Crappy gunsmith ruins my Big Dot sites on my PM9


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Greg Bell
January 30, 2004, 11:44 PM
I finally took my PM9 to a gunsmith to have my big dot sites installed. I went to a place called AArdvark arms in Warner Robins, Georgia. I actually had my USP compact in the car with a set of Meprolites that need installing. I was going to let him put them on too. Man did he do a crappy job. The sites are on (slightly askew) and the guy "boogered" the front site up pretty bad. I guess I should be happy he didn't ruin my pistol too. I can't believe I paid him. At least I saved the HK.

:banghead: :cuss: :banghead: :cuss: :fire:

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George Hill
January 31, 2004, 01:45 AM
I feel your pain. I've been bit by this sort of thing before. This is why I did this:
http://www.madogre.com/Gunsmith%20Directory.htm
A listing of RECOMMENDED gunsmiths. There are gunsmiths all over the place... and not all of them are worth the trouble... just for this reason. A good gunsmith is treasure. No you know how much of a treasure.

Just be glad you didn't ask for a trigger/action job. Oh man!

Kestrel
January 31, 2004, 01:57 AM
Yep - it's happened to me. I bought a "customized" gun from a reputable smith that is known for his work on another type of firearm. When I received the pistol, the front Trijicon sight looked like he had put it in while drunk and scratched up his baked-on finish as well as the front sight. Then it looks like he just painted the scratches - and not a very good job, either. I still get mad when I think about it.

I've hesitated to send it back, fearing what else he would butcher trying to fix it.

Steve

denfoote
January 31, 2004, 02:32 AM
So, what are you going to do to force him to make it right??

If he works for a shop, then I would be after them to buy you a new gun!!! If he is independent, then a claim on his business insurance policy may be in order. As a last resort, a talk with a Liar...er...I mean Lawer may be in order!!

Greg Bell
January 31, 2004, 10:01 AM
Denfoote,

Actually, I am a liar...doh!, Lawyer. :D He just banged up the front site, not the gun itself. Frankly, it isn't worth the hassle. I'm just a little wiser now. And I'll be telling all my friends not to go to Aardvark Arms.



GHB

Rhinodogg
January 31, 2004, 10:13 AM
"Denfoote,

Actually, I am a liar...doh!, Lawyer. He just banged up the front site, not the gun itself. Frankly, it isn't worth the hassle. I'm just a little wiser now. And I'll be telling all my friends not to go to Aardvark Arms."

Hey denfoote, hows that "foote" taste? :cool: Just kidding. I couldn't resist

quick68
January 31, 2004, 03:01 PM
Greg Bell,
Where is Aardvark located exactly? I have bought from Chucks in Warner Robbins, but never heard of Aardvark. I usually get any gunsmithing I need done in East Dublin at Oconee Bait.

PCRCCW
January 31, 2004, 03:11 PM
This is just my situation with a crappy/experimenting gunsmith. He basically trashed a gun of mine beyond repair.....he would have had to replace the frame. I got a gun of his worth what mine was in trade for the gun he ruined.............
Shoot well.

another okie
January 31, 2004, 04:34 PM
I have read that Kahr sights are quite tricky and should be done by the factory. You are not the first to experience such a problem.

Josey
January 31, 2004, 09:31 PM
WHOA! I know Art. I have done business with him and bought firearms from him. He is active in CAS and has treated CAS shooters, Land Rover and collectors well and honestly. I suggest you rethink this post and return to the shop and complain. This is a disservice. You are a adult and should know better. Aardvark Arms is reputable, honest and will solve a problem IF you will tell them about it. Whine, whine and more whine is childish.

Josey
January 31, 2004, 09:35 PM
Contact Art. www.Aardvarkarms.com

Greg Bell
February 1, 2004, 02:16 AM
Josey,

" I suggest you rethink this post and return to the shop and complain. This is a disservice."

You will forgive me if I am less than concerned with doing the man who ruined my sites "a disservice." He certainly didn't seem to care about the service he gave me.


" You are a adult and should know better. Aardvark Arms is reputable, honest and will solve a problem IF you will tell them about it. Whine, whine and more whine is childish."

Take a look at the attached picture. Do you really think he didn't know that he did a poor job? Return it? I would never let him touch any firearm of mine again. And frankly, I felt I owed it to my fellow firearms enthusiasts to warn them of my experience.

Carbonator
February 1, 2004, 03:05 AM
That looks pretty bad. No way I would have accepted that.

I don't think it is unreasonable for Greg to post this here, because Aardvark must have been aware of doing such a shotty job. How can you miss that damage? That's not a misunderstanding, that is bad intent. Aardvark was the one doing the disservice, not Greg. If Aardvark had no knowledge of the problem Greg would still be in the right to post a negative experience - the fact that Aardvark tried to pass the damaged item on to a customer makes Greg more than justified in posting.

Obviously Aardvark took a risk in hoping Greg wouldn't say anything, now he is saying it over the internet. That was Aardvarks gamble and they lost. The internet - the great equalizer.

If I were Greg I would have not paid the bill, and demanded that all damaged parts be replaced or paid by Aardvark. Small claims court as a last resort - a lawyer will most likely cost too much for this.

Josey
February 1, 2004, 03:35 AM
Yes. That looks bad. You are a lawyer. You advise clients. If a client has a problem, do you take out a full page ad in the local paper? You should complain to the vendor first and document all contacts. You are upset and even angry, it shows. Calm down and go back to the shop and complain. I would like to know what is done to satisfy a disgruntled customer.

tomkatz
February 1, 2004, 04:16 AM
I have read that Kahr sights are quite tricky and should be done by the factory. You are not the first to experience such a problem.

Yes I believe the kahr sights are a bit tricky as my local gunsmith kept two of my kahrs overnight to put them on(glocks and others he does while you wait). Both were perfect jobs, my point being a local smith can do the job if he knows what he's doing :rolleyes: .....

I would not blame greg for not letting this guy touch my gun again, but I would demand that he hand me some new sights....and he probably won't but I'd feel better just letting the guy know how I felt about his "work".......tom

denfoote
February 1, 2004, 04:47 AM
Hey denfoote, hows that "foote" taste? Just kidding. I couldn't resist

Why do you ask?

Just because I seem to have have bumped into a ethical one, it doesn't mean that all of them are any :cuss: good!!! :D :evil: :neener:

What do you call a plane load of lawyers that has gone down with all hands in the Alps??? :neener:

My Trijicons were factory installed. Justin did a very good job!!!! :neener:

c_yeager
February 1, 2004, 09:06 AM
My first instinct is to give the fellow a chance to fix a screwup before i start complaining about it. But, on the other hand he had a chance to fix it before he took your money for the job. its obvious that he did crappy work. And if he is willing to let workmanship like that leave his shop then i see no reason not to tell people that. A lot of smiths would NEVER let something like that have their name on it.

TheFederalistWeasel
February 1, 2004, 11:03 AM
I have seen the pistol first hand and it is as bad as the photo presents it.

I’ve also shot the gun and it appears to be “acceptably” accurate even after the mangled site instillation.

It’s not so much that the Gunsmith botched the job, were all human and we all make mistakes but when he gave the gun back to Greg he quickly closed the deal without so much as a, “Hey buddy I boogered up your ole peeeestola real good!” or a “Umm… Mr. Bell let me show you what happened while I was installing your sites”. Then, maybe offering a no charge or a store credit, or the honorable thing of ordering him a new set of sites, which Greg would have taken in a heartbeat and that would have been the end of the story.

:(

Sean Smith
February 1, 2004, 11:56 AM
Simple goof-ups are one thing, a grotesque disservice to the customer is quite another. I'd put that front sight installation in the latter category. I'd also tell the guy to piss off.

Garand'06
February 1, 2004, 02:07 PM
Denfoote:What do you call a plane load of lawyers that has gone down with all hands in the Alps???


A GOOD START?!?!?!:what:

Rhinodogg
February 1, 2004, 02:27 PM
denfoote,

Let me assure you... I agree with you 100%.

Greg Bell
February 1, 2004, 03:30 PM
Rhinodogg, Denfoote,

I tend to agree...sadly.

coverdog
February 1, 2004, 03:43 PM
Josey
WHOA! I know Art. I have done business with him and bought firearms from him. He is active in CAS and has treated CAS shooters, Land Rover and collectors well and honestly. I suggest you rethink this post and return to the shop and complain. This is a disservice. You are a adult and should know better. Aardvark Arms is reputable, honest and will solve a problem IF you will tell them about it. Whine, whine and more whine is childish.

You MUST be joking. I don't care what he has done before, this guy is clearly a HACK and worse yet gave this back to a customer in this condition as a job well done. I don't think there is anything to rethink. The only disservice would be to let others take there guns there. If he was as reputable and honest as you said he would have admitted he made a mistake and ordered a new sight and did a proper job or sent it out to someone capable. There is no excuse for that no matter how hard anyone tries. WHOA is right!!

denfoote
February 1, 2004, 03:52 PM
Garand'06,

BINGO

Gordon
February 1, 2004, 05:21 PM
I would have posted just the way you did! A real gun smith could have AT LEAST cleaned up the buggery with needle files or a dremel and polished and touched up the results so you would not have to resort to this bad word of mouth advertising. He obviously didn't give a rat's butt to hand you such trashy mucking! This turkey is a loser big time and if I lived in the area I'd be glad to know about it.! This is what the internet is all about IMHO and pictures don't lie!:fire: :cuss: :barf:

happyguy
February 1, 2004, 05:55 PM
Kahr reccommends that pistols be returned to them for installation of sights. Apparently there was a problem with their pistols shooting the sights loose so Kahr came up with a fix....too tight dovetails!

It's my understanding that Kahr actually uses a hydraulic press to remove and intall sights!:what:

Regards,
Happyguy:D

XavierBreath
February 1, 2004, 07:09 PM
I know Art Bitterman as well, and while I cannot attest to his gunsmithing (I do my own) I can say he is an honorable man. If you are unhappy, you should speak with him. Looking at the pic, I would be unhappy too, but I would give the man a chance to make it right. I have a feeling there is another side to this story. I hope it gets straightened out to your satisfaction Greg.

VaughnT
February 1, 2004, 07:28 PM
You're not alone, friend. I had an even worse experience with a smith in Anderson, SC who knowingly returned my duty weapon to me in such a horrible state that it wouldn't fire a single shot. And this is after I dropped the weapon off while wearing my uniform!

He was claimed by many to be a fine smith, but I agree with you in that a "fine smith" wouldn't have released a weapon that couldn't fire a bullet. Never mind that he scratched the tar out of my frame when grinding for the beavertail (ruining my ejector in the process). And he failed to contour the frame tangs so they extended below the beavertail.

Ended up having to send the pistol to Ted Yost for major reconstructive surgery (which included welding up the frame so a beavertail could be fitted correctly).

Ya know the funniest part? I did give the pistol back to this 'smith' to make right. Ya know what I got back? My once-beautiful Colt 1991a1 was now an illegal FULLY AUTOMATIC SUBMACHINE GUN. That's right, folks, he butchered my gun again after I gave him the chance to make right.

The man has no shame and is rude, too. Regardless of what you might hear about him in local circles, I will never deal with him again or recommend him to anyone. If he was a truly honorable MAN, nevermind a true craftsman taking pride in his product, he would never have released the pistol the first time. To do it twice earned him a special seat in the fires of hell.

And, for the record, Ted Yost did a really fantastic job, bringing the dead back to life. I owe him a big apology for being such an ??? of a customer; next time I'll know better what I want "since you have it there....."

Just John
February 1, 2004, 08:33 PM
Greg Bell -
Would it have been crazy to ask the shop owner to simply provide a new front sight? :confused:

That seem to be the expensive part of the deal any way.

VaughnT - Is the guy in Anderson still in business or has he been gone for a couple of years?

Feanaro
February 1, 2004, 08:45 PM
WHOA! I know Art. I have done business with him and bought firearms from him. He is active in CAS and has treated CAS shooters, Land Rover and collectors well and honestly. I suggest you rethink this post and return to the shop and complain. This is a disservice. You are a adult and should know better. Aardvark Arms is reputable, honest and will solve a problem IF you will tell them about it. Whine, whine and more whine is childish.

I would tend to agree that he should at least talk to guy about it but the man did a hack job and then turned this hack job over to the customer. This does not speak well of him.

Gordon
February 1, 2004, 09:10 PM
You realize that YOU or somebody else (who knows what they are doing COULD clean up the peening and polish out the scratches and touch up the blacking on those sights so they would not make you whince everytime you see them ? A Skilled Dremel man and some needle files and a polish wheel and some epoxy based blacking would have touched up his driver (instead of dressing down sight dovetail Slightly like a machinist would have) hacking so you almost wouldn't notice it, what even an inexperienced "gunsmith" would have taken 10 minutes extra to do!!:banghead:

XavierBreath
February 2, 2004, 08:46 AM
Greg,
Here is your response from Art Bitterman of Aardvark Arms. Art is presently awaiting email registration confirmation to post on this forum. Best of luck.
Xavier

"New Sights are on order, should be in by Friday. Stop by the shop for replacement.

I would rather lose money on a job than to have an unhappy customer! "


Wish the gent would have vented to me in private rather than the public rant!

Art
1960 SII "Aardvark"
www.aardvarkarms.com

coverdog
February 2, 2004, 09:12 AM
Here is your response from Art Bitterman of Aardvark Arms. Art is presently awaiting email registration confirmation to post on this forum. Best of luck.
"New Sights are on order, should be in by Friday. Stop by the shop for replacement.

I would rather lose money on a job than to have an unhappy customer! "


Wish the gent would have vented to me in private rather than the public rant!

To bad someone wasn't as concerned before when the firearm was returned to the owner in that condition. Why should it not be "vented in public" ? It was not a mistake. Maybe someone should have done right by the customer in the first place and not worried about the fact they lost money because of poor workmanship. It seems someone WAS more worried about losing money than making a customer happy. It just backfired. The internet can be a good thing.

XavierBreath
February 2, 2004, 10:57 AM
There are always two sides of a story. As of now, only one is being told here. To put this man on trial on a public forum is not the way The High Road has historically operated. This should not be a Kangaroo Court.

I will not judge anyone until I hear what they have to say. The credibility of a businessman and the quality of his customer service are shown by how he deals with a dissatisfied customer, not by the customers who are satisfied. Any business that has been operating for 6 months will have a complaint or two. It is the nature of the beast. Give Art a chance to respond. There may very well be a reason for the quality of the work.

It seems as if replacement of the damaged part with a new part is not good enough for some. Does this not make the client whole again? Or do you want a pound of flesh as well?

olderover
February 2, 2004, 11:21 AM
At last I got registered to this forum. Evidently something was ammiss with my email (Or something!)

Greg-

New set of sights on order. SHould be here Thursday/Friday. Will swap out and refund the $30 I charged you.

Was a ????ty job I did-was in a hurry. Tried to use my sight vise on the sights-worked fine on the rear sight, but the dovetailed portion was too small for the pusher on the vise to seat. The sight was way over sized (have noticed that about Ashley sights!) and the dings were from me trying to rush the job instead of filing the bottom of sight to fit better in dovetail (which I ended up doing)

Better yet, I should have filled out a tag and worked the job at my own pace instead of trying to do it for you as you waited.

Coverdog:Maybe someone should have done right by the customer in the first place and not worried about the fact they lost money because of poor workmanship. It seems someone WAS more worried about losing money than making a customer happy.


The money doesn't even come into it! $30 for my labor won't break me as will the $120 for a new sight set. I operate on my reputation-if I screw the pooch, I make good on it. One "Aw ????" in this Business WILL out do 20 "Attaboys"

Maybe it's me, but when I have a gripe I go to the person who did me wrong and give 'em a chance to make good. MAybe I'm living in a dream world. But thats the way I am! Talk to the "Bad Guy" first before airing the dirty linen in public. Not all of us are ???????s who will tell you tough ???? and live with it.

I can fix my mistake with a few stroke of a needle file and come blue (Dremel tool is MUCH to big for this job!) but prefer to go the extra step and fit NEW parts.

Edit:

Reason I was in a rush, was just getting ready to head out the door to go to the Doctor. Been having some medical problems recently, and as a retired Vet, getting an appoitment at the BAse is like pulling teeth. No excuse, just my mind was elsewhere and did a quick "Hack" job.

Was in too much of a rush to get the job done, that i screwed up and buggered it up.



Greg-get in touch with me!

Shake
February 2, 2004, 11:22 AM
:what:

Greg,

No way on earth I accept that gun and leave the store with it in that condition.

Had I been in your shoes I would have demanded a full refund of the price of the work along with a new set of sights (off the gun, of course). Nothing less. Of course Moday morning quarterbacking is easy, but that would have been the thing to do.

Shake

XavierBreath
February 2, 2004, 11:44 AM
New set of sights on order. Should be here Thursday/Friday. Will swap out and refund the $30 I charged you.

Was a ????ty job I did-was in a hurry.

trying to do it for you as you waited.



Having fitted XS sights myself I can say that it takes longer than most customers would want to wait. Now we are getting the other side of the story.

Bottom line, talk to the man and try to resolve the problem rather than whine.

Shake
February 2, 2004, 11:52 AM
XavierBreath,

It isn't my intent to "start anything", but in my opinion this:
Having fitted XS sights myself I can say that it takes longer than most customers would want to wait. Now we are getting the other side of the story.
. . . almost makes it sound as though the customer is at fault for the whole deal. If it took longer to do a quality job, the smith should have conveyed that to the customer. I'm sure Greg would rather have waited days than to end up with sights looking like they look. I certainly would have.

Cordially. . . Shake

coverdog
February 2, 2004, 11:58 AM
My dog ate my homework.

XavierBreath
February 2, 2004, 12:02 PM
You are right Shake, it's likely he would have wanted to wait if he had known how it would turn out. I would have. The thing is, neither Art nor Greg knew. I do know that there are reasons that there may have been poor communication. Greg realizes this as well, I'm sure. When Greg accepted the pistol he accepted the job. No doubt he inspected the work. Why not address it then and there?

I have also taken the chance and said "go ahead and do it while I wait" before. Nobody wants to wait for two or three days to get a gun back. Sometimes it's a gamble the customer and the gunsmith take. Some gunsmiths will not take the gamble with a customer, others will. That is one reason I have taught myself to do my own gunsmithing. I get it when I want it, and I can only fuss at myself.

Now that Art is able to defend himself, I'm going to bow out, as it is not my argument, and he is more than capable of answering your questions. Art, this is a good forum. Don't judge it by this thread.

Gordon
February 2, 2004, 04:32 PM
Uh, I'd go back to the guy , he's taken his whupping like a man!;)

Feanaro
February 2, 2004, 04:43 PM
It takes a real man to admit to a mistake and Art is man enough to fess up and say he screwed the job up. And he is willing to make amends. I would at least give him another chance.

VaughnT
February 2, 2004, 08:53 PM
Definitely says good things that the smith in question has come forward to publicly address the problem. Owning up to a mistake is one of those fundamental things that separates the Men from the rest.

JustJohn, the guy is still in business and shoots a lot of IDPA in Greenville. I gave him a second chance, but now I won't give him the time of day. He earned everything I've said about him....and I have a premier smith to back up everything.

cz75man
February 2, 2004, 10:52 PM
Shocking that a "gunsmith" would do that kind of work and not only give it back to the customer looking like that, but that he would then accept money from the customer. As for "Definitely says good things that the smith in question has come forward to publicly address the problem", he only came forward after getting his nipples caught in the ringer. He must of realized that he better get going on some damage control quick, so to the internet he comes, with a bag full of excuses that hint that it was somehow the customer's fault that he mangled the sight installation. I would not let a person like this near my gun, house, car or anything else I value. What a butcher.

Greg Bell
February 3, 2004, 07:07 PM
Guys,

I am going to take Art up on his offer. It shows a lot of class to admit, without reservation, that you have made a mistake. A lot of people, like the idiot Xavierbreath, find it easier to blame the customer. In my line of work I deal with a lot of people who will say anything (that is "lie") to excuse their mistakes-- and I made a mistake when I presumed you would be the same. For that, I apologize. I will post the results when they are done in a thread called "Excellent gunsmith installs Big Dot sites on my PM9."


GHB

XavierBreath
February 4, 2004, 07:56 AM
The idiot Xavierbreath?

The idiot Xavierbreath resolved your dispute for you. The idiot Xavierbreath contacted Art. You had not done anything but moan on a public forum. You must be a pretty poor lawyer to not have been able to resolve this yourself.

A man with any class would have thanked the fellow who resolved his problem rather than call the problem solver an idiot. But then a man with any class would have spoken with the gunsmith before acting like a six year old.

Allow me to elaborate. I have known Art Bitterman for over five years. As I stated, I have not used him as a gunsmith, but I know him to be a good and honorable man through deals I, myself, have made with him. I do not think that I have done anything other than defend an honorable man from an assault on his integrity and character. Once I contacted Art, he diligently began to try to register on this forum and I bowed out once he was able to respond.

Yes, there are good reasons that there may have been poor communication prior to this job. That is up to Art to discuss if he desires. It is not my place. As I said, Greg, having spoken with Art, you know why there could have been poor communication. You simply do not want to admit this.

This thread, which started out as a personal attack (Crappy Gunsmith) on an honorable man, and was immediately supported by a moderator, has taken the High Road to a new low for me. I once saw the High Road as a viable alternative to the Firing Line. I see that it is not. Trashing an honorable man when he cannot defend himself is pathetic. Therefore, since I will likely be banned from this forum for speaking the truth, I am withdrawing from this forum for a while voluntarily.

Mr. Bell, I hope you get your problem solved. Thankfully you were dealing with a man who has more integrity than you, yourself, have shown.

House Rules:
4.) Spamming, trolling, flaming, and personal attacks are prohibited. You can disagree with other members, even vehemently, but it must be done in a well-mannered form. Attack the argument, not the arguer.



(Edited to remove some of my previous venom)

Greg Bell
February 4, 2004, 12:11 PM
Xavier,


I was not at fault, in any way, with regard to the problem with my sites. The man himself has, honorably, said as much here in this forum. We two were the only people there. You have consistently insinuated that I somehow shared fault in the fact that my sites were ruined. You have hinted that Art has told you something--something that makes this, at least partially, my fault. I think you do a disservice to Art by keeping this "other side of the story" charade going.

As far as your hurt feelings, you insulted me first--I'm sorry if you can't take a little of your own medicine. You called my alert of this forum to the poor service I received "whining." Well, I think your "Greg must secretly be at fault/there is another side to this story, hint, hint" babble is idiotic.

GHB

Redlg155
February 4, 2004, 12:24 PM
Ut Oh...I sense the demise of this thread in the very near future...And I would liked to have seen the end results. Oh well..



Good Shooting
Red

Sean Smith
February 4, 2004, 01:14 PM
Yes, there are good reasons that there may have been poor communication prior to this job. That is up to Art to discuss if he desires. It is not my place. As I said, Greg, having spoken with Art, you know why there could have been poor communication. You simply do not want to admit this.

Here is a thought: grow a pair and say what you mean to say, rather than making insinuations without evidence to back them up. We KNOW that Greg had his gun botched by the 'smith in question. He has photos to back it up, and the 'smith admitted as much. The 'smith has offered no excuses, because in the end there are none for doing shoddy work and passing it off as good (and charging accordingly).

All you seem to have to offer are vague innuendos attacking the guy who was on the receiving end of inferior workmanship. If Greg is lying, have the courage of your convictions and call him on it. Otherwise, you are just being a weasel.

Stephen A. Camp
February 4, 2004, 01:42 PM
If there's anything else to be learned or gained in this thread I'd be surprised, but the use of the word "idiot" referring to another member is not with the rules here.

That sort of thing needs to stop and stop now.

Thanks.

George Hill
February 4, 2004, 01:43 PM
No good deed goes unpunished...

Greg, you might not appreciate the effort put out for you... but you don't call people names.

Closed.

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