View Full Version : gun smithing

H K M P 5 S D
August 24, 2005, 07:32 PM
how much would a gun smith in north east PA make annualy?

i just started working in production and hate it Im 20 and dropped out of trade school, started shooting before age 10 with ruger 22 semi auto pistols than moved on to rifles

thanks for any info

August 24, 2005, 09:55 PM
Dropping out of school is not a good idea. The best way to become a gunsmith is to go to a trade school .

4V50 Gary
August 24, 2005, 10:44 PM
A trade school teaches you a trade that you can take to any state you decide to settle in. Gunsmithing means starving to death. You have to learn how to run a business besides fixing guns. Unless you master the business part, you'll fail as a gunsmith. You can learn business by being good in your trade. Business principles are all the same. Learn in one, apply to another.

Harry Bonar
August 31, 2005, 07:38 PM
Dropping out of school is not a good idea! Don't do it; I did and turned out to be successful but that is not the rule. You need more schooling and some counseling to get gunsmithing out of your head - you'll die young and poor.
Gunsmithing should be a fine hobby - not your only job.
Harry B.

September 3, 2005, 02:18 PM
what about being a gunsmith in one of the big manufacturing companies like Remington, Kimber and so on? Does that make any good money?

4V50 Gary
September 7, 2005, 12:00 PM
To be a custom gunsmith for Remington, you've got to work on the floor for years before they allow you into the custom gun shop.

September 8, 2005, 08:10 PM
Best way to avoid becoming a gunsmith is to get more education. ;)

September 8, 2005, 09:07 PM
oh thanks thats alot of help. :confused:

September 8, 2005, 11:57 PM
What a lot ot he repsones have tried to tell you is that you can fall flat on your face and not make much money or could could do well if the stars line up for you. Any job is what you put into it and the money earning potential is there for someone to work hard and either do very well, or just barely scratch by. Whether or not you'll scratch by is up to you. Learn to specialize and you may get lucky. Whether or not the man on the floor at one of the larger companies makes much money isn't really the question you need to ask, but whether or not he can support a family of three or four without them always wanting more, and or whether you could be happy working in that environment of working for someone else and getting very little credit for the work you put out. Working for yourself means having no one else to depend on when it comes time to pay the bills each month. That is an adventure all it's on. Are you ready to take that next step? The amount of money you will make is unknown in any job that you have to take into consideration when you don't really know what you want to do. You might be the worlds worst salesman or the worst mechanically trained man alive, either way means you make little money. You might also be the worlds best salesman and still not make much money at gunsmithing because you blow the earnings you make. So if you can figure all of this out, it's up to you and you alone as to how much money you can make.

September 10, 2005, 09:14 AM
cntryboy explained what several of us are saying, but he just chose to use a few more words than I. Starting up any retail business is really tough. Starting up a business like gunsmithing, particularly if you're contemplating retail firearms sales also, is really tough.

If you think you'd really be happy gunsmithing, with the understanding that you'll probably never make much money, then go for it!

T. O'Heir
September 17, 2005, 02:00 AM
"...dropped out of trade school..." For what trade? I have to agree that production work is boring and most assuredly gives nothing but a pay check. However, historically, very few journeymen are ever out of work. Having a trade isn't a bad thing, but you need to find the one you like doing.
Having said that, your shooting skills mean nothing in the work-a-day world. Especially as a smithy. Smithy's are trained technicians and skilled machinists who read constantly. If reading isn't something you like to do, being a gunsmith isn't for you. Never mind the time it takes to build a reputation.
I'd suggest you join the military. No other employer will train you and give you as much responsibility at your age as the military. All those guys you see on TV making the flight deck of an aircraft carrier work are your age or younger.
I'm not advocating the Navy and the military isn't for everybody, but the same aged guys are driving tanks, operating very high end computers and fixing firearms. For an undecided guy, the military isn't a bad option. Once you're in, the sky is the limit as to what you can do. Even if you opt to be a REMF, you'll be farther ahead.
Rule number one in the military is, "Don't believe what the recuiter says you'll be doing."
Rule number two is, "Shut up and listen."

September 17, 2005, 02:46 AM

September 17, 2005, 04:23 AM
yes those recruiters sure butter it up for you. makes it sound like youre doing all the cool things all the time you see on those commercials. ive been in the army for 4 years now.

Unkel Gilbey
September 17, 2005, 07:19 AM

What you've been hearing here is nothing but the plain truth. Gunsmithing is a tough trade to make work in this day and age.

I sit in a unique position, when I look back over the threads that have come before me here. I spent 20+ years in the service, I've played with firearms for my entire life, and I currently work in a production environment. This is one of the reasons I've taken the time to write here. I've seen what you're looking at, and I can offer a bit of insight.

Production work DOES suck! It is what you make of it. But I know in my plant that if you apply yourself, you can improve your position. Getting a better job at a higher payscale is an opportunity that everyone in the plant can apply for - you just have to prove to the super that you're the man (or woman) for the job.

About gunsmithing. Here's a question for you, have you ever priced the basic tools a gunsmith needs? I'm not even talking about any of the machines that are used from time to time, just the basic hand tools? Open up the Brownells catalog, or go to their website. You're in for sticker shock, and you'll just be scratching the surface.

In my time, I've only known a few smiths. Of the civilian smiths, few were what you might call 'successful', and every one of them did their smithing on the side. I think if I were to ask any of them about whether or not making a start as a smith would be a good idea, they all would tell me to do something else.

Let's face it. There are less and less people who are interested in firearms today. This might be proven by the fewer number of gun stores around, and it might be proven by the size of the different gun shows that are out there. I am not saying that OUR interest is dwindling, it's just that fewer new people are interested in taking up shooting, either for competition or hunting, or whatever.

These are just my observations. I could be wrong - it's happened before! I would love to be able to smith any of the firearms that I own, and in some cases I do. But I've had quite a bit of time to collect the tools I need to do this, and all that time to read up on the subject to get (at least) a background knowledge of what needed to be done.

I wouldn't even consider going into business on my own - I am much too cynical to believe I'd have a snowballs chance at making it.

Go back to school, and finish it - you'll be better off. It's better to have a trade than to WANT one, and you were at least partially there. The job you have is a means to an end, don't quit it just because you had a bad day. If this sounds like your parents talking, then maybe you should listen to them, because we're all singing the same song.

In whatever you do, good luck.

Unkel Gilbey