Saturday, January 12, 2013

Dan's Sporting Goods - Wow - What Excellent Customer Service!

Last week, I ordered a 'tin' of 440 rounds of 7.62x54R caliber ammo, Russian manufacture, from Dan's Sporting Goods (aka: I was surprised to find anyone with this particular ammo in stock and absolutely amazed they were selling it for only $94.00 shipped because others have sure jacked up their prices lately. I was also quite astounded that it shipped the day after ordered it and it arrived at my home two days after that. That was all excellent but not the end of the story nor of my amazement.

When I received the parcel and opened the shipping box, I was rather dismayed at what I saw in front of me. The ammo can, instead of being that drab green color, that I am so familiar with because of previous purchases of the same kind of ammo, was a zinc colored with what appeared to be whitish corrosion all over it. It had what appeared to be a pull tab on the lid (which I am pretty sure was connected to a wire under the lid that would, when the tab was pulled, rip the top open on older Russian ammo cans. I looked over the markings on the box and saw the number, that I believe indicates the year of the case production, 57 (meaning 1957). Another number, the one I believe signifies the year of the gunpowder production used in these rounds, was 56 (meaning 1956). I was not a happy camper. I had inquired about the ammo they were selling and was told it was 1970s to 1980s production. The website indicated it came in the familiar green 'spam' can.

I shot off an email to Dan's. They replied the next day and told me that indeed some older cans had been sent out. They said I should keep that can of ammo and they would send me another can of ammo. Presumably that would be of the later production ammo I had thought I would be getting. They sent the replacement out on the same day they emailed me, week. I received the second can on Tuesday. It was an ammo can of the 'spam can' variety, drab green in color, with the date of production for the shell casings as 1972 and the powder as 1971. That was more or less what I had expected in the first place. (I know other folks disagree with me as to what the codes on the cans mean but I am confident that the numbers I mentioned indicate years of production; I got my info straight from the mouth of a Russian who dealt this type of ammo.)

I have to hand it to Dan’s Sporting Goods. I have not gotten customer service like that from another company if quite awhile. They made a mistake and they corrected it without delay, no questions asked and even let me keep the stuff they sent to me by mistake. Wow. I can only see myself making more orders from them as they get ammo in  stock of which I am in need (oh please have them get in some 5.56x45mm 62 grain NATO spec ammo soon).

As for the older can of ammo they sent me the first time around: while old ammo like that stores longer than modern production because of the type of primers used, the age of the can I first received was at the limit for me – I mean it is almost as old as me! I suppose, that like me, that ammo could still be good but it probably does not have much more for is storage life left to it (again like me although I do hope to be around and kicking until at least 75 or so). On a more serious note, the welds on that ammo can seemed to be failing as there appeared to be holes in the welds in some areas. I don't know if those holes go all the way through but if they did then both air and moisture could have gotten inside and helped shorten the storage life of the contained ammo or even ruined the ammunition totally. The newer production stuff I received probably can be stored for at least another 15 or 20 years and still be reliable ammunition. I suppose I will have to test the older stuff as soon as I get the chance but the newer can is going into storage.

In closing, just let me add that I highly recommend Dan’s Sporting Goods for your ammo needs.

All the best,
Glenn B

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