Odd experience with gunsmith today... or am I being a crybaby ?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by MIL-DOT, Dec 16, 2010.

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  1. danprkr

    danprkr Member

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    Amen brother.
     
  2. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Mocking occasioned by flippancy.
     
  3. stanger04

    stanger04 Member

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    Here's the question I just thought of and mean no disrespect at all but if you are around a gunsmith a lot that says one of 2 things.

    1- Have a lot of guns modified or
    2- Mess up a lot of guns

    We have a guy that comes in our shop at least 6x a year, he'll buy a nice gun go home get the file out and mess the gun up. Then he wants to trade it in and gets mad cause he doesn't get anything for it.

    My favorite's though are the guys that buy scopes and have me mount them, then come back saying it isn't right and want their money back. I'm sorry but I'm only gonna mount it straight and get it on the paper, it's the owners job to fine tune it. A lot of you are gonna say duh, that's common sense but you would be really surprised at how little there really is in the world.
     
  4. jdowney

    jdowney Member

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    Isn't it obvious, MIL-DOT? You're supposed to be so grateful that the smith will even deign to look at your gun that you just pay the man and don't waste his valuable time with questions!

    Shops like this just rub me the wrong way, customer service is far more important than the owner polishing his ego at your expense. I bet you won't be going back in there and buying guns or accessories from him, will you? If the guy had politely answered your question, you'd be more than happy to spend money there again. Very simple lesson in how to not run a business.
     
  5. -v-

    -v- Member

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    I work in one of the most customer-service intensive jobs: Healthcare, and I have to deal with people who feel exponentially more self-entitled and grouchier then any of the worst gunshop customers. Yet, I never hesitate to stop and explain in as much detail as the customer (re: patient) wants what I am doing, and why. Do I worried about them learning my trade secret? No. They are paying me for my skills and ability to apply knowledge. Most healthcare knowledge is available in 5 minutes with google, or at a library. What I'm paid for is my ability to do it, not just know it. Likewise, when we bill, we invoice everything down to anti-microbial wipes used, gloves, and hand sanitizer.

    Likewise, I feel like any competent gunsmith should be more then willing to sit down and explain what he did, and provide an accurate invoice. When I pay a smith to do something, I am not paying for the knowledge of how to do it, I am paying for his skills and ability to do "it".

    So, as others have said, if he's not willing to explain what he did, chances are he doesn't really know what he is doing. The other smith's comments lend support to this.

    Here's a better question: How many of you all would tolerate the same behavior from a contractor doing work on your house or a mechanic doing work on your car? Very few if any, would be my guess.
     
  6. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    That did strike me as a bit odd also.

    My feeling is that if you feel to need to bother a gunsmith that often, you don't trust him enough to be doing business with him. I have a gunsmith who, after having my 1911 for over two years, called me to tell me it would be done in about a week or two...as soon as it got back from the re-finishers. That was three months before he called me again to discuss a change in finish...I just told him to do whatever he felt most comfortable with. I just got a text from him today that it turned out beautifully and he wants to keep it...this is two weeks since the last call. I'm not worried and I've never called him since I handed the gun over to him...but then I trust him
     
  7. Freedom_fighter_in_IL

    Freedom_fighter_in_IL Member

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    uhhhhhh 9mmepiphany, over 2 years? Id have someones head on a plate there buddy.
     
  8. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    I guess it is just a different expectation for the work involved...and a personal level of trust in his character

    I basically volunteered a Colt 1991 to an up-n-coming 1911 talent to hone his skills on. Other than basic intended use of the gun, I didn't specify any feature...I wanted to see his personal style develop. In that time he has learned to re-line the Colt, developed his own rear sight and his own style of texture for the frontstrap...I haven't even seen a picture of it yet.

    I am rather proud that pictures of it will be used in an up coming book about 1911 modifications for the home DIYer without a lot of shop machines
     
  9. Avenger29

    Avenger29 Member

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    Local Gunsmiths in my area fall into two categories...those who can't do much, but will admit it, be upfront about it, and won't take on a job where they don't know what they are doing. The other type doesn't have a clue of what they are doing and you shouldn't trust them to put together a piece of furniture from Ikea, much less work on something as complicated as a Glock, but they are willing to screw up your gun with their mad skillz...

    That's the reason I seek out good 'smiths who are very reputable and ship my guns out...the few guns I own that really require a 'smith (I pretty much end up doing my own work on my AR, S&W M&P pistol, and Ruger 10/22 and 22/45 Mk III)
     
  10. stanger04

    stanger04 Member

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    If you drop a gun off with a good gunsmith don't expect a turn around of 2 or 3 days, most gunsmiths that are good are backed up at least a year. We do stuff first come first serve. Now if it is late in the day and can knock something out pretty fast we will before starting a larger job but by no means is one person better than another.

    The more I hear this the more I start to wonder if the gunsmith was rode and rode and finally had enough.

    Obiviously the smith is somewhat alright he did the Siaga job which took longer than he thought but agreed to a price and stayed with it but then the guy is mad when he wants another one done but it costs more.

    I don't know either person but it is starting to sound like the OP might have brought some of this on himself and the smith just wanted him gone. I've had a few like that and to be honest I don't care if they ever come back. They argue about the time it takes to get to their gun, get mad about the cost, and then try to find something wrong just to get a discount. I had a guy get mad because I told him I could get his gun to him in maybe a week it was a 1911, when I opened the gun up he was missing parts, I call him says no it wasn't and that I lost them, on top of that his frame was cracked, of course my fault too. I called the guy the same day he brought the gun in, I opened it up just to see if I needed to order parts. Some people will do what ever they can to get something for nothing.
     
  11. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    I left an AR that wouldn't work with my 20" upper, and two Savages to have target triggers installed with Scott Medesha in Arizona. He took FOREVER, but the work was done professionally, as one would expect from one of the best gunsmiths and custom AR makers in the country. He admitted that he couldn't remember what had been wrong with the AR, but it works now. Of course he wasn't a Richard, either and charged a fair price.
     
  12. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

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    I figured this thread would have died a natural death by now :D.
    Anyway.....back to the Saiga Saga....as I recall, he told me to expect 10 days or two weeks, but had it done a little earlier. The 2nd Saiga, he also gave me a couple-week turn around time. When I called, I went above and beyond in trying to NOT be a pushy customer, just kinda checking in around the expected finish time. He would always say something about "being really busy,gimme another week or so", stuff like that. So I'd call back and always say something like, "hey bro, not trying to sweat you or anything,just wondering how things are going". Seriously,I was NOT busting this guys balls or crawling up his wazoo. He strung me along for weeks until it was clear something else was up here,and even when he told me he had no intention of completeing the job, I didn't get all pissy, I still tried to keep the relationship amicable. I know I said something like, " no worries,dude, no hard feelings, I'll swing by sometime soon and pick it up".
    A year or so later, when I called about the FFL tranfer for the SP101, he couldn't have been nicer, the same when I picked it up. He was also fine when I brought this M28 by, and even during the exchange refered to in this thread, there wasn't really any ugliness in the air, just my personal discontent at having my request twice refused. I would bet that if he read this thread, he'd be scratching his head.
     
  13. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    It sounds like you didn't make your request clearly/seriously at the time and developed buyer's remorse, compounded by preexisting tension from the prior interactions. If you don't want to conduct business with him again, just don't...you don't need validation of you feelings from other people.

    It is your money to spend as you choose, why waste the effort to rationalize the decision?
     
  14. stanger04

    stanger04 Member

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    Sometimes you just catch people on a bad day, and/or maybe he didn't remember what he did if he is busy a lot. Who knows things happen sometimes, I've said things to people not meaning anything by it but it just comes out wrong.
     
  15. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Member

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    In all honesty, I would have said to the gunsmith:

    "I don't want a lesson, I just want to know what parts & labor I am paying for."

    I side with the majority opinion that gunsmith is himself "out of whack" as he would say.
     
  16. stanger04

    stanger04 Member

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    I have actually told a customer their gun was out of whack, told them I took it apart everything looked great from inspection. I shot it and works fine and then proceeded to tell them I have no idea why it did what it did, they were happy it was working and the gun hasn't had any more problems but he was a little irritated when he still had to pay me. Now I also told him it is happened again I would fix it for free, I would only charge if for some unforeseen reason I needed to order parts.

    The smith if that was the case should have at least said something of that nature I agree.
     
  17. Al LaVodka

    Al LaVodka member

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    Why be on pins and needles? <removed by moderator> He takes this as weakness. To screw with you.

    You're not getting better service. Take the opposite tack!!! Be pushy, make demands, get ETA's, ask him what he thinks is wrong, ask him if he has experience fixing such problems, get receipts, talk about your friends, about going elsewhere and do so the moment he decides to screw with you again in front of any and all of his friends or other clients...

    I was serving legal notice to a podiatry group when I was a kid. I was told to wait but the Doctors would not actually meet with me. I finally told them I was going to start reading the detailed complaints of litigation against them OUT LOUD in that full waiting room. After about two minutes of reading a Dr. finally found time...

    Al
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  18. RandomPerson

    RandomPerson Member

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    I'd vote with my feet and use my gun dollars elsewhere. That's just me though.
     
  19. Cards81fan

    Cards81fan Member

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    If he doesn't tell me what or how he fixed what I requested to be repaired, I would question his competence. Period.
     
  20. trig1986

    trig1986 Member

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    cocky gunsmith

    :banghead:Weeeeel. First thing he did when you seen him for the first time was size you up. If you don't look like you will stand up for yourself you will be taken advantage of in this life,but if you prove otherwise you might get somewhere(trig1986). You should have told him you weren't paying for the repair until you know what the problem was. He was definetly hiding something if he charged a large amount of loot for no explaination. If you signed papers allowing him to pretty much make his own price then you screwed yourself. You can't take anyones word these days because its human nature to lie, and he wanted your money anyway.who doesn't?
     
  21. Bubbles

    Bubbles Member

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    Hey, if the customer's paying our shop rate for our time, and is willing to provide the ammo he's planning to use with the rifle, we'll take it to the range and zero it. ;)
     
  22. stanger04

    stanger04 Member

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    you can zero it for yourself but the customer will still most likely shoot different than you, I can zero my rifle but it is off for my brother. Also and customers know this, when we mount scopes and that is the only time I sight them in we use a bore sighter, we don't take the gun to a range.
     
  23. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    Maybe you could wear a sign next time you go into the store that says "If you can read this sign you have just been given a lesson in how to be a SA. Lessons cost $XXX."
     
  24. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    I've dealt with good and bad.

    The bad will never see my business again.

    The good will get my money (repeatedly) and my recommendation, every opportunity I get.

    To wit: do you need a good 1911 smith in Texas? Try Ken Crawley www.crawleycustom.com
     
  25. Hatterasguy

    Hatterasguy Member

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    I would be a little annoyed, you paid for something...what was it?

    OTOH I have never had a good experience with a smith, that's why I buy what I can new and fix the rest myself. In my experience they are a strange group of people.
     
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