Question of the Day: Which Gunmaker Has the Best Customer Service? by Robert Farago | Oct 25, 2012 | 59 comments facebook twitter linkedin email comments PM says: October 25, 2012 at 08:36 Henry Repeating Arms, by far. Reply Aharon says: October 25, 2012 at 09:14 Every gun salesperson has a polarized view of the Henry line (“they’re very good” or “they’re very bad”) even if their store sells them. How accurate are Henry lever guns at 100 yards? Are they reliable? Reply Chris Dumm says: October 25, 2012 at 22:16 I got 2.5″ groups at 100 yards, although other groups were as wide as 6.5″ because the rear sight ramp was slipping. Henry too *instant* care of the problem, and the new sight is perfect. Much much love for Henry rifles and customer service. Reply Todd S says: October 25, 2012 at 16:38 +1 Reply JoshinGA says: October 25, 2012 at 08:40 Can we just say which one(s) are not so great, because that list is way shorter than the good for most people probably… Best experience: S&W by far. Worst: Beretta USA Reply Pascal says: October 25, 2012 at 08:41 Henry Repeating Arms. When you call people have a clue, turn around time is fast, they offer special products to loyal customers (brass covers for lever guns that do not sell with brass covers) the President and other representatives follow forum post and respond to forum posts as well as follow up on issues. They listen to customers about new products and product improvements. Glock comes in second because YMMV depending on who get on the phone and they are poor to respond to QA issues although they seem to eventually get it right. However, the current brass-to-the-face issues on the Gen 4s no matter how few there may be with issues is annoying because they don’t seem to care nor wish to acknowledge the problem. Sig Sauer is hit or miss except if its Sig Academy or Sig Custom Shop Smith & Wesson does not seem to like or want to talk to its customers. I ordered something through there NRA Instructors Program. Sent in the paper work. After weeks of waiting, I finally emailed them and asked them if they send emails or acknowledgements about when the orders are processed or shipped and the only answer I got back in the email was “no”. Calling faired no better. Their current QA across the line is also hit or miss. I will not touch the Walther line at all. Savage Arms is good as long as the product you have an issue with is made in the USA. The Canadian made products seem to give the whole company an issue. Remington/Marlin can go sink into the ocean and I would not care. I have never ever had a good CS experience with them Reply Not Too Eloquent says: October 25, 2012 at 08:50 I’ve never had the need to interact with a gun maker’s customer service. Am I missing soemthing? Reply JoshinGA says: October 25, 2012 at 08:57 S&W sent me some free cosmetic parts I was having trouble finding (different color backstrap and mag baseplates). Ive heard of other people getting some of the cheaper internal parts send out to them for free as well…So maybe. Reply APBTFan says: October 25, 2012 at 15:20 Similar experience here. I had a S&W 22A and called to order a couple replacement recoil buffers, ready to pay, but all they wanted was my address. A few days later the parts showed up free of charge. Generally speaking I guess I’ve had really good luck. Over 25 years and lord knows how many different guns I’ve only had one break but it was bought at Walmart so I exchanged it through them. Reply Matt says: October 25, 2012 at 08:51 I’ve only had experience with 2 manufactures where a return was required. Ruger exceeded all expectations, and even sent me a hat a few weeks after the repair as a follow-up. The pre-paid shipping was huge. ATI was horrific. First claimed there wasn’t a problem, then left me on the hook for shipping when they finally agreed there was. Because of thier shipping requirements, it cost me a third of the value of the gun to send the gun in. The “repair” was a new guide-rod and cleaning. Reply Brandon says: October 25, 2012 at 08:59 +1 on Ruger, down to the free hat and everything. Reply Gilbert says: January 14, 2017 at 10:09 Did ya get a free bowl of soup with the hat ? Reply Average_Casey says: October 25, 2012 at 12:11 That’s interesting to hear about ATI. I had a guide tod break in my.22 pistol and they were great. They sent me a brand new rod and assembly free. I only needed the house rod so the extra parts were a real nice bonus. Reply APBTFan says: October 25, 2012 at 15:24 Matt, was that the gun you wrote a review on a while back? I remember the article and how you went through hell to get that thing running. Reply Chris Dumm says: October 25, 2012 at 22:20 Do you mean my ATI VK-22? That is the worst firearm I’ve ever tested. I’m still thinking of how to blow up that worthless upper receiver. Reply texasdeputy says: October 26, 2012 at 00:06 +1 also for Ruger Reply Louis Ringe says: October 25, 2012 at 09:01 Having been an armorer for some 35 years in my opinion they all have their good points. I have seen real good service and real bad. In my experience the worst was Glock. About 14 years ago they had a problem with the 40 S&W. I seems that there was an issue with cycling when a light was on their 40’s. The department I worked for had some 3000 sworn and not get ANY reliable information from Glock. First they said it was because and you had to use a Glock light. That did work so they added another coil to the mag spring. That to did little to solve the problem. i had many conversations with the people at Glock and getting ANY information was a waste of time. They finally fixed the problem but then the rails started coming of the rear of the frame. But that is another story. Reply John Boch says: October 25, 2012 at 09:18 Best in my experience: S&W. Worst: Taurus, hands down. Cliff’s Notes: Bought a couple of used 82s as loaners. They spit lead. I called Taurus, told the guy that these were imports we used for classes as loaner guns and asked if they could spruce them up a little. “Sure! No problem! Send them down.” $90-some dollars later, they were on the way. A week later, they come back with no notes. Taurus did nothing. So, I talked to the guy who acted like the head honcho at the NRA Convention, explaining my disappointment. He flipped me a card across the table and asked me to mail the shipping receipt to him, his attention, and he’d cut me a check. I shook his hand, thanked him and pocketed the card. Got back to the hotel and there was no name on the card. A huge fuck you to Taurus. Although Mossberg runs a close second. Reply speedracer5050 says: October 25, 2012 at 09:28 So far the best I have seen is Nighthawk Custom and the worse was either ATI or Smith and Wesson. S&W left me on hold for over 30 minutes and all I wanted was to find out if they still had original owners manuals for the Mod67. Finally hung up after the side of my head went to sleep and then exploded!!! Reply DanInVa says: October 25, 2012 at 09:33 I think that all gunmakers’ customer services have their good and bad days. Best experience (tie): FNH USA (Browning) & Ruger Worst experience: Remington Reply Aharon says: October 25, 2012 at 09:48 My one-time limited experience with Browning was to call them last week and be placed on hold for ten minutes. I hung-up the phone without ever speaking with anyone. Reply DanInVa says: October 25, 2012 at 12:02 That sucks about Browning! I have experienced similar situations with other gunmakers customer services. Just so you know, I didn’t contact Browning. I contacted FNH USA after making some changes to my SCAR 17 which then wouldn’t fire. The person I spoke with answered the call promptly, transferred me to a product specialist who assisted me through the repair, and then when I messed up with the repair FNH paid for the shipping cost to have it shipped to/from Browning repair center outside of St. Louis. The repair was free. You got to love FNH’s lifetime warranty policy. Reply Joshua says: October 25, 2012 at 09:34 I’ve only had to call one manufacturer. I lost the rear sight screw on my Taurus PT-709. A problem that was most definitely my own fault. The lady on the phone was nice,prompt. and directly sent me a new one. I know Taurus won’t get too many votes in this contest, but my experience was good. Reply KD says: October 25, 2012 at 09:39 Boberg Arms – Arne Boberg takes care of his customers! It’s not unusual to get a personal phone call from the man himself. As the company grows, that won’t be possible, but I believe the dedication will remain. Reply KnowWhatIamTalkingAbout says: October 25, 2012 at 10:19 I have three examples: 1. Marlin – when Remington took over, I decided to take a chance on a lever gun in 30-30; barrel was not installed properly and had to go back – 3 weeks later, they had fixed the barrel, test fired the weapon, and shipped it back to me. I was able to get updates each week by just calling in. 2. North American Arms Mini-Revolver – .22LR; oversized grips I had ordered would not fit my gun, they shipped me new ones that did with a prepaid envelope to send the old one’s back; 3. Bond Arms – a .357/38 special barrel I ordered for my derringer did not have the hold for the set screw bored through properly so I could not install it on the frame; It took a mere week and a half total time for them to send me a box with my new barrel and an included prepaid box to ship the defective one back; Out of the three, bond arms was the best in my book, especially since when I called in to order barrels and holsters, they asked me – hey, would you like a mug – no charge; how about a hat – no charge. You are spending a lot of money with us, so we want to give you some free stuff with your order. OK!!! Thanks. Reply brigo50 says: October 25, 2012 at 10:30 my experiences with Armalite have been excellent, also have called Sig several times with outstanding customer service. Armalite gives me great advice, Sig throws me free parts like screws for grips and fun stickers!! STICKERS!!! Reply Jim says: October 25, 2012 at 11:20 STICKERS!!!!! (just thought I would second that) Reply UtahLibertarian says: October 25, 2012 at 10:45 S&W sent me a free magazine spring for my Walther P22 because my son lost it at the range. CS dude was fast, friendly, smart, and a native English speaker +1 Rossi CS after a long wait was a rude idiot who didn’t know what he was talking about. I paid shipping both ways and they apparently didn’t do anything to fix the problem. -1 Reply Rumblestrip says: October 25, 2012 at 11:05 I’ve got nothing but great things to say about Springfield Armory. They were very helpful, sent me a couple small free parts to fix an issue, and when I had to send my 1911 in for service they turned it around a week faster than their initial estimate. Reply Aharon says: October 25, 2012 at 11:10 I have called Ruger several times with technical questions and have always received a fast phone pick-up, they provided all the time I needed, and transfered me to a more senior product specialist when I asked for one. Hogue grips provided great service too with the time spent politely answering my questions and providing suggestions such as putting the grips in the micro-wave for a few seconds before trying to place them on my gun. They also shipped out a new set of grips to me asap free of charge when the first pair did not fit. Reply AaronW says: October 25, 2012 at 11:31 I was chatting with some contract pilots one evening last year. Southern gentlemen that are really into guns. One fellow had a problem with an older Smith and Wesson semi-auto – a cracked frame. He called them up, he sent it in. They initially told him that they couldn’t do anything, but then he said, “look around your shop, I bet you’ll find an old frame blank” and sure enough they did – fully resurrecting the gun, and even threw in some free magazines. Ruger really took care of me. It was for an issue that was pretty much my fault, but the gun smith I spoke told me to send it to his attention personally. Two days after it hit their door, the guy gives me a call, telling me about all of the work he did, including attempting to remove some of the fouling from the Volquartsen front-end comp. Gun comes back to me only a week after it arrived at their facility – the problem I caused was fixed, along with some other issues the guy corrected. He even threw in a magazine. I made sure to write a commendation letter to Mike Fifer, and then send something nice to the smith who worked on the gun. Reply v says: October 25, 2012 at 11:33 H&K is the best… the rest have gone down the crapper with Ruger, SA, and rem-mar-??? leading the pack… i used to think highly of S&W, but when they started putting locks on their revolvers the problems became too numerous to even bother with their products any longer… Reply Ralph says: October 25, 2012 at 11:57 Those locks suck. The reason they were on the guns is because Saf-T-Hammer Corporation, the company that bought S&W, is a lockmaker. The good news is that S&W is phasing out the internal locks on all its guns. Reply GustheBus says: October 25, 2012 at 11:36 The only only CS I’ve dealt with was Ruger. I had bolt wear on my Mini-14. I paid the trip to Newport. It was there and back in 14 says. All in all a good experience!!! Reply Aged says: October 25, 2012 at 11:45 Not a gun manufaturer per se, but I had my FiveseveN accurized by Elite Ammo with excellent results. Understand I received my gun and sent it right out to them for the work. Got it back in a timely fashion. After shooting, I discovereda spring with a short “leg” which would stop it from firing. If I had sent to FNH, I would have received a new gun and lost the work I paid for. After discussing the situation with EA, I sent the gun to them and they replaced the spring and sent it back in a week, No charge!! Reply gloomhound says: October 25, 2012 at 11:47 Stag Arms has very good customer service. They are a class act and sell the very best firearms. Reply Jon R. says: October 26, 2012 at 22:11 +1 for Stag, have nothing but good things to say about them and their products. Reply tdiinva says: October 25, 2012 at 11:59 I ordered some parts from Springfield ans SIG. In both cases the customer service rep was helpful and I received the order in less than a week. Reply Ralph says: October 25, 2012 at 12:00 I’ve had good success with Smith & Wesson, and free parts, too. One of the main problems with customer service is that you’re always just one call away from having a lousy experience due to a dumb CSR. Reply JoshinGA says: October 25, 2012 at 12:03 And Ralph nailed it. YMMV has never been more applicable. Reply Dave says: October 25, 2012 at 12:17 The only gun I have ever had to send back for repair was a Taurus Poly Public Defender. The first time was terrible, 9 weeks (waiting on new ones to come in from Brazil) and many phone calls and faxes to get a complete replacement. The second time was great. The replacement developed a slight lockup problem with one chamber, Less than 1 week from pickup to delivery at my door for the repair, now its 100%. Both times they did pay for next day shipping to and from. Reply bontai Joe says: October 25, 2012 at 12:40 I have only ever had dealings with CHarter Arms and that was over 20 years ago not applicable today). Interesting reading who has experienced what with the various companies. My brother speaks highly of Ruger, but by and large, he has also had minimum reason to deal directly with any forearms manufacturer. Reply Mark N. says: October 25, 2012 at 13:03 Not a single comment about Kimber? I’ve heard horror stories. Mine, fortunately, was not. Had a FTF issue on a new gun (feed ramp issue). There and back in 10 days. Hasn’t needed service since, although it took 1000 rounds before the gun became reliable. Reply Mr. Pierogie says: October 25, 2012 at 13:49 Not really a horror story, but Kimber “fixed” something that I didn’t ask for, neglecting the actual issue. I bought a 1911 and after closer inspection at home I noticed a small ding on the edge of the slide. Not a big deal, but I asked if they can fix it anyway. They said OK, but only after I got the run-around. You have to email 3 different departments to return a gun to them. Anyway, when the slide reached their gunsmith he called me and I explained the problem. He acknowledged it and said he’ll fix it. When I got the gun back the slide was refinished but the ding was not even touched. It was over all a case of poor CS. I don’t think I’ll buy another Kimber. I also had an issue with a Glock. There was a blemish on the slide (brand new gun) so I called them to see if they can refinish. They would, but I’d have to pay for it, they wouldn’t service it for free under warranty. Reply Oddux says: October 25, 2012 at 13:13 “Glock comes in second because YMMV depending on who get on the phone and they are poor to respond to QA issues although they seem to eventually get it right.” How does that get second? They ARE poor to respond to QA issues. It takes a half an hour of listening to them repeat the same accusations before they’ll even let you send it in to see if its an issue with the gun itself. Eventually getting it right is not good Customer Service when they’re a total PITA until they finally do. Glock’s QC needs to stop drinking their own “perfection” kool-aid and realize that any company can make a lemon and stop giving their customers grief. Reply Shorr Khan says: October 25, 2012 at 13:26 I have had nothing but good customer service from Browning, Colt and S&W. With Browning, a “gunsmith” botched a trigger job on my High-Power and Browning replaced all of the damaged parts free of charge. Colt sent me some small parts (a set of grip screws) free of charge when I tore up the slots with the wrong size screwdriver and S&W sent me a new rear sight assembly for my Model 66 because it wouldn’t hold adjustment, no charge. Reply bpjester says: October 25, 2012 at 13:39 I had three occasions to use customer service. The first was with S & W way back in 1990. I had a Model 66 that had some cosmetic issues. The gal on the phone said send it in. The repair shop replaced the frame under warranty and smoothed up the action. My cost was just the shipping to the factory. The second was North American Arms. The CS rep was really embarrassed when I told him what was wrong with the revolver. They fixed it under warranty. The rep promised me a free .22LR cylinder, but none was sent. I had to pay for shipping to the factory. The last occasion was with Kimber in 2002. There was an issue with an 1911 frame which was fixed under warranty. The CS rep gave me a discount price on having the front strap checkered 20 line per inch. With Kimber, I had to pay for shipping to and from the factory. Reply GOOFA says: October 25, 2012 at 14:47 My experiences have been for Best Service: Glock, Springfield Armory, Guncrafter Industries, H&K, Ruger, and Kel-Tec. Good Service: S&W, Walther, Kahr Arms, Dan Wesson, Kimber, Colt, Remington, Beretta, Browning and Sig-Sauer. Below Average: Les Baer and the Worst: Taurus. Reply SCS says: October 25, 2012 at 15:12 Wilson Combat. Reply seanx40 says: October 25, 2012 at 16:27 Hmmm…best-CZ. You call their shop for something, and more than likely, Angus answers and talks you through the issue himself. I called for a broken slide stop. He was appalled that it broke. And Fed-ex’ed me one overnight. And called the next day to make sure everything was ok. Ruger is also fantastic. I have a friend that was having trigger issues with his old Blackhawk. It came back in a week, reblued, and with NICE new wood grips. All at no charge. S&W has shown hit or miss service to me. Kel-Tec more indifferent than bad. They did what they had to do, but took a while to do it. And didn’t keep in contact. I had to continue to call and email before the work got done. Reply Jake in AK says: October 25, 2012 at 17:37 I have only had to return four guns to manufactures so far, knock on wood. When I was in highschool, my Father purchased a walther p22 for me. Yes, I am a young guy, at less then 30 yrs. After a summer living at the range, and putting every dime I had earned into ammo, I cracked the slide on the walther. Walther said that since the gun was not purchased directly from a dealer ( my father gave it to me, and I was silly enough to say that) they would not repair it under warrenty. $150 and five weeks later my p22 was working again. Walther did repair the firearm- but I was not pleased with the cost or wait. Later in life I found myself working at a gun store, where I never quite took home a paycheck, but did end up with a lot of guns. One of which was the Ruger LCP. Bought the third one that arrived in Fairbanks. When the recall happened because of the drop/negligent discharge issue, Ruger paid for shipping, gave me a free spare mag, some stickers, and had the firearm returned in less then two weeks. Keep in mind, if you “guaranty next day air” something to Fairbanks, it will take four to six days to actually get here. I also picked up a Para GI expert 1911. (I’m a sucker for 1911’s) Wouldn’t feed to save it’s life, out of the box. Called up para- they paid for shipping, both ways. They discovered they had messed up on the barrel linkage to the slide retaining pin. Fixed it, put on match night sights, gave me three free mags, and a $50 gift card. All in all, took two weeks, and they were easy to talk to, and get updates from. Para has pretty much had my business ever since. The last firearm I had to deal with manufacture CS on was a stoeger shotgun, o/u for my fiancé- we both shoot more skeet than is healthy. Wooden stock, on the cheek-piece broke off during shooting, tried to impale her. This is why we wear eye-pro. CS was easy to talk to, and did do the repair under warrenty- but it took four weeks, and we had to pay shipping. Shipping a gun up here is a PITA. So for me, Para and Ruger gave me the best CS experence. Every one messes up from time to time, it’s what you do about it. Both Ruger and Para fixed the problem, admitted it was that fault, and tried to compensate me for my time. Walther and Stoeger still fixed the problems, but I was less satasified with the process. Reply Joseph says: October 25, 2012 at 19:32 I’ve had stellar service from both H&K and Sig. Reply v says: October 25, 2012 at 23:18 ok, riddle me this…. we order a 4″ 1911 custom carry pistol, big bucks-big bucks…(won’t mention brand) it arrives, open the box, beautiful fit and finish, etc… just one problem, there’s no barrel in the pistol, no, wait! i can see the barrel hood when the slide is closed , wtf?… seems someone fitted a 3.5(?) ” barrel to a 4″ slide (the fired case was supplied) but wait!, it gets better! called the distributor, my sales person just sits there in dead silence when i tell him what we received… says, “i’ll be back in a few minutes”, 5-6 minutes later he says ‘there’s 3 more just like it with barrels shorter than the slide’ (again wtf?) so we call the factory, the woman who answers listens to our story, loooooong silence, finally i ask “how did this happen?” ‘um, someone made a mistake?’ then i tell her that there’s 3 more just like it in the same shipment, very long silence…………………………… so they send a RA and back it goes…. 2-3 weeks later it returns to us with the correct barrel, but now the right side safety is flopping loose… return to distributor… 11 of the 13 pistols we ordered were non-functional or grossly defective and no proper parts were available to repair 9 of them… that cured me of 1911’s for life, i can’t even be persuaded to shoot a 1911 any more after those experiences…(aversion therapy works!) i did get 1 1911 ‘military’ from them that functioned for one round and the 1st round of hardball took out the ‘X’… then it quit dead… been an H&K owner ever since…V Reply WAJJr says: October 26, 2012 at 06:46 Best Ruger I needed a couple of minor parts and they were no charge; worst Beretta USA, Beretta knows there is a problem with the PX4 magazine bases moving under recoil, they even made a replacement locking spring/base retainer, I have one. The problem is that I need another one and they will not sell me one. They told me to buy another magazine, FBUSA Reply No one of interest says: October 26, 2012 at 08:44 I had the known issue with the Sig 522 e-clips and was prepared for a fight. No chance. They sent me the upgraded parts as soon as I mentioned it along with basically a complete set of internals. Bolt, firing pin, ejector, etc. Threw in some Sig branded freebies. All within one week of the call and shipped on their dime. Other than that I have never had an issue with a new firearm. Does my $60 Nagant count? Apparently it was made before the telephone so I had to use a telegraph. Got so frustrated trying to tap in Russian I gave up. Reply Steven says: October 26, 2012 at 12:56 Good: Kahr and Sig. For both of them I sent back pistols that I’d bought used for inspection and they were back in my hands within three weeks. Bad: S&W. I wanted a revolver rebarreled so I called first to explain the job, sent in the gun as instructed, waited two months to get a postcard telling me that the barrel was out of stock, called them to have the gun sent back, and a month later it was back in my hands. There’s apparently a $45 evaluation fee for them to just look at the gun. I haven’t gotten a bill for that yet. Surely the first person I spoke to could have looked up in inventory whether the needed part was available. Reply pcrh says: October 26, 2012 at 15:37 I feel obligated to put in a word for Dan Wesson. They are responsive, didn’t bother asking me for proof of purchase etc., paid for shipping, etc., and fixed the problem with no fuss. Got my handgun back when they said it would be back. Reply Mr. Bob says: October 27, 2012 at 15:38 Haters gonna hate, but I have to nominate Hi-Point for not just their unconditional warranty, but amazing customer service. When I first got my 9mm, (with no previous semi-auto experience) I dropped, stepped on and inadvertently bent the firing pin during cleaning. I called them, they held my hand through the whole process of sending it back for service and had me send all my magazines for testing as well. They fixed it, tested it and my magazines and sent me an extra magazine along with my gun. Has shot flawlessly ever since. Reply flyboy says: October 28, 2012 at 18:05 One of my co-workers has an uncle who uses a Benelli Super Black Eagle. One brand of shells was jamming in his gun. He called Benelli, who immediately called the dealer where the gun was purchased. Since the dealer didn’t have another Super Black Eagle in stock, they told the dealer to buy back the uncle’s gun–to be sent back for testing–and to give the uncle a new Super Vinci instead. The uncle was told by customer support that “we can’t have you without a gun in the middle of duck season”. Wow, that is great customer service!!! 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