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Smith has had my rifles for 2+ years. Losing patience...

 
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  #1  
Old 06-02-2013, 01:29 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 873
Smith has had my rifles for 2+ years. Losing patience...

I sent two actions to a smith in the spring of 2011 for new barrel install and action work. I plan to do the metal finish, stock work, and bedding myself. I have done business with him before. I have always been pleased with his work in the past.

He has now had my actions and my money for over two years. I check in with him periodically to see how things are going, always keeping things friendly, cordial, and brief. He has been telling me for more than six months that my rifles are in work and will be the next ones finished. I am aware that he has battled some health problems, so I have cut him some slack.

However, I feel that 2+ years is an excessive amount of time to wait, especially when they are not even complete rifle builds. My patience is wearing thin and I want to apply some pressure. I haven't done that yet. If I do apply pressure, I want to handle this with some class, rather than simply being an @$$hole.

I would really appreciate some advice from folks who are gunsmiths themselves. I feel that some perspective from the other side of the counter would be useful here.

Is there room for me to take a wise, high road kind of approach in this situation?

At what point would I be justified in simply cutting bait and requesting that my money and materials be returned?

I am done doing business with this particular smith, but I don't wish to mistreat him in the process.
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  #2  
Old 06-02-2013, 06:27 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Maryland
Posts: 835
Re: Smith has had my rifles for 2+ years. Losing patience...

It sounds, to me, like you need to tell him exactly what you have told us.
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  #3  
Old 06-02-2013, 09:09 AM
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Pearland. TX
Posts: 72
Re: Smith has had my rifles for 2+ years. Losing patience...

Screw nice. No excuse is acceptable. Unless 2 years wait was in a contract you signed.
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  #4  
Old 06-02-2013, 09:36 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Near Napoleon,MI
Posts: 997
Re: Smith has had my rifles for 2+ years. Losing patience...

Your first mistake is dealing with anyone who wants money up front. Once they have your money they have zero incentive to do anything more. If there is to be any early money, it would be to cover the cost of items bought in, nothing else.

Get yourself a new smith. Worst case scenario, he not only has your money but has sold your assets too. Can't tell you how many times I have heard of this happening.
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  #5  
Old 06-02-2013, 09:38 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Fredericksburg VA
Posts: 4,137
Re: Smith has had my rifles for 2+ years. Losing patience...

Time to go pick them up nicely.

Tell him you understand his health issues, and do not want to burden him with anymore work under the circumstances.

No hard feelings.

However, do not be surprised if he pushes back in which case I would want to lay eyes on the parts you sent him. Would not be the first time for stuff to disappear under hard circumstances.
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  #6  
Old 06-02-2013, 09:34 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: NW MT
Posts: 2,587
Re: Smith has had my rifles for 2+ years. Losing patience...

Ditto above to long of a time frame, you should at least have one and better commitment by him
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  #7  
Old 06-03-2013, 12:14 AM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 733
Re: Smith has had my rifles for 2+ years. Losing patience...

Yes agree with the others. I have been through this kind of crap before with gunsmiths. That was the reason I bought my lathe and mill , got sick of them in general .
You need to go back and sight your actions as he may have lost them . I've heard the health excuse before , if it was genuine why not just call you and tell you he can't do it.
I sent an expensive stock to a gunsmith for some minor rail work and later he denied he ever took it . Found out from a friend that it was stolen from his shop because he left it on the counter while out the back and someone nicked it.
After months of trying to get him to replace it I decided to square up another way which I can't discuss.
Now I never leave anything with a gunsmith unless they are prepared to write a receipt with full description of the article left . No receipt no work .
If he still has the stuff then tell him if they are not finished in 2 weeks you are coming back to take your property back and wanting a refund.
let him know that if you are forced to do that you will discuss his bad service on the INTERNET . They hate the INTERNET as it can ruin their business .
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