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Flaky gunsmith

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Pripyat, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. Pripyat

    Pripyat Well-Known Member

    I dropped off a 1911 to get a new safety and beaver tail fitted. Never used this Smith before. He told me 4-6 weeks. I wasn't thrilled but left the weapon. I called 8 weeks later and he apologised and said 4 more weeks.
    Called 6 weeks later and he said 2-3 more weeks. That was a month ago.

    Should I assume this guy is very attentive to detail and leave the weapon with him or assume incompetency and go retrieve the firearm?
  2. jaguarxk120

    jaguarxk120 Well-Known Member

    Go get your 1911, at this point no one knows what he's done to it!!
  3. col.lemat

    col.lemat Well-Known Member

    He missed the dead line three times. It's not going to get done.
  4. Pripyat

    Pripyat Well-Known Member

    Weird thing is the Google reviews of the business are good. When he missed the first time he apologised and said he had 3 guns that he had to work on nonstop for 2 weeks. That made me think "well at least he is thorough and ensures he does a good job". But this is getting ridiculous.
  5. JohnM

    JohnM Well-Known Member

    Go get it back. Enough is enough,
  6. Fred_G

    Fred_G Well-Known Member

    Anyone can post reviews. I would get my gun and find another smith.
  7. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Well-Known Member

    What we have here is an attitude problem on the part of the gunsmith. Get your gun back and never darken his door again. Life's too short to have to deal with this nonsense.
  8. Pripyat

    Pripyat Well-Known Member

    Yeah - he has all the parts too. He just needed to do some shaving. I'll get it back this week. Unfortunately due to the panic the other Smith in town has over a year lead time. :(

    I should also mention that the second or third time I called he said he would try to "put it in front of some of these others". That really rubbed me the wrong way because that is probably why I don't have mine back - he is putting others in front of mine :/
  9. witchhunter

    witchhunter Well-Known Member

    If someone works on a gun nonstop for three weeks, what would the cost be? He might be busy or he might be a flake. My guy takes some time, but he is busy. When it is my gun's turn it gets done and back to me. The only hold up is waiting on parts or if he gets to go hunting somewhere.
  10. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Well-Known Member

    When I was in business and I made a promise I always did my best to keep it. Find someone else.
  11. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Any smith who has to work on a gun non-stop for weeks either doesn't know what he is doing or can't estimate a job, or is taking on more than he can handle. In any case, I would look for another smith.

  12. Pripyat

    Pripyat Well-Known Member

    Yeah... Going to get it tomorrow. I hate it but I will do the work myself before I wait nearly a year for a competent smith to do it. I just needed the beaver tail trimmed.. I had already done the majority of the shaving for the safety. It would engage but the fit with the sear was tight and the safety wouldn't snap in and out of place like it should. I will at least learn more doing it myself. I understand the risks BTW. This was going to be the first time I ever paid a smith to do work on a gun for me. I was only paying a smith because I also wanted my sear and hammer stoned and I don't have a jig.
  13. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    We had a so-called gunsmith here in town for about 5 years like that.

    He talked a good game, until he got the gun apart in boxes in the back room.
    He had guns in pieces stacked clear along one wall.

    Then he gave the customers the same run-around you are getting.
    People finally wised up and stopped going to him.

    Then he filed for bankruptcy, and they locked the doors.

    A lot of people couldn't get their guns back.
    Then some that did ended up with the big parts of their gun, and the little parts of somebody else's still in boxes and paper sacks!

  14. sage5907

    sage5907 Well-Known Member

    My experience is that a lot of people who work alone in skilled trades have that sort of attitude problem. It has nothing to do with age because it affects both the young and old alike. Some of them take more work than they can do. Others can't seem to figure it out that they have to get a job or two out every day to make a living. Others live on the deposits and never do the jobs once they spend the deposit money. The ones that make a successful living are more organized and don't take the jobs unless they think they can get the work done when promised. They usually charge higher prices for their work. Bottom line, take your work to someone who's dependable and pay the higher prices even if you don't like their personality.
  15. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    There are many reasons for delay in delivering work, some valid, some not.

    I have observed over the years many gunsmiths who have gone out of business. Here are a few of the reasons:

    1. Spending time BSing with customers rather than working on guns. Hire help for the front counter and work on guns.
    2. Taking on idiotic jobs like working on junkers whose value is far less than the cost of the work. (The customer will refuse to pay the bill.)
    3. Getting involved in a customer's "project". If the guy wants to convert his .32 rimfire Tramps Terror to .454 Casull, let him; don't waste your time on silliness.
    4. Breaking/losing parts and having to order or make replacements.
    5. Tackling a job without knowing how to do it. These are usually self-taught smiths; schools teach at least the rudiments of most jobs.
    6. Not having the equipment to do the job or not knowing how to operate it.
    7. Farming out work to other gunsmiths or to large specialty shops. Not only is the smith at the mercy of others, if the customers catch on they will simply eliminate the middle man and go directly to the other guy.
    8. Failure to understand even the rudiments of running a business; the worst in this respect are the gun hobbyists who can get immersed in a discussion of Victory Models when they should be working on guns.
    9. Failure to post and keep regular hours. One smith had his shop in his home and a pretty young wife. Customers found the shop door locked for hours in the middle of the day. Soon they didn't bother to come back.
    10. Sheer ignorance or stupidity. There is no licensing test for gunsmiths, so some folks think all that is needed is an FFL and a few hand tools. They screw things up badly and the word gets around. Worse, they create a dangerous situation and someone is injured or killed. The result is bankruptcy or even a prison term.

  16. Pripyat

    Pripyat Well-Known Member

    I was a little weirded out when I went to his shop. I have never been to a place of business where I had to knock to get in (A recent trip to San Antonio taught me that this is not abnormal in big cities). I rang the bell and there is a ferocious and large dog that went nuts. Owner put the dog up and let me in. The instant I step inside I am next to a work surface that is around 20 feet long and 3 feet deep and stretches down the wall. There are probably 10 -15 guns completely disassembled with their parts scattered all along the work surface. I was thinking to myself, I could walk out with a spring and this guy would be screwed. Thinking back I definitely need to get my gun back.
  17. Pripyat

    Pripyat Well-Known Member

    Well crap. Took my lunch break to drive to this guys shop and get this:

  18. col.lemat

    col.lemat Well-Known Member

    I expected that. Try and make an appointment, and see how far that goes. Ha Ha
    Honestly It's time to call the cops. I had too on one of mine. Over a year and a half later I am still trying to get it back dealing with the Calif. Dept. of Justice.
  19. Pripyat

    Pripyat Well-Known Member

    The hand broken off the clock really makes the pic. :/

    I am going to call and see if I can get him and find out when I can catch him at the office..
  20. morcey2

    morcey2 Well-Known Member

    Tell him you have another gun to bring in. If you tell him you're wanting to pick up the original gun, you'll probably never get a straight answer.


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