Interesting Call to Colt


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sleepyone
May 31, 2012, 02:46 PM
I can see why Colt has less than a stellar reputation these days in some circles when it comes to customer support and 1911s. I just placed a call to inquire why my hammer spring tension is twice as stiff as my other non-Colt 1911s, and also asked what pound their hammer springs are. The young lady who was "helping" me said they could not diagnose the problem over the phone and that I needed to send my gun in for service. I said I just want to know if that stiff of a hammer spring is normal or not. If you say no, I may indeed send my gun in. If it is, I'll move on. She repeated her script about sending the gun in. So I asked her can you at least tell me what pound the factory hammer springs are. She did not know of course, so she put me on hold for several minutes while she asked someone in another department. She came back and said Colt does not release that information. I laughed and said why is it top secret? I had to hang up at that point.

I own several Smith and Wesson rifles and handguns and have called with general questions over the years and they have always been happy to answer any question and never said send the gun in as a first response. I have never been stonewalled like that with any other gun manufacturer. I'm wondering if I should have bought a Smith and Wesson 1911 instead. It was on my list of choices. Very frustrated.

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Ruger Redhawk
May 31, 2012, 04:28 PM
I had a similar experience with Polaris's (ATV) CS. I would have been better off talking to the wall. All she knew how to say was take it to your dealer.All I wanted was the revised P/N for the belt cover. I ended up hanging up on her. A few months later I sold that Polaris.

JimStC
May 31, 2012, 04:54 PM
Don't give up on your Colt 1911 yet. If I were in your position I would take the pistol to my gunsmith, have a good trigger job done and move on. Sure you are spending $$ you shouldn't have to unless you are like me: all my pistols have trigger work. Nothing extreme, just smooth the pull......

hentown
May 31, 2012, 05:40 PM
Colt has had just about the worst reputation there is or C.S. for ARs, also. They make nice ARs, but their AR-related C.S. is the pits.

sleepyone
May 31, 2012, 05:46 PM
Oh, I'm not giving up on my Colt. It is extremely accurate. I can't shoot it worth a crap yet, but my best friend can shoot lights out with it. I'm still getting used to the Novak sights. I'm used to target sights on my Dan Wesson Expert Model where point of aim is at six o'clock. These sights are bullseye sights where the point of aim is on top of the target; at least that is what I was told and how my friend was aiming to get single hole groups.

The trigger is not all that bad, but I just wanted an answer from Colt on why their mainspring is so much stiffer than other 1911s and what pound the spring is. To spend $1,000 on a pistol and then have their customer service treat you like that is inexcusable. I'm convinced though that my next handguns, 1911 or otherwise, will be Smith and Wesson mainly because of their customer service.

JimStC
May 31, 2012, 05:58 PM
Sleepy,
At that price point consider a Baer. A bit more than $1k but a great pistol. I have two and my Will says to bury me with them:D

sleepyone
May 31, 2012, 06:06 PM
At that price point consider a Baer

I had a Baer and had to sell it a couple of years ago. :( Bought it in like new condition for $1,500. I still lament the loss of that pistol.

JimStC
May 31, 2012, 06:19 PM
Hey, everyone that has owned a gun has experienced seller's remorse no matter what the reason for the sale. I can count at least 6 times where after the sale I have asked myself "why?" .
If it was a matter of financial necessity, then props to you for doing what you had to do...... You will find another.

PRM
May 31, 2012, 06:35 PM
Hate to hear you had a bad experience. Maybe you got a new employee???

I've been dealing with the Colt Custom Shop for over 20 years. As recent as September 2011. I've always had very positive results. I shoot and collect SA and DA Colt Revolvers. Can't say as I would want anyone else working on mine.

Urban_Redneck
May 31, 2012, 07:49 PM
I just placed a call to inquire why my hammer spring tension is twice as stiff as my other non-Colt 1911s, and also asked what pound their hammer springs are.

I think you had unrealistic expectations. Colt has been making that gun for a 100 years. Liability concerns aside, I'm sure in their eyes, it was perfect when it left the factory.

My $0.02

Old Fuff
May 31, 2012, 08:11 PM
Brownells, at (www.brownells.com) can fix you up with a mainspring, either Colt's or an aftermarket one.

Your problem (if there is one) may be that the spring is binding in the mainspring housing's hole. It is a simple job to remove the housing, take out the internals, and lightly polish the hole. This, followed by proper lubrication can work wonders.

DMH
May 31, 2012, 08:52 PM
I hesitate to reply, but hope this may help regarding customer service at Colt. I have dealt with Colt on a 1911 New Agent and a Colt ssa in 32-20 Talked with Alex Lopes and he always returned e-mails and kept me informed. He is not the one directly working on or repairing the firearms, but he was accurate with the information he provided. The 1911 I have did have to go back to Colt for service. They polished the feed ramp and adjusted the ejector spring. He said it would take two months from the time I sent it in till I got it back. It was seven weeks. They covered shipping both ways, insurance and repairs. I was very happy with the end result. This repair could have been done at a local gunsmith on my dime, but I felt it was Colts responsibility to make it right. Giving them the opportunity to correct the function of the firearm. Customer Service was not intended as a repair help desk. Different degree of talent needed to manage help/diagnoses vs, just getting year, make, model and warranty information. Specification information over the phone can be a liability issue depending on the situation. I do not know what or if Colt has a policy for this. You could always ask to talk to someone else.

DMH

Hangingrock
June 1, 2012, 12:42 PM
My reply is not meant to confrontational or condescending. That said I would have handled the subject as the Colt representative did by requesting that you return the firearm for their inspection. From a manufactures viewpoint that’s an understandable position in view of product liability. From a customer satisfaction perspective you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Most manufactures strive to satisfy the customer with in reason.

Pilot
June 1, 2012, 01:16 PM
I would call back and ask for a technician, and ask the same question. They may have a policy for non-technical employees to not answer technical questions, but at least she should have offered to transfer you.

Skylerbone
June 1, 2012, 01:29 PM
If I may, how did you ascertain that the hammer spring was heavier in the Colt than in other brand 1911s?

Skribs
June 1, 2012, 01:32 PM
I think you had unrealistic expectations. Colt has been making that gun for a 100 years. Liability concerns aside, I'm sure in their eyes, it was perfect when it left the factory.

He wasn't saying it was broken. He was saying "this is different than my other 1911s, is this the factory standard for your 1911 or is there something wrong." His expectations were that they are able to say what the weight of the hammer is, so he knows if it's working-as-intended or needs to be sent in.

For a company to claim that something that trivial is under nondisclosure baffles me. It's something that another company can EASILY figure out, so its not like Colt is keeping some trade secret.

Jim Watson
June 1, 2012, 02:06 PM
The 1911 I have did have to go back to Colt for service. They polished the feed ramp and adjusted the ejector spring.

What was the part number for that ejector spring and where is it located?
I cannot find one on my Colt.

hentown
June 1, 2012, 02:08 PM
've been dealing with the Colt Custom Shop for over 20 years. As recent as September 2011. I've always had very positive results. I shoot and collect SA and DA Colt Revolvers. Can't say as I would want anyone else working on mine.

Bet he wasn't dealing with the Custom Shop. like you were. If you call Glock and talk with a receptionist, you probably won't get a lot of cogent technical information! :)

DMH
June 1, 2012, 02:39 PM
Jim, I apologize for using the word spring in my post. They adjusted the tension of the extractor or replaced the extractor to hold tighter on the case rim. I'm not a gunsmith and I made a error in terminology.

DMH

Jim Watson
June 1, 2012, 04:53 PM
You would have to go deep in the company to find anybody who knew the poundage rating of the mainspring, unless you happened upon an enthusiast. An OEM spring is specified as to the diameter of the wire, the diameter of the coil, the number of turns, and the free length. A pound rating is a consumer catalog term that may well have been originated by Wolff for replacement springs, to give a single number per item.
"Does not release" is likely coverup for "Nobody knows or much cares."

As to the "send it in," everybody is eaten up with timidity and fear of liability.

SharpsDressedMan
June 1, 2012, 04:56 PM
Logic is not reigning at Colt Mfg, apaprently. Instead of asking for the return of the gun, and basically ignoring the question at hand (spring tension), they should have just found someone at Colt to answer the question. It would tentatively avoid the addition of another gun to their workload, and save the OP 3-4 months of waitng and shipping expense.

Hammerdown77
June 1, 2012, 04:56 PM
That's a typical response from the "front desk folks" when you call a gun company. Risk of liability is so high nowadays that they are extremely hesitant to give you any information to DIY your gun into a potentially unsafe condition.

You have to remember, they have to consider the lowest common denominator customer (read: morons), and while that may not be you, they have no way of knowing that.

I saw in another thread that you are comparing your Colt's hammer cocking effort with a Dan Wesson. Colts come with a factory standard 23 lb. mainspring. Often, people swap out to a lighter mainspring in an effort to reduce trigger pull weight (it doesn't really make that big of a difference in that area). If your DW has a 18 or 19 lb. mainspring, or lighter, then that is what you might be feeling.

I'm hesitant to believe there is something wrong with your gun, based on the fact that it shoots and functions well.

If'n it were me, I wouldn't worry about it. You're getting wrapped around the axle for nothing.

TimboKhan
June 1, 2012, 06:12 PM
Personally, I feel like Jim Watson probably hit the nail on the head. Gunnies are fascinated with stuff like this, telephone cs reps are not. Someone there obviously knows the answer, but it isn't the girl on the phone or anyone in the call center!!!

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

Skribs
June 1, 2012, 06:21 PM
Personally, I feel like Jim Watson probably hit the nail on the head. Gunnies are fascinated with stuff like this, telephone cs reps are not. Someone there obviously knows the answer, but it isn't the girl on the phone or anyone in the call center!!!

But I'd expect someone at the call center to have access to that information, whether it be via documentation or a SME they can contact. I work at an IT help desk, and there are lots of calls that I don't immediately know the answer to, but I always know who to call to find out.

Even still, "we don't disclose that information" is a bit ridiculous. It would be like me calling a movie theater and asking "how many seats do you have in theater 5" (say I wanted to do a large youth outing or have a business meeting) and them replying "that's sensitive company information."

Skylerbone
June 1, 2012, 06:46 PM
Haven't read my Colt Owner's Manuals but I would bet somewhere in there are directions for slide removal and cleaning procedures. Most other manuals I've read halt the owner at this step and do not recommend further disassembly, another possible reason for not referencing the spring "weight". The print I have mentions only the acceptable limits based on compressed length.

If you care to experiment a bit, call up the other manufacturers and ask what their OEM weight is and why.

sleepyone
June 1, 2012, 08:10 PM
If I may, how did you ascertain that the hammer spring was heavier in the Colt than in other brand 1911s?

two ways. the hammer is much, much harder to pull back than others and we took the MSHs out of a few 1911s and compressed the mainspring directly with a punch and the Colt was much stiffer than the others. The spring even looked heavier duty.

sleepyone
June 1, 2012, 08:22 PM
If'n it were me, I wouldn't worry about it. You're getting wrapped around the axle for nothing.

I agree. I am not going to lose any sleep over it. I may play around with some different mainsprings. I may not. The gun functions fine and is much more accurate than I was expecting. I went back to the stock nylon MSH for now until I am confident the problem has gone away. I had planned on going to range and running a couple of hundred rounds through it, but I spent my whole day dealing with incompetence at Best Buy's customer service. I'm convinced the only way to avoid dealing with bad customer service is to quit buying things. As I choose not to do that, I am at the mercy of oblivions. Best Buy has been OK for the most part. I have purchased a computers, two laptops and plasma TV within the past year and I've only had problems recently. Today I made two trips, drove four hours total and burned through a lot of gas dealing with them. To their credit, they gave me a $50 gift card; after I asked them to comp me for my time and gas.

sleepyone
June 1, 2012, 08:28 PM
That said I would have handled the subject as the Colt representative did by requesting that you return the firearm for their inspection.

I am very slow to send a firearm back for warranty repair or any work for that matter. I have a Marlin 336 that needed work and it took six months to get it back. It was even lost at one point because Marlin was in the process of moving their factory after the takeover and had "misplaced" my rifle. To Marlin's credit, they replaced the wood with their highest grade Walnut, but now it is so pretty I am afraid to use it.

SharpsDressedMan
June 1, 2012, 09:12 PM
The mainspring forces the hammer down on the firing pin; we all know that. But another thing that it does is maintain pressure on the hammer as it bears against the recoiling slide, giving some resistence to the slide during the firing cycle. This gives some support to the lockup of the gun when the hammer isdown, and later affects the velocity of the slide in its rearward AND forward cycle. You can lighten the mainspring and still have the firing pin strike hard enough, but you may be adversely affecting the velocity of the slide, and thus wear and tear may be higher. All things to think about.

wickedsprint
June 1, 2012, 10:00 PM
I've had good customer service from Colt. My first Series 70 Repro had the trigger pad brazed on crooked. I called them up and explained the situation and emailed them a picture of it. They sent me a new trigger in the mail. This was about ten years ago though.

DPris
June 1, 2012, 11:09 PM
Besides Hammerdown, Wolff Springs' site lists the standard as 23 pounds, among other people & places that agree.

Re S&W, Colt isn't entirely alone in CS info (or lack of it).
I've gotten bad info, incomplete info, and no info at all from S&W on phonecalls, including one part order they put through complete with credit card info that never showed up. The part was apparently out of production when they let me order it. :)

Ruger will be vague at times, too.

It's an unfortunate situation that seems to be spreading through the industry, and it's sad that you can no longer call a maker up and get help over the phone on simple questions about their own products.
But, it's not just Colt, and I no longer expect any real knowledge from anybody who answers a CS number for a gunmaker.
Many times they don't have a clue, other times the legal department won't let them go any farther than "Send it in".
I'm pleasantly surprised when a call-taker actually does know the answer to my questions. :)
Denis

2zulu1
June 2, 2012, 02:39 AM
I expect hammer spring is not on the parts list, but mainspring is and rather common knowledge, especially with a few keystrokes. :)

JohnBT
June 2, 2012, 08:52 AM
The Colt customer service rep could have just googled the answer.

Now I see why gun companies aren't building more guns. It's because they're spending half the day answering questions.

sideways
June 2, 2012, 09:07 AM
Why do you feel it necessary to fix what ain't broke ? Colt makes the finest production 1911's on the market hands down .Been doing it for a hundred years . How many phone calls do you think they get from folks that don't have problems just questions they offer to take a look at your pistol if you thought you had a real problem what else should they do. That little girl answering the phone does'nt know anything except how to answer the phone you could have really got Lucky and talked to a machine.

Skylerbone
June 2, 2012, 09:10 AM
The Colt customer could have just googled the answer.

This would work as well. Many companies restrict who has access to the Internet due to security and productivity issues, among others.

sleepyone
June 2, 2012, 02:53 PM
Why do you feel it necessary to fix what ain't broke ?

That was my whole point in calling Colt and asking if the extreme difference in hammer pull and mainspring tension is normal or if I MIGHT have a problem. If they could just say "Yes, Colt designs their manispring to have more tension for reason "A" or "No, there should not be that much difference between our mainspring tension and other 1911s" I would have been satisfied, but to say "You need to send it in" as her immediate response and not be willing to forward me to the next tier of service is not acceptable. As another poster said, she is causing potentially unnecessary work for the repair guys, wasting Colt's money on shipping costs two ways, and also keeping my pistol tied up for weeks or months. I have no intention on fixing what ain't broke, but I would at least like intelligent life on the other end of the line or at least a willingness to pass me on to intelligent life.

JimStC
June 2, 2012, 04:12 PM
Just follow what was recommended in post #11. I view his advice as consistently right. One of the experts on this forum.

sleepyone
June 2, 2012, 11:04 PM
that i will do. seems like a non-invasive course of action. what is the best tool to use for this? Sandpaper in 600 or 900 grit rolled up or one of those cone or cylinder dremel bits wits with the same grit sandpaper or stone in same grit?

Skylerbone
June 3, 2012, 01:26 AM
The problem is having a polymer MSH that won't sand like a metal one. If you want something similar to the others buy a Wolff 20 lb. replacement spring and see how it goes. If, after changing springs you're not satisfied, consider a replacement housing and polish work.

Hammerdown77
June 3, 2012, 11:07 AM
Yeah, I don't really see your spring binding up in that nylon MSH unless there's some serious mold flashing in there or something. You should be able to feel it bind just by pushing down the spring in the housing with a punch on the mainspring cap.

My stock Colts have hammers that are harder to cock than some of my others that have been worked on. One of these guns has a 19 lb. mainspring in it, and it's noticeably lighter than on the stock Colts. I'd say you should just order a 19 lb. mainspring from Midway or Brownells or directly from Wolff and that will give you the feel you are looking for. They are cheap.

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