I like to collect old military guns. It is a weird hobby, if I was just to show one to someone not familiar with them and what to look for, they would just look like dirty wood and metal sticks. However, for us "milsurp" guys, each type has a little story to tell and little piece of history attached to it.
Anyway, now that the French are our friends again I am looking at major French pieces. The Mle16 is a WWI type, equivalent to the Austrian M95. [url=http://gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=71060606] I saw one advertised on gunbroker here.[/url] The wood is rough, but could be refinished. The metal is described as " HAS ABOUT GOOD BORE WITH BRIGHTNESS AND FROSTING IN THE GROOVES. THE METAL SURFACES ARE A THIN PLUM BLUE". It was from a guy in Whitfield, Maine who has a lot of sales on gunbroker.
I received the gun and stripped it, and here is what the metal looked like (it's a big picture, so you might have a long download, but the detail is good):
Note the deep pitting along the barrel and the receiver. I think this gun is a "wallhanger," and was misrepresnted.
NRA grading standard for "modern" guns (guns manufactured after 1899) are as follows:
New -- not previously sold at retail, in same condition as current factory production.
Perfect -- in new condition in every respect.
Excellent -- new condition, used but little, no noticeable marring of wood or metal, bluing perfect (except at muzzle or sharp edges).
Very Good -- in perfect working condition, no appreciable wear on working surfaces, no corrosion or pitting, only minor surface dents and scratches.
Good -- in safe working condition, minor wear on working surfaces, no broken parts, no corrosion or pitting that will interfere with proper functioning.
Fair --in safe working condition, but well worn, perhaps requiring replacement of minor parts or adjustments which should be indicated in advertisement, no rust, but may have corrosion pits which do not render article unsafe or inoperable.
I note that in "fair" condition material deficiencies should be "indicated in advertisement." I don't even think this is "fair" - I think the pitting is deep enough to render the gun unsafe, and therefore should have been indicated in the advertisment. I can't imagine a gunsmith would take a chance on getting sued by recommending the gun be fired.
So, I think it is "poor" condition, and I think his description of the metal was wildly misleading.
So I felt the gun was misrepresented - and I thought therefore I should be refunded not only the purchase price - but also refunded shipping both ways.
Seller says "tough noogies - that's not my policy, I will refund price only - NOT shipping." Note how his shipping costs were an incredible $35 - although he did ship in a nice $12 hard case. If I keep the case I am going to be out $23 on the original shipping plus about another $15 to ship it back - I think I will be out almost $40 because HE misrepresented the gun.
Am I out of line here? What recourse - small claims court, maybe?