Gunsmith etiquette

Dot3

Private
Minuteman
May 31, 2021
87
86
NC
When, if ever, is the right time to check in on the progress of a build? Dropped one off in February and there was a 16 week lead time on the barrel. REM 700 action to get trued as well as threading and chambering. I’m not rushing, I’m just curious. My first foray into this.
 

Hobo Hilton

Private
Full Member
Minuteman
Jun 4, 2011
2,042
2,164
70
Pacific Northwest
My personal experience..... Never again will I worry about pissing off a gunsmith..... Their hide is tougher than yours....
Mark the completion date on your calendar.... A week before completion date call and tell them you will be in town in one week and will pick up your weapon. End of conversation. In one week go in and pick up your project. Regardless if it is done or not. Move on.

Unless you are a steady customer with deep pockets your job keeps getting pushed back.... Just how it is.
JMHO
 

vinniedelpino

Guns and Butter
Full Member
Minuteman
  • Sep 27, 2020
    1,261
    1,807
    Charlotte NC
    My personal experience..... Never again will I worry about pissing off a gunsmith..... Their hide is tougher than yours....
    Mark the completion date on your calendar.... A week before completion date call and tell them you will be in town in one week and will pick up your weapon. End of conversation. In one week go in and pick up your project. Regardless if it is done or not. Move on.

    Unless you are a steady customer with deep pockets your job keeps getting pushed back.... Just how it is.
    JMHO
    I like this.
     

    GreatWhiteTatonka

    Whiskey loves company
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 14, 2017
    246
    208
    Tennessee
    My personal experience..... Never again will I worry about pissing off a gunsmith..... Their hide is tougher than yours....
    Mark the completion date on your calendar.... A week before completion date call and tell them you will be in town in one week and will pick up your weapon. End of conversation. In one week go in and pick up your project. Regardless if it is done or not. Move on.

    Unless you are a steady customer with deep pockets your job keeps getting pushed back.... Just how it is.
    No offense but you come across as a pushy customer. Most armorers worth their salt have a backlog of work and being rigid and inflexible usually results in the customer getting their feelings hurt or expectations let down. Communication is expected and that usually suffices. However, do not call everyday expecting a progress report. That is a quick way to get your stuff sent back to you.
     

    Hobo Hilton

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jun 4, 2011
    2,042
    2,164
    70
    Pacific Northwest
    No offense but you come across as a pushy customer. Most armorers worth their salt have a backlog of work and being rigid and inflexible usually results in the customer getting their feelings hurt or expectations let down. Communication is expected and that usually suffices. However, do not call everyday expecting a progress report. That is a quick way to get your stuff sent back to you.
    No offense taken... I got things done in the Heavy Industrial Construction arena by being pushy and being an excellent craftsmen. I can build things in the time I waste waiting on other's to get it done. A gunsmith is just a glorified blacksmith....

    An example:
     

    Choid

    Anti Bodyfat Activist
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 13, 2017
    5,082
    3,339
    No offense but you come across as a pushy customer. Most armorers worth their salt have a backlog of work and being rigid and inflexible usually results in the customer getting their feelings hurt or expectations let down. Communication is expected and that usually suffices. However, do not call everyday expecting a progress report. That is a quick way to get your stuff sent back to you.
    edit: not my business.
     

    DocRDS

    Totally not turning you guys over to the feds.
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 21, 2012
    1,424
    2,365
    Moldova
    My personal experience..... Never again will I worry about pissing off a gunsmith..... Their hide is tougher than yours....
    Mark the completion date on your calendar.... A week before completion date call and tell them you will be in town in one week and will pick up your weapon. End of conversation. In one week go in and pick up your project. Regardless if it is done or not. Move on.

    Unless you are a steady customer with deep pockets your job keeps getting pushed back.... Just how it is.
    JMHO

    No offense but you come across as a pushy customer. Most armorers worth their salt have a backlog of work and being rigid and inflexible usually results in the customer getting their feelings hurt or expectations let down. Communication is expected and that usually suffices. However, do not call everyday expecting a progress report. That is a quick way to get your stuff sent back to you.

    That doesn't sound pushy to me. Asking for a delivery date and then expecting someone to meet their commitment?

    Why is it when someone misses a deadline, and I inquire about it, I'm the asshole? I didn't miss the deadline....

    Let me try that next time with my boss. Maybe I won't, I like my job.

    And I hit my deadlines.
     

    Hobo Hilton

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jun 4, 2011
    2,042
    2,164
    70
    Pacific Northwest
    That doesn't sound pushy to me. Asking for a delivery date and then expecting someone to meet their commitment?

    Why is it when someone misses a deadline, and I inquire about it, I'm the asshole? I didn't miss the deadline....

    Let me try that next time with my boss. Maybe I won't, I like my job.

    And I hit my deadlines.
    I have always enjoyed the M14 / M1A rifles. It was always a challenge to find as many USGI parts as possible and have them built on a top shelf receiver. After getting burned by some hacks, I bit the bullet and had LRB start doing my builds. They are the Masters. Great communication and after they inventoried my parts I was given a completion date. Usually that date was 10 - 12 months away. 100% of the time I was contacted on that date that my weapon was ready to ship. Regardless if it is a rifle, tractor or a computer.... Missing a dead line runs up a red flag. My respect goes to the shops that are not taking in any new work until they get their back log caught up. We are living in uncertain times. I feel very uneasy when I am told "Don't call us again. We will call you when it is ready"....

     

    BuildingConceptsllc

    Don't Start None, won't be none.
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Nov 13, 2020
    2,257
    1,271
    Alabama
    As with anything in life, the key is to be reasonable. Some things not in the Smith or whoever 's control and it causes delays. Some level of communication is reasonable, demanding things and bothering people daily when your questions have already been answered is not reasonable. It's also reasonable to expect some kind of time-line, and to check in when that time line is near. Being polite is always the way to go, but don't confuse that with being a door matt.
     

    Dot3

    Private
    Minuteman
    May 31, 2021
    87
    86
    NC
    I had to call to add on something I forgot mid-July…around the time the barrel might have arrived. He told me the barrel wasn’t there yet. Didn’t get a real timeline, but not too worried about it. I’m not one of the big paycheck customers…yet…so I don’t expect any special treatment at all. I have no gripes so far. Just a curiosity.
     

    Wiillk

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    May 18, 2020
    925
    1,602
    My all time favorite cartoon was a small one frame cartoon that my very old friend Steve Brooks had at his gunsmithing shop.

    While I have no actually copy of the cartoon, it depicted a customer with a shotgun in his hand, about to hand it over to the gunsmith for repair. The words

    If I Wanted It Fixed Tomorrow….I Would Have Brought It In Tomorrow!
     

    MikeRTacOps

    Private
    Commercial Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jun 18, 2017
    576
    1,544
    I'd call them and tell them if they didn't hurry the fk up don't start your car in the morning...
    Jesus I get those calls every week I don't give a shit I just put on an EOD suit before I start my car lmfao

    Mike R
     

    TacticalDillhole

    Shiner of shoes
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jun 26, 2012
    7,727
    9,363
    Orlando, FL
    I'd call them and tell them if they didn't hurry the fk up don't start your car in the morning...
    Jesus I get those calls every week I don't give a shit I just put on an EOD suit before I start my car lmfao

    Mike R
    I just waited 9 months for a barrel. A barrel. Sheesh. 1st world problem for sure.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: camocorvette

    BuLLet

    I need a new gun!
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Apr 6, 2004
    1,449
    2,499
    USA
    Ok Mike, what color was that car again... time for a Cali road trip!

    I'd call them and tell them if they didn't hurry the fk up don't start your car in the morning...
    Jesus I get those calls every week I don't give a shit I just put on an EOD suit before I start my car lmfao

    Mike R
     

    Joeydias3

    Behind Enemy Lines
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Sep 24, 2018
    271
    234
    California
    I’m still shaken up by my first gunsmith encounter. Lol! My first “custom” build was ordering a remage barrel in 6 creed, a magpul hunter stock and whatever the cheapest timeny trigger was at the time. Dude works out of his house. So I make the 50 or so minute drive over there, with a coworker/shooting buddy. Knock on the door. A giant man in his 60s starts yelling “come in!” Open the door, immediately slammed in the face by the smell of cat piss. Already regretting my decision lol. Tell him I want him to remove the 20” 308 barrel and install the 6mm remage. He’s pretty salty the whole time. Talked tons of shit to me about how all my parts were garbage. Lol, fuck sakes. I’m not a small guy. 6’3” 285. But this sour old prick had to be 6’10” and close to 400 pounds of muscle! So I sat there and let him berate me like a bitch. Lol! He took my rifle and parts, to the garage. We left and grabbed lunch. He called an hour later and said that it was done. Debated letting him keep it all of it. Lol! He removed the old barrel, threaded the muzzle and installed the new one. For $100. Thought it was good deal! That rife hammered! But fuck was he grouchy.
     
    Last edited:

    Trapshooter12

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    May 26, 2009
    182
    51
    60
    Nevada
    My first build I had Bugholes build it. It took about 6 months.
    Some of it was because I would add more stuff as time went on and I saved more money. Some of it was probably him waiting for parts. Had a great experience. But I also learned from it.

    My next build. I bought all the parts and then took it to my Smith. Three days later I had my Rifle.

    This same Smith pissed a guy off one time because he did his job so fast. The guy traveled 300 miles to have a barrel spun up. He dropped his stuff and went back home and as he was pulling into his driveway the Smith called him and told him it was done. The guy told him if he knew it was going to be done so fast he would have stayed there and waited for it.
     

    smoothy8500

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Oct 10, 2012
    874
    495
    South Orange County, CA
    Or how about the shops where the gunsmith is always "busy" talking with customers and sales staff and complains that answering phone calls about "when their firearm will be done" is preventing him from getting any work accomplished.
     

    SQ54

    Former Chemtrail Spreader
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jul 24, 2021
    997
    6,121
    Texas
    Gunsmiths are trash. I just picked up four different rifles from a smith yesterday. He had them anywhere from 6 to 2 months. Hadn’t touched them. His helper, on Friday, told me that he had been there on Thursday, but they had not worked on any guns. The helper is standing around with nothing to do. And, I’ve long since stopped letting smiths order parts. I was a machinist in my youth. These jobs take minutes not months!

    ETA: He wasn’t there yesterday when I picked those rifles up either.
     
    Last edited:

    MikeRTacOps

    Private
    Commercial Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jun 18, 2017
    576
    1,544
    Gunsmiths are trash. I just picked up four different rifles from a smith yesterday. He had them anywhere from 6 to 2 months. Hadn’t touched them. His helper, on Friday, told me that he had been there on Thursday, but they had not worked on any guns. The helper is standing around with nothing to do. And, I’ve long since stopped letting smiths order parts. I was a machinist in my youth. These jobs take minutes not months!
    That's not fun and sorry to hear that, def. gives us good guys a bad name...

    Mike R.
     

    MikeRTacOps

    Private
    Commercial Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jun 18, 2017
    576
    1,544
    Or how about the shops where the gunsmith is always "busy" talking with customers and sales staff and complains that answering phone calls about "when their firearm will be done" is preventing him from getting any work accomplished.
    Thank GOD I'm not a talker tell him Bullet you only get a 30 second phone call with me ....

    Mike
     

    Milf Dots

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Oct 21, 2019
    780
    1,168
    Gunsmiths are trash. I just picked up four different rifles from a smith yesterday. He had them anywhere from 6 to 2 months. Hadn’t touched them. His helper, on Friday, told me that he had been there on Thursday, but they had not worked on any guns. The helper is standing around with nothing to do. And, I’ve long since stopped letting smiths order parts. I was a machinist in my youth. These jobs take minutes not months!

    ETA: He wasn’t there yesterday when I picked those rifles up either.

    Is this 'smith a local guy, or one of higher profile? If he's a known guy, will you tell us what U.S. state he's in so we can avoid? Thanks
     

    SQ54

    Former Chemtrail Spreader
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jul 24, 2021
    997
    6,121
    Texas
    That's not fun and sorry to hear that, def. gives us good guys a bad name...

    Mike R.
    The sad part is that the guy can do good work. But, I’ve been through this with him before. When I brought the first one in I asked him what his turnaround time was. He said 4-5 weeks! Obviously that was a bald faced lie. Not going to go through it again.
     

    SQ54

    Former Chemtrail Spreader
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jul 24, 2021
    997
    6,121
    Texas
    Is this 'smith a local guy, or one of higher profile? If he's a known guy, will you tell us what U.S. state he's in so we can avoid? Thanks
    He is in DFW but I doubt you know of him. Has a gun store/gunsmith shop. They sell lots of guns so he isn’t going hungry.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Milf Dots

    SQ54

    Former Chemtrail Spreader
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jul 24, 2021
    997
    6,121
    Texas
    I had a rifle built in the 90’s that took 18 months to get back. Half of that was the stock maker. I gave him a Fajen laminated 98% inlet blank. When I finally got that stock back from him I asked what took so long. He said that it is very difficult to carve laminate with his little tools and not to bring him another laminated wood stock. He had full length bedded the barrel.😳 So, says I, have you ever heard of a dremel??? This is going to be filled with acraglas steelbed anyway!

    Moral of the story? Make damn sure you know what the idiot intends to do because you just might want to pick a different idiot for your work.
     
    Last edited:

    JMGlasgow

    Old Salt
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Apr 13, 2012
    3,378
    3,899
    Cheyenne, WY
    I ordered a Sendero/Varmint Criterion Remage 308win prefit on March 12th, 2021. I was quoted 20 weeks at the time of the order. I'm still waiting. On Oct 11th they said it was in production and would ship in 2 weeks...crickets. The barrel is nothing special, no muzzle threads, no weird length, and stainless even though I prefer chromoly.

    In the meantime I've ordered and received 2 26" 6.5 Creedmoor Varmint prefits from Criterion. Those were in stock.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Hobo Hilton

    Dot3

    Private
    Minuteman
    May 31, 2021
    87
    86
    NC
    I’ve pretty much figured that all this supply chain BS delayed something or other. Again, I’m not worried and don’t want to be worriesom. I’ve waited 18 months for a deer head, I know good work takes time largely due to backlog. Who wants a gunsmith or a taxidermist who ain’t busy?
     

    DocRDS

    Totally not turning you guys over to the feds.
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 21, 2012
    1,424
    2,365
    Moldova
    I’ve pretty much figured that all this supply chain BS delayed something or other. Again, I’m not worried and don’t want to be worriesom. I’ve waited 18 months for a deer head, I know good work takes time largely due to backlog. Who wants a gunsmith or a taxidermist who ain’t busy?
    Busy is one thing: SVI is busy. They say it takes 18 months to build a pistol.
    18 months later, it magically arrives.

    Hell even the ATF mostly hits the deadlines on Forms (they probably aren't busy just yankin our chains but still). Magically 1 year later form shows up.

    I try not be a call every day guy. Yes I bitch and moan a lot on the forums. I was quoted Oct for delivery of an rifle.
    I called October 30 for an update. (Oct 31 they were closed).

    We did a major order locally for supplies in April. I contacted them about a week ago. Guy said 1st quarter 2022.
    I said thank you for update, I will contact you if I don't hear from you by mid-march. If we weren't getting a steep discount, I'd be REALLY ticked.

    I generally like to be a nice guy but man some people just use that to roll over you cause you are just some schmuck.

    I can deal with busy. I really cannot abide this missed deadline crap.
     

    Hobo Hilton

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jun 4, 2011
    2,042
    2,164
    70
    Pacific Northwest
    Good discussion........ Many valid points are being brought out.
    I would hope some of the young "lurkers" are soaking up this topic.
    I would also encourage the young people to seriously consider becoming a gunsmith, knife maker, blacksmith or any number of other trades that are in need of craftsmen. When you operate a small, one man shop and are a craftsman... You can find happiness and rewards.
     

    Dot3

    Private
    Minuteman
    May 31, 2021
    87
    86
    NC
    I can deal with busy. I really cannot abide this missed deadline crap.
    Just so there’s no confusion, there’s no deadline that hasn’t been met on this project. Hell I didn’t even bother to get an estimated turnaround time lol
     

    Whhood

    Private
    Minuteman
    Feb 27, 2018
    80
    23
    I dropped my parts off in April and just picked them back up about two weeks ago. Still untouched. I understand things take time but I honestly don’t know why most gunsmithing takes as long as it does. Some take months to get a barrel spun on and sent back while others can get one sent back in a week or two and it shoot lights out. I’ve been in construction/electrical my entire life and understand work processes and I just don’t get how some are so far out.
     

    SQ54

    Former Chemtrail Spreader
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jul 24, 2021
    997
    6,121
    Texas
    I dropped my parts off in April and just picked them back up about two weeks ago. Still untouched. I understand things take time but I honestly don’t know why most gunsmithing takes as long as it does. Some take months to get a barrel spun on and sent back while others can get one sent back in a week or two and it shoot lights out. I’ve been in construction/electrical my entire life and understand work processes and I just don’t get how some are so far out.
    I’ve gotten barrels from Douglas in as little as 5 days, and that is contoured, threaded, chambered, cut to length and crowned. And then I have to wait 6-9 months for the gunsmith to spin it on to the action and headspace it.

    🙄
     
    • Sad
    Reactions: Hobo Hilton

    TacticalDillhole

    Shiner of shoes
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jun 26, 2012
    7,727
    9,363
    Orlando, FL
    I’ve gotten barrels from Douglas in as little as 5 days, and that is contoured, threaded, chambered, cut to length and crowned. And then I have to wait 6-9 months for the gunsmith to spin it on to the action and headspace it.

    🙄
    And yet that is so easy to do at home.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Hobo Hilton

    Milf Dots

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Oct 21, 2019
    780
    1,168
    I suspect many of the top pistol customizers and rifle smiths wait until they have X number of ABCDEF matching job items so they can do batch runs, thereby greatly improving their efficiency. I understand the advantages of minimal tooling swaps and such, but at some point they lose potential customers because the waits get ridiculous. I think that might be one of the many reasons why people are embracing chassis and self swap barrels.
     

    SQ54

    Former Chemtrail Spreader
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jul 24, 2021
    997
    6,121
    Texas
    And yet that is so easy to do at home.
    A lathe is required.
    D12F55AD-5522-4A4C-BACC-75D88CD2E8A0.jpeg

    I used to run one of these back in the day (‘75) but I have no place to put it now.
     

    GreatWhiteTatonka

    Whiskey loves company
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 14, 2017
    246
    208
    Tennessee
    I suspect many of the top pistol customizers and rifle smiths wait until they have X number of ABCDEF matching job items so they can do batch runs, thereby greatly improving their efficiency. I understand the advantages of minimal tooling swaps and such, but at some point they lose potential customers because the waits get ridiculous. I think that might be one of the many reasons why people are embracing chassis and self swap barrels.
    People don't understand this. Often the setup on the tooling isn't worth doing only one. Same with parkerizing or black oxide. I wait until I have more items to process the bead blasting at one shot. It just is not efficient doing just one item.
     

    GreatWhiteTatonka

    Whiskey loves company
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 14, 2017
    246
    208
    Tennessee
    Guys... I am reading a lot of complaining and talk of how simple the work is but I haven't heard any of you talk about the tools and equipment needed to perform the work. Lathe, Mill, reamers, tooling, barrel vise, action wrenches, gauges, punches, bench grinders, belt sanders, hand tools and not to mention the specialty tools required for certain jobs. All of this comes at a huge price. It's a craftsman trade for sure. Yes anyone can do most of the stuff with practice and training. However, I don't see many of you taking on the task. Alibi: I am not referring to slapping an AR together.... that isn't armorer work.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Hobo Hilton