Fender Bullet Owners Club

jays0n

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Hi Folks. Just spotted this thread.

I bought my 1981 bullet brand new in Ireland 41 years ago this month. Serial E104816

I'm about to get it refreted and a new nut etc.

The scratch plate has never been lifted on it so I will be sure to get pics inside.

It still sounds great. It has been ignored a bit in the last few years as I bought a few other guitars and it's a bit buzzy so I've been less inclined to pick it up.

I'll never sell it. (Story behind that) as all the marks on it remind me of various times in my youth. View attachment 995517
That’s a beaut!! So cool that you bought it new too. Thanks for sharing and we look forward to seeing inside. I guess you are looking forward to playing it.
 

cuscus

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Hi Folks. Just spotted this thread.

I bought my 1981 bullet brand new in Ireland 41 years ago this month. Serial E104816

I'm about to get it refreted and a new nut etc.

The scratch plate has never been lifted on it so I will be sure to get pics inside.

It still sounds great. It has been ignored a bit in the last few years as I bought a few other guitars and it's a bit buzzy so I've been less inclined to pick it up.

I'll never sell it. (Story behind that) as all the marks on it remind me of various times in my youth.
That is a very nice example, make sure you post some more pics :)
 

Johnnygdub

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Thanks JJ, Jayson and Cuscus for you welcome and your interest in my guitar. I plan on leaving it in to the Luthier next week. So don't worry. I will bore you to death with pics, hopefully inside and out.

There is a local guitar shop selling a year old Sire Larry Carlton t style for 25 bucks more than I will spend on the re fret and nut replacement. (Maybe pots too)

That's how I found this page. I was researching how much my bullet would be worth today.

Even though I wouldn't sell it I wouldn't feel great spending more on it than it was worth.

Thankfully that's not the case

I have an S style Larry Carlton and it's lovely, so a cut price T style was tempting.

I was all set to buy a Gibson SG modern last year but it didn't work out.

So I think my next guitar will be a PRS standard 24 08 SE. It has 24 frets (3 more than my bullet 😄) and individual coil splits. So might fill a hole for a third of the price of the sg
 

Johnnygdub

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That is a very nice example, make sure you post some more pics :)
I see you have at least 2 yourself. Very nice. They look in better nick than mine. When I bought it I tried all 6 that were in the shop. This one just "spoke to me" as they say these days. I was only 18 at the time so not the most experienced. It could have just been that I got the one that had the best setup out of the factory but it felt and sounded great to me and there was quite a difference with the other 5. (To me, at the time, and allowing for 41 years of effect on my memory since too)
 

cuscus

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I see you have at least 2 yourself. Very nice. They look in better nick than mine. When I bought it I tried all 6 that were in the shop. This one just "spoke to me" as they say these days. I was only 18 at the time so not the most experienced. It could have just been that I got the one that had the best setup out of the factory but it felt and sounded great to me and there was quite a difference with the other 5. (To me, at the time, and allowing for 41 years of effect on my memory since too)
Apologies - "I see you have at least 2 yourself" made me laugh out loud 😆. I own over 40 at this point in time, with several in bits & I still look at all of the ads, as if I need more lol....
I think the fact that John Page designed the Bullet & was active in the quality control aspect is a testament to the USA Bullets being pretty good guitars for the money, I have not played many that are bad & I use some of mine live now & then.

The 1st version tele shaped Bullet was introduced in June 1981 & ran through to late 82 when the 2nd strat shaped version was introduced, but Fender were still using up the first versions through to 83 & a few of those are still around, the red guitar below is one of those with an E 114 serial & 83 neck date, the serial numbers that start with E 10 or just 10 with no Letter prefix are the earlier guitars.

I know what you mean about the guitar speaking to you, my first was a maple neck red Bullet, I saw it on ebay way back in 2004, if my memory serves me well. I had no idea what the guitar was, but I was intrigued by its quirky looks, I already owned & played vintage Fender mustangs & soon found out the guitar replaced the mustang as Fender's entry level guitar.
Anyhow, I paid way over the odds back then (£240) & got into a bidding war which I won, when the guitar arrived, straight out of the case it was lovely to play, the neck was excellent for me, nice & slim. I did a proper set up & gave it some tlc & still use that guitar to this day & a 2nd version Bullet S3, that has been modified quite a lot for gigging purposes, here they are below.

PhdyX1laRUC0Ak6BIaVAkg_thumb_3304.jpg
6db1SRdtRmSs5zovMixrgg_thumb_3316.jpg
 
Last edited:

jays0n

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I see you have at least 2 yourself. Very nice. They look in better nick than mine. When I bought it I tried all 6 that were in the shop. This one just "spoke to me" as they say these days. I was only 18 at the time so not the most experienced. It could have just been that I got the one that had the best setup out of the factory but it felt and sounded great to me and there was quite a difference with the other 5. (To me, at the time, and allowing for 41 years of effect on my memory since too)
Hahaha I waited for @cuscus to say it first but I also was laughing when you said he had at least two :) I have actually been to the Cuscus Bullet Museum, and it’s a pretty amazing collection (there might be a photo of us with a bunch of bullets from that day, here in the thread). That was years ago too and it has probably grown!!!!!

I actually started this thread after seeing a website he made of his bullets. Then, thankfully, he joined here to take over the show shortly after. Cuscus is a Bullet Scholar (and a cool dude, and mean guitar player).
 

Johnnygdub

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:lol:

Apols lads. I haven't read the whole 136 pages yet. But I will chip away. Those are 2 absolute beauts.

I think I was vaguely aware that these guitars were fairly new when I bought mine but not that I literally bought mine the month they came out.

My first electric guitar was a white Ibanez Strat copy. This was back before Ibanez were known for their own innovative guitars. It had a maple neck and was a v nice piece of kit. I traded it in for a Gibson S1 exactly like this one below. Overextended a bit.

Sadly I could never pay it off. (Guitars cost a fortune back then relative to say the price of beer) And eventually I gave it back to the shop who gave me back the money I had paid which I then proceeded to spend very quickly on..... well beer mainly. Times were hard and it led to a dark period of over a year when I had no guitar. I swore this would never happen to me again and that I would never sell the next guitar I bought...... So I never did.

s1.jpg
 

cuscus

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:lol:

Apols lads. I haven't read the whole 136 pages yet. But I will chip away. Those are 2 absolute beauts.

I think I was vaguely aware that these guitars were fairly new when I bought mine but not that I literally bought mine the month they came out.

My first electric guitar was a white Ibanez Strat copy. This was back before Ibanez were known for their own innovative guitars. It had a maple neck and was a v nice piece of kit. I traded it in for a Gibson S1 exactly like this one below. Overextended a bit.

Sadly I could never pay it off. (Guitars cost a fortune back then relative to say the price of beer) And eventually I gave it back to the shop who gave me back the money I had paid which I then proceeded to spend very quickly on..... well beer mainly. Times were hard and it led to a dark period of over a year when I had no guitar. I swore this would never happen to me again and that I would never sell the next guitar I bought...... So I never did.
Great to hear those stories of when we were younger & the things we did & went through.
My first guitar was a very bad Avon les paul copy from a Freemans or some other catalogue, I remember it would not stay in tune & was awful to play, I think I gave it away to someone. Around a year later in 1975 I was offered a 65 Fender Mustang for £90, it was Fiesta red & I hated the colour but bought it, then I stripped it & sprayed it white, it already had humbuckers in it & I kept it & used it for a few years.
I really wanted a Gibson & a group of us would often go to London & look in the music shops at the guitars we could not afford, I saw a Gibson Les Paul Special double cut in the window of one shop, I went in & played it & just wanted it so bad. I talked to my nan & she lent me the money for it, I was paying her back about £2 a week out of my £17 weekly wages, looking back it was a lot of money, the guitar cost me £469 including the case.
I still have the Gibson & the Mustang, I had the Mustang restored in 1995, after finding out it was a rare Fiesta red & one of those guitars that was resprayed by Selmer UK in the 60's, due to the Hank Marvin explosion. During the restoration process we could not find a good Fiesta red so had it done in Dakota red. Here they are in all of their glory & the original sales invoice from Music City London for the Gibson.

65 Mustang refinished Dakota Red.jpg
UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_309a.jpg
r+O3vIlsSGOLCzoeUPFhKg_thumb_331b copy.jpg
 

Willie Johnson

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Apologies - "I see you have at least 2 yourself" made me laugh out loud 😆. I own over 40 at this point in time, with several in bits & I still look at all of the ads, as if I need more lol....
I think the fact that John Page designed the Bullet & was active in the quality control aspect is a testament to the USA Bullets being pretty good guitars for the money, I have not played many that are bad & I use some of mine live now & then.

The 1st version tele shaped Bullet was introduced in June 1981 & ran through to late 82 when the 2nd strat shaped version was introduced, but Fender were still using up the first versions through to 83 & a few of those are still around, the red guitar below is one of those with an E 114 serial & 83 neck date, the serial numbers that start with E 10 or just 10 with no Letter prefix are the earlier guitars.

I know what you mean about the guitar speaking to you, my first was a maple neck red Bullet, I saw it on ebay way back in 2004, if my memory serves me well. I had no idea what the guitar was, but I was intrigued by its quirky looks, I already owned & played vintage Fender mustangs & soon found out the guitar replaced the mustang as Fender's entry level guitar.
Anyhow, I paid way over the odds back then (£240) & got into a bidding war which I won, when the guitar arrived, straight out of the case it was lovely to play, the neck was excellent for me, nice & slim. I did a proper set up & gave it some tlc & still use that guitar to this day & a 2nd version Bullet S3, that has been modified quite a lot for gigging purposes, here they are below.

View attachment 996096 View attachment 996097
That second one is just such a good looking guitar. I don't even mind the jack mounted on the pickguard--student model vibe.
 

Johnnygdub

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P_20220624_141845.jpg



Just got some quick snaps as I was leaving it in.

Not sure if I can post a short vid here?

Anyway it looks good. Fully shielded. Can't see any wood inside. He will send me a shot when he takes the neck out.
 

cuscus

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Just got some quick snaps as I was leaving it in.

Not sure if I can post a short vid here?

Anyway it looks good. Fully shielded. Can't see any wood inside. He will send me a shot when he takes the neck out.
Great pics, 81 12 pot dates = 12th week of 1981 around 21st - 28th March 81. the rosewood board necks were not dated, but it will be good to see the wood, whether its a lauan mahogany ply or solid wood that would be alder or poplar, Bullets were more likely Alder, but hard to tell between those two.
 

knavel

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Great pics, 81 12 pot dates = 12th week of 1981 around 21st - 28th March 81. the rosewood board necks were not dated, but it will be good to see the wood, whether its a lauan mahogany ply or solid wood that would be alder or poplar, Bullets were more likely Alder, but hard to tell between those two.
I brought one to London from the USA a couple of years ago and there are (were) photos of it in this group at the time. Same as the one in Dublin in all aspects in terms of colour, year and date of pots more or less.

It was that layered plywood Lauan(?) and I didn't like how heavy it was so I sold it locally to someone else in London. Also, I had hoped the rosewood neck would be a drop in for my 76 Tele with maple neck but the Bullet neck would not fit. It was a pretty good guitar in terms of sound and especially for the money, but was no Telecaster sonically IMHO.

Johnnygdub asked about value, I think I got around £600 maybe £650.
 

Johnnygdub

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Great pics, 81 12 pot dates = 12th week of 1981 around 21st - 28th March 81. the rosewood board necks were not dated, but it will be good to see the wood, whether its a lauan mahogany ply or solid wood that would be alder or poplar, Bullets were more likely Alder, but hard to tell between those two.
Thanks so much for that info. As I said previously I bought in June 81. So that's consistent. Doesn't look like it was in the shop long. Given the probable freight time back then between Fullerton and Dublin.
 

Melody Man

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Greetings to all. My name is Clyde and this is my first post. I need to say "Fate Is The Hunter" It just fits. I found this thread a few days ago after digging my bullet out of the closet, trying to decide what to do with it. keep it or sell it. Needless to say I'm going to keep it.
About 7 years ago I decided to take up the guitar. I searched for a while and found a USA Bullet in eastern Wisconsin. I drove from north central Mn. to Wisconsin in a blizzard to by my Bullet. It is the Ivory or butterscotch 2 single coil pickups with a beautiful maple neck and a maple shunkstripe. The tuners have a large F on the back of them. The serial number is E115001. It also has the star with the number 1 in it. Pretty sure it is a series or version 1. It looks identical to the one cuccus has a picture of on page 118, 10th post down. Mine came with the Fender hardcase and the matching Fender Bullet reverb amp. I paid 350.00 for it and may i say it is beautiful. The neck is gorgeous. Some of the maple on the neck is figured. I have short kinda thick fingers so the neck fits me well. I'm still a beginner though. Need some tips on some really good beginner books to get back into this. I got distracted for quite awhile. Pictures will follow very soon as soon as I learn how to post them.
To my other project I'm in the process of building a lapsteel guitar. A replica of a Gibson e 100. And also will be picking up a classic peavey 30 in a couple of weeks to play with.
A final note for now. I'll probably never be in a band or do too much jamming. I just want to make music. maybe write a little. My dad was self taught on the cello. My sisters studied classical piano and I got a clarinet in high school. Didn't like it very much. I'm no Pete Fountain or Benny Goodman. LOL I also took lessons on the violin. Now I'm building a lapsteel guitar. Pretty excited about that. And also excited about my Bullet. I'm taking my Bullet in to have it professionally set up and adjusted properly.
Thank you all for reading. I've enjoyed reading this thread immensely and will continue to read all the pages eventually. Regards, Clyde
 

Johnnygdub

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Yaaay I'm not the new guy any more. 😃Welcome Clyde. Good to have another instrument to import knowledge from. A lot of guitarists use sax lines to get another perspective on lead playing. So having clarinet in the locker could be helpful later.
 

cuscus

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Greetings to all. My name is Clyde and this is my first post. I need to say "Fate Is The Hunter" It just fits. I found this thread a few days ago after digging my bullet out of the closet, trying to decide what to do with it. keep it or sell it. Needless to say I'm going to keep it.
About 7 years ago I decided to take up the guitar. I searched for a while and found a USA Bullet in eastern Wisconsin. I drove from north central Mn. to Wisconsin in a blizzard to by my Bullet. It is the Ivory or butterscotch 2 single coil pickups with a beautiful maple neck and a maple shunkstripe. The tuners have a large F on the back of them. The serial number is E115001. It also has the star with the number 1 in it. Pretty sure it is a series or version 1. It looks identical to the one cuccus has a picture of on page 118, 10th post down. Mine came with the Fender hardcase and the matching Fender Bullet reverb amp. I paid 350.00 for it and may i say it is beautiful. The neck is gorgeous. Some of the maple on the neck is figured. I have short kinda thick fingers so the neck fits me well. I'm still a beginner though. Need some tips on some really good beginner books to get back into this. I got distracted for quite awhile. Pictures will follow very soon as soon as I learn how to post them.
To my other project I'm in the process of building a lapsteel guitar. A replica of a Gibson e 100. And also will be picking up a classic peavey 30 in a couple of weeks to play with.
A final note for now. I'll probably never be in a band or do too much jamming. I just want to make music. maybe write a little. My dad was self taught on the cello. My sisters studied classical piano and I got a clarinet in high school. Didn't like it very much. I'm no Pete Fountain or Benny Goodman. LOL I also took lessons on the violin. Now I'm building a lapsteel guitar. Pretty excited about that. And also excited about my Bullet. I'm taking my Bullet in to have it professionally set up and adjusted properly.
Thank you all for reading. I've enjoyed reading this thread immensely and will continue to read all the pages eventually. Regards, Clyde

Hi Clyde @Melody Man & I think I forgot to welcome @Johnnygdub, so welcome to both of you, glad these pages have been of interest, there is a lot to read lol, but a wealth of info in there & probably everything that anyone needs to know about these guitars.

Clyde, I looked at the pic on page 118 you mentioned, that guitar is a 1983, as is the first red bullet I ever bought, we did not know it when this thread first started, but Fender were still using up the first version Bullets when they introduced the 2nd version in 1982.

It is great finding out info by talking to owners & knowing that the guitars were purchased new like that & had not just had a newer neck put on an older body. I spoke to the previous owners of the two I own & the history could be traced back, its not always the that way, but I always like to get some back info on every guitar I buy & keep notes.

There are not many 1983 first version bullets around, I have two & I know two of others that have been posted in this thread or on other forums, there are probably more out there, but most of the first version bullets are 81/82.

I hope you can post some pics soon Clyde.
 




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