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Questions to ask a new smith.

 
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  #1  
Old 02-28-2012, 05:59 PM
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Questions to ask a new smith.

While interviewing smiths, what questions should I be asking? Here is a list of what Iíve thought of so far.
How do you true the barrel in your lathe?
What is your turn around time
What is your cost?
What kind of results have you been seeing?
What kind of experience do you have?
When you chamber the barrel do you use a neck reamer in addition to the regular reamer?
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The reason I ask, is that several of my friends are doing a group by on Stiller actions and we are all going to need a reputable gun smith to install the barrel and brakes we provide.

Thanks,
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  #2  
Old 02-28-2012, 06:04 PM
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Re: Questions to ask a new smith.

Are you sure you can have it done near your proposed completion date?

This should be asked 3 times durring your conversation.

Also make sure at the end of the conversation you BOTH have a list of the thungs that are to be done, and an estimate of costs.

Jeff
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  #3  
Old 02-29-2012, 01:46 PM
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Re: Questions to ask a new smith.

Quote:
Originally Posted by azgutpile View Post
While interviewing smiths, what questions should I be asking? Here is a list of what Iíve thought of so far.
How do you true the barrel in your lathe?
What is your turn around time
What is your cost?
What kind of results have you been seeing?
What kind of experience do you have?
When you chamber the barrel do you use a neck reamer in addition to the regular reamer?
__________________________________________________ _______________
__________________________________________________ _______________
__________________________________________________ _______________
The reason I ask, is that several of my friends are doing a group by on Stiller actions and we are all going to need a reputable gun smith to install the barrel and brakes we provide.

Thanks,
You have narrow view that appears to be "internet generated"! Every 'smith out there, that's been there awhile, has their own way of doing things. Results are what counts!
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  #4  
Old 02-29-2012, 05:54 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 50
Re: Questions to ask a new smith.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shortgrass View Post
You have narrow view that appears to be "internet generated"! Every 'smith out there, that's been there awhile, has their own way of doing things. Results are what counts!
Then what do you suggest I ask them? If Iask what kind of results they see they are of course going to say "great". Also, if smith "A" does everything the same way as smith "B", but his asking rate or turn around time are much more, what is the benifit?

All I'm trying to figure out is What I should ask so that I'm not being sold a bad bill of good?
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  #5  
Old 02-29-2012, 07:29 PM
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Location: West Central Idaho
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Re: Questions to ask a new smith.

Get references. In a couple days you can learn if a smith is worth fooling with. He is no different the the contractor that you want to build your dream house.

Just like said in a previous post they all do things differently so its the finished product that counts. "Get References".
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  #6  
Old 02-29-2012, 07:56 PM
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Re: Questions to ask a new smith.

#1, ask about price. #2 Does the 'smith stand behind his work? #3 does he have an accuracy guarantee? #4 can/will he deliver as promised and in the time frame specified? #5 ask to see some of his work, he should have something done/almost done/ in progress in his shop. #6 , research his reputation concerning the previous mentioned 4/5 questions. Get something in writing. Ask around, maybe someone you know personally can refer you to a 'smith who has done work for them. My point in my previous point is, if you are not a gunsmith, or not a machinist, just how would you know if he was "truing a barrel in his lathe", as you put it, properly or not? I see in you initial post you're only looking for barrel/break work. Planning on doing the 'stock work' yourself? Many, including myself, won't offer a 'guarantee' on 'piece meal' work. How can you guarantee something 6 different people have had a hand in? Any competent gunsmith should willingly answer some basic questions,,,,, but he shouldn't be expected to be your technical teacher, either. When you take your pick-up in , for a frontend alinement, do you ask the tech for detailed info as to "how he's gonna' do it"? Because you read it on a forum/saw it on a u-tube video, doesn't make it the only way to 'skin the cat'.
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  #7  
Old 02-29-2012, 08:10 PM
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Location: OK
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Re: Questions to ask a new smith.

I feel the pertinent questions for what you want done, depend on Exactly what you want done. Example.

Mr. Jones I have heard great things about your work from some of your past customers, I have in hand a Stiller Predator SA, a krieger 8T 264, a badger dbm, and a McMillian a-3.

What would the cost be for the following? ;
Barrel thread, fit, chambered and crowned, in 260 rem to feed XYZ bullets out of an XYZ magazine?
Pillar bedding into the stock?
Instal a jewel trigger supplied by you?
All fitting, assembly and function testing?
I do not want to have the rifle blasted or coated in any way.
Instal the 20 moa stiller rail I am supplying.
I do not need rings or a scope.

What is a Realistic time frame for completion IF I send in the parts by March 15th 2012. I would really like to see this rifle back to me by July 1st 2012 or earlier. If this is impossible for you to do please e-mail me as such, and I will continue my search for a smith, or is there one you know and could recomend that would do a good job and meet my time expectations?

Thank you for your time,
bob davis



This should be the extent of your questions, how he does this or that, whats your experience level, ect are questions he really doesn't want to take the time to explain to a neophyte. If you have done your research and have read good things about the smith or talked to guys who have used him then those questions are pretty irrelevant if 6 guys told you that he was "great to deal with" "built a tack driver" ect ect. Many of the questions can also be answered by going thru every page of a smith web-site.

You want cost give him a description of work so he can price it to you with-out going back and forth for 7 emails while he has to pull the info out of you.

Notice how I asked the time line question, it pins him down to a commitment. He may be happy to get the parts and work the week-end that his wife or GF is out of town, just to fit you in and get a little cash flow. You also gave him a clear deadline and a quick out if he really can't take on the extra work. One of the worst things you can do is price the work with a smith and after 4 e-mails you ask him to have it done by x/y/z and the smith knows he can't do it. Now you wasted his valuable time, and at this point he is a little vested in you and may say, "sure I'll try and get it done by then." you take that as a YES, and that is where the trouble starts.

Personally if I got your original post as a first contact e-mail I might not even answer it, would depend on how my day was going weather I even wanted to deal with the vague silliness of it.
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