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Advice needed, Gunsmithing (night sight install) left my slide with a nick out of it...

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Tirving, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. Tirving

    Tirving Portland, OR Member

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    OK, I have a near new HK VP9 with less than 1000 rounds through it. I keep all my things in the best shape possible while using the hell out of them. The slide on this gun was a pristine as it can get shooting it weekly (50-100 rounds indoor range). Since it's also my concealed cary gun and mounted in a closet for home defense, I wanted night sights. I bought them and went to install them with a universal sight pusher, one that I have used to install a couple of sets of night sights in other guns and to adjust sights that were off. The sight pusher didn't fit the VP9 slide as well as I would have liked; rather than tinker with it to make it work and still possibly scratch the slide or damage the tritium sights, I decided to send it to a local gunsmith who has helped me with a few things before, including a night sight install.

    Now, I am a fan of doing things well, since I didn't feel like I could have done that without putting more time into tinkering than my schedule allowed, I felt like someone who has more experience with these things could do a better job. Well, I got the gun back and there was a 1cm nick in the slide, not a scratch, but metal, pressed in by a sight pusher that was not aligned well. (See picture). Does it affect function? Nope…
    I was kind of shocked to see it and at first thought it might have been part of the slide exposed after replacing factory sights. While I was looking at it and feeling it because it it much deeper than a scratch, the gunsmith said, "oh, that, that's where I had the press misaligned", to which I replied, "it's quite a nick"

    He said, "It's better than using a punch and hammer and possibly damaging the sights."

    I was a bit flabbergasted, and just stared at it from different angles, until the gunsmith said, would you like to pay with card or cash. Cash it was….. This gun, is, by no means, going to be a "safe queen"; I'm join g to use it and carry it often. I just feel like a defect like this is only ok if it's created through use or if I decided to work on the gun myself, not paying a professional gunsmith to install night sights. I don't know if there are any options to fix this and I think a new slide is completely unreasonable and excessive. I took the gun home, worked in and around the ding with steel wool and 1500 grit emory paper and used some permeable on it to blend it in better, the metal is still displaced but it looks better.

    I'm from the east coast, when a job isn't performed well, business folks try and make it right, he didn't. I saw no use making a big deal of it in his office because he obviously didn't think it was an issue, charging me full price for the install.

    Here are some questions, because I am relatively new to guns and gunsmithing:
    • Is this kind of thing expected with nigh sight installs? If so, I really should have just done it myself, I definitely would have done it without cutting into the slide.
    • Should I have sat there and argued with him? He's a good guy and I like him. I'm definitely not averse to confrontation, but didn't see it as being fruitful at all and a waste of time (of which I don't really have enough).
    • What would you guys have done? I am a businessman myself and understand mistakes, I'm also a fair person, but I think, in this instance, I probably would have comped the install. At this point, I'm ready to look for another gunsmith…. any suggestions? One who is detailed oriented and concerned with both function and aesthetics would be preferred.
    -Tim
    slide.jpg
     
  2. 66PonyCar

    66PonyCar Tigard, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    So my vote was to ask for the service at no charge. He probably wouldn't pay for a new slide. I don't think I would trust him to do the metal work to correct the problem.

    So is this gunsmith a full time gunsmith with an actual store or is it someone working out of his garage? If it is a full time gunsmith then I think the forum members want to know who he is so we can avoid him or at least go in knowing that the results may be unsatisfactory.
     
  3. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    From professional gunsmith, with the right tools.. Id expect better work and a small discount.

    Perhaps not free, because if the sights are true and no other damage is visable then thats no big deal.. But damaging something, even a scrape the right thing to do would have been to take a little of the cost.
    I cant really tell where the damage is in the picture, so at least its almost unnoticeable.
    But Im the same way, I know every inch of my firearms and on some, even the smallest scratch stands out big time

    I would have talked to him about it, if he blew it off Id write an honest review, in the end his actions will cost him business, word really gets around in our community.
     
  4. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I would not have paid for it and walked out, as thr damage to the gun far exceedes the cost of the "non-professional labor".

    Since you didn't, I would blast his name on every gun forum I could find as anyome lookin for a gunsmith generally will be on ome forum or another.

    I would also file with the BBB at the state level.

    I wouldn't be that vindictive except for the one thing "misaligned vise = his fault completely".
     
  5. Tirving

    Tirving Portland, OR Member

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    Thanks guys, he's a full-time gunsmith; I think I found him from searching on this sight. I'm not sure I am going to out him yet. Here's the pic with the damage circled; it's a straight line pressed into the metal. It's so straight, that's why I was looking at the slide, confused, thinking maybe it was hidden by the original sights, it wasn't.
    slide.circled.jpg
     
  6. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    Oh, yep! Id ask for the work to be free.
    Hes a professional and it should have been done right.
     
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  7. Tirving

    Tirving Portland, OR Member

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    Yeah, I probably should have done that. I just felt like Maybe this was a "thing" that happens regularly with sight installs. I also didn't really have time to fight for $25 with someone who acted like this was no big deal.
     
  8. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Saw that right away in your first post;).

    If he were a true professional IMO, he should have offered some sort of free labor or to somehow make it better.

    If I go to a mechanic to replace my alternator and when I get the car back it has a big ding in the fender then I certainly wouldn't be paying for the services until the bodywork and paint were finalized.


     
  9. Tirving

    Tirving Portland, OR Member

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    I just sent him an email, we will see about his reply. I'll give him a chance to make good, then I'll out him if need be. I didn't confront him face to face, that was my mistake. I don't have the time to drive back to his office in Vancouver, WA :)
     
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  10. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    Dude! If I damage a customers firearm I fix it! WOW That looks like it may be from the sight pusher itself. I assume its just on the side shown?
    Man if I would have made a mark on your slide like that I wouldn't be able to sleep at night! And then to charge you for install?

    Replacing sights you have to be very careful. With a sight pusher and delrin punches you still have to be very careful!
     
  11. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Damage happens, despite the best efforts made to prevent them.

    Had this happened in my shop, I would have pointed it out when you picked up the gun (and have before, as slides get nicked during sight install, even with the right tools). I would have likely offered you two options. Either no charge or I would have offered to "fix" the area. Likely fixing in this case would have involved pretty much what you did. Making sure there were no burrs, minimizing the visual impact of the mark, and refinishing. If it were a show gun, and I knew that going in, I would have replaced the slide. I would have been up front with what happened and relied on you to decide how you wanted it made right.

    Given that this is a carry gun and the mark is fairly small and unlikely to cause any trouble, functionally speaking, I would expect the smith to make it right with you financially. If he doesn't, then it's time to find a new smith.
     
  12. Tirving

    Tirving Portland, OR Member

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    That sounds reasonable. The strange thing is, he offers durafil and duracoat; I forgot he did this until I went to his site a few minutes ago. It seems like offering to fill the imperfection in at a serious discount/free would have been a really good option. I'm not too keen on Duracoat through Durafil seems to be a good option for a ding like this I really don't think a new slide is in order…. but he didn't offer up any solution at all.
     
  13. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    Duracoat will wear right off on that area if you use that pistol for a carry gun! Cerakote on the other hand would work!
     
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  14. Tirving

    Tirving Portland, OR Member

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    Yeah, Although my Pitbull Tactical holster has a full kydex guard over the area. I am not keen on Duracoat, Durafil seems to be a good option, then I can get it Cerakoted, I guess on my own dime as this smith doesn't do Cerakoting. I'd be willing to do this after the ding is filled.
     
  15. Tirving

    Tirving Portland, OR Member

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    I just received a response. He wants to fix the damage and seems to think a diamond file will do the job. I'm just happy that I have an option at this point and wish it would have been presented when I picked up the gun.

    On a side note, if you have a VP9, or probably a VP40, those little charging tabs on the back may interfere with the installation of night sights, be careful :)

    You may need to shim up the sight pusher to make sure it doesn't shift. This is what I was feeling when I went to set mine up on the slide and precisely why I didn't want to monkey around with trying to shim it up and do it to perfection. Next time, I'll do it my way, my wife would say I am a perfectionist and as such, usually end up having to do things myself or find other perfectionists :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2015
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  16. Medic!

    Medic! What just happened? Has eagle eyes. But cant remember what he saw. Bronze Supporter

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    Without getting angry. You should have told him how you felt at the time you saw the damage.
    You could simply have said ''Now. This damage doesn't work for me. How can you make this right''?
    This is the time to grab those little squishy things between your legs. And man up!

    You could have resolved this. For you and him. And set a pattern to always stand up for yourself quickly in the future.

    We all learn this lesson. Some more than once [Me]. Just remember to push down the anger. Be polite. And a resolution should be easy. In any case you will at least live with yourself better for stating your piece.

    But if you let it slide. You will end up more angry at yourself. Than the guy that did you wrong.
    And I think that's how your feeling now. Anyways that's how I felt before I got these situations figured out.

    And don't let the person that did the damage fix it. It's just gona be bad for both of you.

    The man already taught you a lesson. Now you want another?
    Buy the way. It's a good lesson. More valuable than any gun.

    Life is about growing. Good luck.
     
  17. Tirving

    Tirving Portland, OR Member

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    Everyone makes mistakes, I think he's a good gunsmith, just busy right now and had never had to deal with charging handles on the VP9 slide. I think he was embarrassed when I noticed the damage, we both could have dealt with it differently. I'll let him make good on his work, if it's a mistake, then we will both deal with it more directly to come up with a solution. Like MountainBear said, "Damage happens…" during sight installs.
     
  18. Medic!

    Medic! What just happened? Has eagle eyes. But cant remember what he saw. Bronze Supporter

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    A true thirst for knowledge.
     
  19. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    Please post the results of the fix! And if your not happy, give me a holler!
     
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  20. Tirving

    Tirving Portland, OR Member

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    Velzy, will do, where are you located? Are you a gunsmith?