Below is a detailed write-up of my experience with CRC HydroGraphics in Decatur Alabama. I have provided evidence in the form of screen captures of e-mail traffic and Facebook messages to support my claims. Although I my ‘post count’ on this forum is low, I am no newbie to the world of Firearms. I’ve served in the Armed Forces for 6 years active duty and continue to serve in the Reserves. I’ve also worked for several Law Enforcement agencies/municipalities before finding the agency I love working for. I’m also a certified M16/M4 Armorer and enjoying doing most of the custom work on my ARs on my own. I know there has been interest in this finishing process from other people and I hope this write-up helps you make the right decisions and to avoid making the same mistakes I have.
My business interaction with Jeff/CRC CEO started on 08/01/2011 with an email explaining on my interest in getting a complete stripped down AR15 Hydro Dipped in Multi-Cam pattern. In this same email I explained I was a Law Enforcement Officer (for discount purposes) and informed him the AR15 I was sending him was my privately owned duty weapon and I could not be without it for very long. I got a response from Jeff the next day and informed me the current wait time was “4 weeks MAX”. Based the photos I’ve seen on Haley Strategic of CRCs work and forum discussions I decided to send him my stripped AR15 and accessories.
On 08/08/2011 I sent CRC HydroGraphics my items to be dipped and he receive them on 08/10/2011 (USPS tracking No. 9407403699300002172477). Four weeks came and past and by the fifth week I emailed Jeff asking what the status was. Jeff replied there was a mix up with the base paint and had to redo 60 stocks for a company and he was two weeks behind schedule. Jeff continued and informed me this effected my turn around time so expect them to be finished in about 2 weeks time. Well two weeks came and I got no word from Jeff either by email or phone. I had made several phone calls but got no response. On 10/25/2011 (week eleven) I decided to send Jeff an email seeming I wasn’t getting any of my phone calls returned. In this e-mail I explained I could see business for him was booming and probably keeping him busy. I informed him on 11/04/2011 I was scheduled for firearms qualifications and would need my rifle before then, finished or not. Jeff responded later that day. In this e-mail Jeff stated “You WILL have your rifle in a few days”. In this same e-mail he offered me a great deal for future purchases for my patience. 10/31/2011 I e-mailed Jeff asking if we were still on schedule because I hadn’t seen a charge on my CC for the MOE+ Grip I added to my project at the last minute. On 11/01/2011 Jeff responded and informed me my stuff would be overnighted so I would have it for Thursday. In Jeff’s next e-mail, on 11/03/2011, he stated, “I failed you” and related he had everything ready to he sent me an email stating, “Michael, I failed you. I have everything ready to clear but the upper, which he had to do one side over again because of a tear in the film. Jeff continued and said he was terribly sorry and knew he put me in a tough spot. Jeff also stated everything will be on that night and will still be overnighted so I would have it by Monday. Well, Monday (11/07/2011) came and I had still had no rifle. I attempted once again to contact Jeff several times via email and phone. On 11/09/2011 Jeff responded to my last e-mail informing me my stuff should have shipped and he was going to drive to Decatur first thing in the morning and get me the tracking number.
That was the last time I heard from Jeff until the night of 11/21/2011. Jeff finally returned my call. After two weeks of no response to e-mails or phone messages; as a last resort I actually tried Facebook to reach out to him on 11/21. In this Facebook message I out-right told I wanted my parts back so there was no confusion. During this conversation Jeff informed me he had shipped my parts out but they were accidently shipped it to himself [but later could never provide me with a tracking to confirm any of this story]. In this same conversation he promised me (yet again) my rifle and parts would be shipped out overnight on Tuesday and I would have it before Thanksgiving. I told Chandler that I was written up at work on my qualification day for not having my approved patrol rifle and I would be in serious trouble if I get a another write up. Jeff once again apologized for the inconveniences and went into more detail explaining the discount he’d offer me for future purchases, dipping, or Cerakoting. He also told me he’s been a one-man shop for a few weeks now because he had to let his only help go do to trust issues.
Well, I’m sure you can all predict what happened next.
Thanksgiving came and went and I still hadn’t received my stripped rifle and accessories. On 12/08/2011 I resorted to Facebook again to contact Jeff because again I had not received a response to my e-mails or phone calls. Jeff responded back via Facebook on 12/09/2011. Jeff assured me my stuff was safe and complete and told me come Monday this will all be over and he’d give me a call to explain what happened. Monday arrived and I didn’t receive my stuff or a phone call. Once again I tried to contact Jeff via e-mail and by phone to get a status update.
On 12/16/2011, I couldn’t hold my tongue any longer. I had friends and group members, who have been following this process from the beginning, asking me where I was with the process or if I had gotten my parts back. I told them everything; including all my concerns/fears and asked if it was possible I was conned and CRC wasn’t a legit operation/business. I feared that my agency-registered firearm was in someone else’s hands. My friends and fellow group members started to ask questions or post my experience with the company on the CRC HydroGraphics Facebook wall. Surprising this got two responses out of Jeff. One he posted an open apology on his Facebook wall and confirmed what my friends were posting (you can read the apology in the below attachments; in this apology he claims one of the excuses is his OCD, which I will dispute later) and the second was to me personally. Jeff once again apologizes and informs be me my parts, except for my lower receiver and URXIII rail, was shipping today. Jeff continued and told me the URX and lower receiver would ship out on Monday [the URX needed to be redone because he cut through the wrapping and down into the finish; why would he need to cut it out of the wrapping if he was shipping it?]. Jeff told me he’d get me the tracking number later in the day.
Well shockingly I did receive a tracking number from Jeff later that day (which was not overnight). So on Wednesday (12/21/2011) I received my package with everything but the lower and URX. Once again I’ve had to go out of my way to contact Jeff to find out where my lower receiver and URX were. In an e-mail I sent Jeff on 12/26/2011 I informed him I refused to have this transaction continue any longer and into the New Year. I also called him out on all his “promises” he’d made to me and never followed through. I also went on and stated I was giving him till Friday December 30th or I’d be dropping off a case report of a stolen firearm to my Agency Chief and a Larceny report to my local Police Department. Jeff responded to the e-mail same day but by Facebook. Jeff said it’s being sent by WWGuns overnight on 12/27. Jeff continues and says “If I don’t forward you the tracking number then I guess I “Lied” again. Just wait until tomorrow before anything else is posted.”
Well, here I am Friday December 30th, 2011 (over 20 weeks since Jeff received my parts and charged my Credit Card) and I have not received my lower receiver or URXIII. I have just returned from my local Police Department where I requested that the Desk Sgt enter it into NCIC as a stolen firearm. I dropped off some reports and have made contact with several people and it’s now out of my hands.
I had no other choice in my end decision because I’m going TDY on 01/02/2012 for 8 months and won’t be around to deal with this headache.
Now onto my gripes about his work on the parts I did receive. As I stated above one of Jeff’s excuses was his OCD (keep that in the back of your mind along with his statement that he had to re-coat the upper receiver due to a tear).
There are areas of the CTR stock and upper receiver where there is a rough/bumpy finish. I’m thinking this is the base coat Jeff needs to apply before applying the film. Whatever the case, these little ‘bumps’ very easily pick right off like little scabs removing the finish. No this is going to be no safe queen and will be abused but I was hoping the look would at least last until I had the rifle all back together. I’ve also see YouTube videos of people bashing dipped parts on trees and taking wire brushes to them and seeing it hold up. There is no way these parts would do the same. Even the area on the stock where the reposition lever is, is already wearing down to the black polymer underneath and I’ve only squeezed it 3-4 times. There is also a large spot around the forward assist where there is no Multi-Cam finish and it’s been painted in a color which doesn’t even match any other color found in the pattern. I’m guessing this is where the film tore and Jeff stated he was going to do it over again (I guess I found him in another lie).
I am very aggravated with this whole process and the end products, the ones I actually received back. Once again, I hope this write-up helps you make the right decisions and to avoid making the same mistakes I have.
Below you will find the supporting evidence:
The flaws in the coating: