Budd’s Gunsmith Shop – Home of the Gun Doc
This is a shot interview with gunsmith/blacksmith Budd Gardstein.
Lily, Kentucky – -(AmmoLand.com)- Budd’s Gunsmith Shop is possibly the only full service shop in Southeastern Kentucky to Central Kentucky. Although there are other business out there they do not tackle the work I get. That is from what my customers tell me, says Budd.
On a regular basis I get guns in for repair that other say can’t be fixed or they won’t touch. Very few guns have not left here fixed and in working condition. The few I can not repair are just too worn out to be worth it. Other owners just did not want to invest the money. My wife came up with a phrase ”Junk or Heirloom, You Decide We Repair, Restore”. I get a lot of Gran pappy’s Ol’ shotgun. For the most part I get a lot of big smiles upon pickup.
With that in mind I get a very wide cross section of gunsmith work in. My customers dictate the kind of jobs that I work on. I see a little bit of everything. Just all kinds of guns are brought in that I need to make right. Some are jammed, not feeding sufferingfrom every type of feeding or function problems.
I also do hot bluing, wood work and repair and making of parts. Trigger, action jobs. I often get black powder long guns in with mangled breech plugs. I drill machine them out on my lathe and then recut the threads for a new breech plug to get the Gun back in service.
Sometimes I get guns that have been caught up in a house fire, with fire, water or smoke damage. Often all three and I bring these back to life.
I have had feed problems with semi autos, double feed and jamming shells. Shell extraction and ejection issues. Guns coming in with heavy , hard and or creep in the trigger.
I had a Ruger Ranch Mini 14 in .223 with a long hard pull. The man hated that gun, he could not hit anything with it when he pulled the trigger. After I worked on it the smile on the customers face tells me all.
We recently started posting work that came in showing before and after photos on our blog “shoptalk”. Just wish we had a digital camera years earlier. Every time I get a little relaxed, in comes a challenge that stretches my brain. I enjoy getting gun repair calls from all over the country.
Earliest gun I have worked on was a 1795 Backwoods Conversion.
I grew up in a era when schools had shop classes. I took every thing including drafting, mechanical drawing. Giving me a very good three tensional thinking.
I started alone with books, and took a basic gunsmith course. Then a second course, but the class work went too slow for me. I did all hands on for years and read all kinds of books. and commented to a fellow bluing man that I regretted being unable to go to a trade school. He said that he took a year out and went and was disappointed and that I should not worry, that I was so far beyond that school that I had nothing to worry about. I have never been afraid of experimentation..
They call you the Gunsmiths Black Smith. What makes a Gunsmith Blacksmith different from regular gunsmiths?
If I have to adapt a part, if I need to compensate for wear, if I have to make something from scratch, I have that ability. I started working with heat on the hammers of side lock guns adjusting the hammer nipple interaction. So many of the Blacksmith books have helped me with gun work. The 1850 Gunsmiths had to be blacksmiths because there were no parts houses. You have to be able to take steel or iron and heat and make what you need.
A beter description would be Machinist/Blacksmith as I use techniques from both disciplines. There are many guns out there that there are not parts for. So you either make the part or the gun becomes a wall hanger. One direct application of this was a blackpowder double barrel shotgun that came is rusted solid. I had to get it apart clean it up and then refit the iron correctly . I also had to re-establish the hammer notched on the locks.
I have had single barrel shotguns that I have tightened the lockdown of the barrel and set the barrels back to the breech face. All of this can only be done with a wide knowledge base and blacksmithing or iron working talents.
There are only two big used parts houses in this country and a few speciality houses that make parts and maybe Blackpowder parts houses for those guns. I have the option when no one has the part to make my own.
I am located between London and Corbin Ky in Lily off ky rt 552. I have been here 8 years.
Visit Budd online at BuddsGunsmith.comBudd’s Gunsmith Shop 132 Bill Karr Rd. Lily, Kentucky 40740 1 (606) 864-1170 [email protected]