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Thread: Palmetto State Armory: problems with their components and customer service

  1. #1
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    Palmetto State Armory: problems with their components and customer service

    I’ve had problems with both component quality and customer service with Palmetto State Armory. I will summarize the issues and then post my email exchange with them. Per forum policy I have tried to resolve the dispute with them privately, with no luck.

    In May 2011 I ordered a PSA “premium” bolt carrier group, two of the PSA bolt assemblies (MPI/shot peened), and some other stuff not relevant here. Upon receiving the order I saw that one bolt had a burr on a lug that was parkerized and apparently a manufacturing defect. I emailed them and they sent me a UPS call tag and a replacement bolt that had no apparent defects. So far so good. Everything went in storage.

    In November 2011 I built a 300 AAC Blackout upper from components, and decided to use the PSA “premium” BCG in it. In testing of the upper it fed, fired, and ejected, but would only lock the bolt back about 15% of the time. I did normal troubleshooting and finally noticed that the bolt carrier’s cam pin track was not the same shape or dimensions as any other bolt carrier I have – it didn’t extend as far down the side of the carrier at the rear end (where the cam pin is when the bolt is locked). I also found it difficult, but possible, to remove the cam pin for disassembly. I didn’t change anything else, or move any of the gas system components at all.

    I installed a lightly used BCM BCG in the same upper and immediately had both proper function and the bolt locking back on empty 100% of the time. I also noticed odd wear patterns on the PSA bolt, which I think may be from it being shoved into locked position by a carrier that wasn’t quite right.

    I contacted PSA with the problem and asked for a replacement. They indicated they would do so if I sent it back (no UPS call tag this time). I sent it back. They returned to me what is supposedly my original BCG that they “worked on” and test fired 30 rounds. The bolt on the returned BCG shows severe wear, worse than what I sent to them, along with minor damage to one lug that looks like an impact, and I cannot remove the cam pin for disassembly no matter how I fiddle with it. I haven’t tried being destructive on the cam pin, since I don’t see any reason to accept a defective BCG that was returned to me defective. The carrier appears to now have a properly machined track, and that track appears to be parkerized (not sure that's compatible with this being my original carrier "worked on") but I can't tell for sure since I can't disassemble it.

    As in the emails below I told PSA, politely, that this was unacceptable and asked for a refund of my purchase price, or at the least a replacement NEW BCG and covering my costs of shipping the defective BCG back to them. They told me on January 13 that they could send me a UPS call tag and replace the BCG, and I accepted by reply email. Since then, only silence. I’ve followed up, and tried calling on the 27th with no answer and no ability to leave a message. I’m aware of the SHOT Show and would have understood a week of nothing because of that, but it has now been three weeks of silence.

    The emails below have my identifying information removed but all the other text is unedited.

  2. #2
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    Emails

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    From: firstname lastname
    Sent: Mon 1/23/12 12:54 PM
    To: info@palmettostatearmory.com; shipping@palmettostatearmory.com
    Subject: RE: defective bolt carrier from May order - RE: PALMETTO STATE ARMORY LLC Order Receipt
    Hello-
    Just following up on the email below. Can you send me a UPS call tag for the defective BCG as per your January 13 email?
    thanks,
    Firstname lastname
    ============================================================
    From: email address
    To: info@palmettostatearmory.com
    Subject: RE: defective bolt carrier from May order - RE: PALMETTO STATE ARMORY LLC Order Receipt
    Date: Sun, 15 Jan 2012 23:45:57 -0500
    Hello-
    I would like you to send a call tag and ship a replacement when you receive this one back. I still can't get the cam pin out and the bolt has heavily worn or damaged lugs as I mentioned before.
    thanks,
    Firstname lastname
    ============================================================
    From: info@palmettostatearmory.com
    To: email address
    Subject: RE: defective bolt carrier from May order - RE: PALMETTO STATE ARMORY LLC Order Receipt
    Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2012 19:08:16 -0500
    Firstname,
    I can send you a call tag and replace your item for you if you would like us to. We confirmed with the armorer that it was functional but if there is an issue still, this is how we would like to resolve it with you if you would like.
    Thanks,
    Customer Service
    PSA
    From: Firstname lastname [mailto:email address]
    Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2012 1:18 PM
    To: info@palmettostatearmory.com
    Cc: shipping@palmettostatearmory.com
    Subject: FW: defective bolt carrier from May order - RE: PALMETTO STATE ARMORY LLC Order Receipt
    Hello-
    Following up again. I have a non-functional bolt carrier that I paid $119.95 for and shipped back to you at my expense only to have it returned in different but equally bad condition. A refund of my initial purchase price and my shipping costs is the most reasonable resolution to this, but if you won't do that I would take a replacement new, properly functioning bolt carrier. Please advise.
    Firstname lastname
    Phone #
    ============================================================
    From: email address
    To: shipping@palmettostatearmory.com
    Subject: RE: defective bolt carrier from May order - RE: PALMETTO STATE ARMORY LLC Order Receipt
    Date: Mon, 9 Jan 2012 10:21:10 -0500
    Hello-
    I have not heard anything back yet. Have you made a decision? Even if I'm only getting a replacement, can you at least pay for my shipping on returning the defective one to you?
    thanks,
    Firstname lastname
    ========================================
    From: Shipping@palmettostatearmory.com
    To: email address
    Subject: RE: defective bolt carrier from May order - RE: PALMETTO STATE ARMORY LLC Order Receipt
    Date: Sat, 31 Dec 2011 12:01:21 -0500
    I will speak with the armorer on Monday and see about sending you a replacement. I apologize for the inconvenience, but our warranty is to repair or replace, not refund. We will make it right for you, but all we have to go on is what he tells us. I will be back in touch early next week, and I apologize for the inconvenience.
    Please let us know if there is anything else you need, and thank you for your inquiry.
    Palmetto State Armory Customer Service
    803.760.4004
    From: Firstname lastname [mailto:email address]
    Sent: Thursday, December 29, 2011 9:19 PM
    To: info@palmettostatearmory.com
    Subject: RE: defective bolt carrier from May order - RE: PALMETTO STATE ARMORY LLC Order Receipt
    Hello-
    UPS delivered my original BCG back to me this afternoon. There is a handwritten note that your armorer inspected and test fired the BCG "after working on it a bit" and it worked fine for 30 rounds. I took a look, tried to inspect it and found that I cannot even remove the cam pin now. The cam pin was very difficult to remove before and is now impossible. I won't bother test firing this if I would never be able to perform basic maintenance on it. I also noticed that the bolt lugs show a lot of wear including one that is beveled and shiny at the front of the lug and has a burr on the outside, probably from whatever impact caused the bevel. I have 47 rds on this bolt and you apparently added 30 - I've never seen a bolt showing this much wear after 77 rds. I have some bolts in the several thousand round count that don't have that much wear.
    I am not satisfied with this and very surprised that you would return to me a defective part that I bought new and returned to you as barely used, having shown problems from its first use.
    I would like to return this still-defective BCG for a refund of my original purchase price for this BCG ($119.95, see invoice below) and my shipping costs for sending it back to you twice. If you won't take a return then I guess I'll accept a replacement, but I no longer have confidence in this product and am not likely to use it. Please advise.
    sincerely,
    Firstname lastname
    Phone #
    ========================================
    From: info@palmettostatearmory.com
    To: email address
    Subject: RE: defective bolt carrier from May order - RE: PALMETTO STATE ARMORY LLC Order Receipt
    Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2011 11:14:42 -0500
    If you will send it to 200 business park blvd, Columbia, sc 29203, we will get another one that is test fired and ready to go sent back out to you. Please include a note that describes the issue (your email will suffice), and we will get that out as soon as we see yours come in. Please put it to ATTN: COLT DRIVER.
    Thanks,
    Daniel Dodds
    Palmetto State Armory
    803.760.4004
    From: Firstname lastname [mailto:email address]
    Sent: Monday, December 12, 2011 4:18 PM
    To: info@palmettostatearmory.com
    Subject: defective bolt carrier from May order - RE: PALMETTO STATE ARMORY LLC Order Receipt
    Hello-
    I ordered a complete BCG from you in May, see below. I just recently went to use it and had some function problems with the newly-assembled upper I was using it in. After inspecting, I discovered that the carrier does not seem to be machined correctly in the cam pin track - it does not go as far down the left side of the carrier as any of my other carriers do, including another PSA that came with a complete PSA upper I ordered two months ago, as well as BCM and DD carriers I have. The track is tight enough that it is tricky and difficult to remove the cam pin (because of interference from the gas key). The upper (my own build) I had problems with is now functioning perfectly with a BCM carrier. I would like to return the PSA BCG and get a direct replacement. I would also like the bolt to be replaced as well because it is showing some funny wear marks for having only 50 rounds through it, which I think may be related to the carrier cam pin track issue.
    This is actually the same order where I previously had returned a bolt that had a machining burr left on it. However, as I said above, the PSA BCG that came with the PSA upper I ordered two months ago seems just fine. (I actually used that upper in a competition this past weekend, and have not had a single malfunction with it.)
    Could you provide return instructions?
    thanks,
    Firstname lastname
    ========================================
    > Date: Wed, 25 May 2011 18:26:02 -0600
    > From: info@palmettostatearmory.com
    > To: email address
    > Subject: PALMETTO STATE ARMORY LLC Order Receipt
    >
    > Thank you for your order.
    >
    > ========== GENERAL INFORMATION ==========
    > Company: PALMETTO STATE ARMORY LLC
    > Order date: 5/25/2011
    >
    > ========== ORDER INFORMATION ==========
    > Payment By: Visa __________________
    > Status: APPROVED - 05067B
    > Order: OnlineOrder_00066013
    >
    > Product Name: Magpul PMAG new M-Rev 30rd - OD Green
    > Item#: 101c
    > Unit Price: $14.20
    > Quantity: 1
    > Shipping Method: MAG price
    >
    > Product Name: Complete MPI Bolt Assembly
    > Item#: 929
    > Unit Price: $49.95
    > Quantity: 2
    > Shipping Method: MAG price
    >
    > Product Name: Palmetto State Armory Complete Full Auto 5.56 BCG
    > - Add a charging handle ($10)
    > Item#: 1746b
    > Unit Price: $129.95
    > Quantity: 1
    > Shipping Method: MAG price
    >
    > Shipping Insurance: $3.05
    > Grand Total: $247.10
    >
    > ========== SHIPPING INFORMATION ==========
    > Name: Firstname Lastname
    > Day Phone: () phone #
    > Email: email address
    > Address:
    > > US

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    Sometimes, you get what you pay for. I've often wondered how they could sell "mil-spec" parts so cheap and still make a profit. Working in quality assurance and having experience in supply chain something sounded fishy to me so I've stayed away despite the enticing pricing.

    At any rate, I hope they do finally get your squared away but if they're stuff is that out of spec, and that's how they send out reworked components in your case I doubt it's isolated. In my experience as an internal QMS auditor says, "where there's smoke, there's fire".
    Last edited by Sry0fcr; 02-03-12 at 12:29.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sry0fcr View Post
    Sometimes, you get what you pay for. I've often wondered how they could sell "mil-spec" parts so cheap and still make a profit. working in quality assurance and having experience in supply chain something sounded fishy to me so I've stayed away despite the enticing pricing.
    This is what I have thought all along.

    Any company that can offer a rifle and an Aimpoint for $999 is doing one of two things - loosing money, or cutting corners.

    I don't think they are loosing money, so that only leaves one option...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sry0fcr View Post
    Sometimes, you get what you pay for.
    I have definitely learned that lesson a couple times now, and as I posted in the discussion of the other BCG I had issues with, going forward I'm using only DD, BCM and LMT, all of which have been flawless for me so far, or Colt and Noveske, which I don't have experience with but by reputation should be at least as good.

    I'm posting this mostly for the information of the readership. I don't really expect resolution from PSA at this point, but since so many people on various forums have been recommending PSA (I suspect without personal experience) just as had been the case 2-3 years ago for Spike's and 4-5 years ago for CMMG, I thought I should get the word out.

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    Lightbulb

    I appreciate the heads-up, & empathize with your frustration.

    I bought a PSA premium BCG for my FDE plinker I was building. I cut a few more corners with this build than I should have (RRA trigger group! ), because I was intending it to BE just a 'plinker,' even though I know better. Here's HOPING mine turns out better come the spring, when I can get out and put it through its paces.
    - Either you're part of the problem or you're part of the solution or you're just part of the landscape - Sam Vincent (Robert DeNiro) in, "Ronin" -

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    This is why people should use BravoCompanyUSA.

    I've seen guys with issues where they just replace the part without even requesting the original to be returned.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

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    This is a very sad story. I was really rooting for PSA and their new line of inexpensive firearms.

    I have only purchased lower parts kits from them in the past and they seemed to be good (better than DPMS parts kits that I now refuse to use anyway).

    Sad.

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    Oh here we go......

    if it's a good review with PSA, and it's good quality or customer experience.... out come "it's just a sample of one" snip.

    If it's a bad review of PSA here comes all the poo slinging, and fancy quips about "just as good as"......

    This is comes from a fella that has way more than once showed clearly his distaine for PSA in just about any PSA thread made, rightly so considering HIS exp....I guess.

    I chalk this up to "a sample of one" mostly from the same guy over and over.

    I hear more good things from hundreds of people across the scope than bad. From PSA.

    Though any thing good from PSA is "just a sample of one"

    Anything bad "told ya soo"

    It's no surprise though.......considerin'.....

    Edit: damn PC locked up on me.....Sucks you have had consistent issues with PSA.

    I have not and have ordered many a part through them and have been pleased.....but A: I don't know shit...B: I'm just a sample of one.
    Last edited by Breadstick; 02-03-12 at 13:23.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markm View Post
    This is why people should use BravoCompanyUSA.

    I've seen guys with issues where they just replace the part without even requesting the original to be returned.
    Happened to me with them and Vltor. Great service!

    Quote Originally Posted by Javelin View Post
    This is a very sad story. I was really rooting for PSA and their new line of inexpensive firearms.
    Me too. Oh well, glad I got something early-on before issues became prevalent. Shit happens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Breadstick View Post
    Oh here we go......

    if it's a good review with PSA, and it's good quality or customer experience.... out come "it's just a sample of one" snip.

    If it's a bad review of here comes all the poo slinging, and fancy quips about "just as good as"......
    I hear what you're saying... but there's still no reason to shop anywhere beyond BravoCompany.

    I have no bias one way or another with PSA.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Breadstick View Post
    Oh here we go......

    if it's a good review with PSA, and it's good quality or customer experience.... out come "it's just a sample of one" snip.

    If it's a bad review of here comes all the poo slinging, and fancy quips about "just as good as"......

    This is comes from a fella that has way more than once showed clearly his distaine for PSA in just about any PSA thread made rightly so considering HIS exp....I guess.

    I chalk this up to "a sample of one" mostly from the same guy over and over.

    I here more good things from hundreds of people across the scope than bad. From PSA.

    Though any thing good from PSA is "just a sample of one"

    Anything bad "told ya soo"

    It's no surprise though.......considerin'.....
    It's pretty obvious to me these guys have little to no QA, poor QC and they have people assembling guns that have no idea how the weapon system operates. They shipped mid length uppers with carbine gastubes... Really?

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    Quote Originally Posted by markm View Post
    I hear what you're saying... but there's still no reason to shop anywhere beyond BravoCompany.
    After dealing with both more than a few times, I'd definitely agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sry0fcr View Post
    It's pretty obvious to me these guys have little to no QA, poor QC and they have people assembling guns that have no idea how the weapon system operates. They shipped mid length uppers with carbine gastubes... Really?
    They got shit right sometimes. But it goes without saying that this isn't the industry that'll accept mediocre success rates and lackadaisical QC
    Last edited by munch520; 02-03-12 at 13:27.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sry0fcr View Post
    It's pretty obvious to me these guys have little to no QA, poor QC and they have people assembling guns that have no idea how the weapon system operates. They shipped mid length uppers with carbine gastubes... Really?
    yep really...that happened.

    3 uppers out of the batch of 3000. lets put things into contex here.

    All three were resolved and PSA started to test fire every upper now since that happened.

    Is not consistant form from them. It was a one time floof.

    But I know nay sayers will fling that out of their sleeve any chance they get......
    Last edited by Breadstick; 02-03-12 at 13:29.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markm View Post
    I hear what you're saying... but there's still no reason to shop anywhere beyond BravoCompany.

    I have no bias one way or another with PSA.

    No not really any bias atleast from me. I don't care REALLY cause I've gone BCM (when in stock), G&G, Reiner for goods too.

    Just too much irony sometimes for me to sit back and smell farts....I gotta let one out too from time to time.
    Last edited by Breadstick; 02-03-12 at 13:35.

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    Ok... now the gas tube thing is

    I now have a Bias on the PSA topic.

    (maybe they hired that guy here who tried to convert his carbine to a middy)
    Last edited by markm; 02-03-12 at 13:35.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Breadstick View Post
    yep really...that happened.

    3 uppers out of the batch of 3000. lets put things into contex here.

    All three were resolved and PSA started to test fire every upper now since that happened.

    Is not consistant form from them. It was a one time floof.

    But I know nay sayers will fling that out of their sleeve any chance they get......
    I agree it gets a little thick in here at times. And to be honest if I needed a carbine right now I would still probably take a look at a sale from PSA. But the initial reports from this company's offerings were really good and their prices amazing. Now we see post after post of crap that is sullying to a good name and in business that is really all you have sometimes is a name.

    It is disappointing to see not only the quality of workmanship but more importantly how they handled it, twice apparently. I am sure it will get fixed but again it is disappointing as it is all totally preventable.

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    I don't get these discussions. If you're talking about whether PSA/Spikes/whatever is 'as good as' brand X (BCM/DD/Colt/etc), then you've missed the point. Why screw around with Unknowns?!? We KNOW certain makers produce reliable products. Why would you purposely take a detour away from something know to be excellent?!?

    If there were a shortage, I'd understand. If the price difference was measured by four figures, I'd understand.
    Quote Originally Posted by rob_s View Post
    Don't change parts because you read something on the internet, push the parts you have to the point that you are better than them, then change.
    Quote Originally Posted by amd5007 View Post
    You know the 11th commandment, "Thou shalt not improve or alter the TDP, for this is an abomination."

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    Quote Originally Posted by markm View Post
    Ok... now the gas tube thing is fukkin retarded.

    That's some LWRCi stupidity... I now have a Bias on the PSA topic.

    (maybe they hired that guy here who tried to convert his carbine to a middy)
    you know I have to agree.

    Now I won't froth at the mouth to defend PSA, but I will stick up for them since my exp has been good, thye parts I've recieved good, comunitcation has been good too, via emails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpookyPistolero View Post
    I don't get these discussions. If you're talking about whether PSA/Spikes/whatever is 'as good as' brand X (BCM/DD/Colt/etc), then you've missed the point. Why screw around with Unknowns?!? We KNOW certain makers produce reliable products. Why would you purposely take a detour away from something know to be excellent?!?

    If there were a shortage, I'd understand. If the price difference was measured by four figures, I'd understand.
    Because they were substantially cheaper. The price made it attractive and they knew it. Penetration (HA) pricing strategy.

    Got a stripped 12" upper for $360. Can't find that anywhere else I don't think? With BCMs BCG and a Centurion Rail...it may become one of my favorite uppers. But, judging by things I've heard, not sure if I'd consider em in the future for anything but a stripped lower.
    Last edited by munch520; 02-03-12 at 13:44.

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