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Gun Companies with poor and good customer support

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by wally, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. wally

    wally Senior Member

    Jan 2, 2004
    Houston, Tx
    In an effort to maybe put some pressure on companies with poor customer support I'd like to develop a thread reporting good vs. bad customer support experiences. Only for current companies, ignoring any issues prior to a management/ownership change which should be part of a turnaround.

    Bad customer service starts with you having to pay to ship it back to them. For a handgun this will set you back ~$60 for FedEx or UPS or you need to find or pay a dealer to do it for you. The good starts with them sending you a prepaid return label.

    Chiappa -- I had to pay to return it, and they didn't fix it, took ~10 weeks.
    Century -- warranty clock runs while at the dealer! :eek:

    EAA -- Had to pay to send it back for a cracked slide, but did fix it fast.
    Kahr -- Had to pay to send it back (dealer paid), took months to fix.
    Kahr -- Want me to pay, cracked frame rail, not sure its worth trying.

    S&W -- Paid shipping, fast repairs even for my very high round count M22A
    Kel-Tec -- Paid shipping, fast repairs but I use them too often :(
    RIA -- Paid shipping, fixed it fast.
    Charter Arms -- Paid shipping, fixed it fast.

    "Lifetime" warranty is a plus, but loses most of its value if you have to pay shipping. Taurus comes to mind here, I've heard they pay and they don't pay, I've had good luck with my Taurus guns but none has seen heavy use other than my PT-92 and 9mm 1911, and none have broken yet.

    "If you've never broken a gun, you just ain't been shooting enough!"

    Good replacement parts availability (through Brownells, Midway, etc. or direct) will generally have me not bother finding out about the warranty (Buckmark Camper -- just bought the $10 part and moved on). If they send you replacement parts for free when you ask for the RMA its even better (S&W, Kel-Tec, Kahr, & RIA have also done this for me).

    If they expect you to pay for warranty return shipping, factor this into the purchase price and generally any savings will evaporate.

    My recent Kahr warranty experience will have me switching to S&W Shield for my CCW soon! My "have a gun" CCW already are S&W: SC360 J-frame and Bodyguard .380)
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  2. Armed 24/7

    Armed 24/7 Member

    Jun 23, 2008
    Corpus Christi TX
    Poor : Kahr Arms. I bought a brand new P9 in 9MM in about 2002. The break in Period is 200 rounds. I shot those with numerous Fail To Feed issues (About 1 in 20). It also stovepiped about 4 or 5 times in the first 200 rounds. This is with a VERY firm 2 handed hold, to rule out limp wristing. I called Kahr wanting to send it back for repairs, and they just suggested that I increase the break in to 500 rounds! I kept trying to get them to accept it for repairs and pay for shipping, but they would not. Thinking it was a magazine issue, I purchased another factory may ( About 40 dollars, I believe). No improvement over the next 300 rounds, making the total 500. I again called Kahr, and got the runaround again, to keep shooting it and it will break in. I sold it soon after that, and will not buy another Kahr product again.

    Good Service - Dillon Precision. I have a 550B and when you call them with a broken part number, they ship another one out to you Pronto. No questions asked about how your abuse, or stupidity broke the part.
  3. mbopp

    mbopp Member

    Aug 10, 2009
    Upstate NY
    Good - Springfield Armory. I had a thumb safety problem and even though I wasn't the original owner they emailed me a pre-paid shipping label and fixed it in a few days N/C.
    Good - RCBS and Redding. Some of my equipment is 30 years old but they still sent me replacement parts gratis.
  4. redneck2

    redneck2 Senior Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Northern Indiana
    Dillon is incredible. I bought a previously owned press that was maybe twenty years old, never used. Powder measure leaked. They sent me an updated new one and all the powder funnels N/C. Since then I've had three guys that have bought units because of that.

    Leupold. Bought some binos in the Cabelas bargain cave that had a stripped eye piece. Sent them in and a few weeks later got a brand new pair of a newer and improved ones N/C. They also replaced a VX-III that was maybe 30 years old with a new one N/C. I just wanted repairs.
  5. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

    Aug 23, 2012
    Fair - Savage acted quickly but never found the problem. I finally found it myself. My dealer paid to ship it back.

    Poor - Marlin took forever to replace the trigger guard on my 795 and didn't seem to care that it took over a year.
  6. wally

    wally Senior Member

    Jan 2, 2004
    Houston, Tx
    Dillon is indeed outstanding, good use of caller ID to speed up the process too, since I still had the same phone and address they looked everything up automatically and just got the part number from me and shipped it out.

    But I wanted to keep it to guns as there are few shipping restrictions for other than guns and ORM-D materials.
  7. burrhead

    burrhead Member

    Dec 23, 2002
    Chihuahuan desert
    A few years ago I bought a box of reloading supplies and equipment at a garage sale. In the lot was an older rock chucker that I really didn’t need but, what the hey. I looked it over and saw there was excessive rotational play in the ram and toggle so I called RCBS to order the parts to fix it and the nice lady on the phone said “send it in; we’ll fix it”. Off to California it went. Received a package a couple of weeks later containing a BRAND NEW PRESS! NO CHARGE! They even picked up the $25 in postage. I figure I put about $50 in it total.

    Gotta love the green.
  8. Schwing

    Schwing Senior Member

    Jun 3, 2013
    Layton Utah
    The best support I have ever received for a firearm was from Hi-point believe it or not. They paid the shipping for my 995 and threw in a spare magazine, a new sight and a sling for my trouble.

    The worst support was from Walther for my p22. It jams about every 3-4 rounds regardless of ammo choice. Not only did they NOT pay shipping, but they sent it back saying that they could not find a problem. They only fired 1 test round and sent the spent casing as proof of their efforts. They also refused to look at it again.
  9. Strahley

    Strahley Member

    Oct 30, 2009
    Fortunately, I've never had a bad customer service experience with any gun company. I've contacted SIG and Glock both once, and both experiences were very good. I wrote both companies letters thanking for them for their good service
  10. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Senior Member

    Aug 29, 2008
    ex-IL, ex-CT, now NC
    Excellent - Ruger
    I bought a first issue LCP. They had a recall but I had no issues with it. A year later, they emailed me asking why I haven't sent it in yet. I told them I didn't want to be without my CCW for a long time. They told me if I shipped it on Monday (at their expense) I'd have it back by Friday. I got it back Thursday. 3000 rounds and still perfect.

    Excellent - Kimber
    I bought a Solo used with a known issue. I called Kimber (it was over a year since purchased new) and they sent me a prepaid label to send it to them. I got it back 3 weeks later and it's been perfect ever since. I was not the original owner, it was past their 1 year warranty and they paid both ways and fixed it free. Good by my book.
  11. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Senior Member

    Jul 9, 2012
    SC (Home), VA (Work)
    Singlular experience:

    Colt (Awesome) - Had a problem with the plunger tube on my 1991A1, but couldn't find my warranty information. Looked up a Colt service center, called in about my problem, including the lack of warranty papers. The answer: "It doesn't matter. It's a Colt and Colt stands behind their guns: send it in and we'll fix it free of charge."

    Plot twist: the LGS I shipped it from sent the gun directly to Colt instead of the authorized Colt service center I had provided the shipping information to. Found out when the service center never got the gun and I went back to the LGS. Was NOT happy with the LGS for that, especially since Colt has a much longer turnaround.

    HOWEVER, I called the Colt factory and talked to a service rep, explaining my problem and how I had expected a rapid turnaround from the service center in time to support my leave travel plans the upcoming weekend. She confirmed they had received the gun and put a rapid service request on it with overnight return shipping that Friday in time for me to get it Saturday before I hit the road.

    I got it back in my hands that Wednesday. No charge and a free magazine. (Never ship a gun with a magazine...you're very likely to get one back as a result.)

    I love Colt.
  12. herrwalther

    herrwalther Senior Member

    May 1, 2013
    Smith and Wesson would count as one of the worst for me. I had a Bodyguard .380 that had an abnormally heavy trigger pull, even after a reasonable break in and plenty of dry fire. My trigger pull scale stops at 15 pounds, and the trigger was heavier. Not only did I have to pay to have the firearm shipped to them, they had it for 3 weeks. They sent it back dirty with a note saying the trigger was within their specifications. Sold the handgun less than a month later.
  13. jstein650

    jstein650 Member

    Feb 14, 2013
    Morganton, NC
    Ruger has been Excellent for me. Replaced a P-90 for me, NQA. Was hitting off center, and feeding erratically. Replaced the bolt and magazine on an old M77 MKII that I bought used. Just had to pay one way shipping, not bad.

    Also, gotta throw in Beretta, I had one of those little .32 Tomcats, that was prone to going into 'disassemble mode' when firing fast. They gave me what looked like a new pistol.

    Oh, and Dillon, of course... They've sent me many parts, usually of an improved design even after years of use, always 100% free.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  14. aladdin

    aladdin New Member

    Dec 12, 2008
    Washington coast
    Ruger has the best service I ever experienced. Sent me small parts for obsolete guns several times over the years no charge. It does not get any better.
    Kahr is a whole different story. To start with very hard to get someone on the phone. Said they would send me a manual for my new cw9 the one that it came with had missing pages. The cw9 is long gone still no manual.
  15. mnhntr

    mnhntr Senior Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Savage = fair
    S&W = good
    STI = excellent
    Springfield Armory = good
  16. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Senior Member

    Feb 27, 2011
    DSA (maker of FAL's) is generally thought to have poor customer support. I know for a fact that their website is useless. I ordered parts/accessories twice from their website and had to cancel both times because the items were out of stock.
  17. siglite

    siglite Senior Member

    Jul 18, 2007
    Charleston, WV
    My experiences:

    Glock: outstanding (simple sight issue)

    S&W: poor, didn't want to work on a walther. Had to become squeaky wheel to get anything done.

    Dillon Precision: outstanding. The best CS I've had from any company in any industry

    RCBS: outstanding. Second only to Dillon.

    Springfield Armory: poor. Squeaky wheel required, finally took in gun, sent it back to me with a different problem.

    Sig: Good. Sight problem. Easily fixed. No charge, but they weren't exactly quick.
  18. tarosean

    tarosean Senior Member

    Oct 22, 2010
    While Ive had guns break parts etc. I normally fix those as they are well worn. etc.
    Ive only sent two pistols back to the manufacture.

    Taurus M85 - I paid for shipping there. (Gun was 20yrs old relatively unused.) Took approximately 3wks and its back in working order.

    Glock G19 - They paid for shipping and sent me a new gun. Approximately 3-4wks turnaround.

    Both experiences were seamless.
  19. thefamcnaj

    thefamcnaj Member

    Apr 17, 2011
    Ruger was great. I sent a sr40c back due to fte.
    Ruger got the gun back to me quick with no charges.

    SA was great during the recall imho. They had it a while but they owned up to their mistake and fixed it free. The magazine they sent was a nice touch as well.
    That's my two experiences.
  20. klausman
    • Contributing Member

    klausman Member

    Sep 22, 2012
    Ruger - just fair at best I had an Sr 1911 that had a poorly done "J cut" on the breech face. The Breech face was not flat and was imprinting brass. The LGS sent it in and 10 days later I got it back without anything done. I contacted Ruger support and told them the story and was told to send it in again, and they would take care of it. I got it back again with nothing done and a note that it was "in spec", and got to pay the shipping. Not cool. When my SR1911 CMD had the same problem, I just took it to the smith that finally fixed the first one, and he took care of it. It cost me about $75 a piece to fix their problem. Other than that, very nice 1911s.

    RCBS - GREAT service. Over 30 years, they have taken prompt and free care of me every time I had a problem, even the stuck case that was absolutely my fault.

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