MORE THAN A SKILL
The gun repair business differs from the car repair and the cell phone repair and other repair businesses in many ways, and I hope to outline here for you, my very valued and necessary customers, some of those differences so as to avoid unmet expectations and to prevent disappointment when I’m called and forced to respond “No, it’s not ready yet.”
Because a gunsmith isn’t paid until you pick up your gun, it is in my interest to complete your project and notify you of its readiness as soon as possible. I’m not going to forget to call you!
Unless he specializes in vintage cars, the majority of the vehicles which the auto mechanic sees probably were made in the last 30 years, and the cell phone repairer, phones from the last 10. Replacement parts are a call and a city block away at O’Reilly’s, or shipped in reasonable time from some distribution center.
Guns have been manufactured in so many countries over the last two centuries that often there aren’t parts or exploded views or armorer’s manuals available anymore.
There is no Youtube video devoted to repairing your great grandfather’s 1880 Austrian drilling. The last specialist on that firearm died sometime around World War II!
And there is no auto tech’s diagnostic machine to tell me where in the cycle of operation that gun is malfunctioning. It must be diagnosed by old-fashioned mechanical aptitude, and parts have to be found on some remote corner of the internet, or machined from scratch, or reverse-engineered if they’re missing.
These types of projects obviously require time, but your patience will get all my skill and care.
MORE THAN A SIMPLE TRANSACTION
Also important to remember is that cars and phones and refrigerators break down at random intervals throughout a year, but guns mysteriously break down in bunches just before and during a hunting season!
My to-do line of work is longest when you need your gun soonest, and the project I might return in two days in May could require two weeks in November. I hate to turn away any gun project and will work after hours to expedite your gun, but sometimes I will not be able to accommodate a “need-by” date and will acknowledge that humbly and apologetically.
This limited availability of gun parts and the wait-time in the repair line are practical concerns. Another consideration is our emotional attachment to our guns. Guns are often heirloom pieces of our heritage, and we attach value to them in ways we don’t to other products.
Grandpa’s shotgun is prized and displayed for generations, while his television and lawn mower were put to the curb. But a disinterested and objective assessment at times concludes that the mower was worth more than the gun, and a gunsmith has to tell a customer when a gun simply isn’t worth putting any money into. This I will do frankly, hoping that though I’ve broken to you the disappointing truth about a cherished gun’s low book value, you appreciate more the candid assessment.
But with that request for patience and objectivity out of the way, the good news is that many modern firearms are modular and fixed or accessorized within a couple hours. AR modifications, pistol sights, mount and bore-sights, and many other tasks can be turned around while you run an errand, while you smoke a cigar in my gun room, or while you shop next door at 'Guns and Ammo'.
Please call for my best estimate of your wait time, or to set up an individual appointment or lesson, Ron Gervase