How to become a gunsmith?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing Forum' started by molonlabexx, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. molonlabexx

    molonlabexx New Member

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    My dream job is to become a gunsmith somewhere. Maybe sell my labor to a local gun shop or work for a gun manufacturer's armory. Where do I go to start? I work on my guns a lot and I know a lot about guns. I am pretty good in construction (wood working and metal working). I am learning how to finish wood as well. It has always been a dream job of mine. What qualifications are shops and companies looking for? Is it a well paying job? Do I need a gun smithing school to get into a shop?

    Been meaning to ask this question for a long time but never got around to it. Any info helps! Thanks!
     
  2. wknight40

    wknight40 New Member

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    I have seen, as I'm sure you have, many advertisements for correspondent type courses. Work at your own pace. Various pricing, some include tools with the course that you can keep upon completion. Some colleges or trade schools in your area may have courses also.
     

  3. Rocky7

    Rocky7 New Member

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    If possible, consider asking around about overseas shops. One of the best gunsmiths around here was trained in Scotland. Might be something to think about?
     
  4. molonlabexx

    molonlabexx New Member

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    Thanks for the link. Those school are all too far away from me. I will keep them in mind though. I do plan on moving soon.
     
  5. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Every once in a while, the job of armorer comes available at a base for a contract employee to work. Although not a government job per se, it is steady with fair pay. You get to work on guns and most already have the tools.
     
  6. jittychitty

    jittychitty New Member

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    Get a good lathe, Mill, Welders, Press and a bunch of tools. If school isn't an option, self study and practice. You only get one chance on gunsmithing, so you need to plan many steps in advance, or the project goes to poop very quickly.
     
  7. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    1. LEARN metal working. I mean welding, using machine tools, etc
    2. LEARN woodworking. Inletting, finishing, bedding, repairing damage

    Most important- LEARN business. Unless you are an employee of someone else, or you are just doing this for grins and giggles, you need to know business. If you buy a lathe, how much of that can you write off on taxes? What taxes do you file? Did you incorporate? What about insurance?

    Check out what classes may be offered at the local community college. Amazing stuff taught in those in a class that meets 1-2 nights a week. Guy that teaches the small business course may be a guy that IS in business- and teaches a class a semester to give a hand to new folks.


    Only my opinion- the schools are good (in most cases- some better than others) but how to use a lathe, end mill, why there are 3 different shapes of metal taps, etc can be learned in a lot of places.
     
  8. molonlabexx

    molonlabexx New Member

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    I want to be a gun shop smith. There are plenty of gun shops and indoor ranges that have FULL TIME gun smiths, that is where I go to get my stuff worked on when I don't have the tools to do it. I am still young, so my next step is to figure if I want to call a shop and ask if I can observer their smith, or go straight to a school.

    My father owns his own business, where I have learned construction and wood working. My uncle is also a finisher in trim, wood. I have awesome resources, I have some friends that weld as well. I am going to suck in the knowledge that they can teach me. The only thing is that I can't "prove" that I know all that info that I learn. That is a why a school is important because they actually give you a sheet of paper that says "Hey, this guys passed welding/machining/whatever".

    Awesome replies!! Thanks guys!
     
  9. Mauserdoc

    Mauserdoc New Member

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    My remedy for getting into smithing.

    I also have a large background in wood and metal working. Didn't want to spend thousands on a piece of paper though. So I bought one of the ugliest rifles I could find, which happened to be a K98, re chambered from 8mm to .06 way back in the day. Bought a custom stock for it. Bedded it. Drilled and tapped it for a scope, no iron sights anymore on that gun. Completely cold blued everything on it. Did a bit of trigger work to make it a little crisper. When satisfied with looks, took it to the range and it is one hell of a tack driver at 400 yards. Took it to local pawn shop to put on consignment with the understanding that potential customers knew who did all the work. Local police chief bought the rifle at a very nice price for me. After talking with buyer, I found out what guns they used and I immediately bought everything I could about those particular guns. Videos, books, you name it. Now I do all of their work and it keeps me pretty busy.I have cops here at my home on average of three days a week, and my neighbors don't know whether to move out or thank me for all the police presence now. I am currently in talks with the local sheriff about taking on their work. I should mention that I live in a rural area and closest smith is 120 miles away. Good luck.