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Discussion in 'Gunsmithing Forum' started by Ultimate_sig, Mar 3, 2012.
1. Where can I go to school for this, I live in Texas?
2. How much do they make a year?
I'm not sure if there are any schools close by you. If you are completely new to gunsmithing Penn foster has an online course that is relatively cheap. It's entirely knowledge based (no hands on) but it gives a good starting point. Sonoran desert institute has a more expensive course that involves some hands on and sounds to be a bit more advanced. The nra usually does armourer courses throughout the year possibly in your area. Your best bet would be an apprenticeship if you can't afford a on site college program. Don't get into gunsmithing if you're looking to get rich. You need to have a Passion for the work
Unless you work for a shop, importer or manufacturer the answer to question is - you'll make what you're worth. I'm not being a smart-a**, I've been fulltime on my own for 10 years and some months I make an embarassingly good living, and other months I get by. How good you are and how much business comes in will determine what you'll make, realizing that in the beginning more goes out than comes in until you build up your tools, inventory, and reputation. It's a good career, but it's far from easy or lucrative.
several i know have full time jobs and do it at night and on the weekends. several ways of going about it, find a gunsmith that will allow you to apprentice under him and find out if it is what you want to do. find a trade school that has a gunsmithing course and take it. i am not aware of any in Texas at this time.
most people who are in gunsmithing aren't in it for the money, as stated before, it's a passion about guns, the love of working on them, repairing them, and modifing them. there are times of the year when you and ten people would be covered up and can't keep up, and there are times of the year when you will starve to death for lack of business.
then there is the business side of it, where will you do your business at? who will take care of the books? you will need an FFL to engage in the business of gunsmithing and will be required to keep records. what are you going to use for capital to start the business with? depending on where you live, you may need permits to conduct business. how will you pay your personal bills while the business grows? remember you have to eat and sleep somewhere.
many on this forum would love to be gunsmiths, myself included, and i wouldn't want to try and discourage you from your dream, but merely point out the realities and practical points that need to be considered. myself, i am a hobbiest type of gunsmith and i love working on guns, but i am practical in that i have no formal training as a gunsmith, and i am not about to quit my job that pays very well to start a new business, so i work on my own guns and do occasional repairs and cleanings for family and close friends. my main concentration of work is sighting in and mounting scopes and general maintenance and cleaning. thing is, i don't charge anything to do what i do as it is a hobby and not a business, and i have no intentions of going into busines doing it. good luck to you.
Im not looking for easy but when it comes to guns I have a natrual ability to do what I want and it comes out how I invision it with minimal effort. Ive just got into guns and everything about them feels like it comes naturally to me
There isa gunsmithing school at Murray State in Tishomingo Oklahoma just across the border from Texas by lake Texoma. Not knowing where in Tx you are I don't know how far away this is for you. It's a 2 year hands on program and is very thorough. As far as income as you've already heard it varies, keep up with the trends, avoid the fads, take your time and do work you can be proud of always.
To be a gunsmith, focus on developing your machinist skills, mechanical engineering, applied physics, CNC operations, lathe and drill press operator.
If you are serious about it find a good school and go to it . If you don't want to work for someone else take some small business management classes
If you work for someone else I doubt you will make much more than 35,000 a yr "but I have been out of it for a while". If you work for yourself the sky is the limit but realize you will be a small business manager 1st and a gunsmith 2nd or you will be out of business
There is no reason you could not be the next Barrett or Wilson but just realize the odds are about the same as a good HS football player being the next Barry Sanders
Gunsmithing really is a labor of love because most people who can do it, and are good at it can also make more money doing something else . That's why for most gunsmiths it's there life style