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Posted: 3/21/2006 2:49:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/24/2006 1:21:39 PM EDT by chromeluv]
Virgil Tripp of Tripp Research.
John VanZyck of VZGrips.
Mr. Yost and Mr. Bonitz from the YOBO Team
Mark Garrity from Garrity Gunleather
Ed Strange from Wicked Grips
Bob Rogers Roger's Pistolsmithing

My hat is off to both.

Our hats are off to all

More details later, that is all.


eta: updated list :) I also added Ed from Wicked Grips
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 3:20:58 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 9:55:47 PM EDT
I would have to add to the list if I may.
The Yo-Bo guys are top notch
Mark Garrity of Garrity's Gun Leather

The customer service of these guys is leaps and bounds above anything else I have experience both in the firearms community and elsewhere.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 5:41:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By chromeluv:
Virgil Tripp of Tripp Research.
John VanZyck of VZGrips.

My hat is off to both.

More details later, that is all.




I've known Virgil for several years. He's always been upfront and fair with me.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:07:39 PM EDT
glad to hear of some good 1911 smiths....I have nothing good to say about Les Baer's customer service.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 2:05:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Colt45guy:
glad to hear of some good 1911 smiths....I have nothing good to say about Les Baer's customer service.



Really? That's hard to believe when the 1911 custom market is glutted with some excellent 'smiths. Can you be specific on your problem?
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 2:51:10 PM EDT
Here's my Les Baer story. I have a Les Baer SRP Para framed gun. I bought it used, and I liked it fine, except for the slide stop. It was an aftermarket replacement, and it was matte blue. The gun is finished in Bear Coat, which is almost shiny.

I wanted a new Les Baer slide stop, and was hoping to buy one Bear Coated. At the time I didn't realize that Bear Coat was from another company, and I assumed it was done by Les Baer. I e-mailed them asking what it would cost for one of their slide stops in Bear Coat. They told me that it would be several hundred dollars, and that I would have to send in my gun for fitting.

Though I appreciated their stance on fitting, I told them I knew the diameter of my pin, which was rather oversized, and that their's would be fine. I added that if their's was too big, I could fit my lower lugs, and that if there were issues with the stud being prematurely activated by the mag follower, I could address that. I just wanted a stop that had a matching finish. They refused to sell me one. They insisted that the only way I could get one was to send it in at the tune of several hundred dollars, which I found to be silly. I could go into more detail about how condescending they were, but it would take a while. I can also say that I found it funny that they could be so condescending considering the quality of the gunsmithing on their gun. It had bad disconnector click from the factory, a rear sight machined about .010" too far back, and checkering that was very average.

I've since realized that I could buy a LBC stop from Brownells, and then send it off to be coated. I was not impressed with their customer service though. It was a simple request, and all they had to say was that they could not do it, instead of trying to get several hundred dollars out of me for uneccesary and unwated gunsmithing. I felt like I was being scammed by a lowlife mechanic.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 3:03:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Melvin_Johnson:

Originally Posted By Colt45guy:
glad to hear of some good 1911 smiths....I have nothing good to say about Les Baer's customer service.



Really? That's hard to believe when the 1911 custom market is glutted with some excellent 'smiths. Can you be specific on your problem?



There is a difference between a smith and a high end production shop. Also, watch your step with smiths, there are some real hacks out there. You should see some of the gun show specials in my area!
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 2:44:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/23/2006 2:57:44 PM EDT by Colt45guy]

Originally Posted By Melvin_Johnson:

Originally Posted By Colt45guy:
glad to hear of some good 1911 smiths....I have nothing good to say about Les Baer's customer service.



Really? That's hard to believe when the 1911 custom market is glutted with some excellent 'smiths. Can you be specific on your problem?



Gun plumbers are a dime a dozen....some good, some so-so, and some that I wouldn't trust to know which end is the dangerous one. I normally do my own work, and haven't researched much, but there are ZERO 1911 specific 'smiths in my area who have any real feedback or following.


My specific problem....(I warned Mr. Baer that I would tell anyone who asked!)


I bought a used Stinger last year, planning to use it as my primary carry. From day one, it bonked me in the head with spent brass. It always fed, and never--as in not once--failed to fire when I pulled the trigger, but it never ejected consistently. I tried all the usual tricks--tweaked the extractor, replaced extractor, contoured the ejector, replaced ejector, replaced recoil spring....nothing worked. I'm a lefty, and as such, I require a more tuned ejection pattern than a righty.

I contacted Baer--VERY nice people to talk to on the phone initially--and I was told to send it in with a detailed description of the malfunction. I was also told that since I wasn't the original owner, I would be paying for the smithing. No problem. I expected that. I paid the $50 to overnight it to Baer. I called 3 days later to make sure they received it, (Fed Ex couldn't track the package for some reason---totally separate rant) and was told it would be worked on and back to me in 'about a week'.

I didn't call again until it had been at Baer for about 3 weeks. I was told I would have it back in 'about a week' again.....

More than 2 months go by, and I FINALLY get my pistol back. Mr Baer has replaced my recoil spring, replaced ejector, replaced extractor, and charged me $250. (oohh! What a deal!)

Mr Baer claimed he put several rounds through my gun to test it. There was no evidence of firing--same coat of CLP it had when I sent it in, and the bore was squeaky clean. I figured that he cleaned it after working on it. Nope. Same problems as before, exactly as I had described.

Another reason for doubting Mr Baer had actually fired the pistol is the fact that the ejector he installed was nice and flat when I got it back. Within 10 rounds of Federal brass 230gr FMJ, the ejector face had peened so badly that it got stuck in the slide channel. The slide would actually stick halfway back when cycled by hand. So now, I have a 'smith who most likely lied to me AND installed parts that weren't heat treated properly.

I went to a local gunplumber. He replaced the ejector for $35. That fixed one problem. He mentioned that my disconnector looked weird....sure enough, that was my problem. It had the wrong front face angle, and was slowing down the slide so much that it was short stroking.
I replaced that myself, and the ejection pattern is a perfect 3:00. I put the old one back in, and I get bonked again.


Hobbs said it, and I agree. They acted like lowlife mechanics, and I feel that I got ripped off to the tune of $302...cost of shipping and what Mr Baer charged. I also had to spend additional money to fix it properly. I was nice throughout the entire fiasco, even after being blown off and given canned responses to my (few) questions. I don't condone it, but I understand blowing off a rude customer. But if this is how they treat POLITE paying customers, they certainly won't be getting any business from me again.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 2:56:17 PM EDT
Jeez! Sounds like Ed Brown is not alone!

I guess when you sell $2,000+ guns, you expect people to kiss your ass. I think it should be the other way 'round.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 3:15:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Melvin_Johnson:
Jeez! Sounds like Ed Brown is not alone!

I guess when you sell $2,000+ guns, you expect people to kiss your ass. I think it should be the other way 'round.



well, they really do make a fine product. I still firmly believe that my Stinger is the best made pistol I've ever owned--but it's a just machine and machines break and wear out. The true test of any company is how they take care of Service After the Sale...and that's why my $$ is going to YoBo or Tripp for my next custom. (and until that SOB refunds the $302 he stole from me, he can kiss MY ass!)
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 3:50:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By chromeluv:
Virgil Tripp of Tripp Research.
John VanZyck of VZGrips.
Mr. Yost and Mr. Bonitz from the YOBO Team
Mark Garrity from Garrity Gunleather
Ed Strange from Wicked Grips

My hat is off to both.

Our hats are off to all

More details later, that is all.


eta: updated list :) I also added Ed from Wicked Grips



Bob Rodgers
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 4:47:29 PM EDT
Have dealt with Tripp & VZ, top notch customer service and great products.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 5:28:18 PM EDT
Dayum Colt45Guy, you truly got screwed. I have to rank them up there with Robar. Those are two truly out of touch companies. It's too bad they got too big too quick, and forgot all about making their customers happy.

Getting back to the original topic, I have not dealt with most mentioned, but I have dealt with Mark Garrity. What a great guy, and what a great craftsman.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 8:26:53 PM EDT

I replaced that myself, and the ejection pattern is a perfect 3:00. I put the old one back in, and I get bonked again.


That is pretty interesting-I have never heard of a disconnector having that effect on ejection.

Where in SC are you and what Smith do you use? Just curious as there are none around here worth a hoot (Except for one and he is practically retired)
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 9:15:11 PM EDT
Thanks Guys! I try my damnest (is that a word?) to please everyone. It's not alway easy, but I try...
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 10:47:53 PM EDT
"Really? That's hard to believe when the 1911 custom market is glutted with some excellent 'smiths. Can you be specific on your problem?"


The market if anything is glutted with horsehit gunsmiths with terrible customer service. The few good people out there are like shining diamonds in a pile of horsturds.

That's my opinion.
Link Posted: 3/24/2006 1:16:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Melvin_Johnson:
Jeez! Sounds like Ed Brown is not alone!

I guess when you sell $2,000+ guns, you expect people to kiss your ass. I think it should be the other way 'round.




Interesting? I have heard nothing but good things about Ed Brown?

Link Posted: 3/24/2006 1:31:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By chromeluv:

Originally Posted By Melvin_Johnson:
Jeez! Sounds like Ed Brown is not alone!

I guess when you sell $2,000+ guns, you expect people to kiss your ass. I think it should be the other way 'round.




Interesting? I have heard nothing but good things about Ed Brown?




I've never bought one of his pistols but I did get a couple bad .40 mags from him. I called and politely asked if there was a certain brand of ammo I should be using or trying to get my Kimber to work and he bit my head off.

He does make a nice beavertail and extended mag release and his Maxi-well is pretty good. Too bad he ain't more friendly. Maybe if I had bought a $2,000 pistol he would have treated me better. Or maybe it's me who is the asshole?
Link Posted: 3/24/2006 2:08:03 PM EDT
I've heard nothing but good about George Smith at EGW.

FWIW, I looked on the APG website and it lists a George Wessinger in Chapin, SC. Don't know if that 's close to you or not...
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