Long Range Hunting Online Magazine

Go Back   Long Range Hunting Online Magazine > Rifles, Reloading, Optics, Equipment > Gunsmithing


Would gunsmithing be a good second job?

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 03-23-2013, 08:43 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 433
Would gunsmithing be a good second job?

In my current job I currently work 12 hour shifts. I work a 7 days on and 7 days off schedule. I really enjoy tinkering with my guns and have thought about this as a good way to do something I enjoy and make some funds for my gun habit on the side.

Good gunsmiths are hard to find in this area it seams. I think I would do well. So my question's are;

How much equipment do you need?
Whats the best way to get good training? Schools?
Is the money good enough to be worth my while?
Never pass up a kool-aid stand or lemonade stand. Remember it is a young American learning the American dream.
Reply With Quote

Unread 03-23-2013, 06:22 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: on the Southern Plains
Posts: 1,973
Re: Would gunsmithing be a good second job?

After 20 yrs. in the business, I'm here to tell ya', there is no end to the tools question. There's always something else to make or buy in that department. If you're going to 'smith for others you'll need to be licensed. Get some of that NRA sponsored liability insurance, too. Get some professional training. Over the years, I've met up with more "self trained" that are no more than hacks, although, I've met up with a few who are darned sharp. Don't expect to satisfy your "habit" with big earnings. Many suppliers don't offer substantial 'dealer discounts', only a few do, or, your price is based on the volume you order. Ya' gotta' love it!
"Shoots real good!": definition; it didn't blow-up in my face. 1993 graduate Montgomery Community College 2yr. gunsmithing program
Reply With Quote
Unread 03-23-2013, 10:06 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Western PA
Posts: 232
Re: Would gunsmithing be a good second job?

To do it right you need about 25000+ in tools a building and countless other costs. Also you are going to need insurance and a manufactures license which also comes with more fees. As stated above you can make a little, but you must love the work or you wont last!
Reply With Quote
Unread 03-23-2013, 10:31 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 933
Re: Would gunsmithing be a good second job?

The question I have is:- Will you still love tinkering with your guns when you spend most of your free time fixing someone else's guns and not enjoying yours ?
I don't know any Plumbers that enjoy Plumbing as a sport or hobby on their day off !
Just another view from another angle that may be worth considering.
Reply With Quote
Unread 03-24-2013, 12:37 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: North Bend, Oregon
Posts: 1,524
Re: Would gunsmithing be a good second job?

If you want to wreck a perfectly good hobby, make it your job. That's the only thing that keep me out of adult films.
NRA Life Member and I vote.

Only accurate rifles are interesting.

Gordy and Brady.
Reply With Quote
Unread 03-24-2013, 07:47 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: central Ohio
Posts: 99
Re: Would gunsmithing be a good second job?

It would be a losing proposition unless you had a lot of people looking for a gunsmith in your area.

Right off the bat, you need to check your local and state laws and meet those requirements. Depending on where you live, it might not be anything, but when you get to the federal level, you will have to get a manufacturers license from the batf. If you have no real business, it's difficult to justify the cost. Still, it shouldn't be a deal ender if you really want to do this.

Next, you will need to invest in a mill and lathe. You don't have to have a cnc machine, but a dro setup would be recommended. The lathe should be large enough to accept turning a barrel on centers, and the tooling required to operate the machine WILL easily exceed the costs of the lathe. Still, you might be able to get a decent lathe/mill and basic tooling for under $10k if you search around. Just try to avoid the chinese junk. Look for R-8 tooling on the mill, and cooling/lubricating systems are something you really want.

Next, you will need an assortment of hand tools. Cheap screwdrivers that do not fit well will surely mar the screwhead itself and possibly the firearm. People don't like that. Also, pipe-wrenches should never be considered as gun tools

You will need a space to set up the workshop then. Since the lathe and mill are pretty heavy and require a solid foundation, a concrete floor is essential. You will also need a safe to store the guns in, so figure that into the equation.

The majority of the work you are likely to see will include re-blueing, crowning barrels, drilling and mounting scopes, barrel swaps (need headspaced), and the inevitable "my gun is inaccurate, fix it", and the "learn how to shoot" response is not an answer.

Try going to this site and nose around. It might help you decide if you want to pursue this Gunsmithing
Reply With Quote
Unread 03-24-2013, 08:14 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 1,678
Re: Would gunsmithing be a good second job?

I read these posts and agree, enjoy it as a hobby cause if you are a gunsmith, it's a business and takes that much time and energy and funds. I've tried a 2nd job hobby, golf club making, I lost my time to play. I gave up the 2nd job and play golf for fun now. If I looked for a second job hobby with firearms, I'd invest in (land) build a shooting range with a re-loading room. You can then shoot re-load for yourself or others, shoot more, have competitions and such, maybe hire a gunsmith, sell firearms and when you all are through with it, sell the land!

volume baby volume. The ammunition business is where the money is!

I may still build a golf driving range or firearm range! Time and money... Don't waste either.

Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:32 AM.

All content ©2010-2015 Long Range Hunting, LLC