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Posted: 2/23/2006 10:48:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/24/2006 4:44:39 AM EDT by SIG_220]
I just posted this at 1911forum and decided I might as well post it here also:

Well I posted a couple of months ago about my new RRA EC. I got it on the 22nd of December. I drooled over it and then rushed back to the hospital as my son was born the day before and I was only out to run some errands for a couple of hours.

When I got back home for good I fondled it for 5 min before I realized the front sight could be pushed side to side or completely removed with no effort at all. I called RRA and Chuck said they must have forgotten to loctite it back on after the Black T was applied. He said they would send me some red loctite so I could fix it. I didn't even know people attached their front sight with loctite in the first place. Sounds rather weak to me but I have no experience in this area.

After I got off the phone I searched for my snap cap as I wanted to mess with my EC for a bit more. The next surprise came. When I would drop the slide on a mag with the snap cap the hammer would drop to half cock about 50% of the time. It would do it less often if I released the slide with the slide stop. It hardly did it at all with real ammo. My best guess was the harder the slide slammed the more likely it was to occur. I called RRA and spoke to Chuck. He said it was due to the finish changing the dimensions slightly on the sear or something to that affect (I really don't remember that well). He gave me RRA's UPS account # to ship it back. He assured me it would be fixed the day they got it and sent out that day as well so I would have it back on the 5th as I was sending it in the 3rd of January. One thing he told me that made me uneasy was that I shouldn't release the slide while letting go of the trigger because it would screw up the action job. Now I understand there's a disconnector but I just don't feel safe about that especially since I planned to carry this gun. I don't think I could chamber a round at my house in this manner and feel very safe about it.

Two weeks had passed and I heard nothing. I called and spoke to Scott and he didn't know what was going on but assured me the problem was being taken care of. I called again within a couple of days to try and figure out what the hold up was but was unfruitful. The first week of February I called and left a message with Ulanda for Chuck to call me back. He did and said that basically it wasn't the finish and some parts had to be replaced. One of them was the trigger which meant it needed to be sent to Walter. I explained to him I wasn't mad I really just wanted to know what was going on since I was told it would be back on the 5th of Jan. He said he would go ahead and fit 2 triggers and send the gun back while he sent one of the triggers to get Black T finish. He would then send the Black T'd trigger when it was finished. I expected the gun within a couple of days because of what he told me. I just got it today (well technically yesterday since it's 12:58AM here. At least it has a Black T'd trigger already. Everything seems to be right and the trigger is fantastic.

So I am about to go to bed when I remember I have two new holsters that are in my safe that have been there in the packages for several months now. I pull out the Milt Sparks Watch Six black horsehide holster and put it on. It's pretty surprising how well a 5" 1911 can be concealed so easily on someone that is my build. Anyways I put the gun in the holster and practiced unholstering it and presenting it 7 times.

To my dismay the Black T was scratched close to 2" long that is to the metal for about half of the length. I know this has nothing to do with RRA but I cannot believe such a highly regarded finish that cost me $200 would scratch from being pulled out of a holster 7 times. The holster has some spots that feel rough, but no rougher than any other leather holster I have or have had. Also I know it will wear with time, but nothing I have carried has worn so fast in such a manner before. I wasn't even going to post about all my problems but this aggrevated me so much that I have to vent.

The people at RRA were very nice on the phone, but it was very hard to reach anyone with any info for me. It would have felt much better though had I just been told after they got the gun that it may be a month or two instead of having me wonder what the heck happened to my gun. At least I didn't have to pay for shipping I guess which is pretty rare as far as warranty work goes.

I am finally goint to shoot it in the morning. I'll try to post a range report. I am going to contact Walter Birdsong to see what he has to say.

Link Posted: 2/24/2006 12:12:16 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 12:32:46 AM EDT
Damn man that really sucks. Loctite on the front site? WTF? I didn't know thats what they used either. That really does not sound durable at all. I'd ask around to see if that is correct. The finish would drive me nuts. Thats a hella of scratch you got there. I'd call on that too.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 5:55:15 AM EDT
Well I just got off the phone with Walter. He was very kind as he was the last time I spoke to him about his finish. He was very surprised with the situation. He suspects there may have been some metal particles or something else hard inside the holster intially. He said they use some sort of jig when bending the holster etc. At any rate he is going to refinish the slide for me. I am going to keep it for a month or so to shoot it and to break the holster in to insure I do not get the same result. This was his reccomendation and I'd prefer it that way anyways as I want to actually get some trigger time with it since I have been waiting on it since May. Also he said the red loctite for the front sight is normal and will hold up just fine.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 5:57:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/24/2006 5:59:56 AM EDT by Hokie]
LEMON - send it back. The more you mess with it the less likely they're gonna fix or replace it. I wouldn't accept anything other than a total replacement or refund.

For that kind of money, you should expect nothing less than a function firearm with a decent finish. That's not too much to ask and it's technically their problem, not yours.

It's great they're being helpful and everyone makes a goof now and then, but damn man....send it back and ask them to get the next one right.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 6:03:54 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 9:01:04 AM EDT
While all of this does suck, I wouldn't want to replace it. By the time they finish with it, you're going to have a gun that has had a lot more professional attention than a gun off the line. It shouldn't take all this effort and it really surprises me that the finish did this, but things like this do happen and at least they are making it right.

On another note, the Sparks holsters can eat up a finish pretty quickly and badly. My new custom Caspian already has wear marks from the 55BN that I'm using. I just talked to them and they are suggesting use of some wonder wax they sell. I'm going to try it, but the holsters are just TIGHT.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 11:05:04 AM EDT
Thanks for the informative report. A glued front sight pretty much precludes me from ever purchasing an RRA. I take it they don't pin them? What I'm confused about is that even without additional help, shouldn't the front sight have stayed in place on friction alone anyways? Or does RRA use a "slip-fit" system like Ed Brown?

As for the finish, even if the black wears away, the metal is still protected against corrosion, so it's not much cause for concern.

Definitely let us know how it runs.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 11:31:04 AM EDT
I put 100rds Federal American Eagle and 100rds Remington UMC through the EC today. Both loads were just 230gr FMJ. I was going to shoot 300rds but there were some tards at the range that were getting on my nerves. I'm not going to say more on that.

Anyways it ran flawlessly. It is the most accurate handgun I have ever fired. I definately need practice though. I haven't really shot much .45 since I ordered this last May because I sold my Dan Wesson Patriot to help pay for it. I definately am rusty but after the first 100rds I really got some nice groups for me anyways. I really missed the way it even feels to shoot a 1911. The slow hard push of .45 leaves a warm fuzzy feeling inside .

RRA 1911's come equipped with a 16lb mainspring for shooting semi-wadcutters. I knew it was light for 230gr FMJ but I didn't have a 18.5 spring handy. I'll pick one up before the next range trip. It just threw the brass kinda far but other than that it didn't affect anything.

I wouldn't say this was a lemon like Hokie thinks. It did need some adjustment which is not really that big of a deal as everyone makes mistakes. It was just the lack of communication and speed of the whole process that was upsetting. Now if it stil had problems I would expect a refund or replacement but it seems to be 100%.

The finish has no bearings on it's reliability but it's still very bothersome. Walter said he would fix it though so I will give him that chance and I am sure he will make it right.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 2:07:01 PM EDT
If you want a finish that will stand up well to holster wear I think you made the wrong choice. Black-T may be a great finish but it is one of the softest coatings out there.

I'm kind of surprised a leather holster, even a horsehide one, scratched the gun that badly. If it were Kydex I wouldn't be quite so surprised.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 5:23:25 PM EDT
FWIW and IMO, the holster might be a little too rough on the inside or have something in it to cause that type of scratch. I have a Black-T'd SA1911 (done 3 years ago) that is regularly carried in a leather IWB (Don Hume) and OWB paddle (Galco) and never had that problem with my Black-T finish. I am not saying there isn't wear to the finish, but it is only in the areas where there is metal to metal contact (grip safety, guide rod, recoil spring, etc). Walter is a good guy and will take care of you if that's what he said. He might talk your ear off and you may have to wait a little longer than expected but other than that he is a man of his word.

As far as the holster, I have found the following "break-in" procedure for a new leather holster to work pretty well:
1) heat the hoslter with a hair dryer for a little bit until warm (low heat and get the wife's / significant other's permission to use it first. Don't ask how I know! )
2) wrap the muzzle portion of the gun and any other part that will be in the holster in saran wrap
3) with the holster still warm, put the gun in and let it naturally cool (12-24hrs)
this seems to loosen the holster up a little but not enough to be too loose

I imagine this is really frustrating especially paying that kind of money, but RRA and Birdsong have great customer service so don't get too discouraged yet. Good luck and keep us posted on how it works out.
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