If you're attending medical school where do you find the time to work on finding a gunsmith in an unfamiliar area? You must certainly enjoy enormous challenges.
I choose a gunsmith first by spending time at shooting ranges and talking with the best, obsessive, experienced shooters I can connect with who are shooting custom rifles. I try to befriend them and make a close examination of their equipment and their targets (for the longest yardage available and the shortest - i.e. benchrest shooters). I get the information they will share about local and, where applicable, "mail order" gunsmith services. Most often they'll let me handle, even take a few shots with their rifle. Sometimes that takes me to a local gunsmith, sometimes it's worth the trouble to ship out of state.
If I can I visit the gunsmiths that were recommended. I'm interested in friendly service but I'll accept a cantankerous old coot who does a masterful job over a nice guy who does sloppy work any day.
I've known Mel Doyle, St. Maries, Idaho, for more years than I can remember. Clear back when he was in California. He is my "go to" guy for handguns. But I have a local guy who builds my rifles because he's only ten miles away and builds the rifle, develops the best load, and hands it all back to me with 100 yard bug whole guarantees: and his guarantee has never failed.
I have a great woman, fantastic kids, a warm place to sleep and an accurate rifle. Life is good ..............
Hunter Safety Instructor - California Hunter Safety Meritorious Service 1971 - 1972. Rifle/Pistol Marksmanship Instructor - NRA Life Member
American rifleman's triad - God, guts and guns. It built America and it'll preserve America. Abandon one and you lose them all.
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.