Gunsmith or Thief?

1-Feb-08 – 00:28 by ToddG

The Crime of the “Reliability Package”

SigTriggerBarSpend enough time on any gun forum and you will soon be led to believe that you can’t live without a trigger job on your pistol to smooth, lighten, and otherwise “improve” your shooting. While it’s important not to take such modifications to unsafe extremes (see our previous post A Light Trigger Pull Is Not a Status Symbol) there is nothing wrong with tuning up the trigger if it helps you perform better.

But for any modern quality service pistol, such work shouldn’t cost hundreds of dollars and absolutely shouldn’t require you to pay for the snake oil salesman’s best friend, the “reliability package.”

Presumably, you went out and bought a gun from a reputable company. You chose a gun with a history of reliable service. You chose a brand with good customer service and a good warranty.

When you brought your gun to the range for the first time, one of two things happened.

Most likely, your pistol worked just fine. It fed, chambered, fired, extracted, and ejected time after time without flaw. If that’s the case, why in the world would you pay someone one cent to make your 100% reliable pistol more reliable? There’s nothing to be done. The gun already works! At this point, the very best a gunsmith can do is keep the gun in the same condition. At worst, he can ruin what was previously a good pistol.

The other possibility is that your gun didn’t work properly right from the start. In those instances, who better to respond to such a problem than the reputable company that you chose, the one with the good customer service and great warranty? They sent you a broken gun. Have them fix it!

Modern service pistols don’t need their feed ramps repolished, they don’t need their extractors tuned, they don’t need their springs adjusted. Even if the smith is genuinely doing all that work, it gains you nothing. The gun already worked! The only person who is going to benefit from all that stuff is the gunsmith, who just went from earning $50 – $100 for a trigger job to demanding $250 or more for all that work you didn’t need in the first place!

Talk to the warranty center gunsmiths at any major pistol manufacturer and they’ll tell you horror stories of guns that come into the shop after being butchered by various famous “gunsmiths.” Usually they come straight from the customer, but it’s not unheard of for famous smiths to send a gun to the manufacturer themselves to fix something they messed up before it gets back to the owner! Manufacturers don’t choose ramp dimensions, spring specifications, etc. blindly or at random.

You wouldn’t go out and buy a Honda or Ford and then expect to pay a local mechanic hundreds of dollars to make your car “reliable” after you put a couple hundred miles on it, would you? A pistol should be no different. If it works, it works … there is no point paying someone else to make it work “more.” If it doesn’t work, it’s the manufacturer’s fault and their responsibility, which still shouldn’t cost you a penny to get made right.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

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