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Old July 3, 2012, 02:27 PM   #1
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Join Date: April 23, 2012
Location: Texas ... north of houston, east of el paso
Posts: 214
how to become a smithy

I am 50 years old and find myself at yet again having to reconstruct my life. My question is how would a person become a gun smith, and are there different classes of gun smiths? My main problem is I am a truck driver by trade and my doctors aren't letting me return to that due to my back issues. I am fairly versed in engineering and know alot about the functions of guns of all sorts but there are so much more that i would need. I do have alot of tools for gun smithing so it would be a good fit I'm thinking!
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Old July 3, 2012, 06:46 PM   #2
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Join Date: December 1, 2011
Posts: 108
Start with a whole bundle of money, and plan on not making much.

Seriously, if you search the forum, you'll find lots of advice on the subject.
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Old July 3, 2012, 08:10 PM   #3
James K
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 24,286
If you have back problems, gunsmithing might not be the job for you, other factors aside. Most gunsmithing work is done on the feet, bending over a lathe or milling machine or drill press. Bench work involves bending over the work, sometimes for long periods of time as you tediously file and fit a replacement part. I did it, but now have lower back problems and probably could not do it today without constant pain.

Before spending money and time on a gunsmith school, I would try to locate a local gunsmith who will allow you to sit in and observe his work for a day or so. Tell him what you want to do and perhaps he will let you actually do some work if he feels he can trust you. I don't think he will be worried about possible competition; most smiths fully recognize that there is a lot more work than there are good smiths and are more than willing to share their knowledge.

Jim K
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Old July 4, 2012, 03:06 PM   #4
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Join Date: February 2, 2008
Posts: 3,150
It is tedious painstaking work, requires a huge investment in tooling and doesn't pay very much most of the time. At the end of the day your fingers and wrists and elbows and eyes will hurt. The worst part is you get to sign your Constitutional rights away to get a Federal license.Do you like used car salemen? Then you'll love the punks at BATFE. I enjoyed it very much for the few years I did it but I would not do it again knowing what I know now.
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Old July 4, 2012, 06:52 PM   #5
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Join Date: May 4, 2001
Posts: 7,082
To answer the question more fully, the best way to become a real professional gunsmith is to attend a gunsmithing school.

These are trade schools or junior colleges that offer hard core gunsmith training by master gunsmith/instructors.
This typically takes at least 2 years and costs some significant money.

However, if you can graduate from one of the better schools like Colorado School of Trades, or Trinidad Junior College you'll have world class training which is recognized industry wide as the best.
A degree from a good school will get you a serious job interview anywhere.
These schools aren't internet or mail order rip-off Billy Bob "training".
If you're not stone cold serious, don't bother coming.

Here's a list of the available schools:

Colorado School of Trades
1575 Hoyt Street
Lakewood, CO 80215
Phone: 800-234-4594

Lassen Community College
P.O. Box 3000
Susanville, CA 96130
Phone: 530-257-4211

Modern Gun School
80 North Main Street, P.O. Box 846
St. Albans, VT 05478
Phone: 800-493-4114

Montgomery Community College
1011 Page Street
P.O. Box 787
Troy, NC 27371
Phone: 800-839-6222

Murray State College
One Murray Campus
Tishomingo, OK 73460
Phone: 580-371-2371

Pennsylvania Gunsmith School
812 Ohio River Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15202
Phone: 412-766-1812

Piedmont Community College
1715 College Drive
P.O. Box 1197
Roxboro, NC 27573
Phone: 336-599-1181

Pine Technical Institute
900 4th Street
Pine City, MN 55063
Phone: 800-521-7463

Trinidad State Jr. College
600 Prospect
Trinidad, CO 81082
Phone: 800-621-8752

Yavapai College
1100 East Sheldon Street
Prescott, AZ 86301
Phone: 520-776-2150
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