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Chattanooga Gunsmith Relocated from Commiefornia

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Hello Volunteers,

I moved my family to Chattanooga from behind the Iron Rainbow Curtain this year; as my kids prepare to strike out on their own, I just could not saddle my future generations with million dollar starter homes, corrupt and bloated government, and a culture that runs counter to almost everything we believe in. I own and operate a successful firearms manufacturing business, full service gunsmithing operation, and retail store in CA. The state figured out a few years ago that they could not eliminate the 2nd Amendment, so instead they have cleverly attacked FFLs by increasing fees to the point where doing gun business in CA will be unsustainable. Imagine having to pay $15 every time you sold a box of ammo that you make $7 on... the math puts people out of business very quickly!

I have gunsmithing staff remaining in my CA store who I trained up, and I'll be doing my own gunsmithing work from my ranch in Harrison Bay. We love Chattanooga - it feels like heaven on earth. I wonder if you folks know how good you've had it here! I'm also an avid automotive enthusiast, and I appreciate the proximity to the Appalachians and several top-notch racetracks in the region. Looking forward to the rest of our lives in Tennessee.

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1 hour ago, Snaveba said:

Do you have a particular gunsmithIng focus? Or do you do all forms of work?  

Thank you, Snaveba. I do all work, but there are some things I prefer, some things I turn down, and some things I will be unable to do here (at least in the short term) since I don't have access to my full machine shop back in the California store. I specialize in accurizing handguns and rifles, Cerakote refinishing, chassis lightening, scopes (drill & tap, hand lap rings, laser boresight, etc), authentic C&R/antique restoration, and general troubleshooting/repair.

I love working on S&W revolvers, especially the new ones with the crappy MIM internals that are, in theory, just as good as forged, but in practice I have replaced more than 100  cracked/split MIM hammers, sears, and triggers. When you consider that there are orders of magnitude more Smith wheelguns out there with forged internals than there are MIMs, the real-world failure rate is disproportionately high. I do believe in the science of MIM; in practice, I don't see it. On old S&W's, some Colts, and Rugers, the hardy ignition groups take very well to fitting, tuning, timing and polishing, and cracked parts are generally the result of an ammo issue, not a gun issue.

I love accurizing 1911's, CZ's, metal framed Sig's, and other semiautos. Moving beyond parts-changing and drop-in triggers, getting frames and slides to mate in perfection and tuning triggers and sears to glass-break is challenging and rewarding.

My least favorite thing to do is shotgun lockwork - it is tedious, replacement parts often take lots of unpaid time to research and procure, and the guns are extremely valuable. We're good at it and it pays extremely well so we do it anyway, but I will be limiting my intake on them since I don't have a journeyman to pass it on to here. 🙂  In more practical terms, without a lathe here I won't be able to make replacement rods, pins, bars, etc., which are often required on these old/rarer guns with unobtanium parts.

I am very good at creating world-class AR15's. We manufacture some unique receivers and components, specializing in ambidextrous controls and non-reciprocating side charging uppers. Unlike many custom AR manufacturers I've seen, I apply real-world downrange experience in setting up my carbines, so that they are functional and effective in use. We've made plenty of eye candy rifles, as well, but our bread and butter is custom ARs assembled with quality US parts that come together as a complete system, not a collection of Gucci (or Guntec) parts. Edit: Just a note, I'm not selling my custom guns here; I only mention this as an explanation of my background. I don't mention the name of my CA gun store for the same reason; I'm here as a new neighbor, not a businessman.

I did bring a whole auxiliary Cerakote blast cabinet, downdraft paint booth and curing oven here, but I haven't set it up yet. I'm still settling in, but I am thankful for a vocation in which there is endless demand and little supply. As parts-changing Armorers are well suited to servicing the popular modular/drop-in conventions of AR's, Glock's, P320's and the like, full-service gunsmithing is a dying profession, I'm afraid.

Edited by DocHawk
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1 minute ago, Smith said:

Welcome. It's always good to have good gunsmiths. You might want to check with TGO David about becoming an official TGO vendor.

Thank you! If/when I ever officially open a shop and seek out work, I'd definitely want to be a sponsor on this forum. As of yet I'm just a guy with a particular set of skills. 

I don't actually talk like that. I just like mocking Liam Neeson whenever possible.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Welcome and Merry Christmas.

Grew up in Cali and moved away from it twice.  This time to TN and I LOVE IT. Been here about four and a half years. 

First two things to learn are:

a) Don't honk at the person in front of you the second the light turns green

b) Breathe, you are free now!

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34 minutes ago, Snaveba said:

Also, if you drive a truck/Jeep/etc, folks driving the same will just wave hi as they pass you by. We’re just that friendly. 😎

I'm a car/truck guy - I did that even in CA! One difference in TN is that they wave back with all 5 fingers.

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