View Full Version : New gunsmith

January 14, 2011, 10:50 AM
Ok i have been thinking about becoming a gun smith. What would it take to become a gunsmith is it worth trying is there any money in it( although im not really worried bout the money kinda want to do it as hobby but be nice if could make a living off of it to) how do i go about doing it. I have seen that there is alot jof videos or whatever for it should i try one of those or should i try a gunsmith college if there is any i really dont know but iwould like to learn so any info would be greatly appriciated.

January 14, 2011, 11:07 AM
Being a gunsmith requires a great amount of attention to detail to get things correct. Not to be too snarky, but your run-on post without proper punctuation means some of that is lacking.

Yes, there are schools to go to, but you really need to apprentice with a great smith for several to many years. There's a little more to this than watching a few You-Tube videos and starting to work on other people's guns. If you do not have a business background, you should start there by getting some college courses and business experience. I have seen too many try to start a gunsmith or gun selling business - only to fail because they had no idea about running a business, employees, taxes, insurances, etc.

IF you become REALLY good, then yes, you can make a decent living doing this - but that means more than just mounting scopes and putting on recoil pads......

Good luck in your quest - we need more folks to become gunsmiths as the older ones retire and die off.

James K
January 14, 2011, 03:01 PM
You could do two things right now with almost no effort.

1) Google "gunsmith school", get names, and send for informaion.

2) Search this forum and also www.thehighroad.org; the gunsmith question has been posed dozens of times and answered. Most of the advice centers on the point that gunsmithing is a business, not a hobby; those who forget that don't last long.

But please do not take the advice of those who say all you need is a screwdriver, a mill bastard file, and an FFL. There are gunsmiths (too few), gun tinkerers (too many) and gun wreckers (a lot). Gunsmiths are welcome; we will all be better off if the other two just work on their own guns.


January 14, 2011, 03:12 PM
The only thing that I would add to the above is that parts replacers are NOT gunsmiths, though they may call themselves such.

Before you make any committment, you can start to work on your own guns, to see if you have the patience, etc for what it takes - no FFL req'd. ;)


January 15, 2011, 01:03 PM
when a " gunsmith starts anew, he/she has no reputation and or a following.
Parts replacing can be his/her bread and butter until they become known.

January 17, 2011, 12:20 PM
I am going to disagree that gunsmiting schools don't make you a gunsmith.
Funny that was how I started in the gunsmithing buisness, right out of school with a AAS in gunsmithing from Trinidad State Junior College and a FFL.
No experence and no reputation.
Now twenty years later some reputation and a little more experence.

I don't think that a appertenceship is bad, in fact it is a good idea.
But now may not be possible due to several factors.

January 21, 2011, 07:40 PM
The first item you need to be prepared for is spending thousands of dollars for tools. Naturally you can start small with the basics, proper punches, driver bits, deadblow hammers, etc. Pictured below would be a bare minimum IMO.
I would pick one particular brand of weapon that appeals to you and become completely proficent in the history, understanding the operating cycles, completely dismantling & reassembling of the weapon. Being a gunsmith, even as a hobby, is highly skilled precise work. Read everything you can about the weapon you have chosen. Learn it inside out. It is more than taking a gun apart, sticking in a couple of new parts and reassembling. If the weapons you work on do not function at 100% it could pose big problems for you.

After you accomplish the above you should have a good idea about your future as a gun smith.

January 25, 2011, 03:48 AM
I had this idea too, not too long ago. I have since abandon it.

The start-up costs are frightening. And the potential for full-time income is slim.

That's not a good combo.

Hunter Customs
January 25, 2011, 10:07 AM
My advice would be to go to a trade school and take all the machine classes you can.
Then try and get hired as a machinist and do some gunsmithing on the side.
Then if you start getting overwhelmed with gunsmithing work you can consider starting your own business.
At that time it would help to take some business classes.
Keep in mind that if you are planning to run a one man shop you must be prepared to work at least 80 hours a week to get 40 hours of bench time.
I wish you the best with your endeavors.
Bob Hunter