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Old September 15, 2023, 06:13 PM   #1
Prof Young
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A tale of UPS, Beretta and paper trails . . .

Fellow Shooters:

I have a Beretta Tomcat 32 acp. With less than two hundred rounds through it, I notice a piece of metal on the range table that is the same green/gray color as the gun. Hmmmm. I shut down and field strip the gun. Sure enough, the piece of metal is part of the body and came off just above the trigger and mag release area. Gun was running fine but it’s better not to shoot a broken gun.

I call Beretta. They see that the gun is still under warranty and send me a UPS label. I put all the requisite stuff in the box with the gun and the mag and off it goes.

A week later my LGS, where I bought the gun, calls:

J: Rich, did you send that Tomcat in for repair?

Me: Um, yeah. What’s up?

J: I just got a call from UPS and they have the gun and don’t know where to ship it.

I don’t recall the exact sequence of events, but after multiple phone calls I surmised that:
The gun was separated from the box it was shipped in. (Note: it was a sturdy box well taped up.) UPS called Beretta. Via the serial number, Beretta told them the name of the wholesaler they sent it to. The wholesaler told them the name of my LGS whom they’d sold it to and my LGS called me. In the process I talked to Beretta a couple of time and UPS as well. In fact, when I first called Beretta they said it was already there. Turns out all they was the empty box, but had logged it in as if the gun was there. Somewhere along the way I got hints that there had been a fire on the truck, but I kinda wonder if someone tried to steal it and got caught.

I got confirmation that Beretta finally and actually has the gun. Six to eight weeks for the repair. Although I asked if the magazine made it too, I never got confirmation of that, must less the part that broke off, which I sent along.

I’m not sure what the lesson is here save that if you are the original owner of a gun . . . “they” can find you if they want to. I suppose we all already knew that.

The biggest mistake I made is all this is that I had a Bobcat and a Tomcat and I sold the Bobcat. Ooops.

Life is good.
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Old September 15, 2023, 07:38 PM   #2
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What you describe is called a reverse trace. This is the primary method to trying to tie a gun to an owner. Of course, it only works up until it gets to the first transfer that doesn't include an FFL.

In this case, I would say it worked pretty well--fortunate for you!
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Old September 16, 2023, 02:09 AM   #3
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wow....

Fire on the truck...riiiight....

I think I'd be a bit put out with UPS. The gun came out of the box. That means the box had to be open or damaged enough to allow it. They shipped and open/damaged and obviously empty box?? THEN found they still had the gun?? Wow.

I realize its a small light gun, but Beretta got the box and thought the gun was inside? double wow!

Makes me wonder if UPS resealed the empty box and then shipped it to Beretta???

glad your gun finally got to them, wonder what kind of "adventure" it will have on its way back to you....

Good Luck!!
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Old September 16, 2023, 05:42 AM   #4
berettaprofessor
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Quote:
The biggest mistake I made is all this is that I had a Bobcat and a Tomcat and I sold the Bobcat. Ooops.
No, your biggest mistake was buying a Tomcat, I'm amazed they still bother to make and sell the things, given that they have to periodically replace most of them.

You're lucky that they will replace at least the frame; because out of the box it's probably scratched to heck by UPS. I hate when it's UPS taking the shipping here; boxes come mangled and dirty as all get out. Yes, there are gravel roads in the area, but USPS and Fed Ex don't have the same issue.
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Old September 16, 2023, 10:49 AM   #5
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berettaprofessor . . .

Beretta Prof.

Your point is well taken. I bought it because it looked like fun. I did the research but figured it couldn't be too hard to abide by the power limits they say not to exceed.

When I get it back, if I get it back, it will go into a local gun auction.

Life is good.

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Old September 16, 2023, 12:43 PM   #6
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Shouldn't firearms companies use some type of name other than Beretta, S&W, Colt, etc to make it less obvious that the box contains a firearm? Of course, I suppose, the UPS employees could figure that out and still open the box.
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Old September 18, 2023, 09:08 PM   #7
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I bought one new around 2010? I was shooting it and had the slide lockup! After removing the magazine and pulling the slide back all the way a small piece of the frame fell out on the tailgate of my truck. A call to Beretta (very nice lady) got me a shipping label sent to my email and if I remember correctly UPS was the postal service. Gun was shipped back directly to me ( I actually told our delivery guy to give it to my retired neighbor) fairly quickly and was perfect. I sold it about 6 months later, haven’t missed it too much.
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Old October 5, 2023, 09:48 AM   #8
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Final follow up . . .

Beretta sent me a new gun. I never did get a clear read on what happened in the shipment of the first.

The new gun is going over the the LGS and will be sold on consignment.

Live and learn.

Life is good.

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Old October 5, 2023, 11:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Shouldn't firearms companies use some type of name other than Beretta, S&W, Colt, etc to make it less obvious that the box contains a firearm?
That would depend on the law, and the rules of the carrier being used.

I don't know what today's requirements are but the USPS at one time required boxes containing firearms to be labeled "FIRARM" in red letters at least one inch high. After over 6 million dollars worth of Winchester rifles were stolen off Chicago loading docks in one year, (and this was back in the 70s) I think they "re-evaluated" that requirement, but I do not know if they ever actually changed it. I imagine they have, by now...
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Old October 5, 2023, 04:14 PM   #10
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I think I'd be a bit put out with UPS. The gun came out of the box. That means the box had to be open or damaged enough to allow it. They shipped and open/damaged and obviously empty box??
If the box was blatantly labeled to go to Beretta, some nefarious character would know what was inside. I spent a summer at a UPS sort facility. Having had a FFL, I recognized familiar names like RSR, SAW (S&W), Ruger, Davidson's, etc. This was back when they shipped via ground. Those of us who worked at the facility had to go in and out through a guard shack where everything was inspected - lunchbox, backpack, etc.
BUT, once the driver left with it on his truck, anything could happen to make it go bye-bye.
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Old October 10, 2023, 10:12 AM   #11
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This tale is not over yet . . .

Okay, as noted above I have already received a new gun from Beretta. I also got a letter from them saying I was receiving a new gun. The letter came after the gun.

Today I got an email from Beretta saying . . ."Your firearm repair case number is xxxxxxxxx. We show the gunsmith has reviewed the firearm and you should expect a call from the service team soon. I hope this helps and you have a great day sir!"

Are we having fun yet?

Life is good.
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Old October 10, 2023, 10:18 PM   #12
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Sounds like they definitely do not have their ducks in a row.
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Old October 11, 2023, 01:37 PM   #13
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Their ducks are lined up in a row, they're just in the wrong order!
Sequence does matter,
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Old October 12, 2023, 06:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof Young View Post
Okay, as noted above I have already received a new gun from Beretta. I also got a letter from them saying I was receiving a new gun. The letter came after the gun.

Today I got an email from Beretta saying . . ."Your firearm repair case number is xxxxxxxxx. We show the gunsmith has reviewed the firearm and you should expect a call from the service team soon. I hope this helps and you have a great day sir!"

Are we having fun yet?

Life is good.
Prof Young
Professor,
Your experience sounds very similar to mine. However, I don’t remember receiving an email before, during or afterwards from a Beretta gunsmith. It has been quite a while though.
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Old October 17, 2023, 08:47 PM   #15
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Of course, it only works up until it gets to the first transfer that doesn't include an FFL.
Sold a gun at the gun show. Same process used to find me. Thankfully I had a bill of sale. The idiot who purchased my gun sold it in NJ and it was used in an armed robbery. Last registered owner was me, BUT they went and had a chat will the the guy I sold it to.
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Old November 5, 2023, 10:50 AM   #16
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Shouldn't manufacturers of firearms make it less evident that a firearm is within the box?
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