Fender Bullet Owners Club

Moonraker5

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...I suggest you post your erroneous information elsewhere, there will be a Squier Bullet club on TDPRI somewhere, ....

I wonder if you would be so unwelcoming and hostile if this guy posted on this thread...

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Patton

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I have never posted on a new person who made a serious error in judgment, but I feel it's time to jump in.

Nobody was hostile. You simply didn't take the time to read the thread at all and made a snap judgement that a newer Squier Bullet is even close to the early 80's USA Bullets this entire, years long, thread is about.

Please attempt to read what a thread is about before assuming you have all the facts. We're all here to learn and inform. Calling people "hostile" for pointing out your lack of situational awareness will most likely result in what you experienced. This forum is by far the best run (IMO) and contains the best Fender information around. Nobody hates you. Just treat this as a learning experience and move on. We are all here to help.
 

cuscus

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I wonder if you would be so unwelcoming and hostile if this guy posted on this thread...
Not hostile in my opinion, merely pointing out the facts, I actually think that your initial comment was far more hostile & judgemental.
The USA Fender Bullet & the 80's Squier Bullets are very different guitars to the Bullets we know today.

I will ask two questions :
Have you processed the name of this club ?
Are you aware of the USA Fender Bullet ?

We have learnt a lot by talking to each other from when this thread started way back in 2009, it is now 134 pages long, testament to the members & jays0n the guy that started it all. There is a vast amount of information about USA Fender Bullets & Fender history, it may enlighten you, if you took some time to read some of it.
 

Moonraker5

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There is a vast amount of information about USA Fender Bullets & Fender history, it may enlighten you, if you took some time to read some of it.

I prefer reading books by Tony Bacon. When he comes up with one about Bullet Fenders, I'll buy it.

Look I have nothing against you guys. But face facts: Bullet Fenders are nowadays considered by all guitar players as Squiers -- the intro budget guitar. The fact that you guys have to explain it to everybody who stumbles upon this thread must be annoying. I feel for you. Your beloved guitar's name has been hijacked by a runt.
 

Boreas

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Put the new bridge and strings on, it plays but the action at the top of the neck is way too high compared to the lower frets I think it needs a truss rod adjustment I’ve never seen a truss rod like this it looks difficult to get access to alter it, any advice appreciated

Interesting project! Stay away from they truss rod until you are ready to do a full set up! FIRST, you will need to decide on a bridge. If you stay with the TOM-style you will need a neck shim. That is why the action is outta whack. The truss rod isn't designed to dramatically change action - just to keep the neck relatively straight. If you go to a lower-profile Fender bridge, you may not have to shim the neck. But with the current pickups and bridge, I would probably just leave them and get the neck shimmed correctly for the TOM bridge.
 
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Patton

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I prefer reading books by Tony Bacon. When he comes up with one about Bullet Fenders, I'll buy it.
I agree! Tony Bacon has a lot of great books on various brands and styles of guitars. Looking at my bookshelf in the music room I own at least 5-6 he authored. Here's pics of a couple I have with the USA Bullet story in them:

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Moonraker5

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I agree! Tony Bacon has a lot of great books on various brands and styles of guitars. Looking at my bookshelf in the music room I own at least 5-6 he authored. Here's pics of a couple I have with the USA Bullet story in them:

I have a number of the Bacon books, too. I just looked at my music bookshelf and, surprisingly, none of my Bacon books deal with Fender. The one you pictured above seems worth a look. I like the Bacon books when he deals with a specific guitar -- the SG, the Ric 12 string... -- but maybe an overall story of Fender guitars should be added to my shelf.
 

Patton

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I have the Tony Bacon Les Paul and Flying V/Explorer/Firebird books. Both have lot of good information. Of the two books I showed in the pics, I would recommend the Fender Electric Guitar Book. It's much more detailed on lots of different models. The information in the other is just kind of a cliff notes version. Not bad for what it is but not as in depth.

I guess my next purchase is the SG book. My guitar library needs growth!!
 

cuscus

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I prefer reading books by Tony Bacon. When he comes up with one about Bullet Fenders, I'll buy it.

Look I have nothing against you guys. But face facts: Bullet Fenders are nowadays considered by all guitar players as Squiers -- the intro budget guitar. The fact that you guys have to explain it to everybody who stumbles upon this thread must be annoying. I feel for you. Your beloved guitar's name has been hijacked by a runt.
Yes I totally agree nowadays Squier Bullets are considered budget guitars & they are exactly that, but they are not "Bullet Fenders". So there lies the problem & peoples attitude towards names, they are Squiers not Fenders, they are made using cheap labour & low grade components in other countries like Indonesia, they are not made in the USA.
Another name used is "Bullet ones", the problem with it, is that the names are just invented like "Bullet Fenders" & then widely misused by lots of people.
I still see ads for Fender Bullets that are Squier Bullets, one dealer in the US told me that everyone calls them "Fender Bullet Ones" & that is what they are, totally oblivious to the fact that its wrong & misleading - the guitars, even the Squiers were never marketed as "Bullet Ones" its a dealer invention, try telling that to those dealers, he then went on to tell me that no Bullets were ever USA made & I did not know what I was talking about. What comes with that, is the short sighted assumption that all Bullets are cheap, made with cheap wood & cheap components, which was your exact initial assumption.
The USA Fender Bullet, although an entry level/student model, was made in the Fullerton factory by the same employees using the same components as every other Fender from that era, for an entry level guitar they are extremely well made & a far cry from the Squier Bullets that were manufactured more recently. A testament to that, is the fact that the necks were parted out as everyone thought they were left over 60's tele necks.
The USA Bullet & the Mustang for that matter are Fender's runts, but they are far better than the Squier runts.
 

Bobfellz1b

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Put the new bridge and strings on, it plays but the action at the top of the neck is way too high compared to the lower frets I think it needs a truss rod adjustment I’ve never seen a truss rod like this it looks difficult to get access to alter it, any advice appreciated
I’ve got the neck off ready to shim it the only additional numbers are on the neck back plate and rubber seating .. any knowledge on these ? The truss rod seems to work but it was on its tightest adjustment.. I’m not sure on a plastic or cardboard half shim or to make a full size wedge one out of wood which I believe gives better contact and sound.. any advice appreciated 4065636D-BC4C-4CAC-9320-AC301E3A3286.jpeg E6FA380E-1EF7-496F-B7B8-524ECCCA0E14.jpeg 2230D499-AEDE-44A8-B7DF-58E1771F8D22.jpeg 6E34F927-080E-490D-AA43-62B64D6D2E04.jpeg 2230D499-AEDE-44A8-B7DF-58E1771F8D22.jpeg E6FA380E-1EF7-496F-B7B8-524ECCCA0E14.jpeg
 

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Tone Chase

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@Bobfellz1b , that’s a fine starting point for a shim.

I have used various plastic cards that fit nicely, and if they need a trim, or need to be a little shorter, it’s easy to work with. I don’t think that you will hear the difference.

I have also used business cards of various thickness. It’s all good to figure out what is needed. Often, whatever I chose to work with, stays, because it solves the problem so readily. Sometimes I use a surplus vintage guitar shop business card for material. That’s just something I do to mess with a potential future owner who gets curious about a guitar that left my possession.

I have seen factory Fender shims, and removed a few of them. I felt that after 40 years or so, in some cases, that a shim was no longer required. They were basically a paper based cardboard that I tried to surgically remove without damaging. Some were stuck on pretty good, and tough to get out in one piece (I tend to save everything that I can, and often can find it later in the horde of guitar stuff).
 

Moonraker5

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Yes I totally agree nowadays Squier Bullets are....

Good post. Would like to one day give your Bullets a try. Fender rarely lets me down with a product. Those Fender Bullets are probably A-OK.

One thing I must address in your post. You really disparage the Squier Bullet Strats. Are they superb instruments? No. Are they darn good instruments? Yes. (Mike Rutherford is currently using a Squier bullet during Genesis reunion tour.)

All guitarists of a certain age know that today's entry level/cheap guitars are light years ahead of entry level/cheap guitars of the '50s, '60s, '70s, and '80s. The 119 dollars I paid for my Squier Bullet was well spent. The guitar actually plays and sounds pretty darn well. It is a useable guitar for any situation: monkeying around in my music room, jamming with friends, playing massive stadiums (ask Mike Rutherford).

I painted this Squier Bullet to hang on a wall. Nope. The guitar plays so great I keep it off the wall and use it.

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Patton

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Moonraker5, you and I are about the same age (I'm 54). I got my first POS sears catalog guitar in 1979. It wasn't fun to learn on. I saved a lot of paper route money and finally got a 73' Fender Mustang a year or two later. Those were considered crap back then, but it played sooooo much nicer. I never looked back from there as I learned what good construction felt like.

I've never played a newer Squier Bullet but, based on the Squier Paranormal Telecaster I bought a few years ago, these MIC guitars are excellent starting points at excellent prices. I would have KILLED for a guitar as nice as a new Squier Bullet at that price point in the early 80's. Plus, nobody back then (besides the music store) really knew about setting up a guitar properly and I certainly didn't have the $ to pay someone. Nowadays just hit YOUTUBE and anyone with the ability to follow instructions closely is in good shape.

I don't think anyone is disparaging the new Squier Bullets so much as trying to distinguish the complete difference between the first guitars to bear that name (USA 1981-1983) and the multiple later versions. Made in Japan 1983-198? and then Korean 1990? - whenever and then MIC. They all changed a bit until they became the cheapest (in $) "Fender made" Stratocaster one could start with. But really, those are an excellent starting point, I feel.

Nice paint job BTW! Love George Harrison
 
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cuscus

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Good post. Would like to one day give your Bullets a try. Fender rarely lets me down with a product. Those Fender Bullets are probably A-OK.

One thing I must address in your post. You really disparage the Squier Bullet Strats. Are they superb instruments? No. Are they darn good instruments? Yes. (Mike Rutherford is currently using a Squier bullet during Genesis reunion tour.)

All guitarists of a certain age know that today's entry level/cheap guitars are light years ahead of entry level/cheap guitars of the '50s, '60s, '70s, and '80s. The 119 dollars I paid for my Squier Bullet was well spent. The guitar actually plays and sounds pretty darn well. It is a useable guitar for any situation: monkeying around in my music room, jamming with friends, playing massive stadiums (ask Mike Rutherford).

I painted this Squier Bullet to hang on a wall. Nope. The guitar plays so great I keep it off the wall and use it.
Loving that Harrison inspired paintwork on the Squier btw.

I am not disparaging the newer Bullets, just stating that they are made pretty cheap, which is fact, but they are streets ahead of the copies I knew back in the 70's, they are playable out of the box & with some tweaks can be great guitars, I have set up a few myself for people just starting out on guitar & a good set up makes a hell of a difference.
I think you have taken my comments in the wrong context, I have played semi pro in various bands all my life, for 40 plus years, still gigging with a very busy band, my main guitar at the moment is a £200 Washburn PII, modded with Porter Pickups P.90's, my 2nd guitar is a totally stock 1st version tele shaped USA Bullet, my main guitar prior to that was a USA Fender Bullet S3, modded with Fender Hot noiseless pickups, new electrics & graph tech saddles.
I played a 65 Mustang for years as well, I still have that, its a great guitar.
I have a cheap Mex strat I also use for gigging, but I had the frets rolled, I put a new steel trem block in it & graph tech saddles a new guard to make it 2 knob control, so it was fit for me to gig.
So I am totally with you on the cheaper/entry level guitars, with that said, the USA Fender made guitars are gig ready, I modded the Bullet S3 to suit the band I was in at the time, but with stock pickups etc it still held its own, that is a different story with the Squier Bullets, without some mods they are not really gig ready.

Although being a pretty good guitar to start with, the Rutherford Squier has been heavily modded by his guitar tech, gotoh tuners, graph tech saddles, nut recut, frets dressed & rolled, elctrics upgraded to switchcraft & CTS & Fender Hot Noiseless pickups installed, so that Squier that started life as a $300 guitar has now become a $$$$ Squier.

I have an old school friend that is a pro player here in the UK, his 80's Squier Strat is the best strat I have ever played in my life, again heavily modded, but the neck is superb.
 

cuscus

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I’ve got the neck off ready to shim it the only additional numbers are on the neck back plate and rubber seating .. any knowledge on these ? The truss rod seems to work but it was on its tightest adjustment.. I’m not sure on a plastic or cardboard half shim or to make a full size wedge one out of wood which I believe gives better contact and sound.. any advice appreciated.
The number on the gasket is the part number, the stamp on the back of the plate will be a quality control stamp or a manufacturers stamp. In my opinion, credit card shims will be fine, nothing to be gained from using wood. Personally I would cut the shim a lot shorter & make sure it sits behind the two neck screw holes, making the shim that wide, may make the angle too big.
 

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Cam-eleon76

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Hi everyone, I'm back with the "Driftwood Fender Bullet" that washed up on Virginia Beach. I worked on this project on and off since I got it back in September 2020 (original post on p.125) , up until the end of last summer. Here's my documentation of some of the steps I did to fix it up:

Before shot:
(still blows my mind the chances of that)
fullsizeoutput_d87.jpeg

After taking the guitar apart, I decided to check on the truss rod. Turns out it was totally functional, after getting the rust off, so I put it right back in.
IMG_4593.JPG

The new fretboard is a rosewood one I bought from stewmac. I cut off the excess with a bandsaw, aligned it with a couple nails, and strapped it on to glue with some bike inner-tube strips.
fullsizeoutput_d38.jpeg
It took a little while to get the edge of the neck and fretboard flush with woodfiller, since the edge of the neck got rounded over in the ocean

After a lot of inefficient and uneven sanding of the fretboard, I finally had the idea for this simple jig:
fullsizeoutput_d36.jpeg

For some reason, I chose to use stainless steel frets for my first ever full fret job, definitely a challenge :) Also, the "clay" fret dots are made with some store-bought wood filler paste.
fullsizeoutput_d37.jpeg

A few more things: I saw a post from I think it was jays0n showing the conversion of the pickguard/bridge for tele saddles, and I tried it out. (thanks jays0n!) Then I sanded off all that wonderful tetanus-inducing rust down to the bare metal. And for the pickups, unfortunately the bridge pickup was dead, but the neck pickup still works miraculously!
fullsizeoutput_d86.jpeg

Final result:
fullsizeoutput_d8a.jpeg
fullsizeoutput_d8b.jpeg

Of course, the number of hours I've put into this guitar doesn't compare to the value of it, but I don't mind. I'm new to guitar repair, and this whole project has been an amazing learning experience. And now I've got an awesome guitar to play! Since I finished it last summer, I've been playing it nonstop at home and jamming with friends. It plays great, sounds great, and really holds its own especially considering where it came from!

By the way, the guitar doesn't have an official nickname yet, so suggestions are welcome :) (Beach Bullet, Atlantic Axe, Bullet of the Seas. . .?)
 

Tone Chase

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@Cam-eleon76 , great job. Thanks for the update on this one. I like the Telecaster brass saddles. I have thought about doing that as well.

It is an actual surf guitar.

Did the serial number, or stickers in the body cavity survive?
 

Cam-eleon76

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@Cam-eleon76 , great job. Thanks for the update on this one. I like the Telecaster brass saddles. I have thought about doing that as well.

It is an actual surf guitar.

Did the serial number, or stickers in the body cavity survive?
Thanks! The tele saddles work great, no rattling at all.

I like to think it had fun riding the waves ;)

And yup! I've got serial number 100909, as confirmed also by the headstock decal.
IMG_4551.JPG

There was also a sticker in the neck pickup cavity, but it got just a tad sandy.
IMG_4519.JPG
 
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cuscus

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Hi everyone, I'm back with the "Driftwood Fender Bullet" that washed up on Virginia Beach. I worked on this project on and off since I got it back in September 2020 (original post on p.125) , up until the end of last summer. Here's my documentation of some of the steps I did to fix it up:

Before shot:
(still blows my mind the chances of that)

After taking the guitar apart, I decided to check on the truss rod. Turns out it was totally functional, after getting the rust off, so I put it right back in.


The new fretboard is a rosewood one I bought from stewmac. I cut off the excess with a bandsaw, aligned it with a couple nails, and strapped it on to glue with some bike inner-tube strips.

It took a little while to get the edge of the neck and fretboard flush with woodfiller, since the edge of the neck got rounded over in the ocean

After a lot of inefficient and uneven sanding of the fretboard, I finally had the idea for this simple jig:


For some reason, I chose to use stainless steel frets for my first ever full fret job, definitely a challenge :) Also, the "clay" fret dots are made with some store-bought wood filler paste.

A few more things: I saw a post from I think it was jays0n showing the conversion of the pickguard/bridge for tele saddles, and I tried it out. (thanks jays0n!) Then I sanded off all that wonderful tetanus-inducing rust down to the bare metal. And for the pickups, unfortunately the bridge pickup was dead, but the neck pickup still works miraculously!

Of course, the number of hours I've put into this guitar doesn't compare to the value of it, but I don't mind. I'm new to guitar repair, and this whole project has been an amazing learning experience. And now I've got an awesome guitar to play! Since I finished it last summer, I've been playing it nonstop at home and jamming with friends. It plays great, sounds great, and really holds its own especially considering where it came from!

By the way, the guitar doesn't have an official nickname yet, so suggestions are welcome :) (Beach Bullet, Atlantic Axe, Bullet of the Seas. . .?)
Wow what an amazing story & even more amazing that one of the pickups still worked & the decal & stickers remained in place, thanks for posting the update, I agree with @Tone Chase, its an official Surf Bullet.
Great work on the restoration, thanks for the pics.
 

Cam-eleon76

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Wow what an amazing story & even more amazing that one of the pickups still worked & the decal & stickers remained in place, thanks for posting the update, I agree with @Tone Chase, its an official Surf Bullet.
Great work on the restoration, thanks for the pics.
Thank you! It was a lot of work, but in my eyes it was totally worth it.

And glad to know it's an official surfer now😄
 




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