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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I went to the store to pick up my new Metroarms American Classic 2 yesterday and immediately took it into the store's range. With me I brought two boxes of various re-loads and a box of factory PMC 230 grain hardball ammo. How did it shoot? Well, let's just say that the only round I managed to fire from it (a hollow point reload of all things) fell about a quarter inch to the left of the bullseye at about 25 ft. Was this the way the pistol shot consistently? I don't really know because I never managed to get it to fire one more round. In fact, it took me at least 20 or 30 attempts to get the pistol to chamber a round and it was by chance and surprise that it fired.

I ran round after round through that pistol and every one of them jammed up in the chamber. It seems to me that the problem occurs when the cartridge is feeding into the throat of the barrel and as the rim is sliding under the extractor. In fact, I believe the extractor is the problem or the timing of when the cartridge slides into the extractor is the problem. ??? Whatever it is, the gun does not work. In a defense situation, I'd be better throwing the pistol at my adversary and running rather than shooting at him or her. So basically, I have a nice $400 tomahawk. :mad:

On a serious note, when I had reported how the pistol worked to the shop manager, he immediately grabbed more factory ammo and he tried it as well. He was very surprised to see this pistol not function as he has seen others work quite well and I've heard the same from others. He tried and tried and just couldn't get a round to lock up into battery. Finally, with his thumbs pushing forward HARD, he managed to fully close the slide and he fired one or two shots before a jam. Again he tried and got the same sequence of events. I picked up the brass that was ejected and it was literally mangled on the rim where the extractor was holding it. Other brass (unfired rounds) that were cycled were either heavily scarred or mangled (bullet and brass). After 10 or so minutes of trying to get the pistol to fire, there were literally shreds of brass all over in the chamber.

Needless to say, the pistol is going back to the distributor for either repair or replacement. My hopes are that replacement is what is going to be the course of action. Ironically, the test cartridge that came with the pistol also has quite a gouge on the rim from the extractor and I hope that when it arrives back at the distributor they see this as well. Am I angry? Well, let's just say I'm pretty let down. No pistol EVER should leave a factory like this! I realize that this is an "economy" pistol and not a Kimber or Colt or the like but there is NO excuse for something like this. At best, this is a safety hazard and potential liability to the manufacturer. With a shooter attempting to cycle rounds and unjam rounds as I had to from this pistol, there is a high probability of an accidental misfire and accident. Overall, let's just say I probably should have stuck with buying myself another single action revolver.....another Blackhawk, but we live and learn.

When I get the pistol back (whenever that is???) I'll be sure to give a report as to service, repair, and turnover.

Question: Has anyone else experience something like this?
 

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Blackhawk: is this a 1911/1911A1 design or does it wear a external extractor? It sounds like you should replace the extractor. you can do this yourself if this is a mil-spec piece, and it would be a very inexpensive and short piece of work.

I had a Colt once that kicked out empties that were gouged at the rim - the piece functioned but I thought I was looking at a future busted extractor so I just pulled it out and polished it. I also polished the extractor channel and never had another piece of gouged brass. HTH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
New extractor or whatever it is (that's my suspicion too), a brand new pistol should NEVER leave the factory if it doesn't operate. If anything, Metroarms needs to know about this and have it sent back to them. This (extractor) is only one problem with it thus far found. Maybe there are others that haven't shown their face yet...due to not working at all. I think sending it back was the best thing to do, even if it's a quick ten dollar fix. If Metro isn't aware of quality issues like this now, then down the road they'll let more crap past their QC people and the next thing you know, we'll all be buying screwed up 45's from them.....then they'll be known as crap. Right?

If you bought a new car and the battery was dead, would you go to WalMart and buy a new one or take it back to the dealer? Get my point??

I do appreciate the assistance here, don't get me wrong. I thank you all for the help and the links for further help. I just think a new gun needs to operate like a new gun......and just OPERATE. I will let you all know what comes out of this so we can get an idea of what to expect from Metro as far as service etc.

Thanks again for your input!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A little update here:
I went to the store in which I had purchased my American Classic and while I was there I inquired as to whether anyone had heard anything about my pistol. The salesperson behind the counter told me that the manager of the store is no longer going to sell Metroarms American Classics since there have been so many problems with them. I asked about the troubles and was told the following:

Another person purchased the same pistol as I had within only a few days of my purchase and he/she had the same problem I had with mine. BOTH pistols were to be sent back to the distributor but the distributor instructed the owner/manager of the store to send them to the local Gander Mountain store and have their gunsmith work on them. Knowing that was a "lame" idea and knowing the reputation of the local Gander Mt. gunsmith, the owner/manager refused and insisted on sending the pistols to the Metroarms distributor. I guess that after some arguing back and forth, the distributor finally gave in and allowed for them to be sent back. All I know right now is that they went to a Minnesota location and I have no idea how long or, now I'm wondering, IF I'll ever see my pistol again...working or not.

I'll keep all of you posted on what happens. I really wish I would have bought something else!
 

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My guess is the pistols are going to Ahlman's in Morristown,MN..Some of the guys at M1911 orginazation forum have sent their pistol to Reyerson's in Baton Rouge,LA with excellant results.All warranty work goes to 5 different gunsmiths or Gandermountain.Should be in your paper that came with the pistol.Hope this helps anyone that may need it,and I hope you can enjoy your pistol soon Blackhawker.

Brian
G.

p.s.sorry I didn't get this to you sooner
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ironically, on the evening of my last post, the gun shop called my home and said that my pistol had arrived. I picked it up and tried it out on Friday. First off, I learned a little about how the Metroarms distributor works as far as warrantee work goes. Had I been able to take the pistol home with me on the first day, I would have read the paperwork that came with it. Brian G, you're correct. There are five gunsmiths that are registered with the Metroarms U.S. distributor as well as any Gander Mt. store. My pistol went to Ahlman's in MN.

What was wrong with it?
I guess, from what the gunsmith said, the chamber was not reamed correctly (too tight) and had to be reamed a second time. That's it! The gunsmith had reported to the store manager that this seems to be a reoccurring problem with the American Classics lately.

Here is how things went:
I took the pistol into the range right away instead of inspecting it in the front of the store. It appears that whomever was handling the pistol didn't handle it with much care. Albeit the grip panels are ugly as sin and are going to be replaced, there are now two chips on them. I also found a very noticeable scratch and almost marring across the grooves of the mainspring housing. There are a few other minor scratches in the finish as well but hardly noticeable. So basically, I had at the time, a pistol that looks as if it were a year old and I hadn't had the chance to even shoot it. Nice! :mad:

How does it shoot?
I realize that autos need some break in....about 500 rounds of break in, so I'm not really sure if this is typical or bad or what. ??? However, when I bought my series 80 Colt back in the early 90's, I do not recall having any cycling problems with it from the start. Nonetheless, I would say that about every third round, I have to push the slide forward in order to lock a round into battery. Some magazines full shot flawlessly while some needed a push forward on every round or every other round. Overall, within the 150 rounds I fired through it, I probably had to remove the magazine and completely clear the chamber about 10 to maybe 15 times, which is probably pretty acceptable for a new autoloader. This seemed to occur more as the pistol was fired more and more and became fouled.
Upon analysis of my brass, I noticed that every case had funny scratch-like rings on them....somewhat concentric rings around the case that almost looked as if they had been brushed on or into the sides of the case. Also noted, the extractor of this pistol really does a number on casings. The rims were all gnashed and bashed. NASTY! ::)
As far as the rings on the casings goes, it is my guess that the chamber may have been reamed but not polished or just reamed poorly. ??? Unfortunately, I haven't had too much time this weekend to give it a detailed inspection. I hope take a closer look tonight.

Service and representation of Metroarms:
The store manager told me that they had four of these pistols. Of the four pistols, two were sold and both had to be serviced for the same reason. The interaction with the US distributor apparently wasn't so good. In fact, it was bad enough that the store owner is sending the remaining two pistols back for a refund. They do not want to sell any more of these pistols. Ironically, from what I was told, the distributor has been having a hard time lately with these pistols as well. This is all "word of mouth" here....just what I've been told. With that, anything can be true...or false for that matter. ???

Anyway, that's the story. All in all, with the exception of having to send a new pistol back for repairs, having a few dings and scratches put in it and an "iffy" cycling (not sure if it's typical for new pistols), the darn thing shot great and I'm fairly happy so far considering this was a $380 gun. Hopefully the cycling problem will work itself out and get better as it breaks in. I'll probably have the chamber polished a little if not. Much to my surprise, it has a decent trigger pull, shot accurately, and no adjustments will be needed on the sights. Using a four inch black circle target, shooting off hand, I was able to keep all eight rounds of each magazine in the black at 75 feet time and time again. Not too bad! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
William,
I agree with you but then I disagree. As much as I have been "wronged" with gouges and scratches, I have asked myself, "do I actually expect someone to do something about this?" This isn't the 1970's or 80's anymore. I can recall back 20 or 30 years ago when quality and workmanship meant everything. These days no one gives a dang! The dealer or whomever would probably tell me that I did it or "oh well, the gunsmith did that...we can't take responsibility for that!" No on takes responsibility for their actions these days. It's a buyer beware world when it comes to service. Heck, I even got stuck with having to pay shipping charges on this thing.....a gun that didn't work when I bought it and I would have never bought it if I knew that ahead of time. Why should I pay the charges? Because the dealer didn't back it (take responsibility for it) and the repair shop called it a warrantee job (not taking responsibility for it). So, I got stuck with it. No one took responsibility for the original issue nor the payment of the shipping. See what I mean? I guess companies today think that they're doing you a BIG favor by giving you a 1 year warrantee or something. Like they're really bending over backwards doing that as they're making money hand over fist.

Take, for example, your automobile. How many times have you taken your car in for service on one thing and it came back with problems somewhere else, or it came back to you with a stain on the seat or a ding in the paint? Taking a $380 pistol back for a ding would be more of a hassle than it's worth and it would probably come back with a crappy touch up job that I could do better myself or a second and third ding somewhere else. Heck, the dealer would probably tell me..."aw, it's only a $380 pistol, it's not like it's a Kimber or something." Add to that, I'd get stuck with another shipping fee! I feel I've been beaten enough with this thing. I don't want to go back for more beatings.

Sorry to sound so negative but that's the way it is these days....we've all been there, I'm sure.
 

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I totally agree that pride in the job done is a thing of the past in the majority of cases! It sounds like you may still have chamber problems as the case is scored on chambering, and the gun fails to return to battery. This could also cause the round could also be difficult to extract causing the rim damage. A quick polish of the chamber might solve that problem. (Make sure the pistol is properly lubed as well) In my experience it is not normal to have that number of malfunctions regardless of the round count. If the above steps don't solve your problem, it's going to take some talent and money to fix. I wish you the best sir.
Savage
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Savage said:
I totally agree that pride in the job done is a thing of the past in the majority of cases! It sounds like you may still have chamber problems as the case is scored on chambering, and the gun fails to return to battery. This could also cause the round could also be difficult to extract causing the rim damage. A quick polish of the chamber might solve that problem. (Make sure the pistol is properly lubed as well) In my experience it is not normal to have that number of malfunctions regardless of the round count. If the above steps don't solve your problem, it's going to take some talent and money to fix. I wish you the best sir.
Savage

Thanks Savage. When I saw the scoring on the cases, I immediately thought about the chamber needing polishing. It makes sense that extraction would be difficult if chambering of a non-expanded case is tough, it would only be tougher on a dirty expanded case...hence the rim damage. Good thinking!
I'm going to talk to friend of mine tonight who is quite a knowledgeable gunsmith. I'll give him the story and see what he says. He's probably built more 45's than most of us will ever have the chance to shoot. He should have some good advice as well.

Thanks again Savage!
Chris
 

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It amazes me that people are surprised about a fall in qaulity. All the kids that have been pushed through school that would have been held back in the "old" days have jobs now. What do we expect? Half the time the casheers can't make correct change. How can we expect technical skills to be any better with an uneducated society? Forgive an old mans rant, but as long as the "silent majority" in this country keeps staying away from the elections, we reep what we sow. ??? Rawhidekid
 

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While I understand the thought on quality--I also know it won't happen unless you ask.
How do i put this without projecting a demand on my part---it is after all your weapon.
I expect/like/want quality.
I like quality in my weapons---THAT is me. I sure want folks too try.
Now if it was me---and it is not---I would do what it took to try and get this thing back to the shape it should have been presented too you, in the beginning.
Best of luck with the project.
Blessings
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hold on to your hats, the saga continues:
I spoke with my friend a few days ago and without him actually looking at it, he suggested polishing the chamber a bit in order to see if feeding issues are at least slighly resolved. His instructions involved obtaining and using a fired casing from my chamber. Well, as I was hunting through all of my spent brass, I collected quite a few pieces and inspected them thouroghly. While picking through them, a couple that I seleted fell on their sides and began to roll across the table. As they rolled, something cought my eye. YES, they wobbled as they rolled!! I looked closely at the cases and they appeared to be oblong in shape when looking down the front of the spent cases. I began to roll all of the cases that were fired from this gun one after another and they ALL wobbled and ALL were oblong. I measured the internal diameter and there is a variance of 10/1000" from the narrowest area to the widest. This means that the supposed gunsmith that worked on, or should I say "worked OVER" my pistol had reamed the chamber incorrectly or off-center. YIKES!!! ???

So, aside from gashing and bashing this new pistol, the gunsmith (blacksmith) had also RUINED my barrel. Geez, did my pistol get reamed or did I?? :mad: Needless to say, I took the pistol back to the store in which I had purchased it. One of the sales reps said the same thing that someone else here had already mentioned; why didn't they just drop a new barrel in? It's a 1911 pistol with all mil-spec parts. They easily could have changed the barrel rather than hacking on the one that it came with. Plus, if they didn't hack at my barrel, maybe they wouldn't have bashed up the rest of the pistol either. It now seems to me that perhaps my pistol was given to an apprentice in order to give him or her some practce. ???

Anyway, the store manager packed up my pistol once more and told me that they wer going to talk this over with the distibutor, whom is apparently not easy to get a hold of from what I was told. I suggested getting me a new pistol and they said that's what they are going to try for. We'll see what happens. ::)

I'm tired of this. I now wish I never bought this pistol and just bought another Blackhawk.
 

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Blackhawker: brass gets pounded like that on the way ouot the ejection port - it does not mean your chamber has been reamed out of specs.

I think I recommended once before you dump that pistol and spend the extra $ for a upgrade. I really don't think it's the pistol, it's probably some sales policy that precludes you from immediately getting the kind of service you need - a new extractor and a new barrel. Both parts are so interchangeable in the 1911 it is not worth the angst wondering if a gunsmith buggered up your chamber.

Dump the piece and get something better. Inexpensive is inexpensive, but cheap is cheap. jmtcw.
 
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