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Thread: Buyer Beware: Champion Arms in Renton, WA

  1. #1
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    Back in July of 2007 I dropped off my plain jane GI 1911 that I used to carry daily at Champion Arms for a simple night sight install. Lo and behold after getting fed line after line of B$ for 6 months I get my piece back last week. My company had a qualification range today(3/5/07). After shooting less the 100 rounds with the new sights, the front sight blade decided it wanted a divorce from the slide and ended up about 20 feet behind the current firing line. we had to go cold for almost 30 minutes to find it. I've spoken with several other gunsmiths before today who told me I shouldn't trust the work of the gunsmith from champion arms, but sights are hard to mess up....well it looks like they messed it up anyways. My instructor was kind enough to lend me his Glock to get my qualification taken care of, and I'm going to be asking him to spread the word in the instructor community.
    Anyone know of a competent smith in the area that can fix my baby for me?

    Thanks for reading.

    Tim

    P.S Thanks, TechnoWeenie for sending me here.

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    I had an old Haskell .45 I bought at a pawn shop Downtown Seattle I had them look at cause it just stopped firing ... Next day the guy calls me back and says they dont have the parts and says Hi Point may still cover it .. he called Hi Point and they sent it off for me ... 2 weeks later I get my .45 with all new parts and was charged nothing but the cost of shipping even though the guy did spend a hour or two on it himself.

    I've bought several other guns there, frequent the range, enjoy the staff ..

    I have seen some new faces working there lately ... Hope they try to make it right for you.

  3. #3
    Regular Member Ajetpilot's Avatar
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    Welcome, Monkey 1911. Thanks for the info.

  4. #4
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    Ravenhawk wrote:
    I had an old Haskell .45 I bought at a pawn shop Downtown Seattle I had them look at cause it just stopped firing ... Next day the guy calls me back and says they dont have the parts and says Hi Point may still cover it .. he called Hi Point and they sent it off for me ... 2 weeks later I get my .45 with all new parts and was charged nothing but the cost of shipping even though the guy did spend a hour or two on it himself.

    I've bought several other guns there, frequent the range, enjoy the staff ..

    I have seen some new faces working there lately ... Hope they try to make it right for you.
    They already lost me as a customer due to the amount of bull and that they did not do anything in any way to please me after taking 6 months to do a 30 minute task.
    I'm glad you had a good experiance with them, but I would not recommend anyone take their peice there for anything other then basic repairs with factory parts.

  5. #5
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    Can't blame you for that ... let me know if you find another shooting range in the area ... Im in Kent and the only other range I know of is Bullseye in Tacoma.

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    Regular Member just_a_car's Avatar
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    Monkey1911, welcome to the forum!

    You may want to look into getting some Heinie sights. They really took care of me when I had an issue with my sights: http://www.gunandgame.com/forums/glo...tml#post298282

    As for a local gunsmith, I haven't really needed any smithing done and any I have, I've done myself (except for that warranty issue with Heinie).
    B.S. Chemistry UofWA '09
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    that guy is a piece of crap . same thing happened to me after a huge blowout i got my gun back with no work done i tell everybody about the fst up crap he put me threw. if i saw that guy on the street i think he would fall down a couple of times thanks for letting me rant

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    Regular Member TechnoWeenie's Avatar
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    Monkey1911 wrote:
    P.S Thanks, TechnoWeenie for sending me here.
    NP, weird how there are so many 'gunners' and CV owners in WA.
    Evangelical lessons are provided upon request. Anyone wishing to meet Jesus can just kick in my door.

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    Oh no, were screwed. Tim is here. Welcome aboard!



    Marcus

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    Regular Member Johnny Law's Avatar
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    beretta682 wrote:
    that guy is a piece of crap . same thing happened to me after a huge blowout i got my gun back with no work done i tell everybody about the fst up crap he put me threw. if i saw that guy on the street i think he would fall down a couple of times thanks for letting me rant
    Steve is the owner/gunsmith and he is a piece of work. He will stand there all day and tell you about his airplane or how fast his p.o.s. Datsun is.

    When it comes time to pick up your gun that he is working on, he will make excuse after excuse why it isn't done yet. When several months have gone by and you finally get it back, it will likely be messed up.

    I have seen his work on several friends guns, and it is shoddy at best. You would probably be fine using hs range, but I sure wouldn't have him do ANY work on your guns.
    If you have to fight, do not fear death. We will all die one day, so fight skillfully and bravely! And if it is to be that you die, then at least go to God proudly. Meet him as the proud warrior that you are, and not as a sniveling coward. Nobody lives forever.

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    ScorpioMk wrote:
    Oh no, were screwed. Tim is here. Welcome aboard!



    Marcus
    Marcus, I've beening carrying since you were in high school punk!

    Tim AKA Monkey

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    Ravenhawk wrote:
    Can't blame you for that ... let me know if you find another shooting range in the area ... Im in Kent and the only other range I know of is Bullseye in Tacoma.
    The Marksman in Puyallup should be closer than Bullseye, if you're coming from Kent. It's just off SR 512 on Canyon Road, though it's tucked away behind a strip mall and kinda hard to see from the street.

    More details on the range facilities.
    They have a gunsmith as well.

  13. #13
    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    Mary's Pistols, here in Tacoma, on Tyler St.....never done me wrong yet, has to be the best shop around town. Bulls Eye has gotten a lot better, the last few times I've stopped by, I've had much improved service. Prices are still fairly high though.

    4040 S Tyler #10A
    Tacoma, WA 98409
    (253) 671-8211
    http://www.maryspistols.com/

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    compmanio365 wrote:
    Mary's Pistols, here in Tacoma, on Tyler St.....never done me wrong yet, has to be the best shop around town. Bulls Eye has gotten a lot better, the last few times I've stopped by, I've had much improved service. Prices are still fairly high though.

    4040 S Tyler #10A
    Tacoma, WA 98409
    (253) 671-8211
    http://www.maryspistols.com/
    I like Mary's too.


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    I just went through the exact damned thing with Champion arms. I bought night sights and some other parts because the front sight of my 1911 came off. I got a beavertail and commander hammer but I wanted a quote before anything was done. Over a month later I come in and want my gun back because nobody has called. After 20 minutes of dickin around upstairs, the salesman comes out and says "Oh, he's already got it taken apart and the beavertail installed and it'll be 180$". HUH? Nobosy called me with a quote or anything. I didn't even know if I wanted it put on. All I needed were the nightsights. Well, I gave them a week. I went in there last night and it was in the same condition. I wanted my gun back. I wasn't going to wait 6 months for a 30 minute job. We argued back and forth about lack of communication and I finally got my gun back, but they kept the nightsights I bought and wouldn't return them. They said that was the labor charge for installing a beavertail I didn't know if I had even wanted yet. All could have been solved if SOMEONE WOULD HAVE CALLED ME BEFORE WORKING ON MY GUN. Now I have a 1911 with no sights at all. Whos' a good gunsmith in WA?

  16. #16
    Regular Member just_a_car's Avatar
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    Hopefully everyone here that has had first-hand issues with Champion Arms has contacted the Better Business Bureau and made a complaint. Here's the site for that company... they have "No Rating", so I guess no one has complained: http://alaskaoregonwesternwashington...;firm=22026357
    B.S. Chemistry UofWA '09
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    My lessons learned the hard way. I took a GI 1911 to Champion Arms andprepaid about a grand for parts and work. After several attempts to pick it up, when it was supposed to be done I gave up and just wanted my piece back. Every time it was a different excuse. At that time they said that it would be done in about 15 minutes and that I could have it back.None of the pieces on the weapon where what I ordered. All work was shoddy, and half ass using drop in parts. Nothing was custom fitted like I had ordered. The bar sto match grade barrell I ordered was replaced with a P.O.S. two piece "Champion Arms Match Barrel" Stay away from this business.

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    Even though you have to add in shipping, getting your work done by the actual firearm manufacturer is a really good way to go. The vast majority stand by their products and their work 100%

  19. #19
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    I'm in West Seattle though come March we'll be moving to somewhere in Kitsap county. I'm a very small shop (working out of my home) but I'm competent. I all believe in keeping the lines of communication open and keeping my customers up to date. I don't have a machine shop and only recently bought a mig welder to start learning how to weld. But I can do most repair and modification work on most any firearm.

  20. #20
    Regular Member trevorthebusdriver's Avatar
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    The Marksman in Puyallup should be closer than Bullseye, if you're coming from Kent. It's just off SR 512 on Canyon Road, though it's tucked away behind a strip mall and kinda hard to see from the street.
    Looks like they moved to McKenna(Roy/Yelm area). From Kent, Wade's in Bellevue isn't that far, but they charge $15 a lane and just jacked it up to $20 on Saturdays!

    There is/wasa range in Factoria but I think it's private...

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    Looks like they moved to McKenna(Roy/Yelm area).
    I think they have two shops.

  22. #22
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    Try Olympic Arms in Nisqually. They have worked on my 1911 and my AR. They always do great work.

  23. #23
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    deanf wrote:
    Looks like they moved to McKenna(Roy/Yelm area).
    I think they have two shops.
    Yup, they do. The Marksman is one of my favorite shops. I've bought the majority of my guns there. And even after I moved way out to Gig Harbor, I still make the drive over there and give them my business first. Their employees are smart and do as much as they can to help you find the part or gun YOU want, not what they want to sell you like other places have done to me.
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  24. #24
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    kenshin wrote:
    Yup, they do. The Marksman is one of my favorite shops. I've bought the majority of my guns there. And even after I moved way out to Gig Harbor, I still make the drive over there and give them my business first. Their employees are smart and do as much as they can to help you find the part or gun YOU want, not what they want to sell you like other places have done to me.
    I haven't bought any firearms there but I do use their shooting range. The two young guys there are great.

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    I started working at this joint on February 12, 2009. I was dropped behind the counter with not a lick of training on the POS software system, ATFE paperwork, or anything else. By trial and error and on-the-job training, I picked it up fairly well during my first full week and did quite well the second week. I liked the job and fit into it quite well. I also sold a lot of guns, some of which probably would not have sold that day if I had not applied my skills to the opportunity.

    On Monday, March 2, just before preparing to go back to work, I checked my voice mail and found one by "Maria," the owner. The voice mail informed me that I was canned. It gave no reason because there was not one that made any sense at all. The coward did not even have the moral courage to tell me to my face or even directly over the telephone.

    During my two weeks on the job, I knew of two other employees who quit and one other who was looking for another job. I heard directly one of the men who quit saying that he was denied some of the pay that he earned. I also noticed that if a gun sale did not go through or if a part did not fit or otherwise provide satisfaction, it was hard for the customer to get a refund. Commonly, 20 per cent was witheld as a "stocking fee" and the rest was hard and time-consuming to get.
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