Industry News Leviathan Suppressors in Hot Water for Not Delivering Products Candice Horner May 8, 2019 This article published on May 8, 2019, at 7:00 pm EST. When Leviathan Suppressors hit the market, the precision rifle community welcomed the company with open arms. Several top competitors endorsed the suppressors as being better than others, in regard to dB, and claimed the suppressors noticeably reduced recoil while also making their rifles more accurate. Hell, we even covered the company in our article about precision rifle cans, and said: Not every silencer will reduce your recoil, but we found Leviathan Suppressors particularly excelled in this role. Using both 6 Creedmoor and 260 Remington we were able to spot our own hits from 400 to 900 yards with no issue. Let’s just say that we didn’t want to take the Leviathan off our rifle at the end of the day. Back on March 30, 2019, a Sniper's Hide member posted in a thread about Leviathan Suppressors saying, “A lot of “too good to be true” on this thread, and it appears Leviathan was too good to be true. Bumping for the guys who paid money, waited, and never got a thing.” Photo from https://www.leviathansuppressors.com/ Since that post, many other customers of Leviathan have spoken up saying they paid for suppressors several months prior and had not received those products or updates. We've been tracking the topic since the March 30th post. There is also another Sniper's Hide thread about the same problems Leviathan customers have been having, that thread can be found HERE. Customer Number One The most in-depth, public accusations of Leviathan not fulfilling orders was from a Sniper's Hide member, who goes by the name Stag556. Stag556 gave a detailed account of the issues he had with Chris Adolphsen, the owner of Leviathan Suppressors. Stag556 laid out the timeline, which started in October 2018, where he won a 50% off Leviathan gift certificate from a Precision Rifle Series Match. Photo from https://www.leviathansuppressors.com/ The dialog that Stag556 provides reads like a customer who is being strung along by a one-man show type of company. Ultimately, the customer posted that in March of 2019, when he confronted Adolphsen with information about the forms not being filed with the ATF when Adolphsen claimed they were, Adolphsen's only response was “Do you do Paypal” for a refund. The customer then said, “That would be great but instead, that Paypal refund bounced 5 days later and Paypal informed me the transaction was cancelled.” Then he was reportedly texted by Adolphsen, who said he will refund his money by the end of April. Photo from https://www.leviathansuppressors.com/ In short, as Sniper's Hide member, Gene C. points out that Stag556 submitted for and got the Form 3 approved but never received the suppressor. Further outrage (and memes) continued as members pointed out Adolphsen seemingly had time to post on Instagram, but “not enough time to sew up loose ends with stranded customers.” When April 30th rolled around, Stag556 posted a text message he reportedly received from Adolphsen that said: Two options: Work with me a little longer (I’m expecting to get paid this week, took awhile to get it put together) Or: I can file bankruptcy and you don’t get anything. Whatcha thinking? We reached out to additional Leviathan customers to hear what their experiences with the company have been so far: Customer Number Two A customer ordered a Leviathan suppressor in October 2018 and paid the amount requested by Adolphsen, which was $1,145. The customer requested a specific serial number. At the time, the customer was reportedly told the lead time was “around 7-8 weeks.” The customer followed up with Adolphsen around the 7-week mark, but he says Adolphsen was slow to reply. The customer heard from others that Leviathan had a supplier issue. Photo from https://www.leviathansuppressors.com/ The response he did finally receive was that Adolphsen would update him when the suppressor ships. This customer reports that early February 2019 was the last time he spoke with Adolphsen on the phone when he called to ask for a refund, but after another call a few days later, the customer accepted Adolphsen's apology and would wait for his suppressor. In late February, the customer said he got an email that his suppressor would be shipping soon. He said he asked if Adolphsen could elaborate on the ETA, but didn't receive a reply. He then said: I did a little digging and decided to call the NFA branch and check my serial number. There was nothing listed. They had no information about it. So I called the Wichita ATF office and spoke at length with an ATF agent. He was familiar with complaints about Chris and Leviathan, and had been meeting with Chris to check his books. He had a list of serial numbers and mine was on it, but listed much differently than I had requested. The agent told me that Chris had never made a thing for me. Customer Number Two said he got a similar reply to Stag556, which was “…he told me I had two options: Wait a little longer, or he’d file bankruptcy and I’d get nothing. ” Customer Number Three In April of 2018, this customer picked up a 50% off gift certificate from a long range prize table, just like Stag556. At the match, Customer Number Three met and spoke with Adolphsen and said, “He seemed like a great guy.” On May 9th, he used his 50% off gift certificate to order a Reaper suppressor and paid $495 at that time. The customer said, “When I called he said he was a one-man show and it would be about 5-6 weeks for him to build my suppressor. On June 27 I got a text from Chris saying my Form 3 was approved for him to be able to transfer my suppressor to my dealer.” Photo from https://www.leviathansuppressors.com/ On August 5th, the customer messaged Adolphsen via Facebook, because he said, “We had sent FB messages back and forth before so I thought this might be a good way to get ahold of him.” He tried to also contact Adolphsen by phone, but didn't receive a return call. The customer said that on October 7, 2018, “with the help of a friend I find out Chris blocked me on FB. I posted a message on the Hide, sent him a private message on the Hide, and replied to one of his IG posts. On IG he says to email him, then blocks me on IG. So then I email him also.” On October 8th, 2018, Customer Number Three received a phone call from Adolphsen, where Adolphsen reportedly apologized. Well into December 2018, Customer Number Three hadn't received a status update on his paid-for suppressor. Photo from https://www.leviathansuppressors.com/ After Customer Number Three spoke to another member on Sniper's Hide, who had a similar situation, he said: I called and spoke to the ATF agent and told him my story. He wanted me to call Chris and if he didn’t answer to leave a message. He told me Chris should contact me within 24hours of me leaving a message about the status of my suppressor or a refund. Chris called me back within a couple hours and told me that I would be getting a refund by the end of April. Here we are, May 1, and to my knowledge no one has gotten any money. As of the publish date of this article, Customer Number Three hasn't heard back from Adolphsen in regard to a refund. Customer Number Four Customer Number Four is owed the most money (or suppressors) from Leviathan than anyone else we've spoken with so far. This customer ordered four suppressors directly from Adolphsen in the Spring of 2018. The Form 3 was signed by Adolphsen on April 30, 2018, and approved by the ATF on May 3, 2018. The four suppressors, in the below Form 3 listed consecutive serial numbers. Information has been redacted to protect parties involved, but it's clear that the serial numbers had been assigned from Leviathan (click the link for the full pdf). March 18, 2019 email correspondence between the customer and Adolphsen were: Adolphsen said, “You’ll be receiving a refund for your cans and tax stamps.” Customer Number Four replied, “You need to call me. It goes passed that now. I don’t appreciate how this has been handled at all.” Adolphsen said, “I’m dealing with the ATF currently. So trust me I don’t like how this is going either.” After additional questions from the customer, Adolphsen didn't respond with what the exact remediation would be. According to Customer Number Four, that was the last time he heard from Adolphsen. Photo from https://www.leviathansuppressors.com/ The obvious problem here is that serial numbers were assigned on the Form 3, but the products were never delivered to the dealer/FFL. Wait Times for ATF Forms In our more recent experiences (within the past year and a half), Form 3s have been processed fairly quickly, while the wait time for a Form 4 may be up to several months. Meaning, there is no reason why a Form 3 couldn't be processed, the product(s) be delivered to the FFL, and then the customer waits for the Form 4 to get approved. For example, Customer Number Three provided the following screenshot to Adolphsen of ATF wait times for forms to be processed: Screenshot from October 8, 2018 showing ATF wait times. Customer Number Five In January 2019, Customer Number Five ordered a Leviathan suppressor directly from Adolphsen. The customer paid for the suppressor with a credit card over the phone, at that time, the customer was told by Adolphsen the lead time for the suppressor was “4-8 weeks.” When the customer followed up with Adolphsen on March 25, 2019, to get a status update, Adolphsen replied on March 26, 2019, and only said, “Working on refunding people…sorry for the inconvenience sir.” So, as of the beginning of this year, Adolphsen was still accepting money for orders. We Reached Out to Adolphsen for Clarification Last week, we spoke to Adolphsen on the phone to address the problems his customers have brought forth. Adolphsen started Leviathan Suppressors in his garage and was essentially a one-man show. He was relying on other manufacturers to build parts of his suppressors and he would assemble the cans. Adolphsen did what many small businesses do when they don't have the capital to order products– he used the money from customer orders to then place orders with his OEM suppliers. Adolphsen claimed that he paid machine shops to complete orders, but those orders were never fulfilled, which resulted in major delays. Photo from https://www.leviathansuppressors.com/ When we clarified his summary of events, we related the customers' money as being in a black hole, Adolphsen said, “Yeah, it's gone- 100% gone.” He further said he's been dealing with harassment and threats to him and his wife. When we asked Adolphsen what he wanted to tell customers, he said, “I'm sorry this happened. It sucks because I'm the guy to blame. I'm actively working to repay people. I want to repay people because my supply chain is severely delayed.” When we asked if the ATF was investigating the situation, Adolphsen simply said, “No.” Because his own April 30th deadline of paying customers back had passed, we asked Adolphsen to elaborate and he said, “I thought I would have the money to repay at the end of April, but it didn't happen. I'm facing bankruptcy but don't want that to happen because I want to pay people back and I am working to make that happen.” After speaking with Adolphsen, it appears that he wants to pay back all of the customers before moving forward with any other business plans. Over the weekend, we learned that some Leviathan customers were beginning to see refunds via PayPal. Yesterday, we reached out via text to Adolphsen to ask if there were any updates he would like to include for this article, his response was, “Refunds have been going out as promised.” We asked in what order refunds were being processed, and Adolphsen texted back with, “No particular order.” We further asked why he wasn't paying people back in which the orders were received, and Adolphsen did not reply. Adolphsen hasn't provided any more information as of the publish date of this article. We'll update this article if more information is provided. Update- May 10, 2019 at 11:00 am EST After this article was published, Clint Turner of William's Gun Works contacted us with additional information. This information was to provide insight into a machine shop Adolphsen is seeming to blame for his supply chain delays. Here's what Turner said: While I would like to go into complete details, I am unable to due to an ongoing investigation by the ATF and the machine shop in question does not wish to be known until the investigation is completed. I work hand in hand with this shop on a daily basis, and they are the nicest people I have ever met. People like them are rare in this world and hate to see anyone smear their name in the least bit. What I can provide are some facts and a timeline. Chris became questionable as far as his business practices in early November 2018. The machine shop in question had completed all orders for all components. Chris had been notified of completion and mentioned on occasion he would be by, but never showed up and then later quit responding. Even after several attempts to reach him, he still didn't respond. Those components sat until mid-March, 2019, when the ATF took action on said product. The ATF had started their investigation in early March. However, Chris was still taking orders as of April 22, 2019. At this time, Chris owed several thousands to the machine shop with no hope or expectation of getting payment. However, Chris did make it right last week and stopped by and made payment in full. This story goes a lot further and deeper than just people getting scammed out of money. Some federal issues will come to light after everything is said and done. Chris had multiple suppliers, and this shop was just one of them. However, it's important that it is known that not only did they do everything right, but they were more than gracious with Chris. For example, Chris could have picked up those components at any time, and wouldn't have to pay for it then and there. The machine shop conveyed that to him, however, he still didn't respond, and the products sat. The machine shop is a local company, and several people knew that they did work for Chris. I have been inundated with messages after the article came out with people asking why the machine shop messed up. The fact is, the machine shop didn't mess up at all. I just wanted to clear the air and appreciate the opportunity to allow me to reach out directly to you. Explore RECOILweb:SAGE DYNAMICS: CCW Citizen Response to an Active ShooterThe FN 509 Tactical Wins Handgun of the Year from NASGW-POMANew Series: The Ashley UpdateNew Cans from Rugged Suppressors NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOILFor years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. 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