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Posted: 6/13/2005 4:59:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/1/2005 12:33:11 PM EDT by Thekatar]
I wanted to make my newly acquired Arsenal, Inc. SLR-105 5.45x39mm rifle into an early Soviet AK-74 clone. I purchased a threaded FSB, lugged gas block and four retaining pins from KVAR. I bought a near-mint condition set of beautiful Russian laminate from Tantal. I have an Izhmash bakelite bayonet and 30 rd. magazine, and a Russian mustard-colored sling. A khaki magazine pouch and mobility case completes the ensemble.

I sent my rifle to "Diamond Dave" David Michener at Elite FireArms to get the following work:


I am shipping to you the following per our conversation:

• Arsenal, Inc. SLR-105 partially stripped
• KVAR threaded FSB
• KVAR gas block
• KVAR retaining punch pins
• Russian laminate handguards and buttstock
• East German bakelite magazine

Work I want done per our conversation:

• Remove factory FSB and gas block
• Install new FSB and gas block
• Check/correct back and forth play in magwell
• Engrave Russian Cyrillic selector markings
• Add U.S. AK-74 brake
• DuraCoat refinish and detail
• Install Russian handguards and stock
• Test fire

Your quoted price was $238.00 total to include return shipping. Please let me know how payment arrangements should be made. You stated that turn-around should be approx. 3 weeks, so unless I hear back from you first I’ll get in touch with you in 3 weeks.



Dave quoted me a price of $238 and a turn-around time of 3 weeks. This all sounded reasonable to me, as I’d researched him (primarily on Saiga-12.com) and reviews seemed positive, and the work I wanted was relatively simple.

I am not the type of person to bother someone with “Are we there yet?” so I let Dave do his thing for 3 weeks then sent him an email asking how the progress was. his response:

“THE PROJECT IS GOING FINE”

At about the 6 week mark I got a call saying my rifle was done and that it was “Picturesque.” Dave told me I would get it Monday and I got it four days later on Friday.

Upon first glance it looked ok, then I started to examine it.



Minor gripes:

1.) Retaining pins for the FSB and gas block are mashed; especially the right side of the front pin on the FSB. Take a look at the pins on your own Kalashnikov variants and compare:











2.) Rifle appears to have been refinished, but not “detailed.” I expected markings to be highlighted.



3.) Work took twice as long as quoted.



These items alone would not have warranted this thread.



Major gripes:

1.) With a magazine inserted, there was a bit of back-and-forth play in the mag well from the factory, and I asked that it be checked and corrected. I made sure to ask if this was correctable up front.

This was not done; there is still back-and-forth movement with an inserted magazine. The price I originally paid included this work to be done but it was not subsequently subtracted from the final price.




2.) My original Bulgarian selector was inexplicably replaced with the wrong-style selector from a Saiga. The dimple does not match up with the notch.

Lower selector shown was taken off of the rifle and compared to a stock factory SLR-105R:






3.) Cyrillic selector “engravings.” I asked him if he could do these and here was his reply:

no problem doing your markings . look on tatals [sic] web sight for comparisons , 3weeks 140.00 w// markings stamped and colored

And here is what I got:








Examples on Tantal’s site:






As you can see, they don’t quite look like the examples on Tantal’s site.

I feel that these cartoonish markings are sloppy, oversized and look like they were hastily gouged into my rifle with a Dremel or drill bit.



This last issue specifically warranted this thread.


I contacted Dave by phone on Monday June 13th and voiced my complaints. I gave him a chance to explain himself and to do the honorable thing.

He told me that the magwell issue was not fixable, and that he had no idea how the selectors got swapped. He then said that the selector markings were "straight out of a book." I told him that I was sending my rifle to Chris Butler at AKUSA to get it fixed and he said that whatever the cost of making the rifle right would be covered by him. While I am unhappy with his work, if he keeps this promise he will show that he is an honorable man. I have invited him to post on this thread to tell his side of the story.


My overall impression of the work performed was that it seemed rushed and that there was a general lack of attention to detail. I have other issues with the work that I did not go into in this thread.


Update #1: Templar agreed to unlock this thread at my request. I wanted it clear who I was dealing with since there is now another thread about Elite FireArms here:

WARNING! 25% restocking fee

Also, the day after I started this thread Dave told me that he WOULD NOT in fact pay to have my rifle fixed because he was mad about this thread; so it took him one day to go back on his word.

Here is what it says on his website:

"We pride ourselves in on-time delivery and stand behind our work 100%.

My rifle went out to Chris at AKUSA today for evaluation and work.

This thread will contain future updates.
Link Posted: 6/13/2005 5:25:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/13/2005 6:37:32 PM EDT by Templar]
Link Posted: 6/13/2005 5:47:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/13/2005 6:38:13 PM EDT by 1Gunner]
Well mom always said if you don't have anything nice to say don't say it, but you are soliciting opinions. Mine is it's your fault. Not trolling but it's my take.

IMHO, I see and understand what you are trying to make, with that said and the amount of effort to get parts, money put into it these awesome parts, money put into labor, brain power for the foresight to dream of something you want......you should have done more homework, alot more homework. To go that distance and not firm up the most important part, the gunsmith and exactly what you want, is pretty bad.

I didn't see anything on * website demonstrating they could do this work with the detail you wanted. I didn't see any dialogue about exactly what you wanted.......other than the selector situation which is pretty messed up....he did what you asked him to do. Yeah..reference AK-103 or Tantal...fine..but I would have sent pics and said if you can't do that then I'll pass, thanks for your help. If it's not what you wanted I say it isn't his fault. If you wanted Chris's or Tantal's markings talk to them. It seems that the project is important enough... see it through correctly and take the time to send it to the experts, even if it is three or four different ones. Your opinion my vary.

But I'd be pissed too, that SLR isn't what you wanted.
Link Posted: 6/13/2005 5:48:17 PM EDT
Oh, this is going to get ugly... I've learned one thing... You need to decide which rifles you want to be pristine and that you will pay what it takes to make them that way with the best smith available. When I decide that, I go to Chris Butler...

Spooky
Link Posted: 6/13/2005 6:35:03 PM EDT
Edited original post to remove the smith's name; if you guys who responded to my post could edit the smith's name out of yours I would appreciate it.

You are correct in that I should have gone to Chris Butler first. However, you can see that this job was not a complete build, i.e. should not have been that diffficult and the smith assured me that the markings would be no problem even after I aked if he was sure that he could do them. His reference to the markings portrayed on Tantal's site reassured me that we were on the same page, but as you can see, we were not.

There are other items that I will get into later, plus I will cover the restoration by Chris in this thread.

I appreciate the opinions.
Link Posted: 6/13/2005 6:35:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/14/2005 5:55:01 AM EDT by Templar]
I have four Bulgarians AK's from *this other smith* and they are the best quality I have ever seen. The finish, rivets and fit were perfect. And the turn around time was fast, Three weeks. I've sold two of them and the buyers were completely happy.

The only problem I see with your gun is the white letters could have been a bit better, but the wood and finish look good.




*name of original smith edited until the conclusion of this saga*
Link Posted: 6/13/2005 6:42:03 PM EDT
I hate it for you man, I hope it turns out nice, there is NOTHING more beautiful than an early Afghan war AK-74, I would have also expected better, but hind sight is 20/20
Link Posted: 6/13/2005 8:01:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/13/2005 9:47:57 PM EDT by Mak]
Letters are a bit big, the selector lever replaced sucks, but otherwise I don't think it is bad but I would have to see it in person. Send it to me and I will look it over.
Link Posted: 6/13/2005 8:15:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/13/2005 8:28:07 PM EDT by GunBid]

Originally Posted By Thekatar:

1.) Retaining pins for the FSB and gas block are mashed; especially the right side of the front pin on the FSB. Take a look at the pins on your own Kalashnikov variants and compare:





When you say the pins are mashed, what do you mean. I thought they have to be slightly peened over so they don't fall out.

GB

PS... I took your dark blurry pics and added more light and adjusted the sharpness. Show me where they are mashed.


Link Posted: 6/13/2005 8:30:59 PM EDT
And nobody has mentioned the "EA" selector marking?? Not only is it big, but also wrong..
Link Posted: 6/13/2005 9:37:55 PM EDT
The selector markings do look like crap, as well as being wrong.

On a side note though, selector markings on a real Russian gun are stamped with a die; Engraving will never look the same.
Link Posted: 6/13/2005 9:48:12 PM EDT
He may have engraved the letters then realized they were right in line with where the selector goes. That could explain the switch to the siaga, to get the 'line' from the selector moved over.

Or he switched the selector by mistake first, and engraved the letters in the wrong position afterwards.

Either way, i'd bet the two are connected. I'd deffinately not be happy.
Link Posted: 6/14/2005 3:58:37 AM EDT
Just my .02, but I would have sent the rifle to AK-USA to begin with. Chris is an excellent smith and has a high amount of attention to detail. I actually just spoke to him on the phone last night about an AK that he just finished building for me.
Link Posted: 6/14/2005 4:46:23 AM EDT
The engraving looks almost cartoonish. Also, the replacement of the selector level just does not make sense

I would not be happy at all.
Link Posted: 6/14/2005 4:51:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GunBid:
The only problem I see with your gun is the white letters could have been a bit better, but the wood and finish look good.



They are not white letters, that is BARE STEEL where the markings were cut into my receiver.


Originally Posted By GunBid:
When you say the pins are mashed, what do you mean. I thought they have to be slightly peened over so they don't fall out.



Here are what they are supposed to look like:



Here are mine:



Note from the shadows the front pin is pounded in too far while the rear pin sticks out slightly.


Correct:



What I got:




Correct:



What I got:




Originally Posted By Stottman:
The selector markings do look like crap, as well as being wrong.

On a side note though, selector markings on a real Russian gun are stamped with a die; Engraving will never look the same.



Yes, quite true. However, here are some examples from other builders and engravers:


Arizona Expert Arms:




Marshall Arms:




AKUSA:




Tom Sawyer Mfg:




So you see what the industry standard is.



Originally posted by Clange:
He may have engraved the letters then realized they were right in line with where the selector goes. That could explain the switch to the siaga, to get the 'line' from the selector moved over.

Or he switched the selector by mistake first, and engraved the letters in the wrong position afterwards.

Either way, i'd bet the two are connected. I'd deffinately not be happy.



You nailed it. the original selector line would have gone right through the middle of these big, ridiculous markings.


I am aware that the top tier of builders for AK's are Marc Krebs, Ted Marshall and Chris Butler. Krebs is booked until August, Ted has a rifle of mine that he will have had 13 months before he gets started on it so that left me with Chris. I should have gone with him first as I know his reputation but I decided to try something else and I got burned.

I learned once again that good work is worth the price. However, I did in fact "do my homework" before I cose this smith. He got really good reviews on other forums - that is why I am so frigging dismayed at how my rifle turned out.

What the hell happened in this case?
Link Posted: 6/14/2005 8:54:15 AM EDT
i think you should have gave them a chance to make it right befor you ever posted this thread
its vary poor form
Link Posted: 6/14/2005 11:26:55 AM EDT
I think he's got a legitimate gripe, and he's not bashing the smith, just posting an honest account of what happened...so what's the problem? This isn't a "this gunsmith sucks" post, it's what happened with his rifle, and I think it's good to share the good and the bad. I am thinking of sending a rifle out, and I was also considering this gunsmith because of the good things I had heard, so this applies to me. I don't get how you can say he should have done more research, this smith has good reivews from what I have seen, and good reviews or not, no one deserves to get something back that isn't up to snuff or not what they payed for. It should be right. And, he's giving them a chance to make things right, everything might turn out good in the end.
Link Posted: 6/14/2005 11:58:23 AM EDT
i agree,

i think its a very fair post, its important to show how things happen and how they are resolved, everyone keeps saying this guy has great reviews out there. it seems that the guy is going to make it right and he should. that would conclude this, but its important to show all aspects of what happened, not just good or bad. he told the guy he was making a post about it to get both sides of the story if they want, i think its a very fair and well written post. there are some very legitimate complaints there and i understand / appreciate his sharing his experiences. i hope it is resolved and that the smith continues to recieve the stellar reviews. not everything always goes perfect, but when it doesn't, it really shows the best people who try and fix it.
Link Posted: 6/14/2005 12:23:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/14/2005 12:30:28 PM EDT by GunBid]
So what should be fixed? The letters are already engraved into the receiver. The only fix is to replace the receiver. That's like saying replace my engine cause there is a scratch on the block.

The mashed pins are a bit nit picky IMO, I still can't see shit and I've been staring at the pictures over and over. By your own admission, you said the guy offered to pay for your repairs by any other smith of your choice, yet you still ran his name in the ground.

Personally, I think your one of those kind of guys who walks in McDonalds and demands a refund on your burger because it doesn't look the picture on the wall.

I guess I'm a little perturbed by this whole post, because I make a good living on this guys builds, he always delivers quality product, faster than anybody else on the market.

Did one slip by with sloppy markings, It certainly looks like it. But fucking a brother, it aint worth this much time and energy. IMO, you have a good shooter, paint over the white markings and enjoy your rifle. Save your other shit for safe queens.

GB
Link Posted: 6/14/2005 12:53:48 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/14/2005 1:16:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GunBid:
I have four Bulgarians AK's from *this other smith* and they are the best quality I have ever seen. The finish, rivets and fit were perfect. And the turn around time was fast, Three weeks. I've sold two of them and the buyers were completely happy.



Ok, GunBid, so the work you got was the best quality that you have ever seen. The rivets and the finish were perfect. Turn-around was fast. You were completely happy.

Now you seem to be telling me that I'm unreasonable to expect quality work from this guy. What other types of Kalashnikov variants do you have experience with? You can't see the difference in workmanship in the retaining pin on the FSB and gas block? I think that you are making excuses for this guy.



Originally Posted By GunBid:
So what should be fixed? The letters are already engraved into the receiver. The only fix is to replace the receiver. That's like saying replace my engine cause there is a scratch on the block.

The mashed pins are a bit nit picky IMO, I still can't see shit and I've been staring at the pictures over and over. By your own admission, you said the guy offered to pay for your repairs by any other smith of your choice, yet you still ran his name in the ground.

Personally, I think your one of those kind of guys who walks in McDonalds and demands a refund on your burger because it doesn't look the picture on the wall.

I guess I'm a little perturbed by this whole post, because I make a good living on this guys builds, he always delivers quality product, faster than anybody else on the market.

Did one slip by with sloppy markings, It certainly looks like it. But fucking a brother, it aint worth this much time and energy. IMO, you have a good shooter, paint over the white markings and enjoy your rifle. Save your other shit for safe queens.



I originally said that the pins alone would not have warranted a thread, they are just yet another issue of poor workmanship. I have not yet mentioned that the gas block is canted and the wood on the upper handguard was crooked.

Run his name into the ground? Take a look at the post... I don't see his name anywhere. I initially posted it, but quickly changed that. All I did was show pictures of his work and state my opinions and dealings and ask for opinions. You seem to be defending him at any cost because it sounds like you know him personally.

"Personally, I think your one of those kind of guys who walks in McDonalds and demands a refund on your burger because it doesn't look the picture on the wall."

Next time you talk to him ask him how annoying of a customer I was and how much I bothered him during the build process. He will be forced to tell you that I didn't bother him at all and that I paid up front. In six weeks I contacted him ONCE and that was at the three week point (the originaly quoted completion date.)

"IMO, you have a good shooter, paint over the white markings and enjoy your rifle. Save your other shit for safe queens."

You sir, just don't get it. none of my rifles are safe queens, I shoot them all. I do not expect perfect, I expect CORRECT. Form follows function, there is a right way to do things. If you are a smith who SPECIALIZES in AK's and has "built 700 AK-74's since December" (his words) then your attention to detail should be second nature. You should know your limitations and not misrepresent your skills.
Link Posted: 6/14/2005 1:29:00 PM EDT

The mashed pins are a bit nit picky IMO

Agreed.


Did one slip by with sloppy markings, It certainly looks like it. But fucking a brother, it aint worth this much time and energy. IMO, you have a good shooter, paint over the white markings and enjoy your rifle. Save your other shit for safe queens.

Those markings are pure SHIT, plain and simple. Some people want a WASR to beat around, some people want very nice rifles and safe queens. To each their own. If the smith couldnt do the job (and its very clear he couldnt) then he should have never agreed to do that part of the work.


because I make a good living on this guys builds

Ah, well i see.


he always delivers quality product

Not this time.
Link Posted: 6/14/2005 2:51:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/14/2005 2:54:11 PM EDT by GunBid]
F' all this arguing back and fourth, here is what I know.

This is an AK74 that I picked up last week:

Look at the refinished wood, smooth and shiney. Grade A+





Rivets, I examined every single one, cannot see a single malformation. Duracoat Finish looks like the factory stuff from a vepr. Grade A+

The rear and front stock fit tight, no wobble, shakes or excessive gaps. Grade A+



Here's a pistol he built, same quality as above.

Check out the custom fabricated gas tube, those have to be cut and tig welded back. No weld marks can be seen. Another A+ Grade

Every single one of his guns cycle perfectly, smooth, no hangups. I have lots more of his work, anybody want to see some pics, I'll be happy to post them.
Link Posted: 6/14/2005 3:02:28 PM EDT
Work I want done per our conversation:

• Remove factory FSB and gas block
• Install new FSB and gas block
• Check/correct back and forth play in magwell
• Engrave Russian Cyrillic selector markings
• Add U.S. AK-74 brake
• DuraCoat refinish and detail
• Install Russian handguards and stock
• Test fire

Your quoted price was $238.00


What would this have cost from the so called A-List AK Smith's, What would have been their turnaround time. Lets try double the pirce and a 3 - 6 month wait.
Link Posted: 6/14/2005 3:07:02 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/14/2005 3:09:44 PM EDT
You got screwed. Next time, send it to Chris Butler at AK-USA. He fixed up my SAR-2 quite nicely!



I hope it works out. I'm not sure if this other smith will come through on the money, but I'm damn sure Chris Butler will fix it up right. He's expensive, but worth every darn penny.

By the way, don't bayonet any peasants in the name of the people with that Soviet clone like I would
Link Posted: 6/14/2005 4:39:54 PM EDT
Next time send it to Josh Newton (jnewt). He does some absolutely fan-friggin-tastic looking builds. Look for some of his gun porn in the forums, you will be impressed. And he is one hell of a guy to deal with to boot.
Link Posted: 6/14/2005 5:45:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/14/2005 5:45:44 PM EDT by Templar]
I'm going to lock this......points have been made on both sides. Katar can post updates as they happen.
Link Posted: 6/23/2005 7:04:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/23/2005 7:04:58 PM EDT by Templar]
Think it's time to take another look.
Link Posted: 6/24/2005 11:37:47 AM EDT
Updated and bumped because Templar and I are both concerned that another thread dealing with Elite FireArms has appeared:

WARNING! 25% restocking fee
Link Posted: 6/24/2005 12:34:27 PM EDT
Sounds like this guy should be renamed "Douchebag" Dave. Just another Con-guy doing hack work. Why are firearms and reptile hobbies filled with these kind of assholes.
Link Posted: 6/24/2005 1:12:35 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/24/2005 1:16:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/24/2005 1:17:20 PM EDT by GunBid]
www.gunsnet.net/forums/showthread.php?p=2219283

Mr Holmes was completely satisfied with his saiga conversion. He told me the gun was beautiful and well built. His explanation for return, Quote “It's just something I would not put in my collection.” The gun retails at $799, he purchased extra items, he was in full understanding what he was getting. We had multiple phone conversations before the transaction and extra high definition pictures were sent. The only reason he posted this negative response is because he has buyers remorse, I resold the Mega Saiga he returned and the customer said it was the most bitchin rifle he has ever owned.

I am in the process of emailing that customer who is the new owner of the returned rifle, so he can post how nice it truly is. Stay tuned, for more details. And my message to all of you is beware of this buyer.

If there is ever a defect, or mechanical problem with one of our rifles, then you may return it for a 100% refund. But for those with buyers remorse, wife bitched you out for spending the money, multiple personality disorder, then expect to pay for wasting my time and resources. I am a business with employees and don’t have time to play games.
Link Posted: 6/24/2005 3:57:44 PM EDT
I was thinking of copying your idea and using the Russian laminated wood furniture-
Did all the parts (especially the buttstock) fit your Arsenal rifle without any modifications?
Link Posted: 6/24/2005 5:11:55 PM EDT
It's good that there are forums where issues such as this can come out. I seem to remember an AK dealer (not this case - just using an example) where their reputation was so poor I am surprised if they are still in business. In this case, the guy might have come from the "Soup Nazi" school of Customer Service but from the photos that are shown, he's not going to get a lot of return business.

It's Capitalism at it's best. The market will reward good vendors and word of mouth will remove bad vendors.

I'm just glad that there's a place where people can discuss a vendor, show evidence of their work - good or bad - and people can make their own judgement. That's what the Internet is all about.
Link Posted: 6/24/2005 5:35:48 PM EDT
GunBid, that might have been the case for Mr Holmes but in Thekatar's case, I can say for a fact it was not buyer's remorse. That rifle was damaged by this vendor and he has to take it to another vendor to get it fixed.

I have to ask you this - would you put that rifle that Thekatar showed photos of in your personal collection? I might before the alterations were done but after it was completed, I would not hang it on my wall with pride. A rifle that is "bitchin" to some people may be unacceptable to others. Guns are a lot like Art in this way. As a dealer, your focus is to make your customers happy so they'll buy more product. But to question his personal life isn't the best way to deal with your customers. I would bet when this guy gets the desire to buy another rifle, he won't be coming to you.

Now, you can say "well, my business does well" but look at it this way... There's a gun store close to my house that sells some very nice rifles. They are open 8am to 5pm - the same schedule I work - Monday to Friday. I can't just leave work to go to his store. So, when I wanted to buy a rifle this week, I drove 45 minutes out of my way to go to the store that was open in the evening and on the weekend to buy the rifle. They got the sale. They are doing better than the shop closer to my house. Want to know why? Because they cater to their customers. They just know how to do business better.

What accelerates the affects of the way a company runs their business is that Consumers can now talk to each other and discuss the way that businesses do business. It's the Internet that's driving this. People can find a good company that has great service and in some cases, people will pay more for that.

You can run your business any way you want but expect to pay the consequences for the way you deal with your customers.
Link Posted: 6/24/2005 6:01:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/24/2005 6:03:01 PM EDT by repub18]

Originally Posted By GunBid:
www.gunsnet.net/forums/showthread.php?p=2219283

Mr Holmes was completely satisfied with his saiga conversion. He told me the gun was beautiful and well built. His explanation for return, Quote “It's just something I would not put in my collection.” The gun retails at $799, he purchased extra items, he was in full understanding what he was getting. We had multiple phone conversations before the transaction and extra high definition pictures were sent. The only reason he posted this negative response is because he has buyers remorse, I resold the Mega Saiga he returned and the customer said it was the most bitchin rifle he has ever owned.

I am in the process of emailing that customer who is the new owner of the returned rifle, so he can post how nice it truly is. Stay tuned, for more details. And my message to all of you is beware of this buyer.

If there is ever a defect, or mechanical problem with one of our rifles, then you may return it for a 100% refund. But for those with buyers remorse, wife bitched you out for spending the money, multiple personality disorder, then expect to pay for wasting my time and resources. I am a business with employees and don’t have time to play games.





What was the big deal about just returning it??? So Mr. Dave made $200 off the guy for returning it and made even more $$ selling it.. That sounds kind of fucked up to me.


The excuses really dont matter at this point.. My mind is made up not to deal with Elite. Customer service can make or break you in this business.
Link Posted: 6/24/2005 6:36:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/24/2005 6:38:26 PM EDT by drjarhead]

Originally Posted By repub18:

Originally Posted By GunBid:
www.gunsnet.net/forums/showthread.php?p=2219283

Mr Holmes was completely satisfied with his saiga conversion. He told me the gun was beautiful and well built. His explanation for return, Quote “It's just something I would not put in my collection.” The gun retails at $799, he purchased extra items, he was in full understanding what he was getting. We had multiple phone conversations before the transaction and extra high definition pictures were sent. The only reason he posted this negative response is because he has buyers remorse, I resold the Mega Saiga he returned and the customer said it was the most bitchin rifle he has ever owned.

I am in the process of emailing that customer who is the new owner of the returned rifle, so he can post how nice it truly is. Stay tuned, for more details. And my message to all of you is beware of this buyer.

If there is ever a defect, or mechanical problem with one of our rifles, then you may return it for a 100% refund. But for those with buyers remorse, wife bitched you out for spending the money, multiple personality disorder, then expect to pay for wasting my time and resources. I am a business with employees and don’t have time to play games.





What was the big deal about just returning it??? So Mr. Dave made $200 off the guy for returning it and made even more $$ selling it.. That sounds kind of fucked up to me.



Yeah, pretty sweet MO.
I ought to get me one of them thar restockin bisnesses.



The excuses really dont matter at this point.. My mind is made up not to deal with Elite. Customer service can make or break you in this business.


After reading both threads I really have some questions about who the players really are.
Link Posted: 6/24/2005 10:17:48 PM EDT
I have dealt with Elite Firearms before. Not with AKs though.

I purchased from him 2 "new" Colt carbine stocks with all the hardware (H buffer, spring, endplate, lock nut.

What I got was a take off stock with a previously staked endplate and lock nut. The stock was not new and it didn't come with an H buffer. It came with some regular no name buffer.

I will never buy from him again.


Scott
Link Posted: 6/25/2005 10:45:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By scottryan:
I have dealt with Elite Firearms before. Not with AKs though.

I purchased from him 2 "new" Colt carbine stocks with all the hardware (H buffer, spring, endplate, lock nut.

What I got was a take off stock with a previously staked endplate and lock nut. The stock was not new and it didn't come with an H buffer. It came with some regular no name buffer.

I will never buy from him again.


Scott



Good to know.
Link Posted: 6/25/2005 5:28:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DV:
I was thinking of copying your idea and using the Russian laminated wood furniture-
Did all the parts (especially the buttstock) fit your Arsenal rifle without any modifications?



Well, you'd have to ask Diamond Dave.

All kidding aside, pretty much all AK furniture requires a little fitting. Usually the upper HG fits ok but you must be VERY CAREFUL with wood ones. The Chinese chue wood is especially delicate but the Russian laminate is pretty tough.

The lower might need some sanding, but not much. A good trick is to use a hair dryer to heat the forward part of the receiver or the rear part for the buttstock. This should make it easier to fit and when it cools the fit will be nice and tight.

Bulgarian parts and Russian parts are pretty much interchangeable. You have to be careful with the Romanian parts.
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 3:41:23 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 6:19:04 AM EDT

F' all this arguing back and fourth, here is what I know.

This is an AK74 that I picked up last week:

Look at the refinished wood, smooth and shiney. Grade A+

Rivets, I examined every single one, cannot see a single malformation. Duracoat Finish looks like the factory stuff from a vepr. Grade A+

The rear and front stock fit tight, no wobble, shakes or excessive gaps. Grade A+



Here's a pistol he built, same quality as above.

Check out the custom fabricated gas tube, those have to be cut and tig welded back. No weld marks can be seen. Another A+ Grade

Every single one of his guns cycle perfectly, smooth, no hangups. I have lots more of his work, anybody want to see some pics, I'll be happy to post them.



GunBid - WTF does that have to do with the shitty job that Diamond Dave did on this guys rifle? He did a shitty job and should do everything in HIS power to make it right. And of course you are going to defend this guy to the end because you sell HIS rifles. If no one wants his crap then you are out of a job! Very transparent...

Link Posted: 7/26/2005 7:59:30 PM EDT
This is the third time this week that I hear of butchered SLR105s from Elite firearms, I have not dealt with them but from what I have read here it seems like Chris, jnewt and other quality gunsmiths are going to do a pretty decent profit by fising elite firearms' substandard work. I am not going to badmouth Elite Firearms here but the lesson should be, do your homework and if you need it done right the first time call AK-USA. While other smiths may be cheaper, if is not that good a bargain if you have to have your AK sent to another smith to re-do the work. I have three rifles built by Chris (two built for me and one bought from a fellow board member) and they are all absolutely perfect. No complaints at all.
Link Posted: 7/27/2005 9:54:53 AM EDT
I hope that this thread helps people do their homework. I thought I did mine, but most of this guys recommendations came from the Saiga forum and I think maybe the guys over there are used to a lot of wecsog or something - not really that hard to convert a Saiga so he got some pretty good reviews over there.

My rifle is with Chris Butler at AKUSA now for proper treatment.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 12:32:19 PM EDT
It has now been established that Dave at Elite FireArms is in cahoots with GunsNet.

In addition, here are some quotes from Diamond Dave that have been posted on the MIGETAforum under the name "krink freak":


your damn right a buck goes further than your jump in the bundle trash talk bullshi*


listen guys, i told the owner of the screwed up 74 that i would buy him a new rifle for this , mistake , now you mean to tell me none of you have made a mistake , i tryed to make mine right , but that did not seem to be enough for the owner , then i told him id pay for chris's repair work , then said that was honorable , the immediatly started these post , now , i have in my possesion a couple of rifles from a couple of builders that i am fixing for folks , an im not bashing them , no , just making them right an moving on , now daves attitude ,ready,,,,,, stop crying you bunch of babies i try to rectify, you try to casterize, in short f.... all of you , clean your manginas and get lives ,love dave , by the way greg , why dont you come by the shop you only live up the road from me , or do you want me to stop by to say hi ,
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 12:37:57 PM EDT
I would hope that tool is going to get his account locked for A> Hijacking the nickname of another prominent gunboard user, and B> Insinuating threats of violence.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 12:52:32 PM EDT
I can't believe it, seriously ........would a dealer/gunsmith really post those things? Surely it has to be troll
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 1:35:49 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 1:39:08 PM EDT
FWIW, its me that the threats are being directed towards. He certainly has no place on the MIG/ETA forums.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 2:29:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Gundwulf:
FWIW, its me that the threats are being directed towards. He certainly has no place on the MIG/ETA forums.





The dthor email really made me laugh. What a tool.
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