1911Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Rather this is for the sake of discussion only. My new Ultra Compact SS 3.5" .45 pistol just returned today from SA. It was seriously inaccurate, the trigger was really unacceptable in lack of smoothness,hard pull, and some surfaces were downright rough on the fingers. Today, the trigger pulls very smoothly, it feels actually identical to my Kimber, which I was happy with from day one, the rough surfaces are very much better now, and even though I have not had time to fire it as yet, I take the technician at his word that it will be much better in the accuracy now. The sights were reworked also, according to the shop notes.

My wonderment is that since SA Illinois is able to make a 'silk purse' out of a 'sow's ear', how is the company saving money to have the piece manufactured in Brazil, at seemingly low quality control? Considering my reading here (albeit unscientific) that seems to point to a considerable amount of pistol returns from owners for various repair/rework, it, on the surface, just seems that there is a very large expense to the company, involved. Just 'sayin here! I now hope it will work as every day carry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
617 Posts
Just my two cents here..But I suspect that those firearms that require warranty work or fixing, the numeric numbers is just a small fraction of sales..Though when you read on forums, etc the percentage seems high, it again is fractional to what is really out there with no issues.

The same is true with Taurus , Kimber, RIA, etc. Not to start bashing..We read about the ones that have issues, Not often about the ones that don't.

I doubt that most manufactureres don't look at quality control. REturns versus sales, etc. It would be a poor business model at best if they did.

Be safe:cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,648 Posts
Rather this is for the sake of discussion only. My new Ultra Compact SS 3.5" .45 pistol just returned today from SA. It was seriously inaccurate, the trigger was really unacceptable in lack of smoothness,hard pull, and some surfaces were downright rough on the fingers. Today, the trigger pulls very smoothly, it feels actually identical to my Kimber, which I was happy with from day one, the rough surfaces are very much better now, and even though I have not had time to fire it as yet, I take the technician at his word that it will be much better in the accuracy now. The sights were reworked also, according to the shop notes.

My wonderment is that since SA Illinois is able to make a 'silk purse' out of a 'sow's ear', how is the company saving money to have the piece manufactured in Brazil, at seemingly low quality control? Considering my reading here (albeit unscientific) that seems to point to a considerable amount of pistol returns from owners for various repair/rework, it, on the surface, just seems that there is a very large expense to the company, involved. Just 'sayin here! I now hope it will work as every day carry.

Actually, Springfield frames and slides are produce by Imbel, and are forged. And, amongst the best produced in the industry. They are produced in Brazil and imported to Springfield for final finishing and assembly. There will, of course, be the occasional weapon that slips through, but as an owner of over 10 Springfields, and 98 1911's overall, I have to say that both Springfield AND Imbel produce some of the best on the market. As to why they import? It's cheaper to produce them in Brazil, plus Imbel is tooled to produce forged frames and slides from Colt machinery, and have been doing so for many years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,050 Posts
For what it cost's to manufacture down there you may be able to send it back several times and them still make a nice profit........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,698 Posts
For those pistols made-complete in Brazil, SA-Illinois may be able to "charge back" the warranty expense to Imbel, the result being that SA-Illinois isn't losing anything as Imbel is taking the hit. They (SA-Illinois) could even be making money on the charge backs depending on the nature of their agreement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
208 Posts
My guess is because 98% of the people that buy them never send them in to be worked on. Even most of the people that are unhappy with their guns probably sell/trade them or just live with it. Here on the forums the average guy is not your average gun owner, so as a group I'd bet we are much more picky.

It's a trend in even some of the most expensive 1911 companies now, they are cutting corners to save $, keeping prices high, and it more than makes up for the few that come back due to the issues.

If too many start coming back then steps have to be taken to increase QC until they are at the ideal level of profit.

It's a disturbing trend though, over the past couple years I've seen way too many guns that cost 3-4x what your ultra does that should have never left the factory if even a general inspection of it was made before it shipped. Guns that are supposed to get dozens of rounds test fired through them, and come with test targets that do not perform anywhere near their test target or don't run reliably even with the listed ammo. As you mentioned it's also disturbing how much better they can do when the same gun is sent in and the trigger, smoothness, etc. is significantly better than it was. They do the absolute minimum knowing that most people will be happy with them, if one comes back they do the job on it they should have done the first time.

It all comes down to cost though. You can take most $2500 1911's and spend an hour on it doing nothing but some minor polishing and you can notice a significant difference. Bottom line is the company won't take that extra hour per gun to do it, and most buyers never care.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,371 Posts
QC/sales/etc

One problem is that with most businesses manufacturing, sales, warranty and customer service are all separate entities with separate goals. The management of one couldn't care less about the success of the other. It's true of government as well; certainly at our universities (where I work).. :bawling: Ron
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,648 Posts
I have noticed a lot of times, when someone purchases a pistol, if it has any problems, they tend to sell or trade it. Why is this? All you have to do is call the manufacturer and they will fix the problem, and not only that, they will send you a label to ship it to them at no cost to you.

I understand some don't like confrontations such as calling the warranty department and explaining the issues, sum just want to deal with it.

I on the other hand, if I order a 10 pc chicken mcnugget and I only get 9, I will indeed go back and get the one left out. It's my humble opinion, that the ONLY person who will stick up for you is you. If I buy something, I always do so with my AMEX, this way, if the seller does not fix the problem, or does not want to deal with me, AMEX will issue me a credit, and simply take the money back from the vendor themselves. And I did indeed have this issue once a while back where I purchased a lounge chair at "The Dump", when I got it home and sat down, I noticed a giant rip in the side just under the seat, when I called " The Dump ", they said I did it while taking it home and wouldn't fix it. I simply called AMEX and they credited my card and took the money back from the dumpster, oh uh, " The Dump ". The very next day, I got a call from their sales department saying I needed to bring the chair back, I said, when I get around to it or you can come get it. They came and got it.

My point here is, if it's broke, or don't work right, don't give up, stand up for your rights, and insist it's fixed, or take what ever action is needed to get it done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
208 Posts
Because it's not always that easy and many times people won't go through the hassle. Also lately many credit card companies are changing how that process works. Contesting a charge or using their built in product protection is not as easy as it was before the economy tanked.

Some manufacturers will not issue a shipping tag for a problem. So now you as the owner have to eat shipping, on a handgun that can easily be $100+ with insurance. Then *if* they decide your probably is warranty, they will probably fix it, but too often it's not taken care of as well as it should be. I believe many times the company writes the problem off as being shooter/ammo error and does not properly test it (ammo is spendy for them too!) if it's a intermittent reliability problem. Take 1911's I'll bet most times they just polish the chamber, feed ramp, and bend the extractor a bit, shoot a few pet FMJ rounds through it and send it back. Sometimes that probably does it, sometimes not.

Many dealers won't take a gun back after you purchase it, especially if it's been shot, and these days I'm seeing more and more "all warranty issues are between the customer and the company" policies. So it makes it much harder to get your money back even if the company isn't very helpful. On top of that it's not the dealer's fault so I personally don't like sticking a good dealer with a loss because the manufacturer is being unreasonable. You don't hurt the company any, they have their money from the dealer, and any of these big companies don't give a crap about one little dealer they loose here and there, guaranteed.

So a lot of time the hassle can be pretty significant, and if the company won't cover shipping you can be out as much as you would be selling or trading it and getting something else. There's also the bad taste left in your mouth about it, especially if you've put a lot of effort, ammo, and money into it only to get frustration, then be asked to put more $ into shipping and such with downtime.....for many its not worth it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Because it's not always that easy and many times people won't go through the hassle. Also lately many credit card companies are changing how that process works. Contesting a charge or using their built in product protection is not as easy as it was before the economy tanked.

Some manufacturers will not issue a shipping tag for a problem. So now you as the owner have to eat shipping, on a handgun that can easily be $100+ with insurance. Then *if* they decide your probably is warranty, they will probably fix it, but too often it's not taken care of as well as it should be. I believe many times the company writes the problem off as being shooter/ammo error and does not properly test it (ammo is spendy for them too!) if it's a intermittent reliability problem. Take 1911's I'll bet most times they just polish the chamber, feed ramp, and bend the extractor a bit, shoot a few pet FMJ rounds through it and send it back. Sometimes that probably does it, sometimes not.

Many dealers won't take a gun back after you purchase it, especially if it's been shot, and these days I'm seeing more and more "all warranty issues are between the customer and the company" policies. So it makes it much harder to get your money back even if the company isn't very helpful. On top of that it's not the dealer's fault so I personally don't like sticking a good dealer with a loss because the manufacturer is being unreasonable. You don't hurt the company any, they have their money from the dealer, and any of these big companies don't give a crap about one little dealer they loose here and there, guaranteed.

So a lot of time the hassle can be pretty significant, and if the company won't cover shipping you can be out as much as you would be selling or trading it and getting something else. There's also the bad taste left in your mouth about it, especially if you've put a lot of effort, ammo, and money into it only to get frustration, then be asked to put more $ into shipping and such with downtime.....for many its not worth it.
All good points, but somewhat irrelevant if you do your homework upfront and only choose to deal with manufacturers that are known to have outstanding CS policies. SA is one such company with normally outstanding CS policies. Choose wisely and any after sales hassles should be pretty much non-existent. Don't choose wisely, and I agree with you - the hassles can be pretty significant. Don't forget that there are some dealers, like Davidsons, that offer a lifetime warranty/refund policy on any firearm purchased through them. Again though, it all comes down to being an informed consumer and doing your own due diligence.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,021 Posts
Voting with Skipscan

I vote with Skipscan. Most likely, SA has a contract with Imbel that allows SA to chargeback warranty work. It is very common with bigger corps operating with Subcontractors. Wally world is famous for this in their contracts. Any cost from faulty manufacturing is charged back to Imbel, thus no loss. Any perceived loss of sales are over come by great service.
You will rarely see Wally not take a product back, because they want you coming back. Wally's strategy is a good one, obviously.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
A pleasant update on my saga...

as today I finally had time to head to the 'boonies' to fire the newly returned Ultra Compact. The invoice included with the returned weapon shows that a new sear, sear spring, adjustable speed trigger, new ambi thumb safety, taller rear sight, and different front sight were installed in the weapon, and the trigger was tuned.

What I can say is that today, it was as accurate as I can be with it. Someone had left some amazingly intact pumpkins out at the site where many people shoot. It is out in the real boondocks, and is used much by locals who enjoy outside shooting. Those pumpkins were in sad shape when I was finished for the day. I am happy that I sent it back to SA. It will now replace my Kimber UC II as EDC. And my son benefits by acquiring a practically new Kimber. Everyone is happy! All it needs now is a set of Hogue grips.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
895 Posts
When you assemble an FAL rifle from components, you want the best. The FAL receivers manufacturered by IMBEL are always the most desirable and for good reason!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
159 Posts
Based on my experience in the last year, 1911 Q/C has been very sloppy. I think that 98% is probably a good guess and I also think that is too sloppy. :barf:

I've purchased a 30 or so 1911s in the last year. All of these were from dealer stock. I've had perfect luck in the premium ($2K pus) and low end (less than $800) purchases. The mass manufacture $800 to $1500 1911s have been a real hassle for me. Even though I rejected about half that I seriously considered at the shop as having obvious manufacturing problems, I still get stuck with four problem guns. :grumble:

I got them all "fixed" by dealing with the manufacturer's customer service. But the repairs were mostly the various fitting tasks that would have been standard practice with a semi-custom gun.

Now all of the repairs have been flawless and I sometimes joke that I can look on the bright side that I got semi-custom fitting on mass manufacture guns for only $100 dollars more plus three weeks.

I'm not selling any of the guns. It is just a very annoying customer experience for a $1k plus purchase.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top