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Old October 22, 2013, 03:28 PM   #1
Kleab
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Where to Learn DIY Basic Gunsmithing?

It seems like there are no decent gunsmiths in this area that truly care about any of the work they do.

Before I start too much into this topic, I want to make it clear that I have no intention to open a gunsmithing business or do any major work on a gun at all. I just want to know where to start when it comes to basic gunsmithing.

I only plan to work on my own guns, and only on simple tasks like changing out sights, or smoothing out actions, or (maybe) at the very most drilling and tapping a barrel for scope mounts. Again, I plan to stick with the simplest smithing.

Is there anyone that can point me in the right direction? Other forums I've looked at with similar questions point the OPs to Gun Smithing schools and stuff like that. All a little higher caliber than I'm interested in. I'm mostly interested in DIY books or videos, or recommendations on basic tool kits to start with.

Any advice is appreciated. If you need a clarification on my question, feel free to ask. Thanks in advance!
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Old October 22, 2013, 03:40 PM   #2
micromontenegro
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http://www.amazon.com/Pistolsmithing...s=george+nonte

This book taught me the basics. Probably outdated by today's standards, but it worked for me.
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Old October 22, 2013, 03:45 PM   #3
Aguila Blanca
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AGI (American Gunsmithing Institute) offers videos on just about every aspect of gunsmithing. I've never looked at any of them, because I can't learn effectively from videos, but I believe they are considered to be pretty good.
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Old October 22, 2013, 05:25 PM   #4
Vanya
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If you haven't already done so, consider taking a basic metalworking class through the continuing ed department of your local high school or community college. Basic skills are good, and they can be a confidence builder.
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Old October 22, 2013, 05:59 PM   #5
Kleab
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I appreciate the feedback! This gives me a great place to start.

If anyone else has suggestions, feel free to keep them coming.
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Old October 22, 2013, 06:57 PM   #6
Dfariswheel
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The AGI tapes are at least a good start, but they are expensive.
Brownell's sell them all and offer FFL Dealer and C&R License pricing.

Another way to start is to buy a Jerry Kuhnhausen Shop Manual on a gun you own and learn how the factories do gunsmithing by using the manual to disassemble and study your gun.
These don't cover the absolute basics, but are still an excellent way to see how things are done, and all skills transfer over to other guns.
Buy the shop manuals on Brownell's or Midway.

Brownell's carry some good basics books:
"Gunsmithing Made Easy" by Towsley, "Gunsmithing" by the famed Roy Dunlap, and "Do-It-Yourself Gun Repair" by Matunas are all good starters.

The J. Martin "Firearms Disassembly Guides" are some of the best info on how to disassemble and reassemble guns, and are better then the Gun Digest Disassembly books, although the Gun Digest books will at least show A WAY of disassembling guns, just not necessarily the proper gunsmith way.
The NRA "Firearms Disassembly and Reassembly" guides Volume 4 and 5 are excellent.

"The Gun Digest Book of Exploded Firearms Drawings" shows schematics of many guns and this helps in figuring out how they work and come apart.

Last, both Brownell's and Midway have videos posted on their web sites showing basic gunsmithing jobs like installing an extractor in a 1911 pistol and mounting a scope on a rifle.

Stay AWAY from videos on Youtube and most other such sites.
The people who post that stuff often have no idea what they're doing and often show methods that will just ruin a gun.
Point is, you have no way of knowing if they know what they're doing or are some joker with a hammer and a wrench.
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Old October 22, 2013, 07:04 PM   #7
357 Python
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I have used some AGI Video Armorers courses. I find that they are very helpful. Depending on the gun you are working on they should have a video for it. I will say their video on the Beretta 92 series should be updated. Beretta changed their design slightly after the video as made. It does help with the basics but is slightly different from the 92FS. I would still recommend them.
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Old October 22, 2013, 08:45 PM   #8
ClydeFrog
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Sources....

See: www.nra.org www.paladin-press.com www.deltapress.com www.gunvideo.com www.brownells.com www.midwayusa.com www.americanpistol.com www.grafs.com .

Clyde
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Old October 22, 2013, 10:58 PM   #9
g.willikers
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In addition to knowing about the workings of the guns, knowledge of the tools used for gunsmithing is also a must.
Knowing about files, sanders, drills and drill presses, measuring tools, lathes, milling machines, shaping and cutting tools, soldering equipment, screws and threads, and even the lowly screw driver.
Skill with tools is necessary, too.
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Old October 23, 2013, 10:01 AM   #10
NH_Pilot
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Be warned. Collection of tools is its own addiction or sickness depending on your point of view. You start with screw drivers, then wrenches. You find yourself with a drill press, then a a table saw, and a mill.... Pretty soon you try making grips or stocks because you can....

Best of luck,

Wes
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Old October 23, 2013, 02:45 PM   #11
SIGSHR
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I distinguish between parts changing-i.e. drop-in, then parts fitting-i.e. some hand fitting necessary, then operations that require machine work. Thomas Edison said genius is 2% inspiration and 98% perspiration, my experience with my modest of gunsmithing (or "johnsmithing" if you prefer) is that the most important quality a good gunsmith-or mechanic-needs is Patience.
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Old October 23, 2013, 10:13 PM   #12
Kleab
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This is all very helpful information. I definitely have a good direction to start working with. Thank you!

As always, my search isn't over yet, so feel free to keep adding suggestions! Thank you all.
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~Doctrine and Covenants 134:11
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Old October 24, 2013, 09:18 AM   #13
g.willikers
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Don't forget the first aid kit.
Guns have sharp edges and have a tendency to snap things shut on your digits.
And always wear protective eye wear for protection against those small flying parts and squirts of nasty liquids.
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Old October 24, 2013, 02:32 PM   #14
SIGSHR
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And don't forget the common home gunsmithing errors:
1. Working without manuals or other references.
2. Working without a proper and stable work surface.
3. Working without proper lighting
4. Working without proper tools.
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