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Thread: How long is too long?

  1. #1
    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    Default How long is too long?

    How long would you wait for gunsmithing work to be done before you start getting frustrated (politely- Mad)? I dropped off a pistol for some fitting work, and finishing back in February (I think, it's been so long I can't remember) to an Anchorage gunsmith. Previously, said smith did a great job, and I was pleased with the results. However, I'm wondering if nearly a year is an acceptable amount of time to keep a pistol (1911). I've called a couple of times, and stopped by in person over the last few months to "just say hi, and see how things are going." I started this about 4 months after dropping it off. The response is "not yet... I'll let you know"

    Should I be angry? Is this standard in the industry?

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    WOW what you having done to it??? Don't want to piss off people here but there are far better 1911 pistol gurus in the lower 48 I would of sent it to first... You have it back by now... One that comes to mind Gary Reeder in Arizona...

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    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    I like staying local... something about putting my guns in a box and wishing it well just doesn't sit well with me. Plus, if I can help out a local guy, I will whenever possible. The work was just fitting a new slide/sights, and Nitride coating... probably a fair amount of stoning/fitting, plus the nitriding is not under the direct control of the 'smith.

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    Member Casper50's Avatar
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    AK I've had two guns at a smith for over 2 years and he says they will be done soon. For the last 2 months I've been calling once a week every week. I'll keep it up until they are done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akheloce View Post
    I like staying local... something about putting my guns in a box and wishing it well just doesn't sit well with me. Plus, if I can help out a local guy. coating...
    In the end that's what that gunsmith did to get your gun the nitride finish... Put it in a box and shipped it... Far as I know no one does nitride finish up here all work shipped out of state.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akheloce View Post
    I like staying local... something about putting my guns in a box and wishing it well just doesn't sit well with me. Plus, if I can help out a local guy, I will whenever possible. The work was just fitting a new slide/sights, and Nitride coating... probably a fair amount of stoning/fitting, plus the nitriding is not under the direct control of the 'smith.
    So "to help out a local" you'll allow yourself to be abused? You have nothing to complain about.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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    I think once a guy decides to drop off or mail out a weapon for custom work, you are pretty much at the mercy of the person doing the work, just like the taxidermist! It's done when it's done. I bet the turn around for the send out nitride coating could be a month or two?? I have read that the best 1911 guys who do custom builds could have a few years wait so patience is the name of the game. Hopefully, the extra wait time will result in you getting back a 1911 that was worth it.

    For what it's worth, I believe Gary Reeder's son Chase is the 1911 smith, located in Flagstaff. If I had deep pockets, they would not be my first choice for 1911 work but they make top notch hunting revolvers.

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    As a general statement I'd be wary of leaving a gun too long with anyone. Gun shops / gunsmiths have a way of going out of business and/or bankrupt, dying, moving away etc. and you may have hard time getting your gun back if you ever get it at all.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    Well, as far as helping a local guy, I did it once, and learned my lesson... enough said. When I mentioned the whole shipping off in a box thing, I realize that's what he did (or will do when the fitting is done), but at least I have a live person that I can talk to, and hold accountable, as opposed to dealing over the phone... it's a one stop shop kind of thing.

    I asked the question of the forum, since if this is normal, or accepted, then I will wait respectfully. If it's out of the norm, or unexcusable, then I have a right to be mad. Just curious what others' experiences are for custom gun work.

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akheloce View Post
    Well, as far as helping a local guy, I did it once, and learned my lesson... enough said. When I mentioned the whole shipping off in a box thing, I realize that's what he did (or will do when the fitting is done), but at least I have a live person that I can talk to, and hold accountable, as opposed to dealing over the phone... it's a one stop shop kind of thing.

    I asked the question of the forum, since if this is normal, or accepted, then I will wait respectfully. If it's out of the norm, or unexcusable, then I have a right to be mad. Just curious what others' experiences are for custom gun work.
    It may not be acceptable, but for a certain segment of the gunsmithing world, it is normal. I had my gun at a well respected gunsmith in another state and after a year I walked in and took it back. I sent it elsewhere and had it finished in 6 weeks. In my view if it can't be done in 4-6 months, get your gun back, they don't know how to run a business. Talent aside, if they can't get it done in 6 months, they are taking on too much work and it borders on deception to take your gun for work.

    Like others said, there are other national shops that do great work in an expeditious manner.

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    I've had numerous rifles rebarreled and a couple "built"; add to that all manner of trigger work, refinishing, stock adjustments, tuning, etc. for many years. I've dealt with a good number of smiths by now, certainly a few dozen and I've received excellent service every time but one. No way around it, the smith in question lied about his work and his time frame. Otherwise they've gone like clockwork. For example, gunbugs recently rebarreled a rifle for me and shortened the spout on my .416 and a friends .280. His work is first class and his communication is likewise excellent. The Kid helped my BLR out and WWG refinished and slabbed a Redhawk for me. WWG had the work completed and the revolver back in my hand the same day--can't beat that--they were a little better than that on my BLR .

    My protocol is to keep everything in writing. I send letters or a work list with each project and request time frames and prices/estimates in writing from them as well. Maintaining everything in black and white keeps me or the smith from wondering what and when we agreed upon; it keeps everything friendly IME.

    FWIW, a year is not too long to wait IMO if that was agreed upon in the beginning; the problem arises when someone wants the gun "as soon as possible" or the smith promises "he'll get right on it." Personally, I'm only concerned with an accurate time frame, not the actual amount of time involved. YMMV.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    1Cor15:19, Good answer and sound advice on having everything in writing.

  13. #13

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    If you feel it is to long then I would call him up and tell him what day you will be in to pick it up. I always ask the gun smith the approximate time it will take to get my gun back, then I try to be reasonable. If I think it is to long a time I go else where or tell them I might come back later when they are not so busy. But, it is my gun and I am paying for a service, so I expect friendly and professional service in a timely manner. What ever the time frame is it should be told to you when your gun is dropped off. A gun smith is no different then any other craftsman and every other business in the world gives an approximate time on when their service is expected to be completed. If they take in so much work they are back logged then they should tell you that up front. Alaska has very few really good gun smith shops, in my opinion. So that makes it even harder for the average guy to get good quality work completed in a timely manner. Might be one of the few advantages to living in Arizona, which has many to choose from.

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