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.