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Posted: 1/10/2002 10:31:40 AM EDT
A couple of months ago, I decided to buy 3 AR's for my three sons, and put them away in storage for their graduations or whatever (big life achievement.)

I went to a local "basement FFL." This guy is an airline pilot who does transfers and orders on the side for a few $. I ordered 3 Bushmaster A2 Shorty Carbines, for $790.39 each, which includes all fees, shipping, 6% NC sales tax. His cost was $742.15 each. He ordered them for me straight from Bushmaster because of supply problems at that time. Total for three rifles was $2,371.17, delivered.

I have used this FFL before for a private transfer with no problems. He seems to be a genuine nice guy. This is my first experience with buying guns through him.

They came in a few weeks ago but because of holidays, travel, etc. we didn't get together until yesterday to pick them up. I looked them over quickly, signed the 4473, got NIBC'd, and walked away with the rifles.

Today I got them out of the trunk and got them ready to stash in the attic (added some 20 & 30 rnd mags, noted serial #'s, etc.) Then all of a sudden I notice that the rifles aren't right. I wanted A2 carbines, but these are flattop (A3) carbines.

I know I screwed-up. I can't believe that I could look at those rifles and not notice the big nobs on the left under the handle! I feel like an idiot.

At the same time, I am dead sure that I told him in writing that I wanted A2 rifles, not flattops. I have the e-mail, and I cut and paste here the exact line: "three Bushmaster A2 Shorty carbines."

I know I don't have any legal recourse. I don't want to go that route anyway.

I know that he can't take the rifles back. I don't have anything against flattops, except that the nobs on the handle are unsightly. Yeah, there are more scope mounting options. But these are just not what I wanted, or thought I ordered.

Did I get screwed?

Should I just forget it and be happy with the rifles?

I have a pistol on order with him right now. Should I make him feel bad and ask for an allowance on the next purchase?

Is there any sort of reasonable way out of this?

Any helpful advice appreciated.
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 10:37:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2002 10:38:35 AM EDT by HighlandMac]
Granted it is not what you asked for, but you now have much better options for mounting optics on these. I would just keep them and be happy. Besides, the kids will want all the new fangled optics available when they get them!!



Also later if you want you can just change the upper and you are all set!!
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 10:39:07 AM EDT
Get on the horn to Bushmaster ASAP they have a guarantee...my guess is send them back with pre approval and order what you want ...shouldnt be much of a hassle at all....ask the dealer to pay for it or make it up to you on other transfers
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 10:45:06 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 10:45:38 AM EDT
Keep them. Flat tops are much more useful when you start considering scopes and such. Mounting a scope on a carry handle is not the best method. Keep them, and consider yourself lucky.
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 10:46:31 AM EDT
The A2 and A3 uppers are the same price...unless you add the carry handle, which goes for $90 extra.

I would keep what you've got. I think that the A3 uppers are a little more versatile than the A2. They may not be as clean looking, but if your hildren want to add optics later, the A3 sure makes it easier!
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 10:50:45 AM EDT
I personally think you have a better gun (X3)!

If you aren't happy, try 9divdoc'a advice. I'm sure you could always sell them and get your money back out of them. Talk to your dealer about this. He can probably assist you if you want to trade them. It was probably an honest mistake, and I don't think you were screwed at all.

Most Bushies are going for $800+++ at local gunshows I've attended lately.

PS...can I call you "dad"? Very nice indeed!
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 10:50:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2002 10:51:32 AM EDT by djk]
Bushmaster A3's with the carry handle are actually $90 more per rifle than the A2. Looks like you got $270 worth of stuff out of the deal. I think the A3 gives you a lot more options for sights then the A2.

Also, will you be my daddy????
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 2:15:56 PM EDT
Okay, I don't feel so bad. (Although I'm not a rich man, and I didn't need $270 more credit card debt.) About the price, are you all saying that I could have had the rifles for ~$700 each?

I'll try not to whine too much.

Also, this is my first experience with flattops. I tried lining-up my Tasco ProPoint 5 to the top of one of the rifles, and the red dot hits 2/3 of the way up the front sight post. How do you keep the optic's line-of-sight above the post?

What should I say to the FFL?
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 2:23:14 PM EDT

Also, this is my first experience with flattops. I tried lining-up my Tasco ProPoint 5 to the top of one of the rifles, and the red dot hits 2/3 of the way up the front sight post. How do you keep the optic's line-of-sight above the post?


I have an A3 upper myself, but have not gotten around to adding optics yet. I believe that you have to go above 3X magnification to fully obscure the front sight from view.
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 2:28:37 PM EDT
Sounds like you got the better deal. Now you can add what optics you want and still have the carry handle sight if you want to use it.
I would keep it and be a very happy individual!!
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 2:35:55 PM EDT
I would keep the flattops. I have changed all of my ARs from the A1/A2s to that configuration. It just is a better way to go. Watch-Six
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 2:39:04 PM EDT
Have you considered that it may be Bushmaster's screw-up and not your FFLs? Your FFL may not even have known the difference between an A2 and A3 or if he did, didn't notice the knobs and thought they were A2s? Anyway - I'd say keep 'em, especially since the screw-up is in your favor. Or buy three A2 uppers, re-barrel them and sell the A3s and handles and pocket a few bucks.
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 3:55:11 PM EDT
I don't think you spent $270 too much, I think you got the A3 with carry handle for the A2 price. If it were me I would count my blessings!
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 5:46:10 PM EDT
The issue has been resolved.


I exchanged e-mail with the FFL. He double-checked his order, and he had in fact sent Bushmaster an order for A2's. He charged me the price for A2's, and I got A3's. I GOT $270 WORTH OF A3 HANDLES FOR FREE!

I know a bit about how manufacturers work, and I bet the story goes something like this:

Like all manufacturers, Bushmaster can only claim revenue on their books for orders that leave their docks. And like all manufacturers, Bushmaster's inventory of parts and finished rifles left on the books at the end of the year shows up as a cost and reduces profitability.

Because of Sept. 11, Bushmaster had no more inventory of A2 carbine uppers or rifles. But they had backlogged orders for them. And they may have had A3 uppers and handles sitting in inventory. And I'll bet they close their books on December 31. So for them, shipping A3's with handles reduces inventory, increases the sales number, and contributes to profitability.

Good deal for them. EXCELLENT DEAL FOR ME!!!

p.s. The FFL said he had only opened the boxes to get serial numbers 10 minutes before I got there. He didn't notice the funny nobs either!
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 6:21:21 PM EDT
damn good deal! I'm waiting my turn for an awesome firearms deal like that...
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