Amazon Counterfeit Shooting Gear

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 2 months ago

From reddit/r/firearms:

Just received this email

” We recently let you know that the following product you received may differ from the product described on our website and may not perform as expected: Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Sport Sound Amplification Electronic Earmuff, Classic Green (R-01526)

Howard Leight by Honeywell did not manufacture or supply the item you previously purchased through the website and it is not subject to Honeywell’s warranty. Because that product may present a safety risk, we strongly recommend that you stop using the item immediately. If you purchased this item for someone else, please notify the recipient immediately of these safety concerns.

In addition to the balance for the purchase price that we will provide to your account, we would like to offer you a discount of $5 off each replacement pair of Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Sport Sound Amplification Electronic Earmuff, Classic Green (R-01526), sold by Amazon.   To claim your discount, simply visit, and enter the following discount code during the check-out process: HONEYWELL5  Please note that the discount is only valid for offers by Amazon, not third-party sellers.”

That’s not all.  In the comments, there are other complaints, like this.

I’ve purchased more than one firearm-related item on Amazon that turned out to be counterfeit. One was a Midwest Industries QD sling mount. Shipped from Ohio but arrived in a “Made in China” bag. I even got two–I guess that was supposed to make me feel better about being lied to. Nope.

I’ve mentioned I got a counterfeit as a warning in reviews but every time Amazon knocks them down. I get my money back, but that’s it.

Amazon seems to be suppressing its counterfeit problem while dealing with it internally. That’s pretty anti-consumer and I’ve started dialing back my purchases.

And this.

It’s about time. They’ve let counterfeiters take over the site and it’s going to hurt them in the long run.

If you want to buy something like a replacement battery, good luck on Amazon. About a 50/50 chance of getting a battery that’s either way out of date or just such a poor counterfeit that it won’t hold a charge.

And this.

I’ve purchased more than one firearm-related item on Amazon that turned out to be counterfeit. One was a Midwest Industries QD sling mount. Shipped from Ohio but arrived in a “Made in China” bag. I even got two–I guess that was supposed to make me feel better about being lied to. Nope.

I’ve mentioned I got a counterfeit as a warning in reviews but every time Amazon knocks them down. I get my money back, but that’s it.

Amazon seems to be suppressing its counterfeit problem while dealing with it internally. That’s pretty anti-consumer and I’ve started dialing back my purchases.

Apparently the knock-offs are getting pretty good, but pretty good doesn’t cut it in many cases, and it also goes to the issue of intellectual property theft which is a pet peeve of mine.  What I’ve found in my general dealings with much of the stuff made in the far east, whether China or Japan, is that they still simply haven’t inculcated the notion of QA into their culture yet, and I don’t know if they ever will.  Japan is better than China, but they both still lag far behind the U.S. in terms of quality reliability.

If Amazon wants to go out of business, this is the way to do it.  Readers beware of buying products distributed by Amazon, and always demand your money back when you’re not satisfied or the product is a knock-off.  Especially if the product is a knock-off.


  1. On March 20, 2017 at 11:52 pm, Josh said:

    Amazon has been selling knock-offs for the duration of the marketplace’s existence. That’s where any Joe can create an account and sell on Amazon. The vendors are VERY sensitive to their ratings, however, and Amazon protects your purchases, so returning items is pretty straightforward.

    I think the only thing I’ve had to return via Amazon was a bad MAF sensor. The replacement was good.

    If you stick to reputable sellers and Amazon itself, you won’t have issues. You get what you pay for.

    I don’t think Amazon is at any risk whatsoever of going out of business. They have become experts at everything and wrapped it as a service. Everyone will be familiar with AWS (Amazon Web Services), which even Netflix runs on. But they are far, far more involved than that.

    They have perfected logistics, from warehouse processes to cargo planes and now ocean freight, which you can purchase as a managed service (they are now registered as a freight forwarder and consume a non-neglible portion of the industry’s capacity). You can also purchase fulfillment as a service, if you’re interested. Amazon’s founder is building rockets. They’re not as good as SpaceX, and don’t have a program to launch into LEO (and certainly not heavy launches), but their space goals lie elsewhere.

    They’re now involved in content production, and have TV series winning Emmy’s. They offer white-label product lines that make Walmart look expensive. They’re entering the event ticketing arena where they will undercut and outperform Ticketmaster/LiveNation. Amazon has started a travel division and begun manufacturing their own silicon. They operate something close to 400 fulfillment/distribution centers throughout the world.

    And they’re finally, recently, “profitable.” As in, they’re making enough money that they actually have to SHOW profitability. And the profit is coming from everywhere other than their e-commerce division.

    Amazon is a behemoth, and I don’t see them being threatened in the foreseeable future. They ARE the threat, and it’s been astounding to watch over the last 20 years.

  2. On March 21, 2017 at 2:14 am, Nosmo King said:

    I’ll agree with Josh that Amazon isn’t going under any time soon, but the frequency of counterfeit goods among the shooting supplies offering does raise a question: How much of what else is Amazon – or anyone else, for that matter – selling may be counterfeit?

    The late author Michael Crichton penned the “Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect” in which one reads a story in a newspaper or journal (or now, also a TV report) that is not only completely wrong, but exactly backwards, what Crichton called a “wet streets cause rain” type of story. Having recognized the report for the erroneous garbage it is, the reader (or viewer) turns the page and continues, assuming the rest of the newspaper or journal is exempt from such inaccuracies.

    Shooters are probably more sensitive to fake gun stuff because that’s a “thing” in which we take substantial interest, and share info about, making it easier to detect non-authentic merchandise. What about shoes, or toasters? It’s unlikely preppers are buying fake Mountain House freeze dried food from Amazon, but what about other stuff upon which all of us may depend, such as batteries? One runs across intermittent reports of an increase in corrosion problems with a certain brand of AA and D-cell batteries; has that manufacturer started making (or importing) cheaper batteries, or is it possible that product stream may have become contaminated with a certain percentage of fakes?

    America is a huge retail market, even a small percentage of which can guarantee financial success, and there are a myriad of portals through which the market can be accessed. It’s undeniably tempting to seek a portion of it.

    Caveat Emptor, as they say

  3. On March 21, 2017 at 8:50 am, Josh said:

    Agreed. Batteries are a tough one. I use 18650s (they’re in literally everything that has high current/power demands) in applications where a counterfeit cell can be dangerous. No one wants to vent an 18650 – that’s gonna be a bad day.

    There are resources available to identify fakes, but you have to actively search them out, and it’s a pain in the ass.

  4. On March 21, 2017 at 5:37 am, Mark Dietzler said:

    If I were looking to buy firearm parts, I would not use Amazon for that, I would go direct to the manufacturer, especially for something like Midwest Industries gear.

    Not going to lie, I like my Prime, but I also like supporting our firearms accessories manufacturers, so even though it might cost more, I like to order stuff direct from the manufacturer, if I can. All the ones who make gear worth using have online shopping systems now.

  5. On March 22, 2017 at 2:43 am, Nosmo King said:

    I’ll agree wholeheartedly; I tend to get most stuff “mfg direct” because it’s either too new or exotic to show up someplace like Amazon, or I’ve got technical questions that need answering, and as long as I have them on the phone, orders are easy. Some Amazon stuff – you have to read the details – does ship direct from the mfg, but a $300 Surefire from Herman’s House of Lumens for $120, well, maybe, but……..

    Amazon is attractive to many because items are frequently cheaper there, and greatly cheaper always makes me suspicious; manufacturers almost never discount on direct sales because that undercuts their distributor relationships, so if Gizmo X from Acme, Inc. is on Amazon (or elsewhere) for 20% less than distributor cost (and with free shipping to boot), that indicates either a huge order was placed to get terrific quantity discounts, it’s priced as a “loss leader” or………or………..

    I will say this: firearms parts and accessory manufacturers and distributors (coughBrownellscough) could benefit from studying how Amazon manages the shipping side of the biz; 2 days max to the front porch versus 5-8 days is pretty powerful leverage.

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You are currently reading "Amazon Counterfeit Shooting Gear", entry #16853 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published March 20th, 2017 by Herschel Smith.

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