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Python came back from Colt with canted barrel

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by IMtheNRA, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. IMtheNRA

    IMtheNRA Well-Known Member

    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 :(
  2. minutemen1776

    minutemen1776 Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. IMtheNRA

    IMtheNRA Well-Known Member

    I know - shame on me, but I'm easily distracted by shiny things :)
  4. JimStC

    JimStC Well-Known Member

    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
  5. bikemutt

    bikemutt Well-Known Member

    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?
  6. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. hang fire

    hang fire Well-Known Member

    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.
  8. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. IMtheNRA

    IMtheNRA Well-Known Member

    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:
  10. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay Well-Known Member

    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
  11. drsfmd

    drsfmd Well-Known Member

    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...
  12. IMtheNRA

    IMtheNRA Well-Known Member

    Rob? Is that you? Hahahahaa!

    NOLAEMT Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Well-Known Member

    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.
  15. Prosser

    Prosser Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    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
  17. Prosser

    Prosser Well-Known Member

    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?
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  18. wickedsprint

    wickedsprint Well-Known Member

    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.
  19. 45_auto

    45_auto Well-Known Member

    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 ......
  20. Lee D

    Lee D Well-Known Member

    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.

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