Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Rifle - M1 From Miltech, 855 Days Late

No, it isn't a typo.  Big Mike ordered a fully restored International Harvester M1 Garand  from Miltech, and instead of the promised six to eight weeks, Mike's rifle was delivered a bit late - 855 days late.  Here's the story in all the gory detail.  Updated on April 9, 2014.

Being a man who enjoys the finer things in life and having an income sufficient to allow the occasional indulgence of these cultivated tastes, Big Mike decided he needed a rifle with some historical significance to go along with his Rock River AR-15.  I don't think a persuasive argument could be made against the M1 Garand to fit into this category neatly, and Mike had seen some examples of Miltech's work at a local range.  The quality was outstanding, so Mike placed his order, and as a matter of policy Mike chose to make payment with a personal cheque delivered via the U.S. Mail.  The delivery time was specified as six to eight weeks, and ten weeks later Mike hadn't heard a thing from Miltech, and so the battle began.  Mike used the old tried and true method of repeated phone calls at irregular intervals, and one year later Mike still had no rifle.  On one memorable occasion Mike called and listened to the sales spiel, then asked if they were actually shipping any product.  When the nice sales lady affirmed that Miltech was indeed shipping on a regular basis, Mike countered with "You couldn't prove it by me."

Being nothing if not patient, persistent and persuasive Mike continued to worry various nameless voices over the phone and listen to one hard luck story after another.  As the second year without the promised addition to his gun safe rolled by, Mike started to lose his sunny disposition.  By February of 2011 Big Mike had had enough, and informed Miltech that he wanted either his money or his rifle, and he really did not care which he received, but one or the other would be delivered.  What he didn't say was "or else."

Or else what?  We're in California, you're in Ohio.  What are you going to do, call us names?  Well, you see kids, Mike thoughtfully paid by cheque which was delivered by the U.S. Mail.  That makes screwing Mike over mail fraud, and given the political climate regarding firearms, the USPS (United States Postal Service) might be interested in the case, as might the Attorney General of Granola Land.  So Mike drew a mental line in the sand and planned not to say anything to anyone except the authorities, to whom he would pass along a summary of the transaction along with copies of all correspondence, which he had thoughtfully kept.  The people at Miltech would find out the hard way that an ex-client was unhappy with them.

Mike placed his order on October 15, 2008.  Given an eight week delivery date, his rifle should have shipped on or before December 8, 2008.  On April 14, 2011 Mike's rifle finally shipped, and Mike picked it up April 23, 2011.  855 days late.  The vendor in question is:

P.O. Box 322
Los Altos, CA 94023
Phone: (650) 948-3500
Fax: (408) 255-7144

Running a reverse look up on the phone for Miltech, I came up with this:

Edward P Silva
1750 Eastbrook Ave
Los Altos, CA 94024-6308
(650) 948-3500

Update:  I don't think Ed Silva lives at this address anymore.  The place changed hands in March of 2013, and given Silva's shipping problems I think it's entirely possible that Silva slipped his cables without leaving a forwarding address.

Second Update (4/9/2014): Silva and Miltech have moved.  The new address is: 10225 Imperial Ave; Cupertino, CA 95014.  Silva's FFL License Number is 9-77-085-01-4M-62861 and expires December of 2014.  My source is ATF California List of FFL Holders.  It seems that Big Mike is not the only one to have problems with Silva and Miltech.

I looked up the address using Google maps, and the Satellite view reveals a nice house in big bucks Los Altos, CA.  Clearly, someone is making a few bucks in this business.

The rifle did arrive, but the promised accessories were not included.  Miltech still owes Big Mike a bayonet and some ammunition.  Mike has calculated delivery time at around one year from now.  Anyway, the rifle is absolutely gorgeous.  The pictures I took do not do the rifle justice, but they're all I have just now.  Here's the M1 from Miltech.

30.06 Ammo Compared to a .45 ACP
M1 Garand as Manufactured By International Harvester
Oddly, this M1 is not manufactured by Springfield, but by International Harvester.  During WWII, many rifles were made by such companies as I.H., Underwood Typewriter (mainly Thompsons, and mainly for Kansas City), Rockola Jukebox and International Business Machines - top that one, Gates!

Note the excellent stock
The wood on the M1 is superb, as is the rest of the workmanship.  The real question posed by Big Mike: Was it worth the wait?  No.  No, it was not worth the wait and the attendant aggravation.

If you get a rifle out of this guy who calls himself Miltech, the quality will be excellent.  Just know that unless he has an excellent reason for delivering your order on time, you'll end up waiting.  Big Mike is still waiting for his bayonet and ammo, and I hope he turns the whole business over to the attorney general in California.

Next I'll have a range report for the M1 and we'll see if it shoots as good as it looks.


Unknown said...

Well, Mad Jack, Did you ever received your owed accessories from Miltech arms. I have waited better than 2 years myself. (today is 3/11/14.) But what am I griping about...according to your timetable I only have 125 days to go. WOW, Hope I'm ready. (Grimace)
Douglas Braun

Mad Jack said...

It's Big Mike's rifle, and no, he never received the promised accessories (bayonet and ammunition). Given the aggravation factor, Mike never bothered to call and complain.

Unknown said...

My best friend his M1941 Johnson on September 9, 2012. He has been getting the same run around from them. Hard luck stories and excuses one after the other. He too paid almost $1,900 up front and still has not received his rifle back. Two weeks ago they told him it was done and still nothing. This is absolutely UNACCEPTABLE! We need to get the word out to everybody about their business practices! Calling them for him tomorrow because they won't answer the his phone calls. They will be given the ultimatum to send it by the end of the day with a tracking number or we begin legal action, internet blogs, contacting the NRA etc.

Mad Jack said...

I agree. Whatever is going on with this company is not limited to one or two incidents. I think it's getting very close to the time when the government should step in and demand they get their act together or face criminal charges.

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Unknown said...

Good stuff takes time. I've gotten 2 rifles from Miltech. They took like 8 months on a 98K Mauser & a year plus on a .30 cal carbine. I thought the time was excessive too but they never 'hid' from me. When I called I was just told I was still in the queue or that they were waiting on a part. In the end, I'm happy. I also DID get all the accessories but only ammo on the Mauser, not the .30 cal carbine.