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Discussion Starter #1
I know this is a relative question, but how long do you normally expect a gun to be at the gunsmith before repairs are complete? Reason I'm asking is that I've had my Marlin 39D in to a local gunsmith since early June for a feeding problem. Each time I call he says that I'm still in the queue and he thanks me profusely for my patience. I'm just starting to loose confidence and thinking about pulling my rifle and going somewhere else. Bad move? Thanks Folks!
 

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I guess it depend on how many gunsmiths you have to chose from and how good this gunsmith is. If he is the only gunsmith you have close, and you cannot fix the issue yourself, then it would be a bad move.

Some gunsmiths are mothing more than parts swappers and scope mounters. An issue like a Marlin feeding issue would be something that some would not look forward to handling. For example, my friends favorite gunsmith wanted nothing to do with with chambering and mounting a prefit, unchambered barrel on a savage style action. He is a parts changer.

Marlin 39 feeding issues are not all that hard to fix with some research. I had to fix mine.
 

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The Shadow
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Also doesn't sound like you ever talked about a timeframe. If you don't have the conversation about workload.and get a general idea, up front, of how long it will take to address; kinda leaving yourself open to shenanigans...

Is he being used simply because he's local, or is there another reason?
 

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I would pull it, and go to someone else.
 

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I know this is a relative question, but how long do you normally expect a gun to be at the gunsmith before repairs are complete? Reason I'm asking is that I've had my Marlin 39D in to a local gunsmith since early June for a feeding problem. Each time I call he says that I'm still in the queue and he thanks me profusely for my patience. I'm just starting to loose confidence and thinking about pulling my rifle and going somewhere else. Bad move? Thanks Folks!
Back in the late 1970's I sent a rifle off to a Gunsmith, who also did re-boring & chambering to another caliber. He had my rifle for 18 months, but did an excellent re-boring & chambering job.(y)
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Had two long wait experiences with 2 different gs's. First one had my Ruger M77 (tang safety) for a glass bedding and free floating job. After 6 months went by, began calling to check progress every month. When the one year mark was hit, told him I would be in at the end of the week to pick it up. He claimed he was working on it at the time and to give him a couple more weeks to complete. When picking it up and paying for the work, he bad mouthed the Ruger rifles for complicated bedding. Some time later after moving from the area, had the rifle apart to install a new trigger and found he had broken the safety lever when bedding and had to replace the part. His fault for not knowing how to properly bed a stock.
Second experience was when first moving to my present location some 33 years ago and finding a 'smith in local area. Had a barreled action reblued and waited several months. When asking the man when I could get the item back, he replied he was waiting until there were enough things for rebluing to warrant cranking up the tanks. Sounded reasonable to me and about a month later he called and said it was ready for pick up. A beautiful job - looked factory new and he had even recrowned it free of charge. In the years since,, he has done many smithing projects for me, including the lining of barrel on a Win M94 in 32/40.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Some background information. This particular gunsmith has been around for many decades now. About 20 years ago I had him do some work for me on a SKB O/U 12 ga.. Some stock work and reblueing. He did great work, which is why I brought my Marlin to him, and why I never discussed a timeline. There are other gunsmiths in the area, who are associated with gun shops, but I do not know what they are capable of and with this quality of firearm, I'm reluctant to take it to just anyone.

That being said, I'm just looking for opinions as to this time frame. At this point I'd probably give him another month or so, especially with winter coming on, but if this is unusual, I will pursue a more definitive timeline from him. I just hate to question a quality tradesman.
 

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I have two 'projects' with my favorite gunsmith for about 3 years now but am patient as he is doing th ewrk as background tasks when things are slow. both are fitting new barrels to actions. Both are custom items on M1 Carbine receivers and will be 'straight pull none automatic conversions on that receiver.
He also has done other projects for me along the way quicker but simpler things mostly.
and we both started out old and are getting older.

Chev. William
 

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If the guy is good, it’s reasonable to expect that he is busy. Usually the more skilled a craftsman is, the longer the wait. Do you need the gun back soon? If so, that changes the conversation. If you are not in a position where you need it back, I don’t think it’s an unreasonable move to call and explain that you aren’t pushing for it back, you are just looking for a ballpark estimate on when it might be complete. If it goes sometime after that ballpark time, I’d call and see again where it’s at.
If the gun is still functional and you want to use it, call and ask if you can keep the gun in his queue, but pick it up and use it, and have him call you when he is about ready for it. That’s how it worked when I sent my savage out to have it blueprinted and the action re-machined. I got in line and he sent me an email when it was ready to be worked on, so I sent it to him, in about a month or so, I got it back, better than new.
 

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Delayed repairs are caused by several factors---
'Lack of parts' is a big one in older guns.
'Lack of profit' plays a big part. Some jobs take more time than three better paying jobs. A gunsmith HAS to learn to say 'No'.
'Large risk' versus rewards can procrastinate jobs. IF it can be TIG welded, it's a ten minute job. IF it melts instead of welds, the gun is gone. How much do you charge for the job? How long can the job be put off so the results aren't found out?

Ask the 'smith working on the Marlin if he's waiting on parts, inspiration or time and tell him you'll pick it up one way or the other on xx date. If he wants the work, he'll do it and if not, you get your gun back, anyhow.

FWIW-- I traded for a broke M39 so I wouldn't have to repair it 'right now'. That was five years ago. They can be a PITA.
 

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I know this is a relative question, but how long do you normally expect a gun to be at the gunsmith before repairs are complete? Reason I'm asking is that I've had my Marlin 39D in to a local gunsmith since early June for a feeding problem. Each time I call he says that I'm still in the queue and he thanks me profusely for my patience. I'm just starting to loose confidence and thinking about pulling my rifle and going somewhere else. Bad move? Thanks Folks!
I would get my rifle back he has already (language) you taking it in when he knew he could not get to it.
 

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I know this is a relative question, but how long do you normally expect a gun to be at the gunsmith before repairs are complete? Reason I'm asking is that I've had my Marlin 39D in to a local gunsmith since early June for a feeding problem. Each time I call he says that I'm still in the queue and he thanks me profusely for my patience. I'm just starting to loose confidence and thinking about pulling my rifle and going somewhere else. Bad move? Thanks Folks!
How long does it take? Longer than we want. Always longer. But before we blame the gunsmith, consider that he may be busy because he's in demand. That he does good work and people trust him with repairs and upgrades. Also, it may be that there are simply fewer people doing the work in you area than there were just ten years ago. That seems to be the case in many locations. Best of luck
 

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How long does it take? Longer than we want. Always longer. But before we blame the gunsmith, consider that he may be busy because he's in demand. That he does good work and people trust him with repairs and upgrades. Also, it may be that there are simply fewer people doing the work in you area than there were just ten years ago. That seems to be the case in many locations. Best of luck
Don't forget the time of year. My old smith, when I lived in NY, he was always bogged down for the 2 months leading up to deer season. It was mainly work that should have been taken care of after the last season but the "hunters" just tossed their broken firearms in the closet and forgot about them until the next season. And when they pulled them out to sight in for hunting, they remembered that they were broken and then they rush over to the smith and beg and plead to get it back in time for hunting season... instead of taking them to the smith when they broke in the first place.
 

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Gunsmiths usually have their own timeframes, and the best ones seem to move a good deal slower than some of the fast-talking, but not-so-good ones. Too, when a gunsmith is rebuilding and reparing a Purdy or a Kreigoff for his impatient millionaire customer, from which he expects to earn a couple of thousand dollars, you can expect your Marlin repair job to take a bit longer.
 

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I know this is a relative question, but how long do you normally expect a gun to be at the gunsmith before repairs are complete? Reason I'm asking is that I've had my Marlin 39D in to a local gunsmith since early June for a feeding problem. Each time I call he says that I'm still in the queue and he thanks me profusely for my patience. I'm just starting to loose confidence and thinking about pulling my rifle and going somewhere else. Bad move? Thanks Folks!
There are so many potential factors. Three definite factors: depends on the scope of the work, what the gunsmith’s work load is, and the pace at which they work. I doubt you’d get anything prior to three weeks if they have a heavy work load. And that’s likely the minimum. It took my gunsmith 6 weeks to get around to putting muzzle brakes on two rifles. It certainly didn’t take 6 weeks to actually perform the work, but his prior service obligations
made it so.
 
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