question to gunsmiths and custom gun owners

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by chache, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. chache

    chache Member

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    first off, let me preface this by saying this is my first time having a custom gun built or dealt with a custom gun builder. so my question comes from ignorance.

    ok, i am in the process of having a custom gun built. the rifle was quoted to be finished in middle may. i called the gunsmith around that time and he said the gun would take him another month. i told him to pad his estimate in his favor so i don't get my hopes up. he told me the month time frame was padding his estimate and he will let me know around 6/15/11 for payment details. upon no call on the 15th, i called the next day and left a message on the answering machine. no return call. i have been calling everyday since (no weekend calls) during morning, afternoon and evening with no return calls. today i sent an email and multiple calls as well. my question is how should i proceed from here on out. i understand it takes time to construct a quality rifle, but as far as time frame, tell me what i need to know not what i want to hear. if the rifle isn't going to be done until 2012, tell me that so i can prepare to deer hunt with another rifle.
    this gunsmith already has a brand new rem 700 i bought to use the action from and the lilja barrel i purchased and had shipped to his business.
    i'm not thinking extreme like sending the cops, i just want to know what would be an appropriate plan to handle the situation at this point. thanks in advance.
     
  2. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    This has been a frustration for myself too. Based on my experiences in the past year, I'd say don't fret just yet. It's only been a week past. He may have had something come up and isn't even in the shop to receive your calls/e-mails.?

    I left one rifle with a smith to re-barrel, re-stock and camo finish. He quoted me 120 days........6 months later he had just received the barrel. Whole ordeal took a year! There was about 3 months time in there that I couldn't even get a return call from him. I was just about to get the cops involved when he called and said it was being shipped.

    I have another totally new custom being built at the moment. It was supposed to take 1 yr or a little more, well now it's been 1 1/2 years, and I don't know how close to being done it is, last I heard it should be real soon.?

    My impression is that with custom guns, we gotta plan about 2 years in advance. Because once we get it, then there's always all the prep and break in and load development that still has to be done before we can even come up with drop charts...................frustrating indeed.
     

  3. chache

    chache Member

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    Thanks for the reply. With this being my first build I wanted to know the appropriate expectations. Sounds like I just need to be a little more patient. Thanks again.
     
  4. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome, I hope it all turns out good for you.
     
  5. Camshaft

    Camshaft Well-Known Member

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    Same here. I had a model 700 that was supposed to have a brake put on, trigger job, restocked and bedded. Dropped everything of the 1st of February and was quoted the 1st of may. To make a long story short my rifle was done mid August. Shit happens. But in the end it is worth the wait. Hopefully at least.
     
  6. chache

    chache Member

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    Hey cam...I'm in bako too. Who did your work? I was thinking of having one guy do some other stuff for me, but he's no longer taking anymore rifles. You probably know who it is. Thanks.
     
  7. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    This has been a problem with some smiths for a long time and there is no good solution except
    to be very specific in your instructions and schedules before starting a custom build.

    The one thing that is not exceptable to me is for someone to tell me what I want to hear and not
    the actual delivery time.

    A custom build should be a good experance and not turn into a nightmare because of promises
    not kept.

    Normal build time should be 3 to 4 months If the smith has to order everything. If you furnish everything then it should take less. and if he is real busy he should tell you and give you a firm
    date for delivery.

    Actual build time from start to finish (Taken in order) for a custom rifle with all of the parts in hand
    2 to 3 weeks from start to finish.

    Some smiths have a production line set up and work many rifles at a time . Others schedule a
    build to start in the order received and may take 2 to 3 months to start even if they have all of the
    componants, so delivery time is close to the same.

    A few weeks over the delivery date is ok as long as the smith lets you know how long and why.

    The biggest mistake most people make is to pay all the money up front. once they have the money
    there is no incentive to finish on time or at all.

    I don't know the details of your agreements with the Smith so I cant comment fairly except to
    say give the smith a chance to do right by you and at some point you will get your rifle or have to
    have a face to face with him.

    If he doesn't respond to your E-mail then you may have a problem, But give him a little time
    (He could be ill or out of town).

    I, like most waited up to 2 years in the beginning because I though that was how long it took
    and that was an exceptable time to wait.

    Then I found out that it was there poor planning and scheduling that was the problem.

    It is to late to recomend things that should make the build a joyful experance but make the best
    of it and it should be ok.

    If not you may have to go and pick it up unfinished. ( A friend of mine picked his up after 7 years
    of waiting and found that he had done nothing.(He paid up front and was tole that if he did not give the "Smith" a chance to finish he would not get his money back) He took It anyway.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  8. CHIPLOAD

    CHIPLOAD Member

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    2 years ago I could order a brux barrel an have it in three weeks. Now it 6-9 months. Bat actions you will be waiting 9-12 months. Anything worth having is going to be I high demand and short supply. I broke down and bought a grizzly gunsmith series lathe. Had it 3 years and already paid for itself. The only way to get things done when you want and how you want!
     
  9. chache

    chache Member

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    Thanks J E and Chip.

    The "only" money invested so far is the brand new rem 700 I sent him and the Lilja barrel I had shipped to him. The sad thing is Lilja quoted me 12 weeks on the barrel because they had to custom make it due to my requested length and specs, but they had it shipped out in 10 weeks. That was in February (I have the ups confirmation email). After talking with you guys, I'm just trying to change my mindset and "calm down". Although, its easier said then done. I was raised "old school", if you make a promise to get something done, you damn well make sure its done by that time. Or hopefully have a real good excuse that my dad would "buy". Oh well, just ranting now. Thanks guys.
     
  10. Camshaft

    Camshaft Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I know who you are speaking of, he is a fantastic gunsmith and has done work for me. He also had previously commited to a couple of projects for me and has assured me that he will follow through. I was extremely upset to hear he would no longer be taking outside work. I was feeling pretty spoiled living less than a mile away from a gunsmith of his caliber, after my next build is finished I guess I will be sending stuff half way across the country to be built.
     
  11. hunter 22

    hunter 22 Member

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    Jun 23, 2011
    Chache

    when your done whinning about your rifle give me a call I have a scope that needs to be bedded and a barrel to brake in on my new 300.

    If you dont get your rifle done this year I'll take care of yah. You can shoot old meat in the pot and I'll shoot my new 300 win
     
  12. Camshaft

    Camshaft Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you two know each other. I got a couple questions. Where do you guys shoot around Bakersfield? And what do you guys hunt?
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
  13. hunter 22

    hunter 22 Member

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    yeah he is a buddy he gets to follow me around on the mountain. I am not a gun smith my friend we shoot out in the desert or up at the kernvill rifle range they have targets out to 560 yards adn 1000
     
  14. Camshaft

    Camshaft Well-Known Member

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    Yea sorry i mixed up your post with another. Do you have any info on the Kernville range? I have never heard of it. I usually set my own targets and shoot out in by the Tule Elk Reserve, gives me wide open space for 1400yards. But its a pain in the ass in the summer heat.