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Old 04-08-2020, 04:10 PM
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wwbirds wwbirds is offline
 
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Default Need a "gunsmith"? be very careful (rant) (long detailed read so you may want to skip it)

I often see posts asking for a gunsmith near ? or here? Most often myself or others can direct them to one of many great ones in alberta bc or even quebec if incredible engraving is required. I learned the hard way you really want to be careful who you trust.

Several friends on FB are friends with an individual who claimed to have a copying lathe and provided pretty good pictures of stocks he had made.
I had acquired a first year production FN trombone in 2019 and the stock was badly damaged and rough although the barrel was quite good for a 1922 rifle.
The older trombones were square tangs while newer ones are round and Irv at Western Gun only had round tangs in stock last year so I messaged this individual to see if he could make a trombone stock and he said bring it over.
I dropped it off in High river on March 17th.
Couple days later he has a picture of it all apart saying on FB that it was very dirty and rusty. almost 100 years old no surprises yet.
Few days later he called and says I hope I didnt over step my authority on this but Irv in Edmonton now has square tang in stock along with forestocks for just over $200 which is less than I could make one for so I ordered them along with a couple new screws and a return spring. No problem screws and return spring were required anyway so why not get it all in one order with flat rate postage.
Next contact from him says polishing bolt and still some little marks "do I want it jeweled to make it look nice" Very firm no from me as I am pretty sure no factory trombones in 1922 had jewelled bolts. His response was "these things are worth over $1500 in USA so we should make it nice"
I explained to him that USA prices mean nothing in Canada as John M Browning sold the trombone patent to Remington which became their model 12 .22 pump. He could not produce or distribute trombones in the USA so contacted FN in 1922 to produce them for Browning sales in Canada and australia only with FN licensed to distribute them in Europe.
I further explained because it is a first year production with low 4 digit serial # I probably paid to much as I already have $350 into a rifle that may be worth $700 so I may not be able to even have it reblued if I go over my $300 -$400 budget for restocking.
Next contact he is complaining on FB about trying to get the rifle trigger assembly back in after polishing it.
Last week he tells me on Wednesday that if it dries overnight I should be able to pick it up the next day. What drying is required on fitting a stock?
He said had to used some release agent and bedding material to get a good smooth wood to metal fit. told him in 1922 I am sure the craftsmen in Leige handcrafted stocks to fit metal perfectly without using epoxy. Told him I would try to get there the next day and send me the bill and I will EMT.
He wrote back he is not charging me for the 6 hours he tried to get the trigger assembly back in working after polishing. I asked him why he would take it apart for a restocking. His stupid comment about factory restoration left me fuming and I responded factory restorations dont use epoxy on a 100 year old rifle and internals were best left to trained gunsmiths to deal with problems when it is sent away for bluing and internals had to be removed.
Couple hours later I get a bill and email address to emt payment for $625.
I went ballistic. Dennis Davidson in BC did a fit and finish plus incredible 24 line skip line checkering for me in 2017 for $500!
Christian Lemieux in Quebec charged me $300 in 2018.
I phoned him and said he is way off mark and pricing himself right out of the market. he claimed the bill is justified as he has a solid 5.5 hours into fitting and polishing all internals at $65. per hour.
told him he could stick the rifle where the sun does not shine before I pay $625 for him to try to learn how to restock and reassemble a rifle I never asked him to take apart.
this week he said pay him for the parts he ordered with shipping of $275 plus whatever I wanted to leave him for his time. told him I would send $400 as my upper budget amount originally discussed.
Picked it up today and lines of epoxy visible where wood meets metal and the wood looks exactly like it left edmonton with no shaping to meet metal at all.
Even at $125 I paid way too much!
End rant!!
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  #2  
Old 04-08-2020, 04:35 PM
JustBen JustBen is offline
 
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These so called gunsmiths are basically criminals. I've had similar experiences in the past with different vendors.
  #3  
Old 04-08-2020, 04:55 PM
Steyr101 Steyr101 is offline
 
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Honestly, there are great gunsmiths, and there are **** poor ones.

Seems like this guy really dicked you around and had the nerve to try and collect an outrageous invoice.

Having worked in the firearms industry for many years at both the wholesale and retail level (and having worked with some fantastic 'smiths along the way) I can absolutely say that a good smith won't charge for learning a new action or procedure. They consider it a learning opportunity and will usually let you know this beforehand. A big no-no in the industry to is go rogue and do work on a customers gun without authorization.

I just got some work done on a long range rig, and gave the smith carte blanche to do whatever he wanted. Fitting three barrels (shouldered with brakes), trigger, finishing. Invoice came to just under 2 grand and worth every single penny. Left it all up to his experience and vision and couldn't be happier.

This guy in High River seems like quite the hack.. thanks for the heads up to avoid him.
  #4  
Old 04-08-2020, 05:04 PM
fishtank fishtank is offline
 
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Default lesson learned...

wow this remind me of that bad taxidemy ...
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  #5  
Old 04-08-2020, 05:17 PM
Drewski Canuck Drewski Canuck is offline
 
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WOW!!!

That first Taxi job in the upper left hand corner reminds me of a girl I used to know.

Always wondered where she ended up! Mystery solved!!

Drewski
  #6  
Old 04-08-2020, 05:51 PM
leeelmer leeelmer is offline
 
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Yes yes and yes.
I have had similar experiences with so call gunsmiths.
One in particular was.
Remington 700 laminate stainless mountain rifle
It shot terrible right out of the box. 280 rem
I was told I should have it bedded and the trigger worked.
Ok
Paid for that.
Took to the range. Shot twice and a chunk of the stock broke out behind the safety.
I was told the Remington stocks are junk.
Ok lets do a new stock
New barrel
Chamber in 280ai
Accurize action
Remember i had all ready paid for the trigger to be reworked and the first stock to be bedded.
Well got my new gun back.
It had a camo bell and carlson stock. Bedded
JB welded sleeve on the bolt(to tighten tolerances) looked horrid
Still had the j lock
Lapped lugs
Scope mounted in tally rings(my scope)
Cost???
$3100
Plus the work from before.
Poor work for premium dollars
  #7  
Old 04-08-2020, 06:11 PM
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wwbirds wwbirds is offline
 
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This is his idea of fit and finish

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Old 04-08-2020, 06:24 PM
Wrongside Wrongside is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwbirds View Post
This is his idea of fit and finish

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Wow. **** poor.

If you’d name the ‘gunsmith’ it may save others some aggravation in the future?
  #9  
Old 04-08-2020, 06:26 PM
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Default Wow

Oh my 😳
I just dropped mine of to someone I don't know other than recommend, holding my breath.
Now that stuffed weasle, I kinda would like him lol.
WDF
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  #10  
Old 04-08-2020, 06:28 PM
REMINGTON JIM REMINGTON JIM is offline
 
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NOT so NICE fit and Finish - RJ
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  #11  
Old 04-08-2020, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrongside View Post
Wow. **** poor.

If you’d name the ‘gunsmith’ it may save others some aggravation in the future?
Can I guess? :-)
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  #12  
Old 04-08-2020, 06:31 PM
jbrow397 jbrow397 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwbirds View Post
This is his idea of fit and finish

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Yikes. Norinco, Rossi and mystery Turkish builders put out superior fit and finish compared to that
  #13  
Old 04-08-2020, 06:43 PM
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OMG is that white stuff epoxy?
  #14  
Old 04-08-2020, 06:43 PM
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Default Send it to me.

Rob, call me or FB message me. Send me that gun, I’ll fix whatever I can for free. I owe you one, and we’ll be even.😉
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Old 04-08-2020, 06:45 PM
Wrongside Wrongside is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck View Post
Can I guess? :-)
LOL. Likely get it in one.
  #16  
Old 04-08-2020, 07:08 PM
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Default brutal

Quote:
Can I guess? :-)
Sure go for it. Only giving one hint in that he was banned here after a few suspensions so gitrdun, no prize but if I go ding ding ding you got it right!

Quote:
Rob, call me or FB message me. Send me that gun, I’ll fix whatever I can for free. I owe you one, and we’ll be even.😉
Thanks buddy I appreciate that really. I have all the wood working tools to get rid of the epoxy if he really used a release agent between wood and metal. Can also take the excess wood off for smooth transition I just didnt bother ordering wood for this one from irv because last time I spoke to his daughter they only had round tangs in stoick so thought I had to get one made with a duplicating lather. should have just waited.
After taking it apart he couldn't put it back together so as long as I have everything in the little zip lock bag he attached to the stock and inside the receiver I am hoping by taking one of my completely restored ones apart I can see where everything goes that he messed up on trigger cross bolt safety assembly.
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Old 04-08-2020, 07:12 PM
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He couldn’t put it back together?
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  #18  
Old 04-08-2020, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwbirds View Post
Sure go for it. Only giving one hint in that he was banned here after a few suspensions so gitrdun, no prize but if I go ding ding ding you got it right!



Thanks buddy I appreciate that really. I have all the wood working tools to get rid of the epoxy if he really used a release agent between wood and metal. Can also take the excess wood off for smooth transition I just didnt bother ordering wood for this one from irv because last time I spoke to his daughter they only had round tangs in stoick so thought I had to get one made with a duplicating lather. should have just waited.
After taking it apart he couldn't put it back together so as long as I have everything in the little zip lock bag he attached to the stock and inside the receiver I am hoping by taking one of my completely restored ones apart I can see where everything goes that he messed up on trigger cross bolt safety assembly.
I have the parts schematic and disassemble/assemble instruction. I can send you what I have if you want to tackle it, or the offer stands to give it a go. PMing you my address.
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Old 04-08-2020, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck View Post
He couldn’t put it back together?
Said he spent 6 hours trying to put it back together. Everything worked when I dropped it off but I knew it needed a release spring. Now I have a baggie of spare parts

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  #20  
Old 04-08-2020, 08:10 PM
leeelmer leeelmer is offline
 
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Wow
I am sure glad i did not send the exceptional piece of English walnut to him to make a stock for my 358norma
I would have been very angry had it turned out to be a expensive door stop
  #21  
Old 04-08-2020, 08:26 PM
elkhunter11 elkhunter11 is online now
 
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That is a mess, no fitting at all. The crazy part is that he did some excellent work for me, and he did it for a very reasonable price. It's hard to imagine how his work can vary so much from one job to another.
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Old 04-08-2020, 08:31 PM
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The work he did on my son's rifle was p!55 poor and expensive & then he hinted for a tip! Never again!
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Last edited by teledogs; 04-08-2020 at 08:42 PM.
  #23  
Old 04-08-2020, 08:42 PM
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Which neck of the woods is this in?

LC
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Old 04-08-2020, 08:42 PM
roper1 roper1 is offline
 
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[QUOTE=wwbirds;4145777]Sure go for it. Only giving one hint in that he was banned here after a few suspensions so gitrdun, no prize but if I go ding ding ding you got it right!

I've never personally met him but I lived, worked, & played in that country for 20 years. He always bragged about his relationships with his neighbors, funny they didn't reciprocate. Stories like this one & even worse were common around him then.
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  #25  
Old 04-08-2020, 09:40 PM
Venison Assassin Venison Assassin is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkhunter11 View Post
That is a mess, no fitting at all. The crazy part is that he did some excellent work for me, and he did it for a very reasonable price. It's hard to imagine how his work can vary so much from one job to another.
Ever see the movie "Arthur" with Dudley Moore?
  #26  
Old 04-08-2020, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lefty-Canuck View Post
Which neck of the woods is this in?

LC
From his post:
dropped it off in High river on March 17th.
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100% of people think that guy is a fool, and if they don't then they need help.
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But it's called Turditis!!!
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  #27  
Old 04-08-2020, 11:05 PM
andy1 andy1 is offline
 
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If it's the same guy who advertises on town post......not surprised. Learning lessons.
  #28  
Old 04-08-2020, 11:34 PM
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Was this gunsmith a member on here? I’m not big into the gunsmithing world so I don’t know who’s around.
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Old 04-09-2020, 05:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiabeticKripple View Post
Was this gunsmith a member on here? I’m not big into the gunsmithing world so I don’t know who’s around.


See post 16 above.
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  #30  
Old 04-09-2020, 06:14 AM
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Is his name Andrew?

Sure sounds like a guy who set himself up as a gunsmith in Manning about twenty years ago. He also claimed to be an engineer, he was neither.

Dad got him to work on a almost new Ski Doo, he made it worse.
One of my friends took a rifle to him that had been abused and wasn't safe to use. It would fire as you closed the bolt. After spending $400.00 and two trips to get it repaired that friend brought it to me.
I offered to do a trade and he jumped on it, so that gun is now mine, and has worked faithfully for me since I repaired it. My cost, $0.00
The tang was slightly bent and the stock cracked. Took me less then an hour to figure it out and fix both.

Last I heard Andrew had moved south somewhere. Sounds like you found him.

Word of warning, anyone can claim to be a gunsmith, or just about any tradesman. That don't make it so.
Always ask to see Accreditation.

I've learned that lesson the hard way.

Also, be on your guard if a repairman starts boasting. The good ones don't need to boast.
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