Should I pay full price for gun smithing a month late?


November 19, 2004, 04:50 PM
I purchased an AK the first week of October. I gave it straight to the gunsmith who was going to mill out the magwell for standard mags. I was told it would be done in two weeks. Here it is, almost Thanksgiving, and I'm still waiting.

I'm deploying to Iraq in about ten days. Before my block leave I was promised it would be done when I returned. That was Monday. The bottom line is if it is finished I won't even be able to go shoot it before I leave. I'm absolutely furious. The gun shop is great but the smith, who supposedly does great work, will never see another of my weapons.

So, should I pay the full price or demand a price reduction?


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November 19, 2004, 04:58 PM
I can sure understand your feelings about this gunsmith but unless you had some time demand written into the job I think your just stuck with this guy doing the job at his own pace. :cuss: I had a leather crafter put my order on hold to take care of service men heading for Iraq. This I understood what I did not understand is my credit card being charged and not getting what I ordered till he was ready to finish my order. But a deal is a deal I did not ask for a reduction of price. Anyway good luck and hope you stay safe and are back in USA soon. :)

The Rabbi
November 19, 2004, 05:09 PM
You should take the AK and stick up his rear--the LONG WAY.

No seriously, Cerberus is right, a deal is a deal. Gunsmiths get very busy, get sick etc etc. I agree it is frustrating. As to whether to deal with him again, it will depend on the quality of the work. If he takes that long and ends up doing a poor job I wouldnt use him again. But if its good then be thankful you have him. Fast, Cheap, Right--pick one.

November 19, 2004, 05:16 PM
Well, I don't know if you should demand a reduction. I can say this...when I worked as apprentice gunsmith, things always took longer in the shop they we thought they would. I would say to cut the guy some slack.

I once ordered a set of knives from a maker I will not name. He said it would be three months to delivery. It ended up being 18 months later before I got anything from him, and it was only because I asked to ship me whatever he had done so I could be done dealing with him.

November 19, 2004, 05:18 PM
Believe me, read some of the horror stories of guys who are lucky to get their AK builds back at all, much less completed, after over a year.

If it's only a month late, tell him that your unhappy because you won't get a chance to shoot it before you go, but pay the bill. If he offers a price reduction, accept it, but don't demand it. Just find a different smith next time. Don't expect better service though. Gunsmith's seem notorious for being off on their time estimates and delays are common.

R.H. Lee
November 19, 2004, 05:43 PM
Everything takes longer than you think it will. When you took it to him, how much time did he take to talk to you about it? And how many times did the phone ring while you were there? How much time does he have to spend talking to people about stuff that interrupts his work? I know this is a part of doing business, but it all contributes to non-productive time and can't be controlled. OTOH, because you're going to Iraq, he should make an extra effort for you IMO.

My $.02

November 19, 2004, 06:18 PM
The bottom of every invoice we put out sets forth.....

"We dont guarantee delivery dates"


November 19, 2004, 06:27 PM
I don't hold them to a timetable. I am only concerned with quality, but that's just me...

On the last piece I had smithed they told me they'd call when it was done in a couple weeks. A couple months later I called to see what's the dealie. Apparently they don't leave messages on answering machines even though they claim otherwise and they definitely don't do follow up calls. It had been done on time. Next time I will know to pester them. Seems like they expect that from us??? :D

November 19, 2004, 06:37 PM
Yeah, yall are right. I'm just frustrated and exhausted. Hopefully, I'll get some rest soon. And my AK!


November 19, 2004, 06:44 PM

In a word, I think many of us understand that 'smiths, especially good ones (who tend to be very busy) are often later than they estimate. But, Yes, I think an explanation from someone in the business might help more people understand exactly what is going on.

rock jock
November 19, 2004, 06:47 PM
I just picked up a sling from my gunsmith that I ordered in......January. Didn't know leather was that rare these days. :rolleyes:

Standing Wolf
November 19, 2004, 07:47 PM
An awful lot of gunsmiths are truly lousy businessmen.

John Forsyth
November 19, 2004, 08:41 PM
What Wild said. I have dealt with several pistolsmithes, all of them Nationally known. The only one that came close to meeting his dates was R. Heinie, and he's not cheap by a long shot.

You have probably heard this before, you can have two of these three, cheap, fast, or excellent. I always take excellent and let the other two work themselves work out. All the smithes I know will not ship back to the customer unless it is 100% done and ready to go.

4v50 Gary
November 19, 2004, 09:37 PM
You can ask for a reduction in price, but don't expect the smith to budge. I wouldn't. Once work is done, any refusal to pay may result in a lien. Avoid the hassle. Ask and if he refuses, pony up the $. :(

November 19, 2004, 10:05 PM
The best pistolsmith in my area was so lousy on time we joked about:"Take the time he promised, multiply by three. Then double it. He'll still be late... :banghead:

OTOH, I know a gent who opines thats :cuss: why "Godamngunsmith" should be one word... :cuss: :what:


November 20, 2004, 01:49 AM
Yes, I think an explanation from someone in the business might help more people understand exactly what is going on.

Well lets see...

1. Gun Parts Corp or sarco or Borwning or Winchester send ya the wrong part....always (number one problem)
2. Ya bust a the gun.....
3. (At least for us) Joe Smith sends his trusty shotgun in for a recoil pad. Its the dead of winter and hes not shooting. Meanwhile, Ivan Muktuk from Barrow and his 5 cousins come in with emergency repairs for their SUBSSITENCE hunting guns...while you are ffixin guns they need, Joe Smith is calling ya every day raggin about a gun HE WANTS

4. The lathe breaks
5. The blue tank gets contaminated.
6. Gunsmith has to take off becasue kid is sick
7. Power failure
8. Custom parts on backordcer
9. custom parts poor quality
10. Brownells send ya 10 cans of laquer and none of em spray
11. Compressor quits


November 20, 2004, 02:53 AM
"...the first week of October..." That's right before deer season in most places. If you didn't get a completion date in writing, you're SOL.
"...I won't even be able to go shoot it before I leave..." No offense, but won't you be kind of busy? Even OR's are heavily tasked two weeks before a major deployment.

Double Naught Spy
November 20, 2004, 09:11 AM
Should you pay full price for gun smithing a month late?

That all depends. Do you want your gun back? Unless you had a contract or written quote with a price breakdown by date of completion, then you owe the full amount. If the gun was not ready when stated, you should have demanded it back and taken your business elsewhere. You didn't. As a result, YOU let the smith run you late.

rock jock, you picked up a sling ordered 10 months ago? My guess is that you could have gotten it yourself much quicker.

With the internet, I have found that I can sometimes beat my supplier on things. The supplier to me may be locked into something of a schedule or his own particular suppler to him, either out of convenience or other arrangement. For example, I was able to get a mag from Barrett roughly 5 weeks quicker than the Barrett dealer. My dealer said it would take six weeks. I just called Barrett and mine came in later that week. I have done the same on ammo, car parts, and printer cartridges. With a little practice, the internet can be a hugely more efficient marketplace than by going through your local dealer.

There is nothing wrong with using your local dealer if that dealer can get you things quickly. Some of the delays I get offered or that others like you have mentioned are really unnecessarily long.

November 20, 2004, 09:49 AM
On one hand, you are paying for the service performed, not the time it's done in, so you should stick to the price quoted.

On the other hand, the old adage of "you can have it correct, quick, and cheap, but you can only pick two" would imply that since this deal was not quick, you could pick correct and cheap.

Good smiths are, generally speaking, not good at other trivial things like customer service, estimations of time, co-ordination of business, etc. They are also hard to come by. I choose to suck it up and wait when it comes to getting someone to work on my guns. It also helps to call frequently to check on the status after the promised completion date. This keeps it fresh in their mind.

November 20, 2004, 10:46 AM
"No offense, but won't you be kind of busy? Even OR's are heavily tasked two weeks before a major deployment."

Did you not see the fact that I won't be able to shoot it now? Ya think that might be because I'm a little busy? In addition to all the other crap, I was at the CID office until 0330 last night for a soldier that did something stupid. During block leave, I enjoyed my leave. Now I'm back to work and don't have time to go shoot. I don't think it's too much to get my firearm back before I leave the country for the year, though.

As far as timing, I wasn't aware that gunsmiths were notorious for working on their own timetable. I'm used to a man looking you in the eye and giving you his word and a firm handshake as a bond--that was my expectation from him. Just a lesson learned on my part, that's all.


November 20, 2004, 10:54 AM
A smart man once told me you have a choice. You can have two of the following three things:


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