Beware of the Inexperienced

by James Nicholas the XDMAN

Gunsmithing Gone Wrong

Beware of the Inexperienced!

By James Nicholas



Not all gunsmiths have the same level of experience or work ethic. This customer had a local gunsmith install his brand new set of XS 24/7 Big Dot sights on his brand new Stainless Steel Springfield Armory XD. The smith made several errors that made for a nasty final product. To the left one arrow points out a slip of the hammer, a dropped slide or even a rough clamp used to hold the slide. The corners on both the back and front of the brand new slide were dinged. The second arrow shows the gouge marks in the bottom of the dove tail. This damage was caused by the sight's set screw. Remember if the sights you are installing have set screws make 100% sure they are raised up enough that they don't dig into the slide when you install them. Pictured to the right you see more dings on the corner of the front of the slide. You also can see that the front sight has been bent and deformed. Although the sights are perfectly usable and still work, the craftsmanship used to install the sights was poor. The sights retail for over $100.00 and this install cost the customer $30.00.

Shop around for your gunsmith. You would not take your car in for a transmission problem to a brake specialist would you? The same goes for your gunsmith. Ask your friends for recommendations if they have had similar work done. Use the internet and find a talk group that corresponds to your make and model of gun--guaranteed they know who specializes in your firearm. Interview your smith. Do they answer when you call and answer all your questions to your satisfaction? Does the smith have experience on your weapon? I tell people all the time I would rather not experiment on their gun if I have never worked on anything similar before. I have never had a customer laugh at me because I did not know something. Infact most are thankful at the honesty.

Things to ask your potential Smith:

  1. •Have you worked on my make and model firearm? 

  2. •Have you ever preformed this particular job before? 

  3. •What's the turnaround time? 

  4. •What's your current lead time? 

  5. •What's the cost? (including shipping and/or parts)

  6. •Do your warranty you work? 

  7. •What if you break or damage my stuff? 

  8. •Do you have examples of your work? 

  9. •How long have you been in business?



If you found this article helpful please consider helping us out by buying your sights from us. If you buy sights from us the installation is free. If you already have sights but need them installed, thats only 25.00 after return shipping!