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Old December 11, 1999, 04:43 PM   #1
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Join Date: December 1, 1999
Location: Statsboro
Posts: 159
Thanks for all the info on getting started he world of smithing. I mainly want to be able to work on handguns. More than likly on the 1911 models out there. I've seen places that sell videos on the subject. What do you guys think about them?

thanks, Cyric13
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Old December 11, 1999, 05:13 PM   #2
John Lawson
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Join Date: August 28, 1999
Posts: 281
There are several good tapes and books on the subject, but you can only learn by actually "doing." Start on your own guns and possibly buy some to work over and re-sell.
If you are going to work on pistols used for defense, talk to some professionals who carry every day and determine what they feel is important and what they think about workmanship, who they would let work on their carry piece, etc.
When you buy your tools, begin practicing on PARTS, rather than complete guns. When you have gotten proficient, start on your own guns.
Have your friends and the guys at the range critique your work. Promise yourself that each gun you work on will be better than the previous one.
Best of luck.

[This message has been edited by John Lawson (edited December 11, 1999).]
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Old December 11, 1999, 06:03 PM   #3
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 19,408
Jerry Kuhnhausen's books are the best I've seen for the 1911. Hallock's Book on the .45 was, during the '80s, about the best there was. Kuhnhausen is much better, but Hallock is still very useable.

I've no faith in tapes. Suggest you enroll in a one week hands on course at some NRA gunsmithing school. You'll get more out of that than from any tape.

Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt

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Old December 11, 1999, 10:19 PM   #4
James K
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 24,193
I agree with all the above. Don't do anything that could be construed as "engaging in business" though, without knowing all the legal aspects - licensing, insurance, zoning laws, etc.

Even with your own guns, you can have a lot of fun and learn a lot. I have seen both good and bad videos, trouble is that now I can't remember which was which.

If you want to start with the 1911 type, detail strip one. Without the books, try to figure out what each part does and how it does it.

An interesting aspect of modern pistolsmithing is that there are some "smiths" out there that turn out a fair job, but when you talk to them you begin to realize that they really don't know how the darn things work! They only know what parts to do what to, without ever getting the "big picture".


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