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Trashcan-man
July 27, 2009, 09:45 PM
Ok, I'm sure that this question has been asked in the past but couldn't find the answer so.
I am interested in getting into gun smithing. I have been shooting and doing routine care on firearms for most of my life but would like to be more skilled. I am not necessarily interested in making a living out of it but want to be able to safely and confidently work on my own guns(making a few bucks on the side wouldn't hurt either). Are there certifications for this type of thing? If so can anyone suggest a basic course that I can take to become certified before moving into the more specialized classes? I know of several armorers but in my opinion as I understand it being a gun smith is better. Any help would be much appreciated as I've looked online and there seem to be hundreds of schools who all seem to offer different things.

Thanks again

George

James K
July 29, 2009, 10:22 PM
You are right, the question has been asked many times, but here is my opinion, FWIW. If you are planning to become a full time gunsmith, take courses (community college) in running a small business. Learn all about your areas zoning requirement, learn about taxes, business taxes, OSHA, zoning, business income taxes, insurance, etc. Then take a course in machineshop work. Then, locate a good school (there are several) and take a gunsmithing course. You may have to do some phoning and writing to determine which school would best suit your needs.

No, there is no certification process, federal or state, for gunsmiths. A dealer's FFL is required if you keep guns overnight, but that is the least of your problems if you set up shop.

(Armorers are not really gunsmiths; most are parts replacers and mostly work on only a few types of guns. It is an honorable profession, but it is not gunsmithing.)

When you have the capital to buy the tools and machines you will need (and they are not cheap - check the cost of even hand tools and stuff like headspace gauges, not to mention a lathe, milling machine, etc.), rent a suitable and suitably zoned space and set up shop.

If you are not prepared to go the whole route, stick to working on your own guns; if you work on anyone else's and take any compensation, you will be violating the law. If you work on someone else's guns and something happens, you better have a lot of insurance. (Not just if a gun blows up; how about discovering that a customer's old double barrel that was ruined when the water pipe burst was a Parker Invincible?)

Jim