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Old February 23, 2009, 12:07 AM   #1
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How to find a good local gunsmith?

I am planning on having a local gunsmith convert an 870 wingmaster receiver into an 18.5 inch defense shotgun with some extras, like light and limbsaver recoil pad. i want it done right and I want it to look nice, last forever and perform awesome or needed to - basically trust my life to it.

How do i evaluate a gunsmith if I don't know them? What's a good way of selecting one?
colostomyclown is offline  
Old February 23, 2009, 01:25 AM   #2
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Location: Jackson,Mississippi
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870 work

If he cannot do what you are suggesting he will not be in business over a few months. Anyone can replace the barrel and forearm. You should be able to do it all except shape the recoil pad. Barrel and Magaziine extension sling studs are all simple remove and replace operation.
That is just turning some screws and running a belt sander.
Ask him to show you a pad he has installed recently.
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Old February 23, 2009, 07:17 AM   #3
longrifles, Inc
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Join Date: February 16, 2009
Location: Sturgis, South Dakota
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But understand a reputation is only as good as the person giving it.

Take your pick for a product endorsement:

Ceafus in set of bib overalls with his pit bull chained to an engine block in the front yard.

A clean cut guy with a manicured lawn.

Who has more attention to detail I wonder?

First impressions do wonders. If this smiths shop is clean and orgainized then chances are much improved that the work will be quality. Just be sure the guy isn't the obsessive/compulsive type that washes his hands 75 times an hour.
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Old February 23, 2009, 09:50 AM   #4
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As bcarver said everything you listed you can do yourself, even the pad can be bought already cut to size. I might add I would install the pistol grip forearm as well, it helps with recoil, and control.
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Old February 23, 2009, 03:23 PM   #5
James K
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The best source would be local gun shops. They generally send out repairs, and will let you know who they use. If they refuse, try another shop.

Needless to say, the phone book is always useful, but I would get in touch with a smith before taking in the gun and see if he understands what you want and seems reasonable.

Jim K
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