Friday, April 9, 2010

Lancaster Arms and Chet Durda: Still Bad News

Well, here we are, into April. And Lancaster Arms is – quite remarkably – still in business. Some interesting things going on these days with regard to Lancaster:

1. Problems with Lancaster rifles are STILL cropping up on the various AK message boards on a regular basis. Lancaster has apparently admitted that some of its barrels were out-of-spec, and that some of its rifles have problems. (If you merely call a rifle tearing itself apart in only a couple hundred rounds a “problem”. I call it a “disaster”.) One poster even claimed that his stainless steel barreled Lancaster rifle lasted only 120 rounds. ONLY 120 ROUNDS! Lancaster blamed it on the barrel supplier, which is funny, seeing as how Chet Durda once told me that Lancaster makes all of its own barrels. (You see Chet, this is what happens when you lie all the time. You start contradicting yourself all over the place.) Regardless, if you go to the “AK Discussions” or the board and do a search on “Lancaster”, you will find literally dozens of complaints about the low quality of Lancaster’s most recent rifles. If, after reading all those threads, you STILL want to own a Lancaster rifle, something is wrong with you.

2. Lancaster is STILL well-known for telling people “Your rifle will ship tomorrow, and we’ll email you a tracking number”, when they never ship it that next day nor provide a working tracking number. Hey Lancaster…are you guys TOTALLY and COMPLETELY incapable of telling the truth? Seriously, WTF?!? How hard is it to tell a customer, “It may take several weeks before we get to your rifle?” When you tell a customer “Your rifle is shipping tomorrow”, and they don’t have it a week later, how in the hell do you think that customer is going to react?!? Lancaster has become infamous for its inability to estimate repair and shipping times. (And yes, plenty of their rifles have needed repair lately.)

3. Lancaster’s website says that they are STILL not accepting credit cards. Sorry folks, but anytime a gun dealer doesn’t accept credit cards, that is a HUGE, HUGE red flag. If you think that sending a check or money order to Lancaster is a good idea…you’re more brave than I.

4. Recently, a well-known and highly respected builder in the AK world posted a message on one of the public AK forums. He had some extremely negative things to say about Lancaster, which included calling into question the character, integrity and honesty of Lancaster’s owner, Chet Durda. Read this devastating post here.

5. Recently, Lancaster has advertised that it is selling milled Bulgarian rifles with “original Bulgarian barrels.” Let me just say…I’m suspicious. Original Bulgarian barrels don’t grow on trees, and they tend to be somewhat expensive even when you can find them. So to anyone who has bought one of these, I offer this up: If you bought one of these $688 milled Lancaster rifles, let me know and I will PERSONALLY pay for you to send the rifle to a qualified AK-smith to verify barrel origin. If four or five people take me up on this offer and all barrels come back as genuine Bulgarian, that’ll be that. But if these barrels turn out NOT to be Bulgarian, I will personally write the fraud complaint to the Arizona Attorney Generals Office and the BATF. Sorry, but I know from personal experience that Chet Durda has a habit of lying, so I thus question anything Lancaster is doing that appears suspicious. And selling milled Bulgarian AK’s with original barrels for $688, appears suspicious. Send me an email if you bought one of these rifles, and want to know the TRUE origin of your barrel.

6. Some guys on the Calguns forum are STILL waiting on group buy rifles that they purchased from Lancaster LAST OCTOBER! Yup, going on seven months now and Lancaster can’t fulfill this group buy order. That’s just raw, flat-out incompetence.


  1. Im glad I found this blog. Ive been looking at a couple of AK rifles and was considering Lancaster. But Ive read too much bad stuff about Lancaster lately so I wont buy one of there guns now. Thank you.

  2. Bought a milled 3060 model from them and it's a very beautiful rifle. I mean beautiful. Other than that, they are by far the worse company to deal with in terms of customer service.

    Very bad customer service. It's up to you if you want to wait damn near a year to get one of their fine built rifles.

  3. ordered one months ago,was told it would ship in 2-3 weeks!..was told they had only 60 milled recievers and they would be gone fast,,so i got one.well,months go by and no ak.
    i called and they say it is shipping,,a week goes by,no ak,,,the dealer i bought it through is freaking because i refuse to pay them for the gun they had to send a check for out of there own money to get!!!...a big campany and they dont take credit cards???...sounds weard huh?
    well,about now im just surious to see the weapon if it ever arrives....i put 150.00 down on it,so im not hurting too bad but the gun dealer is pissed!!

  4. Yes Anon 9-1-10, that's what Lancaster does. They over-promise and under-deliver. You'd think they might have gotten a clue by now, but stories like yours keep trickling in.

    If I was you, I would cancel the order. Lancaster's own website says they aren't making milled receivers anymore for commercial customers. (They claim they're only making them for military customers, although I don't believe for even one second that they have any military customers. I think that's just another one of Chet's numerous lies.)

    If they aren't making milled receivers, and you haven't gotten yours yet, that means you ain't ever gonna get it. But Lancaster WILL sit on your money for as long as you let them. They did the exact same thing to me. They didn't have the parts to build my rifle, but didn't bother telling me. I had to demand my money back before anything happened.

  5. didn't listen to all of the prior complaints online and quite frankly, I couldn'rt believe a gun manufacturer could be that bad. Now we are one of many buyers who sent payment to these idiots and have received nothing but lies, we have been waiting 4 months and have been told twice that the order was shipped. The owner of Lancaster Consulting should be arrested. In addition to the BBB send your complaints to the Office of the Arizona Attorney General , very quick and easy online and I received a letter from them shortly after wth a case number. The more complaints they get the better the chance that they will move in on this guy. Also anyone who paid them by mailing a chack or even a Money Order or anyone who was emailed an order confirmation saying that their order would be processed upon receipt of payment should also contact the US Postal Inspecrtors Mail Fraud Division to submit a complaint and press charges for mail fraud . Everyone known the owner's name. Action speaks louder than words, anyone live near the place ?? US Postal Inspection Service Phone # is 1-800-372-8347 or look up your local office online.

  6. I worked there for Chet Durda, about four years ago, He is a compulsive liar, and his actions always were or seemed shady. He or his company cant be trusted!(The worst part is he claims he was a Captain in The Marine Corps, Force Recon.)

  7. I had piss poor customer service from Lancaster Arms as well. Myself and several co-workers ordered AK's from them. We were promised guns in 'two weeks'. Well, it took them 10 months to get my gun to me and my buddy 12 months. It was hell. Calls back and forth. Lies from anyone who answered the phone. Finally got my rifle and it's a beauty, but was not worth the hassle. Strange company to deal with for sure.

  8. I bought an AK-74 from this guy at the Crossroads gun show in 2010. He claimed he was a Force Recon Bubba, and myself being a Recon Marine I asked him some questions. Couldn't confirm or deny his claims at all, but when I asked him questions, he quickly reduced my price to $500. On that note, the rifle is one of the finest shooting AKs I have ever used. The tolerances are super tight (odd for an AK), but nonetheless it is a great weapon. I have about 3,000 rounds through it with ZERO malfunctions. I read this thread because I heard they changed their name and I was looking to get another, but I think after all I have read, I will just go with another manufacturer.

  9. Ha! Durda told me he was ex-CIA. That guy couldn't tell the truth if his life depended on it. Might be why he's out of business these days.

    Your probably safe with the new owner. I heard Durda no longer has anything to do with the company. If they have a good price on goods your probably fine.


You are welcome, and in fact encouraged, to leave your comments about experiences with Lancaster Arms. The only requirement is that you stick to facts, or well-documented opinions.


About Me

But quite willing to "help" Lancaster Arms fully understand why the way they run their business, is completely unacceptable.

Welcome to

This site exist to help police a firearms manufacturer that has decided to run its business using questionable ethics. Too often, there is not enough complete, accurate information on the Internet about companies engaged in the manufature of firearms. It is my hope that this blog shall serve as a useful tool to help guide potential customers of Lancaster Arms to a fully-informed decision. As of the start date of this blog, many, many people feel as though Lancaster Arms does not run an honest business. We'll let the chips fall where they may...