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How You Chose Your Gunsmith?

 
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  #1  
Old 07-28-2014, 04:41 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 58
How You Chose Your Gunsmith?

Hopefully this isn't too stupid of a question...I'm definitely not a stranger to firearms, but this will be my first go around with a rifle build. I've already decided on caliber, barrel, contour, stock, etc., but I need help finding the right person to do the job.

For those who have worked with great gunsmiths, how did you go about finding them? I recently moved from Logan, UT to Richmond, Virginia to attend med school, so I'm a little lost on how to go about this. Any help would be great!

Without really knowing anyone in the area, I'm having a hard time finding info "through the grapevine". I'm assuming it'd be worthwhile surfing the net, talking to others at shooting ranges/gun stores, but I'm curious to see if there are any more effective ways.

For those who might be interested, I'd like to take a Rem 700 SPS Varmint 22-250 and turn it into:

- 6.5 Creedmoor
- Bartlein 26" SS Rem Varmint Contour, 1:8 Twist
- Timney Trigger
- Manners MCS-TA Stock
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  #2  
Old 07-28-2014, 08:38 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Western PA
Posts: 183
Re: How You Chose Your Gunsmith?

Before I began precision rifle smithing I would choose a smith by customer service. Having someone that you can talk to and is willing to answer your questions is priceless. Don't get all caught up in the CNC hype and flashy web sites. Choose someone who has good references and is customer friendly. One of the best accuracy smiths alive is Gordy Gritters.
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  #3  
Old 07-28-2014, 09:34 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: North Central Valley California
Posts: 660
Re: How You Chose Your Gunsmith?

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.
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  #4  
Old 07-29-2014, 10:36 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 58
Re: How You Chose Your Gunsmith?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FearNoWind View Post
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 might be a little too ambitious, but I'm hoping that finding a gunsmith can be my way of keeping sane and it'll be a good break from studying!

I appreciate your advice and Stenger's! It sounds like I've got some work to do and better stay patient. I realize this is a process one wouldn't want to rush. I'd like to have this be a quality rifle, not something that I can have assembled quickly without attention to detail.

Thanks again for your input!
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  #5  
Old 07-29-2014, 11:44 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 243
Re: How You Chose Your Gunsmith?

There are a bunch of builders out there, which makes it very difficult for us folks who are first timers wanting a custom. With that said, develop a list based on recommendations from folks like the folks on this site, research info and narrow that selection. Once you have done this, start calling the builders and discuss your wants and needs. Through discussion and interaction, you will find out rather quickly which builder to choose. This is why I chose Dallas Lane with Lane Precision Rifles.
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  #6  
Old 07-29-2014, 11:57 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 463
Re: How You Chose Your Gunsmith?

Look around and find a good smith within driving distance. If you ever need anything for it, he'll be close by and you can go explain what's happening and have him fix it. If he loses/sales your parts and won't return your phone calls, he'll be close by to find him.....
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  #7  
Old 07-29-2014, 08:09 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 58
Re: How You Chose Your Gunsmith?

Great advice so far, I appreciate it!
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