Update on Lawton receiver quality issues....

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Fiftydriver, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Messages:
    6,848
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    To all,

    I just got off the phone with Barney Lawton and had a good long talk with him about some of the quality issues I had been having with his receivers, mainly the M7000 receiver.

    My main concern was the squareness of the receivers direct from the factory. Many of which were not up to my spec to build on.

    Barney explained to me that he was first off, very sorry for the problems and wanted to make things right and then explained to me what was causing the problem. It seems that Barney had been getting his bolt bodies from an out of house supplier who told him that if he put them in a square receiver, the complete squareness of the receiver would be very good.

    After some of these problems started to show up, Barney looked into it and did realize there was a problem with the bolts and called his supplier who quickly told him that these bolts were not match quality bolts............

    Barneys comment in return was "why the hell not!!!" It would have been my reply as well after he was sold the goods about the quality of the receivers.

    As such, Barney has started making his own bolts in house and he says this squareness issue has been eliminated. He reports that in most cases, he can not see any real variation across the bolt face with the depth mic.

    Being in the business myself if bringing new products to the market, I fully understand that there can be issues when you rely on the experience and products of another source, espeically when your looking to get extreme quality or doing something never done before.

    I can not hold Barney at fault for this and he fully apologized for the lack of quality of those receivers using the old bolts and also admitted that he should have caught it sooner.

    Again, I can not fault him in any way, been there done that. As long as Barney is correcting the problem I see no reason to be leary of the Lawton receivers and it sounds like he has found and corrected the problem.

    I like Barney, he is a great guy, a hell of a guy to talk to when we can actually hook up on the phone as we are both very busy. Just to tell you what kind of guy he is, he offered to fully compensate me for any machining I had to do to true up his receivers. That is certainly not needed in any way but the offer tells alot about the man.

    He was truely sorry for the quality issues and is working hard to correct them and I believe he has or will before any more receivers go out the door.

    He thanked me for bring my issues to his attention. I can relate to this as well. Many time customers will be hesitant to be honest with porblems that they may be having with products because they do not want to be trouble or a bother or disrespect the person making the products.

    In most cases, we as producers rely very heavily on the honesty of our customers and as such actually encourage our customers to tell us everything they can about using out products, good and espeically bad.

    I will admit I was at first hesitant to tell Barney about the problems mainly because I felt it was a one time deal but now I am glad others and I brought this to his attention.

    Now, every single receiver that heads out of the Lawton shop is personally inspected by Barney. That takes more time but its well worth it in the end.

    So for now I feel very confident that Barney has looked into and corrected the squareness issues with his receivers. I look forward to getting my next order and seeing the quality improvement.

    We also talked about several new products they are working on which will be very intersting here in the near future.

    Just wanted to give you an update on the Lawton receivers.

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  2. MagMan

    MagMan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,008
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    It's always good to know you're dealing with stand up people.

    Any of the Borden's show up yet? How are they in comparison?
     

  3. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,193
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Hate to say it but we have a 7500 on order and he said in January that it would be 4-5weeks out. It is now middle of April and still no reciever. Called and he said that it would be out within 5-6weeks. who nows. Almost starting to wish I had went with another reciever. I hope its good when it gets here. who knows when that will be though. Just my expierence so far though.
     
  4. bailey1474

    bailey1474 <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

    Messages:
    1,922
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    [ QUOTE ]
    Hate to say it but we have a 7500 on order and he said in January that it would be 4-5weeks out. It is now middle of April and still no reciever. Called and he said that it would be out within 5-6weeks. who nows. Almost starting to wish I had went with another reciever. I hope its good when it gets here. who knows when that will be though. Just my expierence so far though.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That's the same boat you'd be in w/most other action mfgs as well. Just hang in there and be patient and the wait will be worth it!!
     
  5. James H

    James H Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    504
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    I talked to Barney a couple days ago and he gave me the same information that Kirby just posted.
    Also there was a problem with receiving the wrong extractors which is probably the cause for the delay in shipping. I just received the action I ordered in January today, but it was a kit and not a finished action. I am confident you will be receiving yours soon.

    James
     
  6. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Messages:
    6,848
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    Magman,

    I have several Bordens in shop right now and all are VERY square. Every bit as consistant as a Nesika Bay receiver.

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  7. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Messages:
    6,848
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    Screech,

    I think that is right in the middle of the time frame when all these problems started happening and Barney had to tool up to make his own bolts. I would guess that is the problem with the delay, that and I think they just got swamped with orders all at once!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  8. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,705
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    [ QUOTE ]
    Hate to say it but we have a 7500 on order and he said in January that it would be 4-5weeks out. It is now middle of April and still no reciever. Called and he said that it would be out within 5-6weeks. who nows

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Welcome to the world of machinists. I have dealt with probably 30 or more lathe crankers in everything from barrel makers, to gun builders, to action producers, to tool and die mnfgrs, and can honestly say that of all of them, maybe less than 5% even know what the word "punctual" even means.

    Any more, I just tell them up front, this is what I want, and if it goes past the deadline, I simply cancel my order and go someplace else. If any other business in the world operated like the gun industry does, it would be out on it's head faster than it could say, "sorry". Perhaps that is why most of these guys end up in this business; they defaulted there because they got weeded out of careers that demanded punctuality.

    If I did what lots of these machinists do, I would be out of business before I even got started. But alas, since I work with so many of them, I often am at their mercy (timetable wise) so they are late which in turn makes me late. It is one hell of a predicament. 7mmrhb and I spend almost half our day on phone trying to find out what the hell happened to parts and deadlines! It is sooooo frustrating. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif
    WHY THE HELL CAN'T THESE GUYS DO WHAT THEY SAY THEY"RE GOING TO DO!??!?!? I know they're busy, but so is everyone else in business. What gives them the right to flake you off and then act like "that's just the way it is".

    When you find that %5 percent who does things honestly and punctually, make sure you let them know how much you appreciate it. Give them repeat business at every opportunity! These guys are jewells and can make life so much easier that it is worth whatever they charge. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    Ok, enough ranting. I just get so sick of hearing this problem. It grates me to the bone and we shouldn't have to deal with it.

    Kirby, keep up the good work!

    The sun is shining outside, the birds are chirping, the grass is getting green. Happy thoughts, happy thoughts....... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  9. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

    Messages:
    8,853
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Since I've begun dabbling in the use of a milling machine, I've found that it seems to take a basic characteristic that I just don't have, PATIENCE!!!! OH, and concentration.

    Hell, I'm thinking about next week while I'm trying to take a mill off of a hunk of aluminum. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

    When I ordered my rifle from Kirby, I never called or emailed. I just responded to emails that he sent me regarding decisions he needed my OK on. I simply said that he was the man and to do what he thought best. This was something to do about throating reamers being not exactly as he liked and the stock decision.

    I'm confident that any of the smiths on LRH or who have been referenced on LRH, are doing the best that they can regarding punctuality. I wouldn't want any of them to feel the pressure of having to hurry on any account when they are working on something of mine. (Except that dude in Rexburg /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif, but then he'll never have anything of mine to work on - 7 months for a promised 15 day due date was way out of line)
     
  10. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Messages:
    6,848
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    I will admit I have missed a deadline or two but all I have to say is I would much rather have a customer a bit annoyed for a week or two or three and be totally happy with his finished project then rush something in the sake of meeting a dead line.

    Some things just pop up. The more you push the envelope and do things that have never been tested before the more issues you will have. These issues cause delays. As a custom rifle builder, we are also very reliant on out componant suppliers, barrels, stocks, receivers, they all take time.

    There are a handful of companies out there doing the bulk of the work for those of us that demand high precision componants. It seems like there is a barrel maker or receiver maker around every corner and to some degree there is but really, there are but 7 or 8 barrel makers I would trust for a truely world class barrel for one of my customers rifles.

    Likely, most other accuracy minded smiths in the country have the same feeling and so all those smiths depend on a relatively small number of componant suppliers.

    There are also other issues that delay products. I personally know that HS and McMillan will drop civilian orders completely to satisfy government contracts.

    That is a real pain in the rear when your waiting to get an A-5 stock for 6 months but when you sit back and think about who needs them more then us its not so hard to wait. I would much rather set behind some orders for the boys in the sand box, any day of the year and I would hope my customers would feel the same way.

    Yes, there are things that are hard to swallow. I have waited nearly a year for some receivers. After about 5 months the customers really start calling often and I have nothing good to say as to why their componants are late. Yes it makes me look bad as well but in most cases, good customers will understand and when I have these issues, I look for alternative componant sources for the next customers.

    Me personally, yes, I have gotten backed up many times to the point where I had +50 rifles on order to be built with half of them with all the componants in the shop waiting in line.

    Small shops, I personally feel give the best effort at quality, but are often the slowest. My shop is a one man opperation but I assure my customers that every single aspect of a rifle build is done by me. Only thing that I am currently getting help with is that my retired Dad has started doing the bedding on my customers rifles. That was after he did nearly 20 of them with my direct supervision on every step. Now, I just inspect the bedding before the barreled receivers are dropped into the stocks and then again after they are pulled out to check for any flaws or voids.

    Other then that, its a one man show. When you take in 2-3 rifle orders a week and you can get out 2-3 rifle orders in a GOOD week. Things get backed up.

    There are two things you can do, speed up to get more rifles out the door faster or try to be as honest with your customers as possible and try your hardest to meet your deadline.

    If you can not, try to be honest with your customers from the start and when it looks like you will be late, tell them.

    Again, there are some shops that are just cronically slow and if they did not offer superior products would certainly be out of business.

    I guess as a small shop owner, I would just ask for some understanding that in most cases when we are late, it is not because we are not paying attention to your project but just that we are busting our hump in most cases just to work down in the work orders to get to your products.

    Quality control issues can raise hell with time frames and its hard for customers to understand when you tell them something came up that will set a project back a month. No one wants to hear that but again, speaking for myself and I am sure for the other smiths I know on LRH, I would much rather make a customer wait past a due date and be happy with a product then rush something just for the sake of meeting a deadline.

    Once they get that rifle or barreled receiver and get it shooting, they often forget about how long it took to get it. That is not an excuse to be lazy, just my opinion and feelings about wanting to get my customers the best products I can.

    Sometimes delays happen that no one can control inspite of our best planning.

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  11. 308 nate

    308 nate Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    896
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Kirby,
    You pretty much said it like it is as you always do!
    Not to mention customers that call up and ask for a quote and tell you they are going to be shipping you the rifle or sending some money for a part,,,so you plan it into your schedule, then it never shows up, so then you plan that some of your jobs will never show up...then they all do /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

    I agree with what you said Kirby and keep up the good work.
    308nate
     
  12. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Messages:
    6,848
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    308nate,

    Amen brother!!!

    There are pros and cons to all jobs. Our perks, we get to play with firearms every day!!!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif At times there are some issues but I would not want to do anything else and I am sure you feel the same.

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  13. Jimm

    Jimm Writers Guild

    Messages:
    1,270
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Bill may be from Oklahoma ( did I spell that right /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif ) but he is dead on with his advice regarding your action dilemna.

    Hang in there man it will come ,

    Jim B.