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Pricing discussion

FFLshooterFFLshooter MemberPosts: 1,057 Senior Member
Im just curious to see what prices some of y’alls Gunsmith’s charge for various services. I know there’s a plethora of different services such as bluing, rebarreling, rechambering, trigger jobs, drilling/tapping receivers, cleanings, etc. A bunch others too that I haven’t named and some strange various jobs that walk in the door like today a kid brought in a shotgun that he attempted to use a twig as a mag tube plug and somehow got it stuck and bound up the follower spring. I had to disassemble it, remove the mag tube and get it straightened out for a whopping $30, while he waited. And I understand that some jobs are difficult to price such as making parts from scratch which I do a ton of.

Replies

  • waipapa13waipapa13 Senior Member Posts: 838 Senior Member
    I got quoted $812.40 USD for a re-barrel on a Savage 99 in .303 Savage, normally a standard bolt action re-barrel runs $350-$500. 
    Reaming a short chambered shotgun $70-100 per barrel.
    Mounting a scope on supplied rings and bases $10
    re-blue or cerakote, $350 or so, 
    cutting a thread for a silencer $70 (.22 RF)

    These are prices in my area, the furthest north province of NZ.
  • Old RonOld Ron Senior Member Posts: 4,265 Senior Member
    To me if they do a good job & are fast on the turn the price is around $60 an hour . Around here there are way to many that do hack work & want the same money . Speaking for my bushiness I go from free to $100 an hour . All depends on who , what & if I have the time . People here are really tight . ( that includes me )  Nice clean work demands better money . Sad to say but most don't care as long as it looks good to them & it's cheap . Seen where people used a nail to replace a lost pin . I always price things where I can do volume & make money rather that sitting with none coming in waiting for one big pay day . The work I have seen of yours FFL is top shelf so really it all depends on how busy you want to be . There are a lot of really talented people out there that work on guns as  hobbies . Those are tough to compete with .
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,128 Senior Member
    Williams Gun Sight lists the cost for various services here if it helps you out...


    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • FFLshooterFFLshooter Member Posts: 1,057 Senior Member
    Williams Gun Sight lists the cost for various services here if it helps you out...


    Thank you, that was very helpful and his prices are very close to mine with some exceptions. Some jobs have to be quoted per job and not hourly. I’m also $60/hr but sometimes you can’t charge for all the time required to put into some things. I’d rather have a happy customer that’ll return and spread the word than to get their money once and they leave pissed off.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,928 Senior Member
    Last gunsmith work I had done was to drill and tap a single hole in the tang of an 1895 Marlin to accomodate a tang sight...$45.00 and I supplied the hardware.... didn't have an issue with the cost...since he was the only gunsmith in the area that could drill and tap a hole competently and he did his jobs in the order in which they came in, it took a month and a half to get the job done.
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,024 Senior Member
    edited January 2019 #7
    Look at the sites of reputable and successful gun builders/custom shops and see what they charge. 

    Price acordinfly to what you feel will make you successful and keep customers coming back as to your quality of results. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,024 Senior Member
    edited January 2019 #8
    And don’t be a “doosh” bag!!!  I’ve walked out of a few builders shops regardless of their price and quality simply because they were an ass in some way/shape/form. 

    I’d pay more to not deal with an ass clown. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,928 Senior Member
    And of course, there are those that bill themselves as "gunsmiths"  because they can put together an AR...but possess none of the skills a gunsmith actually needs...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • FFLshooterFFLshooter Member Posts: 1,057 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    And don’t be a “doosh” bag!!!  I’ve walked out of a few builders shops regardless of their price and quality simply because they were an ass in some way/shape/form. 

    I’d pay more to not deal with an ass clown. 
    Definitely agree with this. I tend to think that I’m a friendly person and haven’t had any issues with customers. If anything (and I’m trying to say this as humble), most people end up walking out the door satisfied when they pick up their gun and I make a habit of shooting the **** with most folks too. As for taking a month and a half to drill and tap a receiver: that’s unreal. I’m constantly backed up with work but I knock it out quicker than the time I quote most people.
  • FFLshooterFFLshooter Member Posts: 1,057 Senior Member
    Jayhawker said:
    And of course, there are those that bill themselves as "gunsmiths"  because they can put together an AR...but possess none of the skills a gunsmith actually needs...
    True. I call them armorers. I was fortunate enough to learn from a good teacher and mentor. I’m proud to still call him my friend today.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,128 Senior Member
    Thank you, that was very helpful and his prices are very close to mine with some exceptions. Some jobs have to be quoted per job and not hourly. I’m also $60/hr but sometimes you can’t charge for all the time required to put into some things.
    FYI- that is no "his". That is a "they". Williams has been making receiver sights for pretty much forever. They don't so much work as local or regional gunsmiths, but national and international. In a personal conversation, Dave Manson highly recommended them. They do warranty repairs for many manufacturers.

    My point is that they are a very good standard to compare to.

    And I think $60 is too cheap. $80 is more realistic. Tooling, a shop, and overhead costs lots of money. Of that $80, maybe $30 goes into your pocket. It wouldn't hurt to have an upfront minimum bench charge either.

    Anyway, I am not telling you howto run things, just trying to give you something to think about.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • FFLshooterFFLshooter Member Posts: 1,057 Senior Member
    I know exactly what you mean and tried something like that when I first went out on my own and learned real quick that one of two things happened when quoting a job: Either people couldn’t afford it or they became tire kickers real quick. I took the middle ground and can’t complain. I was just wanting to see what national prices are going for because there’s really not that many of us left out here and there’s no other Gunsmith’s around this area (tri-state) that I’m aware of; or at least not worth a damn as I’m told.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,128 Senior Member
    I have seen higher and lower. Williams seems to have fair and equitable pricing. They are a good standard, in my opinion.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 10,167 Senior Member
    I took a Mossberg to 2 different smiths to get blued. One had it for 1+ year, and the other had it for 2+ years..... neither touched it.......

    ALmost didn't get it back from the second guy because he got sick.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    My gun smith is pretty reasonable and pretty good. His turn around sucks sometimes but he is first of all an oil field machinist. That pays the bills and feeds and houses him. Then guns are sort of his hobby. But he ain't no amateur. Last time he sporterized a military rifle for me he sporterized a Yugo Mauser. He removed the rear sight platform, bent the bolt, drilled and tapped the receiver for scope, put in a Timney Sporter Trigger, a Beuhler Safety and put in a new and stronger firing pin spring to improve lock time, That cost me $243. That was without rebarreling  leaving the military 8x57 barrel in place and only checking the head space. It shoots damn good too. I put the barreled acton in a Boyd's pepper laminate stock which cost me about $100 to my door. I refinished the stock in satin Poly Urethane.

    Before that he sporterized my Yugo action and screwed in a Shilen match barrel in and chambered it in .257 AI for about $600.That price included a Dewey 3 position safety. Again, I put the barreled action in a walnut Boyd's stock and finished it in oil, which again set me back about $100 to my door. Now these were both 6 or 8 years back so prices have increased some. 

    Along with these Yugo's I've had three commercial actions rebarreled and chambered. The first one I bought a SS .257 barrel from Krieger for $325. and had it shipped directly to my gun smith. I had already bought a Howa 1500 rifle in .22-250 Remington for $275 from a local pawn shop. My gun smith also got me a Leupold VX-3L 4.5-14X56 with a 30MM tube at his cost. The total bill just for the rifle work, screwing in the barrel and chambering and head spacing was around 400, that is Sporterizing, fitting the barrel etc,. The scope and mounts was another $900 dollars. not counting the price of the barrel, but that was a $900 scope.

    The next commercial rifle he did for me was a 1988 Ruger 77
    He put a Shilen Chrome Moly match barrel on it and chambered and head spaced for a 9.3x62 Mauser. All the gun work cost me about $350.

    The last commercial action I had barreled was a Zastava Charles Daly Commercial 98 Mauser. Mile High Shooter had a 7x57 24 inch barrel to fit it that he charged me $125 for. I took it all down to my gun smith and he barreled the action and chambered-head spaced it for about $150. He didn't blue it but I'll get around to that. Mile High Shooter also gave me a stock that sort of fits, I had to remove a lot of wood to get it to fit but I'll bed it in with Remington Mag Epoxy Remington Mag and it should be fine. I was thinking of just scrapping that stock and getting a Boyd's but this stock just looks too damn good for that. I will make it work.

    I have also had him do trigger work for me. He reworket two Remington 700 triggers for $40 each. Cheap enough.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          


    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Posts: 7,827 Senior Member
    Brownell's has a good price guide. https://www.brownells.com/userdocs/miscellaneous/shoppricesurvey.pdf

    If a customer brought in what I called a "bag gun", one they took apart and couldn't get back together, I would charge them twice as much because they were stupid!! :D
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,543 Senior Member
    My LGS has a guy there who used to work for Detonics.  I have him install all of my sights; he only charges $35 for that. 
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    edited January 2019 #19
    OK The last paragraphs of my post #16 above had a train wreck and it's permissible edit time has timed out. Below is how I meant it to be.

    "The last commercial action I had barreled was a Zastava Charles Daly Commercial 98 Mauser. Mile High Shooter had a 7x57 24 inch barrel to fit in it that he charged me $125 for. I took it all down to my gun smith and he barreled the action and chambered-head spaced it for about $150. He didn't blue it but I'll get around to that. He was charging about $100 to blue a rifle but that was a few years back. Mile High Shooter also gave me a stock that sort of fits, I had to remove a lot of wood to get it to fit but I'll bed it in with Steel based Epoxy and it should be fine. I was thinking of just scrapping that stock and getting a Boyd's but this stock just looks too damn good and very 7x57ish for that. I will make it work.

    I have also had him do trigger work for me. He reworked two Remington 700 triggers for $40 each. Cheap enough." He also reworked the Howa trigger and the Ruger 77 trigger for about the same. He's very reasonable on trigger work.

    And NO I wasn't drinking when I typed it. I was falling asleep.          

    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • FFLshooterFFLshooter Member Posts: 1,057 Senior Member
    jbp-ohio said:
    I took a Mossberg to 2 different smiths to get blued. One had it for 1+ year, and the other had it for 2+ years..... neither touched it.......

    ALmost didn't get it back from the second guy because he got sick.
    That’s outrageous. I start getting stressed out if I have someone’s gun for more than 3 weeks unless they know good and well that it’s a back burner job. Some places only fire up their bluing tanks every few months but I’ve been doing it bi-weekly because of the demand I have for bluing. This is the finished Mauser that I rebarreled in 6.5creedmoor and just blued the action today. I got it Monday and finished it today and that wasn’t the only job I’ve accomplished this week. It’s all about managing the work load. And because this guy is a regular customer (and good one), I only charged him $400.
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