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How did you gunsmiths get started

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Unread 08-12-2008, 01:38 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 179
How did you gunsmiths get started

I was wonder how some of yall got started into gunsmithing. I love tinkering with guns and would love to be able to do more. Problems is that the only gunsmith around here shop closes before I get off work so really can't watch and learn from him too much. Also another thing..My God you gotta have alot of money to get started and get all the tools that I think you would need, not including guns to practice with. Is there anyway for a poor man to get started gunsmithing.
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Unread 08-12-2008, 02:48 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Georgia
Posts: 460
Re: How did you gunsmiths get started

I got really luck. When I first started out. The guy that showed me has a shop where he works on guns at night from 6 untill 12 or and sells them during the day at a store front.It worked out good for me to work at nights with him and it helped him to get cought up.I have been with him for a few years now.after my house is built and my range papers come thru I'm going to get my ffl's so I can do it from my shop.
“If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.”
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Unread 08-13-2008, 11:36 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,241
Re: How did you gunsmiths get started


I Do some work on my own because Every time I had a custom rifle built I had to
work on/fix it to make it acceptable.

Shoddy work and in an untimley manner was very frustrating.So I bought a shop lathe
and started building my own personal rifles and have never looked back.

Get a good lathe,basic tooling and a good gunsmithing book and you are ready to
start ( if you don't know much about machining look for a machinest hand book


Last edited by J E Custom; 08-21-2008 at 11:08 AM. Reason: spelling
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Unread 08-14-2008, 12:02 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Oregon
Posts: 36
Re: How did you gunsmiths get started

I started out as a machinist for 20 years, making all kinds of small parts. Been into tinkering with guns my entire life, as there was no gunsmith near. When I did find one it would take 6 months to a year to get a simple job done! Not acceptable in my book. I bought a small lathe for home and slowly bought alot of my tools thru Brownells.
Just recently bought mill, a Bridgeport Series II with digital readouts on all three axis.........

I was privilaged to work with an oldtimer smith in Bagley Minnesota for almost four years. After work I would stop by for a couple hours and on weekends.
I am thankful for my time spent with him! I have bought and read every smithing book I run across. Let me tell you, some of the older books are a wealth of knowledge!!!

Every once and a while I will run across a problem I have not had before. Thats one of the reasons I started coming here! A great site full of people with similar interest! Always willing to share what they know!!

Nowadays I do work for 3 local new/used gun shops. Went thru all the hoops with the BATF and got my ffl. These days a smith does not have to have "set" hours to work out of his own home. Very nice!!!

It's great work, but some of the guns I get to fix are tragic. I swear that some people have no clue that your suppose to clean a firearm once and a while!!!

Wallowa Hunter
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Unread 08-14-2008, 01:01 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 753
Re: How did you gunsmiths get started

I started as a machinist. Worked for a few different shops after the Marines and it just sorta happened. Now I can't imagine doing anything else.

Great career but don't expect to get rich at it. Just know that going into it and you'll be fine.

Good luck
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Unread 08-14-2008, 06:19 AM
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 6,519
Re: How did you gunsmiths get started

Hey, Guys!

How would one of you like to write an article for the site about:

"Five Basic Gunsmithing Things You Can Do On Your Own"

...when the nearest gunsmith lives 2 hours away. light bulb
- -
Long Range Rifles, LLC - Ready To Ship

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Unread 08-14-2008, 07:11 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 179
Re: How did you gunsmiths get started

Thanks guys Maybe one of these days...hope and pray..
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