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How much should a gunsmith charge to put a K-frame back together?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by John Wayne, Dec 17, 2010.

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  1. John Wayne

    John Wayne Member

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    I bought a S&W 13-1, and disassembled the gun to have a look at the internals. I took everything out--hammer, hammer block, trigger, hand, the whole 9 yards. I didn't take the actual hammer assembly or anything else down into its respective components beyond that though. Decided I didn't want to fool with putting it back together (esp. the rebound spring), so I took it to a gunsmith, whom I've never used before.

    My instructions were: clean and lubricate parts, install Wolff 13# rebound spring (which I included), and reassemble. I just got a call saying the gun is ready.

    The price? $43.50. His hourly rate is $45.

    Keep in mind that the gun was already disassembled, and that he used a spring supplied by me.

    Is this a reasonable rate? Should it take a competent gunsmith nearly an hour to reassemble a very common gun that was already disassembled to begin with?
     
  2. GP100man

    GP100man Member

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    Reasonable in my area !

    I charge extra to reassemble components (automotive) when they come in a shoe box !

    What does he charge for cleanin the K-frame .

    Not to say to be unfair to customers ,it`s just that most of the time it`s taken way down past the point it needed to be to be repaired in the first place !!
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  3. Salty1

    Salty1 Member

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    Personally I would not complain about that price, I do not feel that it is inexpensive yet in the same breath do not feel like he took advantage of you either.... by the time he sits down with your gun, gets the toold he needs, assembles, tests it and cleans it up I can easily see an hours worth of time invested in it...
     
  4. PT1911

    PT1911 Member

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    Most every profession that I am aware of that charges consumers an hourly rate charges for a minimum of 1 hour... Plumbers, electricians, mechanics, and gunsmiths... It probably only took him 15 minutes to reassemble your gun correctly (including cleaning.)

    His price seems very reasonable and a heck of a lot better than a useless bag of parts.
     
  5. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

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    You got off cheap.
     
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I do not think it out of line. He probably didn't spend an hour putting it back together but he had to deal with you coming and going and if it stayed 24 hours he had to log it in and out.

    Of course you could have gotten a manual and a rebound spring tool for less money than that.
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I would have charged you more then that.

    Since he started out with the parts in a bag, and not a working gun, he had to safety & function check every part to make sure you hadn't already screwed with it using a bastard file.

    $45 bucks is reasonable to take a working K-Frame apart, clean it, and put it back together.

    But not one that comes in the front door in a sack.

    rc
     
  8. mickeyblueyes

    mickeyblueyes Member

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    I asked a local gunsmith two receive 2 shotguns I bought at auction. He charged me $40 each thats $80. to do a 2 min back ground check ,of which he could have put 4 guns on.
    Then he had a screaming fit when I asked him to remove the spacer plug and the spring popped out. Literally screaming raving mad. My friend and I just looked at each other I apologized for causing a problem and left. What you do to others comes back to you sooner or latter.
     
  9. billybob44

    billybob44 Member

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    ^^^+1 I'm a retired GM Master Tech-When a customer used to bring in a Quadra-Jet carb dis-assembled in a box=YES=they did pay more than if they had drove the car in complete with carb. You gotta know that "Basket Case" jobs are always cost more..Bill.
     
  10. NMPOPS

    NMPOPS Member

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    Ya got off cheap. Most places that charge by the hour will charges at least a minimum of one hour.
     
  11. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    He charged you less than his one hour rate.
    He must like you because most of us charge a minimum of one hour and that is just to look at the mess, never mind putting it back together as that is gonna cost more:D
     
  12. oldbanjo

    oldbanjo Member

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    If I take it apart I can put it back together, my brother used to bring me things that he had took apart for me to reassemble. Some things I couldn't put back together. If your Gun was together when the Gunsmith looked at it, he would know a lot about it before he disassembled it. A bag full of parts may not have been in working order when you took it apart. And People will LIE.
     
  13. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    "Decided I didn't want to fool with it..." Translation: I didn't have any idea how to put the thing back together.

    Jim
     
  14. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    It was a fair price.

    This is a perfect example of the useless practice of detail stripping on a regular basis.
     
  15. Black Knight

    Black Knight Member

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    Sounds about right. Back in 2004 at an Armorers course I ran into a guy that charged $50 an hour with a 2 hour minimum. You were looking at a $100 bill from the get go with parts being extra.
     
  16. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    "Back in the day" my boat mechanic had a sign in his shop that said,

    Hourly rate: $10.00 per hour. $15.00 if you watch. $20.00 if you already worked on it.

    I'd say it was fair.
     
  17. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    John Wayne didn't specify if the cylinder sub-assembly was disassembled or not, or if the job included cleaning as well as lubrication and reassembly. Without knowing I will presume that the 'smith has invested in the correct screwdrivers, rebound slide spring tool, and other things needed to do a professional quality job. Given the provided information, I can't say if the charge was too high or not, but no matter what it is, it's a good idea to get a quote before leaving any work. I will say that over the years I have noticed that some folks believe that fix'n guns is so much fun that the 'smith should pay them, since the gun owner gave them the opportunity. :banghead:

    At least Mr. Wayne was honest - usually the bagged gun comes with a story about how someone else took it apart. :uhoh:
     
  18. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    Sounds like a fair price to me.
     
  19. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    You got in over your head and he bailed you out for cheap, don't cry about it now.
     
  20. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    I say a fair price.

    I would be pleased at that price to have the gun in working order and know it was done properly. Be happy and enjoy your revolver.
     
  21. 357 Terms

    357 Terms Member

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    Feel fortunate that he wasn't a lawyer.
     
  22. John Wayne

    John Wayne Member

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    No, translation: I don't want to order a rebound spring insertion tool that I will only use once and wait a week for it to get here.

    Actually, no. I have taken apart S&W revolvers before, the only difference being that I left the rebound spring in place because of its reputation as being difficult to install. I'm not "crying'' about the price, I want to know if this is fair or not. I have never used a gunsmith before because most around here don't know what they're doing and charge an outrageous sum. Does it make you feel better to ridicule people who ask opinions on hourly work?

    No sub-assemblies were disassembled.

    This was a used gun that I'd removed rust off of using steel wool. There were steel wool shavings in the action from where I'd removed rust off the hammer. Given that there was rust on the hammer, I wanted to make sure the internals didn't look like <deleted> too.



    I didn't pry the side plate off with a screwdriver, attempt to stone the sear with a dremel, remove the hammer block, strip out the sideplate screws, or disassemble anything that didn't need to be disassembled. I simply removed parts (actually one part) that I didn't have the tools to reassemble, and wondered whether this was a reasonable rate for someone to put it back together.

    Thank you to all who commented on whether this was a reasonable rate or not.

    To everyone who felt the need to relegate me to some kitchen table gunsmith or make unwarranted assumptions about my competence, I'd venture to guess your insecurity stems from experience.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2010
  23. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I have had gunsmiths take mercy on me before and break it down to 1/4 or 1/2 hour for something that only took them a few minutes. Maybe your guy has worked on hundreds of them and it was easy for him.

    And yes, whether it's a car, a gun, a dryer, a guitar amp, or anything else I need fixed, just because the person is an expert in their field doesn't mean they have an easy time assembling something when they didn't see how it came apart in the first place. I think it's perfectly reasonable to charge extra or refuse the job completely.
     
  24. RevolvingGarbage

    RevolvingGarbage Member

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    I can't fathom taking something apart and not being able to put it back together. Not since the age of about 12 anyway.

    Go buy a cheap air-pistol or airsoft gun and take it apart and look at it till you figure it out, you will be better for the experience.
     
  25. evan price

    evan price Member

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    I've never needed anything more than a decent pair of flat-blade screwdrivers to disassemble and reassemble a S&W K-frame. The rebound assembly goes in with the spring already in the block, set it to the trigger side first with the spring resting on the retainer pin (Notice there's slots cut in the rebound block that fit the pin perfectly), make sure the trigger strut is in the hole, then put your thumb on top of the rebound block, compress the spring inwards with a flat screwdriver and when the end of the spring clears the pin, push the block down, remove the screwdriver. Ta-da.

    Sure, a rebound spring tool would be nice but it's not required. Only concern is making sure you don't slip and then the rebound spring shoots across the room, knocks over your wife's Hummel figurine and disappears behind the bookcase. AMHIK!
     
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