re: Considering the Beginning…and the End
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2014, 03:55:36 PM »

Could the new owners some how not allow you to use the Rohrbaugh name?  I'm assuming they are getting all rights to the name in the sale.  Just wondering if they would likely tell you to stop using the name for the forum.  If they did, that would certainly put a kink in the situation.

Regarding the website I see both sides of the arguments for and against it.  It appears to me that it has become a sounding board for some complaining and frustration.  That is likely going to continue until the situation is resolved. I guess one other question I would ask, "If for some reason there were no more guns produced, would you keep the website going?".  If the answer is yes, then I see no reason to stop it.  If the answer is no, then that may weigh on the decision.

One other option may be to just suspend the website until things are settled, then start it back up again.  It seems that it will be a bumpy road until things settle down. Why ride on a bumpy road if you don't have to?

I have had lots of advice on how to run my business.  But know one knows better than the one running it.  I would suggest that you just follow your own heart and gut to make your decision.

Offline the_skunk

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Re: Considering the Beginning…and the End
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2014, 07:00:57 PM »
Running a forum is time consuming, and a thankless job. It was a great forum, and it will be missed

Offline tracker

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Re: Considering the Beginning…and the End
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2014, 07:29:13 PM »

Speaking of thanks I think we owe Duane a standing applause for his extraordinary contribution to us in the forum for the last ten years. This is truly the best and well run forum in the industry. Tom Watson told me about it in 2004 and I have been an enthusiastic supporter since then. The contributors, for the most part, have been helpful, informative, and collegial.

Offline Richard S

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Re: Considering the Beginning…and the End
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2014, 05:37:50 PM »

I echo Tracker's remarks.

The late and legendary R. J. Hedley introduced me to the Forum also in 2004 and I too have been an enthusiastic member and supporter since then.  I have met some individuals here whom I now count as good and true friends and whom I have come greatly to admire for their honesty, their intellect, and the content of their character.  You are one of those individuals.

You have created and successfully administered the most civil and informational gun forum on the Internet for a decade, building it around what I personally consider to be the finest pocket pistol yet designed and produced.  You do indeed deserve our profound gratitude and a standing ovation for your effort.

I have communicated to you by PM my own thoughts on the questions raised in your initial post.  Just know that I shall understand and support whatever decision you reach and whatever you decide to do in that regard.

Thank you.
(1963-1967) "GO ARMY!"

Offline cargaritaville

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Re: Considering the Beginning…and the End
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2014, 10:22:10 PM »
I hope that this forum does not end. It is the only forum I read, and I own a lot of guns from FN to Seecamp. This forum is a class act. Sure you have some nuts, but mixed into a fruit cake…you have a tasty dessert. I think that this forum should continue even more so now, since I believe the NY guns will become more of a collectors piece (Has anyone noticed the NIB R9S that just sold on Gunbroker? It ran 3 times previously with ending bids of $850-$900 & just sold this time for $1300.00). I think that a lot of us would miss this forum. It is one of the few sane places left.
Having a gun in your hand is much more effective than having the entire police department on the phone!

Offline backupr9

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Re: Considering the Beginning…and the End
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2014, 11:44:36 PM »
Good point Cargaritaville.  In the end, it is not about how valuable our pistols will become (and they will appreciate for sure), but about the camaraderie and the collegial and informational "personality" of this forum.  Most of those of us who have made this our primary internet site for communication about firearms have developed relationships  that are meaningful and lasting even without the personal face-to-face contacts where over 90% of human  communication (non-verbl) occurs. 

I am a member of 4 other firearm forums under different handles, one of which is perhaps the equal of this one (if you love old Savage 99 rifles), but this is the one I check daily if possible.  I will grieve if this site is no longer available to me, but will I survive should it demise (clan motto: "Endur Fortis"), but my happiness at a time nearer to the end of my days than to the middle will suffer.  I do truly hope that Duane can/will hang in there, but time and stress abrades both the body and the soul, so I would never ask him to "serve his term" longer than that "unforgiving minute" made famous in the last stanza of Kipling's "IF".  There is an ancient Chinese curse that goes  "May you live in interesting times".  We seem to be temporarily so cursed.  Hang in there Duane for all of us if you can endure, with strength, this transient curse.

With greatest respect and admiration for your  service these many years,

John, consort of The One Who Must Be Obeyed and father of one lovely daughter and two warriors.
"Those who would sacrifice a little freedom for a little order, will lose both, and deserve neither." 
Thomas Jefferson

Endur Fortis

Offline BlueC2

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Re: Considering the Beginning…and the End
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2014, 09:50:53 AM »

Short of actually holding an R9 in your hands THIS forum is hands down the best marketing tool for Rohrbaugh there is. I suspect that this forum was responsible for the sale of more R9s than all of the magazine articles and SHOT show exhibits combined. The value of honest folks having intelligent discussions about all of the details of R9 ownership cannot be overstated. Without the information on this site I would have just looked at the Rohrbaugh website and seen an EXPENSIVE, off-brand, pocket gun that I would never be able to see in person before buying (at least not near where I live). By reading the posts on this forum I grew to appreciate the extreme attention to detail, tight tolerances, hand fitting and fabrication of components, history and evolution of the design, and the personal touch of dealing with a friendly and responsive customer service representative whom everyone on the forum knows by name (Maria). It was THOSE things that I read about HERE that sold me and made me excited to spend my hard earned money on a pistol that I had never seen before. Duane, you have built something of tremendous value and should consider that before shutting down the forum.

When I first stumbled upon this forum I read the posts feverishly for almost two straight days before taking a leap and writing my first post ( I was so excited by what I had read here that I had decided that "I wanted the best R9 ever made" and posted a WTB ad in the classifieds for an Elite Premium. A bit naive at the time and not realizing that there were only 16 in existence other forum members could have easily rained on my parade but instead I received a friendly and supportive welcome to the community and was wished good luck in my search. In the three years and four months since that first post I have built a collection of some of the finest R9s ever made, none of which I would have been able to locate without the help of other forum members. This forum has given me a hobby and connected me with a group of people who find the history of a small family company from New York who set out to build the world’s best pocket pistol as fascinating as I do. To bring things full circle yesterday I took delivery of the Elite Premium that I set out looking for over three years ago. These guns are special and so are the folks who contribute to this forum; I sincerely hope that you continue to support the forum. If there is any way I can help I would welcome the opportunity. Thank you for everything you have done for the Rohrbaugh community.

Currently looking for Elite Premium RP 1 of 16. Please PM