Your "quality" tolerance


January 1, 2011, 03:39 PM

First, how many times would you return a (bought new in box) firearm to the manufacturer before giving up?

Second, what is proper recourse for a firearm that has two functional failures (broken parts, not ftf or fte) within 100 rounds of being taken out of the box? Is there a proper procedure for asking for a lemon to be replaced?

Thanks for any help or thoughts you might have.


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January 1, 2011, 04:04 PM
Hi -

I began a thread a few months ago about a Auto-Ordnance M1 Carbine with a "fouled" barrel from the factory.

After some cleaning and some questions asked, I determined that the residue was Parkerizing which had entered the barrel.

Initially, the tech at Auto-Ordnance told me not to worry about it, but, upon refection, I decided to contact the VP of the company directly with a polite letter about my situation.

The VP responded in 6 minutes, and I was contacted by a Service Representative / technician who handled my case personally.

The barrel was replaced, the rifle was test-fired and returned to me.

If you believe that the firearm is defective, contact the company. Be polite, be objective, be polite, and ask for a supervisor (or higher) until you have explained to someone who wants you, a customer, to be satisfied.

Again, be polite.

I believe that I answered question #2.


Bill B.
January 1, 2011, 04:14 PM
First, how many times would you return a (bought new in box) firearm to the manufacturer before giving up?

Apparently my "Quality Tolerance" is very, very low! :uhoh: I tend to get rid of automatics even after getting them repaired if I lose faith in them. When it comes right down to it about anything I have ever owned be it a functioning issue or accuracy issue I get rid of sooner than later. :eek:

January 1, 2011, 04:44 PM
I gave Ruger 3 tries to get it right - when they couldn't, I got rid of it and have never bought another Ruger product since

January 1, 2011, 07:21 PM
I would give any manufacturer one free pass as long as they fixed the problem no questions asked. Any gun can have a "lemon" but twice would be shame on me.

January 1, 2011, 08:02 PM
Without brand bashing here and now, suffice it to say I buy very carefully,

avoiding any brand names which come up repeatedly with QC problems.

Even if I got a weapon "fixed" I would be rather untrusting of it's performance from that point forward.

January 1, 2011, 08:28 PM
When given a lemon make lemonade a good gunsmith can fix any problem that a NOB firearm may have here is some of the few tips I can give you when buying firearms.
1. Give it a through inspection check for any imperfections and blemishes and fix them
2. Give it a good cleaning even in it's never been out of the box the firearm will still have grease residue from the assembly line and will still collect dust in the box
3. Take it to the range and give it a 100 round test shoot take notes of any problem that may occur, accuracy, reliability, and what-else you like and don't like.

January 1, 2011, 08:49 PM
as a Quality Professional I have no tolerance for poor quality, and worse listening to the manufacturer try and explain things away.

ole farmerbuck
January 1, 2011, 09:02 PM
I sent my Savage 22-250 back twice for a rough barrel. Whatever they did the last time did the trick. Quite the shooter now!;)

The Real Wyatt
January 1, 2011, 09:18 PM
That's my tolerance. I'd send it on a round-trip back to the factory twice. If it wasn't a perfectly functional, reliable machine after that I'd take the loss and dump the gun.

I'd probably continue to buy guns from that manufacturer, but I'd avoid that particular model forevermore.

January 1, 2011, 09:44 PM
I work on firearms and first off, did you do a basic stripping of the gun and clean and oil?

Second depending on brand some new guns are tight and I would make no objections to even a cheap gun at 100 rds., at least 500 before I contact the manufacture, unless broken parts.

Also what ammo, 100 rds. of junk ammo vs. 100 rds. of mid level ammo can make a difference.

If broken parts and not operator error (shooting gun with packing grease build up or dry), then give them a chance, you're gonna lose money if you don't.

What type of firearm is it?

January 1, 2011, 09:54 PM
Another vote for "twice".

Once if the shipping charges are on me.

January 1, 2011, 10:35 PM
Partly depends on what I pay. But generally, for a brand new gun, one trip back to the factory. But, if the Customer Service folk are helpful, polite, etc, it could go back again if I believe they are really trying - and its their job as Customer Service to convince me they are trying. Being a QA guy myself, part of my analysis of the issue is just what the problem is.

In my experience, purchasing a rather high-dollar 1911, it came back from the factory with the following issues fixed, among others:
1. Chamber undersize
2. Extractor tension wrong
3. Feed ramp angle wrong (on an Al frame gun - this was a mess)
4. and more
Items 1 and 3 were inexcusable, and should never have left the factory. The gun still didn't run after a second visit. They refused to take it back - but my dealer did at full price. For him, I turned around and spend the same amount and more for another new gun he had. Turned out the manufacturer took the gun back from him a couple of months later.

Bottom line, I don't buy that brand any more, and more used guns than new.

January 1, 2011, 10:44 PM
Luckily I have not run into this problem, but I tend to be pretty determined about scraping things that don't work and making sure that they end up completely destroyed, as opposed to just broken. If I paid the money for it I'll get my moneys worth out even if it just becomes an expensive club or punching bag.

I say, send it back to them once, if they don't fix it right, then you've got yourself a nice club. I'll give 'em a second chance if they are covering all of the shipping charges and it doesn't cost me anything.

January 1, 2011, 10:45 PM
david58 gives a good reminder to be wary of Al guns too, some get it some don't

January 1, 2011, 11:58 PM
Great responses, all. Thanks.

Since you ask:

Walther PPS .40 S&W. Bought new in November after contemplating and saving up for quite a while.

During first range session, the slide stop lever failed (read that: The metal hook to the spring inside the handgun frame actually broke) at approximately round 30 firing Federal FMJ.

Sent to S&W and had it fixed in December. They were great, fast, responsive, and supportive.

Hit the range today, made it to round 43 in today's session and the slide stop spring jumped out of its position. Doesn't look like the lever broke this time, but the lever is unsprung and catches on each shot.

I'm going to contact Walther usa (S&W) on Monday and go through another fix cycle; but suffice it to say I'm very disappointed. It's a CC handgun that I won't trust now. I've never owned a gun of any type that broke twice within 100 shots.

Sad thing is, I actually like shooting the thing; and it has otherwise not failed to cycle (how's that for a sympathetic view?).

Issue I have is this: I'm not sure I'd want to sell it to someone if I don't trust it...Shouldn't Walther eat the lemon?


January 2, 2011, 02:01 PM
Certainly Walther should eat the lemon.:o

They won't.:mad:

I'm at least very confident, statistically speaking, that they will not eat the lemon. Just like Brand K in my case, they don't want folks expecting an exchange, refund, or in many cases a repair. You are one in a long line of Customers lined up to buy a gun - if you go away, they'll simply sell to someone else. Crappy way of doing business (from a Customer perspective), but that's the way it is. And to cut them a leetle bitty bit of slack, the firearms transfer headaches probably contribute some to their reluctance.

January 2, 2011, 02:40 PM
Aww man, I just bought a P-22 and am waiting for the transfer to be ok'd by my local LE, in the meantime I've heard some horror stories about the type and Walther customer service, you're not giving me much hope. :uhoh:

On topic though, I'd give them twice, provided I got a helpful attitude from the their customer service folks.

Ala Dan
January 2, 2011, 02:45 PM
My "quality tolerance" is the fact that I expect my equipment to work 100%
of the time; as there in "NO ROOM" for erratic behavior from any of my
firearms~! ;) :D

The Real Wyatt
January 2, 2011, 07:30 PM
RimfireChris said:
Aww man, I just bought a P-22 and am waiting for the transfer to be ok'd by my local LE, in the meantime I've heard some horror stories about the type and Walther customer service, you're not giving me much hope.


Put your mind at ease, you've just bought a terrific little gun. I've owned mine for over 4 years now and have put about 4,000 rounds thru it without issue. It's fun, reliable and accurate as can be. What more could one ask?

Where are you from, that the local LE gets involved in your gun purchases?

Larry E
January 2, 2011, 11:51 PM
I've only had to send two guns back for service. One was a Ruger P345 that they fixed, and paid shipping both ways, that now functions like it's supposed to. The other was an old Dan Wesson .357 that had chambers so rough that any charge approaching normal for a .357 required fired cases to be pounded out of them. It was only slightly better when they returned it. I sold the thing, and now have two Ruger .357's that have chambers as smooth as a baby's behind and eject cases from hot loads with ease.

January 3, 2011, 07:56 AM
I did it once.

After that, I got rid of it.

It wouldn't have been such an issue, but it was a revolver that wouldn't rotate the cylinder on a double-action pull. No thanks, I didn't buy an SA revolver. :)

January 3, 2011, 04:03 PM
The Real Wyatt-I'm in WA. I don't have a CHL here, so when you buy a pistol, in addition to the regular federal from for a long gun, there's what's called a pistol transfer form, I think that's the name or pretty close. They send it to your county LEA, the come back with an ok, you're not "on the books" so to speak and you're good. Having a CHL is supposed to speed up the process, so that's gonna be my birthday present next week.

I'd have waited, but in addition to the gift card my in-laws gave me, I also have several coupons that expire pretty soon, so I went ahead and bought it hoping it'll go through in time for me to use them. We'll see.

And thanks for the encouragement. I looked at several different pistols when I was up there, this was the only one that really lit my fire that day. I'm can't wait to get her out to the range. :D

Sauer Grapes
January 3, 2011, 04:51 PM
I'll give them 2 shots, just because I'm more patient in my later years. After 2 trips things would get a little more intense. In your case, it seems as though they gave it a good shot. let them have at it again. S&W seems to have a good rep. for C.S.

January 3, 2011, 04:59 PM
Any maker can make a mistake or two. It is how they handle it that makes or breaks it for me.

April 27, 2011, 09:33 AM
I just received from S&W a brand new PPS. I've got to hand it to S&W, they have a great CS function. I somehow ended up with a lemon that kept eating itself, and they replaced it without so much as a protest from me. It has taken a while (they were having a delay on parts for the Walthers due to some customs issues from what I understood), but I think patience has paid off.

We'll see how the new one runs sometime soon. Suffice it to say this is a good news story of a company standing behind its product. I like this handgun's form factor a lot, but admit that if they had simply fixed and returned my last one it would have been hard to trust (two major breakages within 100 rounds of straight ball ammo).

April 27, 2011, 10:00 AM
There aren't that many parts in a gun. If something is not working right, there is a physical reason why. Especially with something as minor as a slide catch and slide catch spring....

If breaking these parts is a known endemic issue on this pistol, then maybe there is a design issue, and all of them feature the same design.

If it is not, I would just replace them and fire away. Small parts break from time to time, and it is possible you had a bad part initially installed at the factory. Always good to hear about responsive CS though.

April 27, 2011, 10:35 AM
Provided I do most of my own gunsmithing...I send a gun in if it needs something I am not able to do or have the tools to do. That means once. After that I will get the tools/training and see if it's repairable, if not then it becomes a "holster mold".

I do check a firearm thoroughly before I buy it, and don't deal with shops that won't either strip the gun down for me or let me strip it down. I do make it very clear I am serious on buying, I just need to be sure I leave with a solid one. That said, one part max.

April 27, 2011, 11:43 AM
Different strokes for different folks, but I don't think that a brand new gun that eats its own parts twice within 100 rounds is "acceptable" if I'm able to replace the small parts and go fire away. That's a problem. This particular unit had some kind of issue with alignment or otherwise.

Small parts may fail, sure. But, they should fail after thousands of rounds not after 30-40. They should also be predictably replaceable, not unpredictably subject to breakage (not just FTE/F, which this particular unit never had an issue with). Whether you do your own gunsmithing or not is beside the point.

April 27, 2011, 12:01 PM
First, how many times would you return a (bought new in box) firearm to the manufacturer before giving up?

You know, it depends entirely on the firearm and the malfunction. In your case, more than once was unacceptable. For a range only piece that is known to be finicky, twice is acceptable...unless I'm paying shipping. If I have to pay shipping, I'd try to seek recourse through the place I bought it from for a complete refund. I'm sorry, but as a consumer I shouldn't need to pay a dime to ship a defective product to the manufacturer.

Some defects don't even bother me. I picked up a new glock that had a rather noticeable scratch on the slide. Glock did it since it was still sealed in the box. I didn't really care since it was a Glock. I'll either scratch it myself, it will develop holster wear eventually or I will just never care because it was ugly to start with. :)

Different strokes for different folks, but I don't think that a brand new gun that eats its own parts twice within 100 rounds is "acceptable" if I'm able to replace the small parts and go fire away

Yeah, I would have lost all confidence in it, whatever the brand it would have been. Honestly, I'd probably have ran around 1000 rounds through whatever replacement that my brand of choice sent me (500 is my personal minimum anyway) before I started carrying it for defense. If they had repaired it twice instead of replacing it, I would have likely sold it even if I took a loss. What good is a carry gun that I'll never be confident with?

I've heard nothing but excellent things about your pistol, but I agree with you. Two breakages in under 100 rounds is annoying and unacceptable. That isn't even an entire range session. :) Good luck with the replacement!

April 27, 2011, 12:37 PM
Depends on what the problem is and how the manufacturer treats me. In most cases, though, I'd say it should not have to go back for the same problem more than once. Unlike cars, electronics and many other products, firearms are pretty simple and, aside from materials and manufacturing techniques, employ century old technology. Sure, there are real world conditions that may not be accounted for in testing, and there can be problems in manufacturing that go unnoticed for awhile and cause problems. But it shouldn't take multiple attempts to figure it out.

April 27, 2011, 01:51 PM
My dad bought a Kimber Tactical Custom II a while back with commander length slide and on that series there is a firing pin safety. There is a little bump in the frame that depresses the safety in the slide, I assume it was a MIM part, and decided it didnt want to be part of the gun anymore one day without us knowing and it wouldnt shoot the next we went to the range. Found out that was the problem, and promptly replaced the firing pin with a Colt Series 80 to bypass the firing pin safety, which is totally useless on a range gun. No harm done, and I would still buy a Kimber if I had the cash, they are great shooting guns.

1911 guy
April 28, 2011, 08:16 AM
I give a manufacturer one chance to fix reliability and function issues. Most seem to get it and do reasonably well, some exceptionally well. After that, I cut my losses and move on.

Others are quite the opposite, acting as if you are inconveniencing them by asking for a decent product for the price they are asking. Para Ordnance comes to mind. I wouldn't own another if personally given to me by the company owner.

April 28, 2011, 10:11 AM
1 time, if they can't fix it on their second pass, the first was selling it the first time. Then I have to assume that they don't know what's wrong with it. So I sure am not trusting my life to it.

April 28, 2011, 10:30 AM
The general state of quality control these days is pathetic at best. 1 trip to be repaired and then I would lose confidence in that particular firearm. Out of warantee firearms are a different matter. I like to have the factory look at the problem if it is a major one to CYA. I hate dealing with lawyers, they cost too much in time and $$$. I am not a gunsmith but do my own small repairs that will not affect function or safety. Sad that it has come to this IMHO.

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