Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Talk about things other than the Model 8's and 81's
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mr mike
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 7:48 pm

Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by mr mike »

This is a long story but it boils down to an issue with a shop known as OLD WEST GUNSMITH.
About 2 1/2 years ago I sent them a model 8 to be restored. I paid up front some $1260.00 to have the work done.
To this day in spite of repeated calls and E-mails and their word the rifle is finished they have not returned the rifle.

I can write at some greater length and more detail of the circumstances. For now, It's enough that I think I've been ripped off.
My rifle and money are both gone. The guy I'm dealing with is a David Chicoine. He's had my rifle since August 2011!
Would like to inquire if anyone else has experienced problems with this shop. I'm embarrassed to go public with this but
not sure what else I can do. Feel like going to the FBI or ATF to complain.

respects and thanks for any feed back
Mike Turner

sighthound
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Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by sighthound »

Seems I have heard of this place, where is it located? Thanks, Jerry

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Sarge756
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Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by Sarge756 »

Ok to be angry and I`m sure any reasonable person would be. Time now to contact ATF and light a fire under this gentleman. If he received a firearm from you even after this length of time has passed he should still have the record in his book for inspection. With the firearm not returned then where is it ? Oh what a happy day for the ATF and bad day for him if it is not there and he doesn`t have the record of where it went. I would hope that you have kept records of the correspondence and shipping information. Call ATF and ask to speak to an agent tomorrow morning. We will be waiting to hear your progress.
Good Luck, Joe
".......ain't many troubles that a man cain't fix
With seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."

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Sarge756
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Location: N.Florida on the coast

Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by Sarge756 »

Well he has a nice website. Seems being behind on things is not just confined to returning guns.Still wishing everyone a "Blessed" Summer. Think we`ve had a season or two since then. Doesn`t have a phone # or the location city and state listed. I assume it is too far from you for a little road trip.
Joe

http://oldwestgunsmith.com/
".......ain't many troubles that a man cain't fix
With seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."

mr mike
Posts: 74
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Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by mr mike »

This shop is located in Gastonia, north Carolina.
For those who might be interested heres the story. As mentioned my name is Mike Turner. I live in a small town about 70 miles north of Seattle called Oak harbor on Whidbey Island. I'm a 30 year retired Navyman. Back in 2011 an old friend, a Vietnam era marine passed the gun to me. Its a 1908 model 8 in 35 cal. It had belonged to his dad for many years. When I received the rifle it had a herters scope mounted on it plus a large recoil pad on the plan stock. I'd never heard of the model 8 so I went on line to learn what I could and eventually came to this site which I signed up with about the last week in May of 2011.
After putting a few rounds through the rifle, I decided I disliked the scope on the rifle. It felt awkward and out of balance to me.
I also didn't care for the recoil pad. Seeing photos on the great site of refinished and original model 8's I decided to take mine back to original if possible. Reading through the question and answer sites I saw postings back from around 2009 that refered to the OLD WEST GUNSMITH. Originaly the shop was located in Maine and apparently they'd done a lot of work on model 8's there. The comments I saw from those posts were positive so I decided to give them the work. I'm in my mid seventy's and while I got some tools and skills I'm not a gunsmith and I wanted a good job.
Before contacting them I removed the herters scope and mount. To my surprise I discovered a total of 14 holes drilled in the receiver. All this from years earlier I'm guessing. Anyway I then contacted Mr David Chicoine at the shop by e-mail and explained my problem. He assured me the holes could be welded. I then tore the gun down and mailed it to him to get an estimate on the work I wanted done. What we agreed on was to A) disassemble the rifle B) weld the holes C) clean the interior
D) reblue the rifle using the slow rust blue process ( receiver and barrel) E) replace stock, straight butt stock and schnabel fore end. All this was to be at a cost of $ 1,260.00 which was to be paid up front. So that's what I did. I have records to support all this. I knew this might take a while to get done. I was thinking perhaps a year.
Around the 23 of August Mr Chicoine acknowledged receipt of the money and gun and also repeated welding the holes was no problem. Six month passed and in February 23 of 2012 I mailed Mr Chicoine a Lyman 1A peep site and asked him to mount it for me when the rifle was completed. Again he assured me no problem. Aside from that I never called him to pester him about the rifle until August 2012 on the one year anniversary of him having the rifle. At that time he assured me everything was going well and I could expect to see my rifle in 4 to 6 weeks. Once more I waited, never calling and he never contacted me, by phone or e-mail.. A year passed with no contact from
Mr Chicoine. I should have called but I wanted to trust him. Finally in August of 2013 at the two year mark I finally called.
Once more I got apologys and the song and dance. I could expect the rifle in October. It was done and ready to ship.
I was fit to be tied. In june of 2013 my old marine friend that passed his gun to me died, from complications of Parkinsons. He'd been exposed to agent orange during the war and that may have added to his issues. I never got to show him the finished rifle. As he faded away an became less lucid he accused me of selling the old gun and not telling him. I knew it was the illness driving that but still it hurt to hear him say it, and his wife? She was pissed and made it no secret that I had upset him in his last days.
So, what ever, I waited October has come and gone and now its three weeks into January of 2014.
Have I been unreasonable in waiting? Am I wrong to be upset? What do you guys think? I just know I feel like I been done wrong. I'm seventy-five at this time and never experienced anything like this before. Am I wrong to think of the ATF or FBI?
Just not sure which way to go. Not planning on any road trips soon, either!
Again thanks for reading this and any feed back.
what do you folks suggest?

sighthound
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Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by sighthound »

Sounds like a case of interstate fraud, suggest contacting North Carolina Attornetys General Consumer Protection Department, might help but no guarantee. Personally I suspect your rifle is long gone through accident, theft or internal mistake and you are being stiffed more for your money paid than the rifle. You live far away and need to take your fight local to NC. Jerry

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jack1653
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Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by jack1653 »

Howdy,

I know of this man and chose not to use his services because of the issues that you are experiencing. I had checked some references and while the work was good delivery on a timely basis was lacking. I know he does excellent work but it takes forever and there is no justification for such delays. I believe 81police has used his services and may have some additional insight.

I can assure you that if you contact the ATF and state your case, you will get prompt action. I think this agency is always looking to pull licenses of unscrupulous dealers. Another of our members experienced a similar action from a gunsmith in Texas. He had to resort to contacting the ATF and he was successful in getting the gunsmith to reply.

Whatever you do, just follow through with your action with the ATF. Good luck.

Regards,

jack1653

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81police
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Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by 81police »

Mike,

Sorry to hear about your situation, I can imagine how frustrating this all is. I have indeed used David Chicoine at Old West Gunsmith once in the past. In fact, the work he performed for me was such quality that I did recommend him here on these forums years ago. He did a rust blue job on some reproduction spanner wrenches and for that project was extremely timely.

But...I would go with the suggestions you've already received, contact the ATF branch in his area. My father & friends had a very similar situation with a local gunsmith here in Texas. 2+ years after services were paid for and many promises broken, communication became nonexistent. All three of them contacted the local ATF branch on the same day and had communication back up within 48hrs. I hope your situation can be resolved as quickly. Please keep us posted.
Cam Woodall
Site Co-Administrator

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Roger
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Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by Roger »

Sir,
I own a book which was written by this same guy. It's called "Gunsmithing guns of the old west". It is in fact a very good and informative book about Winchester and Colts,along with some other guns ,which I don't own.
I'm really sorry to hear about your troubles with this gunsmith. I don't know a thing about him other than the book he wrote. The other members here have given you some good advice. I'd definitely contact the attorney general's consumer protection division in north carolina. They can help you get some type of satisfaction.
Thanks for your time,
Roger
Roger
raw4555@gmail.com

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Sarge756
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Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by Sarge756 »

Been a week ! ??????
".......ain't many troubles that a man cain't fix
With seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."

DWalt
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Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:18 pm
Location: San Antonio & Brackettville TX

Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by DWalt »

Chicoine Sr. has been out of action due to a heart problem or something similar for over two years. His son has apparently taken over the shop, and is not doing very well at it. The place used to have a good reputation for its work on old handguns, but apparently that is now long in the past. I'd press action on all fronts, ATF, state attorney general, maybe file an action in small claims court in that county.

mr mike
Posts: 74
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Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by mr mike »

Hey Guys, Thanks for all replys. I'm workin' on this as I write. Ain't forgot ya. Give me some time, as I contact the feds and so forth for help. Promise to wrap this up when I get some info or my rifle back. Will post some photos
of the work if I get it back in reasonable time.
Again many thanks for the words / advice offered!!!

DWalt
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Location: San Antonio & Brackettville TX

Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by DWalt »

Here's the story from another website. Translation - You are unlikely to get your gun or your money back anytime soon, if ever. Take whatever steps you need to attempt recovery.

"Dave Jr. has simply been overwhelmed in trying to handle the shop's backlog that was on hand when Dave Sr. was stricken. Along with his Mom, he has had to help with all the care his father's illness has required in addition to raising two small children.

Dave, Sr. has improved somewhat, but not to the point of being able to assist in the shop, and he's had some other fairly serious health issues on the long-term heels of the stroke. Dave Jr. is doing the best he can to stay on top of everything, but injured his hand / arm in the shop a few months back and had to have surgery...further slowing down things in general to a crawl.

I've known this family for 30 years, Dave Sr. and Kathy are very near & dear to us, and so is Dave Jr. and his family. They all can be trusted completely, to defraud anyone is not in their make-up, that much I'm sure of. That said, how long it might take to have one’s work completed is an open question, one that even Dave, Jr. cannot answer at this point in time.

The situation with Dave Sr., without going into greater - more personal detail, has resulted in a devastating financial situation for the entire family. However - they are all fighters - Dave Sr. especially. It may still take a long time before Dave Jr. gets caught up, if anyone doesn't have the “super-patience” that it will take to wait, just ask him to send the gun(s) back – but, understand they are in no position to offer monetary refunds. Clients currently waiting will be better off to allow Dave Jr. complete the work at hand, regardless of how long it’s been in their shop already."

mr mike
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Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by mr mike »

Mr DWalt, Thanks for your post. I currently have paperwork in the system to officially ask for my rifle back.
Two thoughts come to mind. First I completely understand the family issues as described in your post. So why not post those on the Chicoine web site, or perhaps spend a few moments typing an e-mail that can go out when questions arise? Sure seems it would be easier then taking the "heat", and settle customers nerves. Most folks understand illness, family issues,etc.
And 2nd, when I was able to contact him last August he stated my rifle was done and he would get it on the way.
Don't wish to sound unreasonable, but how long should that take, if all we're talking about is pack and ship?
Maybe the money thing, huh? Wow, bummer! Don't have a warm, fuzzy on this!

DWalt
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Location: San Antonio & Brackettville TX

Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by DWalt »

Having never done business with Messrs. Chicoine, I don't know anything about their business practices. However, even in their circumstances, it's absolutely unconscionable to not work somthing out with their customers or ship their guns back to them, fixed or unfixed, immediately. I think expecting any monetary refund is wishful thinking at this time, but at least the guns could be returned to their owners if they have no idea when they can get back to work. In your case, if the gun is fixed, you deserve to get it back immediately.

Anyone, knowing the present situation, would be insane to send any work to them now.

Good luck. Keep us posted.

In The Ten Ring
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Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by In The Ten Ring »

Mr. Mike, I hope you at least get your rifle back!

I have a 94 at a 'smith right now.....this makes one think!

mr mike
Posts: 74
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Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by mr mike »

For all those that have added comments many many thanks. By way of up date, here's where I am at the moment.
I filed a complaint with the Consumer protection office/ state Attorney General, North Carolina.
I filled out a complaint form with attachments of copy's of postal money orders reciepts, and copy's of gun contract and e-mails over the last 2 1/5 years. I've received a copy of a letter sent by the state to Mr Chicoine asking for a response and his intended action in reply.
This letter to him from the state was dated 18 Feb 2014 with fifteen days to reply. Hopefully there will be a reply / action by at least 5 Mar. I've decided to let this "play out" for a while ....say 90 days if it takes that long.
If by then there's no action or resolve to this situation, my next move is to file a complaint with the ATF federal folks here in Seattle.

I'm not trying to create issues or problems for Mr Chicoine. I just simply want my old 1908 model eight back. Its that simple. If he doesn't have the bucks to ship it I'd even be willing to pay for that.
I just want my rifle back, that's all, nothing more.
Don't think I will ever again send a gun out of state to be restored! I've had a belly full!! Hard lesson.

mr mike
Posts: 74
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Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by mr mike »

Its been awhile, so I wanted to come back and finish this post. I am really happy to report I finally have my rifle back!! Basicaly what happened was after an exchange of letters with the state consumer protection office, Mr Chicoine agreed on 1 May by letter to return my rifle. I heard from him several days later with an e-mail to verify my address. On the 31st of May it showed up on a Fed-Ex truck at my door. I gotta say that I was really apprehensive on opening the shippng box. After all my bitching and whining, I wondered if it might fall out of the box in pieces. In his e-mail about my address, Mr Chicoine had said he wanted another ten hours or so to work on the reciever, so I had no idea what the gun might look like.
To give Mr Chicoine credit, for all his non communication and apparent moodiness, I think he's an excellent craftsman. Overall my 1908 model 8A standard rifle looks about as good as it might have 105 years ago when the original owner set eye's on it.All the serials match except for the new fore end and buttstock.The insides look like new and the rust blue finish to my untrained eye seems near perfect. Overall I'm pretty happy with the end product. I'm going to "cop a plea", and ask "IMFUNCITY" if he'll post some photos for me in a new thread in the photos section to show the before and after product.
I've learned a lot going through this. One thing rest assured, in the future I will be one picky son of a gun before attempting anything like this again. I'd also like to recomend that this site compile a list of preffered vendors/ gun shops and so forth, specialising in model 8's and recomended by the membership on the basis of service / cost / quality etc. It would be a big help for a newbys like me.
Again my thanks to all that offered advice and council. Also again allow me some time to get some pic's to post in the photo section.

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imfuncity
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Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by imfuncity »

I do like a happy ending! :D As you know, no pix no happened... be glad to help out whenever you are ready, PM on the way.
Though defensive violence will always be “a sad necessity” in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men. - St. Augustine

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imfuncity
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Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by imfuncity »

Ok here we go, Mr Mike's restored beauty, first the beast... then the what-a-gal!
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Though defensive violence will always be “a sad necessity” in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men. - St. Augustine

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81police
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Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by 81police »

I've never seen a Model 8 transformation like that before :shock:

I'm very impressed with their hole filling. I guess, perhaps, it was worth the wait! lol. So glad you got the rifle back and I bet you're glad it looks as good as it does :D

You practically got a "new" rifle!
Cam Woodall
Site Co-Administrator

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Phyrbird
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Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by Phyrbird »

Very nice :!: :!:
Bet the rifle was lighter before :cry: just like the early Pontiac Nascar frames, swiss cheese style.
The buff job is great, very little damage to the lettering, good job 8-)
Phyrbird
SOKY

mr mike
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Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by mr mike »

IMFUNCITY, as always my thanks for the great photo posting. One of these days I gotta figure that out.
Until then please live long and prosper old buddy :-)
With regards to Mr Chicoine, he does good work, but waaaaay to slow and not very much into communication.

With all due respect to those who feel they gotta have a scope on their model 8 or 81. Please give it some thought before drilling into that receiver. I got no idea how many of these fine old rifles are still around, but I don't think in the beginning MR BROWNING intended to have scopes on them. If you got to have a scope, get one of them new fangled "plastic" guns or at least if possible a model 8 / 81 that's already been drilled before. Not only does it screw up the rifle in my opinion, but when carrying my rifle, to me, with that big herters scope previously mounted on it, it felt awkward and out of balance hanging off to the side as it was.

Theres a lot of on going debate on restoring old guns ( and old cars also) In my case I felt I had no choice with all them holes. Also the original butt stock had perhaps an inch cut off with a humongus butt pad attached to it.
I plan to shoot this gun, although I'm not a hunter, and when time comes pass it along to someone that has a feel for old rifles.
Hopefully in fifty or sixty years it will still be a good example of MR BROWNINGS skill. At 105 years I guess its got a good start!

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Roger
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Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by Roger »

Here,here!!! I'm sure glad you got your rifle back. The fact that it looks good makes it all the better. Congrats on a happy ending to a potentially bad situation.
Thanks for your time,
Roger
Roger
raw4555@gmail.com

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Adam Lee
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Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by Adam Lee »

Mr. Mike -

Wow.
All that drama sure ended up with one sweet looking restoration - from swiss cheese to factory-fresh!
Enjoy your toy!

Mitch - mucho gracias for helping with the photo uploads!!
Great outcome for you, Mike.

take care - Adam
I am a regular joe, consisting of 78% coffee, 12% hot air, 9% organizational abilities, and 1% luck.

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Wildgoose
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Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by Wildgoose »

Wow,great end to a long and frustrating story. Since falling in love with these old rifles I have seen quite a few that have been unfortunately "modified" in one way or another. I very much agree that if one finds an unmolested rifle it should be treated as the prize that it is. Plenty of them out there that will make great shooters or project guns if one wants to play with them.

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rem81auto
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Re: Angry as heck, gun shop issues.

Post by rem81auto »

All's well that ends well and your rifle ended well. I waited over 7 years once for a shotgun restoration job .... long wait but like you it ended well.

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