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Old 07-07-2014, 03:09 AM   #1
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Default Want to start gunsmithing.

In the future I want to pursue a career as a gunsmith. I am just wondering what path I should go down. I've been working on guns as a hobbyist, doing basic stuff like detail strips, replacing parts, putting on scopes, bedding actions, etc. I'd like to take a course that basically covers the whole deal. Is AGI a good, accredited program? How much does their most comprehensive course cost? Are there better options than AGI? I'd like to be able to do advanced things like checkering, timing, metal finishing, etc, as I'll be going into business for myself. Any advice at all about how to learn myself up and get started will be very greatly appreciated.

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Old 07-07-2014, 03:35 AM   #2
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Look here.........................
http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f33/agi-gunsmith-courses-84999/

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Old 07-07-2014, 02:16 PM   #3
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Have the FFL, business license, blessing from the local law enforcement and zoning administration, liability insurance, LLC setup, and lawyer on retainer.

The best way to have a small bundle of money is to start with a large bundle.

What you want to do is possible, but be prepared for slow times.

(Hint: at least get your FFL if you are doing work for others now.)

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Old 07-07-2014, 09:08 PM   #4
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Maybe this will help:

http://bestgunsmithingschoolsonline.com/

Learning of any skilled trade takes time. Usually at least four years of study and on-hands work. Once you do that, you will be set for a career that will be profitable and rewarding. Cutting corners will usually end up in less than optimum results.

If I were looking for a gunsmithing school, I would look for one associated with a community college or a vocational technical school that was part of a school system.

The "for profit" guys are just that. They are happy to take your money and couldn't care how it works out for you. They can leave you in debt and working outside of your chosen field.

Good luck! We need good gunsmiths instead of jack-leg parts changers.

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Old 07-08-2014, 12:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
We need good gunsmiths instead of jack-leg parts changers.
Which is exactly how EVERY gunsmith makes his money - - by changing parts.
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiwall View Post
Which is exactly how EVERY gunsmith makes his money - - by changing parts.
Part changing can be done by apprentices, jack-legs, and pawn shop clerks. There is a bit more to being a Master Gunsmith. A Master Gunsmith can make a part, a stock or a match barrel from a blank. These smiths are few and far between. The very last one in my area died recently and he will be very much missed.

The difference in a "parts changer" and a Master Gunsmith is like the difference in growing a petunia in a pot in your parlor and managing a thousand acre farm.
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:54 PM   #7
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You have to realize that my statement is totally correct that ALL gunsmiths make the bulk of their income by 'parts changing".

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Old 07-08-2014, 02:27 PM   #8
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Agreed. But a "parts changer" will change a part, and that's where the job ends. A "gunsmith" on the other hand will check the new part for the proper fit, function and safety and make adjustments as needed before releasing the gun back to it's owner. You can't do that without knowing exactly how each particular gun was designed to function and how the parts interrelate to each other.

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Old 07-08-2014, 05:16 PM   #9
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Anyone can do some smith work on guns, but that does not make them a gunsmith.

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Old 07-08-2014, 06:35 PM   #10
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No one is arguing that there are good gunsmiths and bad ones just like in every other profession. I have a pet peeve about what some think is a derogatory term by calling the bad gunsmiths 'parts changers' when, trust me, that IS how all gunsmiths make their money. Plus there are gunsmiths starting out that while maybe trained and intelligent lack the experience to know everything about every gun. There are NO young 'Master Gunsmiths'. Every gunsmith has made mistakes, if he says different I would say he is a liar. It is how he handles his mistakes that makes him a fair businessman or not. And no one knows everything about every gun. I was a gunsmith for many years and there are many different guns that I never worked on or even cleaned. And yes there were a couple times where guns had me stumped, I freely admit. I never was one to just start changing parts to see if that fixed the problem.

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