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questions about gunsmithing

 
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  #1  
Old 12-19-2007, 12:14 PM
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questions about gunsmithing

I am curious as to what you all feel qualifies someone to be a gunsmith. What should he be able to do?
For instance is he a machinist, engraver, stock maker, barrel maker, etc...?
What should he charge an hour?
What should his mark up be on his merchandise?
What services does your favorite smith offer?
This is for an article in the gunsmiths e-magazine.

Last edited by koginam; 12-19-2007 at 12:22 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-19-2007, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
For instance is he a machinist, engraver, stock maker, barrel maker, etc...?
My smith is absolutely a first class machinist, does limited engraving, typically uses custom aftermarket stocks because they the best for the type of work he does, uses first class barrels from the best manufactureres out there.

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What should he charge an hour?
I don't really care what he charges by the hour. Usually it's an amount quoted to do a certain job or part of a job. When I say I don't care what he charges, that is because I'm looking for quality and the best work I can have done. You pay for that pure and simple. If you take the cheapest bid you will usually end up with the lowest grade work.

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What should his mark up be on his merchandise?
That's up to him and whaterver the market will handle. If I don't like his price on an item I have the option of buying it somewhere else.

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What services does your favorite smith offer?
He does everything from cleaning a gun to full blown, best in the world, customs.
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Old 12-19-2007, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
For instance is he a machinist, engraver, stock maker, barrel maker, etc...?
A gunsmith should enjoy his work first and foremost. Secondly, he should be good at it. For a long range rifle where accuracy is a premium, the gunsmith should be a very good machinist and very careful with his work. The ones I have had build me rifles will do stock work but it is the metal work that they enjoy and are good at.



Quote:
What should he charge an hour?
If you go up one the different websites, you find they all charge about the same amount. It is the quality that varies.


Quote:
What should his mark up be on his merchandise?
First he has to get a return (paid) on his time in ordering a part. This is just a part of business. It is not markup as I see it. There is no free lunch. If he makes you a totally new and custom part then you pay for his effort.



Quote:
What services does your favorite smith offer?
I have never asked for any checkering on a thousand dollar piece of walnut and I would not ask for that. I would have a stockmaker do any really fancy woodwork.


The one thing you do not ask is what is included in the price of a gun. The most valuable thing you get is knowledgeable advice. I am constantly amazed that people who have a great gunsmith available to them will ask perfect strangers for advice on what barrel, what trigger, what twist, what bases and what rings. A gunsmith puts a hundred of these things together and knows which parts work well with each other and which ones are dogs. If you don't think your gunsmith is knowledgeable then you should change.
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Old 12-19-2007, 06:18 PM
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"The one thing you do not ask is what is included in the price of a gun. The most valuable thing you get is knowledgeable advice. I am constantly amazed that people who have a great gunsmith available to them will ask perfect strangers for advice on what barrel, what trigger, what twist, what bases and what rings. A gunsmith puts a hundred of these things together and knows which parts work well with each other and which ones are dogs. If you don't think your gunsmith is knowledgeable then you should change."

Well said BB.
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