Pistolsmiths

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Pistolsmiths

Post by Jon Eulette on 8/1/2016, 4:34 pm

Unfortunately pistolsmiths work on and see a lot of pistols. We see them before they are built from scratch, after someone else built it, and when we rebuild/repair them. We become very critical because of the nature of our work. I've seen guns built by other smiths that have been left alone by the owner and guns that have been worked on by owners and the next owner, so on and so forth. So I give benefit of the doubt to the smith. I've bitten my tongue before when asked how good a pistol is, and I've been 100% painfully truthful about the condition of a $2500 + pistol. It's a tough line of work. So on this forum when we give our 2 cents, its not to ruffle feathers, we're trying to be honest. I know I've talked to the other pistolsmiths and we have all experienced it. I've witnessed a sloppy loose GI 45 shoot 2" groups REPEATEDLY. But that's not the norm. I've seen some amateur built guns shoot 7/8". Again not the norm, those were darn good pistols built by guys that really understood how to build a pistol from a master pistolsmith who took them under his wing. I've also seen $3k pistols that should've never left the shop. So we're in a difficult position sometimes when it comes to sharing our craft. I'm still learning and have been blessed to know and meet some really great smiths over the years. So on this forum[size=58] sometimes I can be a good boy and some times I probably act the fool. But I do my best to always be honest and base anything I share on repeated experience that comes from actually having done it enough to share it confidently. Truthfully I'm addicted to this forum and really enjoy it. So just know us pistolsmiths share because we care. We want to see success amongst you shooters. We want to save you heartache and frustration with your pistols.[/size]
[size=58]So please remember we ain't perfect communicators, but we build damn good pistols.[/size]
[size=58]Jon[/size]
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Re: Pistolsmiths

Post by jglenn21 on 8/1/2016, 6:19 pm

never the fool ... just a bad boy every now and then,  which we appreciate .

I certainly speak for myself when I say how much I appreciate your and other Smiths here  honestly about what works and what doesn't.  that certainly has helped me update my skills..  stay the course
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Re: Pistolsmiths

Post by Chris Miceli on 8/1/2016, 6:31 pm

I bug Jon regularly and he is always truthful and has me as the shooter in mind.  KC and Jon have always given me the truth even if it stung a little.
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Re: Pistolsmiths

Post by Wobbley on 8/1/2016, 7:03 pm

Same for rifle smiths too.  I would be called a decent amateur builder by other smiths.  Built some fine shooting bench rest rifles years ago and a fair number of service rifles (M1, and M1A).  Seen some decent work out of owners, seen some less than decent work from name brand shops.   I was never one to bad mouth any ones work, I usually said that it wasn't the way I would do it and leave it like that. Did not want to hurt the owners feelings and get them riled up.

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Re: Pistolsmiths

Post by DavidR on 8/2/2016, 11:56 am

I for one go on performance not perceived Reputation. I have had work done by some local unknown smiths that rivaled work done by some of the best known in the business. I have had work and seen work done by guys with great reputations that was crap to put it mildly. I think the smiths we have here are all exceptional and appreciate all the contributions to the forum they make and thank them for sharing their craft with all of us.


Last edited by DavidR on 8/2/2016, 3:07 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Pistolsmiths

Post by javaduke on 8/2/2016, 1:16 pm

One of my most enjoyable experiences this year at Perry was watching Mr. Crawford working. I'm an *amateur* gunsmith myself, sometimes I'm asking myself what I enjoy more, shooting guns or building them. What I keep hearing is that building bullseye guns is a dying art. I'm a member of a pistol club co-founded by Bob Chow, but I never met him in person. And I never met Jim Clark, nor Jack Best, nor other legends of the past. What I'm trying to say is it always great when reputable gunsmiths like Mr. Eulette, Mr. Crawford, Mr. Keefer and others share bits and pieces of their incredible knowledge here on this forum, because, sadly, they won't be around forever. I really really appreciate it when I can learn from the best of the best directly. I have nothing but deepest respect for you, gentlemen, and may God bless you!
Just my 2c Smile

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Re: Pistolsmiths

Post by Colt711 on 8/7/2016, 12:55 am

Jon you have nothing to apologize for. Neither do Mesrs. Keefer, & Crawford. Shooters who have been around for a while are able to get a good idea as to whether the writer's gun smithing knowledge etc. I used Giles guns for years and also had pistols accurrized and/or rebarrelled by Jack Best. I talked to Jim Clark Sr. at Perry and he treated me as if I was a top shooter and/or smith. Giles was the Master and Jack was the shooter's friend, always doing his best to getting any shooter's gun ready for the next turn on the firing line.  I'm proud to say I met these 3 and that I was able to call Jackie Best my friend.
Ron Habegger


Last edited by Colt711 on 8/7/2016, 12:57 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : 8/7/16 Spelling)

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Re: Pistolsmiths

Post by mikemyers on 8/15/2016, 4:23 pm

Maybe this is a good place to ask.  

How does one go about finding a good pistolsmith?

I'm in the Miami, Florida area, and last year I wanted to find someone to check out my S&W Model 28.  I wanted someone local, so I could visit in person.  As I recall, I came up with four or five possible choices, but no idea as to how capable they are.

I learned my lesson once.  I let someone at a Florida range try to work on the gun, and that person never did fix the reason I brought it to him, but did other things wrong - such as leaving the "strain screw" not tightened in all the way, so a month later the gun stopped firing.  I fixed that, but gave up on finding a gunsmith, as I had no idea how to separate one from another.

Are there any things a person can do, to find a good, capable gunsmith in their local area?
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Re: Pistolsmiths

Post by jglenn21 on 8/15/2016, 4:41 pm

find some local gun forums and ask..

we have two or three  great forums here in Ga with lots of experienced folks on them.
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Re: Pistolsmiths

Post by joy2shoot on 8/15/2016, 4:44 pm

I once told KC that people like me need people like him......however, it is painful (to the pocketbook) when you take a custom built gun to a respected smith and they tell you they can make it a really good gun Sad

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Re: Pistolsmiths

Post by john bickar on 8/15/2016, 11:10 pm

mikemyers wrote:Maybe this is a good place to ask.  

How does one go about finding a good pistolsmith?

I'm in the Miami, Florida area, and last year I wanted to find someone to check out my S&W Model 28.  I wanted someone local, so I could visit in person.  As I recall, I came up with four or five possible choices, but no idea as to how capable they are.

I learned my lesson once.  I let someone at a Florida range try to work on the gun, and that person never did fix the reason I brought it to him, but did other things wrong - such as leaving the "strain screw" not tightened in all the way, so a month later the gun stopped firing.  I fixed that, but gave up on finding a gunsmith, as I had no idea how to separate one from another.

Are there any things a person can do, to find a good, capable gunsmith in their local area?

I, also, would welcome a primer from our esteemed board gunsmiths on this topic.

Dr. Norman Wong wrote some articles for SSUSA a few years back, IIRC, one of which was a guide to optometrists for working with bullseye shooters.

I can see* something similar being very useful for shooters - a guide for bullseye shooters on how to find and evaluate local gunsmiths, on anything from staking a .32 GSP ejector, to a full .45 rebuild. 


* And would be willing to pay for
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