The Firing Pin: Gunsmithing & Restoration by Dan Printz


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

November 24th, 2007




I recently heard of Dan Printz and the great work that he does refinishing and restoring firearms. Dan is a retired Highway Patrolman, a former US Marine, and an all-around good guy, from what I have learned of him. He is also a Christian, and his belief shows in his attitude towards customer service.

Having a Model 94 Winchester that is chambered for the .44 Magnum cartridge that was showing a bit of wear and abuse, I packed it up and sent it off to Dan, whose shop is called The Firing Pin. The stock showed a few scratches, the blued finish was dull, and the barrel looked terrible where the front sight had been silver-soldered back on by a local gunsmith. I will not go into detail as to how it got detached in the first place, but they are pretty darn hard to knock off. The little carbine wears a sixteen inch barrel, and has the large loop lever. I like the little gun, and it deserved a refinish.

In a few weeks, the gun was returned to me. What I expected was a refinish. What I received was a complete restoration! Well, restoration implies that the gun was restored to its original glory. However, this Winchester was never this glorious even when new. What it now looks like is an old Winchester that has been carefully preserved. While it is the newer Angle Eject action, which has always been built with a dull blued finish, Dan finished the action, lever, and hammer in a bone-charcoal color case-hardened finish. It doesnít look flashy and cheesy like some types of case-coloring, but has that nice subdued, somewhat aged look of real case-hardening, which it is.

The barrel, magazine tube, loading gate, barrel bands, sights, screws, and lower tang all received a high polish and deluxe deep dark bluing. Dan moved the front sight out to the end of the barrel, forward of the barrel band. I donít know the reason for this, but I like it. It adds about one inch to the carbineís sight radius, and just looks good to me. The trigger has been gold plated.

The stock was beautifully refinished. It now looks better than ever, and fits the receiver much better than it did before.

Overall, Dan did a beautiful job. It now looks much better than the average Angle Eject Winchester. Had I known that it would turn out this good, I might have sent my old 1895 vintage Model 1894 .30 WCF rifle instead.  In fact, I might have him restore that old gun next.

Prices for the work that was done, as of this writing, are as follows:

CCH Rec./Hammer/Lever $350.00
Polish Metal $150.00
Refinish Wood $150.00
Gold Plate Trigger $60.00
TOTAL $710.00

The Firing Pin offers many other types of finishing and gunsmithing services as well.

Anyway, the pictures here can do more to explain Danís work than my words. Enjoy.

For more information on The Firing Pinís custom gunsmithing services, go online to:

Jeff Quinn

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Author was very pleased with the services rendered by Dan Printz and The Firing Pin.



"Before" pictures...



"After" pictures...