Originally Posted by Blue_Barron
Very cool read! Had no idea Excal (and I'm assuming Viking) body blanks were extruded like that.
They weren't always. This is an original from 1999, milled from billet aluminum:
As you can, it is running an Air America Vigilante regulator; at the time there were only a few inline regulators on the market. The Vigilante was a popular upgrade, and shipped on production markers too - the alternative would have been a WGP MiniReg (they had just been made in standard threading), a cheap WGP Autococker reg that would need to be disassembled to adjust, or a significantly more expensive Palmers Stabilizer. Obviously the Sidewinder is a superior design, but it was still a year away.
I've never heard a definitive reason as to why the bodies were extruded, but I'd imagine it is just to save costs on rough milling. The Excalibur was $1199 when made from extrusion, so the price was was competitive when compared to WDPs Angel at $1399 and Bob Longs Intimidator at $999.
Merlins were also cut from extrusions.