Gun "cleaning" by a gun smith

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by ShawnDow, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. ShawnDow

    ShawnDow Member

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    This might sound silly, but what is the rate you gunsmiths would charge to thoroughly clean a gun. I mean pulling it all apart and make it like new? Some stuff I'm just not willing to pull apart.
    Thanks for any input,
    Shawn
  2. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

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    Depending on ones geographic location and the relative economy in these times you are likely looking at a shop labor rate of $35 to $70 per man hour with $50 being a common midpoint. Most guns (depending on the gun) will take between 0.7 and 1.5 hours to properly clean by a person who knows what he/she is doing, and is set up to do it, efficiently.

    Bear in mind that a self employed person like a gunsmith has business overhead expenses that typically "eat up" about half of the shop labor rate per man hour.

    The gunsmith commercial cleaning of guns is commonly done using two methods. The first and best is the almost complete dis-assembly (except for removing things like a threaded in barrel from a receiver) accompanied by solvent cleaning and rinsing and parts with visual inspection. Then the gun is reassembled with proper lubrication to insure proper function and rust prevention. The second method involves the ultrasonic cleaning and rinsing of a gun without the aforementioned degree of dis-assembly. While ultrasonic cleaning has some technical advantages, it also has some drawbacks, and is not a replacement for the first type of cleaning.

    Hope this is informative.
  3. packetsplace

    packetsplace New Member

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    Depends on the gun. You dont always need to take a gun down all the way to clean it. Any way, I charge $20 an hour for general gunsmith work. I do it part time and dont have a store front.
  4. BETH

    BETH Well-Known Member

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    maybe there is someone on here that lives by you that would do it?
  5. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I charge 45 for a detail strip and clean up. It is based on my hourly rate which is 45 an hour, and I can get most firearms cleaned and reassembled within an hour.
  6. ShawnDow

    ShawnDow Member

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    Packetsplace, Do you need to have an FFL to do gun smithing? Part time or as a hobby? I've tinkered with some of my pieces to some degree, some of them I can tear down, others... not so much.
    Well guys and gals, Thanks for your input. Ill try to locate the locals here in the middle of no where, and see what they charge? I just was looking for a round a bout to compare to who ever I can find out here.
    Again thanks.
  7. ShawnDow

    ShawnDow Member

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    Ive had a couple of friends ask me to tidy theirs up... some of these things look as if they haven't been cleaned since they were manufactured. I was debating if I should charge them.
  8. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    IF you want to do it for a source of income and offer it as a service to the general public you need an FFL-01. If you only ever work on your own stuff or stuff for friends and family it is not required.

    The way my ATF lady put it to me wa like this.. If you run ads or distribute business cards to the general public then get your FFL. If not, dont bother.
  9. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Back before i got my FFL, right after I finished my gun pro course I was working for Burleson Great guns part time under thier FFL. my prices were cheaper then. I charged 25 bucks then, but I didnt have overhead to maintain either.
  10. ShawnDow

    ShawnDow Member

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    Ive tickled the idea of some kind of formal training in "smithing" vs. just tinkering and learn by hands on trial and heaven forbid error. But there are no schools with in any where of Tawas Michigan, and i didn't know if on line training is "real enough". And I doubt home education with books from the internet would give me what I'm after. Any suggestions.. I'm just looking to be confident and practical with my stuff and my friends stuff, beyond the basic bore cleaning and bluing touch ups'.
  11. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I started withthe Penn Foster Gun Pro course and went from there. It definitely provides you withthe info, its just up to you to seek the hands on.

    AGI is probably your best value for a 'real' smithin education. But bear in mind. Gunsmithing is a trade and it has to be learned with the hands just as well as the mind. You will muck stuff up in the process, but in so doing you learn what to do, what not to do, and how to fix it when it happens.. It is a very necessary part of the process.
  12. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR New Member

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    I charge for cleanings based on what it is. Handguns 40.00 Long guns and shot guns 50.00. The method of cleaning usually depends on how bad it is. If its really bad it goes agitated solvent cleaner first, ultrasonic second then complete teardown third. I have a storefront shop so I got the overhead Hammerslagger mentioned.
  13. goofy

    goofy Well-Known Member

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    I charge $40 for pumps,$50 for Autos,and $55 for Win 97,Rem.11's,Bwn auto-5's and similar.More for high grade Doubles&O/U with side locks.
    This includes COMPLETE striping cleaning and part inspection,and test firing.
    Mike
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2012
  14. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    oh yeah. test firing is an important part of any cleanup/repair
  15. Charles Christensen

    Charles Christensen New Member

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    A few months ago I cleaned a series 80 style 1911 and a Ruger Mark II for a guy I work with. I had to take them down to about the last pin and spring because they were so dirty. I charged $60 for the pair. It was fun.
  16. ShawnDow

    ShawnDow Member

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    Fun it is!, I just did a hi-point carbine in 9mm, it looked like it had grease and not powder residue, all i know it was black, and was interesting to clean. But, its done and all happy now.

    I guess i need to start charging the guys at work. I was just trying to get some good ideas as to where I can go.
  17. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Take pride in your work and value your time. I know first hand that it is very hard to put a price on something you love to do. But you cant do it for free and make it.
  18. Charles Christensen

    Charles Christensen New Member

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    Hey ShawnDow, you mention finding a black grease-like substance in that carbine. That reminds me of a major cleaning I did on a Colt Government .380 that I bought from a friend of mine. The firing pin bore had that same kind of stuff in it and it was not a lube of any kind. I also have that S&W M&P 9C that I just bought and had the FTF problem. It also had a Failure To Fire problem with a number of rounds. While the Colt never failed to fire I gave both guns a good cleaning with special attention to the firing pin assemblies and bores and re lubed them both with EEZOX, a dry film lubricant. I figured the black greasy stuff was oil and accumulated dirt buildup. The S&W now functions perfectly and I figure that a dry film lube will not hang on to random crud and cause a buildup.
  19. ShawnDow

    ShawnDow Member

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    Charles,
    I kinda figured the black goop was powder residue, oil, and dirt. And with a bit of scrubbing and some good cleaner it came off. Ive noticed it a bit on the pistol caliber firearms most often. Oh well... cleaning is what keeps my mind busy!
  20. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    I always thought the cleaner you kept your guns, the less you'd

    need a gunsmith.

    IMHO, knowing your gun well enough to

    disassemble and clean it is an ownership

    responsibility...
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