Gunsmith Horror Stories

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing Forum' started by trip286, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    I got this idea from a recent thread. I know we have a couple Smiths, so it may or may not be well received...

    But what's your worst gunsmith experience? Me, I'm a shade tree Smith myself, so I rarely use them except when hunting parts, so I don't have much experience with them.

    I'll copy a post I made a few days ago regarding my hunt for a mag release retainer.

    My worst so far is...
    I caught a local Smith in what I believe is a lie. I stopped in and asked about MSH's for 1911, and how much a refinish job and/or beaver tail job would run.

    I bought a polymer MSH for 5 bucks.

    All his refinishing services and beaver tail fitting costs the same, $80. Hmm, I thought, that's... Different.

    Then he started touting this "frog skin" finish. "it's the only finish the Navy SEALs will use, and there's only 6 shops in the country allowed to use it"

    Oh my. Sounds good. Let me think about it.

    So I googled frog skin. Google ain't heard of it. Talked to a buddy, who talked to a buddy, who talked to a SEAL... this SEAL (whom I've met, very briefly) claims they don't have a "special finish" they use. "What comes on their guns has been swell for a while".

    Hmm... So I asked the forum. No one who responded had heard of it.

    I can't help but feel I caught him in a lie. Now, I wouldn't presume to say it doesn't exist... But the evidence says something different.

    Then, I recently lost my mag release retainer from my 1911 (so recently, I'm waiting on the arrival of a new one right now). He was the only guy in town who had one. $20.

    I laughed at first. I thought it was a joke. Then I told him, "look, the most expensive one I can find is $7.99. I'll give you ten bucks for the convenience of being able to pick it up here."

    Ha. He said no. This is a really good one. Whatever. I walked out.

    So, what's your worst gunsmith horror story?
     
  2. Squawk

    Squawk New Member

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    I'll let you know after I visit one tomorrow :)
     

  3. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    A post from about a week ago, chronicling my hunt for a mag release retainer...

     
  4. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    My worst gun smith story is when I tried to play gun smith. It was disastrous.
     
  5. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    Hey, I joined just a few days after that happened, and I don't know the whole story! I know the gist of it though.

    I've been there. Had to take the little Ziploc baggie of parts to someone. Now, not to try and make you feel bad... But I was 11 ;)
    I actually figured out by myself, "hey, I broke it. I'll use the yellow pages to find a gunsmith."

    He was located in the back of the hallmark store.
     
  6. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    I refused to take the baggie to the gunsmith. I am terribly, incredibly stubborn, independent. It often gets me into trouble.
     
  7. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

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    My worst gunsmith experience... Can't find a single one who's worth a damn!

    There used to be a guy in Sellwood Oregon "Suburb of Portland", Dana McAnnly I think? His shop was called DCM Tacticle and he did a FANTASITIC, fair, and quick job of replacing the plunger tube housing on my Colt S80 after the factory re-staking had come loose.

    Unfortunately, the next time I needed a smith he was no longer in business... :mad:

    Tack
     
  8. rjd3282

    rjd3282 New Member

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    Had the barrel shortened on my ruger blackhawk years ago. Picked up the gun came home and realized the barrel wasn't screwed in all the way, ejector rod housing was crooked. Took it back he fixed it. Came back to get it, we test fired and the front sight popped off. He kept it and called when it was done picked it up and the frame was marred from the vise. I just took it and went home. He did do an excellent job on the crown work and the gun is still very accurate. Needless to say I found a better smith.
     
  9. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    i am learning and have been for several years to do more and more on my firearms, simply because there just are not any decent gunsmiths close to me and i don't like to wait for someone to work on my firearms, especially if i can do it myself. been doing lots of reading and buying books on gunsmithing.
     
  10. donthav1

    donthav1 Active Member

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    i asked a local gunsmith what he could do to mount a scope on my winchester 74 short of drilling & tapping it. i didn't want to unless neccessary cuz it's grandpa's old rifle, he never used a scope but his eyes are better than mine. gunsmith looked it over & said "well the gun's in terrible shape so i wouldn't hesitate to drill & tap it....no collector value, no one would want it." :mad:

    that just pissed me off to no end, i ask for his "professional" advice on what can be done & he tells me my gun is crap & to basically throw it away. the shop he worked in sells guns in much worse condition for many more dollars than my winchester would ever be worth. christ sake, they had a 91/30 mosin for $270. they don't get my money, never will.
     
  11. 95sniper

    95sniper New Member

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    To me its similar to working on cars, its just fun. Plus it will save you money and you gain experience.
     
  12. DFlynt

    DFlynt New Member

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    When I was living in Florida I used the services of a well known gunsmith who now is based in Flagstaff, AZ. Had him install a set of better sights on my second Combat Commander, took it to the range fired 5 shots and the front sight blew off, took it back and he fixed it properly the second time.

    Buddy of mine used the same gunsmith to have a set of adjustable sights put on his Remington Rand .45, they were going to work the slide so the sights sat lower on the slide, they cut the new rear dovetail wrong and the rear sight was canted about 3-5 degrees off of vertical due to the way the dovetail was cut, the slide was ruined, they refused to fix/replace it needless to say we never went back again.
     
  13. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    I do my own work after some bad experiences with sights flying off.

    Since I started, I branched off into other areas.

    So far, things have worked out.
     
  14. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    From the other side of the bench.
    Guy brought me a Winchester model 43 in 218 Bee and wanted it drilled and tapped for a scope. I knew those actions are HARD. Drilled the action with a solid carbide drill(these are fragile) and I broke one. Then I had special very hard taps to use on things like this. Broke two on those 4 holes. Mounted his scope and he left a happy customer and I lost about $20 on the deal plus I had the joy of seeing a broken tap sticking out the action twice.
     
  15. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    Not what I had in mind, but what the hell. Gunsmith + horror... Yeah, it counts ;)

    To be fair, I've heard far worse stories of bad gunsmith customers.
     
  16. savorydave

    savorydave New Member

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    I'd been looking for a Weaver-style Base mount for my S&W 610 revolver to attach a Red-Dot scope my kid got me for Christmas (butt-ugly thing - whatta ya gonna do?). I'm so far north in Wisconsin that I never even thought about lookin' for a gunsmith, but I heard there used to be one who worked outta the ole Ace Hardware store in town - so I got the owner to let me rummage thru his parts trays and pillage what I needed. In return - I fix his guns best I can. I found a top-mount base, but the 4 slots weren't gonna work with this lil' scope. So I marked the mount, put it in a vice (protected by wood slats) and went at it in my garage with a Hack saw, Rasp, and Cylinder file. 30 minutes later I had it modified to perfection. I mounted the scope - took a few pictures for my kid - took it all off - reattached my iron sights - and would rather not speak of it again. Damn ugly thing ...
     

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  17. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, there WAS the guy that nickel plated a S&W revolver for me.

    Problem was, it was an older blued revolver in very good condition. I had taken it to him to have a new trigger spring fitted. Not to be refinished. He had gotten it mixed in with some of his plating work.

    Then wanted to charge me $150 for the plating job (which I had not ordered, and which lowered the value of the gun). He still had not replaced the spring.

    Pay you? No. I will pay you after a judge tells me to pay you. See you in court.
     
  18. willshoum

    willshoum New Member

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    Seer sucker...........

    I had a smith change a fireing pin on a rem. 12 gauge. Cost was $45.00. I didn't get around to picking it up till 30 days later. He then charged me a storage fee Of $30.00...........:eek::mad::mad::mad:
     
  19. steve666

    steve666 New Member

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    I had a local gunsmith charge my $15 apiece for the three sideplate screws for a S&W K-Frame revolver. Just the parts, no installation involved. This was 30 years ago.
     
  20. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    I would be angry beyond belief.

    As if keeping that gun sitting on a shelf for 30 days took up a lot of space.