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Old December 13, 2012, 11:07 PM   #1
tahunua001
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my experience with Special Interest Arms

hello all. I am putting this out just as a public service announcement. for the last year or so I have been enamored by the idea of a bolt action rifle in 45ACP. well doing some research I found little in the way of factory offered models but I did come across special interest arms, a small outfit in NV that specializes in modifications to enfield rifles that offers a 45ACP conversion kit. this spring I was able to piece together a no parts matching enfield no4 to use as a guinea pig and set to work appropriating the necessary conversion kit.

SIA does not accept debit/credit cards and being a product of generation X I don't have a checkbook so I paid via cashiers check. everything started off well enough. I was in no hurry and Rich(as far as I know the owner and only employee) was waiting on barrels so it was no big deal when he said there would be a few weeks wait(this was back in MAY). every couple weeks I would write an email and he would respond in a couple days with an update on my status but then things started to degrade.

several emails would go unanswered until I started getting "less that civil" and he would come back with another set of excuses and promises that it would not be much longer. finally after a 2 month lapse in communication in the first week of October he told me that he had been injured and was behind schedule but that my order was done and would be shipping that week. my package never arrived and he failed to respond to any of my status requests and finally after 2 months I made my complaints public by posting on several fine forums(including this one).

within hours, Rich contacted me by email, very angry and accusing me of slander. he offered no explanation as to why my order had not shipped back in October as promised but he did say that he had intended to offer a free "more robust" ejector upgrade to apologize for the long wait but since I was in such a hurry he would ship my order immediately without the upgrade. 4 days later I had the conversion kit at my door step and during installation I ended up breaking the ejector which was not upgraded. without the ejector the rifle is virtually useless. I refuse to contact SIA for a replacement as it will probably take me another 6 months of bickering to receive it. I have no idea what I'm going to do with the thing now but I can honestly say that I will never do business with special interest arms ever again.
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Old December 14, 2012, 12:56 AM   #2
the rifleer
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Good to know. I certainly understand where you are coming from and think you did exactly the right thing. I'd still send an email, you might get it for free.
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Old December 14, 2012, 03:45 PM   #3
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I have a 7.62x39 Russian or "Enfield K" conversion on order for an old No.4 Mk1* Enfield from them as well.
Parts to be converted were shipped to, and received by SIA in July, 2012. I haven't gotten my kit yet and no status request has been given a good response.
I'm just going to wait until the kit arrives and finish the project.
Would I do business with them again? Probably not.
Was I expecting the kit to be shipped to me within a specified period of time? No I wasn't.
Why not?
Because gunsmiths and custom parts take time to build/modify/get turned around. And because no definite time frame was offered or inferred.
It's a project for the heck of it and not a needed piece of hardware.
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Old December 22, 2012, 07:43 PM   #4
7.62 Nato
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Has anyone checked, or filed complaints with the BBB ? I wonder what kind of track record this co. has.
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Old December 22, 2012, 07:58 PM   #5
tahunua001
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SIA is not accredited by BBB and I was thinking about filing one after the fact but then in their complaints section they say that they only take complaints against non accredited companies to help arbitrate in ongoing disputes so since I already got the kit I doubt they would do much.
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Old December 23, 2012, 02:31 PM   #6
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Thanks for the heads up!

A useful public service announcement for sure....
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Old December 31, 2012, 03:29 AM   #7
Richard SIA
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How nice, barrels take six months to show up......

How nice, my barrels are taking six months to show up instead of the quoted five weeks!
Several orders were placed over a period of months, next week they will all be delivered at the same time.
But I'm the one getting slammed on-line.
"It" really does roll down hill!

FYI, Panic buying for gun parts did not start two weeks ago, for barrels it started at the beginning of 2012.

It seems that some folk need to check their firewalls and 'approve' mail from companies they want a reply from.
Email from people I have already gotten mail from is also sometimes redirected to my SPAM filter until I find out and approve them again, I do not know why.

I am getting away from time consuming hand fitted products to concentrate on new items that are simpler or more profitable.

The 7.62x39 "K" is being phased out.
It was a good product, but the volume/return is not there to continue with it unless it is also suppressed.

My arm and leg injuries are nearly recovered, the stitches are out, I am able to walk again, thanks for your concern. /s

While recovering I set up a spreadsheet to track all orders.
As stated on my site, they are going out in the order received.

For future reference, the old style .45 ejector is as follows.
MSC Part #: 05588371
Big Book Page #: 1343
Manufacturer: Gibraltar.
Now anyone who forgets to reinstall the bolt properly may order as many as they like without having to contact me.

The new style ejector should be impossible to break.

Happy new year.
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Old December 31, 2012, 08:45 AM   #8
jonnyc
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Richard,
FWIW, I have only heard praise for your end product, and I am about a 95% satisfied customer, but your communication could get a serious upgrade. You need to "talk" to your unhappy customers, they are the ones who make the most noise.
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Old January 2, 2013, 08:56 AM   #9
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Richard,
As I stated, I'll finish the project when the kit arrives and I can finish it. I'm not rushing anyone because quality work takes time.
Glad to hear you're healing nicely. And for some reason I'm not surprised the barrels are taking longer than promised.
Hang in there and Happy New Year.
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Old January 2, 2013, 10:04 AM   #10
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It sounds like this thread has a reasonable resolution. Hope 2013 works out as well. Happy New Year!
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Old March 19, 2013, 03:44 PM   #11
CowTowner
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Update to my previous posts

Richard will now know who I am and I'm good with that.

I received my Enfield K kit yesterday.
Opened it up and played with it a little, but since there were no "instructions", I figured I'd send Richard an email today and ask what this, that and the other did and how so I understood the kit better.
Instead of replying to the email, he called me and answered all my questions in plain English. After our conversation I felt I had gotten excellent customer service.

Thanks for going the extra mile, Richard.
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Old March 19, 2013, 05:32 PM   #12
tahunua001
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interesting, good to know he's stepped his game up.
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Old March 19, 2013, 06:53 PM   #13
CowTowner
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I guess I should also point out that the Enfield K conversions are no longer available.
You will notice this if you visit his website at http://www.specialinterestarms.com/index.php?page=faq
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Old March 19, 2013, 09:13 PM   #14
tahunua001
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yeah I believe by the new years resurrection of this thread appeared the K kit was already being phased out.
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Old December 20, 2018, 07:55 PM   #15
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This is a super duper old thread now but I think the issue is still occuring and I wish this thread had popped up on google when I was first looking.

I, too, have had a less than fantastic experience with Richard Brengman at special interest arms. I wanted to get ahold of one of the 22TCM -> 9mm 'novem' kits he does for the rock island 22TCM rifle. This involves some light barrel machining, removal of some material on the bolt, and some dremeling on the feed ramp to make the rifle eject 9mm reliably. I asked him about turnaround time and was quoted about a month, which is fine. I sent off my parts from my 22TCM and a check and waited a month. After a month had gone by with no parts or communication from Richard I contacted him, at which time he informed me that he needed to delay production by an *additional* 1-3 months on top of the month already gone by. I informed him that I'd be OK with that if he could commit to having it done within 1 additional month, otherwise I needed my parts back (shipped at my expense) and a refund of whatever funds were left over after that was done. Since that time I've had radio silence. At this point I am not sure whether I will be getting my original 22 TCM parts back, a completed kit as ordered, or nothing at all. It's now been about 6 months longer than he promised me, and he has stopped responding to my emails.

Before he stopped responding to emails he actually said he has sold his machining equipment now, so I'm sure my chance of getting anything out of this mess is pretty close to zero...

Lesson learned - if you do business at all with this outfit do it with paypal or some method by which you can file a dispute and retrieve your funds. I am basically at the mercy of this guy unless I drive down there and file a small claims court case, which I am almost annoyed enough to do.
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Old January 11, 2019, 11:16 AM   #16
Ledslnger
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Think the website forwards you to another site. Not sure if he sold out to someone more skilled or if it’s a cover. Would like to know. May have to do some BBB digging in the State reflected on the new website.
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Old January 12, 2019, 12:09 PM   #17
Tidewater_Kid
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This looks pretty current, but not sure if he would reply to an email.

http://www.specialinterestarms.com/index.php?page=home


Email appears to be [email protected]
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Old January 12, 2019, 12:55 PM   #18
RC20
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For sure BBB and contact the State Police as well.

I would also contact ATF, its a cross state commerce and there may be aspects they can deal with.
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