Python came back from Colt with canted barrel


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IMtheNRA
February 27, 2012, 04:41 PM
About two years ago, I sent a stainless Python back to Colt because it suddenly locked up. I don't know what they did to repair it, because they would not tell me what was wrong with it, but they got it fixed for eighty bucks. While there, I had Colt refinish it in their Ultimate Stainless, just for the fun of it.

The revolver came back looking great, and I put it in the safe because it looks so nice, I did not want to shoot it. Until yesterday...

The groups were printing to the left. I took a close look to see if the sights are OK, and saw that the barrel is canted to the right. Like they did not screw it in all the way.

I called Colt today, and Rob in the customer service department said to send it in, but he would not issue a mailing label because it has been longer than a year since they worked on the gun. I politely asked Rob to transfer my call to a service department manager so that I can ask Colt to reconsider this, but he refused to let me speak with a manager or supervisor. "You already got Colt's answer", was his stern reply. Very stern... I politely thanked him for his time and ended the call.

Yes, I should have looked at it more closely when Colt sent the gun back, but I was mesmerized by the shiny mirror finish and the concept of checking for a canted barrel did not even occur to me at the time.

Obviously, I am going to send in the Python, but I think Colt should pay for shipping (about $90) because they clearly screwed up the gun two years ago. It's not like I could have canted the barrel with my bare hands and it's not going to wiggle loose sitting in the safe for two years.

I also think their customer service reps should be more courteous and allow you to speak with a supervisor, or at least take a message for one :fire:

Anyway, that's about it - just some customer feedback about this afternoon's experience with Colt and a canted Python barrel :(

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minutemen1776
February 27, 2012, 04:50 PM
I understand your position, but I suppose it's hard for Colt to look past the two-year delay. That's a long time to not notice a major defect, and of course Colt doesn't know what may have been done to the gun in the intervening time. I wish you luck with getting it rectified.

IMtheNRA
February 27, 2012, 04:53 PM
I know - shame on me, but I'm easily distracted by shiny things :-)

JimStC
February 27, 2012, 04:57 PM
If you have a local, respected gunsmith go there. Take Colt out of the equation. Sorry for your misfortune. Generally the Pythons are outstanding revolvers and have appreciated significantly more than the S&P 500 over the last 10 years.
Good luck

bikemutt
February 27, 2012, 05:45 PM
What stinks too is Colt will only accept guns sent FedEx and UPS, not USPS. Having an FFL send it back would be a fraction of the next day cost.

I just looked at my Python and can't for the life of me imagine how that barrel could be in there canted. The entire assembly butts up against the frame to where it's impossible to tell if it's two pieces of metal or one.

Can you post a few pictures?

ApacheCoTodd
February 27, 2012, 05:51 PM
Give them a chance to make it right. If you have someone else work on it and for whatever reason they dick something (mechanical, finish, whatever...) up it's still on them to make it good.

I would fully expect to pay for the shipping and then to be compensated once they note the flaw.

I had an otherwise well respected smith work on a SAA after Colt and regardless of the particulars, he destroyed my frame - shoulda let the manufacturer address an otherwise relatively minor mistake on their part.

hang fire
February 27, 2012, 07:53 PM
I learned my lesson with a Colt Python several decades ago, it shot loose the parts and became a rattling pice of junk. I never did really it like with that stupid short cylinder where any long boolits had to be seated so deep.

dfariswheel
February 27, 2012, 08:47 PM
If you want you can talk it over with Brent, who's the Colt Custom Shop and service shop manager.

Call and ask to speak to him.

Frankly, I'd say shipping to Colt is the price you pay for not looking the gun over when you first got it back.

In extensive dealing with Colt for over 30 years, I never once heard of a case where they charged someone $80, and wouldn't tell them what they did.

IMtheNRA
February 27, 2012, 09:04 PM
You know, I did look it over. For a long-long time, while lovingly rubbing it with a soft, oiled cotton rag ;) I checked the finish all over, installed new wood grips, and dry fired it a bunch to make sure they fixed the guts of this thing. The concept of my Python coming back with a canted barrel never occured to me, so I did not check it.

Reading from the work order, all they said was: "Adjust action to fac specs. Complete refinish in B/SS, refinish sights. Test for function." They charged me $250 to refinish and $55 in labor to fix the malfunction, $30 to ship it back. I paid $90 or so to ship it to them.

When I called to find out what was wrong with the gun, the rep did not have that information on the computer and he did not have anyone to ask. As long as the gun got fixed I did not want to become high maintenance, so I did not press him.

Thanks for the contact, I'll call Brent in Colt Custom Shop tomorrow and see if he'll be nicer than Rob was today. Unless Rob answers the phone and refuses to transfer my call again... :what:

Claude Clay
February 27, 2012, 09:26 PM
i drive by the faclity in West Hartford twice a week...

i shall a stern look in their direction give them henceforth

--------------
honestly i've done similar things in the long ago and learned--
test and check all you can when an item is returned to you.

i agree with Apache---once they see it, the honerable thing would be to comp
you for the shipping

drsfmd
February 27, 2012, 09:54 PM
Seriously, you expect them to send a mailing label for a repair you claim they did wrong two years ago? Get real... a MONTH would have been too long. It was incumbent upon you to check out the repair within a few days, not two years.

If you got new tires, and didn't drive the car for two years, would you expect the manufacturer to replace them when they developed flat spots? They are new after all...

IMtheNRA
February 27, 2012, 10:11 PM
Rob? Is that you? Hahahahaa!

NOLAEMT
February 28, 2012, 02:44 AM
If you got new tires, and didn't drive the car for two years, would you expect the manufacturer to replace them when they developed flat spots? They are new after all...
Thats quite the straw-man argument. The barrel didn't get canted from sitting in the safe, where tires not driven will get flat spots. One implies neglect, where the other is clearly a defect from Colt.

I would expect Colt to pay for shipping for something like this, even if it has been two years. Perhaps as a reimbursement after getting the gun back for repair and seeing their mistake, if not right off the bat. The gun came back to the owner with a problem it didn't have when he sent it in, I would think the colt custom shop holds itself to a higher standard than that.

ColtPythonElite
February 28, 2012, 03:34 AM
I have to side with Colt....If you got the gun refinished, surely you checked it over when you got it back and if you didn't I think it is too late to complain. It's kind of tough this late in the game to prove the fault is Colt's and not a product of another gunsmith.....FWIW, I think canted barrel is pretty darn easy to see. I have owned a Colt or two with canted barrels.

As far as turning the barrel straight, it is a pretty straight forward job for a competent gunsmith. I'd ask if he has the correct frame/barrel wrench. If he starts talking blocks of wood and hammer handles, head for the door.

Prosser
February 28, 2012, 04:42 AM
Some of us are stupid enough to trust such makers to check their own work, and make sure what they did was done properly.

On the otherhand, gunsmiths that work for factories are usually newbies, working their way up, and, they make mistakes. It's one of the reasons I'm not sending my guns back to the maker. Why have some minimum wage wannabe
work on my gun, without over site by a qualified gunsmith? Not to mention, thanks to the incredible boom in guns they are generally overworked.

The evidence is pretty clear here that the situation exists here. Colt should never have shipped the gun in the first place.

On the other hand, the gun might have had a canted barrel to begin with, and the rookie gunsmith missed it, as did the owner.

They aren't that hard to bend straight, but, I'd want a top gunsmiths opinion on being able to fix it, since I've only shot Pythons that worked.

9mmepiphany
February 28, 2012, 05:16 AM
I don't know what they did to repair it, because they would not tell me what was wrong with it, but they got it fixed for eighty bucks.
Reading from the work order, all they said was: "Adjust action to fac specs. Complete refinish in B/SS, refinish sights. Test for function." They charged me $250 to refinish and $55 in labor to fix the malfunction, $30 to ship it back. I paid $90 or so to ship it to them.
Maybe my math is weak or you're leaving something out, but the difference between "eighty bucks" and "$55 in labor to fix the malfunction" is $25...you would have had to pay for return postage anyway so that wouldn't be included as the cost of the fix...just as you correctly did not include your shipping postage of $90. Sounds like they cut you a deal as it had to be disassembled and reassembled to be re-finished anyway.

Also I think they did tell you what was wrong when they wrote "Adjust action to fac specs". Wouldn't that imply that your action wasn't within factory specifications...ie: broken

I can understand your excitement at the new shinny when it was returned. But your did take the time to inspect/dryfire the work on the action, why would you not check that everything was correctly aligned...you did know that they had to remove the barrel to polish it, right? Anytime a barrel is installed it is a good idea to check that it is clocked correctly...I would have checked the barrel/cylinder gap also.

I have to side with the factory also. I could see you might have some ground to stand on at 1 year...but 2 years a quite a while to wait to make a defect in workmanship claim

Prosser
February 28, 2012, 06:01 AM
Pythons are the new safe queens. It's not at all surprising that someone one would buy one, have it fixed up, and not shoot it at all, much less after 2 years.

They are a very good investment, and, given that investment depreciates when you shoot it, it's not a shock that someone would have one factory worked over, and then put it in the safe for 2 years, without firing.

Part of refinishing a gun is to put it back together right.:banghead:
Why are people defending a company that got paid nearly 500 dollars for work, and did something any newbie gunsmith should have done correctly, install the barrel on a revolver...

Is everyone just jealous he has a Python, and it was redone by Colt?
I'm truly at a loss on this one. Since when does a consumer have to be a frigging gunsmith to inspect Colt's repairs and refinishing?

Sounds to me Colt failed to do what they got paid to do:
"Complete refinish in B/SS, refinish sights. Test for function." Function means it shoots to point of aim, or, I guess for Colt, it just has to go bang for 500 dollars?

wickedsprint
February 28, 2012, 06:27 AM
Every Colt handgun I have ever owned has had some form of cosmetic / functional flaw.

They usually shot great though.

Ive seen lots of new revolvers from all makes with a slight cant in the barrel. It would bother me as an owner.

45_auto
February 28, 2012, 03:00 PM
You received the repaired gun back from Colt TWO YEARS ago and now you want to make a claim against the work they performed?

They probably gave you what sounded like a stern answer because they were trying to keep a straight face and not laugh at you over the phone ......

Lee D
February 28, 2012, 03:07 PM
id think theyd be happy to hear that you thought their work was so beautiful that i deserved a spot in the safe instead of being a shooter.
i say boo on Colt for not understanding the situation.

Standing Wolf
February 28, 2012, 03:58 PM
Frankly, I'd say shipping to Colt is the price you pay for not looking the gun over when you first got it back.

As usual, I've got to concur with Dfariswheel. I'd have a gun shop ship it to Colt for quite a bit less money than shipping it myself.

Hammerdown77
February 28, 2012, 04:38 PM
Would they have removed the barrel to refinish it? I'd think maybe for a blued gun, but for a stainless gun? In other words, could it be possible the barrel was canted before you sent it back, and you just never noticed it?

Having had experience with canted barrels on Rugers, I can say to all the people who asked "Why didn't you notice it when you got it back?" that unless you have had this experience before and KNOW to look for it, you'd probably never think twice about the barrel not being clocked correctly. All it takes is a couple of degrees for it to dramatically change the POI, and unless you shoot the gun or know how to measure the rotation off of top dead center, you'd not even notice it.

Rotating a barrel is not hard. I think if you could find a competent revolver-smith locally, or within a couple hours drive, I'd take it to them rather than shell out the money to ship FedEx overnight to Colt.

Prosser
February 28, 2012, 04:42 PM
I've watched a great gunsmith put a gun in a vice, bend the barrel back to straight, then test fire it. Not for the feint of heart if it's your gun.:what:

ApacheCoTodd
February 28, 2012, 05:04 PM
I think our man is saying that his barrel was not fully indexed correctly yet is on the right axis. Or - it needs to be tightened more into the frame.

As far as simply bending a barrel back "straight". I bent a barrel of an M-16A1 with a bad parachute landing to the point where after much frustration on the "zero" range we looked down the barrel and barely saw a crescent of light. As it was already toast we figured "why not" and man-handled it back to a relatively straight full circle of light when looking through it. After firing it a bit it started to want to shoot around corners again as it returned towards the original bend by memory and heat.

IMtheNRA
February 28, 2012, 05:20 PM
ApacheCoTodd is correct - the barrel is not indexed correctly, like it was not fully tightened to the frame and needs to be turned in just a little more. Could be some leftover polishing compound between it and the frame, I suppose.

Thankfully, the barrel is not bent!

mgkdrgn
February 28, 2012, 06:03 PM
Obviously, I am going to send in the Python, but I think Colt should pay for shipping (about $90) because they clearly screwed up the gun two years ago. I(

Take it to an FFL to ship via USPS and it won't cost you $90.

9mmepiphany
February 28, 2012, 07:32 PM
Is everyone just jealous he has a Python, and it was redone by Colt?
I'm truly at a loss on this one. Since when does a consumer have to be a frigging gunsmith to inspect Colt's repairs and refinishing?
Not really I have three and none of them are safe queens, I bought them to shoot...one was my duty gun.

I don't think you have to be a gunsmith to tell that a barrel is not quite straight. The flat of the vent rib not being level with the flat of the topstrap would be an easy tell, especially on an Ultimate finished stainless gun...the light wouldn't bounce off it on the same plane.

To not inspect a gun that had just had finish work performed on it, would be like getting a vehicle back from a body shop and not inspecting it for imperfections in the panels or paint...surely that does not require a body or paint professional to do.

Sounds to me Colt failed to do what they got paid to do:
"Complete refinish in B/SS, refinish sights. Test for function." Function means it shoots to point of aim, or, I guess for Colt, it just has to go bang for 500 dollars?
Test for function is exactly that...it functions, which was the original problem that they were commissioned to correct.

While they might have offered a Check for Accuracy or Zero for Specific Load at one time, I'm sure that went away before the time they stopped shooting every gun off the production line

CraigC
February 28, 2012, 07:42 PM
Frankly, I'd say shipping to Colt is the price you pay for not looking the gun over when you first got it back.
I have to agree with this. However, upon receiving your Python and finding that the barrel is indeed crooked, they may cut you some slack.

IMtheNRA
March 1, 2012, 12:42 AM
Colt comes through!

After leaving a voice mail yesterday, I got a call back from Brent at Colt today. He said that Colt should not have let a gun go out with a canted barrel. Brent had a FedEx label in my mailbox within about thirty minutes of our conversation.

Dfariswheel - thank you for the referral to Brent!

Great CS commitment from Colt, and way to stand behind their great products. What more can you ask?!

:what::what:

Isaac-1
March 1, 2012, 01:17 AM
My problem with all this is not the potential of Colt refusing to pay the shipping, but the refusal of the customer service rep to let the customer speak to a supervisor.

IMtheNRA
March 1, 2012, 01:23 AM
Yeah, you're right. But, the company stepped up after only one more phone call. I'm OK with that - they screwed up the gun, their CS stumbled, but then they came through and I did not really have to put much effort into it.

I screwed up too - should have checked for a canted barrel, but I had no idea this condition could even exist.

Looks like my Python is going to get fixed and I have confidence in Colt CS - and that's the important part :-)

bikemutt
March 1, 2012, 02:40 AM
Take it to an FFL to ship via USPS and it won't cost you $90.
Colt will not accept USPS-shipped guns, only UPS and FedEx. At least that is what they told me.

ms6852
March 1, 2012, 04:56 AM
I understand handguns especially colts are investments to some but really, keeping it in the safe and not shooting so that it can accumulate another $500 is not worth a lifetime of joy actually shooting it.

http://i679.photobucket.com/albums/vv157/ms6852/357%20magnums/P1000474.jpg

CaptHank
March 1, 2012, 07:11 AM
Keep your fingers crossed hoping they have a new barrel to replace the old. Back in the 90's I purchased a very nice King Cobra from my local gun shop. Took it to the range to zero, had the rear sight cranked all the way over and it still shot 6" out. Left the range and went back to the gun shop, he took the gun to his indoor range and shot 6 rounds, all printed 6" out. He sent the gun to Colt for repair. The gun came back with the barrel canted. Colt said they didn't have anymore barrels for the Cobra. No way was I going to accept it that way. He gave me my money back.

CraigC
March 1, 2012, 09:36 AM
Keep your fingers crossed hoping they have a new barrel to replace the old.
Doesn't sound like he needs a new barrel.


I understand handguns especially colts are investments to some but really, keeping it in the safe and not shooting so that it can accumulate another $500 is not worth a lifetime of joy actually shooting it.
Agreed!!!

Guillermo
March 1, 2012, 01:04 PM
I understand handguns especially colts are investments to some but really, keeping it in the safe and not shooting so that it can accumulate another $500 is not worth a lifetime of joy actually shooting it.

(standing on my chair applauding)

YES!!!!

Gordon
March 1, 2012, 03:11 PM
Remember his first post about why it went back to Colt originally? I'll bet the barrel clearence was reset without the lathe turning of the shoulder to correct for the new clocking. I don't think barrels are removed for polishing or refinishing.

IMtheNRA
March 1, 2012, 03:25 PM
Gordon, you're right. Brent at Colt said the barrel is not usually removed for polishing.

I suspect the barrel cant may be the result of the repair on my locked-up Python. Colt did not tell me what was wrong with it or how they fixed it.

DBR
March 2, 2012, 12:39 AM
Colt "shouldn't" let a Python leave the factory with a canted barrel - BUT: when I decided to buy a new Python back in 1996 I had to inspect four of them NIB to find one that was not canted.

Are you positive the barrel was not already canted before you sent the gun to Colt the first time?

David E
March 2, 2012, 01:41 AM
Great CS commitment from Colt, and way to stand behind their great products. What more can you ask?!

:what::what:

I could ask for the due diligence reassembling a gun requires.

I could ask for them to find the defect when they allegedly test fired it.

I could ask for bozo's like Rob to never answer the phone, or at least, be able to cheerfully put a supervisor on the line.

I could ask for a gun that didn't inexplicably lock up in the first place.

But that's me, expecting all kinds of crazy things.

JohnBT
March 2, 2012, 10:46 AM
"Why are people defending a company that got paid nearly 500 dollars for work, and did something any newbie gunsmith should have done correctly, install the barrel on a revolver..."

Because Colt doesn't know for a fact that the gun has just been sitting in a safe for 2 years. They don't know where it's been or what's been done to it. They know they were told it's just been sitting, but they've been told all sorts of things over the years. Two years? They want to see it. Understand now?

I've seen a new Python come out of the box with a barely canted sight. It shot great, but it was irritating, so back it went for a fix. That was over 20 years ago and the gun still shoots just fine.

When did Pythons become safe queens? I still shoot mine.

John

Guillermo
March 2, 2012, 11:18 AM
two years

bikemutt
March 2, 2012, 12:16 PM
Colt will not accept USPS-shipped guns, only UPS and FedEx. At least that is what they told me.

It hurts to be wrong as much as I am sometimes :(

I'm not really sure where I got this information but I'm wrong, Colt does in fact receive USPS shipments of handguns from FFLs to a PO Box as shown on their website. :banghead:

skt239
March 2, 2012, 12:17 PM
I think the people siding with Colt have never experienced S&W CS.

I think Colt should pick up shipping cost as well as those of the repairs.

sig220mw
March 2, 2012, 12:56 PM
Learn a lesson from this. In the future inspect it and try it out when it comes back home. Don't wait two years. You could have been shooting it all this time.

JohnBT
March 2, 2012, 07:03 PM
"I think the people siding with Colt have never experienced S&W CS."

Guess again. Why would you think that in the first place?


"I think Colt should pick up shipping cost as well as those of the repairs."

On a gun they worked on 2 years ago? Why? They want to see it first. Two years.


I don't know if my dealer (dealers?) would even charge me the postage and insurance to mail it back to the factory. I'd expect to pay the $10 or $15, but if they offered to cover it, as they sometimes do, I graciously accept.

Jaymo
March 2, 2012, 08:33 PM
You could have just stamped "Century Arms" on your Python. Then, a canted barrel would be completely normal. :)

SaxonPig
March 2, 2012, 09:31 PM
This is why they make lawyers.

Sue Colt in small claims court in your county. Have the papers served on the president in his office (costs like $20 to have the local sheriff's office do it). If they fail to show you win by default and you can start seizing Colt property. If they contest it they will spend several thousands of dollars and even if they win they lose... and they know it. Their attorneys will advise them to make it right so you will drop the suit.

buck460XVR
March 3, 2012, 10:22 AM
This is why they make lawyers.

Sue Colt in small claims court in your county.


Why? It sounds like Colt already has stepped up to the plate as per post #29. All companies make a mistake, even the best ones. The true sign of professionalism is making something right after the fact. Doubt if there was a legal obligation after two years without some sort of written warranty addressing the fact.

Guillermo
March 3, 2012, 10:40 AM
Doubt if there was a legal obligation after two years

I concur

Society is way too litigious as it is.

Suing in a local court just because it is too expensive to show up (or get a default judgement) would be effective, but I opine, part of the problem with our country.

I would not want to be part of it.

d163
March 3, 2012, 11:49 AM
I have a Ruger Blackhawk 327 with this same issue. Obviously (due to caliber) it was built in the last few years. I bought it used at a local major outdoor products store. It is my first handgun.

I didn't notice the front sight was way to the right until days later. I checked as many things from the revolver check-out as I could remember, but never looked at the front sight blade position in the store.

I am not the original owner. So, I'm not sure if I could return it to Ruger. I've decided not to try. I'm going to consider it a feature. I'm going to remove the barrel, polish the front of the frame a little and re-install the barrel. I'll repeat this until the front sight is top dead center. In the end, I'll have a revolver with a smaller cylinder / barrel gap than I would have if I paid to ship it back to Ruger. I'm pretty handy with things, and don't plan to do this with a hammer handle through the frame. I'll do it right with a barrel vise and proper tools (which I will make myself out of wood blocks).

Yeah, I could ship it to Ruger. Yeah, I could pay a gunsmith to fix it (even though it isn't really broken). Yeah, I could just leave the rear sight blade screwed all the way to the right because it shoots fine that way. But frankly, this gun is intended as a hobby for me. Adjusting the front sight blade is just the first tweak I'll be doing.

I just wanted to mention this because it is the same "defect" that the OP had with his Colt.

sw282
March 3, 2012, 12:08 PM
IM--May l suggest you have your friendly local gunshop send it back. lt will save you a bundle in shipping. Mine does that for me. About 15 bucks either way.

JohnBT
March 3, 2012, 12:50 PM
"This is why they make lawyers."

Sue Colt for what? With what proof after 2 years? Hire a lawyer? Have you lost your mind?

mgkdrgn
March 3, 2012, 10:52 PM
Colt will not accept USPS-shipped guns, only UPS and FedEx. At least that is what they told me.
Colt =refuses= mail deliveries? That should be interesting.

Pietro Beretta
March 4, 2012, 12:51 AM
Colt had amazing customer service when my 1911 XSE needed service.

They replaced all the controls, sights, polished the throat, did a trigger job and refinished the firearm, free -- no questions asked.

Then again I am the original owner.

Seriously though why would you wait 2 years? I can't get over that.

Working in a call center myself; sometimes you just want to help the other customers that didn't wait two years to complain about defective work -- not saying its right, but I know exactly what that guy at Colt was thinking. As a manager of a call center, that wouldn't be acceptable, in the least he should have written down your name and number and pass it on to his super.

Let us know the outcome of the firearm!!

bikemutt
March 4, 2012, 10:17 AM
Colt =refuses= mail deliveries? That should be interesting.
I corrected that with a mea culpa here: http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=8002262&postcount=43

Gordon
March 4, 2012, 12:10 PM
BTW to the Ruger owner: The barrel shoulder is lathe turned back, not the frame !

d163
March 6, 2012, 11:50 AM
>> BTW to the Ruger owner: The barrel shoulder is lathe turned back, not the frame !

Yeah, I know. But I don't have a metal lathe. The front of the frame looks a little rough textured. I'm just going to polish it smooth with 1000 grit sand paper. I'm not taking a grinder or other carbide tipped bits to the frame. If the polishing isn't enough, then I guess I'll just live with it as is. It does shoot to point of aim. That's why I'm not really sure this could be claimed as a "defect". It just bugs me that the rear sight blade is cranked all the way to the right.

I'm assuming the Ruger barrel thread is a standard "righty tighty" one. I will need to confirm that before doing anything.

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