Why you should be careful when buying from Century Arms


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Gelgoog
January 12, 2011, 01:26 AM
Usually I am not one to post youtube videos to support my case, but this one was well done.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0J5n4lkKwQ&feature=player_embedded


A) their workmanship is spotty at best, and their quality control is abysmal by industry standards.

B) their 1 year warranty starts at the time it leave the factory, not at the time you take original ownership

C) if your buying a century product off someone else, chances are its already off warranty, so you better make sure its 100%

D) if you do have problems and managed to get in before the warranty expires, they will either fix the weapon or replace it. If they fix it you better hope they do it within a reasonable time frame and pray that it actually got fixed because you probably won't get a second chance. If your weapon was replaced and exhibits the same problem as your previous weapon or has different problems of its own.....well your out of luck because replacement weapons have no warranty.

So in the end, while century does have a competitive pricing index on their weapons which allows them to capture vast swaths of the budget conscious market (or people who do not know any better), the sad fact is that the probability of experiencing a problem with a century product is higher than most other manufacturers. This combined with an almost non-existent warranty means that at the end of the day that cheap firearm will probably end up costing you more to get fixed than it would have if you would have spent the extra money to buy from a reputable company that stands behind their products.

This leaves you with two options if you insist and taking the gamble and buying a century product.
1) inspect the weapon thoroughly before taking ownership of it. Most of the common flaws can be detected if you know what you are looking for. However many will not surface until you have taken it to the range, at which point it is probably too late.

2) buy the century product from a company who "certifies" that the weapon is issue free and offers their own warranty on top of century arms (Henderson defense would be an example).

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Nick5182
January 12, 2011, 01:47 AM
There are a lot of good points there. It seems to me most people buy century weapons for a range toy and don't expect them to see hard use. Either way a gun is supposed to function. I've read horror stories about the C93 they put out (HK93 copy). I heard the recievers and parts they use for them are extremely worn military surplus rifles converted to semi-auto and they have many problems because of this. And for the price I've seen them ($700+) there's no excuse for the gun not to function correctly or hold up.

Jaws
January 12, 2011, 02:02 AM
Maybe they should send their technicians for training to those caves in Pakistan. Those kids could teach them how to make an AK. :D:evil:

WardenWolf
January 12, 2011, 02:09 AM
I have a Century AK underfolder and a Century Golani. Both good rifles. I did, however, personally pick out the Golani at J&G Sales. I looked it over and everything seemed fine. Shoots a little right, but the sight block isn't canted and just needs some major windage adjustment. After this, though, I won't buy any Century-produced gun I can't look over in advance.

Dr.Rob
January 12, 2011, 02:19 AM
I'm not sure this is in the right forum, but that was a really informative video.

Gelgoog
January 12, 2011, 02:43 AM
I put it in here, because most of the problems with century are with their rifles that they personally work on, hence this is where people are more likely to get the message.

WardenWolf
January 12, 2011, 07:17 AM
I'm not sure if such a warranty limitation is even LEGAL in all states. I would strongly doubt it.

That being said, shame on the person in the video for not doing his research on the firearm before purchasing it. He purchased a firearm that had a pretty commonly known issue, and a few minutes of Internet research would likely have uncovered it.

For the record, Century PSL's are actually not monkeyed with by them. They are manufactured wholly in Romania in the same factory as the military PSL's. Everything on those guns, except for the scope, is new and unissued. Because Romanian scopes use tritium, which has a limited shelf-life (and also has some import restrictions), they issue new scopes to the military and package older scopes on the export rifles.

nalioth
January 12, 2011, 07:43 AM
I have a Century AK underfolder and a Century Golani. Both good rifles. I did, however, personally pick out the Golani at J&G Sales. I looked it over and everything seemed fine. Shoots a little right, but the sight block isn't canted and just needs some major windage adjustment.I truly hope you got a "good one", because the show-stopper that afflicted some of the Golanis was improper heat treat of some critical receiver areas.

You can't examine for improper heat treat - you only find out after you've shot it and your headspace starts wandering :eek:

kwelz
January 12, 2011, 08:42 AM
But but but. Century is Just as good as Arsenal or Krebs...

avs11054
January 12, 2011, 11:47 AM
I bought a century off gunbroker new. The seller assured me the gun would function perfectly and shoot straight. So far on three range trips, I've put 180 rounds through it, and it'll hit a man sized target easily at 200 yards. The only problem I've had is the range keeps telling me they have to close for the night. :D

avs11054
January 12, 2011, 11:48 AM
oh btw...mine was a wasr 10

Joe Demko
January 12, 2011, 12:01 PM
The internet is an amazing thing, to be sure. It lets us share and endlessly repeat information. It is up to us, though, to interpret that information and understand that one incident described many times is not the same thing as many incidents.
Is Century Arms International a first line manufacturer? No. Absolutely not. OTOH, they sell items that none of the first line manufacturers are offering. Their quality control could be better, but their prices are low. Why is this a virtue for Keltec, but a flaw for CAI?
I've bought a bunch of stuff from Century over the years, always because it was cheap and I figured it would be, at worst, a project gun. I've never yet bought anything from them that didn't run. The only one that actually required any work was a Maadi AK. The front sight was canted. I also refinished it, but that was a matter of taste, not a requirement. Everything else ran like a top and exhibited fit and finish that were (in light of the price) acceptable to excellent.
Don't buy a used Chevy expecting a new Mercedes; but don't assume that because one guy has problems with his old Chevy that none of them work. Caveat emptor is true of CAI, but it is true of all the gun merchants.

Gelgoog
January 12, 2011, 01:16 PM
Really Joe? Yea this is the first time someone has had a problem with century arms. I have had problems with century arms, everyone I know has had problems with century arms, and likely every they know has had problems with century arms. This is not the case of one glock blowing up and suddenly everyone is repeating how bad glocks are.

The issues with century arms lack of quality control are well documented. However this thread is not about century releasing a bad produt, it is about century's horrible warranty service and the fact that you probably will not be able to fix a weapon you have a problem with because it will be off warranty by the time you take ownership of it.

Davek1977
January 12, 2011, 01:38 PM
My only experience with Century was entirely positive.....My WASR does everything I expected it to and hasn't disappointed me in any way. Your mileage may very, but its not as if EVERY rifle they put out is a lemon, as many would seemingly have you believe.

husker
January 12, 2011, 01:44 PM
I hate AKs & im loving this thread
I do have an American made AK
I call it a MINI 14

Joe Demko
January 12, 2011, 02:11 PM
Really Joe? Yea this is the first time someone has had a problem with century arms. I have had problems with century arms, everyone I know has had problems with century arms, and likely every they know has had problems with century arms.

I doubt that.

atblis
January 12, 2011, 02:22 PM
Interarms Tantal-->what I bought. Has original Polish chrome lined barrel.

EDIT: Watching the video. That's freaking pathetic.

Spec ops Grunt
January 12, 2011, 02:23 PM
I hate AKs & im loving this thread
I do have an American made AK
I call it a MINI 14

I lol'd heartily.

Snakum
January 12, 2011, 02:26 PM
So what is the deal with Henderson's 'Certified' CAI weapons? Do they actually honor the warranty? Because their policy states the mfr is liable for warranty work. If the rifle is out of warranty date per Century is Henderson going to fix it?

Gelgoog
January 12, 2011, 02:30 PM
I doubt that.

then you need to open your eyes and read more. You can't go to one gun board asking about century arms without people warning you about problems they had with canted front sights, excessive mag wobble, keyholing, improper headspacing, the wrong barrels being installed, improper heat treatment, etc.

These problems exist on every platform that century has worked on from their WASRs, HK91 clones, HK93 clones, Sterlings, Polish Tantels, etc. Really the weapons in which century does not seem to have consistent quality control problems with are the ones in which they merely import and do not touch/ or farm out for others to work on.

My only experience with Century was entirely positive.....My WASR does everything I expected it to and hasn't disappointed me in any way. Your mileage may very, but its not as if EVERY rifle they put out is a lemon, as many would seemingly have you believe.

It is very hit or miss with century, as they say even a broken clock is right twice a day. Alot of people who know nothing about firearms also do not know what to look for or do not shoot their weapon enough to notice a problem. I have been to many gunshows where people are selling their century products only to point out to the vendor that the FSP is canted amongst other problems after they had assured me that it was good to go.

Joe Demko
January 12, 2011, 02:35 PM
Ratchet it back, Gelgoog. I am reporting from my own experience with Century Arms International products and from what I have seen of them at my gun club. You can't go to any gun board without finding people who have a negative attitude about any brand of gun you care to name. There are plenty of posts out there complaining about Colts, S&W's, Glocks, Rugers, Bushmasters, Remingtons, et. al. You having negative attitude about CAI in particular does not change the fact that I have had overwhelmingly good experiences with their products. When you started making statements like and likely every they know has had problems with century arms.
is when I started having problems taking you seriously.

Apuuli
January 12, 2011, 02:43 PM
The youtube wrong about replacement rifles not being covered under their warranty. Century Arms might have said that because the replaced rifle was no longer under warranty and they didn't want to extend their liability, but the policy says, "The (1) year period does not start over if a firearm is repaired and reshipped."

The poster read this as "repaired or reshipped." Clearly a replacement rifle is not repaired and reshipped. Aside from the fact that a replacement cannot be reshipped, in any case, as it was never shipped before, it is clear that replacement rifles are not expressly excepted from the warranty.

Gelgoog
January 12, 2011, 02:43 PM
The difference between Century and other manufacturer complaints on gunboards is the dispropotionate number having to deal with century.

When everyone is telling you not to buy century unless you can inspect it first hand, then that should let you know that the company has QC problems. Now there are other companies out there that have likewise reputations such as Kel-tec and Hi-point, yet those companies stand behind their product with a good warranty. Century instead knows it is putting out bad products and starts their limited one year warranty from the time the gun is made....no one else to my knowledge does that.

They are banking on the ignorance of their customer base and their low price point to stay in business.

W.E.G.
January 12, 2011, 02:45 PM
http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/humor/noangrybeavers.jpg

Dr.Rob
January 12, 2011, 02:48 PM
Clearly any importer can't warranty for life a surplus Eastern European arm. That makes sense.

But the warranty policy on a firearm THEY 'manufacture' is certainly an eye opener, particularly with an out of spec barrel.

ByAnyMeans
January 12, 2011, 04:09 PM
I do not have experience with Century except for the WASR-10. Me and a few friends had converted Saiga's but wanted wooden beat around rifles. We posted questions to this forum and read up on the issues. Went to a gun show and we all inspected the ones available and bought ones with no issues. Don't believe we saw any with issues but after checking three or four and found one with no dings in the wood we took it.

That is really the only difference between the Saiga's and the Wasr's. The WASR's looked much better after cleaning up and re-staining the wood and applying a quick coat of duracoat. This however was not needed because out of the five we got only three were redone and it was all cosmetic. They have all been reliable and AK accurate, no jams or issues with these five centuries or four Saiga's in thousands of rounds each rifle.

This was last year and have no idea if the quality has changed or of their other products are different. I can only attest to the five WASR's I have personal experience with.

philpost
January 12, 2011, 05:31 PM
But but but. Century is Just as good as Arsenal or Krebs...
If by "just as good", you mean "will shoot when you pull the trigger", then yes, I agree.

Ignition Override
January 12, 2011, 06:45 PM
A recent thread was begun by a guy who bought a Century Tantal AK-74.
He had serious 'keyholing' at about 100 yards. The company was well aware of the wrong bore size.
From what I remember, the company agreed to a One Time swap, and might substitute a barrel with the correct bore size.

After reading a hundred or so complaints about Century "G-3s", this convinced me to never buy a CETME or any other Century product.
This convinced me to choose an M-1 Garand, from the CMP. It won't be my only Garand from them.

In stark contrast, a guy (who let me try it) assembled a CETME from a parts kit and he has had no trouble at all. Don't know what type of receiver he has.

nalioth
January 12, 2011, 07:28 PM
You can't go to one gun board asking about century arms without people warning you about problems they had with canted front sights, excessive mag wobbleI expect the majority of those two "issues" aren't, but are thought to be out of "internet hysteria" and/or ignorance.

In fact, I saw a thread the other day on another board where the guy sent his Century WASR back because his rifle wouldn't hit the bullseye - right out of the box.

All Kalashnikovs have canted parts and wobbly mags, it's the nature of the beast.
If you can't sight in your AK (any manufacturer), then you have issues.
If your magazine flops around so much that it causes the weapon to malfunction, then you have issues.

JohnBT
January 12, 2011, 07:44 PM
"Why is this a virtue for Keltec, but a flaw for CAI? "

Because Kel-Tec will fix their product if it needs it and it stays fixed for years? That's been my experience. Sort of like Ruger's policy of "It's our gun, call us."

onebigelf
January 12, 2011, 09:05 PM
CAI has done some ... odd... things in getting guns assembled. Grinding the bolts on CETME's to get the headspace "right", bad heat treating and warped receivers, canted sights on AKs and CETME's. They don't assemble nothing but dogs, you just have to know what you are looking for. I agree that their warranty could stand to be better, especially when the issues are clearly THEIR workmanship. On the other hand, some of their stuff that I've seen people scream about they don't even work on. I've seen "don't buy a Century, they all stink..." about rifles they import complete.

Let's just say that they may not be the best choice for the uninformed, but offer the potential for excellent low $ toys for those willing to either take a chance or do some research.

John

jpwilly
January 12, 2011, 10:16 PM
Band together and put a class action suite into action...

WardenWolf
January 12, 2011, 11:03 PM
I truly hope you got a "good one", because the show-stopper that afflicted some of the Golanis was improper heat treat of some critical receiver areas.

You can't examine for improper heat treat - you only find out after you've shot it and your headspace starts wandering :eek:
This is a new Golani. The newer batch has no problems. Heavy milled receiver. No casting anywhere. In fact, J&G Sales had just got this batch in when I went to the store to buy one. The folks there are great. They went and brought it out for me. I asked if I could take off the top cover and the guy said, "Go for it."

So what is the deal with Henderson's 'Certified' CAI weapons? Do they actually honor the warranty? Because their policy states the mfr is liable for warranty work. If the rifle is out of warranty date per Century is Henderson going to fix it?

The logical meaning is that they personally inspect the firearms they receive directly from CAI, and send them straight back to the factory if there's a problem. Since they're the original purchaser, they receive them well within the warranty period and have time to have any such problems fixed.

sturmgewehr
January 13, 2011, 12:37 AM
The poster read this as "repaired or reshipped." Clearly a replacement rifle is not repaired and reshipped. Aside from the fact that a replacement cannot be reshipped, in any case, as it was never shipped before, it is clear that replacement rifles are not expressly excepted from the warranty.
I'm sorry, but you're mistaken. When I called Century and they finally agreed to swap the rifle, they pointed to their warranty and said no warranty would exist on the replacement.

The warranty doesn't restart after a repair or replacement, even with reputable companies.

Century told me the replacement rifle has no warranty, period. I only got a replacement because I was polite and I told them what their own gunsmith told me. Not everyone is as lucky (if you can call it that) as I was.

The issue is that they start their warranty the day they build the rifle. It can sit in a warehouse or on a dealers shelf for months, or in my case over a year. That means you have little or no warranty the day you buy it.

Their warranty policy is likely in violation of the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act (and various state laws), however most people that buy their products don't have the resources to take them to court. Even those that do have the resources figure it's not worth paying lawyer fees and court costs that will likely far exceed the cost of their budget priced firearm. It's cheaper to just right it off as a loss, like I have, and move on. Century counts on this fact, I'm sure.

wriggly
January 13, 2011, 05:52 AM
I asked if I could take off the top cover and the guy said, "Go for it."



I had a Golani in hand at a gun store about 5 months ago. I told the clerk, that i thought I was going to take it, and I asked the same question about taking off the cover, and like you, I got the same answer. I took it off, looked around, and went to put the cover back on, and no matter what I did, nor the clerk and a couple of other counter guys, we just could not get the cover back on. It took the resident gunsmith and a hammer to get it back on. I passed on it.

JohnBT
January 13, 2011, 10:43 AM
Anybody belong to the Century Arms collectors association? :confused:

Joe Demko
January 16, 2011, 02:49 PM
I had a Golani in hand at a gun store about 5 months ago. I told the clerk, that i thought I was going to take it, and I asked the same question about taking off the cover, and like you, I got the same answer. I took it off, looked around, and went to put the cover back on, and no matter what I did, nor the clerk and a couple of other counter guys, we just could not get the cover back on. It took the resident gunsmith and a hammer to get it back on. I passed on it.

The Galil/Golani rear sight is mounted on the receiver cover. This means that it must, by necessity, fit tightly in order not to have a wandering zero. The stripping procedure is still basically the same as for any AK derivative. When I strip mine, I use a rubber mallet to tap the cover in and out of place. No big deal.

Storm
January 16, 2011, 03:15 PM
The Galil/Golani rear sight is mounted on the receiver cover. This means that it must, by necessity, fit tightly in order not to have a wandering zero. The stripping procedure is still basically the same as for any AK derivative. When I strip mine, I use a rubber mallet to tap the cover in and out of place. No big deal.

Absolutely correct. This has nothing to do with Century and is as the cover would be mounted on a Galil and how it needs to be. Worse yet, some folks don't understand the necessity for the super-tight fit and remove material to ease removal only to make the sights on their Golani worthless.

Century is guilty of some things but is also blamed for some things that aren't of their own doing, or, in the case of the Golani cover, due to a lack of knowledge on the part of prospective buyer.

HKGuns
January 16, 2011, 03:49 PM
I've never bought any Century crap because it is famous as being just that...Crap.

Why this would be a surprise or offend anyone is beyond belief.

STGW, good video, the American flag back drop flanked by the state flags is a bit over the top........However, good information and well presented..

nalioth
January 16, 2011, 03:58 PM
I've never bought any Century crap because it is famous as being just that...Crap.

Why this would be a surprise or offend anyone is beyond belief.Because the majority of Century's business involves guns they only touch to put a tag on. Century is the largest importer of milsurp firearms in the USA.

So since you lump all those fine milsurps - which Century has nothing to do with save paperwork - in with "crap", folks wonder.

chaddy
January 16, 2011, 10:04 PM
Hell I seen them here in n.c. for 879$.I got one 7 years ago for 350 and its been a good gun?

Onmilo
January 16, 2011, 10:55 PM
Folks don't call their assemblers "Drunken Monkeys" for no reason,,,

Apuuli
January 17, 2011, 04:32 AM
I'm sorry, but you're mistaken. When I called Century and they finally agreed to swap the rifle, they pointed to their warranty and said no warranty would exist on the replacement.

The warranty doesn't restart after a repair or replacement, even with reputable companies.

Century told me the replacement rifle has no warranty, period. I only got a replacement because I was polite and I told them what their own gunsmith told me. Not everyone is as lucky (if you can call it that) as I was.


I'm not mistaken. I simply stated that Century's warranty did not expressly say that replacement rifles do not come with their own warranty. As stated in their warranty:

"All firearms/receivers sold as “new”, or manufactured/assembled by Century have (1) year repair/replacement warranty from the day the firearm/receiver was shipped from Century’s warehouse to thecustomer, unless noted otherwise. Repairs or replacements are determined at Century’s discretion.
The (1) year period does not start over if a firearm is repaired and reshipped."

Note that they spent the time explicitly stating that repaired firearms do not get a reset warranty, but they do not say anything about replacement firearms. In fact, as a firearm does not have to be sold, it can simply be manufactured and shipped by them, it appears that, by the letter of the warranty, replacements should have their own one year warranty.

As I stated in my previous post, they likely told you that your replacement did not have a warranty because they were already replacing something that their warranty wasn't supposed to cover. Alternately, their operators don't fully understand what their warranty says or their policy is to jerk people around as much as possible.

Of course, a replacement product should have its own warranty no matter what the reputation of the company. The functioning of a replacement has nothing to do with the previous use of the faulty product, unlike a repair.

eastbank
January 17, 2011, 09:43 AM
i have a french 49-56 that is arsenal referbed and looks new, that century imported and reamed to 7.62x51 that has not worked (it will not eject calvin 7.62x51 surplus that works in every other 7.62x51 i own). it is not even marked 7.62x51 and i am stuck with a paper weight. i will sell it when i find some one who wants to mess with it. and i will not be ordering any cai rifles. eastbank.

armoredman
January 17, 2011, 11:30 AM
I have had several Century rifles, and I agree - the only good ones are the milsurps. The CETME, oh good grief, what a PILE! I ran into the same warrantee deal, as I bought it NEW, owned it for a WEEK, fired it ONCE, had it fail, called Century to be told it was out of warrantee. I sold it and will never buy anything they assemble in house again. Now I have been told the Golanis are built by an outside jobber, so they might be fine nowadays...

husker
January 17, 2011, 11:48 AM
Hmm
Maybe the American made Ranch-AKs aint so bad after all.
Sucks their are Co. that wont stand behind their product, & use some lil nitch, with the warranty.

nalioth
January 17, 2011, 12:15 PM
I sold it and will never buy anything they assemble in house again. Now I have been told the Golanis are built by an outside jobber, so they might be fine nowadays...I think you misunderstand - Century doesn't build anything, nor have they ever. They provide the kits and US parts to an outside jobber (for the record, IO/Royal Tiger [whatever their new name is] does the same thing).

Their problem is that they go with the low bidder and don't have any real expectations of quality control out of them. "So long as it shoots at least once per magazine and won't explode and we want dozens per day." seems to be their QC motto.

migkillertwo
January 17, 2011, 12:49 PM
This is why you should only buy from AIM surplus, or Atlantic firearms.

essayons21
January 17, 2011, 09:00 PM
i have a french 49-56 that is arsenal referbed and looks new, that century imported and reamed to 7.62x51 that has not worked (it will not eject calvin 7.62x51 surplus that works in every other 7.62x51 i own). it is not even marked 7.62x51 and i am stuck with a paper weight. i will sell it when i find some one who wants to mess with it. and i will not be ordering any cai rifles. eastbank.

Not trying to be a smartass, but are you sure it is actually a 7.62 and not a 7.5 french? Reason I ask is that I don't see the CAI import mark in your picture either.

I have one of these which runs like a top and is one of my favorite rifles. If the price is right I would be willing to take it off your hands just for the parts.

On the OP:

Yes Century has some serious QC issues. Their warranty sucks. Actually before this post I had assumed Century had no warranty. You should never buy one without the opportunity to do a detailed inspection, and make sure you educate yourself enough about that particular model so that you can identify the common problems before buying.

The tradeoff for this risk is the chance you will end up with a reliable milsurp firearm for a fraction of the cost. I own two CAI's, a WASR-10/63 and the previously mentioned MAS-49/56. Both took a little fine tuning, but are rock-solid reliable. Total combined investment in both is less than $500. Tell me where else I can buy two functional semiautomatic milsurps for that little cash?

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