Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by COMETHILL, Nov 21, 2006.


    COMETHILL New Member

    Nov 3, 2006
    upstate NEW YORK.
    Maybe someone can help me with some info. on changing a handspring for a revolver? I finally found a gunsmith to fix my remmington new army clone. As per speaking to him i told him to fix the probl em with the part that came in a parts kit from PIETTA for that gun. Well he also changed parts that were not broken. hammer and trigger. 65.00 NO PROBLEM. tHEN HE TELLS ME THAT HE HAS TO CHARGE ME ANOTHER 65.00 TO TAKE IT APART AND TIME IT. I don't pretend to know the mechanics of gun repair. THATS WHY I TOOK IT TO HIM. BUT do you put the gun together then take it apart again to time it?Does that sound right? Or am i being taken?
  2. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2001
    Here at TFF
    I think you are being taken.

    Find another gunsmith that knows what he's doing.

  3. Unfortunetly their are a lot of crooked Smith's out their
  4. DanC_1968

    DanC_1968 New Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    I replaced a hand spring in my 1851 Colt Navy replica once, and had to disassemble, install the part numerous times in order to get the gun to time properly. I am not a gunsmith, so there might have been a better way--I also used the dreaded dremel(ahhhh!) to do the work. There was some overall fitting to get the hand to move smoothly through its groove, and a lot of final fitting to the very top of the hand to get the hammer sear to engage and go to full cock on all 6 cylinders(due to slight variations in the dimensions of the notches where the hand turns the cylinder). I disassembled it 2-3 times for the overall fitting(without even putting the cylinder in the frame during this time), and probably 5-6 more times to remove very small amounts of metal from the top of the hand(to perfect the timing).

    The entire process took me a little over an hour. Even though I am not a gunsmith, I feel that a pro would still have to disassemble the gun at least a few times. If too much metal was removed at once, the hand might not be able to revolve the cylinder until it latches.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2006
  5. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk New Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    South Central Texas
    a had gunsmith replace trigger, hammer and safety. He said may have to take apart more than once, but quoted one price install and fit. their not repairing unless parts fit. He should have given you one price for installing and fitting. To me this all one job.
  6. DanC_1968

    DanC_1968 New Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Yes, I agee that an initial price quote(if it was a firm quote) should be stuck to. If there are some unknown variables in a job, a gunsmith could quote the price for parts and labor per hour, and promise to call the customer if it looks like the job will be more than meets the eye. To me the latter is preferred, because if you force someone to quote an exact price they might balloon their quote to ensure it covers all possible contingencies.

    I wonder if the hammer and trigger needed to be replaced, or if the smith replaced them because he thought a different hammer/trigger/hand combination would make the gun work without fitting being done to the hand.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2006
  7. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk New Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    South Central Texas
    I requested hammer and trigger change. the main reason for repair was safety needed two hands to set. bought pistol used and someone had put black trigger and hammer on stainless colt. the quote was only for what I wanted done. anything else would be extra and he'd call.

    COMETHILL New Member

    Nov 3, 2006
    upstate NEW YORK.
    Picked up B.P Pistol frm. Gunsmith

    Hey guys just a follow up on this cituation. I went to pick up my pistol yesterday. As advised by my wife i entered the gunsmith shop without projecting any anoyance. Good thing because i was told that after i told him not to time it he had thougt about it. you brought me the gun to fix and thats what i did. He said that he didn'twant me to tell people that he was dishonest. He charged me another 10.00 which was fine with me. 85.60 complete. And he did a great job. Just thought you'd like to know.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2006
  9. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk New Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    South Central Texas
    maybe he's on forum
  10. Sounds good atleast it is worth it when you get to get out and shoot it
  11. SF Mike

    SF Mike New Member

    Jan 18, 2005
    I don't know what rates are, but there is some work to getting this right.
    He should have been up front about the whole deal, though.
  12. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas
    If you bring your car to me, with the 'check money' light on, I will tell you right up front, that it will cost X amount of money, for initial diagnosis, and I'll call you, with an estimate, before proceeding, beyond that point. Most of the time, my first call will be the last, with a price for the repair, and a total, bottom line, number.
    If it is a more involved problem, I may need more diagnostic time, before estimating the repairs, and if so, I will tell you how much, and why, before proceeding.
    At any time in the process, you are free to 'opt out', and go elsewhere, paying only for the time already authorised, and spent, on your vehicle.
    It is not unusual for me to have $60K plus of equiptment (out of my pocket) attatched to your $1500 vehicle, operated on 40+ years of education, and experience.
    The diagnostic time cannot be taken, or given back, rather, it is spent, and forever.
    That being said, yes, a competent gunsmith, like a competent mechanic, ought very early on, to have an idea about how easy, or difficult, this or that problem ought to be, to fix.
    There are exceptions, however!
    An 1861 Colt, and a clone, of the same, are entirely different species.
    A Colt 1911A-1, and a Charles Daly 'knock -off', of the original.
    A 1995 Honda Accord, and a '95 Accord, with a 'transplanted' Accura motor, of undeterminable actual vintage, with an unidentifiable computer, with driveability problems.
    In any of these examples, expect to pay at least twice the 'usual and reasonable' price, and count yourself lucky, to get off that cheaply, if you do; I told the guy with the Honda/Accura to take it to "Toys are Us", because he could not afford to fix it here; a repair, at my shop, carries a 2 year warranty, and what it would cost, in time, to research the disparate origins of his bastard vehicle would well exceed it's value, in order to do the repairs in a fashion that would meet our warranty!
    I work in both fields. One of my early mentors, the late Armand Swenson, used to tell his customers "It will be ready when it meets my standards, not yours, as it is my name I am putting on it!"
    With him, I totally agree.
    All that being said, car, truck, or gun, if you walked in and said "this is what is wrong, here are the parts, please install them; how much, please?". the laughing would be starting as you reached the door, with your ass in my hands!
    I simply do not, and cannot, do my business in that fashion, as there is too much to lose, and too little to gain, to do so.
    If you MUST bring me a wierd car, or weapon, be advised, as you will be, that, here, wierd costs extra.
    I will put you on an agenda, for continued approoval, of additional repairs, either daily, or in dollar increments, and contact you at each interval, before proceeding; I do not refund time or material already authorised, and spent, unless you were mis informed, by me!
    Your Family Doctor works on only one (1) model, with only two (2) trim packages, no accessories: Did HE ever offer you a refund, for bad results?
    If you are driving, or shooting, I face more 'in production' changes, many weeks, than HE will see in his career, and must understand and utilise them, daily, to keep you happy; the number of brands, models, and variations marvels the mind!
    In a nutshell, if your smith called you and told you, that your 'copy of a copy' was going to take more time, and more money, to fix, than he originally thought, the option was yours, at that point: he had met his responsibility, in asking for more money, before proceeding. If you told him 'fix it', then pay his bill, and be thankful. If you told him 'Stop- do no more!', then , just pay his bill, as he did his part, up to your limit!
    Just my .02, Terry
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2007
  13. sewerman

    sewerman New Member

    great parallel!! as a former diesel /heavy equipment and police fleet mechanic i can identify with your explanation! great job!
  14. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas
    Comethill, all, I kinda 'went off' on you, some time ago, and apologise for the fact.
    A 'gunsmith' ought to know something about guns, but I know of no licensure, beyond a FFL, required in any state; if the 'smith is working, piecework, or salary, in an already FFL'd gunshop, no licensure at all.
    I spent far more than half my life, learning a couple of trades, but have no embarrassment in saying "I don't know", when that is the correct answer.
    Armand Swenson taught me the 1911, over the course of several uncompensated years; that was my 'tuition', for the education, and an agreed upon thing, in advance.
    That was one of the cheaper (all it cost me was lots of time, and wiork) educational endeavors, in my life, and the 'side benefits' truly exceed, today, the value of the 1911 knowledge; he alsotaught by example, integrity, in all things, and fairness, in pricing. If it took more time than he thought it would, he'd work with a customer, and maybe just 'eat' the extra time; if it took less time, effort, or parts, the bill would be less than the estimate, accordingly.
    Where I am going with this, is that at the point, via a parts catalog, ir weapon dis-assembly, it is establisshed that the hand spring is an integral part of the hand, any 'smith worth the name knows the revolver will have to re-timed, by working the hand's upper surface, and replacing the hammer and trigger is not a 'drop in deal', either; Try buying those parts from Smith, or Colt, if you wanna hear why!
    This gunsmith has every right to charge what he wishes, for what he does, but the obligation to tell the customer, 'up front' these sort of things, which he 'should' know, if his shingle is hung in public, claiming to be a Gunsmith.
    The exception is when the weapon is not a 'straight up ' piece, particularly, if somebody else has tried a 'cobble' repair, not visible until dia-assembly!
    I see vehicles like this, all too frequently, where a simple problem has been turned into several simultaneous problems, due to poor 'you tried to fix it first' technique; in our shop, we stop right there, the customer is called, an if I don't get, at that point, a comprehensive, believeable , and detailed explanation for what I have found, we take one of two courses of action; we go to 'clock time, with a daily report, on charges, to the customer, or tell him or her, if that is unacceptable, to come and get the pieces, with a wrecker, or a rope, but bring 'X' amount of dollars, to pay the bill!
    Bob Day, Steve Velchof, and Steve Kline, are three of the most knowledgeable on the planet, or were, as the first two are dead, about the K-Frame Smith, as an accuracy/competition platform; all used the same assumption, of the initial estimate, that everything but the sideplate, and frame, was gonna have to be replaced, and fitted, to deliver the product in their level of quality; sometimes, this was not so, and the bill went down, sometimes, often, this was a fair 'initial assessment' of the project, and it did not go down, in those cases
    Several, 'fair to both sides' approaches, I feel.
    In the case of your 'Remingtona', ie, Italian clone of a Remington revolver, for the work you describe, you got the deal of the century!
    I hope this is a more reasonable, and understandable, answer to the initial question!
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