Be careful with those Black Friday sales


Well, I suppose I mean to say, “be careful buying stuff in general”.

I was looking at a couple of ERGO products for sale on their website. A different dealer, Optics Planet had it even cheaper still. Even if something is on sale, shop around.

I’m going to try not to buy anything, but I don’t know if I have the willpower for that.

There are more and more stories of Chinese knockoffs of parts being imported. There are also people making new “old” parts. One example are the fake of Colt M16A1 uppers. user aeyoung posted more information about these here. There are many little things wrong with the upper that show it is not an original, but the additional cuts in the inside of the upper may be most obvious.

Last year, there was an issue with Stag Arms selling Chinese knock offs of the Radian Rapter ambi-charging handle. There was a lawsuit and Stag settled out of court, but it still hurt many individuals and small businesses. Chris Schuyler, owner of Schuyler Arms wrote about his losses due to Stag Arms lying about these Chinese knockoffs being real. He shares his story along with pictures over on Reddit.

To sum it up, Stag tells him that they are selling discounted Radian Rapter charging handles, but that they are branded as Stag, not Radian. Chris Schuyler orders 1500 of them. Sells 750 of them before he receives them from Stag. He then learned that Stag never had real Radian made charging handles, and Stag Arms tries to claim they never said their product was Radian brand.

He says he never saw a single one of these Radian knock offs, but in that Reddit thread there are many people talking about how they purchased one of these Stag Chinese made charging handles and that they broke or failed early on.

I often tell people to buy from a reputable dealer. Sadly Amazon is not on that list. There are far too many reports of people receiving fake ACOGs, Aimpoints, or other lesser optics from Amazon. Sometimes it is a scam from a Amazon seller, other times someone bought the real product, replaced it with a fake and returned the fake in the original packaging.

As always, caveat emptor.

Edit – I forgot to mention another example of faking the now popular retro parts. There is at least one person out there taking old 20 round AR15 magazines, and using a jig to bend additional grooves so that the mag can be sold as a fake “waffle” magazine.


  1. Amazon has basically turned into the global flea market. Caveat emptor in a big way, from products as expensive as rifle optics to products as cheap and trivial as hand lotion (!).

    The nice thing about buying from a reputable seller is that they will usually stand behind their product if it turns out to be a fake. Not so if you buy it from sumdood on Craigslist or flybynight dot com.

  2. I only shop Black Friday deals from the comfort of my couch and the manufacturer’s website. Snagged a Geissele SCH for $49 and a Cloud Defensive OWL for $280. Amazon is the new Ebay WRT counterfeit items. Hell, the Ebay counterfeits are at least improving in quality.

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