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2 months ago I picked up a used Xd from a buddy that was looking to offload it. He took it as a partial trade on something and it had been sitting for a year. It was pretty well used and needed to be refinished. I figured for 200 bucks worth of 5.56 ammo how could I go wrong.

Living in not the friendliest 2A state I try to patronize local pro 2A places whenever possible. Enter a semi local Cerakote outfit. Sent off an email and received a response detailing how they'd strip the slide, bead blast it and the barrel and recoat it in whatever color scheme I wanted. I'm quoted a 2-3 week turnaround and off it goes.

About 5 weeks after I send it off I still haven't heard anything. I send an email off and wait a few days. No response. I call and leave a few messages. After not hearing back I decide to stop by on my way home from work. Guy tells me they've been backed up had some turnover etc etc. Ehhh no big deal I understand but I ask to see it. Apparently strip the slide really meant they were going to blast the sights, breech face, feed ramp and snap a punch off in the striker retainer pin hole. Slightly enraged I request a refund and take it as is.

Get it home and drill the snapped punch out. Upon closer inspection the extractor looks to have a crack in it. As I try to pry it out I learn it is in fact broken. Just great.

I reach out to @ajamesp51 and explain what Ive got and to see if he can get an extractor (only one I could find was aftermarket) and he explains SA doesn't sell them so it'll probably have to go back to the mothership. Understandable but I don't want to send it back looking the way it looks. I sent him a few pics and the next day he tells me that if I send it to him he will work his magic.

Jump on his site pay for a slide refinish pack it up and send it off. He's doing me a big favor here so I tucked a note in the box saying that while I just picked the default black color he can literally do whatever he wants. New color he wants to test out go for it.

I shipped it on a Friday and it got to him on Monday. That Thursday I get a message from him along with a pic of the damage that was done from bead blasting it. They had actually removed material around the sights. He chose a stealth grey base coat and decided to do a dark camp job. I had a set of night sights that I had planned on putting on but seeing as how he really had gone above and beyond I decided to buy a set of Big Dots from him and use the other set on my other Xd. Not only did he make the slide look as if it hadn't been beat to a pulp he also was able to procure an extractor and coated the barrel (which is hard to do)

I got it back this morning (less than 2 weeks) and it looks fantastic. I had no doubts about his skill but I am completely blown away by his level of service. He didn't have to go the extra mile to track down something he had not part in destroying but he did. In his line of work I don't imagine that fixing other people's mistakes is high up on his priority list but he made it look 1000 times better than it did. Kudos to you sir you are an artist. Anyone that may read this that is on the fence about where to send a gun for sights or a refinishing project you've got look him up. You won't be disappointed.

Before and after pics. Trust me when I say the after pictures don't do it justice.
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Winner like a MoFo.
 

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We do like james
 

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Looks awsome! James is the only one I would ever send a pistol to. His work is absolutely the best.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

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Looks great! Just be glad it was a local shop so you could stop by and check on it.

Good job James!

Sidebar... I had a 1911 I had sent out state for some repair. The guy ended up not doing the repair in the way we had discussed (he was going to weld up and redo the frame rails, instead he peened). I got it back and it was so gritty that even with a very light recoil spring that he installed, it wouldn't eject a single round! Sent it back to him, on his dime at least, and all he did was put in a linger ejector and even lighter recoil spring. Complete bandaid and never addressed root cause. I wasted near $300, he lost money due to shipping 2 ways and redoing work, and my Gold Cup is still loose.
 

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Agree that James is 100% legit! I had him install some night sights on my XDm and was thoroughly satisfied with the quality of work and turnaround time... Granted it was nothing fancy but he did have to put it on the milling machine to get the front (factory) sight out. Great work indeed!
 

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Not sure I'll ever have need of Jame's work but its great knowing there's still a few reputable smiths still around, those to whom reputation is more important than a few dollars.

Amish thanks for sharing your experience here! :)
 

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I just got 2 slides back from James (user:ajamesp51) that he installed Trijicon HD night sights on for me, turnaround was quick, price very good especially when you figure install included when you buy the sights from him. I highly recommend!
 
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