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Flaky gunsmith

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

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  1. Pripyat

    Pripyat Member

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    So my dad kept referring me to the Smith he has used his entire life. While visiting home I took the RIA to him. He said the safety was definitely not finished (needed more material taken off) and said he would take care of it and write me a receipt. I'm very interested to see how the other smith reacts to me asking him if he will own up like he said he would and pay another smith to right his wrong.
     
  2. AmateurSharpshooter

    AmateurSharpshooter Member

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    "The business was near Greenville sc. PM me for the business name if you are local and want to avoid this guy. I'm not wanting to turn this into a slander type situation."

    I live in Taylors, SC, a stone's throw from Greenville, SC. I seriously would like to discuss your experience with this guy, I may very well have been bitten by the same guy. I brought a like-new Thompson 1927A1 to him to fix the barrel because the original one came loose after a couple hundred rounds thru it. After he had it for 3 weeks, he tells me he's going to need to replace the barrel because he cannot break loose the Cutts Compensator to tighten it. He had "special ordered" the barrel and a new Cutts Compensator. When I came to pick it up, I noticed vise marks all over the ribs of the new barrel. I commented on them and he said 'that's the way it came from the factory.' I asked to take the old barrel that was on the weapon and the same vise marks were on the old barrel. Mind you, these marks were deep enough to make the metal shavings stick out and poke you. I made him file them down and blue them on the spot. To this day, it still pisses me off, because the bad work still shows on my weapon. I came so close to calling him a liar.

    Furthermore, He took two and a half months to complete the job. The reason it took him so long to get my weapon finished is because all the gun shows and events that I went to and/or participated in, he was there too. He is definitely more interested in making his presence known out in public than being in his workshop doing what he's bad at. I have no problem outing him, his name is Larry Smith of Larry's Gun Repair LLC, 403 Miller Rd. Ste C, Greenville, SC 29607. Seriously, I will never darken his doormat ever again.
     
  3. Pripyat

    Pripyat Member

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    Holy crap.. Same guy (Larry), same business (Larry's Gun Repair).

    I jumped on to post that the competent gunsmith just called and said that they fitted the safety but the sear allowed the hammer to fall occasionally when the slide cycled the next round.

    This freaking sucks. I buy a new hammer and sear and it looks like I may have to buy another. I told the new smith to fix it right so I can get some closure. FML
     
  4. jblackfish

    jblackfish Member

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    Pripyat, Not only is this guy a menace to gun-smithing (and your gun is a great example) - he's producing dangerous work! I would certainly approach this guy with the invoice for the work from the smith who fixes it.

    ...and, I hate to be suggesting anything for you to do but I think you'd be justified in making your experience known as far and wide as you feel comfortable with just to warn people in that area away from him. Just be sure to limit your comments to your experience exactly and I don't see how he could come back at you legally. Personally, I would NOT be treated like this by anyone without publishing it! (just my thoughts....)
     
  5. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

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    Fortunatly! I'm STILL able to do most of my own Gunsmithing. Iam a '61 Graduate of TSJC and a Journeyman Toolmaker to boot. The crackpot "gunsmiths" have merely to run their mouths.
     
  6. AmateurSharpshooter

    AmateurSharpshooter Member

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    I strongly suggest writing a google review on this guy. Search 'Google' and 'gunsmith Greenville, SC'. His list is at the top. I just wrote mine. My bad, his name is Larry Williams...
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2013
  7. sauer1911

    sauer1911 Member

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    Why didnt you just send the gun to RIA? Or atleast ask them to refer a local gunsmith to work on your 1911?
     
  8. Pripyat

    Pripyat Member

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    I didn't take it to RIA because they are the reason I am in this situation in the first place. I have pictures of how off square the hammer was to the hammer pin. Besides, I wanted a trigger job which isn't something I would take a gun to RIA for. Also - This thread isn't about what I could have done. :p

    So the drama continues. I went to pick up the RIA and the bill was $193. I got a call that after the thumb safety was trimmed that said the hammer was falling when the slide was racked. I told them to do what it took to fix it. They charged 91 dollars for a hammer and sear (Nighthawk) and over 100 for the labor.

    I call Larry and tell him what has happened and asked him to call the gunsmith that did the work so he could pick up the bill. He calls back after speaking to the gunsmith and said that he wasn't going to pay for the parts but would pay for only the labor to fit the thumb safety. He said that the other gunsmith must have taken material off the sear/hammer causing the hammer issue because the hammer was not falling by itself when it left his shop.

    I asked, "So could the safety have been contacting the sear causing it to not fall since it needed trimming so badly?" His response: "No, the thumb safety does not contact the sear. It simply lodges itself between the hammer and sear keeping the hammer from being able to fall. :banghead:

    He then started claiming that he didn't even touch the sear/hammer although I took it to him for a TRIGGER JOB. Not to mention the sear I took him needed the primary and secondary angles stoned into them. They were unfinished. He kept asking me if it was light enough when I went to go pick it up (it was very light) and talked about how many times he took it apart/put it back together to get the trigger pull light enough. He is going to call back shortly after he receives the bill via fax. I asked him to talk to the gunsmith about why it is their fault that the sear and hammer that came from him couldn't be fitted to work in the handgun safely. :(
     
  9. Fred_G

    Fred_G Member

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    Jeebus... Do you have your gun back yet? Hopefully after all the BS, you will be happy with the gun.
     
  10. Pripyat

    Pripyat Member

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    Well Larry never called. I feel a little bad that I put the other Smith in the middle of this fiasco...

    I didn't pick the gun up because when I saw the bill I knew there was no chance he would pay me the $193 but there was a good chance he would work with the gun shop. I told Larry that he could call the shop and work with them to pick up the tab. Shortly thereafter he called and said he wouldn't pay for anything more than the labor to trim the safety.

    I will drop in the gun shop this weekend possibly to see what ended up happening.
     
  11. Pripyat

    Pripyat Member

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    I was thinking about this this morning.. He told me originally that he needed 20 dollars more because he had issues getting all the parts to fit together - I mentioned this earlier in the thread. He got the new safety in and the parts still would not work together properly.

    But when I talked to him yesterday he at first denied even making changes to the sear/hammer and when I said that I knew he modified them because I took him an unfinished sear he said that you don't take material off the hammer OR sear to do a trigger job. You just polish the surfaces. When I dropped it off I specifically said that I wanted him to stone the primary/secondary angles in the sear. I asked him specifically if he stoned the primary and secondary angles on the sear when I picked it up and he said "yes". What a piece of sh*t. :cuss:

    I got really frustrated with him on the phone and actually started showing my anger. But I withheld since I really hope he picks some of the tab up..
     
  12. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    You know, I don't see that ever happening.

    It sucks, but perhaps you might want to just pay the 'smith who fixed the mess out of your pocket - the full bill - and let this yahoo Larry know you settled it in full. Whatever he decides to reimburse to send to you.

    Otherwise you're going to have this yahoo saying, "Yeah I sent that check off," with the decent businessman never getting the balance settled.
     
  13. Pripyat

    Pripyat Member

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    My intent is to pay in full next time I drop by the smith's shop and whatever check Larry may send I will just use as a store credit. Their prices are pretty high so I wouldn't otherwise buy anything from them unless it was a dire emergency. But I want to show some appreciation to them for dealing with Larry for me.
     
  14. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Member

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    I feel your pain sir. I had a 1911 I took to a gunsmith who was also a friend. After a year he had still not finished the work, but had all the parts there. He said he could not do the work because my pistol was not a standard 1911.

    This after he assured me for a year that everything was going well with the custom build. He did several things right, he just never finished the project. After I picked up the gun and parts I decided to tackle it myself.

    An hour later I had all the parts installed and the gun runs like a dream. I decided this guy was neither a gunsmith nor a friend...
     
  15. MartinS

    MartinS Member

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    These people seem to know how to use you.
    As to "I'm not wanting to turn this into a slander type situation." If it's true it's not slander.
     
  16. Pripyat

    Pripyat Member

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    Had more to do with the fact that I felt like posting the business name here made it much more likely that he might catch wind of this thread and definitely not make my gun right and surely not pay to fix the damage.

    But when AS had dealings with the same guy and guessed the business name that changed that.. This is also the reason I haven't made a Google review yet. Going to wait and see if Larry pays to make it right. Not that him paying would change the review any. I just doubt he would make it right if he knew I had already exposed his shotty dealings to the public.
     
  17. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    Sounds like you have waited long enough for both the use of your properly fixed gun and your "Larry will make it right" payment.

    The longer you delay in exposing his substandard skills and business practices, the more time this guy has to mess up someone else's gun.

    If you want money back from Larry, take him to Small Claims Court.

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
  18. Pripyat

    Pripyat Member

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    I'm not waiting on him to pay. I didn't pick the gun because I thought that was the only chance he would pay anything. I don't go by the new Smith's town but maybe once every two weeks. I won't be shooting for at least another 3 weeks (if not 3 months) as I'm in the middle of relocating so it is just a matter of time before I go pick up the RIA regardless of if Larry picks up any of the tab.

    I agree about letting the word out sooner rather than later.. I will have to post my Google review some time late this week or early next week.
     
  19. tgford58

    tgford58 Member

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    I was looking at the photo. Did you not want the beavertail radius cut on the frame? Please be careful on who you have fit a thumb safety. They still make my pulse elevate anb I have done quite a few of them. It is all that stands between you and a long scar down your leg. There are some very good 1911 smiths out there that can make this all work like it was supposed to. If the price is too low, typically the person quoting isn't that established.
     
  20. Pripyat

    Pripyat Member

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    Sadly I doubt I will ever trust this gun as a carry weapon. I have faith in the new smith but it just won't be the same. What was once my go-to for dependability has been compromised. I don't know if the finest smith could cause me to trust that weapon after Larry hacked at it. I considered letting a buddy have it at the shop cost but I would never forgive myself if they got hurt with it. So I will pick it up and either make it a range dedicated weapon or sell it with a warning.
     
  21. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    Did you pay the 2nd 'smith for his work yet?
     
  22. Pripyat

    Pripyat Member

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    Haven't made it over there yet. My new (been there 2 weeks) residence is inconveniently located remotely to everything. The closest smith is a 30 minute drive towards nowhere. And I work most their open hours. So my only chance would be tomorrow but I have other plans. It will probably be next weekend.
     
  23. 1stCavLRRP

    1stCavLRRP Member

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    You SOUND like a reasonably intelligent (if a bit soft-hearted) person; go to HalfPriceBooks (or any other book vendor you trust), find yourself a copy of (the long since out-of-print) Hallock's .45 Auto Handbook, educate yourself, and restore your confidence in the weapon you love.
     
  24. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    Won't the US Mail deliver your check to him?

    He fixed your gun very quickly. Some 'smiths won't even touch another's shoddy work. Pay the man.
     
  25. Pripyat

    Pripyat Member

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    I have a 4 year EE degree from one of the top 10 engineering colleges.. Struggled but I made it through. I really may pick that book up. I have had a passion for the 1911 platform ever since I picked up the RIA as my first handgun back in high school.

    As for paying the other smith, he knows my family really well. He has told me at least half a dozen times that there is no rush to pick up my weapons from him. With my last job it wasn't uncommon for me to be out of town for 4 weeks straight so I made sure to let him know in the beginning that he may not see me for a while after dropping off a weapon for work. So I'm not too worried about him. He has been an established shop since before I was born.
     
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