View Full Version : Top 10 Gunsmithing tasks

March 19, 2012, 05:07 PM
What would the top 10 gunsmithing tasks be? As a gunsmith what tasks/projects are you asked to do the most?

March 19, 2012, 05:26 PM
Scope mounting
Trigger job
Barrel threading

At the top followed by everything else.

March 19, 2012, 06:12 PM
Repairs/parts replacement
Operating issues (FTF/FTE/misfires, etc)
Scope mounting/boresighting
Trigger installation/trigger jobs
Recoil pad installation
Wood refinishing

Jammer Six
March 19, 2012, 06:37 PM
Brakin' out the Dremel an' havin' at that feed ramp!

Actually, anything that starts with the statement "my buddy did some work on this for me and..."

March 19, 2012, 09:51 PM
For me?

DCI (disassemble, clean, inspect)
Recoil pad/LOP
new bead/replace broken off bead
Drill and tap for scope mount (bolt action rifles, Savage 99's, etc)
cut and crown (rifles)
cut to 18.5" and install high vis bead (shotguns)
lengthen forcing cone/alter choke
trigger job (rifles, DA revolvers, 1911s)
beavertail on a 1911
silver solder front sight and reblue (1911s)
Wichita rear sight install (1911s)

March 27, 2012, 11:32 AM
Recoil pad installation and scope mounting are the bread and butter around here. Still a bit of rebluing, but not as much as previously.

March 27, 2012, 12:16 PM
I am pretty much out of it now, but over the years it changed a lot for me. You can see variation in the answers on this thread. A lot of things affect the type of work you do. Sometimes it is just the area you are in. A guy a few miles south of me is deep in a shotgun only area and does not do much rifle work at all. Changes in Game Laws, changes in gun laws, movies, a large influx of cheap rifles/ammo, and probably the most influential is magazine articles. I would say the #1 consistent job for me overall was checking out inherited, auction bought, or"The guy owed me money" guns. This covered handguns, rifles and shotguns. Other than that the job type frequency really changed a lot for me.

March 27, 2012, 06:02 PM
Refinishing (Wood & Metal)
Recoil Pad Installation
Drill & Tap
Scope Mounting
Trigger adjustment & installation
Sighting In

Superhouse 15
March 28, 2012, 12:35 AM
Revolver trigger work
Scope install/boresight/bases/mounts
Semi auto trigger/action work
"I took this apart and cant get it back together, all the parts I could find are in this bag"
Change/zero sights (non-scope or red dot) including inserts
Touch up blue/rust removal
Glass bed and/or free float barrels
Butt pads and stock work
Shorten barrels on shotguns
Aftermarket parts builds (AR,10-22, AK, Siagas)

James K
March 30, 2012, 07:08 PM
At one time it was drilling and tapping for scopes. But today, almost all factory rifles come drilled and tapped, and ex-military rifles are collectors items, so that job is not called for as much. Same with shotgun recoil pads; once a staple of the gunsmith's work, lighter recoiling guns and factory pads have cut out a lot of that. Scope mounting and bore sighting are still common, but even those jobs are now usually of the DIY variety.

For the general gunsmith today, I think more exotic jobs, like machining muzzle brakes, glass bedding and free-floating, and trigger/safety installation and alteration are common.

Due to various pollution laws and OSHA regulations, few small gunsmith shops will do rebluing any more, so that is another bread and butter job that the nanny state has taken away from the average gunsmith.

Of course there is always the brown bag full of parts of the revolver "my kid took apart", but taking on those jobs can be tricky. The customer not only wants you to put the gun together, he wants you to make or find any necessary parts, like the hammer, trigger, and cylinder, and put them in for free as a goodwill gesture. And when you give back the gun with a bill for $75 - a third what the labor cost - he tells you that the "old POS" isn't worth that (you told him that at the beginning) and to put it in a dark place.


April 1, 2012, 05:28 PM
Yeah, you are right on that one. "Nobody took this old double apart, something must have broken inside". Fresh scarring on the screws and bent springs inside.

April 1, 2012, 05:33 PM
Which one of you fellas are interested in "truing" an old Mauser action, and rebarreling it?

April 2, 2012, 08:22 AM
"Hunting season starts tomorrow. I want this fixed by yesterday."

Double Naught Spy
April 2, 2012, 11:46 AM
One of my shooting buddies is a retired gunsmith. A lot of what has been listed so far are what he described his job being 90-95% of the time. It is what he calls "Gunsmithing Lite."

IIRC, his most numerous tasts were scope mounting, buttstock pads, cleanings (field and total take down), and trigger jobs. The number one complaint of his smithing concerned scopes. He would mount and bore sight the scopes and explain that the owner would need to refine the sighting at the range before hunting. The hunter would have a bad outing and return the gun complaining that it wasn't sighted properly...and it wasn't, but not because of the gunsmith's work. Either the hunter didn't finish properly sighting in the scope to the rifle or did so with one type/load/weight of ammo and hunted with something completely different.

Beyond these were often minor repairs and cosmetic enhancements.

He said that every now and then he would get in some challenging gunsmithing task, but by and large, the majority of what he did didn't utilize much of his training - hence the moniker of "Gunsmithing Lite."