Consumer Alert: Whiskey 3 Precision Systems (W3PS)

UPDATE 2016 : A number of people claiming to be customers of Whiskey 3 Precision Systems (which may be going by the name Terminal Ballistics Group today) have complained to TFB regarding their orders not being fulfilled. We recommend caution when placing orders. 

UPDATE: While the owner of W3PS has not made a formal statement, he has indicated that the disgruntled customers on multiple forums are the same person who he believes is a previous business associate trying to tarnish his company’s name. I have requested a formal statement. The company says they never saw my request for comment. 

Folks have been complaining on a number of gun forums about Whiskey 3 Precision Systems (W3PS), makers of .375 Reaper rifle and ammunition components. They alledge that W3PS have not been shipping products that were paid for and are not issuing refunds.

UPDATE: As some evidence has been provided that casts doubt on the legitimacy of those forum posts I quoted below, I am removing the the quotes for now. You can read them in full here and here.

Almost four weeks ago, on September 18, I contacted Whiskey 3 Precision Systems asking them about this controversy. I immediately received an automated response saying they would be in touch within 48 hours. Four weeks later I have not heard from them.

I don’t have their side of the story, nor can I verify that they are in fact not shipping orders, and if not why not.

TFB has blogged about this company’s products in the past so I feel duty bound to alert my readers. It is quite possible that the company has resumed delivering orders on time, but before you purchase anything from them, get a firm guarantee about the shipping date (and if the product is not shipping, call your credit card company and arrange a charge back.)

Remember you can always get your credit card vendor to initiate a chargeback.

I am very familiar with libel law. Nothing in this blog post constitutes libel. 



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Jimmie

    Well that sucks, I’ve been thinking about getting one of those.

  • KestrelBike

    that skeleton meme gave me a good chuckle. Nothing worse than losing your $$$ for product not delivered.

  • Renegade

    That skeleton meme was good.

    These customers ought to be contacting their respective banks; Banks employ/retain people to handle these exact situations.

    • nova3930

      Yep. Paying with a CC has certain advantages, like having two 900lb gorillas in the form of a bank and Visa/MC on your side in a dispute…

  • Tom – UK

    Ok lets see some of these emails and recorded phone conversations.

    If this guy is telling people to F**k off then its only fair that we see the email chain leading to him doing so and proof that he actually did so.

  • Bill

    All of a sudden I understand KickStarter. With every second person “manufacturing” ARs in their garage there are bound to be some who didn’t go into it with a solid business plan.

  • dshield55

    It’s unnerving to me that the burned customers are attempting to use a sheriff to be their debt collectors by threatening to have the guy thrown in jail. That’s incredibly childish behavior on the part of the customers. I get it, you might be out the money. I’ve been burned by startup gun companies too. But the vindictive nature of these customers wishing jail time and felony charges on somebody over a civil matter is morally appalling to me. This guy obviously got in over his head and under the pressure and anxiety of trying to fill his promises, he’s cracked. So what? As if threatening the guy with jail is going to help the situation. Ummmm no. If he had your money he would have refunded it.

    • Cal S.

      So, caveat emptor, eh?

      You honestly think that getting burned enough to file charges over $600+ is childish? I guess we’re sipping from our mimosas on the lido deck of our 250′ yachts while typing this, eh? If the guy had a clue what he was doing, he would have formed an LLC and dissolved it when the going got tough. You don’t just withhold funds and curse out your customers whenever they approach you.

      This guy is clearly criminal. It’s not like he shut down his store and informed his current customers politely that he’d gone insolvent and couldn’t get them their money back. If he were honest, he would have followed the Tracking Point model and quit taking orders at all. Quite the opposite, in fact. He’s actively soliciting further orders from future victims customers by updating shipping times while showing all his products as still “In Stock”. Shady business is shady. I still think they’d be better off suing than pressing criminal charges.

      • dshield55

        Yeah. Caveat emptor. You have to prove the guy has criminal intent, and delayed fulfillment of order IS NOT criminal intent. Alleging he’s a criminal and his intent was to defraud is dangerous territory. Most likely, in his mind, he has a full plan to fill the orders. Whether or not its viable is another story.

        Not everybody is cut out for the psychological rigors of when crap goes wrong in entrepreneurship. The guy may have had some honesty issues prior to this venture where in his personal relationships, just like a lot of us do, would tell small lies here or there to avoid losing face, and under stress it’s been carried over here to his business and compounded. So what. The gun industry is filled with crap loads of small producers like this that get into the same situation and handle it almost exactly as badly as this guy, with or without actual cussing at the customers

        • Cal S.

          If the sheriff is saying this guy’s potentially facing felony charges over the prices and the lack of delivery, then I’m going to say that the sheriff already sees grounds for criminal intent. I’m not a lawyer, so I cannot argue specifics of consumer protections, though I do know they exist. Caveat emptor is merely a ghost of business past. Again, I don’t know the specifics, but there’s got to be something even slightly illegal about taking money for a product you 1) cannot, 2) will not, 3) have no intention of delivering within the specified time period and withholding refunds from the same. Which of those options you circle depends on the lawyer you hire.

          • Paul White

            Yep. we’d call that fraud. The fact there’s someone here defending the guy baffles the hell out of me

          • Cal S.

            Right?

          • manBEar

            You and me both! dshield55 wins the award for arguably the least logical comments I have ever read on TFB … Congrats!

            In his first comment his logic to the situation (in which customers are paying for a product that they have never received) is ‘So what?’

        • MAUSERMAN

          Per your logic then it is perfectly fine to market a product then not deliver? Would you accept that from any vendors/shops. Not to mention if 375 guy had any intergrity left he would at least update his website to show that he can not fullfill any orders, that alone indicate fraud.

          • dshield55

            I didn’t say it’s perfectly fine to market a product and not deliver. Where did you get that from anything I said? It’s not.

            If your intention wasn’t to do that, it’s not criminal, it’s civil. In his head, he most likely has plans to fill the new and the old orders. This is a common but errant psychological trap that plagues many startup entrepreneurs. It’s bad behavior, but it’s not criminal, nor should it be. It’s why we have bankruptcy courts etc, people get themselves in some really screwy situations. two or three hundred years ago you would have been called a criminal and thrown into debtors prison for stuff like this with all the spurn and conviction of shade these customers are throwing at this guy right now. I though we moved passed that as a society.

          • De Facto

            When you said “I get it, you might be out the money. I’ve been burned by startup gun companies too.” you implied that this was acceptable and a risk you run by purchasing a product.

            Placing an order for a product is a contractual agreement in which you provide your money up-front in good faith with the expectation of receiving a specified product.

            In every transaction I’ve ever had where the product was not available in a timely manner, the merchant/organization has either (1) notified me of the back order and provided me with a timetable they then met and or (2) Offered a full refund or (3) allotted me the funds as a “store credit” for available items in inventory.

            Those merchants also were intelligent enough to list their products as back-ordered on their sites, and stopped taking orders when it was clear they couldn’t keep up with demand.

            Refusing to contact/respond to your customers, not meeting provided delivery estimates, and refusing to refund clearly overdue orders while soliciting new customers is dishonest at best and criminal at worst. I’m not sure what else you would call it. If they are having that much trouble keeping up with demand they have no business charging any customers until/when they are actively beginning work on the product for that SPECIFIC customer.

            I don’t care if this is a start-up company. If you get in over your head, resolving your debts and providing compensation to your “burnt” customers is the least you can do. Something this company does not appear to be interested in.

            Personally I think we lost something as a society when we decided that LLC’s absolved merchants of responsibility. Having a penalty like debtors prison looming in the background encouraged conservative business models and honoring debts. In case you forgot, stealing is wrong. A mugger that strong arms you out of 600$ should go to prison. A shyster who takes your money and refuses to provide the product should share the same fate.

          • Grindstone50k

            So if you broke the law, but didn’t intend to, it’s not criminal? Huh, guess our legal system is lagging behind.

          • Dan

            Well if that’s the case then I have some things I need to go do, but do not intend for them to be criminal. Be back in a few.

          • Grindstone50k

            Apparently that’s completely legal, according to these two.

          • Dan

            Well I’m at a bank right now anyone need anything while i go inside and not mean to criminally take money? (I’m not actually at a bank) i get what he is trying to say. He is just saying it completely wrong.

        • Mark

          “I’ll be in touch with you personally within the hour and if you don’t think I know you you are sadly mistaken.”

          Such a thinly veiled threat is indeed a criminal matter.

          • dshield55

            Ironically, what you just described is not a criminal threat (contacting somebody to discuss the matter, possibly over libel, even though this isn’t libel) but telling somebody you’re gonna have them arrested if they don’t pay up a debt can be extortionate which is a crime. Can be, not necessarily a fact.

            Look, I’m not saying this guy’s business practices are okay, all I’m saying is that allegations of criminality are overblown when you have to do something with intent to defraud for it to be a fraudulent act.

          • Mark

            In context, “I know who and where you are,” is a threat. You can be sure that it would be interpreted as a threat if you sent such verbiage to the Kenyan who mocked up a Hawaiian birth certificate.

          • Cal S.

            My response be like: “If you do, it would be the fastest you got in touch with anyone for the last few months it sounds like!”

      • tr7fan

        i never pay cash or money order. if they dont take a cc i dont buy. my cc company has treated me pretty good. i think im out a total of 38 dollars in all the years of using a cc. id file a dispute with the cc even if he said all sales are final. one cc i had monitored my card and when they spotted fraud they shut the card down called me and told me what was up and sent me a new card. apparenlty my cc number had been sold on the dark net where cc numbers go for about 5 i read. if hes charging ccs and not delivering the cc company will mostly likely get it straight. with all thats been said about this guy i dont know how he is or plans to stay in business. it maybe somebody trying to ruin his business. all the things ive red on the net this is the first ive heard of this guy

    • Paul White

      No; if I pay you for a good service and you don’t deliver said service or good I want my damn money back. If you truly can’t, then there’s legal steps to take in bankruptcy court where your assets will be liquidated and divided to appease your outstanding obligations.

      It’s made a lot worse by the fact that this guy is still soliciting orders while entirely failing to deliver goods already. That (legally) might be enough to show premeditation at this point

    • Kip Hackman

      Personally I would enjoy seeing this guy get some sort of legal action against him. Whether you feel it is “moral” or not, taking money and not delivering product is theft, and he deserves to be in jail because of it. It’s not our fault he’s an idiot and doesn’t know how to run a business. And to act like a d-bag when questioned about the orders just cements that fact.

      • dshield55

        It’s only theft if that’s what his intent was. I’m not saying anything here is moral, I’m just saying that it’s a purely civil matter.

        • Me

          Depending on the state, refusing to grant refunds could be larceny, especially since the product was not delivered and does not seem to be forthcoming.

        • Grindstone50k

          “It’s only theft if that’s what his intent was.”

          Seriously?

          • Al

            Seriously. Criminal offenses have elements that are clearly defined by the various code of laws. In Georgia, where this business resides, “intent” is one of the elements that is required for prosecution under state law (OCGA) for theft.

          • Grindstone50k

            Oh, cool. So if I pick up something in your store and accidentally forget to pay for it on my way out, it’s not theft? So involuntary manslaughter doesn’t exist in GA?

            Guess you know more than the local sheriff. Better let him know, expert!

          • Al

            For theft and related offenses. As I indicated. That’s what this article and discussion is about.

          • Grindstone50k

            Cool, tell you what. Give me $100 and I’ll get you a super-awesome .50 BMG sniper rifle. I totally don’t intend to just pocket the $100.

        • Vanns40

          “It’s only theft if that’s his intent”? What law school did you go to? You’d better look up the legal definition. This is a crime of “failure to deliver”. It’s not an “oops”, it’s not a “my bad, sorry”, it’s a crime and, for that dollar amount, in some States, is a felony.

          Send your law license back to Sears and don’t defend this guy.

          • Al

            That’s exactly where this complaint should be, and not the sheriffs department. The Georgia Consumer Protection unit sues the violating business for damages. In civil court. Just like we’ve been discussing. It’s not a criminal matter. Thanks for posting this.
            However, intent is quite certainly required for Georgia theft related criminal prosecution.

    • Grindstone50k

      Theft and fraud is not a “civil” matter.

  • Cal S.

    Well, in my non-legal opinion, this guy does cover his backside a little bit with his T&Cs:
    “At NO time will orders placed be cancelled or returned for any other
    reason than defective parts which will be conditionally replaced or if
    you are dissatisfied with an unfired / not used product That Has Been
    Shipped To You within the terms previously listed. ALL SALES ARE FINAL
    in accordance to these terms!!”

    Atrocious grammar and utter lack of professionalism throughout his T&Cs aside, it does appear to be rather exclusive. However, T&Cs can be updated/changed at any time without prior notice, so that may be a reaction to some of this unwanted attention. I do know, though, that T&Cs do NOT give you carte blanche coverage from any and all legal challenge or criminal charges. The fact still remains that if you take someone’s money and don’t give them what they ordered, it’s wrong.

    • nova3930

      Problem is sales implies delivering a product. If you take money for a product and never deliver that’s borderline fraud….

      • Cal S.

        Which no amount of T&C verbiage would get you out of, agreed.

    • Cynic

      That wouldn’t be legal in the United Kingdom and I wouldn’t be suprised if the us had some kind of distance selling regulation giving a right to a rend if returned in factory packaging and ready for resale as well

  • Steve

    Sounds like a company that took a few tips from Ron Smith’s playbook (of SEI)…

  • USMC03Vet

    Would have done a charge back within months. This is ridiculous.

  • WebMobDev

    I am the website admin and there is no record of the authors email address in our database anywhere. Sooo this leaves the following questions as to when, and what email address was used in the contact form, proof of said reply from the system, or anything else that proves he tried to contact Whiskey3 via the website other than this post saying he did.

  • Edeco

    Oof, the attitude, apparently, of the CEO. Makes me think of the DeGrasse-Tyson meme.

  • Ted Unlis

    Depending on the dollar amount, this loser could might find himself sitting next to his attorney in a Federal Courtroom, If he has one, his FFL gives ATF carte blanche to waltz right into his facility to inspect records and inventory, if he’s not licensed it already sounds like there’s more than ample facts to obtain grand jury subpoenas, search warrants, or both.

    A single ATF inspection would easily reveal if W3PS is a legitimate manufacturer of firearms or a scam, the subpoena and search warrant route wouldn’t take much longer to determine the same. If I had to wager, I wouldn’t bet on the former based on the asinine bluster posted by the CEO of W3PS on 68Forums. If Mr. CEO actually has one, I guarantee his lawyer would tell his client to “cease and desist” with the idiotic threatening line of bull$#!t he posted.

    There is also an abundance of Federal “nexus” for prosecution with a laundry list of potential Federal crimes separate and apart from possible firearms offenses, mail fraud and wire fraud don’t even have to be interstate transactions and would be easy lay ups for any competent Federal Agent if it turns out this fool is accepting orders and collecting funds electronically or by mail. Since goober is apparently operating out of Richland Georgia, the interstate aspect provides even more Federal “nexus”.

    Intent would be easily proved if W3PS has never had on hand the inventory the website claims as “In stock” and W3PS can’t provide a reasonable explanation of why the “In stock” items suddenly aren’t once an order is place. The W3PS website is rife with clues and indicators that the outfit is likely not on the up and up.

    If it turns out to be a scam involving losses totaling only four figures with just a few victims, Federal intervention is doubtful; once it gets into the mid five figure losses and up, the FBI or ATF might consider pursuing Federal prosecution; but once it goes near or above six figures, goober will need to hire a really expensive lawyer to cut a deal and minimize exposure to multiple felonies and time in the Federal penitentiary.

  • Cal S.

    Oh, the plot thickens!

    • Al

      Yep. Everyone had the tar and feathers out yesterday. Well before both sides of the story are told. Unfortunately, as usual. With all the internet lawyers turning what “might” be a small claims court case into a federal felony.

      • LR4

        I think what is happening from reading elsewhere that they are giving lies to the blog just like those described in the initial post. Think how easy is that is. After reading this yesterday, I did all kinds of searches, read numerous posts on many forums, seems the same is said everywhere about not receiving what they ordered, but being a skeptic, I tried to find someone that has received anything from the company, nothing there. Can’t find anyone. Appears the complaints may be true.

  • In some few states something like this can get you put in jail and isn’t considered entirely civil law.

  • Secundius

    I Likenit more like Investor’s By Ambush. Ambushing you into a product, that is actually a “Concept”. And Ambushing Wouldbe Customer’s as Unkowing Investor’s. “A Three Card Monte”, Ponzi Scheme…

  • Tony

    This has happened before. Google up Johnathan Arthur Ciener.

  • Tony

    Because it was less than 1% of total sales and Ciener still had the customer’s money in an account separate from his business operations. Al, do you think that is the same case here? If so, than it’s all good.

  • JoelM

    I once had a company owner claim the same thing about my complaint posts about his company (it was a power equipment company in that case). He went as far as to offer a reward for information leading to my identity. Then he insisted that I was just making it all up, and that I was posting under other names all over the internet. He even had his lawyer call and threaten me with lawsuits. He had nothing though because he was actually scamming people, but he made sure to do his best to discredit me because it must have really been cutting into his business. So you always have to really be careful before taking any sides with stuff like this. Sometimes it’s hard to tell who is lying.

  • Fist_of_Doom

    His stuff was too expensive and took over a year to get published data.

  • Fred Bradfield

    My personal thoughts. If it were just one disgruntled customer. Where are all the satisfied customers? I can only find reference to one customer actually receiving the .375 reaper barrel he ordered on the AR & wildcat forums
    & He wasn’t exactly happy. He said ordered black and received what looked like a test barrel.

  • Joe H.

    I am one of the customers who has not received anything ordered yet. Its almost been a year since my order was placed. Seeing how I have an interest in this issue I have seen exactly what the other complaining customers have seen. A lot, and i mean a lot of posts under the company name have been deleted. I know you have no reason to believe me and i dont care. What i do know is i exchanged a decent sum of money for a product i never received. My cc company has a 3 month limit on claims which was passed a long time ago. When you are told by the retailer there were issues and just wait a few more weeks it easy to see how everyone passed the window to get their money back. I had no reason to suspect i was being lied to. Its possible the company has every intention of still honoring the sale. Yes there was T&C at purchase but I can also testify they have been changed on several occasions. You can doubt me, you can claim im the same guy just posting under the same name, or you can order an upper or barrel or bolt for this caliber and see how long it takes you to get it. I have already talked to others who are in the same boat. There isnt one guy, theres a lot of us. Like i said believe me or dont, doesnt matter to me. We are trying to warn others of what has happened to us. The only person im concerned about convincing will be the judge and with all the eveidence collected so far i wont have to say much if anything at all.

    • Dan Regg

      Same thing I’ve read. Did an extensive search and found nobody with a barrel other someone that appeared to receive a used barrel, test barrel. No videos online, nothing. From the information posted in a link here, appears he is taking money and hasn’t delivered a thing. Found some other threads on AR15 forums, same thing. And reading thrift other forums, appears nobody is making barrels for them.

  • Devil_Doc

    Is this the owner of the company in question?