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Thread: Gunsmiths in AK?

  1. #1

    Exclamation Gunsmiths in AK?

    Can anyone recommend a good smith here in Alaska? I keep hearing Stan Jackson's name in the threads, but I can't find a number or address. Any help out there would be greatly appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max475 View Post
    Can anyone recommend a good smith here in Alaska? I keep hearing Stan Jackson's name in the threads, but I can't find a number or address. Any help out there would be greatly appreciated.
    Max475:

    Tis a smoll thang yer requestin Laddie. Try 349-3854

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    I have heard of his work as well. I have called him once sometime back and he was very cordial but his work was stacked up. It was easier for me to send it to a couple of smiths I met down stateside and still get it back before Stan could get to mine.

    Very few smiths so far that I met here in the interior are able to meet my needs the first time round. Unecessary costs and repeated work is generally what I have encountered.

    wish you well.

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    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    I noticed that Wild West Guns had a pretty active shop with 3 or 4 people working back there, not sure if they are any good though.

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    You should give Steve Untiet a call at Alaska Custom Firearms 907-351-7808. I have complete faith in his work and his prices.

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    tyrex13,
    Be careful of first impressions! Things are not always what they seem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shooter338 View Post
    tyrex13,
    Be careful of first impressions! Things are not always what they seem.
    What do you mean? From what I hear Wild West is not to bad, they just are awful proud of thier work and you pay for it. Thier attitude is a little high and mighty, but if you have the money and like that style you probably would end up with a decent product.

    For a cheapskate like me I want the best work I can get for my money. For the same price as Wild West, I can as good, if not better work elsewhere and perhaps get a few more things done.

    I have yet to use a smith in AK, but the one I used in the lower 48 was a great guy. I think the important thing is to find a smith you sort of click with. You need someone you are willing to challenge and ask questions and not have them get mad at you or make you feel like an idiot. A good smith wants to help you get what you want done, IMO. A bad smith says, "Your are an idiot, just let me do it my way."

    My idea (or want) may be offbase, but if the smith and I have a good relationship we can talk through it. The few times I have been in Wild West they have made me feel like an idiot when I ask questions. I get that enough! I don't need to pay someone to do it!!!

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    I've gotta agree with previously posted thoughts on a "good smith." The gunsmith I use back home in Montana has done a pile of work for my family and friends. I trust his work and like him as a person. To me, I don't see the sense in giving my money to someone who acts like they're doing me a favor by even talking to me. Any time I've ever called my gunsmith back home, I know I'd better have plenty of time to talk because I'll be getting a complete rundown of everything that's going on with my firearm and any recommendations to go along with that. Because of this rapport, I hesitate to look for another gunsmith up here even though it isn't cheap to send guns back and forth. Some of the better smiths are going to be spendy and you may wait a while to get things done by them, but IMO, the wait is worth it in most cases. When I send a gun to a smith, it's not one that I plan on ever parting with so I figure it's worth getting the best work money can buy.
    NRA Life Member, Prior F-16 crew chief.

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    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1911-MW View Post
    What do you mean? From what I hear Wild West is not to bad, they just are awful proud of thier work and you pay for it.
    Yup, you sure do pay for it. I had a beavertail grip safety put on a 1911 by them. When I picked it up they said, "Wow, they (the gunsmith) sure did a good job on this." They did a good job of grinding the hell out of my pistol frame, including the thumb safety pin. "That'll be $140, and by the way you need to get your frame refinished." Jerks. I've NEVER seen a 1911 where a smith had to grind the frame to fit a grip safety.

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    Default Go with stan

    Go with stan even if you have to wait a little while its worth it. He got right on my 458 Lott and I couldn't be happier with it. He is a great old guy.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I've NEVER seen a 1911 where a smith had to grind the frame to fit a grip safety.
    Not to defend W.W... but to fit a Brown or Wilson high grip safety you HAVE to grind a 1911 if it didn't come with this style from the factory. They sell a jig for this and it's a pretty brainless opperation. I can grind them by eye, but I have no interest in doing the work for hire. If the job is done well you can cover the small area of the grind with cold blue if need be.

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Andy Hawk here in Anchorage has always done a great job for me. Fast, fair, and great workmanship. 562-0881
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    The frame was ground, bare steel, for 3/8" on either side of the grip safety. The thumb safety pin was half ground away. Don't you think it might be reasonable to tell a customer that they would need to get their frame refinished before the work is done? I had a Colt Commander get a new grip safety, a beavertail, years before with no grinding on the frame. Red of Red's Gunsmithing did it when he was still in town. I wasn't expecting damage to my frame and they didn't mention it before the work and laughed it off after. Any wonder I'm pissed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338-06 View Post
    The frame was ground, bare steel, for 3/8" on either side of the grip safety. The thumb safety pin was half ground away. Don't you think it might be reasonable to tell a customer that they would need to get their frame refinished before the work is done? I had a Colt Commander get a new grip safety, a beavertail, years before with no grinding on the frame. Red of Red's Gunsmithing did it when he was still in town. I wasn't expecting damage to my frame and they didn't mention it before the work and laughed it off after. Any wonder I'm pissed?
    Another great example where communication is key. I hear you, they should have talked it over with you..... And laughing? Personally I never laugh AT a guy holding a weapon.....

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Once again..I am not appologizing for WWG. It definately sounds like they did a crappy job. I have installed a couple dozen high grip safeties and you shouldn't get anywhere near the safety pin when you are fitting one. You definately have to remove material on a mil-spec 1911 to fit a true high grip safety on one. However, there are extended grip safeties that are designed to fit without any material removal. That is what Red most likely fitted to your pistol previously.

    At a minimum WWG owes you a frame, but I wouldn't settle for less than a new pistol.

    As posted above, Andy is a good guy.

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    I gotta agree about Steve Untiet. Hes been working on my rifles for a while now. He just completed my 416rem.

    I have no complaints.

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    Default You figure it out....

    Stan is an accomplished machinist and shooter himself in addition to a gun smith. Tho not widely know, many (most?) of the gun smiths in Anchorage send much of their machine work to Stan. There is nothing more he likes than a challenge and loves doing the unusual. Needless to say he makes many of his own tools and jigs and makes his own dies for his personal guns.

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