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Old 08-12-2011, 02:00 AM   #1
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Ok, I don't really have any idea what a gunsmith does (like day to day and stuff, besides the obvious) or how to become one but I just wanted to hear from an expert or two as yo what it is like, as from the little I know of it it seems like I might enjoy becoming one after I become to old for the military or become disabled or something. As much as you are willing to write and much appreciated!

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Old 08-12-2011, 09:39 AM   #2
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I'm no expert (though I did stay at the Holiday Inn).
Depending on the shop. I've seen some where they are busy all day, everyday.
I've seen some shops where the smith is the only one and has a small amount of work to do.

Can you sit for hours? Can you work a lathe or milling machine? Are you anal about how things work together and their appearance?

Don't let the television impair your judgement. Look at the shop of "Sons of Guns" before Will comes in with a "last minute" project. There is a lot of "busy" work being done.

Work can be a hobby that grew up, but hobbies can be expensive to start.

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Old 08-12-2011, 03:09 PM   #3
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Good points- - Get to see and work on a wide range of guns - - get to meet new people who have the same interest as you - - get to do honest work with your hands that you can say"I did that!"
Bad points - - on some jobs you might make $1 per hour if you are lucky - you buy an expensive tool that you think you need and four years later its still brand new - during hunting season you never have a moments rest - in January you wish you would see a customer so you have someone to talk to - takes many years to build your business up and then you retire.

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Old 08-13-2011, 12:18 AM   #4
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Thanks for your input and it was just an odd thought of mine, it will be several years id say before i would ever become one but i just thought id learn a bit about it and store it in the back of my head, much appreciated!

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Old 08-14-2011, 03:35 AM   #5
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I finished my gunsmithing cert this year and just recently got my IEN number for taxes. I have my atf application but waiting to save up the money then of course there is the $300.00 license and bonding fee lol. Me being a disabled iraqi combat veteran, its hard to start this type of business since everything costs so much and im on a fixed income at the moment. I found a school that the Va recognizes that gives an associates for firearm technology so while I wait im going to take that course so I have something to do. Just like the last guy said there are times in the year when you wish one person would come in just to talk to and I do my hobby from home if that tells you how lonely it is lol!

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Old 08-24-2011, 11:54 PM   #6
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My butt hurts from sitting on my stool for 7 1/2 hours a day, 4 days a week at the gunsmithing school I'm attending right now. Not that I'm complainging, it just takes some getting used to. Busy work is a lot of the work you may and will have to do as a gunsmith, tedium is the norm. I constantly hear belly-aching about how long it takes to do one project. I just spent 12 hours making a Model 12 fore-end wrench. At $10 an hour its an expensive wrench, but $10 is extremely generous in this business as has already been pointed out.
Making tools is part of the job, because sometimes you either A: need the tool now and cant wait for it to be delievered or B: they dont make the tool you need.
Dont think you can do everything on a mill or lathe either, making hand-fitted parts for old guns happens more often than you might think.
If you are mechanically inclined you've already got a toe in the door, have any experience properly working with power and hand tools and you've got a foot in the door.
The most important thing though is to constantly study firearms and their design and function. Knowing how a gun works speeds up the trouble shooting process since you're able to diagnose the problem. Not knowing how the gun works properly and being handed a gun that needs repair takes a lot of reverse engineering and considerable research. Even then you might not know exactly what's wrong with the damn thing, trust me I know, I've had it happen more than once and I'm not even near professonal level.

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