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Old 02-18-2018, 12:29 AM
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Default Anyone else have a firearm at the gunsmith?

My beat up but beloved CZ83 is currently at the gunsmith. It's not feeding properly. I'd tried a variety of ammo and different mags, but there was no improvement.

I say currently, but it's been there for 6 months. Last report, they had taken it to the range, and it still had problems.

I wonder what it's doing right now? I can't even remember what it looks like.

Oh, here's a photo.



Anyone else have a firearm getting some work done?

Last edited by LedFowl; 02-18-2018 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 02-18-2018, 12:38 AM
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I've got one that has to go in. Very hard to get the cylinder to open. And the trigger hangs up; not good.

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Old 02-18-2018, 01:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LedFowl View Post
My beat up but beloved CZ83 is currently at the gunsmith. It's not feeding properly. I'd tried a variety of ammo and different mags, but there was no improvement.

I say currently, but it's been there for 6 months. Last report, they had taken it to the range, and it still had problems.

I wonder what it's doing right now? I can't even remember what it looks like.

Oh, here's a photo.



Anyone else have a firearm getting some work done?
6 months? Please tell us whom you sent it to so we can avoid them.

These are simple guns. Probably needed nothing more than a new mainspring or something small like that. I always attempt to fix the gun first if it's something like that, worth a try and more often than not the problem is solved with the proper diagnosis before hand. Has saved me a ton of money and time vs going to a gunsmith.
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Old 02-18-2018, 02:06 AM
John Fugate John Fugate is offline
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You always have the chance the gunsmith misplaces it, goes out of business or loses your phone number. The best advise I can give you is just close your eyes and try not to think about it. Let another 6 months roll around, you might even forget where you sent it by then. If that happens its like it never happened. Then it becomes a win, win, for you and the gunsmith but not really a win for you per say.

J.F.

Not all gunsmiths are slow, you got the ones that are slow and the ones that are slower. You got the ones, that wont take on anymore work and the ones that shouldnt take on anymore work. You got very few full timers, and lots of part timers. You got the ones who will take on anything and never finish anything. You got the ones who say they can but really cant. You get the ones who try but fail. You get the ones who think Tung oil and cold blue are two of the seven wonders of the world. Last but not least,,,,,,,

You also get the ones " True professional craftsman of the trade " who do exactly what they are supposed to for a reasonable price in a timely fashion,,,and do a hell of a job. The problem with those guys are they are 1-2 years out and may retire within the next year of so, or they are atleast they are thinking about it.

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Old 02-18-2018, 02:48 AM
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Try as I might, I can't get it to work 100 % so it's back at Volquartsen.
I'm sure they will be able to fix it so, at least I'll know a professional is at it.

My apostrophe is not working.

Last edited by AzShooter; 02-28-2018 at 11:48 PM. Reason: Fixed my keyboard.
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Old 02-18-2018, 03:16 AM
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At the moment I have one that probably needs to have a trip to the gunsmith, has a lockup problem and I am not sure If i can fix it or not yet.


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Old 02-18-2018, 03:43 AM
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On May 5th of last year I took a rifle (model 70 Winchester) to my gunsmith for a rebarrel, replace stock, True and bed the action into the stock, and cerekote the whole thing.

I checked on it almost every week. I started out hearing how long it took to get a barrel. Then that he got the wrong barrel. Then he had to order a reamer. This went on and on.

Finally on January 13th, 8 months and 8 days after I took it to his shop, He called and said it was finished.

As it turned out, He did a great job and I am still working up loads, but it is looking like it's going to be the most accurate rifle I have ever shot.

I guess my thinking is that it seemed like it was taking forever, but after the wait was over and I shot it, I am starting to forget about the waiting time.

I hope this makes you feel better.

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Old 02-18-2018, 08:55 AM
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Had a Garand I needed glass bedded and my shooting buddy knew just the guy,stopped by his shop,talked price,was satisfied so I left weapon,he said heíd call when done.6 months later I was fishing close by so I just dropped by to see how it was going,it wasnít, rifle was right where he set it in rack behind about 10 to15 others that were there before me,needless to say it came home that day
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Old 02-18-2018, 09:02 AM
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I just had the cylinder for my 629 Competitor cut for moonclips at Tk Customs. About 10 days from the day I mailed it to the day it was back in my mailbox. First rate job too.
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Old 02-18-2018, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by JayFramer View Post
6 months? Please tell us whom you sent it to so we can avoid them.
I've used him a number of times before without issue. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.
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Old 02-18-2018, 11:24 AM
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Only one time I had to take my Taurus 941 in for a broken transfer bar. I would have done the work myself except the part was not available for purchase. It took longer than I wanted (over a month) but it came back repaired.

Everything else so far I've been able to handle myself. One of my 686s has a lighter rebound spring and my 29-3 has a new cylinder stop spring. I buy Savage bolt action rifles so I can switch the barrels myself. I put lighter springs in my one Rossi 92 also.
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Old 02-18-2018, 12:45 PM
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I sent a barrel and a barreled receiver out for some work recently.

This 22/45 got cut to 4.5" and threaded.
20180122_072424(1) by Slick_Rick77, on Flickr

The barrel of my ban era AR finally got threaded and re-profiled from a heavy to a medium contour. It took 1/2 pound off the front of the gun.
20180209_103454 by Slick_Rick77, on Flickr

It turned out okay.
20180209_170420 by Slick_Rick77, on Flickr

Both were back well within two weeks.

I've only had one gun stop working and it was a simple fix. My 10/22 built up a glaze in the chamber after decades of use. It required a lot of lube, a bronze brush, and hand drill to clean it up. I ordered a replacement recoil spring, but it was the exact same length as the original. Crazy how that works.

A few mags have needed springs.

Semi auto pistols should have recoil springs replaced periodically if you shoot them a lot.
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Old 02-18-2018, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimporter View Post
Had a Garand I needed glass bedded and my shooting buddy knew just the guy,stopped by his shop,talked price,was satisfied so I left weapon,he said heíd call when done.6 months later I was fishing close by so I just dropped by to see how it was going,it wasnít, rifle was right where he set it in rack behind about 10 to15 others that were there before me,needless to say it came home that day
I pulled a M70 out of a shop after 6 months that had been dropped of for glass bedding a new stock and promised in 3-4 weeks. Turns out the 'smith was more involved with riding his Harley in the summer than he was at working.
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Old 02-18-2018, 02:41 PM
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I had a hammer push off issue with my 686-3, took it to Frank Glenn in Phoenix, AZ. 15 minutes later I was walking out with fixed 686. Frank Glenn is a true professional , as well as a gentleman. If you find a gunsmith like him, it is like finding gold. They are out there , but they are becoming rarer and rarer.
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Old 02-18-2018, 05:41 PM
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A lot of feeding issues can be traced back to the magazine. Do you or the smith happen to have another magazine to try?
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Old 02-18-2018, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom S. View Post
A lot of feeding issues can be traced back to the magazine. Do you or the smith happen to have another magazine to try?
Yes, I bought a new mag and had the same result. I also cleaned the first mag, but no improvement. I gave both mags to the gunsmith.

Rounds jam nose up. Not all, but at least one from each mag load. The spent casing ejects cleanly.
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Old 02-18-2018, 07:16 PM
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+1 +1 +1 to what Tom said - it took a number of tries to get my CZ-82 working. Turns out, there are a bunch of Czech-made, but aftermarket, magazines floating around out there. They are stamped "mfg CZ" on the floorplate and are absolute junk - not even worth 1Ę!! If you haven't already bought from him, the only place to get good and reasonable CZ mags is from Greg Cote. CZ sells mags but their markup is too high.
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Old 02-18-2018, 09:06 PM
NewToGuns17 NewToGuns17 is offline
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No offense meant to anybody but i think the only time I'd bring my gun to a gunsmith would be to have something machined. Otherwise I'd rather fix it myself. I have a guard time trusting tradesman so I tend to learn whatever it is and fix it myself. But as far as custom work, I'd rather not learn that on my gun lol.
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:28 PM
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This 27-5 needed 5-6 months to correct the warped frame, barrel setback, fit the yoke and cylinder, polish and reblue. He only reblues every now and again since there aren't many of those jobs coming in so that drove some of the timeline.

It was well worth the wait and I knew he knows what's he's doing so it was fine.

I've got another project out at a different smith with no set timeline. I'm not worried and looking forward to getting it back eventually. I'm already planning on a second project to the same guy.
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Old 02-28-2018, 09:07 AM
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It is all about the Gunsmith. His knowledge, experience, attitude, talent, and equipment are all important factors. Some aren't worth spit and others like gods. The trick is finding the right one for the needs you have. Most work should be completed within 30 days.

Personally I want my gun fixed within 3 months max. My opinion is that a good smith will not take in the work if he can't do it within that time frame, or if he tells you straight out it will be longer than that and you are good with that, then OK , so be it.

Look at the mess created by D. Chicoine when he became ill. Not his fault getting ill and passing away, but a good many of his customers paid a significant price. Too much backlog can end up a disaster.
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:49 AM
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I have a pistol over at Bowen Classic Arms, its slow going, but is going to be well worth it.
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Old 02-28-2018, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Targets Guy View Post
I've got one that has to go in. Very hard to get the cylinder to open. And the trigger hangs up; not good.

Hard cylinder opening is probably a center pin that is too short or the extractor rod is bent or both. Yoke may be badly out of alignment but I doubt it.

Trigger hanging up is probably someone shortened the rebound spring or put in one that is too light. Or, and I hope it is not this, the trigger stud or rebound slide stud is broken.
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:54 PM
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Same church---different pew------------------------

I have a NM #3 Target in a caliber which rendered it essentially a one of a kind----and valued accordingly; and the latch/rear sight assembly was broken---broken as in a physical separation requiring a master TIG welder-----AND master gunsmith. Step one was to create a fall-back position (just in case)---acquire a replacement assembly for a 120+ year old firearm. Surprisingly, that turned out to be no problem---at a cost of $200. Then, on to finding that master TIG welder and master gunsmith.

The typical response from pretenders went along these lines: "I think I can fix it."-----"I'd be glad to give it a try.". Then I stumbled upon one Chris Hirsch (Check with Google.)---a real, honest to God GUNSMITH specializing in the repair and restoration of antique firearms. His response: "I'm sure I can fix it."

Off it went to Texas. Back it came from Texas----maybe three weeks. That which was well and truly broken was essentially as new---the repairs were completely invisible. The tab---$75. You probably should ponder that charge for a bit. I did just that. Here's what I decided: It took Mr. Hirsch virtually no time at all to fix it. That's because he KNEW exactly what to do, and EXACTLY how to do it---and had all the necessary equipment at his fingertips. Sounds pretty much like a professional doesn't it?

Many of the tales I've read here sound like the folks were dealing with someone less than a professional. That brought to mind this old saying: "Does it hurt when you do that? Don't do that!"

Ralph Tremaine

By the way, I still have that spare latch/sight assembly.

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Old 03-01-2018, 10:32 AM
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At one time early in life I fixed photo copiers. Sometimes customers complained about charges because the fix was simple.

Boss gave me a lesson.

Companies copier went down. They tried everything and it wouldn't work. Tech support is called and upon arrival and inspection tech takes out a rubber hammer and taps one corner. Machine starts working. Company gets a bill for $50. Manager calls copier business and complains that $50 for hitting a machine with a hammer is ridiculous. Manager of copier shop agrees and says he will sent out a revised bill. New bill arrives. Hit copy machine with hammer $1.00, knowing where to hit machine $49.00.

Training, experience and craftsmanship cost money. Gunsmithing is a dying art. The future is dim for anyone entering the trade. You would have to be an idiot to stupid to fix a door knob to consider it for a future. Most current guns are either disposable, mass produced, repairs by back to the factory or just change out parts. $20 an hour isn't a wage for a craftsmen, machine and tool investment. part cost. Add those up and gun repairs and mods get higher than worth fast. The real smiths that are currently in it are either semi retired, swamped, only take on the work they want, do it for a part time gig they enjoy or a hobby. How many good gunsmiths do you think there are under 50. Especially when you take away military and LEO armorers?

Take cutting down a barrel. On a rifle with no front sight. 10 minutes to remove from stock. 10 minutes to chuck in late and check for center, 1 minute to cut, with a setup turret head. 5 minutes to rough crown and 5 to polish crown. But, very few guys have a setup lathe and turret just for trimming barrels. Reassemble gun and get ready to ship 1 hr total. $100 bucks for time tools and equipment. Somebody has to pay for lathe, tooling and insurance. On a revolver butting back the front sight add an easy hr or more. Change out a barrel? Barrel wrench, tools to adjust gap, cost of barrel. Easy $200 at best unless you are factory and get barrel at cost. Nobody is lining up for the high costs and that narrows down the number willing to invest the time and money into getting good at the trade.

I suspect the guy who fixed Ralph's gun is more into it for the love of it than the $ and he is as rare craftsmen. When he dies or retires nobody is likely to take his place.

Old revolvers are a bit like mechanical typewriters, some people collect or use them, not many guys left that can fix typewriters.

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Old 03-01-2018, 10:41 AM
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Took a Model 28 in on Monday afternoon that was binding up on 3 cylinders. Called yesterday and it is ready. Said since it was a simple fix and he had it in his hand he went ahead and took care of it. Very fortunate to have Jim Kelly one of the best Smiths ever right in my back yard
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Old 03-06-2018, 08:46 AM
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Joe Chambers has two of my 1911s for sight upgrades and a few other things and David Clevinger has another of my 1911s for some custom work and engraving. Been waiting a while, hoping to have them all back this month.
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Old 04-04-2018, 09:54 PM
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There is a delicate balance between a gun going to a competent quality gunsmith who takes his time and you have to wait because he's so good he's backed up versus your gun going to the eternal depths of gunsmith hell where you never see it again.....
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Old 04-05-2018, 06:35 AM
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The last time any of my guns were at a Gunsmith was about 25 or 30 years ago. After he ruined a perfectly good gun, I decided it was time to lean how to do things myself.

Now when one of my gun needs Smithin' I just go down to my Work Shop.
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Old 04-05-2018, 08:07 AM
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The joke goes like this:
A guy is invited to a wedding, and pulls a suit out of his closet after many years of not having worn it.
In the pocket he finds a shoe repair tag for a pair of shoes he had forgotten completely about.
He walks into the shoe repair shop, hands them the years-old tag.
The man behind the counter looks at the tag and says, "Cordovan wing tips. They will be ready Thursday".

Gunsmiths can be very much like that. I brought a Remington 870 to a smith in NH (A "Jobber" from the UK) for a simple drill and tap receiver ghost ring back in March of last year. I call him from time to time and ask about it. I assume my children will find the repair tag in my effects when I am long gone.
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Old 04-05-2018, 08:25 AM
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I have a Ruger GP100 getting converted to 10mm, they told me about a year, and I'm only 3 months into that year but I know it will be worth the wait
Anyone else have a firearm at the gunsmith?-750_gp100-jpeg
quick ain't always good and good ain't always quick.
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Old 04-06-2018, 10:03 AM
Arquebus357 Arquebus357 is offline
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"professional" only talks about one's motivation. Skills are just assumed. There are plenty of amateurs (bubbas) who can smith rings around many professionals.
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Old 04-06-2018, 10:30 AM
Rpg Rpg is offline
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I usually have a gun or two at my gunsmithís. Itís just the normal course of events.

Itís rarely a repair: more commonly itís maintenance or custom work of some sort: tuning a trigger, checkering the front strap of a 1911, fitting a custom bushing or checking barrel thickness on a nice Damascus double shotgun.

Good gunsmith work takes time: not so much for the actual work, but rather waiting, in effect, in line for the gunsmith to get to my gun.

Keep in mind that gunsmiths with very quick turnaround are either new at the craft so arenít in much demand or not very good so they arenít in much demand. Alternatively, they focus on work that primarily involves swapping out drop in parts.
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Old 04-06-2018, 11:02 AM
austintexas austintexas is offline
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The problem our local gunsmith has he takes in too much work and usually has a couple of guys standing around shooting the bull. He spends as much time telling stories as working on firearms. He is also contracted with the local police to work on their weapons and the have priority. Other than the long wait for repairs he does excellent work.
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Old 04-06-2018, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austintexas View Post
The problem our local gunsmith has he takes in too much work and usually has a couple of guys standing around shooting the bull. He spends as much time telling stories as working on firearms. He is also contracted with the local police to work on their weapons and the have priority. Other than the long wait for repairs he does excellent work.
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Sound like he has a good life
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Old 04-06-2018, 09:00 PM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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Project 616 took about 8 months. Andy Horvath had the gun and the project but was held captive by the slow progress on having the barrel rebored and rifled. This wa over 4 months even though it was initially promised for about 4 weeks. From the time he got the barrel back to delivery of the finished product was another 4 months, but that was about what I expected.

Right now I have another major project with another gunsmith. He is having to completely rework a recessed K-22 cylinder into a non-recessed K-32 cylinder then use it with an original K-32 barrel to convert a Model 14-3 into a 16-3. Time estimate was 8-12months and it’s been 5 months so far, and I’m just getting eager, but not anxious.

Froggy
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Old 04-07-2018, 02:04 AM
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Thirty years ago I lived in the very corner of NE Oregon, and Lewiston Idaho was our closest big town. I went there quite a bit.

I took an '03 Springfield to a gunsmith there to have it reblued, and rechambered to .308 Norma Magnum. He was in his 80's, and he told me at the time he had one foot in the grave.

Well, wouldn't you know it, he died before he started work on my rifle! His wife had a heck of a time getting everyone's property back to them. Several months later, I got my rifle back.

And I had already bought dies, a bunch of .300 H&H cases, and had started trimming them!
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Old 04-07-2018, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austintexas View Post
The problem our local gunsmith has he takes in too much work and usually has a couple of guys standing around shooting the bull. He spends as much time telling stories as working on firearms. He is also contracted with the local police to work on their weapons and the have priority. Other than the long wait for repairs he does excellent work.
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Amen to the above. The last time I went to a gunsmith he and two buddies were telling stories in the shop. He said it was a simple job and would ready in about a week. 4 weeks later it was done. When I got there the same two guys and the gunsmith were in the same spots they had been a month earlier. I later learned that the repair was only about about 5 min. and I had supplied the new part.
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:50 AM
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I'd just like to put something in writing that I found out MANY years ago.......

True Collectors, intense Enthusiasts, and real Aficionados will treat their prized possessions much better than any paid for services GS will. What the GS has going for him is his years of experience, proper tools and of course his knowledge. HOWEVER, even with all his knowledge, tools and experience - it's NOT HIS prized gun he is working on, it's JUST a paycheck and a job to him.

So what is my point you might ask? If you can afford the tools (not all that expensive) and have the patience to learn and compile the experience & skill set, NO ONE will work on, care for, and be particular as YOU will with your own gun. Are you willing to do this? I was, but obviously YOU need to answer that question for yourself honestly. I have been learning for 40 years and still continue to do so. I'm not gonna say I've never made a mistake - but I've learned from them and move forward. Not only is fixing your own stuff quite satisfying, but you get it just the way you want it, don't have to send stuff out and incur the high expense and wait times, and can always tweak any issue that comes up any time you want without the dreaded trip to the LGS or even worse, sending it out. Just my opinions and experiences - of course YMMV.
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Old 04-07-2018, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by mnrivrat View Post
It is all about the Gunsmith. His knowledge, experience, attitude, talent, and equipment are all important factors.
.....
Look at the mess created by D. Chicoine when he became ill. Not his fault getting ill and passing away, but a good many of his customers paid a significant price. Too much backlog can end up a disaster.
Because of his reputation for first rate work, I sent a Model 3 DA .44 to Chicoine for some action work and a complete refinish. Paid in advance per his policy, about $1300. Every year or so I would send an email asking for status and he'd reply that he was nearly done.

After a couple of years his son began replying as Dave Sr. had suffered a stroke. Eventually Dave died, their house burned and they went out of business.

After about five years I got my gun back (after paying for shipping because they were broke). It's a disassembled basket case, looks like the action was not repaired and aside from being stripped, refinishing hadn't even begun. No refund of course.

I guess my point is that even a stellar reputation isn't a guarantee, when things go sideways.
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Old 04-07-2018, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimporter View Post
Had a Garand I needed glass bedded and my shooting buddy knew just the guy,stopped by his shop,talked price,was satisfied so I left weapon,he said heíd call when done.6 months later I was fishing close by so I just dropped by to see how it was going,it wasnít, rifle was right where he set it in rack behind about 10 to15 others that were there before me,needless to say it came home that day
I know exactly what youíre talking about. Theirs a pretty big shop not far from my house , they sell a lot of guns and have 3 smiths their pretty much all the time. Well the last time I stopped in their about 7 years ago I left a rifle for bedding . Iím not as patient as you were with your guy so a month later I called about it , they said they hadnít got to it yet and itís be a few months. I went down and picked up the gun and did it myself, then started thinking that I better learn everything I can about my guns and how to repair them . Iím still learning lol
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