View Full Version : R&D Gun Shop

December 30, 2008, 12:24 PM
I’m still waiting on the conversion cylinder for my 1863 Pocket Remington. I ordered one from Taylor’s more than a year ago and they told me R&D was in the process of developing the cylinder for the little Pietta 1863. In October of this year I emailed Taylor’s and got no response, so I emailed R&D directly. A woman named Regina Howell replied and said they were just finishing up those cylinders and they’d be on their web site soon.

Yesterday I checked their web site and got redirected to a web design site with the message “This Account Has Been Suspended”. So I emailed Regina again and she promptly replied the following:

“Our website is down right now as we are closing down to catch up on some work. The Pockets would be one of those projects. Let me get your name and phone number as I have started a list and they will only be available through us and they are priced at $210.00.

We also have a new name and company:

Howell Old West Conversions, LLC.

Everything is the same, just new company.
Thank you
Regina Howell”

This is all a bit fishy to me. Does anyone know what's going on here?

December 30, 2008, 04:18 PM
I know nothing about it, but I appreciate your having taken the time to provide us with your report. :)

December 30, 2008, 07:25 PM
but I appreciate your having taken the time to provide us with your report. You betcha! :)

Searching TFL I found a few older posts where people said R&D had their gun in for work and were unresponsive. I'm not sure what's going on, but sounds like there may have been problems for a couple years and maybe now a shake-up in the business. ???

Wonder if they'll ever produce the cylinders.

December 30, 2008, 07:56 PM
Searching TFL I found a few older posts where people said R&D had their gun in for work and were unresponsive. I'm not sure what's going on, but sounds like there may have been problems for a couple years and maybe now a shake-up in the business. ???
I was dealing with them a year or so back.anyway sombody higher up in the Co. died at that time.

December 31, 2008, 07:48 AM
I wouldn`t be hard on them ..they are a small shop makeing a product that sells like hot cakes ..... (expecially right now ) I know they have to be swamped with back orders .............last month every place I looked was out of stock on the R&D cylinders . I ordered one for my Ruger and it took a month to get .

December 31, 2008, 11:32 AM
I wouldn`t be hard on them

I should also mention that I found posts here stating that Ken Howell is a stand-up kinda guy.

December 31, 2008, 12:04 PM
With Kenny Howell's reputation, I can't imagine anything sinister going on. I would just assume they're busier than a one-legged cat and up to their eyeballs in work.

December 31, 2008, 12:09 PM
Yep you know who ...has made these drop in cylinders the way to go ..:rolleyes:

January 1, 2009, 11:16 PM
I was wondering if you could send me some contact info so I can get in touch with R&D. I am going through the same thing. Thanks Greg

Duck Dodgers
January 8, 2009, 08:14 PM
I have had a pistol at R&D for a year now.

All I can get are vague replies.."2 weeks" and "it's almost done".

Nice guy or not...He's got my pistol and I'm not getting any straight answers.:mad:

Found this forum after doing a search when I saw their web-site was down.

I will try the phone number in one of the previous posts.

Anybody have an address? Maybe it's registered letter time if they continue to ignore my e-mails.

Duck Dodgers
January 9, 2009, 12:12 PM
OK, I talked with Ken today...well sort of.

I told him who I was and wanted to know the status of my pistol.

He said "two weeks".... I told him I was skeptical because I had had the same answer for a year.."two weeks".

He got all ruffled up and then said he will box it up and return it to me. And then he hung up.

Nice and professional.

So what now? I wait for a year, get the run around ("two weeks"), the guy is rude and returns my pistol with out doing the work?

I guess I'll get my pistol back in "two weeks". :mad:

Duck Dodgers
January 9, 2009, 03:21 PM
OK...back again.

A couple hours after my call (see last post) Regina called me with an actual status and an apology.

Pistol is partially complete but with their high work load it won't be finished for 1 or two months.

Hopefully, it will be worth the wait and aggravation.

January 9, 2009, 03:37 PM
Sure glad to see you got it straightened out DD ... I think they are great folks with great products ..They wouldn`t be the first small company to have growing pains ..

November 27, 2009, 11:39 AM
I've noted that some of the posters have had delivery and communication problems with Ken Howell and R&D. In my experience with Ken Howell he and his assistance have ingnored phone calls, faxes, e-mails, and letters. I sent Ken Howell a rifle 4 years ago to have work performed Ken Howell. I was told that the turnaround time was approximately 6 months. As requested by Howell, I paid the $625 for the modifications in advance. Since that time (YES! 4-years ago) Howell has rarely responded to my communications. When I do finally reach him, he'll tell me that the rifle will be done by a certain date then he does not meet that deadline. Again and again (and again and again) I've called him to ascertain the date (new date) when the rifle would be completed. Usually after 15 to 20 calls he will respond with another date of completion . . . then (again and again) not meet this new completion date. Howell has even used the excuse for not completing my rifle with a story that he had to work on some of Tom Selleck's guns for a movie. I believe Mr. Howell is not an honorable man and my experiences with him has lead me to believe that he is a dishonest man. All those individuals doing business with Howell should be forewarned that, again in my opinion and experience, Howell is not an honorable person or a honest man.

November 27, 2009, 11:58 AM
Wow. :(

Piper Cub
November 28, 2009, 04:29 PM
Heard R&D was filing for bankrupcy

November 28, 2009, 04:51 PM
IF R&D is filing for bankruptcy I'm pretty sure that any firearms that are in their shop for work will become part of the "assets" of the bankruptcy court.. I seem to recall from some other posts that some of the members of this forum has firearms at R&D for repairs/alterations...I'm just not sure what kind of a "goat rope" the guys will have to go thru to get their property back..

November 29, 2009, 04:14 PM
I'm not going to bash them, but I will say I've been waiting for the 1863 Pocket Remington conversion cylinder they've been promising for a long time now and am pretty sure it isn't gunna happen.

December 4, 2009, 11:46 AM
R&D is reorganizing. It appears that R&D had some major internal problems and is now in the process of "cleaning house". New management at R&D has assured that all products and services will be available and all back orders, work projects, and product services will be honored. It appears that R&D's lack of communication with their customers was caused by employees that are no longer with R&D. Armed with this new information I believe that R&D is making a major effort to provide outstanding service to their customers. I have learned that Mr. Howell has suffered some business and personal tragedies recently. Without such knowledge one (read: Me) can make assumptions that may not be correct. I understand that R&D will reorganize under a new company name. I wish them good luck and God speed.

Springfield Kid
December 4, 2009, 12:00 PM
I hope it works out , they have a good product .

December 4, 2009, 12:01 PM
I understand that R&D will reorganize under a new company name. They did that about a year ago.

Howell Old West Conversions, LLC.

Andy Griffith
December 5, 2009, 12:23 PM
Maybe it's time to look at a Kirst Konverter.

I just don't like them because they are set up for the cowboy crowd. I guess they are "safer," but I'd rather have my hammer on an empty chamber than a blank place in the cylinder. :confused:

Let me be the judge to load six or five rounds.

Riot Earp
December 5, 2009, 09:40 PM
I haven't used Kenny's services, but I've read on a few forums over the years that his Customer Service and people-skills suck. Walt Kirst seems to have a better reputation.

Some Kirst Konverters hold 6 rounds.

Duck Dodgers
March 29, 2010, 07:41 PM
It's a year later.....still no pistol and no straight answers.

My Wife bought me the '61 Pietta Navy and my Son the cylinder as birthday presents in late '07. Sent them off for a conversion and barrel sleeve in early '08.

So, R&D, Howell Old West, (whatever) has had my pistol and conversion cylinder for over two years total.

Swindled out of $500 dollars worth of pistol/cylinder and no way to get them back. Talk about bitter. :(


March 30, 2010, 12:33 PM
Ho-ly cow. :(

April 2, 2010, 09:11 PM
After reading these old posts early last year, I bought my conversion cylinder from Midway USA AFTER verifying that they had them is stock. I'm sorry for your misfortune but at least your posts have helped others from falling into the same trap. So thanks and best wishes.

April 3, 2010, 02:38 PM
Talk about just in time!!! I was getting ready to order direct from Howell's, lady said she had what I wanted just last week....think I'll get product thru EMF , Taylor's, or Midway. My guess is they are too busy filling big orders to worry about small purchases/reworks. :(

Duck Dodgers
April 5, 2010, 04:42 PM
You might consider Kirst. I haven't seen their parts personally but, I have read good things about their conversion cylinders.

They also have ejector rods and a cylinder for the Remmy Pocket. (Something Howell has been advertising and not delivering for a year or more.)

BTW. Tried calling Howell twice. Left message. No reply. :mad:

May 20, 2010, 06:52 AM
About three weeks ago I sent one of my ROAs and a very, very tight (overlength) conversion cylinder to R&D for fitting. They turned it around in one day and it works perfectly...

Square Butte
June 17, 2010, 03:39 PM
I just registered so I could add a post to this thread. Ken Howell has had two of my 1860 colt army civillians (cimarron) sent for conversion - for 6 and a half years. Yes, that's right - six and a half years. Every year a different lie, or same old lie. New delivery date, etc., etc.. I have not been able to get them back. I kinda don't think I will never see them again. Have been thinking about filing a police report and an inssurance claim. It's disheartening to have to try and deal with someone in the firearms business who exhibits so little integrity. I'm still looking for a solution to this problem.

One Thumb
February 12, 2011, 11:24 AM
I just stumbled on to this thread, and I have to add to it. In 1995 I obtained a 1861 Navy Colt (reprodutuction) cartridge conversion from Howell, his serial #2. That same year I returned it to him for a timing tune-up (cylinder over-travel). I haven't seen it since, nor has Howell responded to any of my subsequent attempts to get information from him. Did you notice the date on this post? The guy's a crook. I'm commencing legal action against him.

February 12, 2011, 08:52 PM
I never had any problems getting them but I'm a retailer. I have 2 in shop right now-44c for colts and 44 c for rems. (Pietta only) but they are expensive. I sell for less than R/D E-mail me at bhardy 360 @aol.com.

February 13, 2011, 01:51 PM
You guys need to file Charges against that company

February 13, 2011, 07:03 PM
What Hylander said! Why would you wait six and a half years or since 1995 to get your guns back!?!? To each his own. Good luck.

February 13, 2011, 08:38 PM
I'd get a cheap flight and pay that man a visit after 6 1/2 yrs