What is "acceptable"?


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wow6599
August 6, 2012, 12:28 AM
I sent in a brand new 2011 Colt Series 70 to Colt's custom shop in late September last year. I was told 4 -6 months for the work, got a letter around the first of October stating -

Order Date: 9/24/2011
Needed by: 3/22/2012

I called the around mid May, and they said it should ship back in a week or two.

I emailed on 6/6 and was told "It is in the final stages. It is in polishing at this point for final polish. I hope to ship before the end of the month."

Emailed on 7/11, and was told "I have had some challenges in the polishing department, it is still there. I will make sure they have it in the cue to be done soon."

Now we are in August. And I always considered myself a patient person :rolleyes:

For a 4-6 month (quoted) job to be approaching a year, am I wrong to start getting upset?

And for the record, Brent at Colt is an asset to that company. He is great at responding quickly, and keeping you informed - even if Colt doesn't seem to have things together IMHO.

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ColtPythonElite
August 6, 2012, 12:43 AM
Not acceptable...

YankeeFlyr
August 6, 2012, 01:04 AM
Not even close to acceptable.

IF they have that big of a problem, at least they need to inform you and others, as to why...in detail. Real, no BS detail.

JTHunter
August 6, 2012, 01:09 AM
I'd ask them if they want to get paid for the work - assuming you didn't have to pay "up front"!

Hunterdad
August 6, 2012, 06:29 AM
Very unacceptable. I would have been blowing my stack back in April. You're a saint for waiting this long.

wow6599
August 6, 2012, 08:05 AM
I'd ask them if they want to get paid for the work - assuming you didn't have to pay "up front"!

Yeah, I had to pay for it up front. $1205.00 to be exact.

lefteyedom
August 11, 2012, 04:26 AM
I don't want paint with to broad a bush here but this type of delays is not uncommon. I have had stuff that took 2 to 3 times longer than projected.
It seem that many Gunsmiths can not budget their time, nor are able to manage multu step projects. Yes some can, but time management and machinist skills are not always hand in hand.

My current smithy is very upfront about the wait times. Which is one of the reason I use him.

When you paid in full at the start you lost what little leverage you had. I will put up to half of the job's cost up front but not all.

What I have done with contractors is to put in to writing stiff penalties for late completion. Yes if we could only getting in writing... what a dream:cuss:

Ryanxia
August 11, 2012, 09:23 PM
For that cost and that time frame you could probably get the knowledge and the materials to do it yourself. I can't imagine something taking almost a year to do a repair on that I would justify. Paying up front is ridiculous too (maybe common practice but I wouldn't do it). For $1,205 it better be a sentimental gun or for competition, otherwise get something else.

J2FLAN
August 12, 2012, 12:36 PM
That much money and that long a wait, I wonder for what?
About $900 for a GM ser.70 and $1200 for what ever. I may have had Wilson or Brown build me one for a few more bucks and a shorter wait.
Sorry to here that sort of thing about COLT.

wow6599
August 15, 2012, 07:21 PM
and $1200 for what ever

This -
http://www.coltsmfg.com/Catalog/CustomFirearms/ColtTacticalPackage.aspx

Some of the things I chose were 25 LPI, S&A grip safety, 4 lb trigger, ambi safety and a matte HC finish (light polish on the flats).

And I paid extra for.....

NM barrel and bushing (they use Bar-Sto)
Replace all MIM parts (mag catch, sear & disconnector)

I don't see a problem with the price, as the gun is being done for my 5 year old - so I have 13 years to shoot it :D

But they keep telling me it's in the finishing dept month after month after month..........

CraigC
August 18, 2012, 12:11 PM
That's unacceptable, especially for a company like Colt. All the `smith's I've dealt with are very realistic about their lead times and if there are delays, I've gotten a no-BS assessment and explanation why. I would expect no less from Colt. I would've used Jim Stroh for such work but hindsight is always 20/20.


For that cost and that time frame you could probably get the knowledge and the materials to do it yourself. I can't imagine something taking almost a year to do a repair on that I would justify. Paying up front is ridiculous too (maybe common practice but I wouldn't do it). For $1,205 it better be a sentimental gun or for competition, otherwise get something else.
You obviously have zero experience with custom guns. Some makers are 2-3yrs out. It doesn't take that long to do it, it takes that long to get to it. You don't want to pay up front? You're not gonna get one. All will require at least a deposit to put your name on the list. You can have however long it takes to get to your gun to pay the balance but work does not begin without the balance being paid. Or at least a large chunk of it. Custom guns cost a lot but $1200 is not exactly astronomical. My next big bore revolver conversion will cost me $2000-$2500 just for the conversion. Plus $500-$700 for an octagon barrel upgrade. With fancy finish work and engraving on top of that. It doesn't have to be sentimental or for competition, it's usually just something you want.

Snag
August 18, 2012, 12:57 PM
For a 4-6 month (quoted) job to be approaching a year, am I wrong to start getting upset?

I'd be thoroughly disappointed with Colt and a bit angry. What can do though but wait?

Honestly doesn't surprise me that you keep getting set back. I've learned and heard a lot about Colt in my search for a 1991 Commander. I've been told by Colt that their backed up on production alone to the tune of 2.5 years on some models. A guy at a dealer in Florida said he had what I was looking for, went through all the red tape to find out he actually didn't have it. Another man in New York stated Colt had some 160 factory employees, and blamed getting anything Colt on their new military contract.

People that work there do seem very nice though.

wow6599
August 18, 2012, 04:39 PM
Well I'm still waiting, with no end in sight :rolleyes:

This may be total internet fiction, but I have read that they (CCS) only have ONE 'smith who does the work. When I asked Colt about this, they said they have a "couple" of 'smiths.

I think they really screwed up when they went around offering the "Tactical Package" at such a low cost ($850 IIRC). It would probably cost you 30% - 40% more than that if you had everything done la carte. But, that being said - for the time I have had to wait - I would have ordered an Ed Brown and I would have been close to where I am now.

NIB Colt Series 70 - $1000 (that includes shipping and FFL transfer)
Colt custom shop work - $1205
Total - $2,205.00

Pretty darn close to Ed Brown pricing.

wow6599
September 11, 2012, 01:18 AM
Well, I got it back about 10 days ago........and they didn't apply the HC finish. They had it almost a year, and sent it back with the original stainless finish - plus some added swirl marks and scratches.

And another wait begins..........

ApacheCoTodd
September 13, 2012, 10:44 PM
I think at this point, I'd gin up a printable version of this thread and send it to their customer service rep (and probably a couple of CCs throughout the company letterhead) as a heads-up to the effect that this kind of behavior can have on their reputation.

lathedog
September 19, 2012, 11:51 AM
+1 for a typical wait from a gunsmith for custom work being 2 to 3 years. If they are taking new work at all. I seriously doubt that the gunsmith in question was taking long coffee breaks and not doing work all day. They only get paid for work completed.

I concur that it is a bad practice to not ensure customers know this. They should keep you in the loop on delivery times.

There are fewer and fewer competent gunsmiths out there each year. Especially if you are not patient with the remaining ones, you should probably get used to off-the-shelf guns.

The other trick is to take a chance on a independent custom pistolsmith that is good, but has not established a reputation yet.

wow6599
October 6, 2012, 04:05 PM
Just using my thread to "vent" and keep my sanity.

They still have my Colt. :banghead:

Friendly, Don't Fire!
October 6, 2012, 04:24 PM
I know I will NEVER do business with a company so sloppy when it comes to time and details.

ljnowell
October 6, 2012, 07:18 PM
Wow. Thats some Bovine Excrement right there. I have heard bad stuff about the Colt Custom shop but this one just takes the cake.

wow6599
October 6, 2012, 07:38 PM
And to make it worse, you aren't allowed to speak with ANYONE at the custom shop.
You call customer service and they "relay the message"; forget about getting an answer to a question.

I have been dealing with a member over at 1911forum.com, who goes by BJT72. His name is Brent and he is the custom shop manager for Colt. I communicate via PM's, and he always responds quickly - but never has anything of substance to say.

I wish to God I had a number for someone of "importance" at Colt, but would that person even really care?

wow6599
October 15, 2012, 10:31 AM
Update -

Someone posted a beautiful Delta Elite on the 1911Forum that was sent in February '12 and he got it back on 9/15/2012. He had the EXACT same things done to his......plus a lot of other things that take more time. 7 months for him....over a year for me so far?

I'm angry now......

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=382771

edit - I had my barrel replaced, he didn't.

mookiie
October 15, 2012, 06:44 PM
still 7 months for a barrel? plus they did not even send it back to you with the correct finish?. i will not be using colt for customizing that is for sure!

wow6599
November 2, 2012, 10:09 AM
I finally got it back last week! And with a bonus of two small punch marks on top of the slide by the rear sight (went down to metal), a MSH that has a nice big dark spot on it and a blemished grip safety. Who could ask for more.....

I sent it back (month 14 now) again, but I'm ready to file a complaint with the BBB. Thoughts on doing this? Colt doesn't seem very interested in doing it correctly.

ghitch75
November 4, 2012, 09:56 PM
thats just all kinds of wrong.....i guess they didn't find a smith for the custom shop yet......ream there a&$....

JohnKSa
November 4, 2012, 11:28 PM
Custom work takes time. I wouldn't be upset if a reputable custom shop gave me an estimate of 2-3 years of lead time.

I would, however, be incensed if they took my money, told me it would take 4-6 months and I still hadn't taken delivery more than a year later.

It's one thing to be backlogged--it's another thing entirely to yank your customers around.

Drail
November 5, 2012, 10:43 AM
This is why I have to smile every time I hear somebody blathering about "But it's a real Colt" or "everything else is just an imitation". Colt has been riding on their reputation for more years than most of us have been alive.:rolleyes: I can say this only because I spent some years repairing them. For the money Springfield (IMBEL) makes a much better gun and they stand behind it.

wow6599
November 6, 2012, 07:23 AM
Now they are telling me "they have have a couple of ideas about what they can do to fix it"? When I get this email I just laughed. I replied with a question - how do you fix HC that has been compromised? They replied "you can't, if it won't come out with bead blasting or polishing it, we will have to strip it, prep it and have it HC'd again".

Again, laughable. Of course you have to start over; there way of buying more time.......

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