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Old January 14, 2014, 02:18 PM   #1
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New pistols - Is my experience typical?

Between myself and a shooting buddy of mine, we've purchased a dozen new semi-auto pistols over the last 3 1/2 years. Four of those pistols had problems right out of the box. All of the problems were with the barrels:
  • A smith & Wesson had such heavy tooling marks in the bore that the grooves would fill in with lead and keyhole after less than 50 rounds
  • A Walther PPK with chamber burrs that scored the cases so deeply that 96 out of 100 split wide open when fired
  • A Rock Island 1911 that had parkerizing blotches all over the inside of the bore that caused accuracy to drop off severely after only a handful of rounds were fired. This also made cleaning the barrel a major PITA.
  • And now, I just got a Canik/Tristar T-100 (which had great reviews) and it looks like either they just forgot to crown the barrel, or they just stopped rifling the bore about 1/16" before they got through to the muzzle end. There's just a ragged edge of steel protruding into the bore at the muzzle.

Is this typical these days, or are we just very unlucky? I get the impression that nobody is even inspecting these things at the factory before shipping them out. It's not like the overall quality of these guns was bad. It's more like a piece of the manufacturing process was botched, or completely skipped.
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Old January 14, 2014, 02:28 PM   #2
James K
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The current demand, for various reasons, is very high, and gun makers are trying to turn out as many guns as possible. It is sad but true that in the process quality control, even by companies who had excelled in that department, has slipped. As anyone who has ever worked at any job knows, doubling the workload means a lapse in quality.

The easy answer would be to expand the factory and hire more people, but good business practice is against that when the demand may recede at any time, leaving the company stuck with machinery and people it can no longer afford to retain.

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Old January 14, 2014, 03:06 PM   #3
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As far as the Canik/Tristar T-100 is concerned, I had zero issues with them when I emailed a simple question. "Can the magazine release on a T-120 be reversed for a left handed shooter?".
They responded 2 days later stating they had broke out the toolbox and taken one apart to verify before responding. Yes, it can be done. But no, they would not do it. A competent gunsmith should have no problem with the task.
I recommend you contact them and get the gun repaired under warranty.
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Old January 14, 2014, 03:41 PM   #4
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CowTowner - I emailed them yesterday. I'm awaiting their reply.

I don't doubt that they'll be helpful. I just wish I didn't have to go through the hassle of returning 1 out of every 3 new guns I buy.

It's great that they pay the shipping but I can't have a gun shipped back to my workplace (where it could be secured properly) and I don't want it left on my front steps at home. It's just another hassle and worry that I don't need right now.
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Old January 14, 2014, 09:39 PM   #5
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You seem to be on a somewhat of an unlucky strike. Between my grandfather and uncle, there was probably about 15-25 pistols passed through our hunting camp in the last year and a half. The only problems I seemed to recall was a LCP that wouldnt cycle and a hipoint( i know right) that the trigger assembly jammed up in. The higher end polymers and metal framed big boys have been pretty reliable.
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Old January 23, 2014, 02:21 PM   #6
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Just out of curiosity, did you buy all these guns from the same dealer ?

Were they all bought ' New ' or used/demo ?

As others have commented, the current state of the industry is not great. Panic buying and building is not a great combo for quality control.

Either way, that's what warranty service is for.

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Old January 25, 2014, 06:12 PM   #7
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It also sounds that you have an unscrupulous dealer, who is selling firearms that should not have passed the stores inspection before being put up for sale, which should have been returned to the manufacturer by the dealer.
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Old January 26, 2014, 10:51 AM   #8
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Oddly enough, I've had exactly the opposite experience. I have personally purchased 14 handguns (3 revolvers and 11 semi-auto pistols) over the last 3 years or so. Some were used, most new. A mix of "brand names" and lesser known foreign brands. NOT ONE has had anything like the issues which which the OP has described. NOT ONE has needed return to the manufacturer or a repair centre.

The ONLY problems I have had, with ANY of them, were as follows :

A Taurus PT145, which suffered a small broken part in the FC system, causing the gun to go full automatic. I found that this was caused by a couple of parts added to the FC by the factory, to convert the action from the original DAO to SA/DA. A tiny link, which held the add-on sear in the correct orientation, broke. I simply removed the add-on parts, thus converting the action back to DAO. It never gave another problem. The pistol was kind of junky, anyway, so I sold it shortly after, but the new owner has never had a problem with it.

A Kahr CM9, with a barrel full of machine marks. The barrel would lead severely, when shooting cast bullets. However, the little pistol was and still is (I still have it) amazingly accurate. I simply made sure to shoot only jacketed bullets through it, until I had 700 rounds or so through the gun. The barrel smoothed out nicely....and now, does not lead. I carry it often and it is probably the most accurate pistol I own.

That's IT. Every single other hand gun I've owned has been very good to terrific.....and 100 % reliable. So, am I just really lucky, or is something else in play here ? I have no idea. I am mystified though, I must say, by the constant litany of tremendous problems we hear that others seem to have with nearly every gun they purchase.

How is this possible ?
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Old January 26, 2014, 11:02 AM   #9
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No, seriously. Why would you buy a gun without inspecting it first? The problems the OP describes would be blatantly obvious to most anyone with a flashlight and an open action. Now that's not excusing the manufacturers from putting out poor QC'ed guns, but if I'm buying something - even new - I do a routine inspection.
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