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Home > Defarbing > Defarb Frequently Asked Questions

Defarb Frequently Asked Questions


Question 1: Where can I get a box big enough to ship my musket? 

Most UPS Stores and some large Post Office offer large boxes. You can purchase a box from them and cut it down if you need to. Just make sure use enough padding to keep the musket from rattling around 

Question 2: UPS/USPS says they won't ship my musket unless I can provide them with a Federal Firearms License.

This is an issue that is becoming increasingly common. There are currently no Federal laws that restrict the shipment of muzzleloading firearms. In fact, according to Title 18, Chapter 44, and Title 26, Chapter 53 of the United States Code the Federal government does not even legally classify muzzleloaders as firearms. Also, none of the major parcel carriers (UPS, USPS, FEDEX) have any regulations against shipping muzzleloaders meaning they can be shipped just like any other parcel without any paperwork or special handling precautions. However, both the Federal Governement and major parcel carriers have specific laws and regulations pertaining to the shipment of modern firearms. The problem is that most of the employees of UPS/USPS don't understand the distinction between muzzleloading firearms and modern firearms and will often refuse to ship a musket without FFL paperwork or, in some cases, simply refuse to ship it altogether. So my advice for anybody wishing to send in a muzzleloader for defarbing is to have it boxed up and ready to go BEFORE dropping it off at UPS/USPS and simply don't tell the person behind the counter what is in the box. Remember, you're not violating any laws by doing this; you're not even violating the carrier's own policy. You're simply getting ahead of any problems due to employee ignorance.

Question 3: Can I use FEDEX to ship you my gun?

Technically, yes. But we do not recommend FEDEX as our local FEDEX hub is notorious for mishandling packages. We have had more guns broken via Federal Express than anyone else. We prefer deliver via UPS or USPS.

Questions 4: How will my gun be shipped back to me?

We ship guns almost exclusively via UPS. In some rare cases we may send a gun back via USPS depending on whether you live in a rural area.

Question 5: Will you call me when my gun arrives/when you start the work? 

No. I generally get 4-6 guns per week delivered to the shop. I simply don't have the man power to call every customer to notify them of every detail about the defarbing process. However, if you have concerns about whether or not your gun arrived, you are welcome to call the shop and check.

Question 6: What if my gun is lost or damaged when I ship it to you?

To date we have never had any major incidents with customer guns becoming lost or damaged. However, we strongly recommend that you insure the package for the gun's full retail amount.


Question 1: I have a Parker Hale/Miroku/Pedersoli etc. I read online that they are perfect copies of the originals. Should I still have it defarbed?

Oh the internet! It is truly a great tool for disseminating information (whether it's true or not). Remember this "my gun is a perfect copy right out of the box" talk is always either marketing speak from the manufacturer of the gun, or bragging on reenactor forums. The short answer is every single mass produced reproduction gun has features that are vastly different than the originals. There is no such thing as a "perfect copy" when it comes to mass produced guns; they all need to be re-worked to get them in spec.

Question 2: I would like some additional work/repair work done that isn't included in a "standard" defarb. Can you do it?

Yes! Just write the details of the work in the "Comments/Additional Requests" section of the defarb sheet. I'll give you a call when I start on your gun to hash out the details and price.

Question 3: How long does a defarb take? 

At any given time I usually have between 40-50 guns on my rack to build/restore/repair/defarb. So my lead time on defarb work is about 12 weeks from the day your weapon arrives at my shop. Please don't call/email with questions like "Is my gun done yet?" as it will only delay the process. I do try to stick as close to this 12 week time frame as possible.

Question 4: Can I buy one of your Enfield lock plates and install it on my gun myself?

Unfortunately no. I used to sell the lock plates separately, but there is some degree of custom fitting involved in order to get the plate to drop in/function correctly. It got to the point where I was spending more time on the phone troubleshooting with customers than actually working on guns. So I now only offer them as a part of a defarb.

Question 5: Can you stamp Colt or Remington on my reproduction revolver? 

I cannot. I'm legally unable to stamp any guns with logos or company names that are trademarked. Because Colt and Remington are still in business, they do not allow any unauthorized use of their trademarks.

Question 6: You and I talked via telephone/email/facebook about the details of my defarb. Do I still have to fill out a defarb form to include with my gun?

Yes. I receive many guns every week. It is imperative that everything that comes in for defarbing work be accompanied by a completed defarb form so that I can keep track of everything. Failure to include the Defarb Form will result in delays and/or an increase in cost as I have to spend extra time to determine who the "mystery guns" belong to.

Question 7: Can you convert my musket to a different model (i.e. a M1861 to a M1855 or a Enfield to a Cook & Bros)

Yes! These are the type of projects I really enjoy. I have an extensive collection of parts available and a lot of experience with this type of work. Give me a call with your idea and we can discuss the details.

Question 8: Because I'm planning on having the stock re-shaped and re-finished anyway, would it be cheaper to send you an unfinished musket kit and have you assemble and defarb it? 

This idea makes sense in theory, but in reality it's quite a bit more expensive to have a kit assembled and then defarbed than it is to defarb a completed musket. Musket kits (like Dixie's Pedersoli Brown Bess kit) are really marketed toward "do-it-yourself-ers" whose time is free. If you have a gunsmith like me, who charges an hourly shop rate assemble it for you, the cost begins to add up quickly as there is a lot of time consuming "busy work" involved in assembling a musket kit that isn't a factor when starting with a complete musket (like filing and polishing brass furniture). In fact, between the cost of the kit, plus expenses in labor to put it together, you'd end up spending more money than if you had bought a new finished musket in the first place. Note that this rule only applies to the mass produced Italian reproduction kits on the market. We do offer kit assembly services on custom muzzleloader kits; like those offered from Track of the Wolf, Jim Chambers, or The Rifle Shoppe.


Question 1: How do I pay for the defarb work?

I always take payment after the work is completed. I will call you with the grand total including shipping at which time you can pay via credit card or check.

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