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How to handle problems with gunsmith?

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Old 10-31-2013, 11:54 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 26
How to handle problems with gunsmith?

I have a Win Mod 70 in a 264 win mag. I am trying to get the gun ready for an upcoming Elk hunt that starts Nov 20th. I was at the range testing some loads and could not get the gun to shoot better than 2.5-3". After talking with my dad, we determined that the gun has anywhere between 600-1000 rounds through it( Bought new in 1969 and used regularly for deer). I began to think that the barrel might have finally worn out on me. I called around town and found a local gunsmith that had a borescope to check it out. He called me a little later and he said the throat was eroded about 1/2" and had some scratches up to around 1.5" into the bore. Said it had copper from the scratches. Suggested that we lapp the barrel to smooth the scratches and rough spots and pillar bed the action. I asked him if this would help and he said it should make a difference. I told him I needed the gun back Thursday (today) so I could finish getting it ready for my hunt. I arrive to pick the gun up today and find out that the rear receiver bolt had seized into the receiver and had to be drilled out and removed with vise grips. I not too happy. I pay and bring the gun home and make some calls and find a new bolt. After I get the bolt and go to install it, I take a flashlight and shine it down the freshly polished bore to look at the job. I see round rings about 1/4" from the muzzle from something spinning and it looks like corrosion by a lot of the rifling. Plus when I went to install the trigger guard onto the gun with the new screw the trigger guard did not sit flush on the stock and rocks due to a high spot created with from the bedding of the pillars. I'm not happy at all now. I have an appointment in the morning to discuss this with the smith and how to fix it.

SO to my question: How should I go about handling this?

I obviously want my money back for the work the work that he did to my gun, I am pretty sure the barrel is toast now.

I am also thinking he should do something as far as getting me a new barrel. I am definitely not going to have him put the barrel on, but I think he should at least get me a new barrel so that I can have it installed by a competent gunsmith the right way.

Does anyone have any opinions on this or gone through something similar to this.


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Old 11-01-2013, 05:03 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,093
Re: How to handle problems with gunsmith?

Walk softly and carry a big stick.

U shudda joined her sooner or asked here first. Would have saved you a ton of anguish.

I wish you well.
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
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Old 11-01-2013, 05:33 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 2,267
Re: How to handle problems with gunsmith?

If your barrel is that far gone, pillar bedding and lapping will not help you much. The issue with the trigger guard not sitting flush in the inlet is probably because he did not install the proper length pillars, or did not mill them correctly after the bedding.

"Character is who you are when nobody is watching"
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:33 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Watertown, SD
Posts: 322
Re: How to handle problems with gunsmith?

Sounds like shotty gunsmith if you could even call him that. Did he damage your barrel? Maybe, but that might be hard to prove. You can say that he did not do that work that you paid for and should be able to get all that money back. I would try for that and if you get that back you would be pretty lucky. Some crappy smiths think they are god and their work is the best. I would say he has no clue on what he is doing by having to long of pillars and getting the bolt stuck. I would look at finding another rifle because you won't get that straightened out before your hunt.
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:45 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Fort Morgan, Colorado
Posts: 327
Re: How to handle problems with gunsmith?

Ditto on what sinarms posted. I think you should try to get a refund on what you paid this hack to do, but quite honestly I don't think any amount of tweaking could have made the Win shoot well. If you can get a refund, put the money towards a new rifle and save the old Win for a custom gun build in the future. Most of the over the counter rifles on the market shoot better than most shooters since the advent of CNC machining and therefore I don't think you will be hard pressed to find one that would work for you. I consider the Ruger American rifles to be the best bang for the buck these days. The American has a receiver machine from a steel billet and v-block action bedding. I have witnessed three shoots touching at 200 yds from one chambered in 30/06 with my own hand load recipe.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:25 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 26
Re: How to handle problems with gunsmith?

Thanks for all the replies. After I originally dropped the gun off for him to look at it, I came home and did a little research. I kind of think that the reason for some of my accuracy woes is due to me using the long 140 gr Accubond and my barrel having a 1 in 9" twist and not being able to stabilize the bullet. From what I found, to stabilize those bullets most people recommend a 1 n 8" twist barrel.

On the trigger guard problem. It looks like the rear pillar might be a little long and some of the bedding compound is creating a high spot. It looks like he should have used bedding compound under the whole trigger guard to make sure it is all the same level.

Thanks again for the help.

Looks like I am probably going to go down and order a 338-378 Weatherby, unless there is a reason I should stay away from that gun too.

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Old 11-02-2013, 01:02 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 26
Pictures of my barrel

Here are some pictures of the inside of my barrel.

I talked to the gunsmith. I was told I was SOL.

SO how bad is it? Or am I overreacting.

I am going to go out tomorrow and shoot it and see what it does.


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