WHY WE HAVE TO CHARGE MEMBERSHIP SUBSCRIPTIONS:
There are two kinds of visitor to this site:
VISITOR TYPE 1: The owner of 1 or two guns who wants to find out about them, the gun maker who made them and the date they were made. He usually has little interest in the detailed aspects of designs, patents, ballistics, re-loading or reconditioning. He has no need to use our Bulletin Board and, perhaps, would rather not use it in case he asks a question or says something that might make him look foolish (!) - the bulletin board is visited by about 480 people every day and everyone is anonymous!
VISITOR TYPE 2:
The owner of two or more guns, his interests are deeper and wide-ranging, he may be a gun dealer and / or an expert in guns and shooting, and he is usually a regular contributor to and beneficiary of our Bulletin Board.
Until recently, access to all parts of this site was free, and it will be free for all existing members until 1 September '06. However, it costs money to expand and up-date it, and to research and answer individual questions, and to deal promptly and efficiently with the day-to-day running of it. Nowadays, most people realize that the idea that everything on the internet should be free, is out-of-date and unrealistic. There are costs and somebody has to cover them!
A free trial period is obviously not an option, and if we asked for voluntary donations, there are people who would get the information they want, desperately want (!), but they wouldn't make a donation! On the other hand, most members have found the site very useful and have volunteered to donate, but they are the last people we want to charge! There is no way for us to cover costs without donations, voluntary or otherwise, so please think of your subscription as a donation!
Many people come to this site once every year or so, and get all the info they want from the historical database. There is no need for them to go to the bulletin board, so we lose out on a written contribution from them. We are asking them for £8.50 (excluding VAT) for a 7 day subscription. If you think this is a lot, please bear in mind that you might have to buy 2 or 3 reference books (£50-£700 each!) and, if you get any info at all, you probably won't get all the info that is available, and you cannot search them electronically. If you subscribe to this club and do not get what you want in the historical database or elsewhere on the site, you can ask on the bulletin board and we will take the time to search for you. If the answer is not found, at least you know the info is not readily available! So, the subscription covers you for access to the historical database, it also allows you to ask questions on the bulletin board, and it gives you unlimited free advertising.
We have to restrict the ability to ask questions on the bulletin board to members only; this is because some people would try to avoid paying by asking questions there in the hope that members would provide the answers that are in the historical database! Unfortunately, a subscription charge of any kind hits people such as the person who is new to shooting and is asking a non-historical question. If you are in this or a similar position, please give us some feedback, we will answer your question or put it the bulletin board.
If you think you will be coming to the site for info twice (or more) in a year, it makes sense to take the annual subscription at £17.01 (sorry about that .01 - blame the taxman!) (excluding VAT). Whether you are a private individual, a dealer, manufacturer, importer etc. you will be entitled to all the free advertising you want!
So, those are our charges, but we know we must recognise another category of member, and this is the regular user of the databases and regular contributor to the bulletin board. You will be offered free membership according to the number and quality of your posts.
Members will be notified by email when their subscription nears expiry.
OTHER WAYS OF FUNDING THIS SITE:
We are considering various options regarding a limited amount of advertising / sponsorship space on our main pages. If you are interested please contact us.
We are also thinking about offering a catalogue of products which would be supplied at a substantial discount by a limited number of third parties. If you are interested in an affiliation of this nature, please contact us.