The Atlas story. AKA worst gun builder part 3
So I guess I should do as I promised and write up my shitty story of how my experience with Atlas Gunworks went. I say shitty because that was how it basically went. Shitty. Some time has past and It doesn’t have the steam it once had but I owe it to you losers so here you go. I will warn you now, this is going to be long and boring, and I do not have Trigger Warning writing skills so it will not be nearly as entertaining as anything he puts out. Im going to give a lot of details that could be left out, but I don’t really care. Ok, where do I start. I get the great idea that I wanted to have a full custom gun built and who better than Atlas gunworks. The praise on Enos was so strong that I was assured I couldn’t possibly have picked a better builder and stand up guy right? Well I was proved wrong.
The overall build process went alright but I should have taken the warning signals from the start. I’ll get to those. So I originally contact Adam and start a conversation about building a custom open gun. I have owned custom guns before from Millennium custom, Cheely gunworks, etc. but bought all of them used and never had a gun I specd out before. I told Adam the very first time we spoke that I want a custom gun and saw they do 3d renderings of slide cuts and design and I thought that was really cool and innovative. I had the option to choose their premade slide designs but told him that I wanted something different but was open to suggestions. I asked if it would be an upcharge which im fine with, and I made the reference that I specifically didn’t want a gun you would see a bunch of the same guns like a lot of builders seem to do and gave an example of Brazzos custom guns. All of their guns look the same and I didn’t want that. Cheely pretty much does that same thing with his slide cuts along with a few others (In hindsight I would have been better off with a brazzos gun😊) I was putting down some serious money and I wanted a custom gun built the way I wanted it. He tells me
“I gets that, you want custom. No problem.”
He also tells me that as long as I don’t want to go TOO CRAZY with the slide cuts then there would be no need for an upcharge. Then goes on that it needs to be a certain weight anyway so taking too much off wont work. I agree and we get the build going. (I was quoted 8-12 weeks and It took 16)
So we’re in the design phase, and they draw up a few things. I throw in my input that I want the comic book/superhero movie avengers “A” logo in there and write their name Atlas with the Letter A to look like the logo of the avengers. James (atlas employee) sends me the 3d rendering and comes up with a sick design. incorporates the avengers A and everything I ask for. I ask for the dust cover and compensator to be cut at the same degree angle of the letter A, it looks absolutely bad ass and im pumped. I get the gun and it looks cool as shit, I love it.
About a week or two before I get my gun, Adam announces that thier rolling out the Chaos open gun which is a custom built gun but one look only to keep the cost down compared to their full custom prices.
(Now mind you they raised their prices about a few weeks before this and the increase was something close to 30%. The main reason I went with them was because of how competitive their prices were and now they joined the ranks of retarded expensive like everyone else. Their website used to read a statement that they are going to revolutionize the gun building game with lowering the prices of custom built guns but have the best product you could ever buy forcing the entire market to change. Like most greedy people, Dollar signs seemed to have changed that plan.)
Anyways, so I see a picture on facebook and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It was the first few of many, Chaos slide design. Surprise! It is Identical to my SUPER CUSTOM GUN! Identical. The only thing mine had was the letter A and their name Atlas on it. The gun I thought of as a one off masterpiece I helped design was no longer a one off piece. At the time this really bothers me to be honest. I don’t even see my gun as being custom one off anymore and I paid over $5000 for the fucking thing. I let a few days go by and it is still bothering me so I send an email to Adam that I wish he remembered the conversation we had where I said I didn’t want a gun I would see a bunch of on the range and now that is basically what I have and that is bothersome. He responds and says that he didn’t even realize it was similar until I pointed it out (which is bullshit, it was identical) and sorry Im not happy with what I got.
I let that go and as the days go on it doesn’t really bother me that much anymore. I wanted to let him know that it did bother me though because from my point of view, people/businesses grow from feedback, which is why I sent the email.
After about 3000 rounds I get some FTE. They become more and more frequent and I check the tension of the extractor and there is none. It is an aftec extractor and I don’t know anything about these things so I send an email to adam looking for some insight into how to get some tension on this thing. Now I think he held a grudge about the first email saying I wasn’t happy about the slide cut thing because his responses were not all that helpful. His response to my first email about the extractor having no tension is
“Yes you need to tension the extractor.”
And that is it. No other direction not even a signature.
My response is “ Since it is an aftec would I do that how you would to a normal extractor?”
His response, so helpful, is
“You need a hammer.
Send the gun up to us”
So now Im thinking what the fuck kind of response is this?!
I bought this gun as one of the first 100 customers and came with a “first 100 club guarantee”
Which if there was anything wrong with it within the first three years, they would take it back free of charge and fix anything that went wrong. I start to think that is going to be a tough warrantee to get anything out of.
Back tracking a bit now, When I got the gun I noticed that the slide to frame fit was not crazy tight and had some play. It kind of bothered me from the start that a gun that cost over $5000 and had no rounds on it had some play but I just ran it and left that alone. The front of the slide, at the dust cover, had more play than the rear and after about 3500-4000 rounds on it, it seemed to be a little more loose than when I bought it. I was afraid I got a lemon because my friend who had a gun built at the same time, his slide was tight but mine was not. I send Adam another email saying that im sending him the gun back and would like him to check something for me and tell me what he thinks.
This is the email I sent.
“I tried to figure it out myself but still cant get it to eject right. Had a couple FTE my last practice session. I thought I got some tension on the extractor but I dont know if Im doing it right or have enough. I took some dummy rounds and hand cycled them threw the gun last night and they kind of go everywhere. I took those same rounds and hand cycled them through my limited 9mm 2011 and they all ejected in the same spot so I dont think its a matter of same headstamp. Im going to send it up to you.
Also when you get it look at something for me and tell me what you think. I couldnt help but notice from the start when I got it, the slide to frame fit is rather loose for a +5000$ gun and I dont want this thing to continue to loosen up so quickly. The slide to frame in the rear of the gun (near the hammer) is not too bad, but has play. But the front at the dustcover it has what I would call significant play and the gun has less than 4000 rounds through it. I just want to know if I got a lemon, and if I did what can you do? The unequal looseness from the front to the back makes me think it is going to continue to loosen at an expedited rate. I went with you guys because I wanted a gun to last the rounds like a full custom. Is this how you build them or did mine slip through the cracks. Its coming up to you, so let me know.
Now was I being a pain in the ass? Maybe, but if you stand behind your work and build “simply the best handgun you will ever own” then assure me that my gun is the best handgun money can buy me.
He tells me to call him and this is where it gets fun.
Call starts with this.
Me:“Hi Adam, this is Dustin.”
Adam:” Youre being a real fucking dick….”
I was caught off guard and honestly thought he was kidding and just messing with me so I chuckle a little and say
Me: “Oh Cmon, seriously whats going on?”
He just continues with
Adam: “Im being serious, youre being a Dick and im getting real sick of your emails and shit and you better watch what you say.”
His tone was super aggressive and wasn’t letting up and just was going off on me saying I better watch what I say or hes not going to help me at all. To add insult to it, he must have been eating a sandwhich or something because he was chewing and smacking his lips while he was going off on me. It was like he was trying to show his dominance by showing me he had no respect for me and wasn’t even going to stop eating to take the time to talk to me but continued to berate me and tell me to basically shut up or else.
So I realize he was serious and my blood starts to boil. Im in my office at work (its 9am) and Im trying to keep my cool but I cant. I ask him
Me:”are you fucking kidding me? You don’t want to talk at all about your product you just want to tell me to watch what I say to you or else?”
I was so shocked at what was happening I couldn’t even think straight and didn’t even know what to say.
He keeps cutting me off and tries to dominate the conversation with a one sided attack,
Adam:“watch what you say before you piss me off! Im telling you now if you keep going youre going to piss me off and youre not going to like it and im not going to help you at all!”
Me: “This is how you treat your customers the first time they need something fixed?! You just tell them watch what you say or else?”
So im fucking heated at this point and take the same tone back with him.
Adam: “You got a great deal on the gun that I built you and you just call it a lemon? You think youre so fucking special that you are the only one that deserves a custom gun that no one else can have”
Me: “NO I asked for a custom gun and youre exact words were, yea I get it no problem. You just didn’t give a shit about that conversation or forgot and Now youre mad about it and the gun you built me doesn’t fucking run !”
Adam:”you need fucking tension on the extractor!
Me: “No Fucking shit! I know how guns fucking work how do I do that?! I don’t build guns for a living and I don’t know how an aftec works?”
Adam: “im not going to fucking sit here and write you a 40 Minute email on how to put tension on an extractor!”
We go back and forth for a bit and he gets more and more mad the more I give it back to him and at one point declares
Adam: “Now you pissed me off!”
So I question about the slide to frame fit and is that normal and he responds with
Adam: “I cant fucking tell from a video send the fucking gun up!”
He stops talking shortly after that but I can hear hes still on the line. I think he just got too mad and didn’t have anything else to say and was just waiting for me to hang up.
I finally hang up and was fucking livid. I couldn’t believe this was how the conversation went. When he emailed me to call him, I expected some sort of resolve or reassurance that he stands behind his work and if something breaks they’ll cover it for 3 years yada yada and to just run the gun. But nope, I was greeted with a verbal assault. This was Friday before Memorial day weekend so I had the nice long weekend to brew on this and think of what my options were at this point. I go to enos (sorry guys)and find a thread on adding tension to an aftec. Someone posted a picture an aftec in a vise and where to hit it with a hammer and guess who took the picture?? The guys Gunsmith who built the gun! No way a gunsmith who explains how to put tension on an aftec with one picture! I follow the advice and test the gun and am back in business. I ask for a refund with an email that reads.
I'd be more than happy to send you the gun, and you give me a refund. You don't have to deal with me any longer, and I don't have to deal with you. Because after having that conversation over the phone Id prefer to never have to deal with you again.
“There is no refund for guns that are super custom like yours.
Your welcome to send the gun up for service if you would like.
Super custom guns that is identical to probably 6 guns on their bench right now. Whatever, I sold the gun for a loss and picked up an SV. I will never Deal with Adam again and am sure to tell everyone I come across in person on the range when they ask about atlas how my experience went. Adam was not a stand up guy as far as my experience went regardless of all the praise I continue to read. Every conversation on the phone I had with him, he would bash other builders or products unsolicited. There were a few things that I was not entirely impressed with as far as the gun itself. Examples
-The Cut that extended into the Frame/dustcover did not line up correctly.
-slide to frame fit wobble
-came with a deep scratch/gouge under the finish on the frame in front of the scope mount
-the rail on one side of the slide had some serious tool marks and was not a clean cut, had a step in it
-the scope mount screws were extremely short and barely threaded into the frame(I am surprised the scope mount didn’t fall off to be honest)
-the gun was stroked and it looked like he cut the reverse plug with a Dremel (it was a hack job)
- and they messed up a few requests of mine. I asked for black controls, black hammer, black slide racker. They forgot to DLC Black the Hammer and the slide racker but then lied to me and tried to make it seem like they purposely never make those black. But yet on half of the guns they post now they have black hammers and black slide rackers.
Also Adam said at the time that he doesn’t like Leupold and would not supply a deltapoint pro so if I wanted one I would have to supply it. So I had to find one myself. Now SURPRISE SURPRISE DPP are on almost every open gun they finish!
So the list goes on and on why I wouldn’t recommend Atlas. That is my long drawn out story of my dealing with Adam. Also TSO, you should ditch your Atlas gun before you have the honor of dealing with Adam when it goes down.