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Old February 1, 2010, 04:11 AM   #1
Join Date: February 1, 2010
Location: Houston, Texas
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Side Job Idea

Hello everyone,
I am going through college with the G.I. Bill thanks to my service in the U.S. Navy, and am having issues with finding a part time job to help out with bills and building up my gun collection.

Recently, ever since purchasing my first pistol (Springfield Arms XD 9mm) I have getting invited to the gun range a lot. In my father-in-laws case, if he pays for the trip to the gun range, I have to clean his guns in return. That hasn't been an issue, though actually it has been very interesting researching how to disassemble different weapons that I am not familiar with. Those tasks have been leading for my wife's family to see if I can clean their weapons. That is not an issue at the least. It is very fun to be honest.

My question is that how many other people don't really clean their guns on a regular basis, and even possibly neglect them. If it is as common as it evidently is in my family, I could possibly make a business of cleaning and minor repairs of others guns. I would probably have to do house calls, because I wouldn't want someone to take my gun out of my house personally.

Also, I would have to assume that if I do a good enough job that the word would spread throughout the gun ranges and gun stores that my possible customers would go to once the gun is cleaned and maintained.

Lastly, would it benefit me to go to some short college, or even an online gunsmithing degree to maintain and repair some of these guns?

Please let me know your response or ideas.
"I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection." -- Sigmund Freud
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Old February 1, 2010, 09:03 AM   #2
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It always amazes me how many people do not clean their guns after shooting them. One would only hope that they at least clean the gun they carry for protection.

I enjoy cleaning my guns as it is part of the whole gun "experience" which gives me an opportunity to learn about my guns. Years ago, when I was probably about your age, I decided to take a gun smithing course via a correspondence course. I knew that I was never going to be a gunsmith but I wanted to learn more about guns, specifically how to properly maintain and do minor repairs. The course wasn't that great but it did teach me how to study about guns. Computers and the Internet weren't available as tools as they are today.

My career took me away from home days on end. When I came home, I had lots to do and only took care of my own guns. If I had spare time like you do, it may have been different. Now, I am retired and spend a lot of my time teaching people how to shoot and how to clean their own guns. Sometime in the last couple of years, I found that my friends were beginning to drop their guns off at my house for me to make repairs, change parts, tweak, and clean.
If I were to do a part-time business, I bet I could make a few bucks at it. For me, it's just a hobby and I don't take money from friends, only what it cost for parts.

I happen to have acquired a couple of books that are manuals for almost every gun that was ever made. I use those as a guide if someone brings me a gun that I have never worked on before. What isn't in those books, I can find on the Internet. Having decent gunsmith tools is important...the right screwdrivers, punches, hammers, etc.

I think you are going in the right direction. Really learn the guns you are currently working with. Take them apart. After shooting, make them look brand new again. Learn how to change the springs, lube in the proper areas, etc. If you know enough people, you may be able to make a few bucks but I wouldn't look to make a ton of money....

I put an hour into each gun cleaning it when I come back from the range. When it goes back into the safe or in my holster, it looks as if it just came out of a display case.

Good luck with your venture.
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Old February 1, 2010, 09:37 AM   #3
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I like cleaning my own guns...even if it takes me awhile to get to it. I wouldn't entrust my guns to anyone else for cleaning. I don't even like taking my guns to a gunsmith for repair, if there is even an outside chance that I can do the work myself. That's just me - one shooter- giving you my honest thoughts on this.
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Old February 1, 2010, 10:00 AM   #4
Uncle Buck
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I like to clean my own guns... My buddy probably hasn't cleaned any of his in years.

"They still shoot and I use them for target practice, no need to clean them." He would pay to have someone clean them, but can't be bothered to do it himself. (You should have seen the leading in his pistol! It was so bad it looked like the rifling was worn away until you got to the end of the barrel.)

Once you establish a reputation for reliability, honesty and integrity, you may be able to actually make some decent money at it. Ever thought about maybe setting up shop at the gun club on the week-ends?

As far as having someone come to my home to clean guns, I do not think I would have any part of it. I do not like people in my gun/reloading/computer room, especially if I do not know you. I do not even like it when someone brings a friend over to the house and wants to show his friend my newest gun.

Some of it is because it is none of their business, some of it is because I do not want every Tom, Dick and Harry to know I have a large pistol collection, some of it is because I am a curmudgeon and like to be grumpy.
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Old February 1, 2010, 11:52 AM   #5
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I wouldn't let anybody else clean my guns!
The only exeption: if they are at a smiths for repair.
It's good to be the king.
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Old February 1, 2010, 12:00 PM   #6
Brian Pfleuger
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I absolutely hate cleaning my guns.... but I do it and I wouldn't let very many other people do it for me. Certainly not a stranger. Way too much potential for damage. Besides, the idea of paying someone for something so simple just because I don't want to do it seems silly to me. It's like paying someone to change the oil in my car.
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Old February 1, 2010, 12:13 PM   #7
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I think you would run into some legalities with the BATFE, and would probably be required to hold a FFL, and log each weapon in and out in the same fashion as a gun smith does when you leave it with him. If you could talk people into staying on the property while you clean their guns then you would be fine, or if they invited you into their home to clean them.
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Old February 1, 2010, 01:45 PM   #8
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It sounds good but I think that the cost of a liability insurance policy would be expensive even if you could find coverage. Your best bet would be to check with local clubs, stores & ranges that would be interested in offering that service. As mentioned above, BATF may have a say & you may be required to have a FFL to handle other peoples guns, I don't know. Anytime you deal with firearms there is always a liability issue.
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
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Old February 1, 2010, 04:02 PM   #9
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I had that job,,,

When I was a kid (1960's) in Ok City,,,
I lived one block from a Ma & Pa gunstore and range.

Lots of people stored their guns there,,,
Easier for them to target shoot at the range.

My job was to swab the bore and oil-wipe the guns before they went into the safe-room,,,
I got 25 cents a gun for my work and trouble,,,
Payable in .22 Short ammunition.

And I got to hold darn near every gun known to Okies,,,
Sometimes the owners would let me shoot one in lieu of the quarter fee.

I remember getting to shoot two rounds out of an elephant caliber double-rifle,,,
I almost fell down but MAN what a feeling of power I had.

It's been over 45 years ago,,,
I can't even remember the name of the place,,,
It closed down mid-60's when "civilization" finally surrounded his property.

So yeah, it's good work,,,
if you can find it.
Caje: The coward dies a thousand times, the brave only once.
Kirby: That's about all it takes, ain't it?
Combat: "A Silent Cry"
Aarond is good,,, Aarond is wise,,, Always trust Aarond! (most of the time)
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Old February 1, 2010, 04:36 PM   #10
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I believe the rules of engagement have changed since I was in the business. It used to be if you took possession of a customers's gun and they left your place of business you had to have a bound logbook and an FFL. If they stood there and watched you didn't. Recently I have read several threads about this and the consensus was that now if you touch a customer's gun and take their money you are required to hold an FFL. I believe if you're willing to crawl through all of the crap on the BATFE's website this is explained. There is also the liability issue to think about. Glad I'm retired now. After all of the stupid crap I've seen the BATFE do I will never deal with them again.
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Old February 1, 2010, 04:52 PM   #11
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Guns are supposed to be cleaned ???????????????????????????
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Old February 1, 2010, 05:01 PM   #12
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I would encourage you to pursue this seed idea. I have been doing this kind of work for a number of years, on a small scale, for friends, relatives and conservation groups. I don't feel I should charge as I do not want to take any work from my local gun smith buddies. I do know that it might just surprise you just how many folks do not clean their firearms. There have been times when I help out the smiths and all for favors and considerations but again, no money. I also sharpen all kinds of knives for the same folks. I can tell you that there is a demand for this service and actually turn down more projects than I take in. A few years back, I was informed that I could not work on another's firearms, for money unless I was a gun smith. So that is why I don't charge and still enjoy it as a hobby. I can rework a firearm and sell it and do so regularly. You might want to think ahead and get yourelf that FFL. Also, remember that a good way to ruin a hobby, is to turn it into a business. ...

Be Safe !!!
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Old February 1, 2010, 07:07 PM   #13
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I would go so far as to say that most people don't believe guns need to be cleaned any more than a lawnmower. For that matter how many people will even change their own oil anymore. People seem to just use stuff until it quits working and then buy another one. On sale. Made in Taiwan.
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Old February 1, 2010, 10:33 PM   #14
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You might be able to do it while they wait without an FFL, but if they leave you with possession you definitely have to have an FFL.

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Old February 1, 2010, 10:46 PM   #15
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I think that you don't have to log them if you do not have them for more than 24 hours.Some do not take very long to clean.
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