March 16th, 2008

Lyman 1200 Powder Dispenser Speed Upgrade Kit

Here’s a great product for owners of the Lyman 1200 Electronic Powder Scale/Dispenser. Lyman offers an inexpensive kit that will make your machine run much faster, AND it will be easier to clean out. Currently MidwayUSA has the Lyman 1200 Speed Upgrade Kit (item 638676) on sale for $21.99. This price is good through March 31, 2008.

Lyman 1200 owners report that the Speed Kit (Lyman part #7752428) is easy to install, and it can double the dispensing speed with some powders. Jack C. of NY reports that he could swap in the new unit in 10 minutes. He found that, with the Speed Kit, his machine was “nearly twice as fast and it cleans out in 1/10th the time.” Chris U. of Texas concurs: “This upgrade works! The bonus is that cleanup is greatly improved over the original unit. Remaining powder flows out easily leaving only a few behind.” Overall, Lyman 1200 owners report significant dispensing speed gains. Steve K. of VT notes: “The upgrade kit at least doubles the speed of the DPS 1200 and with rifle cartridges has a new charge dispensed and ready by the time I have placed and seated a bullet on the previous charged case. I highly recommend this upgrade.”

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March 16th, 2008

Gunbroker.com Hits Million-Member Mark

In less than a decade, GunBroker.com® has reached a milestone unmatched by any other online firearms auction — 1,000,000 registered users. On March 4, Californian D. Krainock, registered as the record-setting user. With this achievement, GunBroker.com maintains its position as the third largest online auction site in the world and by far the largest firearms, hunting and shooting sports website.

Steve Urvan, CEO of GunBroker.com, declared: “It amazes me to think that in fewer than ten years, GunBroker.com has grown to more than a million users.” “The future of business across the globe is e-commerce,” he continued. “It’s comforting to know the firearms industry is keeping pace with rapidly evolving technology.”

Caveat Emptor Applies to GunBroker Transactions
While this Editor has used GunBroker.com for some successful transactions, we caution users to be very careful when you buy. If a transaction goes bad, there is little GunBroker.com will do, as an enterprise, to help you out. You’re pretty much on your own. Here are some tips for buyers:

■ Before the auction closes, ask plenty of questions. Don’t assume that the description of the item for sale is completely correct (or current).

■ Check to ensure the photos in the listing are actually of the item for sale. Quite often they may be “catalog shots” taken from a manufacturer.

■ Review the seller’s return policy. We won’t buy any gun unless there is a “no questions asked” return policy allowing a reasonable amount of time for inspection. Some sellers will give you five days for inspection, but their clock starts running on the shipping date. You want at least five (5) business days from date of arrival.

■ If the item you receive is NOT what you purchased, immediately notify the seller, and take pictures of the item before you send it back. Try to negotiate a refund before you return the item.

■ Be sure you understand shipping/insurance procedures and costs. These days, it is not unusual for gun to be damaged in transit. Make sure the item is adequately insured and that you can send it back if it is damaged.

■ Check seller feedback. If there are more than a handful of published negative feedbacks, avoid that seller.

GunBroker.com Fraud Protection
GunBroker.com advertises a Buyer’s Protection Program under which buyers are automatically covered against fraud, for amounts up to $500 with a $100 deductible. The Buyer’s Protection Program covers two forms of fraud: a) if you pay for an item and never receive it; or 2) the item you receive is materially different that its description (e.g. if you bid on a stainless pistol and received a blued one instead.)

That sounds good right? In practice, we’ve found that it is exceedingly difficult to get one dime out of GunBroker.com if a transaction goes bad. First, GunBroker.com doesn’t answer emails or take phone calls. Second, the Fraud Claim Process is very complex and there is a lot of fine print, with “weasel clauses” that negate buyers’ rights. Many typical problems are specifically NOT covered by GunBroker’s Buyer Protection. For example, Gunbroker.com will NOT pay if:

A. The item was purchased with cash, or you don’t retain proof of payment.
B. The item was lost or damaged in shipping — “You must deal with the carrier for lost or damaged items.”
C. There are “differences in opinion over the condition of the item”.

In practice, that last clause (“C”) applies to most disputes, and really renders the Fraud Protection pretty useless except in situations where you don’t get the item at all (non-delivery), or if you receive something completely different than what you purchased (e.g. if you receive a Marlin 22 when you bid on an Anschutz).

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