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-   -   gunsmithing help! (http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f33/gunsmithing-help-55248/)

Cameron 01-11-2012 03:48 AM

gunsmithing help!
 
I want to be a gunsmith and I know they don't get paid much but tell me in your experience as a gunsmith did you make enough to hold a house or apartment and did you have money for food?

c3shooter 01-11-2012 05:03 AM

Cameron- I am not a smith- but I know several sucessful ones- they have made a living at it for a number of years. They do not spend weekends on a yacht, but they are not living on Ramen noodles, either. I would estimate that their income is roughly equal to other skilled tradesmen in the area- electricians, machinsts, etc. The ones that also sell firearms have decent businesses.

Marlinman 01-11-2012 06:47 AM

If you are good enough and can build a following by word of mouth you can do fairly good. If you arent good enough yet dont quit your day job. Im a certified gun smith now and im still lookin for full time work even though i have a fairly decent # of customers-regulars

God didnt make all men equal colonel sam colt did

russ1982 01-11-2012 06:48 AM

The only way to make a living working on guns is to do it for the government. I.E. police dept, marshals, dept of energy ( yes they have gunsmiths I worked for them for 4 years) military, etc. ... Otherwise it's just a nice hobby in the civilian world. Yes there are some who do it full time but they are few and far between.

Marlinman 01-11-2012 06:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by russ1982
The only way to make a living working on guns is to do it for the government. I.E. police dept, marshals, dept of energy ( yes they have gunsmiths I worked for them for 4 years) military, etc. ... Otherwise it's just a nice hobby in the civilian world. Yes there are some who do it full time but they are few and far between.

Great advice and very true advice. Part of my regulars are cops.

God didnt make all men equal colonel sam colt did

russ1982 01-11-2012 06:59 AM

My suggestion is to go around to small towns and talk to the local cops chances are they are carrying a glock on there hip an 870 in the car and maybe an m16 in the trunk. They are all very easy to work on and they prob don't have a certified armorer to do routine work on them. Offer them a package deal all 3 weapons every 6 months for 45-55 dollars. And if your good you can talk them into making u a reserve officer. That's a get out of tickets free badge. Lol. But don't do this unless u have certificates to back up your talk. I E armorers certs or gunsmithing cert. good luck. This is what I did and it's hit and miss.

Marlinman 01-11-2012 07:21 AM

Ya cuz they WILL ask to see them most of the time if they are smart

God didnt make all men equal colonel sam colt did

Creekside_Sports 01-13-2012 04:40 PM

Yes you can make a living as a 'smith.
No I don't recommend it to anyone who wants to get rich.
I graduated gunsmithing school 2 1/2 years ago and I have opened a full retail shop since then.
To really make it you need to have a fully stocked front side and a damn good 'smith in the back.
My wife and I run it 7 days a week and I honestly can't remember the last true "weekend" I had.
Before I can give you good advice, will you answer a couple of questions for me?

1. How old are you?
2. Are you mechanically inclined?
3. Do you like school?

The reason I ask this is most people who have asked me how to become a gunsmith are looking for a sit on your a** job with no schooling involved.
They don't seem to understand that even once you get a shop open, you're still learning something new.
Also, if you are still in High School go talk to your local shop and see what they might be able to tell you about it.
Ask if you could sit in the shop for a day and watch what goes on.
After that, if you're still interested go to a school that offers gunsmithing as a class.
I went to Lassen JC and in my opinion they have the best classes in the country not to mention some top notch LEA send their armorer's up there to be certified.
If I haven't scared you off by now, feel free to ask all the questions you want or you can PM me with more.

Happy shooting
--Creekside

Marlinman 01-13-2012 04:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Creekside_Sports
Yes you can make a living as a 'smith.
No I don't recommend it to anyone who wants to get rich.
I graduated gunsmithing school 2 1/2 years ago and I have opened a full retail shop since then.
To really make it you need to have a fully stocked front side and a damn good 'smith in the back.
My wife and I run it 7 days a week and I honestly can't remember the last true "weekend" I had.
Before I can give you good advice, will you answer a couple of questions for me?

1. How old are you?
2. Are you mechanically inclined?
3. Do you like school?

The reason I ask this is most people who have asked me how to become a gunsmith are looking for a sit on your a** job with no schooling involved.
They don't seem to understand that even once you get a shop open, you're still learning something new.
Also, if you are still in High School go talk to your local shop and see what they might be able to tell you about it.
Ask if you could sit in the shop for a day and watch what goes on.
After that, if you're still interested go to a school that offers gunsmithing as a class.
I went to Lassen JC and in my opinion they have the best classes in the country not to mention some top notch LEA send their armorer's up there to be certified.
If I haven't scared you off by now, feel free to ask all the questions you want or you can PM me with more.

Happy shooting
--Creekside

Great advice. You can also try to get an apprenticeship

God didnt make all men equal colonel Sam Colt did

Paladin201 01-13-2012 09:09 PM

I'm a certified gunsmith. But I just do jobs here and there, and I certainly don't make much money at it. As someone said, you can get a job with the government. A police department armorer for instance. Or working for a gun company, servicing guns. I live about 20 minutes from Browning's service center and they hire full time gunsmiths from time to time. But the only people I know who've made a run at a good living doing it on their own, is those with the money and the training to set up a full fledged machine shop and do major jobs and custom work. Like rechambering a gun for a different cartridge, making custom barrels, or stuff like that. There's money in that. Good money. But for the simple day to day stuff, there's just not enough money in it. I've replaced broken parts in guns, done trigger work, done polish and tunes, etc. Make $30 here, $50 there, but it'll never pay the bills or put food on the table.


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