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Becoming a Gunsmith
#1
So for the last few years I have been toying with becoming a "gunsmith". I put that in quotes simply because I don't think I'd be able to make a career out of it. I'm really looking to just learn more than I already know.

I know there are a shit-ton of different online courses and what-not. I was just wondering if anyone had experience with any of them. Ideally I would love to attend an actual hands-on training, but nothing is available in my area.

At this point in my life I couldn't simply pack up and move to a place that has a real school. And again, more or less looking at this from a hobby stand point.
NRA (Life), GOA, FOAC (Life), NAGR, AMGOA

RocketFoot's Minion since 09-07-2012
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#2
Anxiously awaiting replies as I have been toying with the idea myself. I wouldn't mind spending a day or two a week working in a gun shop either but I guess that is more who you know than anything else.
The law? The law is a human institution...
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#3
I've liked the idea of doing it for myself as a hobby. Not sure I would want to deal with the liability of working on someone else's firearms. Signed up for a Glock Armorers course for June,2013. Should be sweet.

GB
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Certified Range Safety Officer. Proud member of the NRA, GOA and GSSF. PA2A since Sep 2012.
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#4
PA Gunsmithing School in Pittsburgh puts out some pretty good gunsmiths.
I know it is not ideally located for some of you, but a drive down the turnpike might be worth it for some.

Many I know have either successful business's, a very good second income by going part time or have gone to places like Gander Mountain and other large shops.


I will tell you that bluing and stock making are in high demand and bluing is something that can be done with not alot of instruction if one has some patience and mechanical skills.
There are tons and tons of dis-assembly books and tons of dis-assembly tips on the internet. This is the hardest part IMO of refinishing.
Bluing tanks can be made pretty easily and all the supplies can be had from Brownells.

I am a former FFL and my ex partner in the business is a gunsmith from PA School of Gunsmithing, I have always tinkered with guns and he has been teaching me new things for years.
He has all the tools, from 1911 stoning jigs to AR assembly tools and drawers full of reamers.
I do cleanings and minor repairs now. I have assembled countless lowers for guys and as soon as I get my garage roof fixed up in the spring, I'm moving in the bluing tanks to my place and am going to start doing bluing and parking as well as attempting slow rust bluing as a side income.

I made about $50 this week tearing down two firearms and giving them a good cleaning, reassembling them and test firing them. Paid for my gas to my regular job for the week.


If you are just looking to become a hobby smith, I say just go out and buy some clunkers and get started. It's best to mess with your own stuff before screwing up the neighbors guns.
Some people need to read this book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1936976021/ref=...jwbZH1GAZF

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#5
Roflmao What's the difference between a large pizza and a gunsmith?????

A large pizza can feed a family of three. Lollerz
Certified NRA LE Handgun/Shotgun Instructor
Pa ACT235 Firearms Instructor
Speed is fine, accuracy is final.

U.S. Navy veteran
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#6
Maybe try talking to some of the local shops in your area and see if they'd be willing to bring on someone for some PT help on the cheap. They get some help around the shop and you get to hang out in a gun shop a few hrs/week and learn some valuable knowledge and skill.

Just a thought.
and to the dust you shall return
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#7
(11-05-2012, 08:46 PM)brownman Wrote: Maybe try talking to some of the local shops in your area and see if they'd be willing to bring on someone for some PT help on the cheap. They get some help around the shop and you get to hang out in a gun shop a few hrs/week and learn some valuable knowledge and skill.

Just a thought.

I'm thinking of that but finding the time is hard right now with a newborn and all.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
NRA (Life), GOA, FOAC (Life), NAGR, AMGOA

RocketFoot's Minion since 09-07-2012
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#8
bigdawgbeav;36418 Wrote:
(11-05-2012, 08:46 PM)brownman Wrote: Maybe try talking to some of the local shops in your area and see if they'd be willing to bring on someone for some PT help on the cheap. They get some help around the shop and you get to hang out in a gun shop a few hrs/week and learn some valuable knowledge and skill.

Just a thought.

I'm thinking of that but finding the time is hard right now with a newborn and all.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

You may find a shop to do that, but my concern would be the liability of having someone with no "training" "work" on a customers firearm.

Many gunshops don't offer smith services or farm it out.

Working in a shop might get you some knowledge of the types of firearms out there and knowledge of how dense customers can be.
The customer part just might have you change your mind.
Some people need to read this book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1936976021/ref=...jwbZH1GAZF

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#9
(11-06-2012, 08:34 AM)39Flathead Wrote: You may find a shop to do that, but my concern would be the liability of having someone with no "training" "work" on a customers firearm.

Many gunshops don't offer smith services or farm it out.

Working in a shop might get you some knowledge of the types of firearms out there and knowledge of how dense customers can be.
The customer part just might have you change your mind.

I wasn't thinking of a local gunshop but a local smith with his own shop. I understand the liability but I would be there to train with supervision. Again, probably not gonna happen with my schedule.

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NRA (Life), GOA, FOAC (Life), NAGR, AMGOA

RocketFoot's Minion since 09-07-2012
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