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Discussion Starter #1
Being raped by

Had a fellow 'rebuild' my NN vintage BT - 99 last summer. First it took him 3 months to do and second he did a very unsatisfactory job of it. Some things I noticed immediately, the lever position was at 6 O'clock and even trending to 7, the locking boly only contacted one of the underlugs, the trigger safety binding and keeping the lockup from working correctly. etc. etc. etc. I pointed these things out to the guy and he promised to get parts and fix it right. That has been 5 months back. I've called him a couple of times and he gives me the excuse that Brownells doesn't have the parts yet and gives me a future date of expectation. Date comes, he doesn't call. I call him he claims still no parts. I sold the shotgun to a friend with the assurance by this 'gunsmith' that he would make it right. He charged me $675 to 'rebuild' the BT and the guy I sold the shotgun to paid me $1000. If this 'gunsmith' doesn't make this right I am going to have to go back to the man I sold the gun to and offer to make the deal right for HIM which makes me $1675 poorer and with a bad BAD Bt - 99. I'm getting damn tired of biting my tongue about the shoddy job and just hope the guy, or a friend of the guy, is reading this and gets something started. May of 2013 to Feb of 2014 is a damn long time to have a shotgun out of service. Man could build one from scratch in less time.

This guy went through the school. Is part of the school now. This wasn't a school deal. It was a Gunsmith deal. On his own time.

Don T.
 

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There are other vendors that have BT 99 parts. Try Midwest Bun Works (www.midwestgunworks.com. They will have whatever you need or Jim Flynn has good supply of parts.
 

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Brownells not having the parts is BS. There are TONS of other options for parts, including ordering factory direct from Browning if necessary. Unless he's tried every conceivable source of parts and was STILL unable to find what he needed, he's just putting you off hoping you'll go away.

Sounds like this person may be a "gunsmith", but shotguns, especially competition shotguns aren't necessarily his forte, and he overextended himself taking on a project that he didn't have the skills to take on.

Also, $675 for a rebuild, unless it included a full reblue and stock and forend refinish, is CRAZY high.

My suggestion would be to have it repaired professionally (Midwest, Art's, or Doug Braker), then take this guy to small claims court if you are so inclined (and can prove your case), then share his name with everyone so we can avoid him.
 

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Is he a gunsmith or a parts changer?
 

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Excellent title from the description. skeet man has the correct course laid out for you. The important thing is to make the gun whole again, then try to trim your losses. Sorry for ya. Good luck.

Bob Falfa
 

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If you want good reasonable Browning work try Skeet's Gun Shop at Tahlequah, Ok. Check this site for info about this shop. neo
 

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flashmax:

This is just me, but here is what I would do if I were you. I feel my obligation NOW is to the fellow who bought the gun from me. Assuming he gave me a deposit or paid me $, I owe him a gun that works right. I'd be profusely apologetic to the buyer, even to the point of offering him his money back. If he still wants the gun then I'd tell him I gave the gun back to the gunsmith who didn't do a good job the first time and he now has had the gun for 9 months and there is no sign of progress. And I have already paid him $675.

I would be at this gunsmith's door tomorrow and pick up the gun and any parts he may have that belong to it. I would send / take the gun to another gunsmith who has demonstrated experience repairing BT99s. (Plenty of folks here can recommend good BT99 gunsmiths). I would have the gun repaired as quickly as possible, pay the bill and give the gun to the buyer.

I would then take the bill from the second gunsmith to the first gunsmith and request reimbursement, with a fallback of partial reimbursement. I assume the first gunsmoith gave you an itemized invoice for the $675 which would allow you to negotiate. If no payment is forthcoming, I'd file a complaint with the local BBB and any other local organization that matters. Needless to say I would never recommend the first 'smith to anyone. And I'd make sure he knows that I am an avid shooter and have lots of shooting friends, including local cops, and I'll be sure to tell them of my experience.

But that's just me.

Gene in Illinois
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks guys. I've got a feel for the gunsmiths out there that do good work on the Browning shotgun from reading here since ~ May 2013 or so. I like to give the benefit of the doubt to people and will take a man's word until he PROVES that his word is no good. This guy pretty much has done that.

Gene, I sold the gun immediately after it came back ( 90 days of 'work' ) to the new guy. I am right there with you in that I owe the buyer a good shotgun and that it is up to me to make it right. I will make it right.

Just found out today that I made my State Trapshooting team so the part about 'avid trap shooter with cop friends' is as accurate as a well tuned .22-250.

Tomorrow is a heavy snow day so I won't be camped on his doorstep but next week is another day.

Don T
 

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Don T.


Could you make a couple of things more clear?


Where is the BT-99 now?


When this Gunsmith rebuilt it, what was it that he did to it? How did the bill get to 675.00 in other words?


If you give your friend the $1,000.00 back you are still friends and out nothing on that deal. Just a gun deal undone with no one losing money.


That still leaves you with a BT-99 that still needs work. Does this gunsmith have an FFL and a place of business?


Is this an instructor at The School of Trades, gunsmithing school in Lakewood?
 

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You're dealing with an unscrupulous dirtbag. Stand up for yourself and stop letting people profit by taking advantage of you.

-Gary
 

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Discussion Starter #14
MX8,

BT is with the new owner.

Job was to include springs, firing pin, sear and trigger, new locking block to make lockup tight again, lengthen forcing cone, blue job, .. a complete 'overhaul'. Add Graco LOP adjustable butt plate hardware and new recoil pad. How it got to 675 I am not entirely sure.

Yep. I'll give Jim his money back if that's what it takes but he is shooting the shotgun very well and really likes it with the exception of the things I told him about that this 'smith'had promised to fix .... It shouldn't take a heck of a lot of work to fix but it needs fixed.

Place of business no, he has access to a fully equipped shop at the school though. FFL? I don't know but from his job I expect him to have. Didn't check.

Not an instructor but not a student. I'd kind of like to talk to him one more time before I name him to give him that one more chance to convince me before I undo the sale.

That makes me kind of sad if I have to lose out on the gun though. The last time it was fired before this target year was just before I quit shooting in '86 and it made me a LOT of money. This 'smith' was a recommendation of another friend and acted on after I bought my twice pipe shotgun for doubles in May. Figgured I could stand to be without it while I learned the new shotgun. Time passed. More time passed. Couple of calls to see what progress and the thing about no parts available. Hell I didn't even think to doubt the guy until after three months had gone by and he wasn't done. Then the nits started hatching into lice and it has been almost 6 months of run around.

Some folks are slapping hell out of me in this thread but since I have also been in a legitimate no parts situation in my professional life I have held off biting the guy. Hells Bells, just because I don't go around busting teeth at the drop of a hat doesn't mean I'm a pussy.

Don T
 

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If I am wrong I apologize but it appears that you were trying to get a good deal by going to this person instead of a known gunsmith so if so you share in the blame. I have seen this happen often. Gunsmithing school is great and a necessity but working in the field in actual real life situations is where you learn and that takes time
 

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For the repairs you asked him to do I think $675.00 is in the ball park to bad they were not done right. I don't think browning makes an over sized lock for the BT the original has to be welded hopefully he did not try to weld the barrel and fit a new lock. You need to get your gun to someone competent and get a lock fitted right. Good Luck

Roger
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Cigarman,

You aren't the only one who is a bit wrong in your conclusion. I stopped shooting in '86 and took up Mining Engineering specializing in blasting. I was disabled and retired from mining in 2009 and started shooting again in 2013. The BT was adequate but well used after 100+ thousand rounds through it but it was my nostalgic favorite because I had won so much with it in '85 and '86. I asked around at my club " Who is the best BT - 99 rebuilder around here? " and was refered to this guy. Wasn't looking for a good deal, was looking for a good job. Several of the shooters had used this guy for some repairs and said he was good. Like Roger I think that for the work done ( had it been done right ) the price wasn't out of line. The cost wasn't as much of a consideration as was the fact he was local and recommended. So maybe I got burned. Better burned on a Browning I guess.

Don T
 

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I haver a Browning 'Twelevette' that I loaned to a friend to teach his daughter to shoot.

Trying to be nice, he 'took the gun apart' to clean it before returning it. If you know the gun the barrel is held onto the action by an odd lug, that goes together counter to what one might think. Needless to say he truly buggered it... hammering the lug to get it off the action (THE WRONG WAY). There is a tube for the action spring that is just aluminum - ended up looking like a slinky.

I looked for that tube for three years - no joy.

I was lamenting this to a shooting buddy at my local club - he is an aircraft mechanic and part time gunsmith. He said he might be able to help.

About a week later he returned the gun with the tube pristine 'new.'

I asked where he got a new one - he said 'I just fixed the old one - gentle work with a hammer and a rod inside.' Still when I look at it I cannot tell it has been worked on.

Total cost - $35 and a friend for life.
 
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