payment question for smiths

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by jacack, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. jacack

    jacack Well-Known Member

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    just wanted to know if there was some new rule about paying for parts during a build, a buddy is having a riifle built, he made a 1000.00 deposit when the gun was ordered ( fall of 08) a few months later he is contacted by the smith and was told somthing about the atf and that he needed topay for the rest of his parts ( custom action, stock, barrel ect ect ) so he did as he had used this guy in the past with no problems. now he still has no rifle and the smith says he will get to it but is way behind. mind you he is out 3800 for the set up including opitcs ( ordered by the smith) and says he feels as is he is getting a run around.

    question is it normal to pay that much up front? i have had a few built but it was yrs ago and i just paid a small dep until gun is done.

    thanks
     
  2. NomadPilot

    NomadPilot Well-Known Member

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    I'm having a rifle built by a site sponsor and I sent him the action and paid him $800. I'll pay the rest when it's ready. I don't believe the ATF line, though. Sounds like he needed capital and called it in early.
     

  3. Greywolf18

    Greywolf18 Well-Known Member

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    +1 to what nomad said. I'm in the same position as him and had to pay $850 up front which is reasonable for parts that the smith did not have in stock. Hopefully everything turns out ok for your buddy!
     
  4. winmagman

    winmagman Well-Known Member

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    Last one I had done I just sent the action to the smith and had the barrel blank shipped there. Paid the balance when he was ready to ship it to me.

    Chris
     
  5. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

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    I'd be interested in what the sponsored smiths here have to say but over the years I have never been asked for more than 50% up front and usually less has been the norm in my experience.

    Either way, I'd be fine with paying the parts up front - did the parts cost $3,800? It's certainly possible when you include a custom action and optics which could easily be $3,800 without the stock, bbl, etc.

    Now the delivery date is another matter entirely. What was the original agreement with regard to the delivery date?

    *Added* On the other side of the coin; I had a custom rifle built by Mike Bryant of Wheeler Texas. He shipped the rifle to me BEFORE he even sent out the invoice for the rifle. I called him thinking that he didn't realize that he hadn't received final payment but he laughed and said he knew it. He was just behind in his paperwork. Now that's trust!
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2010
  6. ROBSTER

    ROBSTER Well-Known Member

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    Had two custom built and one was on an ATF form 4 and did not pay a dime until project was done.gun)
     
  7. NesikaChad

    NesikaChad Well-Known Member

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    My policy for whole builds:

    If a customer supplies the parts: No deposit. Labor due in full upon delivery.

    If I supply the parts: 50% deposit on parts. This is a good faith gesture.

    Labor jobs only: 100% due upon completion.


    Having just recently been approved for my Type 07 manufacturer's FFL the agent who conducted my interview made no reference to how I collect money. The BATF isn't in the "money" business anymore. The dept of Treasury collects the taxes now.
     
  8. jacack

    jacack Well-Known Member

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    thats was what i thougt, the 3800 is about right for the parts and optics but i just think he is getting jerked around, when he orded it he was told 9 months to a yr.

    i will pass the info along
     
  9. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    I was told by a smith , for a custom it was 75% down, and that with the tight economy it is hard to sell the said rifle if the funds die out. Or He said you could do it piece meal, in stages, buy barrel, stock etc, cover the labor as you go. If you have a work history that is different. My taxidermist want 50% down, well he has my cape and said catch me when you can, zero down
     
  10. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    This sounds right !!!!

    The buyer has a vested interest to complete the build and pick it up, and the smith has labor
    tied up and gets his money as soon as he finishes the build.

    If someone wants all the money before they will start any work, find another person to do the
    work or you may get burned.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  11. Shawn Carlock

    Shawn Carlock Sponsor

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    What Chad has posted :

    If a customer supplies the parts: No deposit. Labor due in full upon delivery.

    If I supply the parts: 50% deposit on parts. This is a good faith gesture.

    Labor jobs only: 100% due upon completion.

    Pretty much mirrors our policy, but also note that 50% does not come close to the cost of the parts on most complete with optics custom packages.
     
  12. blipelt

    blipelt Well-Known Member

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    I am not a smith, but I have had a few rifles built. If you look at the cost of parts. Mcmillan stock $700, action $750, fluted barrel $385, trigger $250. Would you want to float the cost of parts. How many times does someone change their mind and decide to go another route. Should the smith be left holding the bag? Labor is a relatively small part of the build. You should have to pay for all the components of the build in my opinion. If you change your mind the smith is out nothing and you have your components. That sounds fair to me.

    I have a question how many of the gunsmiths out there have waited for payment after the rifle was completed? Last time I checked I have never waited for my paycheck it is there every other Wednesday.

    As far as what I do. I will give my smith money until I have payed the rifle off in full. It usually takes about a year to get a rifle. I usually have it paid in full before he gets the components(usually around 3-4months). I do understand, my builds are in the range of $4000 for the rifle only it is quite a little money. Since you have the money shelled out you want your rifle. Trust me I have been there. If you feel like you are being jerked around tell them that. Ask for a estimate on completion. You might be surprised on why your build went over.

    People love to talk with gunsmiths, if they answer the phone all the time they will get nothing accomplished. They are usually one person operations.

    *added*
    My smith doesn't ask for full payment. I have built enough with him if I call and say I want to build something he would order without anything down. He knows I am good for it.

    Brent
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2010
  13. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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    I see a couple problems, the ATF statment is a fabricated excusse.

    Why would the smith need the money for the optics if the rifle will not be completed for some time? Normally if a scope is ordered by me for a customer I order it a couple weeks before the rifle is complete, so neither the customers money or the shops money is tied up in inventory for extended periods.

    Like Shawn and Chad I usually get money down on non-stock or special order parts, and the remainder is due at completion.

    I hope your friends build works out for him.
     
  14. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    +1 with blipelt on the following: You should have to pay for all the components of the build in my opinion. If you change your mind the smith is out nothing and you have your components. That sounds fair to me.

    As far as labor I think due upon completion is fair.

    I think it's important to minimize the risk for the smith especially if they don't know you. On the otherhand you minimize your risk by doing one's homework and selecting a reputable smith which isn't too hard to do as there are numerous posts right here on LRH by satisfied customers.

    I hope it works out for your friend.