Monday, December 13, 2010

Entreprise Arms -- poor quality and even poorer customer service

Chapter 1:

I recently purchased a Entreprise Standard Rifle from Atlantic Firearms. To my surprise, when I checked the headspace I found that a NOGO gauge would chamber in the rifle. To my non-precise estimation, there seemed to be an additional 0.02" of play with a NOGO gauge chambered. I contacted Matt at Entreprise and he suggested I return the rifle for evaluation and correct. I did that.

Chapter 2:

Rifle was returned. Entreprise changed NOTHING; not even a letter explaining their conclusions. Hmmm.

I had a 0.274" locking shoulder lying around, so I replaced the original with this one and off I went to the range to measure actual headspace by measuring fired cases in an RCBS 308 mic. Three cases measured at +0.011", +0.013" and +0.011" meaning the headspace with a 0.274" locking shoulder was 1.644" (a Forster GO gauge measures 1.630" and a NOGO measures 1.634"). The scary part is that with the original locking shoulder, the headspace was 1.662", a full 0.030" larger than nominal!!!!!

The second thing I noticed was that the rifle consistently shot 18" to the right at 100yds. Using similar triangles (18" is to 100yds what X is to 22") I calculated that the rear sight needed to be drifted 0.11" to the left. After I made the adjustment the group was on paper and not bad actually.

However, the amount of displacement I needed to apply to the rear sight bothered me so when I got home I pulled the hand guards and gas tube and examined the "verticleness" of the sight and gas block. It seemed a little off, as if the barrel had been over-tightened. I then took a look at the relative position of the timing cutout relative to the receiver and after a little arithmetic, made it out to be about 3.5 degrees past dead center, i.e. too tight. Since the top of the sight post is 1.93" above the center of the boreline, 3.5 degrees would put the top of the sightpost about 0.118" to the left ... hmmm imagine that .... exactly the amount we had to move the rear sight.

The third obvious problem was that on occasion the rifle would “double fire” – yes not good. Examination at home confirmed that the rear of the trigger was damaged/worn to the point where holding the trigger down (with the selector in the semi-auto position) while manually cycling the bolt resulted in the hammer to drop .... a situation which can result in uncontrolled fire.

At this point I can only assume that whoever assemble the rifle had no idea as to what they were doing and since I've already returned the rifle once, giving Entreprise a chance to correct the faults, I'm assuming that Entreprise has no interest in fixing it. Additionally, I've already corrected the three problems myself so the rifle is no longer in warranty. And yes, I attempted to contact Entreprise by email and have had no response.


A supposed NEW rifle from Entreprise arrived with 0.030" excessive headspace, 3.5 degrees off optimal timing and a trigger so damaged that uncontrolled fire would result. No response from Entreprise so apparently no desire to stand behind their products despite claims of lifetime warranties.

Disappointed is an understatement. I had high hopes for Entreprise, being a CA company, but at this point I can’t recommend Entreprise to anyone looking for a FAL.

To add insult to injury, the rifle I received didn't have the required number of 922(r) compliance parts. Of the 20 parts on the ATF list, 17 are applicable to the FAL meaning that a FAL builder must replace 7 with US made parts. The rifle I received had the following US made parts: (1) receiver, (2) muzzle device, (3) buttstock, (4) pistol grip, (5) forearms, (6) magazine floor plate, i.e. one short of the required number of parts.


I had acquired another IMBEL barrel for a build onto an IMBEL receiver. This barrel handtimed to the expected 10:30 o'clock position on the IMBEL receiver and some quicky estimation indicated a locking shoulder in the 0.256"-0.266" range.

I tried that barrel on this sad Entreprise receiver. It too (over) handtimed to the 2 o-clock position. After reintroducing the 0.010" shim, I torqued the new barrel into the Entreprise receiver and proceeded to measure headspace with pin gauges and a Forster NOGO gauge. The smallest pin required to provide any closing resistance to the NOGO gauge was 0.280"!!!!!!!!! A safe gun would require a 0.284" locking shoulder. That's HUGE!!!

My only conclusion at this point is that this Entreprise receiver is severely out of spec. Quite simply, the barrel threads are miss-cut/mis-located by 110-120 degrees, thus accounting for the excessive headspace.

Some supporting arithmetic:

barrel threading is 1-16"
A 120 degree mislocation would add 120/360 x 1/16" = 0.021" to the headspace

expected locking shoulder should be in the 0.256"-0.262" range
0.256/0.262 + 0.021" = 0.277"/0.283" ... mine is 0.284"

So, at this point this receiver is unusable. I can't in good conscience flip it on some unsuspecting sucker so I have a nice paper weight.

Anyone considering buying an Entreprise rifle or receiver ... DON'T!!!

CO gun sales does the right thing.

12/27/10 Editing title to reflect proper customer action.

I recently won a auction on for a New Metric FAL barrel from CO gun sales. (Colorado Gun Sales) aka M&M LLC.

When I received the barrel, I immediately tried hand-screwing it into an IMBEL receiver I had lying around and discovered that the barrel face bottomed out against the receiver, leaving a gap of approx. 30-50 thousands of an inch between the barrel shoulder and the face of the receiver. "Hmmmm. How odd!" I thought. L1A1 builds require a breaching washer so a gap between the shoulder and face would be expected for a L1A1 barrel. "I wonder if CO Gun Sales sent me an L1A1 barrel". Checking the packing slip I confirmed that they had in fact sent me an L1A1 barrel.

I contacted CO Gun Sales and explaining the situation and expressed my desire to return the barrel. The person responding to my email, a "Mike", was incredulous and stated that the barrels are metric cut and indexing correctly on IMBEL receivers. [Ed: Let me clue you into threading dimensions of Metric-pattern and INCH-pattern barrels .... they're the same, i.e. 1"x16 ... so simply stating that your barrel is metric cut doesn't mean it's a METRIC barrel]

Since then I have returned the barrel but CO Gun Sales is apparently refusing the package and presumably refusing to refund my purchase. They are also refusing to respond to email.

I'll post pictures when USPS returns the package to me.

Avoid CO Gun Sales, aka M&M LLC.

UPDATE: (12/17/2010)

CO Gun Sales accepted delivery of my package. No response to email or refund yet.

UPDATE: (12/27/10)

CO gun sales acknowledged manufacturer's error and sent me a refund.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Blackthorne Products suck and they lie.

Do a Google search on Blackthorne Products (aka AR/AK parts kits), marketer of AR parts kits and complete AR uppers, and you'll find lots of negative feedback. Apparently quality control is not one of their strong points. However, recently I caught Blackthorne Products in an out and out lie.

On their website, you will find the following statement:

Blackthorne Products sells only the highest quality parts. We do NOT sell "seconds" of any type, Never have, never will.

That is a lie.

A buddy of mine recently purchased a Blackthorne flattop 20" upper. He wanted to mount a scope on it and asked me to replace the tall A2 sight tower with a low profile gas block.

After removing the sight tower, we made a sad discovery. The barrel on this upper was most definitely not a "first".

Exhibit A: Behold the "D" roll mark, indicating the manufacturer to be DPMS.

Exhibit B: Near the gas hole we find a sight tower taper pin cut, off-center. On the topside of a barrel? Also, ahead of the gas hole we see what appears to be the remnants of another welded over and ground down taper pin cut. How interesting? Wonder what we'll see on the underside of the barrel. A welded over gas hole perhaps?

Exhibit C: Indeed. A welded over gas hole. Off-center near the new taper pin cuts.

What is one to make of this? Clearly this is not a "first" barrel. I'm guessing this is a DPMS "second" that was accidentelly "long chambered". Blackthorne then took the barrel, turned it down, plugged up the old gas hole and taper pin cuts, drilled a new gas hole, cut new taper pin cuts and hid the surgery under a sight tower.

But let's not forget. They never sell seconds. Never have, never will. Um ... except for this one time.


Friday, September 11, 2009

3" 629 range report

While in the "dealer of death's" store recently, helping a coworker pick out a 1911, "the tempter" showed me a pre-MIM, pre-lock, 3" S&W 629. Naturally it followed me home. It has a rounded butt so I was a little concerned that the gun would turn in my ape hands under fire. But it has been Magna-ported. I'm not a big fan of Magna-porting as am not convinced that the muzzle flip reduction is worth the added muzzle blast and noise being directed at the shooter.

I was testing two loads:

(a) 240gr Ranier HP plated bullets over 21.0gr of 2400
(b) 240gr cast L-SWC bullets over 21.0gr of 2400

I must have not crimpled the Ranier loads properly, as early during the shooting session I had trouble rotating the cylinder. Close inspection showed that one of the bullets had pushed forward under recoil and was poking out past the front edge of the cylinder. Also, the accuracy of those loads was not great. I was shooting about 4” to the left.

The SWC loads were the cat’s pajamas. All holes were centered about POA with a group spread of about 3” at 15yds. [Several sub-groups were 1” in diameter ..... if I slowed down and concentrated]. I was shooting two handed, unsupported, standing up. I was VERY happy with this group, considering it’s coming out of a 3” barrel.

The gun is quite manageable, even though the recoil is stout, both in DA and SA modes, but the factory trigger is heavier than I like it. Will have to lighten the trigger return spring a tad.

Combined with shooting my Glock 21 with stiff loads, playing with an M1A and Chronying some loads outta my Puma 454, it was a great day.

I certainly had a better day than the guy a few tables down who “hot dogged” his S&W 500. His barrel split right down the vertical plane. He confirmed that he was shooting handloads so considering that his cylinder was intact, I’m guessing he had a squib, then an uncleared barrel obstruction, and he then touched off another round.

Be careful out there ......

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Anger ... and Hope

Spent the day walking around Berkeley (yes, CA) yesterday .... you know ..... for educational purposes. Yes, Darwin would have had, and should have, a field day.

As for anger ..... ugh ..... I switched off and observed .... and even then I had to suppress the urge to punch a bunch on a few occasions.

But the day was punctuated by polar differences. It was the day the Dalai Lama was to speak and inspire the crowds. I have no interest in what the Lama has to say [though I would pay money to hear him say "SEE! THIS is what unchecked PACIFISM leads to"], but I was more fascinated with the people coming to see him. The starry eyed, the sheep who need a leader in troubled times, the SUV driving drones who come to hear him speak of global healing.

My wife and I actually came to Berkeley to hike up to the Lawrence Hall of Science, where we stumbled across a High School Solar Powered Sprint Car Competition. The cars were nothing special, though it was obvious that some kids understood that mechanical design matters. What did stand out was that the Lama didn't matter, at that moment anyway, to these kids. For them science, competition and design mattered. Those who didn't win will be back next time with better designs. Learning, progress, perseverance.

So, yes, anger .... but hope too.

P.S. Turns out, the Lama spoke about terrorism and admitted he like George W. Bush. Well, knock me down and shit on my head. Maybe the Lama does have a clue.

P.P.S. Telegraph Ave. was once, oh ... say in the mid-1980s, interesting. Now it's gritty, dirty ... and irrelevant. Seeing the summer-of-love rejects aging hippies, with their skin wrinkled from years of drug abuse, flogging their wares and their old and tired political screeds, is sad.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Obama speaks

After listening to "The One" talk before congress two weeks ago, where he promised to cure cancer, I couldn't help thinking that he has a lot in common with a certain character from the comic strip Luann.

Maybe I'm wrong. You be the judge.

Or maybe, if you've listened to him speak (sans preparation) for 3 minutes without saying anything, while attempting to answer a fairly simple question, you'd come to the conclusion that perhaps he has more in common with a certain Loony Tunes character.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Nation of cowards

Apparently Mr. Holder, the new "Culture Czar" calls us all cowards for our unwillingness to talk frankly about race.

In a speech to Justice Department employees marking Black History Month, Holder said the workplace is largely integrated but Americans still self-segregate on the weekends and in their private lives.


He urged people of all races to use Black History Month as a chance for frank talk about racial matters.

Fine. I'll be frank about race.

Firstly, when are assholes like Holder going to realize ... it's not about race, it's about CULTURE. I hang out with people who have a similar outlook on life as me. So sue me.

Secondly, I love black people, but I hate niggers. A nigger isn't bounded by racial boundaries, but by culture. So, if your culture doesn't aspire to excellence, honesty, responsibility, self-reliance, self-restraint, constructive pursuits, and sacrifice at the expense of instant gratification, then I want nothing to do with you. So sue me.