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Old October 13, 2019, 05:52 PM   #1
shurshot
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Maine Gun shop destroyed new Colt SAA collector value!

After a lengthy search, I had a new brand new Colt single action army .45 Peacemaker transferred to my dealer (now FORMER dealer), for an FFL transfer (Gunbroker purchase) and the young know it all clerk, prior to my arrival, "safety checks" the gun, cuts off the zip tie the Colt Dealer placed on it at my request and then plays with it. He admitted to dropping the hammer from the half cock notch, and apparently several times too, given the numerous turn Mark's on the cylinder from the cylinder bolt. He DESTROYED the collector value, as I was planning on putting it away, unturned, uncocked, in the safe for a few decades to pass on or sell. The Clerk refused to accept responsibility for his ignorance and damage he did, was arrogant, tried to blame Colt (which is BS), said they left the turn marks (I have before and after photos from the original seller, an authorized Colt dealership). The gun was MINT and unturned, unmarked prior to this idiot getting his hands on it.
Manager backs clerk, says ALL guns must be safely checked. Colt Single action revolvers have rimmed cartridges (.45 Colt anyhow, as this one was), the gun can be checked easily WITHOUT cocking it by viewing it sideways. ANY cartridge in the cylinder can be seen by holding the gun sideways. The clerk obviously just wanted to play with it (and did!) and subsequently ruined its uncocked / unturned condition. Dropped it from the half cock and or indexed the cylinder!!!???!!! A brand new Colt?!?!? Is he trying to destroy my hammer sear??? Very disappointed in this dealer and the arrogance / poor attitude of the clerk after the fact. He should not be working in a gunshop with that attitude! . He advised me that he knows "allot about single action revolvers and has lots of experience with them". Ha ha!!! Yeah, he sure destroyed mine in short order!!!
They refuse to accept responsibility and or to pay for the cylinder to be reblued as it isn't covered under Warranty (I already called Colt and started a ticket, and they encouraged me to hold the dealer $$$ responsible for the rebluing). Devalued my new Colt from Collector grade to shooter grade before I could even see it and now I'm stuck with a devalued gun. Not a cheap gun either. Sending it back to Colt now and exploring legal options. Terrible experience.

Be careful who you conduct buisness with pertaining to valuable weapons.

Last edited by shurshot; October 13, 2019 at 06:48 PM.
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Old October 13, 2019, 06:59 PM   #2
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Youth and stupidity can be outgrown.

The owner should know better and do the right thing.

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Old October 13, 2019, 07:23 PM   #3
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When I handled transfers similar to what you described I never even opened the box. Box would come off the UPS truck, I sign for box and had a shelf devoted to such boxes. I would call the customer, identify myself and just say your package is here. I would never ever open the box. I do a transfer and that's it. My liability ends when you take the still sealed box from my paws. This way any issues remain between you and the seller or the carrier but not me. Safety Checks is a new one on me. All I am doing is a transfer which consist of exactly what the name implies.

Depending on your local and state laws you may have a shot in small claims court. Small claims courts can vary but may be as much as $1,500 to around $2,000 and the filing fees are normally pretty inexpensive. If I have to pay a $50 fee to recoup Colt factory service it's worth it. You have the before and after images going for you.

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Old October 13, 2019, 09:37 PM   #4
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Is the value of the gun low enough to qualify for small claims court in Maine? It seems to me (me is not a lawyer) that you have a slam dunk case if there ever was one.

For a comparison, back when Colt first introduced the first of the M1911 reproduction series (the Model O1911, not the later Model M1918), I looked at one that was being offered by a small FFL out in the boonies. He was careful to point out that he had not racked the slide, that he would not rack the slide, and that if I wanted to rack the slide I could do so after I had bought the pistol. He knew how important it is to keep a potential collector firearm pristine. That dealer in Maine should close up shop.
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Old October 13, 2019, 09:44 PM   #5
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I have no advice but I think it is sickening what happened. Sorry for your experience.
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Old October 13, 2019, 10:31 PM   #6
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I'm a Justice of the Peace in Texas. $10,000 limit going to $20,000 1/1/2020 in Texas. You'll want to bring an "expert" gun collector/appraiser to court as a witness.

Here's the directions for pursuing a small claims case in Maine. Google is your friend.

https://courts.maine.gov/maine_court...s/sc-guide.pdf
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Old October 13, 2019, 11:50 PM   #7
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Thanks to burrhead's handy link, we find the following (on page 1):

Quote:
Small claims court provides a speedy and inexpensive way to resolve disputes when the plaintiff’s claim is $6,000 or less. Cases are heard and decided in Maine District Court by a judge without a jury.
You don't need (and can't have) a lawyer in small claims court. Basically, all it costs you is the filing fee, plus your time. (And compensation for any expert witnesses you might bring in -- if allowed.) So if the amount by which you have been "damaged" (the cost of refinishing the cylinder, plus the reduction in value of the firearm) totals up to $6,000 or less, you are eligible to make a claim in small claims court.

Obviously, if your damages are greater than $6,000 you can still file a lawsuit to recover, but then you can't do it through the less formal small claims process.
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Old October 14, 2019, 06:40 AM   #8
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Thank you all for the sound advice and small claims Court link. I'm so mad about this I could chew 10 penny nails. Last Friday I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau... I'm hoping this will inspire the President of the company to step up and do the right thing. If not, I'll have him served and pursue a claim against him.
The Authorized Colt dealer in Florida I originally purchased the gun from, and she sells allot of Colts, advised she will no longer use them as an FFL transfer location, after she dealt with them over the phone. They wanted her to take the Colt back (at a $$$ loss), after I initially refused to accept it after seeing the damage and dealing with that self proclaimed gun expert and all his BS. I just can't imagine employing someone that numb and belligerent in a fairly large gunshop / shooting range... obviously not good for business. Must be related to someone higher up.
I told the manager this would be like ordering a brand new sports car from a dealership, and when I go to pick it up, it has 200 miles on the odometer and a scratch on the door. Unacceptable. He replied that the Colt dealer or I should have told them beforehand not to open or turn the action... which contradicted what he and the nimrod exclaimed previously, which was "ALL guns, no matter the value, get opened and safety checked upon arrival, its store policy!!". That was prior to them saying Colt Manufacturering had sent the gun out with turn Mark's from test firing. They did everything they could to lie their way out of this. Insulting to say the least.

They had NO need to cut the zip tie and operate that action, aside from pure ignorance and curiosity. Both Colt Manufacturering and the Colt dealer stated as much when I spoke with them.

Last edited by shurshot; October 14, 2019 at 06:48 AM.
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Old October 14, 2019, 06:50 AM   #9
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Talk to a lawyer..a letter from an attorney reminding the gun store owner/manager how expensive the lawsuit may be may change his mind.

As has been mentioned, social media can be a powerful thing also.
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Old October 14, 2019, 07:06 AM   #10
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Never heard of "safety check" on a firearm transfer that was ordered on line. And why would they? Makes no sense to me unless you bought it from the gun shop itself.
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Old October 14, 2019, 07:11 AM   #11
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Can you please message me which shop it is--since I also do FFL transfers in Maine. I will not contact them nor let them know I got the info from you.

I would contact Gunbroker directly and see if they might help--definitely should let them know a dealer botched a transfer.
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Old October 14, 2019, 08:05 AM   #12
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Stagpanther, I'm unsure if the forum mods will allow me to disclose the company's name, publicly or privately (??), and as I just filed a complaint with the BBB, I should give the President of this gun shop / shooting range in southern Maine a chance to do the right thing. If he doesn't respond quickly to the BBB complaint, then I'll take him / them to court, and seek additional compensation for filing fees, mileage, etc., on top of the refurbishment costs.
2K collector gun, and the clerk treated it worse than most would a Heritage Arms .22 Rough Rider. Unreal.

Last edited by shurshot; October 14, 2019 at 08:20 AM.
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Old October 14, 2019, 08:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Stagpanther, I'm unsure if the forum mods will allow me to disclose the company's name, publicly or privately (??), and as I just filed a complaint with the BBB, I should give the President of this gun shop / shooting range in southern Maine a chance to do the right thing. If he doesn't respond quickly to the BBB complaint, then I'll take him / them to court, and seek additional compensation for filing fees, mileage, etc., on top of the refurbishment costs.
Got it--I'm downeast, but I've seen irresponsible shenanigans here as well.

If it makes you feel better, when Dorian made a pass near us my roof was damaged and leaks--I hired a guy to put a brand-spanking new metal roof on--and he said he'd get to it quickly and took 50% deposit (over 4K) and he hasn't done a thing since I paid him Sept 12.
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Old October 14, 2019, 09:42 AM   #14
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I'd think a re-blue would hurt collector value just as much, if not more, than a drag line on the cylinder. Plus haven't all gun manufacturers always test fired their guns before leaving the factory. I seriously doubt the gun has never been cocked before.

Not saying what they did was OK and that the value is not diminished. But I'd proceed slowly and have an appraisal done on the gun to determine it's actual value, how much it was impacted before making any decisions.
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Old October 14, 2019, 10:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
I'd think a re-blue would hurt collector value just as much, if not more, than a drag line on the cylinder. Plus haven't all gun manufacturers always test fired their guns before leaving the factory. I seriously doubt the gun has never been cocked before.
Its not just cocking it but bringing it to half cock and then slightly cocking it a little more to let the hammer down. That makes a drag mark on the cylinder because the cylinder isn't fully indexed. The proper way to do it on a Colt if you go to half cock and want to lower the hammer then you pull the hammer all the way to full cock and then let the hammer down. When you go to full cock the bolt drops in the bolt notch and cannot scratch the cylinder.

And yes the idiot in the gunstore deserves to have his butt sued off. He is too stupid to be working there.
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Old October 14, 2019, 11:41 AM   #16
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Heartbreaking. Don't think I'd have the discipline to leave it unfired though.
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Old October 14, 2019, 12:03 PM   #17
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JMR40, I highly doubt Colt allows any of the current 3rd generation guns to be shipped with drag Mark's from improper handling. Test fired, of course, but I saw the "Before" pictures from the Florida Colt dealer... it was MINT... unturned... before "Mr. Self proclaimed Single Action Expert" got ahold of it and "checked it out", as he stated. :mad
Stag; Even IF I decided to shoot it, as I'm buying it BRAND NEW, shouldn't I be the one to put any Mark's or dings on a 2K gun?? If it is going to lose any potential collectors value, shouldn't I be the one who does the damage? It's new and it's a COLT SAA... why should some Millennial tacticool punk #×&! up my new gun, and then lie and deny it without consequences or responsibility??? See what I'm getting at?

If I could load pics I would. En route to shipping it back to Colt this afternoon. Fine way to spend Indigenous Peoples day. I should be out bow hunting.

Last edited by shurshot; October 14, 2019 at 12:28 PM.
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Old October 14, 2019, 12:12 PM   #18
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Did you have the option to refuse to take possession of it when taking delivery (I've done that)--or did you not notice til you got home?
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Old October 14, 2019, 12:21 PM   #19
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I noticed it immediately and refused to accept it. I called Florida and they and the Maine dealer tried to hash it out. Maine was going to send it back, but Florida would have to charge me $212 (shipping, restocking, return to Colt, etc.), and have to gun returned to Colt to be refurbished. Not fair to the Florida dealer (she sent me a MINT gun, not her fault at all), or me, so I picked it up 3 days and several phone calls later... as I'm stuck with it. The Maine dealer refuses to even apologize, much less reimburse me for a rebluing job at Colt. The manager was respectful, but clearly caught between a profit focused President and an idiot employee. They should pay for the repairs and dock the nimrods pay, or fire him and make things $ right with me. Poor buisness philosophy that's for sure. Small state, word spreads fast around here. I'll see what the BBB can do for starters.
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Old October 14, 2019, 12:52 PM   #20
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Hmmm...I think there are standard rules for risk bearing by shippers or receivers; even though it may have nothing to do with what the shipper did. I would think you would have to sign something expressly stating you bear all risks in shipping in order to have that risk-bearing waived. Otherwise, it just becomes an exercise in finger-pointing. Once you take the product home--an insurance adjuster will likely offer only the minimal cost of repair (for example, they may only offer $2.00 for a tube "instant blue"). I live in Maine and like you say word gets around fast, but it seems to me many are barely surviving (like many businesses) so I guess they opt for the dishonest way out. If the help admitted it--it's the owner who should be stepping up to the plate and doing the right thing, no matter what the help says or did IMO.
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Last edited by stagpanther; October 14, 2019 at 01:01 PM.
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Old October 14, 2019, 01:28 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shurshot
I'll see what the BBB can do for starters.
Don't hold your breath. All they will do (maybe!) is post a note on their web site that there was a complaint.
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Old October 14, 2019, 02:19 PM   #22
shurshot
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True, The BBB may not do much, but it's a start. Small claims court and Social media will be next. If I end up eating this, well, that's life. But I will do my damndest to make sure others know what happened so they can seek out a different FFL Dealer and avoid going through this.
Stag, I sure wish I didn't live 3 hours south of you!!!

On it's way to Colt now. Perhaps in a few months (Colt custom shop is very busy), I'll get back a nice, shiny brand spanking new hog leg! .

In the mean time, I'll locate a NEW FFL dealer, one who doesn't employee Potato heads!

Last edited by shurshot; October 14, 2019 at 02:27 PM.
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Old October 14, 2019, 03:06 PM   #23
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My guess is Colt will make it right and you won't end up paying anything--but who knows. I still think even if the employee is the screw-up--it's up to the owner of the shop to own it and make it right.
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Old October 14, 2019, 03:51 PM   #24
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I would point out that their policy of "safety checking" every firearm likely opens up liability as well. Prior to doing this they are simply acting as an agent of the sale. Once they start "checking" things for you they have gone beyond that.

The BBB is a joke. When was the last time you checked BBB references prior to issues arising? They have zero authority and even worse are in the business of defending their members. They should not be viewed as neutral.
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Old October 14, 2019, 06:08 PM   #25
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Was it Kittery? I've seen their prices on gunbroker and they're terrible.
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