Becoming a gunsmith

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by cookjp, Jul 18, 2009.

  1. cookjp

    cookjp Well-Known Member

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    Jun 28, 2009
    I have long wanted to train as a gunsmith but with none around me I am not sure how to go about becoming a gunsmith. I have seen the online courses but am somewhat skeptical about them they seem to promise alot in just a short time and for very little money. I was just wandering if anyone could help point me in the right direction.
     
  2. TAP

    TAP Well-Known Member

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    First of all, what is your background? Do you have any machining experience? What are your goals, i.e, do you want to build or repair firearms or both? What kind of mechanical ability do you have? What do you know about the actual workings of firearms. Just knowing that you pull the trigger and the gun goes bang doesn't mean you know anything about them. Answers to these questions would help a lot as far as to what your options are.
     

  3. cookjp

    cookjp Well-Known Member

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    I am very much of a novice when it comes to gun smithing. I can stip and clean
    all of the firearms that I own and have done minnor work such as bedding and fitting stocks and refinishing. I have no training doing machine work. I would eventually like to be able to both fix and build guns, I know that it will require alot of work on my part and a lot of learning but I am willing to put forth the effort. I am wanting to know how does one go about getting the training. Are any of the online courses offered any good?
     
  4. TAP

    TAP Well-Known Member

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    I know there are some very good smiths out there who have taken online courses and do very well with it. They studied other smiths and their techniques and basically learned from others. Don't know how much machining background they had before that. Online courses won't teach you much in that area. You could take some machining courses at your local tech school or community college if they offer them. Another option would be to take a full blown gunsmithing program from a tech. school/community college. You would get hands on training and learn the basics for machining. That would probably be the best route for you since you have no machining background if you want to get into building, etc. A third way would be to find a smith willing to take you in as an apprentice and teach you. Problem with that is a good smith is usually very busy and doesn't have the time to watch over your every move and redo the things that you will invariably do wrong as you learn. I am sure there are other alternatives, however they don't come to mind at the present. I explored these options and am going to a community college this fall. I have been a machinist for over 15 years, but this seems to be the best option for me in the long run. PM me if you have any more questions that I can help you out with and good luck on whatever you decide.
     
  5. cookjp

    cookjp Well-Known Member

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    Jun 28, 2009
    thanks for taking the time to answer my questions you brought up some real good points,I am going to do some looking around at some local tech schools
     
  6. BigDaddy0381

    BigDaddy0381 Well-Known Member

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    Apr 30, 2007
    Cookjp,

    I found a smith near my home and work/learned from him for free. He was in need of some help doing clean and services and I was at the right place at the right time. I now have been with him for 3 years and I'm still learning to do everything from refinishing up to building but now I get paid a little. It is nothing that is learned over night but is very fun. My goal was to work with him a while then go to school, but that has changed by chance. The way it is working out is he wants to retire and move to a lake and fish and do nothing but fish. So it just so happens I'm might buy his shop and customer base. They know me and I know them so my name will already be out and they will know my work. Depending on what Part of Ga you are in I might be able to help you out some in finding out if you want to do this line of work/fun. It is not as fun or glamorous as one would think. My has stay stained from gun oil and cleaning solvents. It will drive you nuts some times when your not able to get parts and you have too build them from scratch. But it also has it’s good days. When a father brings his son to the shop to pick up the sun’s new rifle and you get to see him shoot it for the first time. Anyway enough rambling! If you need any info feel free to shoot me a Pm and I can see what I can do to help you.