So I went to some Gunsmiths...

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by SiNNiK, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. SiNNiK

    SiNNiK New Member

    Mar 26, 2008
    Austin, Tx.
    My Father gave me his 10/22 last yesterday and it needs the front sight to be pressed in.

    I had heard of Hank Fleming here in Austin, and went to see him with the rifle in tow, showed him what I had (rifle, front sight, and even brass shim stock), what I needed, and he quotes me $49.99! I don't know the industry, but that seems a little over the top for something that would take less than 5 minutes for him to do.

    Not being derisive towards him, but that would mean his rate is $600 an hour.

    McBride's was alot better, they quoted $25 dollars when I went to see them, but I'd have to leave it with them for more than a week. Ugh.

    Does anyone know of another, reasonable, gunsmith in Austin, or maybe another forum member knows how to do this and wouldn't mind teaching me so that I can do it myself?

    At $600/hr, I'd love to be a gunsmith!


  2. phatcyclist

    phatcyclist Active Member

    Feb 22, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Hank Flemming will do a great job and you will have it back quickly. The only other option is Robert Buttel at Sportsman's Finest in Bee Cave. He'll do a great job, but it will probably sit on a shelf for a month while he gets to it. McBrides has changed 'smiths recently. I don't know how handy any of them are at sight installs, but the last guy I knew there that did it apparently wasn't that great at them.
  3. SiNNiK

    SiNNiK New Member

    Mar 26, 2008
    Austin, Tx.
    Thanks phatcyclist,

    I talked with Red today on the phone and he said he had a gunsmith comin in to talk to him today, so I'll call first thing in the morning and see what's what. Otherwise, I may have to try it myself.
  4. kville79

    kville79 Active Member

    May 24, 2008
    And this is why I usually do my own work on my guns.
  5. Charley

    Charley Active Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    San Antonio
    I'm a simple hobby 'smith, so take my answer for what it is worth to you. My time, experience, and tools let me do things that I couldn't afford to have done otherwise. A professional gunsmith's training, knowledge, and tooling, not to mention his business expenses eat up that "$600 per hour" fee faster than you can imagine. I know quite a few 'smiths around here, and none are wealthy!

    If you don't want to pay the going fee, there are alternatives.
    1. Choose a relative unknown to do the work. You will usually save money, BUT you must be willing to run the risk of him being a butcher. It happens, believe me.
    2 Cultivate a relationship with a smith. Buy things from him. After seeing you are going to be a paying customer for the long term, he's much more likely to slip your front sight in for almost nothing. As you said, it is a simple job (unless Mr. Murphy decides to visit!)
    3. Buy some simple tools, read everything you can, and start practicing on your guns.
  6. Hoji

    Hoji Bowling-Pin Commando

    May 28, 2008
    Mustang Ridge
    Hank Fleming will keep your gun for a month as well. I know too many people {myself included} who have dropped off guns and for fairly simple work and weeks and weeks later he has not even started on them.

    Bad enough, but if you can get him on the phone{ have never had him return a call} he will tell you that it is next on his list, he will do this EVERY time you call.

    Sportsman's Finest in Bee Cave will tell you up front how long your gun will wait. Still expensive but you get what you pay for.
  7. SiNNiK

    SiNNiK New Member

    Mar 26, 2008
    Austin, Tx.
    Thanks fellas, I think with what I've learned from some forums and my Dad, that I'm going to give it a shot and do it myself.

    Wish me luck!
  8. Major Woody

    Major Woody Active Member

    Sep 12, 2008
    There was a guy off William Cannon named John that lightened the trigger on my Springer but due to thoratic cancer he's not Gun Smithing any more. His partner Richard Rasner is working out of Red's indoor. He might have a faster turn around. Call cabela's and see who they recommend. Try Lonestar range. 512-801-2624 Hope that helps. If I knew Barry wouldn't get in, I'd learn the trade also.
  9. SiNNiK

    SiNNiK New Member

    Mar 26, 2008
    Austin, Tx.
    Aight. Thanks. :)
  10. AusTex

    AusTex Active Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Austin, Texas
    Everyone always post their negative experiences and usually keeps quiet about their positive ones. However I have experience with two out of 4 business's/smiths mentioned above

    Took my rem 700 to hank fleming, tac bolt knob, bolt face lapped, trigger job- results -

    Trigger is awesome breaks super crisp nothing like before, making a trigger lighter and getting it to break crisp is different in my opinion. Tac bolt looks nice, no scratches did a great job there to... Only complaints it took 1.5 months and cost me an arm and a leg..

    I will never goto reds again, my friend and I were going in there about twice a month for 3 months straight, spending about $100 a month each.. we go in there b.c my buddy gets a new ar-15 .. i am not shooting just my friend. He is new to semi autos, his gun has a stove pipe and he doesnt know what to do. He hands me the firearm I clear the breach make sure the rifle is safe and ready to go, put the clip back in chamber a round and take !!! two !!! shots hand him the rifle back. 20 mins later we walk out into the store he rings my friend up for twice the cost and my friend says why are you charging me twice.. the old man i believe RED says your friend fired the weapon. So i step up explain the situation and in a very rude old man wither's voice says did you fire the gun or not? I then answer his question with a question of my own, i say do you ever want us to do business with you again? He says you owe me $13.00 for firing, i say two bullets cost $13.00 ?? I pull out my wallet put my credit card on the table and say ring it up. I have not been back to reds since that day, and because of his actions have talked about 15 of my personal friends from ever going to his store. Which in result has cost him alot of business as my buddies and I are shooters..

    You can look at that in a few ways:
    I did shoot and I owed him a fee

    Or I helped a friend out in a situation that required some experience for saftey issues.. and my reward was being charged. I own a small business in austin so dont give me the guilt trip of that. My two rounds hitting his back wall did not accure any addition business expenses to MR. RED...

    Take it or leave it.

    If anyone does find a good gunsmith in town please let me know!!!! B/C so far i cannot.. Only thing keeping me from getting a few of my barrels threaded by hank fleming is the cost and the fact I wont have my guns for almost 2 months.



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