Our sponsor for this blog is 4D Reamer Rentals Inc. It recently occurred to me that we have never talked specifically about 4D to share the services and products that they offer to the shooting public as well as the gunsmith community. So, here goes…
Q. Tell us how you came to own 4D Reamer Rentals?
A. In 2004 the then owner of 4D had half jokingly offered to sell me his company. He was a little surprised when I said I was interested but we worked out a deal and in 2005 I bought the company from him. The rest as they say is history.
Q. Who rents reamers? I would think gunsmiths would buy their own?
We rent to professional gunsmiths as well as hobbyists.
Professionals do buy their own tooling, but nobody can have every tool and many calibers you may only build one or two in your entire career, so it just does not pay to buy such tools. On top of that the chambers popular in one vicinity are not in another. So we provide top quality tools and save everyone both time and money. These days time is often the biggest issue with delivery times from the makers stretching out to several months.
We suggest that gunsmiths purchase the reamers they will use over and over again and rent the rest. It’s probably obvious that hobby gunsmiths really feel the pinch from expensive tools, so they normally rent reamers and gauges to save money.
Q. What are the most popular tools that you rent?
A. The answer is often surprising to people. We check the top rentals at least once a year. It helps us keep inventory levels correct. The top ten rental are always made up of standard cartridges like 30-06, 280 Remington, 300 Winchester, 7mm Remington Magnum, 260 Remington, .308 Winchester, and 6.5×55 Swedish.
I guess it’s not sexy, shooters see to expect the answer to be wildcats. I believe availability of brass and ammo is going to drive popularity of cartridges and therefore our rentals. These common cartridges are the same calibers that the big manufacturers keep in the line up, because they sell.
Pretty consistently the 280 Ackley Improved slips into the top ten as well, but it is one of the few “wildcat” calibers that ranks regularly. There is some controversy surrounding this cartridge but it’s really a no brainer (click here to read about the controversy).
Q. How many reamers do you really stock?
A. We currently have over 675 reamers on hand and continue to add new tools all the time. We stock multiple reamers for the more popular calibers. Even with all those tools there are still more we can add, and nearly every year the factories add one or two new cartridges, so its really never ending. Every tool you see on our list is in the collection, although sometimes they are out on rental, we do everything we can to minimize waiting time.
Q. Does the cost of rental plus the deposits scare off a lot of potential customers?
A. It shouldn’t, that’s one of the items that we work to explain all the time. When a client orders through out web site, which is an automated shopping cart, they will see the deposit amounts displayed on the screen. There is an explanation posted as well that the deposit is not collected at the time the order is place, but rather is the maximum liability the client is agreeing to plus the rental.
Because the web site is automated it has to charge the credit or debit card at the time the order is placed. The site then drops the card information for security. When clients order via phone we do not charge the card at the time of order. However, all the same deposits apply.
So to answer your question directly. The deposits should not scare anyone off, since we do not collect them at the time the order is placed. It would be a nightmare for us to collect and return deposits on hundreds of orders, so we trust our clients to be honorable if sadly something does break or get lost. Most folks in the gun business are of the highest moral caliber, so it’s seldom a problem when a tool is damaged or broken.
Q. Are reamer and headspace gauges the only tools you offer for rental?
A. We offer much more than that. We have sight pushers for pistols, Shotgun choke reamers and taps, specialty taps and dies for muzzle breaks and the like. T-handle extension for reamers, so you can ream through the action, tap handles and die stocks. Specialty tools for AR-15 work. New tools are added all the time.
Q. So everything you offer is rental only?
A. We sell things too. Things like Cerosafe® chamber casting metal, Dakota bolt handles and grip caps, and Savage barrel nuts are all stock items we offer for the convenience of our clients.
Savage drop in barrel have become a very popular addition to our listings. We can chamber for any caliber that we have a reamer for, so we offer more cartridges in Savage pre-fits than anyone. Barrel suppliers can vary widely in delivery time, so we buy from three different makers to help deal with time constraints. Delivery times can be as short as 4 weeks, best to call for an actual quote.
Q. Are all Savage barrels special order then?
A. Mostly. We keep a small stock of barrels, they can be found on the web site under the “For Sale” menu heading. Then look for “Barrels on Hand”. We normally keep the blanks unchambered but threaded and tapered, that way you can pick a barrel and have it chambered for the caliber of your choice.
Q. What about services, anything besides the rental of tools?
A. Sure, we offer rechamber work on single shot barrels for guns that allow the easy removal of the barrel. We do not accept rifles in the shop only barrels, because we do not have or want an FFL. We have a suggested chambering page on the web site that can help customers decide what cartridge will work best for their barrel. Of course there might be other options, we often help with the selection of cartridges.
Q. So what guns are we talking about rechambering for?
A. New England Firearms (NEF), H&R Handi Rifles, Rossi, Thompson Contender or Encore barrels.
We have a flat rate for rechamber work, we do charge a little more when extractor work is needed. We do some rescue work when clients have tried a project without really knowing how to do the work. We are of course limited mostly by the existing chamber and the available chambers we can choose from. These guns are not suited to the fat magnums like WSM, and Rum designs, so we will not chamber them.
We often have folks send in Savage 110 style barrel for rechamber to new calibers. Even the new Axis rifle utilizes the same barrel threads and nut system. We have reworked both factory barrels and custom barrels that were not offered in the clients caliber of choice. It’s pretty cheap in comparison to having a custom rifle built, that’s why the Savage guns are so popular.
Q. Where do you see the rental business going in the future?
A. Well if the past is any indication, it will continue to grow. As tools and other operating costs continue to skyrocket people will continue to look for ways to save time and money. Since we specialize in saving you both time and money, the future is bright. We plan continued growth.
An added bonus for the gun industry is the addition of untold thousands of new shooters who have joined our ranks the last half dozen years or so. As these shooters become more knowledgeable they start to have guns modified and rebarreled. It just means more work for gunsmiths everywhere.
To see everything the 4D Reamer Rentals has to offer check out their web site: www.4-dproducts.com