View Full Version : I'm thinking of asking a gunsmith...

June 30, 2011, 07:08 PM
There's a local gunsmith not too far from my house. I'm thinking of asking him to take me on as an apprentice. Unpaid, two days a week.

What do you think are the odds that he'll say yes?

June 30, 2011, 07:33 PM
Very few unasked questions get answered ! Take something that you have built , along when you go to ask .

June 30, 2011, 08:29 PM
Make up a simple resume, listing the skills you already possess & are willing to demonstrate, upon request. You may start out sweeping the floor, cleaning the toilet, or other grunt work. Do it with a great attitude & show a willingness to do with excellence whatever is asked of you.


June 30, 2011, 11:20 PM
I was a apprentice for almost 2 years before the shop closed and he moved to north carolina...I started by just coming in the store every couple of days and simply observing him work..trying to avoid asking stupid questions..if I didn't understand something I would take a note and do research on my own time...and a few months went by and I brought some of my own stuff down there where I had tried to work on it and showed it to him..then I asked if I could come in when I wasn't workin and helpp him out for free..he said yes..for a while I washed windows cleaned toilets and whatever needed doing..then I moved on to cleaning gun parts that was already laid out and stuff and then moved on to building ak47 and stuff...then he left :(..lol oh well I learned alot :)

Gunn Smithy
July 3, 2011, 10:35 AM
For the last 30+ years I've not had the service of a gunsmith, I've had something better. As it was I was loading some custom 12 gauge slug rounds and had ruined my Forster (I believe) heat sizer (for crimp mouths) by melting off the tip of a couple of shells into the closed system and plugging it up. It was trash and I went about designing a new one. I had a small lathe but was in no way a machinist. I whacked out a part in aluminum and wrote down the specific dimensions to take to a machine shop for them to turn my prototype into the dimensions I'd written down. That's when I found a fellow named John at ELCO Machine Shop. He could do or make anything. Over the years I've made several Shopkeepers Specials; Short barreled, birdshead gripped pistols out of Ruger single actions even including Ruger Old Armies. Several other one of a kind firearms were constructed during this time and what I've found in working with him is that TIME is MONEY. Some times he'd send me packing if I didn't have my ducks in a row just trying to explain the work to him since I was taking valuable time away from him. Also at times the smallest parts were the most expensive since they took the longest to set up and manufacture. If I could devise an order of machining that would save time (including thinking time) it would save me money. For my bobbed Old Army the former ramrod became a take down tool to remove the cylinder (now 45 LC). Instead of machining a "flat blade" into the end, I suggested drilling and placing two pins the same diameter of the screw slot. It worked like a champ and saved loads of money.

Long story short, If a guy has to take time away from his/her bread and butter "money making" time to instruct another, He/She is not making the monies that could have been made if they weren't instructing. A nice guy/gal might do it out of the goodness of their heart (or business is slow), But in my case the guy was running a money making enterprise and although I paid my way, if we both weren't careful it dipped into his profit/loss statement in a big way. Smithy.

July 3, 2011, 11:19 AM
We have one gunshop in town here that lets a handyman do gunsmithing for them. The man is not a gunsmith, machinist, or even a mechanic, he likes guns and fancies himself a gunsmith. I don't want the guy practicing on my guns so I don't go there.

I know another self taught gunsmith. He told me that if I will teach him to reload, then he will perform free gunsmithing for me on my guns. That was scary to think about.