Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lancaster Arms Investigated By Various Law Enforcement Agencies

On a few different Internet message boards, I've seen several people ask, "When is someone going to investigate Lancaster Arms???" Well, in fact a few different law enforcement agencies have recently investigated Lancaster. The following is the "official" response from the Goodyear Police Department Criminal Investigations Division. Any bold or otherwise highlighted parts below represent my own added emphasis:


"The following is the official response letter to consumers who have had pending business transactions (prior to 01/2011) with Lancaster Arms LLC, located in Goodyear, AZ .Lancaster Arms was investigated by the Goodyear P.D. Criminal Investigations Division in January of 2011, specifically regarding Arizona Revised Statues 13-2108 (Criminal Fraud schemes or practices). Goodyear P.D. could assert jurisdiction on this matter as a law enforcement agency and under state statutory authority which notes local law enforcement agencies are empowered to investigate criminal matters and then make the appropriate decisions, as to verify or collaterally identify whether any criminal act has occurred or not. If a criminal act has occurred then the practice of this agency would be to send the investigative findings to either the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for felony charges to be issued, or the City of Goodyear Prosecutors Office for misdemeanor criminal charges to be filed. The results of this investigation were as follows: (that) No criminal act knowingly occurred regarding, repairing, purchasing or other services provided to consumers, prior to January, 2011. If purchases were made after January 2011, this may be a criminal act. At present this department has not received any complaints regarding business transactions with Lancaster Arms after January, 2011.

In June of 2011, the Goodyear Police Department was made aware that the Arizona Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Fraud and Complaints’ also conducted their own inquiry into the business dealings of Lancaster Arms. The Attorney General’s Office has determined, thus far, that Lancaster Arms and its ownership have had non-intentional poor business dealings with some of their consumers, as a result of some non-criminal business dealings which reduced the ability of Lancaster Arms to fulfill some of their past orders. It should also be noted the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms has also completed a recent inspection of Lancaster Arms regarding federal law, Federal Firearms Dealer Licensing Acts, and federal fraud acts concerning firearms and have concluded that no criminal violations have been committed by Lancaster Arms.

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Fraud continually monitors complaints regarding Lancaster Arms. You may choose to lodge your complaint with that office by going to their web site at www.AZAG.GOV and then following instructions to register a complaint under this division. It will be determined by the AZ Attorney General’s Office if Lancaster Arms would still be conducting on-line business after January, 2011, and if those acts are civil or criminal consumer-business fraud. At this point their office does not find any deliberate criminal or civil fraud regarding Lancaster Arms, but you are more than welcome to state your complaint in writing over the aforementioned manner.

Recovery of funds lost through poor business transactions ( if under $5,000.00) can be made through the local Justice Court which has civil jurisdiction on civil monetary recovery suits. The jurisdiction for the geographical area of Goodyear is the Estrella Mountain Justice Court and a claim can be made through them. You may reach this court, through the website at: www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov then follow the link to Justice Courts and small claims.The U.S Department of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms website is www.ATF.GOV

At present this will conclude the Goodyear Police Department’s response and inquiry into Lancaster Arms incidents regarding business transactions with consumers prior to 01/2011. Transactions made after 01/2011 can be directed to the Goodyear Police Department. NOTE: This does not infer that if your transaction started prior to 01/2011 and is still pending with Lancaster Arms, that this is considered a new transaction because of reporting the issue. This is still considered to be a transaction occurring prior to 01/2011 and should be dealt with in the same manner as outlined in this response letter."


There you have it, folks. The authorities could not find any "intentional" or "deliberate" criminal behavior on the part of Lancaster Arms or it's owner, Chet Durda. They concluded that Lancaster did not "knowingly" commit any criminal acts.

To those of us who have followed Lancaster the past couple of years, these findings are a bit amusing. Over the last two years, this blog has documented several dozen incidents of Lancaster Arms telling people "Your rifle will ship tomorrow", "It will ship next week", "The check is in the mail", etc., etc., which I personally believe were quite intentional acts of deception on the part of Lancaster Arms and Chet Durda. Proving that such acts were "intentional" or "deliberate" is the key here. We're talking about a legal standard of proof that is quite high. In my own personal opinion, and in the opinion of many others, I think you'd have to have been born yesterday to believe that these acts (many of which I have documented extensively on this blog) were not "deliberate" or "intentional".

Still, all of this is actually good news. Because at this juncture, Lancaster Arms is very much on the radar of the Arizona Attorney General, the BATF, and the Goodyear Police Department. They are now aware that there have been "issues" with Lancaster Arms, and that these issues have been of such a nature that they felt various investigations, including a criminal investigation, were warranted. All I ever wanted was for Lancaster Arms to make good on its promises and commitments, and by these actions, Lancaster is now in a position were it has to make good on all of the orders it has received to-date. That is a good outcome.

As instructed above, if you are not satisfied with this resolution yourself, and/or if you ordered something from Lancaster and it has not been delivered to you on the timeline and in the manner promised, make your concerns known to the Arizona AG's office. It sounds as if they are now more proactively managing these issues which, again, is all I have ever wanted.

For those of you who are reading this blog for the first time, and are researching a potential purchase from Lancaster, take all of the above into careful consideration. And decide for yourself if, given the information above, you feel confident placing an order with Lancaster Arms. Speaking strictly for myself, I would never again do business with this company. I wouldn't even contemplate it for a second. I've simply seen too many people get burned by trusting Lancaster Arms. But if you're the type of person who believes that a leopard can change it's spots...by all means, order away!


  1. Well, I got a hold of them on 06/27 @ about 9:30am. Lindsay answered the phone. I told her my concerns, how long I have waited and been patient. She tried to tell me that they moved to a different building and "other customers" orders have been fouled up as well. Which was it? Because last time the excuse was that someone broke in and ruined the rifles and wood. (Wouldn't you know which rifle was who's due to a big tag attached to it or by cross referencing the serial numbers to what is on file?)

    She did make it seem (by the tone in her voice) that there was "other customers" with the same issues and assured me, like they are being forced, to complete their work orders. (Haha, even though I already knew that from these blogs.) I gave her multiple phone numbers and multiple emails to send any information to me. Since Chet was not in, I urged her to please get a call back to me with an update when she finds out any information. She said she'd take my invoice out to the "machinist" that was working to get a time frame.

    I got a call back a couple hours later to tell me the same old story I have hear before. I will have my mailing confirmation number and rifle in 10-12 days.

    We'll see again if they fail to deliver on their promises. Not going to hold my breath.

    I was about to tell them, just give me all the parts to assemble it and I will do it myself. Not that hard to do.

  2. Scott, if you don't get your rifle in 10-12 days as promised, do not pass go and do not collect $200. Just contact the Attorney General's office. Chet will screw you around for as long as you let him. That's what he does...he keeps making one promise after the other, seeing how long he can drag you along until you finally realize, "This guy is not being honest with me", and start taking action.

    The AG is now on to Chet, and if the complaints keep pouring in, they will just say "Enough!" and will revoke his business license.

    Aside from that, the Goodyear Police seem to think that Lancaster might file for bankruptcy at some point soon. If that happens and you don't have your rifle...kiss your money good-bye. For that reason alone, I'd be beating down their door if I was you, telling them they have exactly 48 hours to ship you a rifle or issue a refund. And no, I'm not kidding.

    Oh, and if you do get a rifle, examine all the parts and make sure it's what you actually ordered. I have read numerous horror stories of people getting rifles that aren't what they ordered. No chrome-lined barrel, wrong furniture, etc.

    I swear, Lancaster is an absolute disaster of a business. It's so absurd, it's almost funny.

  3. Here we go.
    I have just got off the phone with goodyear police and have a report number!
    Theft of services charges will be filed against chet durda/Lancaster consulting!
    I am going to be mailing the investigating officer a copy of my check that cleared and a copy of the invoice this week.
    Chet if you are reading this.
    I told you on the phone.
    You picked the wrong person.


    Is your sale/dealing with Chet after 02/01/2011? It must be becasue the police department won't do anything for me. I called Chet on his cell last week and again today. Says my rifle will be painted and then shipped soon! HAHHAHHA! Sure it will, but at least I got a hold of him. Says the girl will call me Friday...I told him if it doesn't show up I will be flying down to meet him.

  5. Well, I called back today @ 11:30am today. Always been polite and never have be threatening. Lindsey answered again. At least it's the same person and not random new girls. Confirmed ship date by July 15th, she said. If it doesn't happen then I guess I am gonna have to demand product or money within 48 hrs or I will have to make a road trip to Goodyear, AZ.

  6. Dabears, what happened after the charges were filed??? Give us an update if you don't mind. And yes, I knew that eventually Chet was going to piss off the wrong person, who would pursue Chet to hell and back until justice is done.

    Scott, you didn't actually believe the ol' "Shipping next week" excuse, did you? You should know by now that every Lancaster rifle is always "shipping next week" or "shipping Friday" or "shipping tomorrow". Except it never happens. That's just what they tell you to get you off the phone.

    If I was you, and the rifle is not shipped by the 15th, I would go ahead and just contact the Arizona Attorney General's office and Goodyear Police.

    Everyone should know by now that Chet Durda will lie to you for as long as YOU LET HIM! With most companies, being polite is the way to go. But the exact opposite is true with Lancaster. You HAVE to let them know, in no uncertain terms, that there will be consequences if they lie to you about shipping dates. And then when they lie, you have to make good on your promise and contact the AG and/or police. Hollow threats, including threats to "fly down there" when you don't actually have any intention of doing so, are worthless. Actually, they're worse than worthless, because hollow threats only serve to embolden Durda, and reaffirm in his mind that most people are "All talk, no action".

    Durda has gotten away with everything he's gotten away with mostly because people are complacent and lazy. They don't understand that until they take concrete action to rectify the situation, Durda will just stall and stall and stall for as long as you let him. That's simply what he does.

    In a way, if you LET him screw you around...then you deserve it. At least, I'm sure that's what Durda thinks.

  7. update for now next update will be start of august/
    On 1Aug2011 i need to contact good year police again.
    that will be 10 weeks since i demanded my refund.
    on taht date they will press the charges for theft of services.
    and yes I am more than willing to hound him, I have the time, the money, the resources and the contacts to do so.

  8. Dabears, Was your date of purchase after 02/01/2011?

  9. I have filed suit against chet and lancaster arms here in Maine. Purchase done in March 2011. Over $5,000 at stake. I need a good attorney in Arizona to collect , preferably one that has had a run in with this dirtbag. or has filed suit already. Any help appreciated.
    FYI we all may remember joeken? This guy sounds like the joker in joeken. Word is he is.
    frank 207-989-6783

    Can you say BANKRUPTCY...I'm sure you can!

    I found something interesting. Chet Durba has an EBAY account. He is electron3000;


    Guess what...he is selling his CNC machine.

    FADAL 2002 4020 CNC....


    Looking back through his history on EBAY, he has already sold another CNC machine on Oct-20-10, a ford truck with NO title on Jan-18-10, an industrial oven on Jun-29-10. Also, look at his current listing of the CNC machine it is the same one that is photographed on his web site, model VMC 4020, you will notice there is NOTHING in the warehouse!

  12. Interesting find, Dave. Good detective work!

    Yes, it does look like he's closing shop, and trying to raise cash. From what I've gathered, Lancaster hasn't been able to take orders since January, which would be enough to put any business, out of business. But Durda brought this on himself. By operating his business in as haphazard of a manner as he's been doing, it was only a matter of time before the wheels fell off the cart. You simply can't abuse your customers like Lancaster has done, and expect that you're going to be able to keep the doors open.

    MaineMilitary...you should find an Arizona attorney quickly. If Durda files for bankruptcy, collecting from him is going to be next to impossible. But here too, we see the damage done by Mr. Durda. Not only have his actions hurt his own business, but they've hurt other innocent businesses as well. Taking a $5,000 hit in this economy is not easy to do. For him to take your money and then not deliver, is tantamount to theft. That would make me absolutely livid. And I know it's no consolation that Chet has run his business into the ground.

    At one time, Lancaster had a good reputation. But apparently having no business skills whatsoever, and being a dishonest huckster on top of it, doesn't make for a successful business.

  13. I really wish I had found this site back in Feb 2011. So here's my story, I'll keep it short and simple.
    My wife bought me a lancaster ak-47 this past christmas as a suprise gift. I finally got it out the range the second weekend of feb 2011. The gun worked flawlessly but the front sight is canted to the right and needs to be moved. I took it back to the gun shop and asked their guys to look into the problem and fix it if they can.
    They called a few days later and said they would send it back for warranty work. They sent me a confirmation email saying lancaster received the firearm feb 25th 2011.
    I kept in contact with the gun shop for about a month asking them if they have heard back from them. Of course it was no. So myself and the gun store started calling them everyday for about 8 weeks till I finally got someone on the phone.
    So about mid april 2011 I talked to "lindsey" who said the shop was broken into and they need my info to find out if my gun was still there. She said she would call back. Took her about 3 weeks to get back to me and she said they could not find my weapon. So they would build me another one to replace it. She said I would get a call in about 2 weeks with a tracking number. After the said time with no response I began calling. I left voicemails when i could if the machine wasn't full. The gun shop did the same.
    So yesterday a new woman answered the phone who said she didn't know why my gun wasn't shipped out and she would take the invoice out to the machinists right away to get a new weapon built ASAP. Same story of we will contact you in 2 weeks with a tracking number.
    Then I find this place today while searching for reviews on the weapons and the company itself. I should have checked the internet before returning the gun back to the gun shop. I feel like sh*t now because my wife was trying to do something nice for me and its making me feel sick to my stomach reading all this. It's going to be hard to tell her what I found out.
    So that's my horror story and I hope no one else has to deal with this.
    I am going to keep following this blog and hopefully someone can find out if this guy really is filing for bankruptcy.

  14. M,

    Sorry to hear about your trouble. Rest assured, you’re not the first person to discover problems with Lancaster Arms only after-the-fact. Plenty of customers didn’t do much research on Lancaster until the stall tactics and excuses they were getting, started to become suspicious. Let’s see, a partial listing of excuses I’ve seen: “Everyone has the flu”, “The CNC machine is broken” (ostensibly the same one Durda is trying to offload on eBay right now), “The wood isn’t done”, “We discovered a new problem with your rifle”, “We had a break-in” (interesting timing on that one, btw), “The ATF is doing inventory in our shop right now”, “It’ll ship on Friday” (except it never does), “We’re waiting on barrels right now”, “We mailed you a refund check last week” (except mysteriously, people have often not gotten these “mailed” refund checks), etc. etc.

    As you’re finding out, when dealing with Lancaster, never, ever, ever, EVER assume that what you’re being told on the phone, is true. If I had a penny for every time I’ve read that a person was lied to by someone at Lancaster Arms, I’d have more money than Bill Gates. You simply have to stay on them, calling every day. If you ever want to see your rifle again, it is all on you! You also need to document your problem with the Arizona Attorney General’s office, as they are still monitoring Lancaster Arms.

    As for a bankruptcy, we probably won’t know about it until it’s already happened. If I was still waiting on a rifle or a refund from Lancaster, I would WASTE NO TIME in collecting it TODAY! I’m serious. In fact, if it was a lot of money, I would drive there myself and refuse to leave until I had a valid check in my hand. ‘Cause I suspect that Lancaster will go under, and that plenty of unsuspecting people will lose money when that happens. As we’ve already seen, Durda is selling his CNC machines on eBay. He’s already sold one, and has another one currently listed. And Lancaster’s website now says that their phones are only open Monday to Wednesday. It very much looks to me like Lancaster is winding down.

    I will be going to the bank it is drawn on, bank of America to cash it tomorrow morning.

    I won!
    Persistence will prevail.
    maine millitary send me an email if ya want his cell phone number.
    I will do as much as i can to help everyone else out!
    Goddamnit does it feel good!

  16. Glad to hear Dabears. Seems like your threat of filing charges was taken seriously by Lancaster.

    Yes, go to the bank it is drawn on to cash it! That way, they can and will confirm that the check is good before cashing it.

    I sort of wonder if the AG ordered Durda to either make good on all orders, or refund all monies owed to customers and suppliers. After all, if he took money from customers, he can't really say "I don't have it anymore", because that would mean he used money from customers to pay for other things...basically misappropriation of funds. (Which is a fancy term for theft). This might explain why he's selling stuff like his CNC machines. Perhaps he needs money to pay people back.

    Awhile ago, someone suggested that Lancaster might be using new money, to fill old orders. Always a few months behind on cash, essentially. The AG's order to stop production until everyone was made whole would have put an end to that game fast, if in fact that's what was going on.

    Anyway, glad you got it worked out Dabears.

  17. This forum has helped me a lot so I should give back. I paid for a gun May 5th and after that they stopped picking up their phone. I filed a police report and one with the AG. I got a hold of Chet today and he said my gun will be shipping 7/22 or a refund. I hope he is finally trying to do right by people. If not I have contacted a lawyer in Goodyear who could take our case.

  18. Good to hear Anon 5:51, but just remember...Chet has a physiological inability to tell the truth. About anything! You should UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES believe a word that comes out of his mouth. When I say the guy is a pathological liar, I don't just mean it as an insult. I mean he is LITERALLY a pathological liar. He will tell you whatever he thinks you want to hear to get you off the phone, and off his case for a week or two.

    For all you know, maybe he's planning on filing for bankruptcy on July 21? I wouldn't put it past him.

    Why did you pay in May? I was under the impression that Lancaster had stopped taking orders by then. Did Chet tell you your gun was done, to send him money, and then not ship it...like he's done to a few other people?

    Nonetheless, you did the right thing by notifying the authorities. They are now "on to" Chet, and are keeping a close eye on him. Or so I've heard. ;)

  19. I paid him because the AK dealer I was trying to go with vouched for him and said he did not have his shop set up yet. Chet makes a good looking AK and I like the look. I don't trust him and if he does not ship the rifle or send money back on 7/22. I am taking him to court!!!!! Already have a police report number and spoke to a lawyer. If any other people want to join forces and file a class action maybe that might be an option.

  20. Does anyone have contact info for a good lawyer in AZ? He's being served as we speak to appear in Maine court and after he doesn't appear an AZ attorney is needed to collect.

  21. MaineMilitary, I would suggest you contact the Maricopa Bar Association. Their website says, “The Maricopa and Pima County Bar Associations offer lawyer referral services and will direct you to a lawyer for a small consultation fee. For more information call 602.257.4434 in Maricopa County.”

    Just tell them what you’re trying to do (enforce and collect on an out of state judgment), and they will hook you up with a competent lawyer. If you have any other restrictions (you wanna keep it cheap, you want the lawyer to actually be in Goodyear, etc.), let them know that as well. Although, for what you need, it’s really not that important that the lawyer be directly in Goodyear. Any Phoenix-area lawyer should work just fine. Also, it might be possible (although I don’t know) to request a lawyer who has had previous dealings with Lancaster. The Bar Association may be able to do a quick search of court records to determine that, although again…I’m not certain. You’d have to ask them.

    And I’m not so sure about that “small consultation fee”. Every lawyer I’ve ever worked with was more than happy to spend 10 minutes on the phone with me for free, to determine if he or she could help. THEN you can start talking about money. And speaking of money, just as with many other services, don’t be afraid to shop around. What you need from this lawyer is really not complex, time consuming or expensive. All they have to do is file some paperwork. (Or, more likely, have their paralegal file it.) It should not cost more than 10% ($500) of the judgment. Although, your own attorney can give you some price guidance as well. Just be careful…knowing that you’re not going to be a repeat customer, the lawyer may charge you an above-market rate. Be firm, and if the price sounds too high, let that lawyer know you’re going to call around (and watch how quick he/she lowers the price!)

    Let us know how things go.

  22. Oh, and MaineMilitary, you've probably already thought of this, but in your lawsuit in Maine make sure you ask the judge to also include in the judgement all of your attorney costs and fees...INCLUDING the cost of the attorney in Arizona.

    That way, Durda will be writing you a $7,500 check instead of a $5,000 check. By all means, HE should be paying for the lawyers necessary to collect from him.

    And if you have any troubles collecting, make sure the Arizona AG and the Police know. Durda promised them that by the end of August, he would "take care" of everyone he owes money to. Since his promises are worthless, there's no telling what type of excuse he'll come up with when September roles around, and there are still people out there without a rifle or their money.

  23. MaineMilitary I dont know if this guy is good or not but this is the guy I will go with if I dont get my money or gun on 7/22. Let me know if you would be interested in joining forces because I have a copy of my cashed check and a police report. Attorney Doland Hudspeth 602-265-7997

  24. M. here again,
    So the gun store I purchased the lancaster ak from traded me out that one for an arsenal ak-47 with no dros fee. They refunded me the difference in cost and said they will deal with lancaster. They called them and said the gun will be labeled as defective and they do not want to do business with them again. I hope people read this blog and stay away from lancaster arms.

  25. M, sounds like your gun store is taking good care of you. That was nice of them to offer to deal with Lancaster themselves, since we all know it takes the patience of a saint to deal with people who have proven to be stupendously incompetent and dishonest.

    I don’t think they’ll need to worry about doing business with Lancaster again, since I can’t imagine that Lancaster will have much of a business by the time Durda settles-up with everyone he owes. There’s one person/company that has posted here, who alone is owed $5,000 (plus legal fees) from Lancaster. Since most of Lancaster’s victims don’t post here, I can only wonder how many others there are out there, who are owed substantial amounts of money.

  26. Ok I've filed a report with the good year AZ police for my 12/2010 "purchase" of a rifle. The Goodyear PD said file a complaint with AZ AG. Did that, they sent me a letter saying they're looking into it. Haven't heard anything for over a month. Short of spending more than I paid for my rifle to travel to AZ for small claims court, How do I get my money back?

  27. UPDATE....DAVE
    Two days ago Chet was covered by a Television station, the show is called "3 on your side".


    An Oregon man had hoped to add another rifle to his collection when he bought one from a Goodyear-based business, Lancaster Arms.
    “I like to shoot them with friends,” he said.

    Stephen paid more than $800 for the gun and said it was only supposed to take two weeks to be shipped to Oregon, where Stephen lives.

    “Then months and months went by without a rifle being sent,” he said.

    Stephen said when he tried to find out what the hold-up was, he kept getting excuses.

    “Everyone here has the flu, the wood isn't finished with your rifle,” he said. “It was a different excuse every time I called.”

    That’s when he called 3 On Your Side.

    We found Lancaster Arms has 52 complaints and an F-rating with the Better Business Bureau.

    We've also learned the ATF, Arizona Attorney General's Office, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and Goodyear police are looking into Lancaster Arms as well.

    But we're told these investigations found no criminal wrongdoing, only accusations of bad business.

    We asked owner Chester Durda about all of this.

    While he didn't want to appear on camera, he did send this statement:

    “In spite of losses caused by an inept government agency, bad barrels from a US vendor, long delays for imported goods, a costly recall of over 500 rifles, and an unauthorized deletion of company records by a former employee, we have weathered the storm.

    We do not have the luxury of a government bailout and as fashionable as Bankruptcy has become we do not believe in walking out on our customers.

    We build an excellent product and will continue to honor our commitments regardless of personal loss. We regret that we are not able to satisfy each customer as quickly as we would both like but they will be satisfied none the less.

    We anticipate correcting any outstanding commitments by the end of August, 2011.”

    Stephen said he's waited long enough.

    He was able to dispute the charge with his credit card company.

    He's also started a blog, he says to warn other gun collectors.

    “The firearms community is pretty tight knit and people tend to trust each other. So, I gave this guy the benefit of the doubt, time and time again, thinking that he would come through on his word and do what he said he would do,” Stephen said. “But, apparently that was a mistake on my part.”



  29. Recently recieved an updated invoice for my 3060MB rifle from Lindsey at Lancaster. Have a UPS tracking number. It's valid and a 9lbs package has been picked up by UPS. Estimated arrival date is the 28th. Took them from November 29th 2010 to July 28th 2011. About frigging time! Hope it functions flawlessly. Will keep everyone updated.

  30. UPDATE....DAVE
    I also was contacted Monday with a tracking number. It is legit and the rifle will arrive Friday. We will have to wait and see what arrives.
    The criteria that must be met are as follows;

    1) Brand New Matching serial numbered AK47 which replaces the model number 3060M includes;
    2) Milled Receiver
    3) Hammer Forged New Barrel
    4) Side mounted scope rail
    5) Red color stock
    6) Appropriate Paperwork
    7) Company Guaranteed Warranty

  31. Is the 3060m model number obsolete? What is it now? I think the milled receiver rifles don't come with a side rail mount. How can you tell if it's a hammer forged barrel? Hope mine is chrome lined.

  32. Somebody pinch me, I must be dreaming...

    I received a call from Lindsey today stating that my rifle was going to ship tomorrow. This two years after I placed my order.

    I've not had any contact with them for months. I filed a police report back in November. With the results of the investigation being useless, I've been debating whether to go the small claims route. Then out of the blue they call.

  33. Glad some of you guys may finally be getting your rifles (although waiting two YEARS is nothing short of insane! I bet Durda wrote you off long ago, until the authorities had a say in the matter.)

    For those of you awaiting rifles, make CERTAIN that what you get, is what you actually ordered. Chet Durda has a real bad habit of sending people whatever he feels like sending them, knowing that most people will just be happy to have ANY rifle regardless of whether it has the features they thought they were buying. I've seen entirely too many people post on this blog and elsewhere things like, "I ordered a chrome-lined barrel, and it had no chrome-lined barrel. I ordered blonde wood furniture, and it came with black polymer furniture. I ordered a matching parts kit rifle, and what I got was a hodge-podge of mixed parts without matching numbers, etc. etc." I also still remember the Calguns group buy, where they bought Lancaster-made AK pistols, but Lancaster instead shipped some of those people cheapy Romanian Draco pistols instead. Durda has a lot of frickin' nerve. Combined with an amoral (completely lacking in morals) personality, he doesn't care what you get, just as long as it shuts you up.

    So, if you don't get what you bought, DO NOT BE A CHUMP and just accept it. Get right back on the phone with Lancaster, explain that you didn't get what you ordered, and ask them specifically what day they will have the CORRECT rifle shipped to you. Do not encourage Durda's shady behavior but letting him get away with it. If you LET Durda swindle you...then you absolutely deserve it. That's certainly how Durda sees things ;)

    And of course, if you have to speak with Lancaster about the rifle, record the phone call. ALWAYS record every phone call with Lancaster. When dealing with Lancaster, you simply have to make peace with the fact that you are not dealing with honest people, and that you can't believe anything you're told. The people at Lancaster WILL lie to you without even blinking an eye. It's just the way they do business. So it becomes an important thing to record all conversations with them.

    Good luck all. Report your results here!

  34. UPDATE...DAVE...
    Well here it is. I can't believe it! My initial observation is very good. I originally had an 3060M for red wooden stock and milled receiver. The original problems were (without all of the details)poor workmanship that led to the first return. Then then they had it for 7 months. It was returned with mismatching parts and I also found the front sight lopsided...so I returned it again for a replacement rifle. It showed up today.
    First impressions...it is superior than the original rifle (but understand most of you know allot more than I do with AK47's).

    I was promised a matching Polish AK47 with red wood finish and an original forge hammered barrel with attached side scope rail.

    (I don't know how to tell if it is Polish or if it is the correct barrel). With that said it looks to me to be a much finer build. The receiver is much better...at least it looks much better. The machining is superb, inside and out...honestly. The red finish is also better and of much higher quality. I don't know if the front sight is properly aligned...but it looks like it. I also don't know if the scope rail is properly aligned...I sure hope so.

    Taking it apart I can tell that it was test fired and not cleaned. The internal part are all matching numbers...and are also of much finer machining than my original AK47. Also, the inside of the receiver is very finely machined than the other AK I had. Even the grain of the metal is much finer and therefore much smother to the touch. I can only hope that it won't fall apart after 1000 rounds are put through it (as others have experienced with Lancaster AK's) and I hope it is properly heat treated.
    Guys and Gals... thanks for your support and everything.
    My original plan was going to dump this rifle and trade it for something else. My other AK is an M70 that is pristine with only about 100 rounds through it. The plan was to dump Chet's AK and get a PSL or Nagant sniper or FAL. Now I am not sure becasue .... she sure is perdy.

  35. Oh, please don't get my hopes up. I called them this week expecting the answering machine and a very pleasant lady answered (Lindsay?). She said all the same stuff I had heard before, every excuse but a plague of locusts, and yet she somehow seemed much more sincere. She said there were milled receivers on the floor. She pulled up my paperwork right away, read it back and said she would go out and place it on one of the receivers. Should be done in less than two weeks.

    I have met Chet face-to-face....and been lied to face-to-face. I'm not sure anyone is more cynical about Lancaster than I am. But somehow, I tend to believe her. or maybe I want to believe her since I have met so many great people in the fireams community and Chet is such an outlier. Call me a fool.

  36. After over 2 years (initial purchase was in March 2009), I finally received what I was expecting. And she is beautiful too! I want to keep it now... Let's hope it performs at the range, or I'm offloading it like a hot potato.

  37. Was promised a refund or a gun by 7/22 by that girl Lindsey. Now no word after several voice mails and no response. Talking to the Goodyear police department to see what is the status of my police investigation. I will call the mayor' office if needed and after I have the police investigation report in had will take Chet to court.

  38. so as it was i own a lancaster polish underfold it is one of my prize peaces. function and fit are flawless. i bought it about 3 years ago. i want a second one and have not been impressed with what is out there i guess i want a Lancaster will you also be informing US the customer when things are better ??

  39. I just found this site. I sent my 3060M Lancaster in for repairs on 4/4/11 and was told it would be back to me in 10 days. It's now 8/17/11 and I still don't have my rifle. I will be contacting the Goodyear Police Dept tomorrow. Would someone be willing to advise me on the best way to get my money back from this crook! I have been unable to reach anyone at Lancaser for the past several weeks. Thanks, please e-mail me ufg8rmike@hotmail.com

  40. Tell me if you've heard this one...

    Back on 7/27 I posted that out of the blue I'd received a call from Lancaster saying that my rifle "was going to ship tomorrow". It had been over two years since I placed the order.

    Well it is a month later and still no rifle. So I called and spoke to Lindsey (the person who called me before) and was told that the receiver had just come back from heat treatment and that the rifle should ship this week.

    So just like every other time I've contacted them regarding the status of my order, there is always some excuse as to why I haven't received it. In other words, it's business as usual at Lancaster.

    Perhaps they called out of the blue to give me a false hope and to delay the small claims lawsuit I was about to file.

  41. BW3249,

    If your rifle is already TWO YEARS past due, I don't know what you're waiting on with regard to the small claims suit. If Lancaster hasn't fulfilled your order in two years time, then they have effectively stolen your money. And there isn't a judge anywhere in America who would say different. The real questions is, "Why have you LET Lancaster hold onto your money for two years???"

    No wonder Chet Durda rips off people. Many of you make it too easy for him.

    Call Lancaster back, and ask why they told you your gun was shipping "tomorrow", when it clearly wasn't. I swear, some of you are WAY too nice and polite with the people at Lancaster.

    You must understand: you being "reasonable" and "polite" is seen as a SIGN OF WEAKNESS by Chet Durda. If you are nice to him, Durda interprets that as, "This guy is a schmuck who I can easily ignore." When dealing with Lancaster, you CANNOT BE POLITE. Lancaster won't do jack shit with your order until they understand that you mean business! And throwing around a bunch of hollow, baseless threats is not the same thing as actually meaning business.

    Call Lancaster back, and tell them they have 5 business days to get a working rifle in your hands. I think two years has been plenty of time for them to take care of this matter. And for God's sake, record the phone call! In fact, everyone should record EVERY phone call they ever have with Lancaster. That way, when Durda and his staff inevitably lie to you, you have some evidence of that fact.

    Let them know that if you don't have the rifle in 5 days, a criminal complaint will be filed with the Goodyear Police, and the Arizona AG will be notified. These entities are already aware of Chet Durda's shady business practices, and are closely monitoring his actions. But, since idle threats are useless threats, you then need to file those complaints if Lancaster doesn't deliver.

    I don't mean to be harsh BW, but grow a damn spine and go get your money or your rifle back! At this point, you're almost as much to blame as Lancaster is. Why on earth you would LET them hold onto your money for TWO frickin years, is beyond me.

  42. UPDATE...UPDATE...Dave

    Well, I took the rifle to the range last week. It took me a long time to decide to keep the thing versus unloading it and saying good riddance to Lancaster for good. So how did it perform?
    This is a completely different rifle than my last 3060M from Lancaster. The fit and finish are perfect. So far I have only shot at 50 yards with a PK01V red dot scope. It shoots like a dream. I have to say 1 to 2 inch groups...I can't believe it. So far maybe 150 rounds thru it and to say I am pleased is an understatement. Tomorrow will be back at the range and use a 4X scope and will let you know how it performs.
    Maybe I finally lucked out.

  43. Got a call from Goodyear police department today...looks like they are on this crooks tail! They are the only hope against this thief!

  44. Anonymous, you misunderstood. I haven't just been sitting around waiting. I was one of the first to file a police report. And an AG report. And ATF, etc. I've called them LOTS of times. I was waiting for the results of the police investigation before I took the next step, the lawsuit. The point I was trying to make is that after months of nothing, THEY CALLED ME to say that my rifle was shipping...only to then not ship it.

  45. I received a call a week or so ago from the USPS. Im under the impression, after my conversation with the lady, they are going after him for mail fraud.

  46. I got a call also from the USPS. I will also provide documentation and if he does not deliver our goods I hope he gets convicted for mail fraud.

  47. This is my dealings with Lancaster...any assistance or advice would be great guys...


  48. My friend, welcome to the Lancaster shuffle. You have spoken to Chet, thus you have been lied to. Anyone you speak to at Lancaster will lie to you. You can even stop by Chet's shop in Goodyear, AZ (like I did) and they will lie to your face....all with a smile. Bad as it is, all you sent was wood furniture and you can replace that for a hundred bucks or so when you never get yours back

  49. I tried to recover a sum of about 2000 dollars from Scum-Bag-Durda for about 18 months. I went as far a starting a legal filing process in Scum-Bag-Durda's jurisdiction. Although I HATE BEING FUCKED, I chose to move on because the cost of traveling and dealing with the mess far outweighed the financial gain. DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM LANCASTER. IT IS A COMPANY FULL OF RETARDED ASSHOLES THAT STEAL YOUR HARD-EARNED MONEY. I FURNISHED MY BANK ACCOUNT STATEMENTS TO SCUM-BAG-DURDA, AND HE STILL DENIED RECEIVING MONEY/ORDERS FROM ME. FUCK LANCASTER.

  50. That sucks that you let Durda steal $2,000 of your money. That's precisely why he keeps doing it...because he knows that many people, perhaps most even, will just "forget about it" after awhile.

    Yes, Durda is a thief, but if you LET him keep your money...then that's on you.

  51. You have to wonder how many people feel like this. I know that a few people have been getting their issues resolved... But how many more remain? How long until Lancaster claims bankruptcy?

    And I would think that 2-grand would constitute grand larceny... If you have a lawyer, I would at least pick their brain and figure out what you can do. Make sure you file complaints with the Goodyear Police Dept, the AZ Attorney General, and the Better Business Bureau, (the latter for an extra jab to the stomach... Rack those complaints up and make their rating as bad as possible! ...The BBB won't actually do anything).

  52. I will never send my two milled Lancaster AK rifles(7.62 and 5.45) in for warranty work. I'd rather pay money than to never see my rifle again. The 7.62x39mm works wonderful. The 5.45x39.5mm has issues. Took it to a gunsmith and he said it was the bolt and bolt carrier was the problem. He said they had a very sloppy tolerances, even for an AK variant. Spending about $120 for new bolt and bolt carriers.

  53. Anyone else noticed that Lancaster's website is no longer up?


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 LancasterArmsSucks.blogspot.com

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...