Tale of a defective firearm...

Tale of a defective firearm...

This is a discussion on Tale of a defective firearm... within the FFL Dealer Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Part 1 Before you read this I would ask that you not ask me in this public forum which firearm I purchased that was defective. ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array G26Raven's Avatar
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    Tale of a defective firearm...

    Part 1

    Before you read this I would ask that you not ask me in this public forum which firearm I purchased that was defective. I will not respond. If you ask me privately, depending on your reason, I may share that information with you, provided you agree not to quote me or reveal this information in another forum.

    Earlier this year I purchased the single most expensive firearm I have ever owned, brand new from a local gun store. I had carefully researched the product and there were a few older reviews that were critical of the firearm itself, as well as the company. But most recent reviews were pretty good. I was not new to this type of firearm and have a lot of experience running one, just not one on this particular caliber.

    I called the company and inquired about the product issues I had read about and their tech rep responded that they had less than a 1% return rate. I thought that was reasonable. I asked about problems I had read about in regards to their customer service and he assured me that the individual had been let go.

    I called a friend who is a full time instructor in the firearms business and asked his opinion, since he owns one of their firearms (although it had been highly modified). He told me his experience with the product had been nothing but great.

    I went ahead and had my local dealer order me one of the guns. He delivered it within a short span of time. I was very pleased with the apparent fit and finish of the product.

    I took the firearm to our local range and out of 20 rounds of good quality ammunition, the product had multiple light strikes and failures to eject. I gave up and returned home, pretty unhappy. I’ve shot many firearms of this type of design with never a problem (except some self-induced ones early in my training). I took pictures of EVERYTHING that happened with this weapon and kept a notebook. Documenting this was the best thing that I did.

    I called the manufacturer and spoke to the same tech rep and he advised me that I needed to run 450 rounds of ammunition through the firearm before it was “broken in.” He also told me the ammo I had used was “junk” and advised me to throw it away. I was incredulous, but I had little choice but to comply with his requirements before they would take the product back for work. When I got off the phone and explained what had happened to my wife (who has her own collection of firearms) she looked at me like I was insane.

    I didn’t throw the previous ammo away, but bought another mix of 450 rounds of good quality ammo. This was costing me a lot of money and wasted time.

    Before I finished the break-in, I was still experiencing the same issues, i.e., light strikes and failures to eject. I called the manufacturer again and the rep agreed to have their armorer examine the firearm. They paid for the transportation back and returned the weapon in short order, with a note saying that they replaced the firing pin and a few other parts that were out of specification.

    I took the gun back to the range again and this time experienced one light strike, one failure to extract, and three failures to eject out of 40 rounds. I was done.

    I called my friend who had recommended the weapon to me, and asked him how to approach the manufacturer. He advised me to bypass the tech rep and call the president of the company directly, and to mention my friend’s name. I questioned my friend about putting him in a bad position with the manufacturer and he assured me that he was not concerned about that. I called the president that day, who was not available, described the situation to another guy who worked there and told him I no longer wanted the firearm, and he assured me the president would call me back.
    Last edited by G26Raven; July 19th, 2019 at 06:56 PM.
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    VIP Member Array G26Raven's Avatar
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    Part 2

    When four days went by without a call from the president, I sat down and wrote a detailed letter to the president, with all of my photographs, notes, receipts, email correspondence, etc. I knew the people at their office were not going to give me the president’s email address so I sent him the documentation via FedEx. I ran this by my friend again to ask him if I should send this and he told me to do so.

    I waited a week and still did not get a response from the president. At that point, I told my friend what had happened, via email, and without asking me he sent an email to the president telling him that I was a very unhappy customer.

    In the midst of all this, a friend of mine from California who has an FFL sent me a link to another website with a thread by an owner of the same type of gun. The gun owner went to their factory multiple times since he lives in the same state and they could not get the gun to work for him satisfactorily. Ultimately, he returned the weapon to the dealer he bought it from who refunded his money against the purchase of a different firearm

    Two days later I got a phone call from the president. He was not conciliatory at all. No apology was offered in any way. He suggested that I send the product back and he would personally go through it and ensure it was working before he returned it to me. I told him that was not what I wanted, that I wanted a refund for the purchase price, ammo, and spare parts (unused) I had bought. He said “No.” He then offered me a brand new model that was just released this year and 1000 rounds of ammunition. Again, I refused. He finally agreed to refund the money to the distributor who would in turn reimburse my dealer. I could see his logic in that perspective. There was no offer to reimburse me for my ammunition.

    I had been in to the see my local dealer since my ultimate attempts began to get the product taken back. He was extremely helpful and called the distributor, who was not especially enthusiastic about getting involved.

    Once the president agreed to take the product back for a refund to the distributor, he asked that I secure the purchase order number my dealer had bought it under. When I had the last bit of documentation he insisted on having, I called the tech rep and asked for RMA numbers to return the firearm and spares. I told him I was very sorry as I seriously wanted this product to work. He then admitted to me that while they had very few returns, when one of these firearms came back they could not figure out why there were problems. I was dumbfounded at his admission.

    On the positive side, my local dealer ordered me a replacement for this firearm from another manufacturer as soon as the manufacturer of the defective weapon received it back. He may have to wait a month or two before he gets reimbursed. He really went out of his way for me.

    Here are the lessons I learned:

    1) When you buy a firearm, do meticulous research on how it performs. I did, but there wasn’t much I could do about a review that came out after I had taken delivery.

    2) Keep everything that came with the firearm until you are absolutely sure it functions properly.

    3) Keep all of your receipts.

    4) If you have problems with the firearm from the beginning, keep detailed records on what the problems are. Take notes, take photographs with your cell phone, and be sure to record what happened with what ammo.

    5) Don’t threaten or yell. Be polite but firm.

    6) Maintain a good relationship with your local dealer. You never know when you might need their help.

    7) I was prepared to go to the Utah Department of Consumer Affairs if the issue was not resolved. I spoke to the agency here in Utah and they said they were interested in the case. I would have taken the manufacturer to small claims if I had to.

    I think most of this is common sense but it was a rough road for a couple of months and if it saves someone else some grief it was worth my time to write this.
    Last edited by G26Raven; July 19th, 2019 at 04:11 PM.
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    Wow, that's a terrible story. Sorry you had such a bad experience with the company. The President sounds like a serious a-hole. Your LGS folks sound terrific. Hope the replacement is flawless!
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    VIP Member Array G26Raven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PPS1980 View Post
    Wow, that's a terrible story. Sorry you had such a bad experience with the company. The President sounds like a serious a-hole. Your LGS folks sound terrific. Hope the replacement is flawless!
    It was pretty unpleasant and stressful. I wasn't sure what was going to happen. I don't enjoy confrontations like this but at least it worked out. I've had the new firearm to the range and so far, so good.
    "If you look like food, you will be eaten." Clint Smith, Thunder Ranch

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    Glad the new one is doing well. You pay a lot and get that kind of service, absolutely a way to eventually go out of business.
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    Good grief, that’s terrible. I understand your reluctance to name the manufacturer, but it would be good to know so others are aware....
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  8. #7
    VIP Member Array G26Raven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockymonster View Post
    Good grief, that’s terrible. I understand your reluctance to name the manufacturer, but it would be good to know so others are aware....
    The reason I don't want to name the manufacturer is that the dealer has yet to be reimbursed. He credited me towards the replacement before he was reimbursed. That was an exceptionally nice thing to do; he could have made me wait. I don't want to see him not get reimbursed when he should because of any nastiness on the part of the manufacturer. If you really want to know, PM me and I will be happy to tell you.
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    I totally understand. PM sent...
    "Once that bell rings, you're on your own. It's just you and the other guy.” - Joe Lewis

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    Obviously you handled your interest well and exercised lots of patience, certainly more than I would have. Unfortunately, we now can pin the blame on any gun manufacturer we choose instead of being wary of one. The customer service advice to shoot 450 rounds for a break in seems ludicrous to me as. fix for light primer strikes. Since you shot good ammo we can assume that anything more tahn a few light strikes was not an ammo problem. So it was obviously the gun. as I recall a light primer strike is going to be caused by either an out of tolerance hammer or striker spring or an ill fitted hammer or striker including the area of the contact point of either. If that area is too large it can fail to concentrate the strike with enough forse to fire off the primer. A bad spring causes the same effect but due to waek tension. Hoe shooting more ammo is going to alter those conditions I cannot imagine. Clearly breakb in shooting does help some guns to perform better inn terms of feed and ejection.But how it could fix light strikes befuddles me. Anyone have a better insight?
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    And with that, the lottery pool to name the manufacturer begins!

    IMO, this "break-in" period is horse hockey. A gun may improve its trigger, etc., with usage, but it should function correctly right out of the box with any quality ammo, and not meaning "high end." Not working until "X" number of rounds are fired tells me the machining was incomplete to save money, and they're hoping the customer will finish the job. I've never had a new gun that didn't function 100% right out of the box.

    If the manufacturer is out of state, I don't know if you could file in small claims court, as it would likely fall into federal territory with crossing state lines.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    And with that, the lottery pool to name the manufacturer begins!

    If the manufacturer is out of state, I don't know if you could file in small claims court, as it would likely fall into federal territory with crossing state lines.
    Most states allow a legal action against a party from a different state if that party does business within the state where the action is to be fled. Of course, that is a state by state determination. A phone call to a small claims court office will tell. I filed such a claim once. The defendant did not show up in court. I won by default. However, there was no way enforce the judgement because the defendant was in a different state and that state dis not allow judgements from other states to be subject to action.
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    Lemme see, which manufacturer of hidollah handguns demands a 500 round break-in?
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    Well that sucks. When you factor in the cost of 500 rounds and 2-4 range trips, you're talking about a pretty good sum of money. I went through that same thing about 10 years ago when I bought a newly-released gun. I should have waited and ended up being a beta tester. I couldn't even make it through the break-in period without burning the barrel lugs out of not just one, but two guns. It was a terribly frustrating experience.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    Lemme see, which manufacturer of hidollah handguns demands a 500 round break-in?
    Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, Mr. Kotter, I got it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    Lemme see, which manufacturer of hidollah handguns demands a 500 round break-in?
    Quote Originally Posted by jmf552 View Post
    Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, Mr. Kotter, I got it!
    Well.....it “could be” Hi Point I guess.......
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