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  #1  
Old 02-18-2014, 9:41 AM
NOTABIKER NOTABIKER is offline
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Default Gunsmiths and prompt service

I recently took my rifle to have a barrel changed [ i have the barrel ]. I was told they would get to it in about 3-4 days. I called in 8 days and was told they had 2 ahead of me and they would let me know in a few days. that was another week. i am in no big hurry and i will not say who it is because i have a feeling this is SOP in this industry. i am surprised in this day and age you can still get away with poor service. In the end if they do a good job i will accept it and move on. In my business [ auto repair ] you better have the car fixed on time, on budget and fixed properly or you will find yourself out of business fast.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:05 AM
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Lots of times they are one man shops. I've never had anything done that wasn't 3 weeks minimum. I had a barrel installed and head space checked and it was 5 months due to back-up. You kinda get in line and wait it out.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:22 AM
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AR15barrels and buellster can help u with AK stuff
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:32 AM
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I've had great service at Bain & Davis in San Gabriel.
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:03 AM
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it is a mauser 1918 kar 98a dansig. i want it right and they come highly recommended. at least 3 people work their.
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Old 02-18-2014, 1:57 PM
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It is pretty much SOP, at least around here where gunsmiths are few on the ground. I'd settle for a realistic estimate - as long as I know how long it's going to be, I won't be getting antsy. Keep me in the dark, though, or worse yet lie to me as a stock maker recently did, and I'm done with that one.
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Old 02-18-2014, 2:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOTABIKER View Post
I recently took my rifle to have a barrel changed [ i have the barrel ]. I was told they would get to it in about 3-4 days. I called in 8 days and was told they had 2 ahead of me and they would let me know in a few days. that was another week. i am in no big hurry and i will not say who it is because i have a feeling this is SOP in this industry. i am surprised in this day and age you can still get away with poor service. In the end if they do a good job i will accept it and move on. In my business [ auto repair ] you better have the car fixed on time, on budget and fixed properly or you will find yourself out of business fast.

If you find a good gunsmith then you can expect a wait because he will be busy with work. The comparison with auto repair doesn't really work because there are very few gunsmiths out there compared to auto mechanics.
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Old 02-18-2014, 4:31 PM
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Originally Posted by jonzer77 View Post
If you find a good gunsmith then you can expect a wait because he will be busy with work. The comparison with auto repair doesn't really work because there are very few gunsmiths out there compared to auto mechanics.
tell me about it i got in the wrong line of work 40 years ago. A shop on every corner today.
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Old 02-18-2014, 4:42 PM
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tell me about it i got in the wrong line of work 40 years ago. A shop on every corner today.

I should add that there may be quite a few gunsmiths out there but few that I would actually trust lol.
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Old 02-18-2014, 5:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jonzer77 View Post
If you find a good gunsmith then you can expect a wait because he will be busy with work. The comparison with auto repair doesn't really work because there are very few gunsmiths out there compared to auto mechanics.

Very, very true.
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Old 02-18-2014, 6:00 PM
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Yes, it's normal. Yes, good gunsmiths are busy. If it was urgent, you could have asked how much it would cost to get it done quicker(be prepared to start dropping benjamins like they're going out of style).

There are of course some gunsmiths that might be able to get a barrel swapped faster, but... odds are that gunsmith is extremely limited in the scope of what he does and isn't fitting your job in between 1 guy wanting front strap checkering on a 1911, and someone else needing stock repair and bedding on a rifle with 5 other totally random guns waiting for trigger jobs, and a half dozen other projects lying around waiting for parts.

A key difference between an auto shop and a gunsmith, is that odds are most people need their car ASAP and can't wait weeks/months. Spending a few extra days on someone's gun isn't going to prevent them from getting to work. Plus of course, as already mentioned, how many gunsmiths are out there compared to auto mechanics? Does custom auto work get done overnight? I'm not talking about the typical changing out a water pump, replacing a tensioner pulley, etc. stuff. If I call your shop and say I want my 2005 chevy malibu(no, I wouldn't actually drive a malibu) dropped 3 inches with a specific suspension setup and the body has to be made to look right with it, oh and put in a sunroof, and repaint the whole car with none of that sloppy pop the hood and see the old color stuff, are you getting that done overnight? Hell no. Now sure there's gonna be a budget, and it had better work. But can I demand all of that in a week and still pay normal rates? Nope.

Heck, it could be "worse". There are gunsmiths out there with wait times starting at 12 months(and more in some instances). For something as "simple" as a barrel swap, there are indeed people who can do it while you wait, without charging up the wazoo, but they aren't common. ar15barrels comes to mind, but there are probably others around too.

Last edited by Merc1138; 02-18-2014 at 6:06 PM..
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  #12  
Old 02-18-2014, 6:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonzer77 View Post
If you find a good gunsmith then you can expect a wait because he will be busy with work. The comparison with auto repair doesn't really work because there are very few gunsmiths out there compared to auto mechanics.
This^^^^
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  #13  
Old 02-19-2014, 7:58 AM
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Good replies all thanks.
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Old 02-19-2014, 5:32 PM
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And, like when dealing with a custom painter, NEVER tell them "no hurry".
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Old 02-19-2014, 5:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellayella View Post
AR15barrels and buellster can help u with AK stuff

AR15barrels spent several hours cutting the ends off an old R700 barrel and rechambering it while I waited. Pleased with the work and the price.
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Old 02-19-2014, 5:51 PM
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In business school we learn about a Bell Curve in manufacturing and/ or personal service work.

If you're good and have more than enough business you're going to be behind in orders by default.

It's rare when time and production are in sync.

It doesn't take more than one glitch to set back a page of work orders.

Be patient.
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Old 02-19-2014, 7:44 PM
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Usually I don't mind waiting. I had one stock made that took over 6 months and another that took over a year. IMO, say you were getting different sights on a gun, you could leave a deposit, the gunsmith could call you when your "slot" has opened up, and you could get your gun to him/her. That way, you'd be out your gun only a week or two, instead of two or three months.
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Old 02-19-2014, 7:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oceanbob View Post
In business school we learn about a Bell Curve in manufacturing and/ or personal service work.

If you're good and have more than enough business you're going to be behind in orders by default.

It's rare when time and production are in sync.

It doesn't take more than one glitch to set back a page of work orders.

Be patient.
Well, there's another simpler saying that also applies to most gunsmith work.

Cheap, fast, good. Pick two.

The exception being the guys who do specialized work(like ar15barrels) and can get it done while you wait(or if it's just an upper that can be mailed, still fairly quickly).
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Old 02-19-2014, 8:32 PM
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if i was told it would not get started on for a while i would not have taken it their. now that it is their i will give them a chance to finish it without bothering them to often. but if 5-6 weeks go by and nothing i will pull it out of their.
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Old 02-19-2014, 9:08 PM
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Originally Posted by NOTABIKER View Post
if i was told it would not get started on for a while i would not have taken it their. now that it is their i will give them a chance to finish it without bothering them to often. but if 5-6 weeks go by and nothing i will pull it out of their.
Any gunsmith is going to tell you the same thing unless you're willing to pay more to jump ahead of every other project(for another customer) they're working on. Unless you send it to people like those that have already been mentioned a few times.
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Old 02-20-2014, 6:05 AM
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i was told a simple barrel change would be 100 dollars. if it required machining it would be more. that was fine. if he told me for a extra fee it would not sit their for 2-3 weeks i would have gone for the extra money. i am learning that proper service is not to be expected.
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Old 02-20-2014, 6:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpyoldretiredcop View Post
It is pretty much SOP, at least around here where gunsmiths are few on the ground. I'd settle for a realistic estimate - as long as I know how long it's going to be, I won't be getting antsy. Keep me in the dark, though, or worse yet lie to me as a stock maker recently did, and I'm done with that one.
I wish more people understood the concept of backlog.

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Old 02-20-2014, 8:02 AM
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Service & turnaround time are not the same to me. I have a pistol at the 'smith right now. I expected to wait if I dropped it off & was asked to be patient. Based on the amount of business I've done, was told he'd get to it quicker than the others. I know my gun will be "tuned" & tested as he always does. 2 things about the quality 'smiths, they don't advertise & they're very busy!
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Old 02-20-2014, 8:05 AM
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Originally Posted by NOTABIKER View Post
i was told a simple barrel change would be 100 dollars. if it required machining it would be more. that was fine. if he told me for a extra fee it would not sit their for 2-3 weeks i would have gone for the extra money. i am learning that proper service is not to be expected.
But you didn't ask how much it would cost to have it done immediately. Why would a gunsmith want to tell you "oh sure, that'll be $100. but if you want it done as a rush job it'll be $500"? If they had everyone paying for the simpler stuff to be done ahead of the more complicated projects, then they'd never get the more complicated projects done for people who went to them first.
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Old 02-20-2014, 9:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navin r View Post
I've had great service at Bain & Davis in San Gabriel.
I wouldn't consider them "prompt" though.

Took over for them to install new sights on my Glock.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:15 PM
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Well; Bain and Davis did some work for me same day, told me to come back a few hours later and it was done. I agree Randall at AR15 barrels is also great.
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