Help. I sent my AK to lancaster arms for repair. never got it back.


May 1, 2012, 04:09 AM
I bought an AK that was put together by lancaster arms from my local gunshop. the thing never worked. every malfunction possible. gunshop couldn't repair it. sent it back to manufacturer for repair. lancaster arms in sept of 2011. I have made hundreds of calls and dozens of emails. CHET DURDA and LANCASTER ARMS have done nothing but give me the run around. recently received a UPS tracking number after yelling at the guy over the phone. nothing has shipped yet. I am at a loss for the lack of decency of this company. suggestions?

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May 1, 2012, 04:15 AM
Buyer beware, absolutely do not buy any product or service from this company. I am not the first person this company has screwed over.

May 1, 2012, 04:47 AM
Lawyer up and go buy a new rifle from a reputable manufacturer.

May 1, 2012, 05:00 AM
this company has ruined ak's for me. I really just want my money back. i am reluctant to get a lawyer since the company apparently was taken to court by the sate for fraud but charges never stuck.

May 1, 2012, 07:27 AM
Get a lawyer and demand your property back.

May 1, 2012, 08:03 AM
If you have documentation, sale receipt from the LGS, the shipping ticket to send it back, the emails sent & received--you could try making a Small Claims Court case of it.

Trick there is to be dispassionate. Your case is that you bought an item, the item proved defective beyond the ability of the dealer to repair, so item was returned to the manufacturer. Said manufacturer then failed to either restore your property, or to recompense you for the loss of property.

Only tricky part is that you may be asked why you simply did not return the [lemon] to the LGS, and get your money back. Any documentation you have that the LGS felt that item was repairable will be to your advantage.

Second bad part is that the judge might order the factory to choose whether to pay you or to return your goods. In which case, you might only be paid the wholesale cost, or they might only return your item unrepaired, leaving you with a box of bad AK parts.

Full-up lawyer probably going to cost you as much as an AK. And, they might only be able to get you the wholesale value or a box of parts, and an "IOU" for compensatory damages (or a place card in any future Chapter 11 or 7 proceedings).

Which I had better to offer, it's definitely rock-and-hard place for you.

May 1, 2012, 08:06 AM
How much did you pay?
You may need to stop throwing good money after bad

May 1, 2012, 08:42 AM
A few years ago I bought a Lancaster AK through Atlantic Firearms (good people). During my first range trip the entire bolt assembly completely locked up on me and I had to send it back to Lancaster. The thing took months to get repaired and the only reason I ever got the rifle back was because I had Atlantic Firearms contact Chet Durda on my behalf. I promptly got rid of that rifle as quick as I could. Of course after taking a look at the AKs Atlantic Firearms sells they no longer offer any Lancaster products.

Save your money and your sanity...get a Saiga.

May 1, 2012, 08:47 AM
Sorry to hear about your problems with Lancaster. As another member mentioned, a Saiga is a good alternative that'll be reliable. I own a US made Inter-Ordnance AK that has proven to be as reliable as any I've ever owned. I'd recommend one to anyone interested in owning an AK.
Good luck in your fight and let us know how it ends.

May 1, 2012, 08:49 AM
I thought AKs could be assembled by


"The AK47 is a cheap POS designed to be assembled in third world <slums> by a labor force composed of knuckle dragging, booger eating morons. It was then to be handed out to an army of uneducated peasant retards who couldn't find their own ass with both hands and a map. Thats the true genius of the design and why it remains ubiquitous to this day."

So what does that make the Lancaster guys?

May 1, 2012, 09:29 AM
I got one of their Bulgarian AK 74. It was one of those with pins bending out bec of poor quality. So i called and they had it labelled for shipment back. Mine got repaired in less than three weeks and they also replaced it with the original chrome lined barrel. Now it work like closework. I have no problems and is a keeper. So i think i was just one of the lucky ones to have it repaired and is working okey.

May 1, 2012, 10:38 AM
I would be surprised if they are still in business.


May 1, 2012, 12:43 PM
Did you insure your gun when you sent it? You should automatically have done so if it was a firearm. Go that route, if they are saying they never got it , or sent it but you never got it, Call the postal athority in, they will do an investigation of their own. Perhaps the feds becoming involved, will make your gun suddenly re-appear.

May 1, 2012, 01:11 PM
I have heard of many problems with Lancaster Arms, I have a Milled AK-47 I purchased from them back in 2010. It so far seems to work just fine, other than the hanguards have come loose and need to get fixed. I was planning on taking it to a gunsmith to get it done and not involve Lancaster at all due to all the complaints. hopefully everything turns out well for you.

May 1, 2012, 01:22 PM
Leveraging social media may be more cost effective than lawyering up. If you can find people with similar problems, light these fools up on YouTube. Show the world that these people are hacks and deny them of sales.

If you do a good enough job, they'll happily repair your rifle just to be rid of the bad press.

May 1, 2012, 01:25 PM

May 1, 2012, 01:28 PM

December 12, 2011

Press Release
For immediate Release
Contact: Amy Rezzonico (602) 542-8019 | Facebook | Twitter


PHOENIX (Monday, December 12, 2011) -- A Phoenix-area firearms dealer is the subject of a consumer fraud lawsuit filed in Maricopa County Superior Court by Attorney General Tom Horne.

The suit contends that Lancaster Arms, LLC, which is owned by co-defendants Chester and Marsha Durda, defrauded consumers by failing to provide promised merchandise and services to dozens of customers between February of 2009 and September of 2011.

“Protecting consumers is one of the most important jobs of this office,” Horne said. “Businesses such as the one named in this lawsuit cannot be allowed to make promises to customers and not deliver on those promises. The problem is made even worse when, as in this case, some customers made advance payments with the expectation that they would get either merchandise or services in return, and instead they got nothing. The legal action requests that the court order the business to make restitution, pay penalties, and prevent it from defrauding additional consumers.”

According to the complaint, Lancaster Arms claimed to consumers, some of whom worked in law enforcement and the military, and to some weapons dealers, on the internet and through personal contact by Chester Durda, that the company sold weapons, parts and accessories and that it provided weapon kit assembly services to consumers who sent their kits to the company. Additionally, Lancaster Arms represented that some of its weapons were subject to its “Limited Life Time Warranty”. The lawsuit alleges that Lancaster Arms failed to ship merchandise that consumers had paid for, failed to repair weapons under warranty, and failed to provide refunds. The lawsuit also alleges that Lancaster Arms failed to assemble weapons kits sent to it by consumers and failed to return the un-assembled kits to the consumers or to provide them with refunds. The complaint asks the court to enter an injunction prohibiting the defendants from engaging in any further unlawful acts, require the defendants to restore money and property to consumers, order the payment of civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation, and to reimburse the State’s court costs and other related expenses.

The case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Cherie Howe.
A full copy of the complaint is attached.

May 1, 2012, 01:53 PM
Contact the office in the post before me. Get on their list.

May 1, 2012, 02:18 PM
Thanks for the help! I just filed a complaint with The BBB bureau and sent an email to the ATF. I sent an email to the aft in the hopes that other customers have done the same so that maybe when it comes time to renew FFL's, they would deny chet durda or any company he associates with. I have read about that lawsuit, i also read in the comments that the suit did not stick. he got away with it.

May 1, 2012, 02:29 PM
I bought a friend's Lancaster AK and it has been nothing but perfect. He got it a good few years back when Lancaster had a quality

PS-I wouldn't go back to if they paid me. I'm sure there are a few quality people there, but most of the posters I read were total azzhats.

May 1, 2012, 02:33 PM
Wish Lancaster was in Florida, I would help you out with some lawyering (yes, that is a legal term of art;)). FWIW, a strongly worded letter sent via certified mail might not be a bad idea.

May 1, 2012, 02:39 PM
I have had a lot of luck with BBB. They don't have to be a member for them to get involved.

May 1, 2012, 03:17 PM
I'd contact the Maricopa County Attorney's office and inquire as to how to proceed and ask if they'd send a letter to L.A. on your behalf. The County Attorney's office will probably need something in writing with relative dates and actions first.

Another perspective is, if you owned the firearm and can track shipping to them and they will not make good on the property you're edging into the area of theft.

May 1, 2012, 05:12 PM
FWIW, the main problem with Lancaster is they received a BIG shipment of Bulgarian AK-74 parts kits but instead of building them in-house, they outsourced them to a company that didn't know what they were doing.

That company used 5.56 barrel blanks instead of 5.45 which led to serious keyholing at short range. Then a number of the 5.45 barrels they used had oversized gas ports which caused excess recoil, which eventually bent trunions and even wallowed out the rivet holes, which caused dust covers to no longer fit.

I suspect when the avalanche of complaints hit, Lancaster could not keep up with warranty repairs, stopped answering their phone, and closed down the business. Then the criminal charges were brought.

Before all this mess started, I bought a '47 from Chet at a Phoenix show (he was selling them without any mags). I had some reservations when I got home and couldn't get but a few of my E. German mags to fit right. Most of them were way too tight. I went back to see him at a subsequent show and he reassured me, "too tight is not a problem, too loose is..." Apparently they were having problems with some of those, too.

Sold that AK at the next local show without even firing it.

I seriously doubt he will recover from this disaster. Good luck to all you folks who are affected.


May 1, 2012, 09:55 PM
Another perspective is, if you owned the firearm and can track shipping to them and they will not make good on the property you're edging into the area of theft.

I'm not an attorney, but to the best of my knowledge, if you willingly give somebody an item and they don't return it, it's generally a civil matter, not a criminal one (not theft).

Where I'm from, the small claims process is very simple and straightforward. The hardest parts would be serving him and taking the time off to appear in court. Actually, the hardest part would be collecting, even if you got a judgement.

May 1, 2012, 10:49 PM
What makes it really difficult for you is the fact that you're in Kansas and Lancaster is in Arizona. As a practical matter, "lawyering up" as it's been referred to, really isn't a practical thing. I'm not familiar with the laws of either state involved, but absent some statute to the contrary, you usually can't include attorney's fees as a part of your damages unless they have been agreed to by contract. Meaning that winning could (and likely will) cost you more than the rifle did. I know that I probably wouldn't touch a case like this just because I wouldn't be able to charge enough to make it worth my while.

If you bought the rifle within the time period for either state to bring a redhibitory action, you could file an action in some sort of small claims court, but that's going to leave you either having to go to Arizona to file the claim and make an appearance or two or filing in Kansas and trying to get Lancaster to respond. In the latter case, you could get a default judgment if they don't respond, but all that's going to get you is a judgment that won't be worth the paper it's printed on. Not to you, anyway.

That article that dprice found is interesting. It describes certain behavior as being unlawful, but nothing in the statutes lead me to believe that this unlawful behavior is considered to be criminal. The statutes referred to in the complaint do empower the attorney general's office to take action, and gives the power to the court to award penalties of up to $10k per offense. Oddly enough, it seems that those penalties are to be paid to the state, not the consumers.

In my limited experience with this sort of thing, I've found that courts are usually hesitant to issue judgments ordering specific performance. Although court are more than happy to render judgments awarding money damages or injunctions, orders for specific performance are not common. In other words, I doubt that a court would issue an order to Lancaster stating that they must repair hobgob's rifle. As well intentioned as the consumer protection act may be, it may also be another case of an overly zealous legislator getting laws passed that the court system can't enforce.

In any case, the foregoing was mostly for discussion purposes.

Personally, if I was you, I'd see this as a theft. You sent them your rifle and now they won't give it back. That's a theft (by fraud). I would have called the cops and reported the rifle stolen, if for no other reason than to see if you could get any action. You tell someone that you're going to sue them, it might get their attention and it might not. If a cop shows up at the door with an arrest warrant, you WILL have their attention. Many district attorney's office these days have economic crime units. You may get lucky and get a police officer that cares and is willing to do the paper work.

I'd also get in touch with the Arizona Attorney General's Office and get on their list. It certainly couldn't hurt. Do what you can and then put it behind you. This kind of crap happens. I've bought plenty of stuff that wasn't worth the box it was shipped in. As they say, buyer beware.

hang fire
May 2, 2012, 12:56 AM
Several years ago wife and I had a little cottage industry business where we sold on the Internet and learned a valuable lesson. When they don’t pay up or a check bounces, forget about dealing with them yourself after a couple notifications without results.

Get all ones ducks in a row as to proof positive there is a claim, then turn it over to a collection agency located near the defaulter, they will only charge one a small percentage of the cost of the claim. Collection agencies make their profits from the quarry they pursue once they take action and especially so if legal action is required. Their charges rapidly mount up well beyond initial cost of the claim, they are absolute junk yard dogs who make life hell for those the claim is against and are relentless.

That has been my experience with collection agencies in the three times we used them.

May 2, 2012, 10:07 AM
if you willingly give somebody an item and they don't return it, it's generally a civil matter, not a criminal one (not theft).

As TonyAngel wrote, this is not always (usually) correct. Try borrowing someone's car and refusing to return it (it won't get resolved in civil court, I assure you).

May 3, 2012, 04:00 PM
Hobgob, if you're referring to the current fraud lawsuit against Lancaster, you’re incorrect that it “didn't stick”. It is still very much an ongoing matter. You can follow the proceedings by going to the Maricopa County Superior Court website and looking it up. Just click on “Find a Case”, and enter “Durda” in the name field. If you do so, you’ll see that Chet Durda has been sued a lot. At present, he has two active lawsuits against him. The AG’s fraud lawsuit, and a lawsuit from a party named Estrella Associates, LLC.

Currently, the fraud lawsuit is not going well for Chet Durda and Lancaster. A couple weeks ago, the AG had to file a Motion to Compel Compliance with Discovery Rules. Usually, this means the Defendant (Chet Durda) is not cooperating, and is withholding information sought by the AG. If this continues, the judge can decide that he’s tired of playing games with the Defendant, and that judge can put out a bench warrant for Durda’s arrest. The way things are going, I would not be even a little surprised if this happens.

Chet Durda is a con man, and has been for many years. Many people in the AK/gun industry, like Deryck as AZEX, and Mark at Arizona Response Systems, have publicly said that they've worked with Chet Durda, and that the guy is a known con man. Deryck and his staff used to call Chet "Big Money Hustla" because Chet was always so full of sh*t. Mark publicly called Chet a "sociopath", and said that while doing some work for Chet, Mark used to listen to Chet sit on the phone all day and lie his ass off.

In addition, Chet Durda has owned a number of businesses that have either been sued out of existence, or just up and disappeared. He used to own a business called Renu International. As those court records above show, Renu got a judgment against it for almost $1,000,000. You can be certain Chet Durda never made good on that judgment.

I hate to break it to you, but you will likely never see your rifle again. I have a feeling the Arizona AG is going to nail Chet Durda’s nuts to the wall, and possibly soon. You should do two things Hobgob, and you should do both immediately:

1. Contact the AG’s office, ask to speak with an attorney or paralegal working on the Lancaster Arms lawsuit, and tell them that Chet Durda has been sitting on your rifle since September. It is important that you do so, because Durda has been lying to the AG with regard to the people to whom he still owes rifles, parts kits and money.

2. Call Lancaster one more time, and tell Durda that if you don't have a repaired rifle in your hands in five business days, a theft report will be filed with the Police Department in Surprise, Arizona. Then, you actually need to file the report when you don’t get your rifle, as hollow threats are meaningless threats. (Durda recently moved from Goodyear to Surprise. The Goodyear PD is VERY familiar with Durda…they launched a criminal investigation against him last year. THAT is the case that was dropped. Although technically speaking, it wasn’t dropped. They just decided not to pursue criminal charges at that time, and they referred the case to the AG instead for civil charges. )

If you aren’t willing to do one or both of those things, then just resign yourself to the fact that you allowed a con man to walk away with your money. One of the reasons Durda has been able to defraud so many people is that – surprisingly – many gun owners are easily duped. As a professional con man, Durda knows this. In fact, he counts on it. He also knows and counts on the notion that once these gun owners discover they have been ripped-off, most of them won’t do anything about it. Unfortunately, he's correct.

Go get your gun back, Hobgob. Or at least, don’t let it disappear without a fight. Chet Durda thinks that gun owners are pushovers and easy marks. Prove him wrong.

May 3, 2012, 08:23 PM
Call them and tell them if they do not give you your property in working order you will file a small claims suit agints them in local court and they can come to your neighborhood to defend the case in court. Sue them for damages. Tell the judge the truth and let him decide. Do not ever allow a company or anyone to get away with this BS. Sue the hell out of them. I feel unamerican because I have never sued anyone yet.

May 3, 2012, 09:08 PM
I understand what you're saying Magog, but small claims court will have no effect on Chet Durda. Remember, this is a guy who was sued for almost $1,000,000, and he appears to have blown that off.

Durda would ignore any small claims court just like he has ignored the 66 Better Business Bureau claims and the other lawsuits against him. Yeah, Hobgog would easily get a default judgement in small claims court, but if you can't collect on're just spinning your wheels.

With Durda, you have to get law enforcement involved. That means the AG and local police. Durda is a guy who just Does. Not. Care. I've seen some shady people in the gun industry before, but Chet Durda tops them all. He isn't going to stop with his unethical business dealings until he is forced to. Many people are hoping that this fraud lawsuit is the thing that finally takes him out of the firearms business.

red rick
May 4, 2012, 07:11 AM
A couple of years ago I almost bought a AK from him, I'm so gland I didn't.

Thanks for the warnings and I hope you get some satisfaction in getting your rifle back or in his jail sentence.

Art Eatman
May 4, 2012, 11:31 AM
It doesn't look like much additional useful info can be added...

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