Originally Posted by Hot Sauce NARC
sure JD that would be great! I want to make sure im not dealing with some uncommonly smart hillbillies that can talk their way around a new b like me and then drill the holes on my gun with a Dewalt and wal mart drill bits
Definitely you need to take a look at the shop.
See what kind of equipment they have. Ask how long they have been in business.
Is the place clean? Do they have a ton of hand tools, or only a few. The more the better in this case.
Ask them what their current market is for people who come in? If they are doing scope mounts and trigger jobs, that is a red flag. A good gun shop does those as fill work while waiting on parts, they don't make a living doing that kind of high turn over work.
Ask them who they buy their barrels for their custom build guns. If they say Brownell's, or they say they really like doing business with Douglas, you are in the wrong shop.
A serious rifle shop will be a prefered dealer with a couple of real barrel makers. They don't buy 6 barrels from Brownells once a year.
Ask to see their book. Every good gun maker should have picture book of work they have done. Take a look at it. Do the rifles look impressive? Also, look at the picture themselves. Do they look like the guy took any time setting up angles with the camera, staging the rifle? Or is it just in a rifle holder and here's a shot of it.
If the guy doesn't take pride in his work, his photos will show that. Of there are tools scattered all over, if the weapon is dirty, if it's only part of the build, the start and the finish, ask why. Someone that is serious will be showing off his masterpieces, not just stuff he threw together.
Ask him if he could collaborate with one OTHER gun maker on a weapon for the most important person in his life, ask him who it is, and why.
Every gunsmith thinks they are the best, but they are not all going to think they are the best at, say, making a stock from scratch, or doing engraving, something like that. If the guy tells you that there is no one else he would trust on such a gun, turn around and walk out. His mouth is MUCH bigger than his ability. Everyone has somebody they respect in the gun business for what their SPECIALTY is. Or they should have someone like that if they had been in the business for any length of time.
Ask them if they have any local shooters who have placed well recently. A good gunshop will have 2 or 3 rifles shooting every weekend in various competitions. If they don't - there is probably a reason.
Other than that, ask about repairs, returns, shop credit or cash back? The usual stuff you would want to find out about before you handing over a bunch of cash.
Also, make sure you have a good phone number them - and watch what happens when the phone rings and you are there. If they answer 1 call out of 3 or 4 while you are talking, but tell the guy he is with a customer, but will call the guy back, that is a good sign. If he looks at every number on call display, but doesn't answer, or flat out says he isn't going to answer, that is a bad sign. Walk Away, you are never going to get in touch with that guy once he has your money.
Just some stuff to think about on the drive over....