Tell me if I'm wrong here...


Brass Rain
October 12, 2010, 09:30 PM
A little while ago I was trying to get the standard wood stock off my Mossberg 500 to replace it with a Blackhawk collapsible model. Turns out I stripped the screw and had to have a gunsmith remote the stock by cutting and install the new stock and foregrip. It took him a couple weeks to get around to it, and then I finally got a call around noon that day from him saying he'd just finished it and that I could pick it up. When I did, I found that there was too much material at the rear of the foregrip and it caused sticking on the receiver when brought to the rear. Some filing had already been done, but it still stuck pretty badly. At home, I did some more filing and sanding and it's much better now, but still could use a bit more to be perfect.

The job ended up costing about $40. And I feel slightly ripped off. It took a while to get to, and then it was basically an unfinished job when I got it back. The gunsmith wasn't there when I picked up the gun, and he'd said on the phone that he'd finished it "about 20 seconds ago" so I kind of got the feeling maybe he was sick of working on it and wanted to call it "good enough" and be done with it to go to lunch.

Am I wrong in thinking this? It wasn't a big deal to file some more material off myself, but it should have been done when I got it. It's not too much to expect a 100% job, is it? In hindsight, I did like the regular stock just fine, and would have kept it and loved it if I'd known there would be so much involved in changing it.

It shouldn't be too long before my next gun purchase, and I'm wondering if I really feel like spending more money at that store or if I should go someplace else this time.

If you enjoyed reading about "Tell me if I'm wrong here..." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
October 12, 2010, 09:35 PM
Sometimes , you just can't get quality at any price.
Some folks just don't take pride in their work.

October 12, 2010, 09:53 PM
You got your gun back without major issues - from what I have seen around where I live, and from others posting here, you got off lucky................then again there are the stories of those who are blessed with one of those nationally known smiths in their back yard

Shadow 7D
October 12, 2010, 09:55 PM
Depends what you asked him to do,
for $40, sounds like you got a not bad deal

He removed a damaged stock, repaired a buggered stock screw, which anybody can do, but most not correctly, and put the new stock on.

If you paid him to fit and finish the new stock, in addition to the above, they yeah, I would complain, but I doubt that you paid that, as it would take some time to do, and gunsmiths are about as inexpensive as plumbers...
and if you had to pay one of them lately you know what I mean.

Brass Rain
October 12, 2010, 10:10 PM
Technically I paid to remove the old stocks and install the new ones. So he really did do everything I had asked. But if he were going to remove material from the inside of the forergrip so it would fit, it seems like it wouldn't be out of the question to spend another five minutes and remove another millimeter so it actually fit well. I mean, I would have done it if I were him.

October 12, 2010, 10:26 PM
This is why I don't trust any kind of shop, gun wise, automobile wise, or anything else. I've yet to find very many people that take pride in their work anymore.

Shadow 7D
October 13, 2010, 01:25 AM
Oh, yours is a plastic cra, er tactikool stock, well, what you probably had was flash or a poor mold, he probably thought that it should fit (after all, most really do) and got it workable, and for the price you paid, that isn't bad, might have been better if he had told you, but if you want expense, go ask a good GS to custom fit a stock, yeah, you will get a jewel, ( or at least pay for one)

October 13, 2010, 02:04 AM
You got off easy. My dad took his Savage 340 .225 Winchester in for the smith to see if there was a case neck stuck in the chamber. The smith re-chambered the gun without even asking permission. Charged my dad $150, then my dad couldn't get the cartridges to chamber right, took it to another gunsmith who said the re-chambering was crooked and the gun is a boat paddle until he can find another barrel.

So he charged $150 to do something without permission which ended up ruining the gun.

October 13, 2010, 07:32 AM
Guys I understand what you are saying he got off easy but really what ever happened to taking pride n your work and doing a job well? When I hire someone to work on my home they not only do the job but they clean their work site. When you work on someones property and there is still something wrong with it you fix it before saying it is done.

He could easily have told the OP, exactly what was going on and that it would take him a bit longer to get it sanded to feel right and that's more time so it is more money for him and the OP gets a properly functioning weapon, sounds like a win/win. Everyone makes mistakes but it sounds like this was something obvious. Personally, I would try to contact the gunsmith (keep it just between you and him) and give him the feedback you gave us.

Sav .250
October 13, 2010, 07:35 AM
As a consumer you can do something about it..........don`t go back!

October 13, 2010, 07:58 AM
Brass Rain

Sounds like your gunsmith did a "good enough" job. If you had to grade him 1 through 10, what number would you pick? From what you described, I would give him a 7.5 to an 8.0 rating.

He did fix the stripped screw and he did install the new stock and forearm. For $40, and the work you had done, sounds like you got a decent deal. But what he probably didn't do was a thorough function test once it was installed. He probably figured the installation was "good enough", and didn't want to spend anymore time on it. Since you said it took him a couple of weeks to get around to it, perhaps your job was a low priority deal (maybe he had some other big money projects he was working on), and treated it accordingly.

At any rate, you've got your shotgun back, it works now thanks to your final finishing, and consider what happened for future reference.

October 13, 2010, 08:45 PM
The only thing wrong with your complaint is that you didn't give the man a chance to make it right.
Should he have been a little more meticulous to begin with? Your call.

Mac's Precision
October 13, 2010, 09:05 PM
Well... I think perhaps you paid a reasonable amount. I would not be impressed that it didn't fit well. I would have gone back and showed the fellow what was wrong and politely asked him to make it right. You paid for a repair job. You took him a working gun and as such you should get back a working gun. IF he gave it back to you without proper test fire and function verification then shame on him. There is no excuse for not testing every aspect of every gun that goes out the door. I NEVER let a gun out that I haven't fired. EVER.

I need to sleep at night and I NEED to know that the customer is packing a fully safe and operational gun out the door. IF he needed more to do the WHOLE job to a properly completed level then it is his fault for undercharging you. You would have gladly paid $50 to have it done to absolute perfection, right? But now you are annoyed for having paid $40 for a half a job that you have to finish

The little sting of paying a bit more to have the right man do the job goes away much quicker when the job is done perfect. You will be proudly showing your buddies how nice it is rather than griping about what you paid. The burn from getting hosed on a cheapy deal leaves a scar that never heals and a crappy job you have to hide in your closet.

I personally wouldn't risk the bad rep by leaving a job half done. Certainly can't see risking one's reputation over a simple job that was easy enough to do professionally.


October 13, 2010, 10:23 PM
It could have been worse. I have experienced much worse... and there is pretty much nothing you can do about it. It sucks, but such is life in today's society. Lesson learned, find a new gunsmith. Let your peers know about your poor experience so they do not get burned as well.

October 13, 2010, 10:25 PM
In my experience, if the hack doesn't care to perform the job correctly the first time, he isn't going to care to get it right the second time.

Mac's Precision
October 13, 2010, 10:45 PM

You are correct. I would give the guy the opportunity to fix the issue. If he takes your matter's seriously and seems genuinely concerned that he missed something, he will probably fix the matter. If his reaction isn't that of being ashamed for missing it. If he blows you off then don't bother getting in a squabble with him....just thank him for his time....politely take your gun and leave....find the phone book and start calling to find another man. Do your friends a favor and let them know to steer clear.

It is stories like this that make me suggest to people that they ask the gunsmith about his qualifications and to see samples / photos of his work. Check out his shop. Is it organized? Does he have quality equipment? Does he keep his tools in good order? I can tell you a lot about a gunsmith, machinist or mechanic based on shop cleanliness.


October 13, 2010, 10:50 PM
Give him a shot. S tripped screw can be removed pretty easily with some creativity (drill and use a back-out, or if that won't work cut the slot flush, then epoxy in a washer and have at it) that keeps the stock intact as well.

Sure it's not "proper", but when it fixes the problem without ill effects, it's proper enough.

Brass Rain
October 14, 2010, 05:01 AM
It bothers me that so many people are saying "It could have been worse" as if for them it has been before. I mean, I guess since I see firearms as such important, interesting pieces of art and technology, I expect more of the people that fix and work on them for a living. This isn't installing drywall, it's an art form!

No offense to people whom install drywall for a living.

October 14, 2010, 05:14 AM
I purchased a Zastava TT-9mm and brought it in to a gun shop for a safety check. Cost $40.

I took it to a range that evening and when I went to reload-- I noticed my front site was missing:(

Thankfully, the staff at the range found it for me and called.

Unfortunately, I was leaving the next day for a 2 week trip and didn't have an opportunity to bring the gun back to the shop and ask them why that didn't catch their attention.

Still trying to figure out the best way to go about getting it back on so it will stay on.

October 14, 2010, 09:15 AM
You asked him to remove the old stock and put on the new stock. He charged $40, which seems reasonable for the work involved.

If I understand you correctly, you expect him to have hand fitted the new stock as well. If he had done that and charged you for his time, would we be reading a post complaining how he'd charged you $80 "just to put on a new stock"?

Remember the old rule:

Gunsmith's rates:

$60 per hour
$80 per hour if you watch
$100 per hour if you worked on it first.

October 14, 2010, 11:22 AM
$60 per hour
$80 per hour if you watch
$100 per hour if you worked on it first.
...and $150 per hour to "just borrow a tool". ;)

To answer the OP's question, we would not have let the gun leave the shop in that condition, but the job very likely would have cost more than $40.

October 14, 2010, 12:58 PM
Why didn't you give him a chance to correct it if you thought it wasn't as good as it should be?

If you enjoyed reading about "Tell me if I'm wrong here..." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!