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Sign at the gunsmith

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Arp32, Jan 24, 2013.

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  1. Arp32

    Arp32 Member

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    Picked up a couple of revolvers at the gunsmith this afternoon and noticed a little tidbit on the chalkboard where he posts the current turnaround times:

    "No work performed on short 1911s - They're silly"
     
  2. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    Silly being defined as "Nightmare to work on". Sawed off 1911 looing pistols aren't a 1911 by any stretch. The innards are redesigned completely to function in a barrrel length shorter than about four inches. Timing is important in a 1911 and with the short pistols in vogue today the timing is either right from the factory or darn near impossible to correct. There is a reason 4.25" is the accepted "short" barrel length.
     
  3. ku4hx

    ku4hx Member

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    So they post a sign and turn away business. In today's economy that's just not a good thing to do. The sign's real message is they lack the expertise to work on them. Which would be only part of their message to me.
     
  4. w9trb

    w9trb Member

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    The gunsmith seems to know his limitations.
     
  5. 2wheels

    2wheels Member

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    Shorty 1911s are a controversial subject amongst 1911 fans, a lot of people refuse to consider owning any 1911 under 4.25" so I'm not surprised there are gunsmiths not willing to work on them.

    I like my 3" Colt, but they'll always have a bad reputation compared to their bigger brothers.
     
  6. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I dont't know for sure but I think turning away prospective customers is silly too. Sounds like they could also be perceived as lacking in some expertise in regards to shortened M1911's.
     
  7. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    They probably DO lack expertise in shortened pistols that claim to be a 1911. But the gunsmith is honest with himself and his customers so doesn't want to take them on. Biting off more than you can chew, screwing something up and having to replace a pistol that you probably couldn't have fixed anyway costs a lot more money than saying "No". in the first place.
     
  8. PabloJ

    PabloJ Member

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    Today's economy has little bearing on gun-smithing service turning out good work. Have you gone to gun show or gun shop recently? Taking on project that can't be satisfactorily completed is not good business practice.
     
  9. RogersPrecision

    RogersPrecision Member

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    A wise man!
    Nelson Ford.
    He's one of The Very Best.
    30 years at the same location.
    He has plenty of work.
    No need to take on potential problems.
     
  10. Arp32

    Arp32 Member

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    Haha, I didn't want to call him out by name, but clearly I'm not the only one to read the chalkboard!

    He does excellent work and always has a backlog of orders. When you're good, you can afford to only take the work you want.
     
  11. joed

    joed Member

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    Then you should go out and learn how to work on these 1911's. Think of all the money you'd make.
     
  12. Jenrick

    Jenrick Member

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    You don't make your money as a gun smith doing custom work, trigger jobs, engraving, etc. You make money bore sighting rifles, drilling and tapping receivers for scope mounts, mounting butt pads, recrowning barrels, etc. The boring and easy jobs, that you buy tools for once, and use them ever. Bore sighting a rifle takes 10 minutes and makes you $35 dollars. Recrowning a barrel runs an hour of shop time at $60-$80 and hour, and really only takes you 20 minutes. The other stuff is fun, challenging, what you became a smith to do. They however do not make money. At best, they don't cost you any money.

    -Jenrick
     
  13. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Member

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    "Then you should go out and learn how to work on these 1911's. Think of all the money you'd make. "

    Somethings arent worth the money for the irritation.
     
  14. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    I've found that many well respected 1911 smiths won't work on ~3" guns. Having seen their work and knowing of their skill and knowledge, I can assure you that it isn't a lack of expertise.

    Most top tier 1911 guys guarantee their work for life. When they encounter a gun that has demonstrated reliability issues and where the physics involved were determined more by Marketing than Engineering, it would be silly to set themselves up for failure. They live my the reputation they have built over a lifetime, why should they tarnish it by working on a problematic platform?


    This is basically what it comes down to...it isn't worth whatever potential business it might bring in...and any bad press when customers don't get what they expected
     
  15. WoodchuckAssassin

    WoodchuckAssassin Member

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    Most of the guns I've bought, and the work I've had done to the ones I currently own, started out with a conversation over something else. Even IF they don't work on 1911's, if someone went there looking for work to be done on a 1911...there's a good chance that they would get into some kind of long winded conversation that would veer waaaaaaay off topic, and the gunsmith would probably be working on another one of the costomer's guns by the end of the week.

    It's okay - despite what many, including myself, might say - to not like 1911 pistols...but the fact of the matter is, it's bad for business :D
     
  16. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    When you are good, and have more work than you can handle, it is just good business to turn away work you do not want.
     
  17. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    My first three choices to build a 1911 won't touch a 3" one...and they are backed up 5 years on pending work
     
  18. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    I like the sign. it's a position clearly not open to debate.

    I know from experience that one of the few ways to be successful with this is to get the customer to understand you'll perform the build on the agreement that only specified ammo (may be more than one choice) be fired and every time I touch the gun after completion, if it runs fine for me on that ammo in a test fire, the billing clock starts running with the test fire.

    And.... some will still lie. The most egregious example was a fella bringing a gun back, swearing up and down that the listed ammo only was fired then I go on to find the tell-tale residue of steel cased pooh ammo having been tried. A clean, a test fire and a bill followed.

    Many, many folk just don't wanna mess with persickety architecture in a firearm and I totally get that.
     
  19. chris in va

    chris in va Member

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    I'm self employed and there are projects I simply won't touch. Oh sure I can learn how, but why when there's plenty of other work I could be doing.
     
  20. Resto Guy

    Resto Guy Member

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    I own a car restoration business. I don't do tractors.
     
  21. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    And probably certain cars that are more trouble than they're worth.

    I run a normal auto repair facility, and there are certain jobs on certain cars I just don't do. Not because I can't, but because it's not profitable.
     
  22. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    Many gunsmiths turn away work that is so frustrating and/or time consuming that it can never pay off. The most common example is those old top break revolvers, but there are other guns that fall into the same category. It doesn't pay a gunsmith to spend hours of his time to work on a gun that is worth $50 at best, or to go nuts trying to make a pistol work when its whole design is wrong.

    Jim
     
  23. bainter1212

    bainter1212 Member

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    I service appliances for a living, and yes there are some things its just not worth my time to do. There are other jobs I will do but I make clear to the customer that I won't guarantee anything after the job is done. There are other things I give very large estimates for, that have nothing to do with labor time, just because I know the job will be difficult in the extreme. Time is money and I am always busy.
    I understand this smith 100%.
     
  24. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    This reminds me of a friend who bought a Bang & Olufsen system only to find out that no one would work on them. Even the local dealer (not a certified repair ) would only work on it if you bought it from them

    Many folks in the firearms trade specialize. I once asked Stan Chen why he only worked on Colt 1911s for his custom builds...expecting something about high quality...and was a bit surprise to hear him say it was because he already knew all the things to correct. He didn't have to find them on each different platform and reset his machines for them. (He doesn't work on 3" Colts either)
     
  25. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I kinda agree with the second part of the sign.
     
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