Dang Shipping Gorillas..


August 9, 2012, 11:32 AM
This sucks.

I ordered a TNW MG34 a couple of weeks ago through CenterFire systems in KY. They received my check, and had the FFL on file; when they went to pull it to inspect and verify serial # before shipping to me, they found it was damaged in shipping to them.

They said the stock was cracked, charging handle broke off (guess that's an impressive thing)...

I'd asked for pictures before sending them money, as I don't like buying things that expensive without seeing them first, but they said their photographer was out with Scarlet Fever. He said they were in great shape, built like tanks, etc.. So .. I acquiesced and sent money anyway.

In hindsight, I should have insisted on photos before sending money.

They are currently trying to get TNW to send replacement parts to fix it before shipping up to me.

The parts in that thing survived the battles of World War 2.. survived occupation and disarmament, survived 70 years of storage in some eastern European country's armory, survived getting torch cut, imported to the US, and rebuilt in to a semi config..

But .. fails to survive a trip across the US in the back of a truck.

Go figure.

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August 9, 2012, 11:51 AM
That really sucks, but I'd be more upset with the fact that he lied to me.

August 9, 2012, 11:57 AM
ATBackPackin -

Yeah I wasn't too pleased about that part. I did a lot of business with Centerfire when I had my FFL, never had a problem with them. But.. that was several years ago. Things change with time.

I'm upset at this point, but not angry. They have a little while to make it right, before I get angry. I'm only about 7 hours away from them, and they are in a neighboring state. I'm SERIOUSLY considering driving there to inspect it in person before accepting delivery (neighboring state rule on long arms).

August 9, 2012, 01:57 PM
Might not be a bad idea, you can make a road trip out of it. Not to mention inspecting in person versus through pictures are worlds apart.

Good luck

dogtown tom
August 9, 2012, 05:43 PM
Trent ....I'm upset at this point, but not angry. They have a little while to make it right, before I get angry. I'm only about 7 hours away from them, and they are in a neighboring state. I'm SERIOUSLY considering driving there to inspect it in person before accepting delivery (neighboring state rule on long arms).
Let me get this straight........you think Centerfire is at fault?:scrutiny:

Seems to me they did an excellent job:
-They inspected your firearm before shipping it to you.
-Notified you of a MANUFACTURER caused problem.
-They contacted the manufacturer to get replacement parts.

Why on this green Earth would you be upset with that level of CS?

August 9, 2012, 06:04 PM
Yeah, I'm impressed that they pulled it out of the box for inspection before sending it to you.

Any reason they can't just send you a different one while they deal with fixing the damaged one?

August 9, 2012, 09:27 PM
Dogtown - reason I'm upset is this has drug on for so long:

Requested to be on notify with Centerfire on two rifles previously:

7/26 -
I receive:
"We got them in yesterday, actually. I have one set aside for you on order #xxxxx."

I sent an e-mail requesting pictures. "Can you send some pictures? This much money, would like to see what I’m getting before I send the cashier’s check."

I receive the response: "Yessir, will do. Our photographer is out sick today, but as soon as she’s back in, we’ll get it taken care of. "


I sent:
"Just a reminder (I know how Friday’s can be!) Still would like pictures, and an invoice so I can get a cashier’s check drawn for you."

I receive:

"Sorry, photographer still out, so no pictures yet. Our order system is completely offline, but the total for both rifles and the two extra drums, is $xxxx, and the order number is xxxx."


I send:
"Will get the cashier’s check out tomorrow as well (have to drive a half hour in to town to get it, and hit the post office, was going to kill both birds with one stone)."

I receive:
"Photographer has managed to contract scarlet fever, so still no pictures."


I send:
"Check in the mail. Do you already have an FFL on file for {my Local FFL}"

I receive:
"Yessir, we have them on file, and I have applied the to the order. All set."

August 6:
I send:
"You get my check? Things shipped yet?"

I receive:
"Yes and no. Check arrived this morning, and the guns have gone to shipping. Should be on their way by the end of the day."

At this point I assume everything is OK.

Then out of the blue on August 7th, I receive;

"Well, things went pear shaped in a hurry. They pulled the MG34 to ship, and noticed that the charging handle was sticking out of the side of the box. Apparently it broke through during shipping, which is impressive, considering how they wrapped that, but that’s neither here nor there. The charging handle has been damaged, and there’s a crack in the stock, so we’ll have to get them replaced. Of course, TNW is in Oregon, so it will take a few days for the replacements to get here too. I’m very sorry about this. We can get the RPD out to you right now if you want, of course.

Again, very sorry about this."


** I'd been told they'd pulled my rifles aside for shipping on 7/26 (over two weeks ago.)

** I'd repeatedly asked for photos, and never received any (I thought most everyone has a cell phones with a camera nowadays..)

** At SOME point they should have visually verified the serial #'s on the receiver for their bound books - I never trusted the cardboard box sticker or invoice when I was an FFL. Even found one rifle from FNH come in brand new in the wrong box once (serial # on the gun didn't match the box, or the invoice).

** If they HAD taken a picture as I requested, they would have found the damage over TWO WEEKS ago and they'd likely already have the replacement parts in. Now I have NO ETA WHATSOEVER on receiving the firearm; MG34 parts aren't exactly in plentiful supply these days..

August 9, 2012, 09:30 PM
Like I said, I'm not angry yet, just a little upset; this entire process could have gone down a lot more smoothly.

AIM, on the other hand.. those guys are just downright sluggish. Took them 8 days to pull and ship 6 cases of ammo for me after they'd charged my card.

August 10, 2012, 07:15 AM
I ordered lead bullets and they were in boxes, inside a thick plastic bag then inside a USPS flat rate medium box. All the contents were mixed with shredded inner boxes and the outer box was less than 50% there.:eek: I think that they rolled it here from Brads.:banghead: Good thing you cant hurt lead that much. Glad they were inside the thick plastic bag for sure.:)

August 10, 2012, 10:17 AM

I had the same thing happen when I ordered bullets from MidwayUSA. I ordered 10K of 185gr 45 wadcutters back in 2008. Only damn thing they had in stock, was during the great Reloading shortage of '08. (I'm *still* shooting them, BTW!)

I come home from work and find the boxes on my driveway - looks like the UPS guy pulled in and rolled them out of the truck; they were just laying there in the middle of my driveway in a pile.

Three of the five 2000 round boxes of 45 bullets arrive intact. Two are split open (they were double boxed with HEAVY cardboard so that alone is impressive). I discovered I have 45 bullets scattered ALL OVER my damn driveway. There's quite possibly a TRAIL of the damn things on the highway all the way back to the shipping depot.

Get them collected, bring it all inside, and take a count. I'm short nearly 1,200 bullets.

MidwayUSA wasn't at fault; wouldn't replace them. UPS didn't return my phone call / voicemails.

It's like.. large bore breadcrumbs man. Last year I found one a half mile from my house on the side of the road, walking my dog.

August 10, 2012, 10:51 AM
Trent how was this not Midways fault, you ordered a product, their shipping carrier damaged the product before it was delivered to you. UPS will only deal with the sender as they were the ones who paid them to deliver the package. Midway should have opened an insurance request with UPS and sent you a new shipment.

August 10, 2012, 11:07 AM
Midway directed me to file a claim with UPS. UPS ignored my claim.

I don't see how it was Midway's fault - they actually packaged the items excellently. The heavy inner box was surrounded by a 1/2" layer of styrofoam and it was all tightly packed in to another heavy duty box, with all sides and corners wrapped with packing tape. It *was* a very sturdy setup they used.

It didn't survive whatever torment it went through, but that's par for the course with UPS/FedEx. (You should see some of the pics I have of *SERVERS* we have shipped to customers, at work - some of them have arrived in a thousand tiny, little broken pieces.)

I'm no stranger to filing claims with UPS - but they treat business claims, and residential claims, with VERY unequal levels of customer service. Residential customers are treated very poorly, in my experience. Businesses tend to get better support (especially when the claim is on a server, properly shipped, which was destroyed in transit, while insured for $8500).

EDIT: in hindsight, you are correct; it is the SENDER who normally has to file the claim. WE do this at work, not our customers (our customers just take pictures and hold the broken pile of equipment until a UPS field rep inspects it).

Now I'm kind of kicking myself in the ass for not pushing the issue.

1200 rounds x .20c a round is not an inconsequential amount of money.

August 20, 2012, 01:11 PM
20 days since Centerfire received my money ($3700 of which was for the MG34), 25 days since the MG34 was set aside for me on my order..

Since the last time I posted, I have not received any news on the state of repair or when I'll receive the MG34 rifle.

I have sent 3 e-mails to the sales rep in the last week asking about the status of the MG34, all of which went unanswered.

Wise-Lite RPD was received last week. Had some issues firing, but I've worked through those. (RPD wouldn't fire reliably when the trigger was pulled - only went bang about 1/4 of the time, had to hone some metal off the disconnector to get it to function properly)

August 20, 2012, 03:35 PM
Fed-ex once lost a gun that was being shipped to a shop I worked at. We recieved an empty torn box. It was a brand new Beretta 92. Turns out it was stolen by a Fed-ex employee at one their facility It was found in an empty trailer on their property and it was no longer a "new" gun. This is why the carriers now insist on overnight shipping (and they make more money that way). The longer they have it in their possession the greater the chance one of their own people will steal it. And then you get to talk to the nice folks from BATFE. They made out like we stole it and then reported it missing. It's a crazy world out there.

August 20, 2012, 04:00 PM
Yeah no doubt. I never label any guns I ship "firearms" and any time I ship to a company with "firearms" or "gun shop" or whatever in their name, I cringe a little inside.

August 24, 2012, 12:44 PM
Update 8/24

Called and spoke with Centerfire.

No ETA yet. I learned they shipped the firearm back to TNW and were awaiting a replacement.

Almost a month in now...

Shadow 7D
August 24, 2012, 12:51 PM
If you stick it to the shipping companies stuff can and will change, lets just say, when they are handling thing from people able and willing to sue their pants off, I'm pretty sure they don't drop kick if off the back of the truck into the middle of the driveway.

August 24, 2012, 12:56 PM
I had UPS utterly DESTROY a set of servers once - properly packed, double boxed, 4" of fitted styrofoam, etc. Each server was insured at a declared value of $7500, each was shipped seperately. All were destroyed. I'm talking, little tiny pieces destroyed.

They actually payed the claim to my company (after a loooong fight).

Then they refused to accept ANY shipments from us, ever again.

So we use FedEx or consigned carriers now.

Shadow 7D
August 26, 2012, 12:47 AM
At least they didn't toss them off the side of the road in a ditch, behind tall grass, under some trees (how one home FFL received his gun - and the kicker was, the pistols were 'signed for')

he found them 3 days later when he was mowing, just, um the reason he was mowing 3 days later, was that it had been raining...

August 26, 2012, 12:51 AM
they found it was damaged in shipping to them.Nothing surprises me since I got a package in from UPS with a large muddy footprint on it right next to the "Fragile, Handle with Care" sticker.

August 26, 2012, 10:59 AM
No photographs because "photographer is sick" sounds like suspicious BS to me. Smartphones have cameras and taking a picture isn't that hard. Find a new FFL.

August 26, 2012, 11:52 AM
Hit the one month mark today.

No MG34, no ETA.

Evidently the firearm is in the manufacturer's (TNW's) hands in Oregon at this point, and now I'm (still) waiting without any information whatsoever.

So if you guys spent $3600 on a firearm which was "in stock" at the time you ordered it, and a month later you hadn't received it, or any indication whatsoever of when it will arrive.... what would you do?

August 26, 2012, 12:20 PM
I might take a little road trip if I could find a physical address and ask in person why they are not at least answering my inquirys in a timely manner. That's just me---I would always want them to know I was serious.:eek::fire:

August 26, 2012, 12:44 PM
Years ago in another job we received a replacement laptop main board (mother board) in a box with a tire tread mark over the top of it... Needless to say we did not install the part.

A friend of mine ran a custom computer shop, built and shipped out a computer to an individual, upon arrival the individual was POed he called up and said there was a hole in the middle of the computer. When my friend received the computer back the shipper had driven a fork lift straight through the middle of the computer.

August 26, 2012, 01:04 PM
Frog; there are three FFL's involved.

TNW is the FFL manufacturer. Rifle is currently in their hands in Oregon, if the information given to me was accurate.

Centerfire is the FFL distributor / seller (they do retail AND wholesale). They are who I ordered through.

Pekin Gun is my LGS FFL. They are just handling the final transfer to me when it comes in to the state of Illinois.

Centerfire doesn't have any information to relay to me from TNW. TNW is the responsible party at this point. Centerfire DID drop the ball, and hard, but now the buck has been passed and it's up to TNW.

Finding an alternate source for an MG34 at the same price level is proving difficult, everyone is out of stock. I've looked (not deeply), but checked the usual spots; atlantic, gunbroker, etc.

Could I find one around the same price? If I'm patient, perhaps, but there's no guarantee I'd find one any quicker than TNW will replace the original.

As far as TNW is concerned, I'm sure my rifle has a MUCH lower priority than putting out current production because they have already made their money on it.

August 26, 2012, 01:05 PM
Also; when the rifle DOES finally get back to centerfire, I *do* have the option of driving down there and picking it up in person, as Centerfire is located in a neighboring state to me, and by law, can sell long guns directly to me.

EDIT: With the rifle being "REPAIRED" .. you can bet your ass I will be doing exactly that. And I will be coming back with an in-person inspected rifle that passes my criteria, or my money.

Sebastian the Ibis
August 26, 2012, 07:16 PM
I've got an order I am waiting on from Centerfire too. I ordered what was supposedly in stock, but told it was back ordered. I cancelled a week later when I had not heard anything. They told me the order had already shipped. That was two weeks ago.

We'll see if it arrives on Monday.

August 26, 2012, 09:55 PM
Trent...post #10
It's like.. large bore breadcrumbs man. Last year I found one a half mile from my house on the side of the road, walking my dog.

Just curious...how did you train the 185 gr jacketed SWC bullet to walk your dog? I have a bunch of 200 gr lead SWCs that are just plain lazy. They won't even climb out of the box and step into the case mouth to be seated. I have to do each and every dadgum one by hand. Can you believe that? :cuss:

August 31, 2012, 09:55 AM
"Finally got the parts yesterday, and handed the invoice to shipping just now. Should be packed today. About bloody time, too.

Thank you,

Centerfire Systems



Been long enough. :)

August 31, 2012, 09:58 AM
Also.. have to recant - Can't go and pick the dang thing up. Have to work today and tomorrow. :(

So I'll have to trust the shipping gorillas get it right.... this time.

September 8, 2012, 07:14 PM
All this waiting... take it out to the range...

Feed cover doesn't close properly. After a couple of hours, I FINALLY figured out a way to get it to close, but I need 3 hands to do it. (something up front isn't aligning properly on the feed tray).

FINALLY get it to feed a round in, trigger didn't work. Turns out the bolt wouldn't close home due to a burr. Get THAT sorted out.

It don't eject. Period. At all. Messed around with it for the better part of 5 hours today and managed to get *5* rounds fired out of it.

Anyway, after the 5th round I am at the end of my rope. Tear the rifle apart. Tear the bolt down, looking for a root cause. Found a hairline fracture in the bolt where the ejector pin runs through and the metal is distorted just enough to prevent it from moving smoothly.

So, new bolt head required. Plus additional fit & finish on the feed tray (at least).

Frigging TNW.. have no idea how this pile made it through their Q&A...

September 8, 2012, 07:16 PM
On the bright side, the repairs I made myself to the DSA Russian RPD worked; baby runs great now. Well, for about 150 rounds. By then it was fouled up enough I started getting light primer strikes. *HOPING* the firing pin isn't the problem, been reading about how they used crap metal when they made the firing pins, lots of people having problems with them breaking.

Sigh. These things are "high maintenance" lol!

September 8, 2012, 08:37 PM
That royally sucks Trent. I hope they make good on such shoddy workmanship. I'd be livid with them at this point.

September 9, 2012, 12:10 AM
Well, the original shipment had a damaged charging handle and stock.

They replaced those parts.

The charging handle is a monster. Must have been a hell of an impact to break both THAT... AND the stock.

I need to get a laser and straight edge out tomorrow night when I'm feeling better, and see if there is anything visually wrong with the receiver. The bolt binds up a bit in a spot about mid-way through the receiver; shouldn't do that. I'm wondering if they drove a truck over the damn thing or something originally.

This whole firearm might be .. in the authentic words of it's original homeland.. "Kaput"

Not really the experience I was expecting when I placed the order. And SURE as hell not the experience one would expect on a rifle costing as much as this one does.

Feeling ... a bit angry at the moment. All this time, to receive the world's "most complex bolt action rifle"....

September 9, 2012, 12:12 AM
FYI - ball is back in Centerfire's court; as vendor, they should be responsible for defective merchandise.

I've requested they have TNW ship a new bolt head (which is visibly cracked) and ejector pin (which appears to be worn about .03", preventing the cartridge casing from getting pushed clear of the bolt), to see if that solves any of the problem and gets it running. If not, I'll line up an RMA of the entire damn rifle.

September 22, 2012, 09:32 AM
Just an update.

I never received a response from either Centerfire *OR* TNW regarding the malfunctioning MG-34.

The problem with extraction was traced to an incorrectly fitted / worn ejector pin - I ordered a new one from Alleghany arsenal aka mg34.com (Those little buggers cost $35!).

This means TNW does NOT test weapons after making them, prior to shipping. Period. This firearm simply will NOT eject a casing - if they'd test fired it, the problem would be as noticeable as a pile of dog poo you just stepped in with bare feet.

I was planning on buying a TNW M2HB but after this experience, screw 'em. I'll find another builder to do the big fifty up right and proper.

The crack in the bolt head on the MG34 is still an issue but it is in an area that receives a lot of support, so plan is to "use it until it breaks".

TNW = fail, Centerfire = not all that helpful either, in the whole situation. Slow, or no customer support.

BTW: Final words. You spend $3600 on a rifle that does NOT work, given the runaround for two months until they stop answering your calls / e-mails, a man ends up getting a touch ... angry.

September 22, 2012, 09:34 AM
More final words;

TNW's idea of "shipping" an MG-34 involves bubble wrap and a cardboard box.

Every other belt fed rifle I've ordered has arrived securely in a wooden transit case.

No wonder the thing was damaged in shipping. It had very little protection from the "Shipping Gorillas".

September 22, 2012, 09:46 AM
The blame game; shipping, vendor, manufacturer, whoever...

You sent them money without seeing a firearm, knowing full well you were taking a big chance, right?

September 22, 2012, 02:16 PM
powder - that'd be fine, if it wasn't being sold as a NEW FIREARM.

New in box firearms are supposed to work.

New in box firearms aren't supposed to be damaged.

It'd be different if I were ordering a used gun off of gunbroker; caveat emptor and all that.

But a new gun? You're damned right my expectations are going to be high.

I certainly expect the damn thing to FUNCTION.

September 23, 2012, 07:30 AM
I think Trent has every right to be miffed here. He didn't buy a pile of scrap metal, he purchased a firearm and until it functions as one, they really should be making good on the problem. I'm sure it was advertised like any AK variant available...ie a new semi-auto rifle built on surplus parts. The surplus parts should not negate the NIB aspect of the rifle.

FWIW, I've often found Centerfire Systems slow to respond, but you'd think they'd want to not be cavalier on such a large purchase. I'll also be steering clear of TNW. Good luck, Trent. I hope you're able to get it up and running!

tightgroup tiger
September 23, 2012, 08:46 AM
I know how bad you want this thing but I'm afraid I would get my money back and try again later.

Centerfire can't be the only vender that can get these. Asking for your money back may light a fire under their buts also and maybe they will try little harder.

I don't have your tolerance.

September 23, 2012, 10:23 AM
Last night I fitted the new ejector pin I purchased off of mg34.com.

Hopefully it works out. :)

Still angry but at least I learned a few things out of the whole ordeal.

September 23, 2012, 11:42 AM
Did not mean to offend.

a. No photo.

b." Photographer" has Scarlet Fever?

c. Doesn't EVERY cell phone shoot and send photos nowadays? ( I mean, we've got the cheapest CP package possible, and it still sends photos.)

To me, these are red flags, but can be overrun by the purchaser if you have the "buyin bug". So, got any pics for US? :D

September 23, 2012, 12:29 PM
I think at some point about 15 posts ago, a letter from your attorney would have made more of an impact than any conversations, emails, ec. I found that the $200-$600, dollars, at that point would have made this more of a priority on their end. I understand that going that route can be costlly, and also change whatever your relationship is with the shipper, "assuming it is a good one". But sometimes these things just get put at the bottom of the pile unless you start making some real noise. Over the years with several of my friends having been attorneys, they all agree with one thing, the one who makes the most noise usually gets taken care of first. This also goes for clients.
They both, "the two who come to mind", would tend to finish up the client who was incessant, and kept calling and harassing them the most, just to get themselves some peace.
Fortunatelly Letters like the one required for this seldom if ever cost me anything but a dinner at a favorite watering hole. It's good to have a friend who is a doctor lawyer or other service that costs a rediculous amount to do very little.I hope you get this thing straightened out, life is too short for things like this to come along and ruin your month.
Just thinking about this kind of nonsense, grinds away at one. Also the BBB is very handy in casses such as this, you would be suprised at how they start to suddenlly move things along when they get involved.

September 23, 2012, 12:39 PM

I have some crappy cell phone pics. One of my dogs ate the charging cable to the SLR and I haven't ordered a new one yet.

Here is said dog "manning the fort"


Here's my buddy Mike fondling the 34 (this was taken the day we tried it out and found it wouldn't shoot more than 1 shot at a time)


Here's after finally receiving it and unpacking it:


Here's me trying to decipher how the offset sights work:


October 18, 2012, 06:25 PM
Just an FYI;

Centerfire systems never responded to any of my e-mails after shipping and told me when I called that I'd have to call TNW for service. (The MG34 was broken and non-functioning as shipped.)

TNW never responded to my e-mail messages. When I called, they took my info for someone to get back to me and never returned my call.

So.. I was on my own.

Function tests now work on dummy rounds after repairing the bolt; haven't had time to get it to the range yet, but don't expect any problems as it's ejecting OK now.

Anyway, just thought I'd close the story. Disappointing to spend that much and receive ZERO support from the seller or factory, but whatever. Live and learn. :)

October 19, 2012, 03:34 AM
That's pretty bad, Trent. And so TNW gets added to my list of manufacturers I will not buy from because it's just not worth the risk.

Glad you got it working in the end!

October 20, 2012, 11:21 AM
Well, mostly working. It still takes me > 5 minutes to get the damn top cover closed because the feed tray doesn't fit right. Haven't figured out what the heck is wrong there but it shouldn't be so difficult to close. I line up the top cover reciprocating feed lever over the bolt just-so, bu it won't close unless I also have a third hand twisting the feed tray left side forward, and down on the rear. THEN it closes.

But that's damn near impossible to do with a belt in it, so I can't load a half-belt of ammo with the top cover open. If I have a malfunction that stops the feed mid-belt, I'll have to discard that belt and load a fresh one with a starter tab; pulling a starter tab through is the ONLY way I can load this firearm with the hosed up feed tray preventing good top cover lockup.

Anyway, she's a touchy pain in the ass, hopefully someday I'll get it ironed out and just right.

December 3, 2012, 01:47 PM
(Aside from issues loading it, I discovered another - very serious - problem with this firearm during live fire..)

No response to two voicemails and e-mails sent to TNW during October / November until they responded to one I sent 11/24.

Got a response for THAT asking for my phone # on 11/26 for a tech to cal me. Replied with phone number (twice, once no 11/26 again on 11/30).

Still no call, no e-mail, nothing.

This is aggravating. TNW's customer service is proving to be horrid.

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