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Looking for a good gunsmith in Portland,OR

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Gunsmithing' started by Gaucho Gringo, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. Gaucho Gringo

    Gaucho Gringo Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I have a couple of guns that need to be repaired and I am looking for a good gunsmith. The one that has the worst problem is my Winchester .22 model 1906 in half nickle. The breech bolt assembly has two tangs that are at right angles to it that are supposed to fit in grooved channels in the side frame of the receiver. One is bent and not riding in the groove. This is one that probably requires the most experience with this model gun. This gun has been in my family since 1924 and I have had it since 1963. Second is a mid 1950's single shot 16 gauge J C Higgins that the firing pin doesn't fire all the time. My dad won this, a .22 bolt action rifle and a 5HP Scott-Attwater outboard motor selling magazine subscriptions. I was 4 at the time and in later years he said the value of his prizes was far more the the value of the magazine subscriptions. The .22 rifle was stolen in the only burglary my folks ever had. Last I have an Uberti 1848 .32 cal Baby Dragoon. I bought an R&D .32 S&W short cartridge conversion cylinder that needs to be fitted to the gun. If anybody has suggestions as to a good gunsmith or gunsmiths that could handle these problems without costing a fortune I would appreciate their names. Thank you.
     
  2. hker71

    hker71 Portland Metro Area Active Member

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    A guy I work with swears by Allison & Carey Gunworks Inc on SE. Stark St. in Portland. I have never tried them myself.

    hker71
     
  3. drew

    drew OR Well-Known Member

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  4. 2Wheels4Ever

    2Wheels4Ever Portland Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer

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    I had a ruger 10/22 that was having feeding problems, so I brought it to A&C. The gun had less than 500 rounds through it and they said it was a bad ejector. They replaced it and charged $65. I got it back and went shooting about 2 months later. The thing still jammed up every other shot. I took it back to see what they would, and to my surprise they did nothing; stating that it had been too long since the gun was worked on. It kind of put a bad taste in my mouth; I have yet to return nor do I think I ever will.
     
  5. gaijinsamurai

    gaijinsamurai Beaverton Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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  6. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Allison Carey has carried a fair reputation for a lot of years, so much so that the smiths earning that reputation are probably dead. I had them do some very technical trigger work probably 20 years ago, and was not satisfied, but came to find out that the gun was probably the hardest firearm in the world upon which to do a decent trigger job (Browning B78). I had to go to a retired Browning factory smith to get it done better.

    Gaucho, I must relate to you a threadbare phrase, but for your interests, it is VERY applicable: You get what you pay for (usually) with true gunsmith work. A good smith is at least as hard to find as a good car mechanic. Slightly harder to find than a good taxidermist. Some smiths specialize, or do better with certain work: the best pistolsmith (for revolvers) may not be the best pistolsmith (for autos). A bolt-gun wizard may not deliver stellar work on an AR15. Allison Carey Gunworks employs (or DID employ) more than one specialized smith, covering a number of disciplines (this is probably a big factor in how they built their reputation: "do it all").

    A good smith is relatively easy to feel out with the very first discussion (but ONLY if you are honest about your problem, your lack---or possession---of knowledge, and exactly what you want). The minute you start talking about "economizing", a good smith may stop listening. Your interest must be toward getting the gun fixed. A good smith will (on his own) perhaps offer you a range of options to solve your problem: from the cadillac/scorched earth, rip-it-out-by-the-roots and make it right forever, to "what'll get ya by for a few years if you're careful".

    Also, it doesn't hurt at all to honestly ask if the work you want is something this smith is familiar with/has done before. A good smith will readily admit a shortcoming or two in the course of a years-long relationship, and offer a referral to someone that does that work on a regular basis. It is also not beyond etiquette to ask: "Are YOU the one doing the work, or will you farm this out?" Again, a good smith will tell you up front, "I farm out all my stock refinishing" ,or something similar. Doesn't mean you won't get a good job, just means he does not invest his time in that particular venue. Regardless of whether he "farms out" any aspect of a project, HE is responsible for the end result. I consider this to be somewhat of an advantage on a "project" where multiple disciplines are involved in the repair/restoration of a gun. I do not particularly care that my smith might "farm out" certain portions (as long as I know this has been done), since he is the man to answer for the end product.

    You are paying these craftsmen for their time (primarily), and their knowledge/skill (secondarily). Parts are parts: same price everywhere, just about. If you find a good smith, cultivate the relationship (just as you would a good car mechanic, or a taxidermist).

    Finally, the sweetest thing a Gunsmith can hear from a customer is: "No hurry: If you have customers that are in a hurry, put them ahead of me. I want it right, I don't want it fast." This might well even come into serious consideration when he is tallying up your bill.

    Oh. I didn't answer your question. My current gunsmith/gunshop is Al's Gunshop in Verboort. (About a 25 minute drive from downtown Portland). Markus will look you in the eye with a smile and tell you exactly what he can and cannot do for you, where you can get it done if he can't do it, how you might save money, and best of all, he'd really like that story about selling magazine subscriptions for guns!
     
  7. taroman

    taroman Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Good - Fast - Cheap

    Pick any two..
     
  8. Gaucho Gringo

    Gaucho Gringo Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Hi. I wish to thank everybody who took the time to reply to my question about gunsmiths. I will let know what happens. Thanks again.
     
  9. kev350

    kev350 Gresham , Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I've been in to Allison Carey to see about getting some work done and didn't like the way I was treated. They acted like it was a big hassle just to wait on me and I was the only one in the place that didn't work there. Maybe it's changed that was about 5 or 6 yrs. ago I haven't been back since.
     
  10. MfnLeadFarmer

    MfnLeadFarmer Portland New Member

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    I promise I'm not a shill for Les at Clark County Gunsmithing but he has done nothing but exemplary work on my Saiga 7.62 as well as my M&P 45. Give him a call you won't be sorry.