Many know that for a long time I was a fan of the Bethel Rhodes version.
It wasn't perfect, but it was tunable, and of a decent quality
Then Flatpack came on the scene, and I bought a few to try.
Initially, they seemed very good; minimal tuning needed, and not too wide. The flaw became noticeable after about six months when the bodies started corroding badly
I got over that problem by treating them all with Speedip. At the time, I had about 120 FP traps that all got regular and hard work. The dip finish seemed to suit them, and they are still in use today, which is at least 8 years on.
The Bethel Rhodes traps were fine for a while, and then I started to notice that there were fearsomely sharp burrs on all the cut edges. Not really much of an issue, but they were shredding my latex gloves, and on occasion, my hands. I contacted BR and told them, but they didn't seem that interested in a small customer like me
Anyway, the quality issues got worse and then I started noticing issues with the wire triggers
They were never very hard; which in fact was an advantage in some ways because it made them easier to tune, but they became so soft that whenever a mole blocked one they actually bent the trigger wires right back so that you had to 're-tune' the trap when you removed it.
Again, I spoke to BR and they were even less interested than last time and just moaned about how busy they were telling me that they weren't taking on new customers because they couldn't keep up with their big customers (like KG).
So I stopped buying them.
Now I find myself in the position of probably needing to buy a few this year to make up my losses (mainly from stripey vermin) and I honestly don't know where I'll go for them.
I've sent Flatpack a message asking them to read this thread. I doubt they will, but perhaps others could increase the pressure on them by also sending them a message?
I noticed today when I looked at their website that as of this year they are only making traps with stainless steel bodies. Standard traps will have galvanised springs and triggers, whilst stainless springs etc will be available as an option.
Now don't get me wrong; I'm sure lovely shiney stainless bodies will suit some; but I'm more interested in them making a trap that actually resembles the original and will still be usable in 40 years time like the originals (OK, the Jolly versions) shown at the start of this thread
I think the issue with all the modern copies is that they are copies of copies of copies
You can see that the way they attach the springs to the catching loops has changed (it used to be laced with wire, it's now bent) which is an obvious change to improve the manufacturing process
But if you actually compare it side by side with an original, you can also see clearly that the holes through the barrels are quite a bit larger, and the wire that forms the catching loops and triggers is thinner and less robust