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Thread: Any news on the RPD builds?

  1. #21
    Gunco Member BILLPHOTO's Avatar
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    Guys, I don’t know Stan. I have heard good things about him BUT how can you defend the behavior? Almost everyone has said the same: He’s an artist, He gets it done on HIS schedule, it always takes longer than promised, he’s not a customer service guy…and so on. Well I’m an artist too, and I can assure you I cannot get by with that and make a living. Money is too tight and there are too many people fighting for the dollar to put up with that crap. If you’re OK with rude behavior, lack of communication and failure to deliver as promised, then more power to you, and him. The rest of us can choose not to and have every right to “post it” when you fail to deliver. I don’t have a dog in the hunt but after hearing all this, I think I’ll send any future builds somewhere else.

  2. #22
    Gunco Rookie spork2367's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BILLPHOTO View Post
    Guys, I donít know Stan. I have heard good things about him BUT how can you defend the behavior? Almost everyone has said the same: Heís an artist, He gets it done on HIS schedule, it always takes longer than promised, heís not a customer service guyÖand so on. Well Iím an artist too, and I can assure you I cannot get by with that and make a living. Money is too tight and there are too many people fighting for the dollar to put up with that crap. If youíre OK with rude behavior, lack of communication and failure to deliver as promised, then more power to you, and him. The rest of us can choose not to and have every right to ďpost itĒ when you fail to deliver. I donít have a dog in the hunt but after hearing all this, I think Iíll send any future builds somewhere else.
    This is the core issue. Either he is an artist and this is a hobby and people can wait for his art, or it's a business and he actually needs to answer to his customers and be honest. His guns are nice, but not at the "art nice" level.

    He took on too many builds because he is making over 60.00 an hour on RPD's and the money looked good. However he screwed his customers because he was greedy. Let's face it, at $875 a pop he stood to gross $39,000 just off of the RPD builds. His overhead as a one man shop is very low. I know, I run a one man shop in the evening.

    Hopefully he can lower the number of builds he is taking in, make his lead time more reasonable and be honest about it, and be successful. As a pro-second amendment person, I would like to see more and more people with FFL's, but we don't need more that make promises they can't keep which is unfortunately quite common among people who go from a hobby to a business. When he reduces his lead time, he'll have a more stable cash flow (instead of nothing for months then one giant lump sum), and business will be much less stressful for him.

  3. #23
    Gunco Veteran AK Builder FloridaAKM's Avatar
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    My patience may have paid off, I'll know by Friday afternoon for sure!

    "If God had not intended for us to eat animals, how come He made them out of meat?" - Sarah Palin
    New Member of the Busted Box Club

  4. #24
    Gunco Rookie mragu's Avatar
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    I think we can all agree that Stan does not spend too much of his time on the computer or dealing with customer service issues. I hope everyone started their adventure with Stan knowing that he does not work fast and he is somewhat of a blackhole on comms.

    Stan and Jorge built an RPD, Bren and SBR Sterling for me. My PPSh-41 SBR project has been on Stan's shelf for two (2) years now. I suspect it is as it was shipped to him. Stan does run a small shop and he does nice work. He is a great niche builder who has turned out a number of re-vitalized classic firearms. With the exception of recent RPD builders, who else builds some of the guns that Stan is capable of delivering? (Bren, DPM, Vickers et cet)

    I will leave my PPSh-41 with Stan and hope that things slow down for him enough to give it a crack. I know he can build it and do a great job. I just need to get going on the paperwork with ATF as that will build in enough delay. In reality, who else can do a high quality PPSh-41 SBR build?

    I suppose everyone has their breaking point. Some of my buddies think I am nuts for waiting around 2 years and say I should drive down and pick up the parts. Whatever you decide, there is no need to slam a hard working guy who really does try to do the right thing and who is good for the industry. Just my penny's worth.

  5. #25
    Gunco Rookie woodsy's Avatar
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    Oh, I don’t really believe that there’s a lot of “slamming” going on. I know that’s not my intention and can certainly appreciate the niche that Stan fills.

    Do I have any problem with the wait? Nope. He never promised me a delivery date nor did I expect one. A wild guess was good enough for me knowing full well that it would probably be longer. I haven’t had the issues that Spork has had but I haven’t asked when to expect my shorty either. I figure that it’ll get here when it gets here.

    Do I have a problem with the one that he built for me last year? How it looks? Nope. How it runs? Well, that’s a little different. The striker failing to fall when the trigger is pulled is an annoyance and a problem that should be rectified. The weapon doubling or tripling is a HUGE problem. Folks, people have gone to prison for things such as this and I sure as hell don’t intend to be one of them. No doubt someone will write that I shouldn’t even have posted this but, trust me, I’ve kept ample proof of my attempts to get it fixed.

    I had previously bought a Wiselite Sterling that would occasionally run away. This happened upon initial testing when I got it. I immediately called Wiselite and told them of the problem. Their response was for me to send it back THAT DAY and provided their FedEx account number for me to use for shipping. It left for TX the same day that the phone call was made, they fixed it, and returned it quickly. Runs great now.

    So, what are my intentions for becoming involved in this thread? Information. I have no doubt that Stan put forth good effort into my build and didn’t sloppily toss it out the door. However, there appears to be something amiss with either the build itself or the design. I sure don’t know what it is which is why it finally made its way to FL. I fully expect that Stan will take a critical look at it to determine what’s going on and make a determined effort to fix it. If it is a design issue, hopefully the problems that I’ve experienced will serve to improve later models. Perhaps it’s nothing more than a bad heat-treat on a semi part. Your guess is as good as mine.

    Have other owners of PG’s RPDs had the same problems? I’ve read of a few but I also suspect (as I stated earlier) that either most of these things are safe queens, folks are keeping quiet about what they have, or they run fine (hopefully the latter). Those of you in this next run – how much do you intend to shoot it or are you going to shoot it at all? You’re correct - it doesn’t matter UNLESS you have an unregistered class III weapon that you know nothing about.

    My only complaint at this time is that I wish PG’s customer service was a little like the experience that I had with Wiselite. Especially with an issue that could raise an eyebrow or two. I’m certain that he’ll make it right but I do wish that it hadn’t taken so long. The $48.52 out of my pocket for shipping was a little annoying as well but I’ll get over it.

    BTW - Don't think that I'm in bed with Wiselite. I have one of their M53s that I just about cut up for scrap before I was able to get it running.
    Last edited by woodsy; 12-20-2011 at 09:19 PM.

  6. #26
    Gunco Rookie spooledup's Avatar
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    I will let you know when my shorty shows up. I have 10 belts loaded ready to go. So a 1000 round break-in should tell the story. Hopefully it will be a good one.

  7. #27
    Gunco Rookie woodsy's Avatar
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    Looking forward to other’s feedback. I truly hope that these problems are isolated incidences.

    One thing worth pointing out - I did have multiple problems with rounds not feeding properly or light primer strikes. These were caused by individual links that were too tight. New RPDs coming out of PG’s shop will run best during the first few 100 rounds with older clean belts that have been lightly lubed. Once things loosen up a bit then new belts should run fine.

    Also, my first one came with the gas setting on #3. Run it this way for 50-100 rounds and then you can begin to turn it down. Mine ended up cycling on the #1 setting during the remainder of the time that I had it.

    Cool snowflakes.

  8. #28
    Gunco Member Pvt. Joker's Avatar
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    Stan built my RPD, and he currently has my DPM kit there waiting to be finished up. So I do have a stake in this as well. While I can see where some of the complaints may be coming from, the reality is that there is precisely ONE Stan at Project Guns. He can work on trying to get the builds in progress done. Or he can focus on calling. Or he can focus on warranty work. Or he can spread himself as much as possible among doing SOME of each.

    What he can't do, is all of it, all of the time, to everyone's instant satisfaction. That may not be what everyone wants to hear about THEIR project but it is reality. Could you run that 26-man shop alone and still keep up with ALL of it for every customer? Perhaps getting swamped with so many kits all at once was overwhelming, and when Jorge left, it took that other person out of the picture.

    But in the end, ALL the man can do is what he is trying to do last time I spoke to him, which is to focus for the moment on getting the current batch of builds done before taking on more. Focus in on taking one bite of the elephant at a time, until you can get to the last drumstick, so to speak.

    I'm sorry that some of you have been disappointed in the times involved, and that some of the guns may have some long-term reliability issues for some folks. I've known Stan since before Project Guns opened in earnest, from back on MG42.us and I still have complete confidence in the guy. But each one of these is still, in the end, a hand-fitted build that requires time to get right, or perhaps even some fine-tuning over time. So even if it's not what some folks may want to hear, the reality is that we ALL are in the same boat, as is Stan. He wants to get these done (and done correctly) ASAP as well, because he gets paid at that point, right? So it's in his best interest as well as ours to see them done. But IF he rushes them out before they are 100% ready, then we may see more warranty issues come up as well. So rather than cracking the whip about the time frame, let's let him get caught up and take care of what's needed to be taken care of first.

    At least that's how I am seeing it. I understand not everyone will feel the same way, but the end result will be the same. Because there's still ONE Stan, and he IS putting in long hours working on all our stuff. Nobody can please everybody, no matter how hard they try. But he DOES build a nice gun, and if we didn't know that we each wouldn't have sent him our projects in the first place, right? So it comes down to working through this and knowing that in the end, Stan will make it right. I believe that about the man, and he's given me no cause to think otherwise.
    FBO

  9. #29
    Gunco Rookie guns r us's Avatar
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    I agree with you PVT Joker I am not currently involved in this batch of rpd's but Stan has built two for me in the past. I did have an issue with one of them but it was taken care of in a short amount of time Jorge was there at the time. I am sure Stan is doing his best to meet customers demands. Maybe Stan should hire extra help but perhaps he cannot find anyone qualified enough to trust with the work?

  10. #30
    Happy Camper hcpookie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FloridaAKM View Post
    Waiting with patience on mine to be finished when Stan has them done to his exacting specs!
    Precisely.

    You want a McMuffin build, go get it somewhere else. Does Century build these by any chance?


    Is it just me, or have times changed since "please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery" was the NORM? And that was AFTER eating all that fricking cereal to get the box tops! Remember how painful it was to eat all that fricking ceral just to get the box top, then wait 6-8 weeks... so what gives now? SHEESH... 6-8 weeks during the HOLIDAYS for crying out loud.

    Oh boo hoo hoo I can't get my Rolls Royce out of the shop yet... boo hoo hoo.
    Some of us are waiting on deals from other vendors, for > 10 months now and counting! Yes, that is > 40 weeks!

    Sorry for the rant. Not really.

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