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Help finding a Gunsmith who can help get me started.
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December 9, 2022 - 9:04 pm
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I have an early 1894 .30 WCF.  It’s solid, but someone used it as a parts donor, and some of the internals are missing.  Does anyone know how to go about locating a gunsmith who can help me source parts, and get it together as a shooter?  I won’t be doing anything to the finish.  Thank you.

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December 9, 2022 - 9:51 pm
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By watching this video, can you figure out what parts are missing?  If you can do that, the gunsmith won’t be needed.

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December 9, 2022 - 9:56 pm
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clarence said
By watching this video, can you figure out what parts are missing?  If you can do that, the gunsmith won’t be needed.

  

Thank you,

I will watch it and do my best with it.  I would rather do it all on my own.  I’d feel better about it.

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December 9, 2022 - 11:46 pm
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KyleM&P said

I will watch it and do my best with it.  I would rather do it all on my own.  I’d feel better about it.

  

The cost & aggravation of having to ship the gun somewhere ought to be a huge incentive for trying it yourself.  Once you know what parts are needed, someone here can point you in the right direction.

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December 10, 2022 - 5:23 am
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The advantage of doing the work yourself is that you learn how parts interact and piece together, to discover the genius and simplicity that went into their design.  And, sometimes you can tell if someone else has been in there before you. 

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December 10, 2022 - 3:44 pm
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If it’s been used as a parts donor I’d take a very close look at what remains before investing more. There are few reasons for robbing parts off a good gun. 

 

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December 17, 2022 - 5:17 pm
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When I was starting out in the restoration of Winchesters many years ago…. I had an old gunsmith who specialized in Winchesters ( a WACA member and former advertiser) tell me the following, “The worst enemy a Winchester has is the general gunsmith and the owner who wants to fix it himself.”  Having worked on exclusively Colt Single Actions and Winchesters I have found his words to be prophetic and true.  Most people have neither the tools, equipment, or know how to properly restore or even fix properly a Winchester.  While it may give you great satisfaction I have followed behind too many proud owners who worked on their own gun and can’t figure out why their prized Winchester is worth less than it was before they worked on it and how they screwed its up so bad.  There are people out there who can work on Winchesters and do a decent to very good job… is it really worth it? Especially if you have a historic Winchester like an early 1894 Winchester Rifle?   
although I grew up working on old pickups, and restoring them with my great uncle, I do not work on my own pickup truck today.  I have neither the proper tools, equipment, know all the little tricks and have the specialty tools needed to work on my pickup truck.  Same lesson applies to Winchesters.  
I am not trying to rain in anyones “Pride” parade or be a jerk.  I am not trying to drum up business as I have more than I can do and have two waiting lists.  I am trying to save old Winchesters is all.  I highly recommend working on a couple dozen post 64 Winchesters or even the japan Winchesters of today before working on anything antique….. especially a antique Winchester! 
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December 17, 2022 - 7:32 pm
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Samuel Walker said
  I am not trying to drum up business as I have more than I can do and have two waiting lists. 

  

That is the VERY reason some are driven to undertake their own work!  Anybody who’s half-way competent is snowed-under!  Then there’s the cost & aggravation of shipping, even worse with the new restrictions gun-hating UPS recently imposed.

But whether it’s prudent to try a simple repair one’s self all depends on the gun itself, as well of course as the nature of the work required.  Yes, for sure, a high-condition gun worth many thousands is not the place to start!  But there are plenty of “early 1894 Winchester Rifles” that have been rode hard & put away wet.  Even those deserve to be handled with care & intelligence, but for someone with some experience in gun-work, or other skilled machine work, it’s not unreasonable to try to figure out the problem yourself before calling in the expert.  I hate doing, or trying to do, such work myself, but when the alternative is shipping the gun off to spend two yrs in someone’s shop, I might try it myself.

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December 17, 2022 - 8:26 pm
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I hear your complaint about someone holding onto your rifle for 2 years etc.  That may be true with some gunsmiths but not all.  
I specifically don’t hold onto rifles, this is why I have a waiting list- so I am not holding onto anyones rifle.  When your turn comes I get the rifle and work on it and send it back.  
Depending on the work done and level of restoration wait times are 60 days for complete metal restoration to 6 months for complete metal and new wood.  New wood on a Winchester done correctly with hand rubbed red tint linseed oil finish must completely cure between every coat.  So new wood is the only real issue creating time delays.  Other than that when I get it in, it is out the door in a very reasonable time frame.  
Winchesters that just need fixed to function are out the door is a couple days.  I fixed 3 “broken” Winchesters just this morning and every one of them the owner “fixed” and either put the wrong part or parts in or modified it to where it no longer worked as designed.  
I have seen guys unscrew the barrel and ruin the receiver, simply because they watched a video and the guy in the video didn’t know what he was doing.  I have seen more go wrong than right for novice winchester repairs.  
I am not against someone working on their own, and frankly I do not care if they do.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and to do with their own property as they see fit.  If I can save old Winchesters I did my due diligence here.   I was just sharing my experience, that is all sir. 
respectfully submitted 

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December 17, 2022 - 10:07 pm
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I hear your complaint about someone holding onto your rifle for 2 years etc.  That may be true with some gunsmiths but not all.  

I specifically don’t hold onto rifles, this is why I have a waiting list- so I am not holding onto anyones rifle.  When your turn comes I get the rifle and work on it and send it back.  Samuel Walker said

  

That’s the intelligent way to do it, but others won’t put your gun “in line” unless they have it in hand.  I’ve already been waiting two yrs for a checkering job, & won’t get it before next summer.

Changing barrels is definitely not an amateur’s job.  Kind of do-it-yourself work I had in mind was such simple things as  changing springs or other parts requiring no fitting. Such as, brought up in another thread, a ’94 which had a non-functional trigger-block, probably frozen with rust or dirt, or else a broken trigger-block spring. 

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December 17, 2022 - 10:27 pm
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Now I get your meaning of simple things!  
yes I too have waited for months and even years for someone to work on my guns also. Which is why I work my two lists the way I do.  One list for repairs and one list for restoration work.  90% of my repair work comes from other gunsmiths….  I get in 3 times (maybe more) as much repair work as restoration.  
Right now I am restoring a 1892 Winchester made in 1910.  It was badly pitted and worn.  The rifle is almost done will post some before and after pictures.  

 

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