I am I allowed to vent here
No names no bad mouthing
Just frustration about Smith’s
In general who build XP’s
Not a mod, but what are you frustrated about?
I am sure that at times others are frustrated.
When I started building some XP’s I did some research
On smiths most were honest when I asked about how much
time it took to build one if I supplied 95% of the parts
and they did the labor. Yes first come first served
Some make a living at it ,some are part time. Yes I understand about
unforeseen things that happen BUT, when you seen other work finished and yours has
been a 1 1/2 yrs come on .
I understand that it takes time , believe me if I could do
Or learn for my self I would
Like the saying goes good things come to those who wait.
I am currently think of cutting my losses and get my parts back
and try again sometime later lost Heart on these builds.
Just 2 of my 4 builds. 2 of my builds are going just fine.
Ok I am Done
As you can see in the threads here...
We constantly crank them out.
I try to get 4 or so done a month
I post about half of what I get done
I can only give my experience with my one and only build. I spoke with three smiths who’s work I have seen on here. I can say that the conversation with all of them was good and informative. I went with Chris Rhodes for one because I wanted a 25 creedmoor and he had already ordered a reamer for it. There was more to it than that because if I didn’t get a good feeling that wouldn’t have mattered but it did help. I sent only my xp barreled action to him is he last week of January with him to order the other parts. We did luck out with Kreiger shipping the barrel in about 1 week instead of the 6 weeks or so they quoted. Long story short Chris finished my gun, test fired it today and will ship it when my case comes in next week. If I hadn’t have wanted the case he would have shipped it this week. While I have yet to get to hold and fire it you can see the work he did in the xp 25 creed post and if Chris hasn’t posted the target by then he time I get home from work I will. Needless to say at this point I am well pleased.
I'm sorry you're having a rough go of it. Sucks waiting. Hopefully its worth it in the end.
Don't feel like your alone. I had about the same thing go on quite a few years back. Gather all the parts and wait. Then you read where someone has an idea, and is pretty much in the planning stage. Only to see a month or so later their idea became a project and is done and being shipped back to them!
I am patient but call and ask, then am told mine is on the table and will be next, all good to go. I am nice and wait. Fast forward and it hits two years and I am totally PO'd. Rig shows up and is a train wreck, no where close to what I wanted and ordered. After back and forth two more times, shipping and insurance was getting in my pocket. Sold the whole rig,dies,brass everything, took a loss of about $600 or so just so I didn't have to look at it.
Even worse, I won't even look at a gun in that caliber anymore.
My thoughts, cut your losses and move on.
G whiz, it's a Contender or a G2, never was a G One!
I don’t know what shop your stuffs in but..
It never hurts to call or email them and ask for a status.
My local gunsmith did great for me. He is professional. Just wasnt covered up in work. That doesnt mean hes not good.
If shipping, chris looks like a great option from what i see. I personally dont have to yet. My dude is just a few miles away.
~Kentucky....there is no place i'd rather be~
Join the NRA
I’m very lucky, bring a new barrel and your old XP in the shop and about 3.5 hours later you’re walking out the door completely done. He doesn’t like to be called a “Gunsmith” he says they fix old rusty shotguns. He’s a precision machinist that works on guns,He still has his Industeail machine shop from when he was in business with 30+ employees. Retired now and uses it as his “hobby shop”.Built guns for 600 and 1000 yard game for years , lucky to have him do my work !
IHMSA Industry Director
IHMSA Region 5 Director
Minnesota State IHMSA Director
NRA life Member
The 'smith I used for my XP-100 build took from ~ January to ~ September to complete my build. I dropped my rifle off same day I picked up the XP-100 and he had that done in about the same amount of time.
I've had a few different smiths do work for me. Gre-Tan took around 9 months, Bob Green took about 4 months both times, guy in Idaho was only a month or two. Waiting is part of the reason I now have a lathe, mill, and a few dozen reamers. In the long run it's probably cheaper to pay someone else to do the work but you gotta wait for them to do it!!!
JSH sounds like you and I used the same "Gunsmith". He was an up and coming star on here a while back but I don't see him mentioned anymore. I went the same route as you and lost about $800.00 in the end. Found an excellent smith now and could not be happier!
Another guy I'd definitely recommend is Mike Abel of Rogue Precision Gunworks. Stand up guy. No idea what his waiting list is.
I second Aaron's suggestion. Mike @ Rouge Precision is a great guy. Excellent communication and a real pleasure to work with.
I THINK the wait is SUPPOSED to make you think that it is a DIFFICULT job to make your gun. I HAVE had a couple custom guns made. One was a 35 Whelen done jn THREE weeks. Shot sub inch groups, still does! I had a 6mm A I done in a week but that was a 6mm Ruger already. Some guns took quite a bit longer to get done. I had one rifle that had a broken stock. It sat in the smiths shop over a year with out being touched. I took it to another smith I heard about asked IF HE thought it was repairable. I got it back in 3 weeks. I got 2 deer with it that year.
He did refuse to drill and tap it for a scope, though. Said "Get closer!"
Well I used to think you got what you paid for, along with good things come to those that wait.
I have seen some pretty poor work from a some what local source that has high reviews. Customers knock the door down to hand over large amounts of $$$$$.
I think we some times forget it is more the Indian than the arrow a lot of times.
G whiz, it's a Contender or a G2, never was a G One!
I always thought two of the biggest problems with smiths was lack of communication and being annoyed/****ed off by customers asking questions.
Never understood what was so hard about giving a customer an update....
Today with social media it’s easy to stay in touch and send pics during a build.
Every shop (if they get enough work to make a living) will fall behind...communication is key to keeping the customer happy.
The biggest hold up I see in the shop besides parts orders is a snowballing effect if one build has issues or takes longer it pushes everything else back.
I am friends with a guy that has a well known gunsmith with a reputation for building winning long range rifles & XPs...asked him to build me a pistol on my newly acquired action. Sure thing, three to four months at the outside. Nine months later he still hadn't started. Had him ship it back and sent it to Jon Beanland, and I couldn't possibly be happier with the result. Finished within four months, including my wait time on a couple items. Almost exactly 1 year later I was shooting next to a couple of veteran shooters, and one of them was really put out with the custom rifle he had built by that OTHER 'smith...He was sick when I showed him my target, shooting in the same conditions. That made it worth the wait.
BLASERMAN I'd get my stuff back if I was in your situation. Better to be out a little time than to be out everything.
Chris did a build for me that took a little longer than planned but he kept me informed (waiting on some parts that was late in being delivered, way beyond his control) Letting me know where and what was going on kept things positive and he still delivered a lot quicker than most builds I've had done and the wait was well worth it.
“Evil, unchecked, is the prelude to genocide. - Anonymous”
― Joel C. Rosenberg, The Auschwitz Escape
I sent two xp's to a respected smith on this site a complete build and the other just a barrel job I supplied all the parts, its been over a year. talked to him a few times and now don't answer phone, don't return calls and has not returned email. I think its time to get my stuff back and try Rogue precision he's a hell of a lot closer
anyone who cranks them out fast is probably cutting corners or doesnt have as much business as they say,Ive had 8 built and all have taken around 8-9 months and thats after gathering the parts.A good gunsmith has a waiting list because they are great gunsmiths. or if you ascribe to many a month its someone peddling something like fast food but the quality is questionable.dont get in a hurry.
I hate it when I hear the "gunsmith" nightmare stories. For those that strive to offer a quality product and quality service it puts us all in a bad light.
As was mentioned above, communication is key. Back in the day' I remember being on the other side of the counter and ......waiting, waiting, waiting.....and then getting a less than stellar product. We all know that is no fun. I think the frustration for the customer comes in when the expectations aren't clearly defined up front, and poor communication follows. The VERY THING that pushed me into the business side of the counter is just that....frustration with other smiths. Many of you know I was/am an avid handgun hunter and IHMSA competitor with a healthy dose of OCD and I wanted my stuff the way I wanted it. The rest is history and here we are 11 years later.
Building a custom rifle or XP is about getting it exactly how you want it. The stock, the stock color, the barrel chambering, the barrel contour, the color or color combination, the type of brake, etc, etc. Making these choices is part of the fun of building a custom gun. However, these things can also affect lead times.
The "wait" or lead time is determined by three factors: 1)component availability, 2)position in que (how many builds are ahead of you); and 3) change order. We try to keep some of the more common caliber/contour/twist rate barrels in stock and other common components along with 60+ reamers. But keep in mind that if you want a special barrel contour it may take up to 4-5 months to get it. Same for stocks.......ESPECIALLY XP stocks. With the McMillan's, I've gotten them in as little as 2 months and as long as 9 months. The H-S stocks will usually run 2-3 months.
Workload. I do this full time. New shop specifically designed and built for building custom guns - period. Organization and neatness is paramount with me....I can't help it. Office, secure storage room, machining area, assembly area, updraft spray booth, commercial oven. Equipment and tooling purchases never ends.
I keep a list of builds on the office bulletin board. I will share this with customers to let them know their place in line. If you're 27th in line, you are not going to get your gun in three weeks, but if you're third in line you will. A one man shop can only get so much work out the door - it's simple math. Fortunately we have been blessed; for the past 5-6 years we've stayed 25-35 builds behind. Then add in the local coating jobs, bedding jobs, muzzle brakes, etc and it becomes a busy place. Right now lead times are 6-8 months. It takes time to do this stuff right. If you can get TommyJimBob down at the muffler shop to chamber your barrel on the driveshaft lathe in 3 weeks that's ok too.
Also always remember that if you change your mind on a barrel contour, caliber, or stock color halfway through the process it will likely cause a delay. Not on my end...but on the component supplier/manufacturer end.
Communication: Apache Machine & Custom customers know the following....
I answer the phone - or return calls.
I return texts and emails.
I advise the customer when his deposit is received.
I advise the customer when components are ordered - and received.
I advise the customer when his work starts and also provide photos of the process. I'll send pics of the action truing, chambering, fluting, threading, bedding, and coating. No secret sauce here....I'll show you every step of the process.
I consider the above a normal part of our business model.
Great post Steve!
Ernie (xphunter) "The Un-Tactical"
WY-SHOT 2022 June 20-22
All I can say is please don’t lump all Smith’s in with the guy(s) that have fallen off the horse....
There are a lot of good smiths.
There are a smaller number who communicate and try to serve you.
The list of bad ones always seems to grow.
The ones who basically lock the door and quit talking to people for over a year yet you occasionally see something they built themselves.....well I have nothing good to say there....
Good gunsmiths build there reputation over time with good work and satisfied customers.They listen to what there customers want and if possible make their dream come true.I personally like to deal with established gunsmiths who have a long running history who simply knows their trade and dont have to advertise because they are just that good.Ive been here over 10 years and consistently Apache308 has in my opinion the best reputation on this forum.Gunsmith skills are needed for success but people skills are just important.Cocky gunsmiths that come accross as a know it all never do well in the long run especially with competetion shooters.My gunsmith is awesome in both areas and i will wait for him to do what he does and Im always pleased.I know many here are pleased with Apache308 in both those areas as well..to me he has "earned authority" and has my respect.
Rogue Precision Gunworks (Mike Abel) in Grants Pass, OR has attention to detail like I’ve never seen! My brother and I have both had SP builds completed by Mike and both are the definition of perfection! His turn around beats most, he answers texts, emails, and phone calls almost immediately, and his willingness to step outside the box of normal is a unique quality. I’ve had 6 different custom gunsmiths complete builds for me over the last 20 years, and no one holds a candle to Mike Abel. Just my 2 cents...
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I agree 100% with Cody. Mikes work is second to none! We just received another build from Mike @ Rouge Precision and it is absolutely beautiful. I will post pictures after a range outing.
I'm just hoping I at least get my parts back. it takes a lot of time and money to get good pieces together. when I do I'll be looking one of you guys up.
First of all,
Thanks for all the kind words from my very valued customers.
There's some other very skilled smiths that lurk here too, and I admire the work that they turn out.
Not much more too be said. Sometimes we are at the mercy of parts suppliers as mentioned, or if the customer is wanting something special.
I too got my humble start some years ago while shooting pistol silhouettes, and then being inspired by what I was seeing and learning on this site.
My turn around times are most likely not as quick as the guys here that have been able to make it their full time job. I'm still working my full time day job, then relegating evenings and weekends to the gun building.
I REALLY do try to keep the communication channels open with customers. Hopefully none of you feel ignored, but there are times that if the machines aren't running I'm falling behind
Please feel free to contact me at Mike@RoguePrecisionGunworks.com or give me a call at 541-660-2773
The website is under construction, and soon it should look great!
I have always just been a hunter...even tho I did shoot quite a bit of the speed games.
I apprenticed as a smith, taught some gunsmithing school, worked as a machinist in the nuke shop. My USMC and LE time had nothing to do with gun building.
I have been in the trade full or part time since 2004/5. My shop opened in 2011 and went full time in 2012.
I’m glad the customers followed me as I moved across the country last year. I never expected work to actually pick up with the move....but it has.
What got me into building the bolt rigs was the customers. Since day one they have asked...and the voices got louder.
I don’t know why the customers pushed so hard for me to do it...but they did. Anyways I now try to turn out 3-4 a month with a fairly streamlined process that works for me.
I have always liked to have the customer directly (as possible) involved with the build. I try to send pictures all the way through the build. I think it lets the customer see exactly what they are paying for. I always encourage my customers to ask questions.
Best part of my job....shooting all these customs
Thanks for the input , have been trying to contact
My smith but for the last month no return call or emails
I will keep trying
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