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PK'd West Hurley


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#21 Grease Gunner

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 10:36 PM

I called PK and he told me that the wait was 4+ years maybe 5 . The cost was approx 4k depending upon what he found when he got the gun.

Obviously his work is outstanding but I have to agree with Huggytree that when you upgrade a WH to be dependable, reliable and up to GI specs

is the investment worth it?, I dont think so when I can have a GI gun now for 20-25k and the WH are costing 20 and even 25k on the auction sites.

The GI gun will be more marketable down the road and historical as well

Just my 2c


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#22 mohawk64

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 11:47 PM

Exactly. 5 yrs? You could mine the iron ore to build it in that time.
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#23 mnshooter

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 06:56 PM

Exactly. 5 yrs? You could mine the iron ore to build it in that time.

 

Just tell me where to find the amnesty registered iron ore.  


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#24 mohawk64

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 07:25 PM

Waiting 5 yrs for a slot to be cut is about waaay too long. But what do I know? I've only been in the tool and die business since 85.
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#25 cbmott

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 07:58 PM

Waiting 5 yrs for a slot to be cut is about waaay too long. But what do I know? I've only been in the tool and die business since 85.


It is a long time and I would bang my head against a wall for sure and some have waited even longer but it boils down more to a supply and demand thing. PK and maybe one other gunsmith do this kind of work with the Blish slots for WH guns and there are thousands of WH guns out there. PK is arguably the best for full WH overhauls and puts a lot of effort into each Thompson, so there are many more customers with guns to fix than he has time/energy to put into it hence the long wait list time. However, there are many people who have previously and are still willing to wait because they want their Thompson’s to be in the best condition possible. The wait has in fact gotten so bad that PK said he isn’t accepting any more wait list additions and won’t for the foreseeable future when I talked to him this week so 5 years almost seems like a deal for those who can’t. If other gunsmiths take up doing this type of work I bet there would be less of a wait but until that day this is the world we live in.
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#26 huggytree

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 08:11 PM

ww2 thompsons are for sale daily though...why wait 5 years? sell for $17,000 and buy a ww2 one for $21,000(refinished/mismatch but most likely 100% functional)

 

my business is booked out 1 week...i cant imagine how id jack my prices up if i were booked up even 3 weeks, let alone 5 years...id 5x+++ my price until it was down to 2-3 months

 

im at a point where im only willing to wait 2-3 months now. Ive waited 2 years for a build and up to 10 months for a repair...many 6 month waits too....I wont do it anymore...id rather sell it and move on


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#27 Oldtrooper

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 09:15 PM

Waiting 5 yrs for a slot to be cut is about waaay too long. But what do I know? I've only been in the tool and die business since 85.


It is a long time and I would bang my head against a wall for sure and some have waited even longer but it boils down more to a supply and demand thing. PK and maybe one other gunsmith do this kind of work with the Blish slots for WH guns and there are thousands of WH guns out there. PK is arguably the best for full WH overhauls and puts a lot of effort into each Thompson, so there are many more customers with guns to fix than he has time/energy to put into it hence the long wait list time. However, there are many people who have previously and are still willing to wait because they want their Thompson’s to be in the best condition possible. The wait has in fact gotten so bad that PK said he isn’t accepting any more wait list additions and won’t for the foreseeable future when I talked to him this week so 5 years almost seems like a deal for those who can’t. If other gunsmiths take up doing this type of work I bet there would be less of a wait but until that day this is the world we live in.

Smithing can be a frustrating business ... We run a custom build shop and do restoration work. We get a lot of orders for hunting and target rifles that take time to build. Invariably, each year more than one guy will come in a couple of weeks before hunting season and ask for a custom build to be done in time to hunt with it. 

 

I had some work done by PK 13 years ago and the wait was under a year ... Doing them one at a time I can see where the work piles up and the waiting time grows longer.


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#28 Vettom

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 09:45 PM

It is like restoring a Corvette; some want NCRS level unrestored some don't and want a custom willing to wait or pay for that work same applies to PK, on restoration/service. Any restoration opens up a can of worms, been there done that, still got one in the garage, it ALWAYS needs something. If you don't want to wait, there are only so many out there doing this type of work fortunately there are choices and purchase options. Since mine was PK'd I will just pass it down and enjoy the no wait. 


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#29 huggytree

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 07:16 AM

a smart young person needs to apprentice under some of these older smiths...when they are dead no one to take their place...and there is endless money to be made for specialized NFA smiths.


Edited by huggytree, 06 July 2019 - 07:16 AM.

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#30 johnsonlmg41

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 07:57 AM

a smart young person needs to apprentice under some of these older smiths...when they are dead no one to take their place...and there is endless money to be made for specialized NFA smiths.

If that were the case I'd be doing it.  The money is not there, there are plenty of guys doing it but since there is not much money (relative to the investment required to be in business) it's all side jobs for guys that make more money at their day jobs or have retirement income and cost benefit analysis is not relevant.  I've been in this for a while and its funny that the guys that do the best work, have loads of equipment (that they use in their day jobs to make a living)  those names never show up on any forums. 

Clearly the PK thing is a side job, because you can make a complete 1921 colt from a block of steel and a hunk of walnut in less than a week with the right equipment.  4 of those days are for rust bluing.  At the end of the day there is a couple hundred dollars cost difference between a Colt 21 and a Kahr arms Thompson.  $100 extra in materials at most and longer machine time for better tolerances and finish.  Add 30K for pre-86 registration papers.

In a free market economy highly profitable consumer voids get filled in pretty quickly. 

I can make pharmaceuticals in my shop with less regulation than parkerizing a 1919, that surely has something to do with it as well?


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#31 TSMGguy

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 08:01 AM

"Quality is its own reward." You guys who have never held Paul's work in your hands have no basis for comparison. You're talking about practicality and utility. His work is the best for those things, but it's also art that transcends mere gunsmithing. Imagine sending him a WH, and getting back a gun that's so good that you feel like you're holding a new Colt '21. Yes, i's that good. If you're sending him a gun, do your research and be very specific in what you ask for. He can make it happen, down to the smallest detail. It's astounding.

 

You don't have to wait five years for a corrected Blish slots. PK does beautiful gunsmithing, and returns jobs at very reasonable time and cost. It's the large jobs that require the wait. 


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#32 johnsonlmg41

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 08:45 AM

I don't think anyone has ever questioned his quality.  The question is one of value.  The problem is no matter what he does to the gun, it still says West Hurley on the side.  A gun that says Hartford on the side has more value than one that says Bridgeport, which has more value than one that says West Hurley.  Unless he's filling it internally with gold and diamonds there's no way to move those monetary values around at this time since the basis  has nothing to do with the actual quality or functionality of the guns.

 

I had a 98%+ WH years ago.  It shot as well as the other three I currently have, had by far the best finish of any of them, yet held a fraction of the value.  Currently I don't foresee any of that changing?


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#33 colt21a

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 10:50 AM

Remember  Cobra kit cars and the Daytona Ferrari?And even a Pantera and Countach. all great stuff.but still it was not the real deal. no matter what builder did them. Kind of like what is mentioned here but a gun.He cuts some slots makes or modified a few parts and does a reblue. Or a restoration of the poor Hurley finish.That is great for the guy who wants to wait. 

 

And he ends up with a replica facsimile of a Colt in action and close looks.{But does not say COLT} and any part on it was not manufactured from Colt.  really no different from the current custom AK builders who take a receiver a new parts kit and work magic on it in six months or a year now.  Is it a real Russian or Chinese or Hungarian Bulgarian AK-47 AKM  or AK-74 No! but a darn good replica of one. That will fool most people.

 

I know a guy who had built up a soviet era SVDS Dragunov from REC. and parts. was a real project  and came out outstanding. many would like to buy it. since the original was never brought into the U.S.A. and never will.

 

Is it worth $15 grand ? he thinks it is.I located a real  one and only import that guy wants $28 grand, I can go on on many more such guns..why bother....It is just the bucks that is really all it is.And of course who is selling at the time,I knew guys in the bike bizz that did Harleys from Jap bikes. to have the look and sound the title did not say Harley.However recently they might say 30% China/

 

For a guy to buy a Hurley now and say change it up for that Colt look...Just find and buy the Colt...We all leave the gear behind anyhow so enjoy what you can while you can.Yeah i wanted a $200 grand FG-42 also.and could settle for that 6 grand Texas replica,After much thought i forgot about both.The hoarding thing is gone from me now.have fun guys.Ron  


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#34 Normal1959

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 06:15 AM

"Quality is its own reward." You guys who have never held Paul's work in your hands have no basis for comparison. You're talking about practicality and utility. His work is the best for those things, but it's also art that transcends mere gunsmithing. Imagine sending him a WH, and getting back a gun that's so good that you feel like you're holding a new Colt '21. Yes, i's that good. If you're sending him a gun, do your research and be very specific in what you ask for. He can make it happen, down to the smallest detail. It's astounding.

 

You don't have to wait five years for a corrected Blish slots. PK does beautiful gunsmithing, and returns jobs at very reasonable time and cost. It's the large jobs that require the wait. 

 

Very interesting post. I have 2 WH guns that clearly need corrected blish slots. How do I go about getting this done. I have 3 but the one gun looks and shoots fantastic. Like the day it was made. The other 2 look like they are well used .

Eric


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#35 Vettom

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 07:06 AM

I think Normal brings up a valid point for those of us WH owners. It is no different than than an old car repair. Dealerships wont do it anymore just as we cannot turn to The old manufacturer. We as a WH community should be able to look for those who have the skills and willingness to help us with repair. Not everyone wants or needs a PK treatment. I am fairly new to all this so for me this forum has been a great informative source. The moderators could create a list of those in the community who can help us with repair or upgrades. This would be helpful to me as a newbie. If waiting times are know that can be left in a thread also. Thanks and thoughts?
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#36 Tiz

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 03:51 PM

"Quality is its own reward." You guys who have never held Paul's work in your hands have no basis for comparison. You're talking about practicality and utility. His work is the best for those things, but it's also art that transcends mere gunsmithing. Imagine sending him a WH, and getting back a gun that's so good that you feel like you're holding a new Colt '21. Yes, i's that good. If you're sending him a gun, do your research and be very specific in what you ask for. He can make it happen, down to the smallest detail. It's astounding.

 

You don't have to wait five years for a corrected Blish slots. PK does beautiful gunsmithing, and returns jobs at very reasonable time and cost. It's the large jobs that require the wait. 

Since it appears that PK will be asking for my WH very soon it would be helpful to me to know what I should ask him to do from someone like you who has experience with his work. What would you suggest or where can I access a list of PK's services, I can't find anything on the Diamond K website, or should I just send PK my gun and see what he suggests once he looks it over.  I have only, up until now,  had email correspondence with Paul never a phone conversation.

 All the differences of opinion put forth so far make me wonder if I am making the best decision. I certainly cannot justify the price of a Colt which a lot of owners seem to avoid shooting due to their value and I am not trying to turn the WH into a Colt. 

 

I certainly did not intend to initiate a debate regarding Paul's work or value thereof.


Edited by Tiz, 07 July 2019 - 04:11 PM.

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#37 huggytree

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 04:56 PM

Id just send it to him, let him look it over. Take Tom Daviss advice from the start of the post as a starting point to discuss.

Paul will know what it needs. Give him your budget and work with it

Edited by huggytree, 07 July 2019 - 04:56 PM.

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#38 TD.

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 04:58 PM

As I said previously, this is what I would request PK to do to your West Hurley. He is going to automatically fix all the production defects, no worry or discussion needed there. The below items will make your West Hurley simply beautiful! Pick and choose what you like :)

 

1. Deluxe blue

2. Original Lyman adjustable rear sight

3. PK barrel (get rid of that WH barrel)

4. GI paddle fire control levers converted to Colt type checkered clones with hole in Safety lever.

5. Have the hole filled in a GI magazine catch

6. Install a smooth ejector. I believe Savage made is much better than the Gordon repro ones.

7. Milled fore grip if not so equipped

8. I would request both the 1928 and 1921 operating system (cut down GI actuator for 1921 style - both knurled) This will result in having two buffer pilots, both most likely custom fitted to the pilot hole of your West Hurley. 

9. leave the GI frame internals "bright" as to copy the Colt's look

10. bright Savage 1928 bolt

 

If you replace the barrel, you have the opportunity to go with the A or AC style. I really like the A style.


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#39 Petroleum 1

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 06:04 PM


"Quality is its own reward." You guys who have never held Paul's work in your hands have no basis for comparison. You're talking about practicality and utility. His work is the best for those things, but it's also art that transcends mere gunsmithing. Imagine sending him a WH, and getting back a gun that's so good that you feel like you're holding a new Colt '21. Yes, i's that good. If you're sending him a gun, do your research and be very specific in what you ask for. He can make it happen, down to the smallest detail. It's astounding.
 
You don't have to wait five years for a corrected Blish slots. PK does beautiful gunsmithing, and returns jobs at very reasonable time and cost. It's the large jobs that require the wait. 

Since it appears that PK will be asking for my WH very soon it would be helpful to me to know what I should ask him to do from someone like you who has experience with his work. What would you suggest or where can I access a list of PK's services, I can't find anything on the Diamond K website, or should I just send PK my gun and see what he suggests once he looks it over.  I have only, up until now,  had email correspondence with Paul never a phone conversation.
 All the differences of opinion put forth so far make me wonder if I am making the best decision. I certainly cannot justify the price of a Colt which a lot of owners seem to avoid shooting due to their value and I am not trying to turn the WH into a Colt. 
 
I certainly did not intend to initiate a debate regarding Paul's work or value thereof.
Good info on this thread. I do not have a WH but was wondering, did you wait 4yrs already or do you send him the gun then wait 4yrs? I can see if someone paid $1600 for a WH many years ago and wants to spend the money now and update it but buying one for $23k and then spending on a PK job is a loser imo. When i was looking for my first tommy i would just skip over the WH adds. Im glad i bought a vintage WW2 thompson it runs flawless.
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#40 Tiz

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 06:46 PM

 


"Quality is its own reward." You guys who have never held Paul's work in your hands have no basis for comparison. You're talking about practicality and utility. His work is the best for those things, but it's also art that transcends mere gunsmithing. Imagine sending him a WH, and getting back a gun that's so good that you feel like you're holding a new Colt '21. Yes, i's that good. If you're sending him a gun, do your research and be very specific in what you ask for. He can make it happen, down to the smallest detail. It's astounding.
 
You don't have to wait five years for a corrected Blish slots. PK does beautiful gunsmithing, and returns jobs at very reasonable time and cost. It's the large jobs that require the wait. 

Since it appears that PK will be asking for my WH very soon it would be helpful to me to know what I should ask him to do from someone like you who has experience with his work. What would you suggest or where can I access a list of PK's services, I can't find anything on the Diamond K website, or should I just send PK my gun and see what he suggests once he looks it over.  I have only, up until now,  had email correspondence with Paul never a phone conversation.
 All the differences of opinion put forth so far make me wonder if I am making the best decision. I certainly cannot justify the price of a Colt which a lot of owners seem to avoid shooting due to their value and I am not trying to turn the WH into a Colt. 
 
I certainly did not intend to initiate a debate regarding Paul's work or value thereof.
Good info on this thread. I do not have a WH but was wondering, did you wait 4yrs already or do you send him the gun then wait 4yrs? I can see if someone paid $1600 for a WH many years ago and wants to spend the money now and update it but buying one for $23k and then spending on a PK job is a loser imo. When i was looking for my first tommy i would just skip over the WH adds. Im glad i bought a vintage WW2 thompson it runs flawless.

You get on the list and when he is ready to work on your gun he lets you know.


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