I just bought a used McDermott as a "beater" to take to the places I woudn't bring my "good" McD. Bumper has a hole in the center with a 10-24 stovebolt that threads into a 7/8 or so diameter metal insert with a slot across the diameter. Every other McD I've seen has a bumper that requires a dedicated tool to remove. Is a this factory McDermott setup? An older one or cheaper one maybe? Also, the spare shaft has a 1 1/4" long ferrule. I've never noticed one that long. It seems to hit "softer" than the factory shafts. Could the ferrule length have any effect on the hit, or is it more likely something not so visible? Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to answer. As a newbie to this forum, I think it's outstanding that those who have endured all the time and effort it takes to learn proficiency in cuebuilding are willing to share their knowledge. If there's anything left of me once the kids get thru college, I'd definitely look in the direction of the contributors to this forum once I can swing the bucks toward my first custom cue. Thanks again.