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Posted: 6/14/2021 11:43:29 AM EDT
Need some advice here gents, I live in the STL metro area and dropped off my SLR 107R AK to a local gunsmith (who is very well known, and does great work, I hear) on January of this year. I was having the barrel chopped/pinned with my muzzle device and a new adjustable gas block pressed on. I knew he was busy and wasn't minding the wait. I followed up with him about 3 months in and he said he hadn't gotten to it yet - no big deal. Follow up with him a month later and he said he has my AK stripped down to the barrel/receiver. Month 5 and he said he has the barrel pulled and chopped. I get a call on June 10th from the smith asking if I had included specific parts with the AK (bolt/carrier/top cover/handguard retaining cap, handguard, gas tube). Essentially all the parts of the AK minus the barrel and receiver. I told him I dropped off a complete AK (I even have pictures the day I dropped it off). He said he would look for them. I get no response so I call a day later and he said he hadn't begun looking for the parts, and maybe they were left at a different gunsmith who helped him press the barrel out...

Now I'm starting to panic because there is no sense of urgency to find my missing parts, not to mention they should be all matching serialized parts, so any replacements he could provide would devalue the AK.

So my question is, if he cant locate the missing parts, and only offered to replace with aftermarket non numbers matching stuff, what would you do?

I wont reveal the name of the gunsmith until/if we come to a resolution.
Link Posted: 6/14/2021 1:35:43 PM EDT
Gunsmiths go through all kinds of hair pulling when working on an already overload of gunsmithing, so I would continue to keep in contact, but give him time to do quality work if he's known for it. You've already gone almost 7 months, so what's another couple months to get you back a gun you'd be proud to have and it operates correctly?

Also, going into saying how all these parts are original and makes the AK more valuable, but you're having the barrel chopped and muzzle pinned, wouldn't that already devalue the rifle? Ponder on that awhile.

 Original and matching #'s is only once. Anything else, is either upgrading, restoring or maintaining for functionality of longer life is just as much changing from original, as chopping and pinning the muzzle. It'll never be able to go back to original.

Link Posted: 6/14/2021 1:36:14 PM EDT
 That's tough, because if he lost/sold/stole the parts, there's no way to make it right. If he doesn't *find* your parts, the best you could probably hope for is that he doesn't charge for the work he did, since he's giving you back a trash can gun instead of your numbers matching original.
Link Posted: 6/14/2021 1:44:53 PM EDT
I don't blame you for being concerned about him having no urgency on finding or completing the job you hired him too do.

Not sure how worried 8d be about aftermarket parts on an AK as I'm not familiar with that model.

Is it a super rare,  desirable, collectable unit in all original form or a run of the mill albeit a little higher shelf (dollar/quality-wise?) Ak ??

Either way, I'd expect him to make good.

Even though this has went on much longer than it should have, I would not put him on blast yet.

Go in and politely say, I understand shit happens. But, I hired you to do a job, you guys already took much longer than you should have, lot my parts, don't communicate well and have not done much to resolve this.

At this point I'm not sure if you've taken on more work than you can handle in a timely matter, just dont care or somewhere in tne middle.
Either way, tjats pretty much where we are.
What are you going to do to resolve this issue and when can I count on this being done?

I'm willing to work with you and be flexible, but I'd like my gun back in working condition and in the way I originally asked.

Will you do that?

If he refuses, or doesn't meet such time as given, then I'd put him on blast on here and any other forums snd FB Pages...

But, id give him another chance to straighten it out.

Keep us updated, I like to know what shops I should do business with and send folks to and which to avoid.




Link Posted: 6/14/2021 1:48:07 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Triumphman:
Gunsmiths go through all kinds of hair pulling when working on an already overload of gunsmithing, so I would continue to keep in contact, but give him time to do quality work if he's known for it. You've already gone almost 7 months, so what's another couple months to get you back a gun you'd be proud to have and it operates correctly?

Also, going into saying how all these parts are original and makes the AK more valuable, but you're having the barrel chopped and muzzle pinned, wouldn't that already devalue the rifle? Ponder on that awhile.

 Original and matching #'s is only once. Anything else, is either upgrading, restoring or maintaining for functionality of longer life is just as much changing from original, as chopping and pinning the muzzle. It'll never be able to go back to original.

View Quote

I like your reply better than mine.

I still stand by giving him another chance to make it right, then if not, put him on blast...

If he is shitting on customers, I'd be nice for folks to be aware, then if they still want to use him, they know what they are getting into.
Link Posted: 6/14/2021 2:48:22 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Triumphman:
Gunsmiths go through all kinds of hair pulling when working on an already overload of gunsmithing, so I would continue to keep in contact, but give him time to do quality work if he's known for it. You've already gone almost 7 months, so what's another couple months to get you back a gun you'd be proud to have and it operates correctly?

Also, going into saying how all these parts are original and makes the AK more valuable, but you're having the barrel chopped and muzzle pinned, wouldn't that already devalue the rifle? Ponder on that awhile.

 Original and matching #'s is only once. Anything else, is either upgrading, restoring or maintaining for functionality of longer life is just as much changing from original, as chopping and pinning the muzzle. It'll never be able to go back to original.

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This is good logic - although from my understanding, the work is complete - but he can't reassemble the rifle without the missing parts...


Link Posted: 6/14/2021 4:08:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/14/2021 4:19:55 PM EDT by mzM]
All I can say is, you guys are being a lot nicer than I might be about it at this point.

Well, here's another suggestion... Call and tell him that you have to have the gun back by the end of the month and to call you when it's ready. Now he has that sense of urgency and his last chance. If he doesn't call by the end of the month, go down in person and demand your gun. Tell him you're not leaving without it, even if it's still in pieces. If it comes down to it, don't be physically threatening, but in no uncertain terms, tell him he can either give you your gun, or you'll call the ATF and he can explain to them why he can't produce it.

Just a thought. Whatever, do let us know how it turns out. I certainly hope you get it back, all finished and in perfect condition. Good luck!
Link Posted: 6/14/2021 5:41:15 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By bruskie456:



This is good logic - although from my understanding, the work is complete - but he can't reassemble the rifle without the missing parts...



I really do hope you get your rifle back in a condition that'll help keep your faith in good gunsmiths.

However in future, IF, you decide to drop off a gun for repair or maintenance, make sure to let the gun shop/smithy know the repairs are needed by a certain date and "time is of the essence."

The gunsmith might not get to your gun at time you want him to, but he might have a better time to drop off the gun, so he can do a proper job because of backlog.


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Originally Posted By bruskie456:
Originally Posted By Triumphman:
Gunsmiths go through all kinds of hair pulling when working on an already overload of gunsmithing, so I would continue to keep in contact, but give him time to do quality work if he's known for it. You've already gone almost 7 months, so what's another couple months to get you back a gun you'd be proud to have and it operates correctly?

Also, going into saying how all these parts are original and makes the AK more valuable, but you're having the barrel chopped and muzzle pinned, wouldn't that already devalue the rifle? Ponder on that awhile.

 Original and matching #'s is only once. Anything else, is either upgrading, restoring or maintaining for functionality of longer life is just as much changing from original, as chopping and pinning the muzzle. It'll never be able to go back to original.




This is good logic - although from my understanding, the work is complete - but he can't reassemble the rifle without the missing parts...



I really do hope you get your rifle back in a condition that'll help keep your faith in good gunsmiths.

However in future, IF, you decide to drop off a gun for repair or maintenance, make sure to let the gun shop/smithy know the repairs are needed by a certain date and "time is of the essence."

The gunsmith might not get to your gun at time you want him to, but he might have a better time to drop off the gun, so he can do a proper job because of backlog.



Link Posted: 6/14/2021 9:11:10 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By smullen:
Not sure how worried 8d be about aftermarket parts on an AK as I'm not familiar with that model. Is it a super rare,  desirable, collectable unit in all original form or a run of the mill albeit a little higher shelf (dollar/quality-wise?) Ak ??
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That's missing the point. They're probably scavenging his gun, and returning a trash can gun made from whatever parts they can find. That isn't acceptable at any value level.
Link Posted: 6/14/2021 11:01:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/14/2021 11:06:37 PM EDT by seekwolf]
It’s not your fault his organization is poor . Well known means squat if he can’t do one project at a time . Why would your gun and inner parts be in different places in his shop or locations ? Step one strip rifle . Step 2 perform functions requested by customer . Step 3 put rifle back together and call customer for pickup .

Honestly the functions you asked for is 4 hours of labor . And that’s only if he pulled the barrel and put it on a lathe like he’s supposed to.

I would be furious. But I hope he finds the parts . I’ve had my doozy with a well known smith before .  Eventually I found somebody who was much higher but shit was done correctly.

If your Ak does not have matching # basically it’s worth 30% less unless you find a fudd on armslist . Maybe even worse since yours is a factory gun .
Link Posted: 6/15/2021 8:27:12 AM EDT
Same general area, and same story my buddy had years ago. I think he gave up, and let him keep the entire parts kit he claimed not to have nearly a year later.
Link Posted: 6/15/2021 9:26:01 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By seekwolf:
It’s not your fault his organization is poor . Well known means squat if he can’t do one project at a time . Why would your gun and inner parts be in different places in his shop or locations ? Step one strip rifle . Step 2 perform functions requested by customer . Step 3 put rifle back together and call customer for pickup .

Honestly the functions you asked for is 4 hours of labor . And that’s only if he pulled the barrel and put it on a lathe like he’s supposed to.

I would be furious. But I hope he finds the parts . I’ve had my doozy with a well known smith before .  Eventually I found somebody who was much higher but shit was done correctly.

If your Ak does not have matching # basically it’s worth 30% less unless you find a fudd on armslist . Maybe even worse since yours is a factory gun .
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Exactly. My thought it, you strip a rifle and put all those parts together in one bin. To be honest I should have just gone with CW Gunwerks, I've used them in the past and they do phenomenal work. I was thinking at the time to support local businesses...

Link Posted: 6/15/2021 10:27:20 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By 67Firebird:

That's missing the point. They're probably scavenging his gun, and returning a trash can gun made from whatever parts they can find. That isn't acceptable at any value level.
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Originally Posted By 67Firebird:
Originally Posted By smullen:
Not sure how worried 8d be about aftermarket parts on an AK as I'm not familiar with that model. Is it a super rare,  desirable, collectable unit in all original form or a run of the mill albeit a little higher shelf (dollar/quality-wise?) Ak ??

That's missing the point. They're probably scavenging his gun, and returning a trash can gun made from whatever parts they can find. That isn't acceptable at any value level.



Good god I hope not, first thing I'll check when he has it back together is the numbers. Dust cover, bolt carrier, bolt, should all match the receiver, and if they don't.... well you guys will hear about it first... But i don't plan on accepting the rifle back if its not the original rifle I provided him. He can keep it, along with the parts he lost, and buy me a new rifle. I'll go elsewhere for the work.
Link Posted: 6/15/2021 12:48:14 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By bruskie456:
... But i don't plan on accepting the rifle back if its not the original rifle I provided him. He can keep it, along with the parts he lost, and buy me a new rifle. I'll go elsewhere for the work.
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I like this plan.
Link Posted: 6/15/2021 2:28:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/15/2021 2:29:17 PM EDT by mzM]
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Originally Posted By 67Firebird:
I like this plan.
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Ditto.
Link Posted: 6/15/2021 4:16:27 PM EDT
Is this smith located in the Affton area?
Link Posted: 6/16/2021 1:51:42 PM EDT
Send a letter, registered return receipt, ask for return of completed project in 10 days.
If no response file in small claims court for value, deposit and filing fees.
Anticipate he will miss court date.  You will be awarded a default judgement.  
Collection is the hard part, but a nail in his coffin.  Then the fun begins.
Link Posted: 6/16/2021 3:13:05 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By rockasons:
Is this smith located in the Affton area?
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Nah, hes in St Charles area
Link Posted: 6/16/2021 4:37:23 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By 1873spfd:
Send a letter, registered return receipt, ask for return of completed project in 10 days.
If no response file in small claims court for value, deposit and filing fees.
Anticipate he will miss court date.  You will be awarded a default judgement.  
Collection is the hard part, but a nail in his coffin.  Then the fun begins.
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I like this responce,  Collection might be the hard part, but if you let all the gun forums know what this person did, he will lose his business.
Link Posted: 6/29/2021 3:15:23 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By bruskie456:



Nah, hes in St Charles area
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Just spit it out... who is it?
Link Posted: 7/1/2021 7:17:53 PM EDT
PM me if you want to know

I dont want to publically blast him yet

But I've called the past 2 weeks and he still hasn't found them but hes assured me he knows they're in his shop...

Thanks
Link Posted: 7/1/2021 10:18:47 PM EDT
I've heard this same story many many times in both gunsmithing and automotive industries.  I have a good friend that runs an auto repair shop in which sits two vehicles that have been there for over a year.   It's not a matter of them not paying, they need relatively simple things done but he just puts them off.  I can't understand it, I'm not that way with people I do work for but it's a common theme.
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