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Big_Country

How long is too long for a gunsmith??

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Posted (edited)

I understand we cannot speak ill of vendors or gunsmiths. But, what is reasonable? I sent 3 shotguns to a Top Named 97 Specialist based on previous recommendations on the forum. When I first talked with him, he said as soon as we receive them we will disassembled them send you a detailed breakdown with a cost estimate. Six months later, he said he had been real busy and would get to them very soon. At 13 months I got the quote on the first one. At 14 months I received one back and was told the other two would follow soon and things had been delayed and that this was not normal. At 16 months I asked about the status and received a 1 line response saying “working on it”. At 21 months I sent another email and received no response. Now we are approaching the 2 year mark. 

 

 I liked the work performed on the first one, but thought it had taken longer than normal. Is this normal? Am I just being impatient?

 

 I don’t think so. I think a Man should be as good as his word. I think a vendor should stand behind his reputation. I think that a Man should tell the truth. If it’s going to be 2 years then tell me and let me decide if I want to wait or go somewhere else. I understand gunsmiths are busy. The other 75 or more gunsmiths I’ve dealt with over the years I’ve only had to wait a month or two. Most are honest, hard working and will go out of their way to make sure the customer is satisfied. I do not feel that the way this gunsmith is doing is the Cowboy Way, and I do not think it is the SASS way. 

 

I have not mentioned any names and not used any bad language, I have expressed my opinion. I also think like others on the Forum have stated that we need somewhere that we can post vendor feedback and ratings so that others will not be mislead.  

 

Thanks for reading

BC

Edited by Big_Country
Removed State
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Your a patient man I would have told him to send me my guns back and took my business elsewhere. 

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On your point, it's too long.

 

Regarding you not mentioning names...well...you were far from pure. If you were, you'd had left out his/her location.

 

Let's be honest now.

 

;)

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way longer than my patience curve allows! 

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Yup, way to long, that is no way to do business. For him to not stay in contact with you when the work was taking so long is unforgiveable. Hope you got your guns back and yeah I would avoid him and tell others to also.  SCJ

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Phantom I agree, I Should not have included a state. I have removed it.  I know several gunsmiths in that state. I think he is a good gunsmith. I’m not doubting his abilities. Just the timeline and promises. If I crossed the line then the moderator can delete the post. 

 

BC

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Your a patient man, Big Country.

 

"and thats about all I gotta say bout that".

 

..........Widder

 

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That’s crazy long to me. I would be upset. 

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Posted (edited)

I had a gunsmith hold onto some pocket pistols for over a year. I finally just told him to ship them back. One came back with a broken firing pin. I fully understand that things like that happen, but he should have at least told me. 

 

In your case, way too long, unless he told you up front it may be that long. 

 

And naming a state does not name the ‘smith.  I’m guessing every state in the union has several 

Edited by Hoss

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Posted (edited)

I think you’re right on both counts. 1 year is too long to wait and 2 years is way out of line. I also agree that we need a forum to provide feedback (respectfully). While shooting at FL State one of our posse members had real issues with gun(s). When they spoke to the smith the response was ‘I thought you might have problems.’ What? Then why send the guns if they’re not ready?

 

For markets to operate properly consumers need to be informed.

Edited by Captain Bill Burt
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Posted (edited)

And this is why I do all my own work. There's something going on with this guy and he should have stepped up the communication.

Edited by Son of the Midnight Star
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Way too long. I try to turn thing around as quick as possible. Usually waiting on or finding parts is what slows thing down, but I communicate that to the customer. I have had one gun in the shop since January because of a back-ordered part.

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Communication is key.  And if you as a service provider fail to deliver on an agreed upon date (your word), the provider should offer you something for your patience (free shipping, reduced rate on services/next services, and extra high breakage part, etc.) as a mea culpa... 

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Just the simple fact of storing customer’s guns that long is no way to run a business and neither is such poor communication. The time that he quoted you, plus a small grace period, is the appropriate length of time for him to take. Anything beyond that should come with good communication to explain why and a clearly revised timeline. In my personal business experience (I’m not a gunsmith) I’ve learned that the best way to deal with bad news is to stay on top of it by being forthcoming about it. Not only is honesty the best policy in general it’s the best policy in business. It all comes back to setting expectations (and occasionally resetting them) and ultimately delivering on them, two actions that the vendor is in complete control of.

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    I built my first house in 4 months...by myself for the most part. Kinda puts it in comparison huh.

 

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I agree 100%, if you tell me two years up front I can decide if I want to wait or find someone else. If you have health or other issues and tell me i’m patient and will wait a realistic amount of time. If you don’t tell me anything or tell me one thing and keep moving it out I do not think that is right. 

 

After sending another email and posting this, I received an email stating that he thought he had emailed me and that both of my 97’s are on the bench and one is almost ready to test fire.

 

As I said earlier, he does great work, but needs to communicate and set true expectations.

 

Thanks to all of those have read and contributed

 

BC

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I waited almost a year to get a gun back from a well known and reputable gunsmith. Fortunately it was not a main match gun but it was to be a backup. However the year certainly drug on and I was getting rather apprehensive. When I did receive it back it was in person at a cowboy match with an apology for the timetable, a reasonable price, and an outstanding finished product. In my case the wait was worth it. Two years however does seem a bit extreme to me.  And I agree with the sentiment that communication is key.

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It's hard for me to wait for a quoted timeline when it comes to getting a gun worked on.  Having to wait longer with no explanation would aggravate the heck out of me.

 

How long is too long?  Longer than quoted by the gunsmith.  If they are going to take longer a simple email/phonecall goes a long way.  

 

I have a rifle at a gunsmith now, and I am antsy to get it, but I know it will be another 2 months likely.  I was told that going in.

 

But one thing I know for sure is when you are quoted a couple of months and it ends up being a couple of weeks, it's like winning the lottery.  :D

 

Totes

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Posted (edited)

I'm fine with a year wait if that is what I am told up front.  One of my favorite smiths does great work, is very busy, and takes a while (as in 12-18months) to return the guns, but I knew all that up front and communicate with him regularly.  I will say if the email is your only attempt to communicate with this particular gunsmith I would advise calling and speaking directly with him.   Stuff happens and I like to give people the benefit of the doubt.  That being said two years is too long and is not a reasonable turn around time.  It would be fair to demand them back along with any funds you might have provided up front.

Edited by July Smith

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The times that I called I was told that he did not know why it had been so long and that he would call me back with and update. The return call did not happen. 

 

Soon afterwards when calling the message on the answering machine says to email that they are no longer accepting calls.

 

BC

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I'd politely but firmly request my guns and any funds back.

 

There are other smiths that work on 97s.

 

I sent my 1887 off to a well known and highly recommended 87 smith who quoted me a 30-day turn around time.  At the two month mark I requested an update, I received a prompt reply with a list of reasons that all boiled down to "no not yet."  I kept up this pattern of touching bases every 30-days until I was told he had retired and the gun would actually be worked on by a smith who had trained under the smith I had originally hired to work on my shotgun.  When I contacted the new smith I was told no timeframe could be provided on when my shotgun would be returned.   I requested my guns and funds returned when no timeframe could be provided.  In the end, my 87 was returned within one week and the action work was done rather than refunding my money.  I was satisfied with the work on the shotgun and will recommend this new smith to anybody needing action work on their 87s.

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Communications gentlemen communications.. :huh:

If I was told 2 years.. I'd be looking elsewhere..

If I was told 2-3 months and I had quality communications with

the gunsmith saying it's gonna be longer.. 

I could handle that..

But my  questions would be:

Why? and how much longer?

Reasonable answers.. I'd think I could accept..

An answer that "I over booked" I'd tend to have a problem with..

 

Rance ;)

Thinkin' a man's word is about all he's got in his control..

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At this amount of time in-

Mail a registered letter, giving him 30 days to return your property.

If the property is not returned, law enforcement will be contacted including BATFE.

 

Good Luck-

OLG

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Find a competent gunsmith within driving distance.

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In the words of Danny Glover's character in Silverado "That ain't right"

 

Imis

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That is excessive.  I would have wanted my property back.  I also wouldn't send my gun to sit with someone if they have no intention to look at them for 6 months.  I've run across this a few times and went elsewhere.  You have some serious patience waiting this long!

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Showed no respect for you, excessive amount of time. Have the guns returned to you and contact another gunsmith. There are plenty of decent ones.

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I have two custom hats on order with the same hatmaker. Each hat is a few hundred dollars. 

 

I have been waiting for 11 years. I'm never going to see those hats.

 

Not a gunsmith, I know. But I feel the pain.

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That's way too long.

 

One time, I called about action work on a pair of guns in July, asked if they'd be done by Oct for a match I wanted to use them in.  Was told 5 weeks.  Got them the following May.

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2 hours ago, Jess Nicktem, SASS #47284 said:

I have two custom hats on order with the same hatmaker. Each hat is a few hundred dollars. 

 

I have been waiting for 11 years. I'm never going to see those hats.

 

Not a gunsmith, I know. But I feel the pain.

You've been waiting for hats since you were 12?

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In two years anyone who can operate a can opener could probably learn to slick up a 97. 

 

I'm convinced many gunsmiths work are self employed because they couldn't possibly work for anyone.

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8 hours ago, Big_Country said:

I agree 100%, if you tell me two years up front I can decide if I want to wait or find someone else. If you have health or other issues and tell me i’m patient and will wait a realistic amount of time. If you don’t tell me anything or tell me one thing and keep moving it out I do not think that is right. 

 

After sending another email and posting this, I received an email stating that he thought he had emailed me and that both of my 97’s are on the bench and one is almost ready to test fire.

 

As I said earlier, he does great work, but needs to communicate and set true expectations.

 

Thanks to all of those have read and contributed

 

BC

sometimes the squeaky wheel strategy  does work. Good for you.:FlagAm:

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9 hours ago, Big_Country said:

I agree 100%, if you tell me two years up front I can decide if I want to wait or find someone else. If you have health or other issues and tell me i’m patient and will wait a realistic amount of time. If you don’t tell me anything or tell me one thing and keep moving it out I do not think that is right. 

 

After sending another email and posting this, I received an email stating that he thought he had emailed me and that both of my 97’s are on the bench and one is almost ready to test fire.

 

As I said earlier, he does great work, but needs to communicate and set true expectations.

 

Thanks to all of those have read and contributed

 

BC

Did you get any ETA?:huh:

Ask him for a picture of these guns 'on the bench'.

You should, after this amount of time, have had your $$$$ refunded and the work done at N/C..........

IMHO-Don't hold your breath.-_-

OLG

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I did not ask for pictures. I have given him this much time I will see if he follows through with “almost done and ready to test fire” or if it continues to drag, I will take the other offered advice and follow up with a certified letter.

 

I see from all of the other posts that I am not the only one that has experienced this type of issue. As SASS is our organization I would think they would want this type of information shared to help prevent it from occurring. 

 

Thanks

BC

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