Hands-On Guide To Gunsmith

Gunsmithing has the potential to be a rewarding career. Gunsmiths, who are well-respected by collectors as well as firearms manufacturers, are highly sought after for their deep knowledge of gun design. They are also skilled in designing, building, and repairing firearms. This includes pistols, hunting guns, military rifles, shotguns, and many others. Before you apply for a college or trade school to learn gunsmith, make sure to fully understand what their duties are and what is expected.

If you’re interested in learning how to gunsmith, then you should definitely check out the American Gunsmithing Institute. This organization offers a variety of classes that will teach you everything from basic repair to more advanced techniques.

Gunsmithing Overview

Gunsmiths, skilled tradesmen, are skilled in the design, construction, modification, renovation, and repair of firearms. They may also be engaged in creative work like woodcarving or metal engraving. Gunsmith duties can vary depending on what specialization you choose and who the employer is. Gunsmiths’ general duties are so wide-ranging that they need to be proficient in a variety of skills.

  • Metalworking
  • Woodworking
  • Parts production
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry

Gunsmiths must know how to use many types of tools properly in order be able perform their duties. Hand tools are not enough. Most gunsmiths also need to know how to use power tools. Gunsmiths are required to be aware of all applicable laws and regulations in relation to firearms.

Gunsmiths Are Responsible For Their Duties And Responsibilities

Gunsmiths have the responsibility of making sure that guns they work on are safe and meet specifications. No matter what process they’re engaged in, gunsmiths need to observe safe gun-handling protocols and ensure customers, employees, and others follow the same. Safety must be ensured by inspecting all gun mechanisms. Below are just a handful of reasons guns may not be safe even if they’re handled properly.

  • Assembled incorrectly
  • Parts missing
  • Cracks and damage from other sources
  • Obstructions
  • Improperly aligned
  • Timing problems
  • Excessive wear
  • Firing pin deformities

Common Tasks Performed By Gunsmiths

Below are some of the most popular tasks gunsmiths may be asked to perform.

  • Assemble or disassemble firearms
  • Inspect and clean firearms.
  • Remove corrosion on metal gun parts
  • Repair damaged guns
  • Add custom-made or aftermarket parts (e.g., recoil pad, sight, scopes etc.)
  • Repair or restore wooden handles, grips, stocks and stock
  • Touch up engravings/other markings
  • Fit barrels
  • Remove dents
  • Correct headspace in guns and cartridges
  • Replace barrels, firing mechanisms
  • Modify pull-weight and other trigger mechanism

Gunsmith Specializations

Most gunsmiths are generalists. They handle the duties presented to them, but some specialize and are required to do specific tasks. Here are some of most popular specializations.

Custom manufacturer – A custom maker designs and builds unique firearms in accordance with a customer’s wishes or specifications. For some jobs, custom gunsmiths may need to use stock parts, or raw materials. This requires advanced manufacturing skills.

Finisher – A firearm must be finished after it has been manufactured. Parkerizing and browning are just a few of the many finishing jobs that can be done.

Stockmaker: Stockmakers can carve rifle stocks, shotgun guns, and pistol grips in one of several wood species such as walnut, maple, or birch. Stockmakers must be skilled with saws, files and other woodworking tools in order be successful at this specialty.

Engraver — Many rifles, pistols, and guns are exquisitely engraved using patterns or photographs. This work requires a steady arm and the ability use hand or pneumatic engravers.