Gunsmith time estimates and etiquette questions

maninthemaze

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I'm curious about gunsmith time estimates. I'm having a rifle built now. It's a Stiller action 7wsm that I'm having rebarreled to 28 Nosler. I knew which gunsmith I wanted to do the work. He is very well known for his expertise with the 28 Nosler and the 195 Bergers. To make a long story short, his original estimate was 2-3 months. That was in December. I sent him my barreled action and a new barrel. I'm not wanting a complete build, just a barreled action. I'll put the rest of the gun together. Anyways, he received the stuff on December 5th. I called on April 3rd to check on the progress. He again gave me an estimate of 2-3 months. I called him around the first of May and left a message on his answering machine. He has yet to return my call. I don't want to harass the guy, but I have to have the gun done in time to do load development before my elk hunt in October. It's the only rifle I have of suitable caliber.

What should I do? Call him after another couple months? Go get my parts and take to another smith?

This is the second time a gunsmiths estimates have been wrong. Dixie Precision took 6 months for a 4-6 week estimate, the original builders of the 7wsm.

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sdfuller

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I deal with this at work all the time. If they give you a date and don't meet their target they owe you an explanation as to why. I usually give a few work days for people to return my calls, but I wait no longer than a week so that they know I'm serious about getting an answer or explanation.

Is gunsmithing his main job or does he do it on the side?


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rfurman24

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I do not think double the estimated time is acceptable. You have some decisions to make. I am not sure about your schedule but sometimes it takes me a few months to get a load developed and then you really need to spend time shooting the rifle in different conditions/positions to get familiar with it.
 

gbflyer

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That's too long, especially if you sent him the barrel. If he needed a new reamer, he'd have to wait 6-8 weeks. The chamber job probably takes a pro no more than a day. That's with a long lunch and a few phone calls.
 

PresTex

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If he doesn't get back to you soon with an explanation I'd take it elsewhere.

Shit happens and sometimes smiths need more time but I would expect a reason for double the original quoted time frame.

If you decide to go get your parts back I'd suggest sending them to LRI. Chad does top quality work and has some of the fastest turnaround times in the business. You'll have your gun ready to go in no time if you send it to him.


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bradb

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seems real typical for me. It should not be.

I know one smith that was known for the 28 was in the middle of building a new shot and new cnc machines and I think was delayed.
Still should be better on estimates no matter who it is
 

pods8

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Seems sadly more common than it should be. If you are off schedule dropping the client a note saying where you are at on things is a solid move yet many seem to act like "it is what it is" and let the customers chase them.
 
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maninthemaze

maninthemaze

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seems real typical for me. It should not be.

I know one smith that was known for the 28 was in the middle of building a new shot and new cnc machines and I think was delayed.
Still should be better on estimates no matter who it is
This sounds EXACTLY like the gunsmith I sent my stuff too. And if he would have said it would be done April 1st I still would have sent it to him. It's just the not knowing that's killing me. Basically, since his time estimate is so far off, it reflects on his character.


All this is for a barreled action. Not even a complete build. Maybe that's why it's taking so long? He's not making as much money off of me because it's not a complete build.


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maninthemaze

maninthemaze

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seems real typical for me. It should not be.

I know one smith that was known for the 28 was in the middle of building a new shot and new cnc machines and I think was delayed.
Still should be better on estimates no matter who it is
Did you have him build a rifle? How does it shoot? How long did it take to build? Thanks

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maninthemaze

maninthemaze

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Well, I have an update. I just got off the phone with him. He said that he is waiting on paperwork for his FFL to arrive. Since he moved his shop, he needed a new address on his FFL. He started the paperwork months ago, but the BATF hasn't sent the paperwork he needs to ship it out. They gave him an estimate of a couple of weeks and it's been two months.

Anyways, my gun is done, along with about 10 others, all waiting to ship out. I told him, if it's not here by the end of the month, I'll make the 6 hour drive and go get it. He was very apologetic about the whole thing. Hopefully, it arrives soon.

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GKPrice

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Well, I have an update. I just got off the phone with him. He said that he is waiting on paperwork for his FFL to arrive. Since he moved his shop, he needed a new address on his FFL. He started the paperwork months ago, but the BATF hasn't sent the paperwork he needs to ship it out. They gave him an estimate of a couple of weeks and it's been two months.

Anyways, my gun is done, along with about 10 others, all waiting to ship out. I told him, if it's not here by the end of the month, I'll make the 6 hour drive and go get it. He was very apologetic about the whole thing. Hopefully, it arrives soon.

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If his paperwork isn't done your drive will be for nothing - It's not about "shipping", it's about transfer documentation - Field office to field office the BATF can vary greatly on time and willingness to please
 

bradb

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I meant typical with other smiths I have used.
Just thought I had a guess who you were taking about. He is a good guy and hell of a Smith, maybe even a better shot! It will shoot, no worries there
 

E in CO

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Sounds like you have it somewhat figured out at this point. Referring back to your original question if 'smiths time estimates are accurate... After a few too many go arounds with missed dates, I've learned to change my expectations. I usually get their estimate and double it. If I can live with 2x their estimate for a 'smith I trust then anything less is as surprise. Shouldn't be that way but it saves me some frustration.
 

dotman

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Well, I have an update. I just got off the phone with him. He said that he is waiting on paperwork for his FFL to arrive. Since he moved his shop, he needed a new address on his FFL. He started the paperwork months ago, but the BATF hasn't sent the paperwork he needs to ship it out. They gave him an estimate of a couple of weeks and it's been two months.

Anyways, my gun is done, along with about 10 others, all waiting to ship out. I told him, if it's not here by the end of the month, I'll make the 6 hour drive and go get it. He was very apologetic about the whole thing. Hopefully, it arrives soon.

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Ahh you sent him your action, no FFL needed or required.
 

dotman

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If his paperwork isn't done your drive will be for nothing - It's not about "shipping", it's about transfer documentation - Field office to field office the BATF can vary greatly on time and willingness to please

No transfer needed if he already owned the action, only needed on new action/gun purchases.
 
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pods8

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Have him send through another FFL if required but shouldn't be since you own that action... smells fishy. I agree that gunsmith times lines seem to slide and most never keep customers updated when they do, bummer there. But when they shoot well the hassle is forgotten. :p
 
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maninthemaze

maninthemaze

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I think once I get the gun back I'll do a review and spell out everything about the process and the gun. Hopefully it shoots well. He did give the starting load data as well as some tips about the particulars with a 28 Nosler pushing the 195 around 3100. I might even do some sort of testing as far as temp sensitivity of the R33 he recommends. This will be a layman's review, as I am by far, not an expert.

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