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Arms and Arms Training -Beware

Discussion in 'Gun Shops and Reviews' started by MKNeedham, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. MKNeedham

    MKNeedham NES Member

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    So a bit of a lengthy post, but don’t want anyone else’s daughter, wife, girlfriend to be taken advantage of.

    I am a fairly novice shooter, but raised in a house with my Dad who is a very experienced shooter and collector. In Spring 2017 I took LTC class with Brian Chamberlain, owner of Arms In Arms Training and became licensed that summer. I enjoyed the class format. While all are welcome, Brian and his wife Cara gear the classes towards the female shooter. After the class, my 2 friends and I hired him for a semi private session at the range and also attended a ladies night session. We also referred several people to their LTC class.

    In December 2018, I mentioned to Brian that I was about to purchase a Smith and Wesson Pro Series .45 compact. Brian told me he had one that was in exceptional condition and would sell to me for $600. He said it was his former carry gun, his “ baby” and that he cleaned it after every use. Normally, I would have never purchased a used gun without consulting with my Dad or another knowledgeable person, since Brian was my instructor that I trusted, I purchased the gun. ** FIRST BIG MISTAKE**

    *Dec 14 2017: purchased gun from Brian.

    *Dec 15 2017: brought to range for first time and a grip split. When I reached out to Brian, he acknowledged there was crack and offered to purchase new grips. ( When I showed my father, he immediately question who I purchased gun from again and tells me “he saw you coming” and tells me whoever installed the grips was a rookie ).

    *Dec 26 2017: I met Brian to get the new grips. ( I met him at a local gunshop where I also purchased a new Canik TP9 that day).

    *Jan 6 2018: Brian asks if any issues. I respond that I am going to bring to my Dad to clean it and put on grips. My Dad attempts and tells me again that the frame is stripped and questions me again about who I purchased the gun from. Me, not wanting to believe an “expert” sold me a gun with any type of damage, I take the gun to my friend who is a machinist and was a firearms expert in the military. I ask him to install the new grips and look at the gun. He examines the gun, tells me everything except for the barrel is junk and doesn’t want to reassemble for safety concerns. I promise him I won’t shoot it and lock it in my safe.

    *Feb 25 2018: Brian reaches out to ask how the Smith is working for me and I answer vaguely that I am getting used to new grips because I wanted to have actual gunsmith examine it before saying anything to him. This is where I am at fault again. I should have contacted Brian right away, but I didn’t. I locked the gun away and shot the Canik and some other guns I have acquired since. I shot approximately 500 or less rounds out of the gun.

    The gun remained locked away from Feb 25 2018 until March of this year. (Did not mean for this much time to lapse, but life happens and I had other guns to shoot).

    *March 2018: I brought the gun to G&N Gunsmithing in Wrentham, MA (these guys are incredible). I explain the situation and left my gun. Several days later, I receive a call telling me that they do not have good news. They told me that there is no way this gun was in good condition when it was sold to me. They told me if this gun was cleaned and maintained as stated by the individual that sold it to me, then they knew nothing about guns because the damage was obvious and did not just occur overnight. I was advised that the only salvageable part was the barrel. They estimated that over 20000 rounds were fired and all original parts. I was told my best bet was to reach out to original owner to see if he may be willing to reach out to Smith & Wesson to see if any parts covered under warranty ( only the original owner would be covered). I picked up my gun and the report (see pictures). I then reached out to Brian Chamberlain (see pictures).

    April 3rd 2019: I messaged Brian explaining the situation and asking if he would be willing to reach out to Smith & Wesson about a warranty or to discuss purchasing gun back from me. He read the message within seconds of viewing it, but didn’t respond.

    April 5th 2019: I message Brian to call me and please leave a message if I was not able to answer. His reply is that he would try on his next day off.

    April 6th 2019: I ask him to call, stated that I trusted him but I have attached a report from a gunsmith and the report is clear that damage is long term but I wanted to give him opportunity to do the right thing.

    April 6th: He replies the gun was in good working order except for the grip. (a damaged grip he did not make me aware of prior to purchasing, a damaged grip that was hiding a damaged frame-see report). He continues to say he had “never had any work done on the gun except for grips and sites” ( again, the problem with the grips caused the problem with the frame and if over 20000 rounds were fired, how was no other maintenance done????)

    April 6th: I reply that I am not going to argue. I offer to go to another gunsmith with him present to review the findings from G&N Gunsmithing and I look forward to speaking with him.

    It has been over 2 weeks and I have not received a return call. I understand it is my fault as I should have had someone knowledgeable look at the gun prior to purchasing. I understand he is under no obligation to buy the gun back, to contact S&W or even call me. However, taking advantage of someone is not okay. A good business man would at the very least return a phone call to discuss the situation. He would also at least acknowledge the report from a reputable gunsmith. An ethical businessman, if he was acting in good faith would take me up on the offer to have another gunsmith look at the gun. A simple phone call to me and possibly to Smith & Wesson as a courtesy would have gone a long way.
    20190425_015806.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019

  2. Artifact

    Artifact NES Member

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    Welcome to NES, long post and quickly skimmed through it.

    Unfortunately those things happen and are common, and it’s a shame that you got taken advantage of.

    There are plenty of good people / instructors here and a wealth of knowledge on anything firearm, equipment or politics related.

    I hope Brian does the right thing and buys it back, I wouldn’t hold my breath however.

    Cut your losses and move on
     
  3. MKNeedham

    MKNeedham NES Member

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    Thank you! Bad experience led me to find my way to NES- so not all bad. Very lengthy, but didn't want it to be just a rant.
     
  4. boatman

    boatman

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    You first reached out to Brian in March of 18, but then your next action was a year later? If you pressed him for a refund within a reasonable time frame, this sounds better for your case. You can try small claims court, but as I said, the fact that you waited so long will make it difficult to show that you didn't damage it, unless you can prove that you didn't use it. The fact that when Brian reached out to you to ask how it was going right after the sale, and you didn't say, 'not good, the gun is in poor condition' but rather, ok means that you have assented the gun was good and you had no complaints. He might have taken advantage of you, but you did have a chance to might it right and didn't do so when you should have. Unfortunately, caveat emptor.
     
  5. MKNeedham

    MKNeedham NES Member

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    100% agree my fault for sitting on this. I am not trying to get any money out of him (although I did want to discuss the possibility). Based on the report and all the information I had prior to getting it documented by G & N Gunsmitthing-- IF he is knowledgeable like he claims, he was or should have been aware of the condition of the gun. The report is clear the damage is from years of poor care. Again, I shot less then 500 rounds. Nothing I can do to prove it. But I just wouldn't want it to happen to someone else.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
  6. Len-2A Training

    Len-2A Training Instructor Instructor NES Life Member NES Member

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    I didn't read sideways pictures, otherwise I want to point out one major error in your analysis . . . S&W repairs any gun they made post-1986 (IIRC) and it doesn't matter if you are the first owner or 32nd owner. I say this from personal experience, no proof of ownership/registration/etc. required. I had them fix a used S&W 1911 twice, no charge (and they pay shipping both ways). Contact S&W and they will make it right for you. Forget about Brian and move on.
     
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  7. drgrant

    drgrant Moderator NES Member

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    I think part of the problem is the guy reached out to you about any potential issues and you sorta dropped the ball here, it's kinda unreasonable to malign the guy at
    that point, although one could argue that "he probably knew" it was messed up, but then again maybe he's a dim bulb and didn't notice anything.

    I think you made things kinda difficult on yourself by not just sending the thing to smith, they probably would have repaired it and sent it back to you... a long time
    ago. I mean I get it, we're all newbies at one time, but most gun shops would have told you "hey I can send this to smith for you they'll probably fix it" etc. and
    so on. For all we know this gun could have had poor QC (smith is known for that) and produced at a "bad time" and it beat itself to death internally. I have no doubt they
    probably would have fixed it for you, as Len indicates.

    -Mike
     
  8. drgrant

    drgrant Moderator NES Member

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    Also, if it was me... I would get smith to fix it. Then I would test fire it, clean it, and then dump it at the nearest gun shop consignment rack and get whatever you can get
    for it. Nothing good ever comes out of guns like these in the long run. (Compact 1911s are dumpster fires, IMHO). The fact that this gun probably beat itself to death doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

    -Mike
     
  9. MKNeedham

    MKNeedham NES Member

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    Thank you. I had heard S&W would repair even if not original owner, but gunsmith said no that was no longer the case. I will look into it. I don't disagree with any of you. I absolutely made it difficult on myself and the point of this post was not with the expectation of the gun being repaired or for any compensation. I just know, without any doubts that the gun was sold to me in the condition that it is in and I wouldn't want any other "newbie" like me getting ripped off by this guy. Gunsmith couldn't even reassemble due to the condition - not worth the cost of fixing and dumping it. I have also met many with your same opinion on these guns.
     
  10. new guy

    new guy NES Member

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    You're not a true gun owner unless and until you've bought your first lemon.






    I don't know if that's true or not, but it makes me feel better about at least one of my own past purchases. [laugh]
     
  11. one-eyed Jack

    one-eyed Jack Manufacturer Dealer NES Member

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    If this is all true, Brian should make good on it. End of story. Jack.
     
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  12. whatluck

    whatluck

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    Please familiarize yourself with function and safety checks for a given firearm before attempting to buy used. There's a TON of YT vids showing how to do this. You can avoid looking like a noob by going through a full function check in front of seller, this will probably improve your negotiating position as well. Scandium guns should NOT have high round counts, and are notorious for frame damage. Sc/Ti doesn't wear well at all.
     
  13. daekken

    daekken NES Member

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    Published policy and reality can be different.
    Glock's stated warranty is one-year; I sent G19 that was almost as old as I am back to them and they replaced three pages of parts for free and had it back to me in a week.

    I've also sent used guns from manufacturers with an "original owner only" policy and was never asked for any kind of proof, and the service was covered.

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
     
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  14. Gasgunner

    Gasgunner NES Member

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    It’s possible that he may have had no idea that the gun was that bad. There are countless people out there who bill themselves as “experts” and have no business doing so. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. Maligning him on a public forum is just making you feel better for not doing your homework on a purchase.
    I’ve unwittingly bought junk, and it’s never been anyone’s fault but mine.
     
  15. Coyote33

    Coyote33

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    Welcome to NES. Lots of good advice here. Best of luck with this gun and going forward. Maybe if S&W can't or won't repair it, or can't make it fully functional again, just maybe you can talk them into giving some sort of discount or something on a current model. Anyhow, welcome aboard. Read a lot here, and learn a ton. Stay safe and be careful.
     
  16. EJFudd

    EJFudd NES Member

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    Yep. If you're in this long enough, sooner or later you're gonna screw up and buy a mistake. Don't beat yourself up over it or blame others or let it ruin your life. Buyer beware, remember? Man up, limit/mitigate your losses (if/where possible) and move on. Try S&W (nothing to lose), but don't be disappointed if they don't find it to be their defect(s) or responsibility. Lesson learned and it only cost you $600, give or take. Wish all my mistakes in life were that cheap. [laugh]
     
  17. andrew1220

    andrew1220 NES Member

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    Yup
     
  18. jek

    jek NES Life Member NES Member

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    Next time someone says it's in "exceptional" condition you need to ask if that means "above average" or "uncommon". That is, the gun could be in great condition or uncommonly bad condition, where either could be considered "exceptional".

    Brian should step up if all you say is true. However, as others have pointed out, you may have to move on since you waited so long to approach Brian for resolution.
     
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  19. MKNeedham

    MKNeedham NES Member

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    hahah...definitely not my most expensive mistake!:D Thanks for all the advice on this thread and received private messages too. I just want to say, I took the time to write all the details and posted it here- not on Google or FB review to hopefully help someone, not bash him. This is also why I also included my numerous "shame on me's" ( which are pretty embarrassing). His business is mostly LTC and I am not looking to destroy that. I do think someone's integrity is important though. I posted on this forum under to possibly help someone because I know he has sold some of his other guns privately (my friend that also took his class almost purchased one from him, but was there last year when I first had mine looked at ). I had somewhat of a relationship with him - having taken 3 classes with him. At the time I purchased the gun, I was brand new and trusted him. I did reach out to him privately. Had he given me a fraction of the advice you all did- I would have been satisfied. All he needed to do was call me as he said he would. On another note-- my shitty experience with him led me to Gartman Arms and G&N Gunsmithing--- so all is good.
     
  20. edmorseiii

    edmorseiii Navy Veteran NES Member

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    This is the best advice here. Dump that 1911 and get something plastic that you don't have to worry about.
     
  21. Matt-CZ

    Matt-CZ NES Member

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    I don't think the complaints OP made here are out of line. This wasn't just some nobody off Armslist or some random clerk at a gun store. This guy is presenting himself as an instructor to people who are not previously knowledgeable about firearms. Taking advantage of someone who is literally paying you for expert advice is unprofessional and worthy of public scorn.

    OP was doing what you should do when you don't know much about a subject, seek out advice from experts. Sure, hindsight is 20/20 and OP made some errors, but that doesn't make this instructor less of a snake.

    This comment is made under the assumption that the OP is factual.
     
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  22. zboys

    zboys NES Member

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    How many times did Brian reach out and ask how everything was? And each time he was led to believe all was fine, until over a year later?
    I see no point in this post
     
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  23. greencobra

    greencobra NES Member

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    not taking sides on this and sorry you got burned. also don't know the guy guy you bought it from. but...did he not ask you a couple of times how how the gun was working out for you? i don't know how i'd react if someone sends me an email well after the sale took place telling me the gun i sold 6 mos to a year earlier was a piece of shit and i need to make it right.

    your both at fault. but your only crime is, as a newbie, being shy to immediately tell him what's what and you're not happy. and this guy brian, if he's in the business, well, he's not too ethical. especially the way he treated a new shooter.

    and welcome to nes. i hope you stay on and become a regular participant.
     
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  24. qqac

    qqac

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    If a guy who is an instructor and self professed expert made affirmative representations that the gun was in "exceptional" condition, that it was babied, and cleaned every time, then he should be outed for not knowing what he is talking about. Maybe he had good intentions, as evidenced by the messages he sent on his own initiative to check in with the OP on how the gun was working out for her, but that does not excuse the lack of knowledge, given what he does as a living or a side job, and others should be made aware.
     
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  25. Coz

    Coz

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    Sounds like a scumbag.
     
  26. mac1911

    mac1911 NES Member

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    Dont know brian or his expertise but please lizten carefully.
    Not many people give up their "babie"
    My dounut bet is , Brian took that gun in trade. (Theres not many folks who put 20k rounds or enough rounds through a compact 1911 to wear it down)
    Never buy the story, focus on the gun.

    NOW if S&W does repair post 96 pistols and yours is post 96
    manufacture BAD on Brian and your gun smith for not knowing this and helping you out gettng it to SW.
     
  27. ipscdrl

    ipscdrl

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    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
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