Getting Started As A Gunsmith

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing Forum' started by joec, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. joec

    joec New Member

    Hi all, I have some questions about how to get started as a gunsmith. I hear a lot of people talking about the fact that it can take years to get started as an independent gunsmith in terms of building up client base enough to "make a living" and maybe open a shop some day.

    Can anyone give me some input as to how you got started?
    How did you get your first clients?
    How did you grow your business?
    Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently?
    What advise can you give to a beginner?

    I'm not a gunsmith but I'm very interested in the trade however if I decide to go into the trade I would want it to be a full time gig with the goal of opening a full time shop some day.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
  2. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

    there is about 4 current threads on this same topic. search gunsmith on this site.

  3. 7mmstw

    7mmstw New Member

    I forget the name of the school but it's in Trinidad Colorado, speedy Gonzales is an instructor there. I went to the other gunsmithing school in Colorado and I should have gone to that one, only problem is Trinidad is number 1 in the world for sexual gender reassignment surgeries.
  4. Greg_E

    Greg_E New Member

    Check your local community college. They have gun smithing courses for police armories. If you really like working on guns a police armory has a pretty wide variety of weapons to work on from issued weapons to back ups. Of course most snipers like to do their own work, but if you love guns it's a dream job!
  5. thegunsmith

    thegunsmith New Member

    Gunsmithing profitably isn't as tough a thing to do as you may think, but you have to have something that separates you from every hardcore gun nut.

    I'm a 20 yr gunsmithing veteran but started as a young apprentice in my Grandfather's shop, and it took years until I actually got the idea down. It's not a lot of crazy fabrication any more (like when I first started), the client base can do anything they want to with modules and don't have the same budgets or desires they once did for customs. If I had to start a business today it wouldn't be a gunsmithing general shop, it would be a refinishing and ultra custom shop, and I would spend a year or two working on projects and marketing before I even started to court customers, and then I would work only with heavy hitters with no budget limitations. Ideally we would all do this...but it takes time to get to that point. Become an expert in a specific non economy tied segment of the market, and differentiate yourself from your competitors. Don't ever forget, if you are working on mainstream guns, there is nothing you can do that someone else cant be paid less for and do satisfactorily, so provide excellent service, and bring value to your customers.

    If you want to check it out I have some tutorials and basics on gunsmithing on my blog at I would also be happy to talk with you via email or chat if you have specific questions.