How to Become a Gunsmith

This is a detailed guide on . It's a known fact that there are so many people who have this enthusiasm for guns and are always willing to learn more about different guns and their operations.

Such persons will love to have a grasp on Guns and want to learn their maintenance. This demanding urge and several queries received on our platform prompted us to give a detailed guide on how to become a Gunsmith.

Learning how to become a gunsmith is very essential as it would teach you all the pros and cons of gunsmithing.

Also, it helps you understand that there is more to handling guns than what you see probably in movies or at the hands of national security agencies.

Meanwhile, are you one of those who have recklessly been searching to become a gunsmith on the net?

Or you are very enthusiastic about guns and would love to earn a degree in gun management?

Do you seek to be licensed in operating with gun dealings? Then you need not worry as we have got you covered.

Everything you need to know about gunsmithing has been illustrated here and many more, including the best school where you can obtain a degree, outlooks, and other career prospects as a gunsmith.

However, you ought to know that to become a gunsmith, you'd have a variety of skills as the duty of a gunsmith is quite vast and requires hands-on training and experience to be a pro.

With that being said, we recommend that you carefully read through this article as we have chronologically explained all an intending gunsmith is required of to be successful.

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Who is a Gunsmith?

A gunsmith is a professional firearm dealer, handler, and manager. It's unlike the armorer that only replaces damaged parts in guns.

The duty of a gunsmith as regards firearms is quite broad. They repair, build, and customize firearms like rifles, shotguns, and handguns.

Though, a gunsmith can also perform simple tasks such as:

  • Cleaning of guns 
  • Inspections of guns
  • Disassembling and reassembling a gun.

A gunsmith also performs complex duties like engraving designs in woods and metals, refinishing metal, and designing customized firearms.

So obviously, to become a gunsmith, you require a wide range of skills and knowledge including skills in Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry.

Other skills, a gunsmith is expected to possess are:

  • How to read blueprints
  • Also, how to read some  works with computer-aided design software
  • How to weld and carve
  • Then, how to work with tools like lathes and mills.

There are a myriad of things a gunsmith is required to know how to do. But, most importantly, a gunsmith is a great dealer of guns and their management.

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Why Become a Gunsmith?

There are so many passions geared toward & reasons for collecting different guns and having good dexterity in managing guns.

However, the most significant reason for wanting to become a gunsmith is to maintain good national security and orderliness of guns in a country.

Moreso, gunsmiths have developed a love for fixing and maintaining guns and are much ready to take their hobby into a career.

Having a good gunsmith who is well-licensed is very beneficial to the national security of a country or state.

As they also keep good records and tracks of guns, they sell therefore making it easy to trace guns when found at a crime scene.

Also, gunsmiths ensure the guns are not sold to the wrong hands or persons without a gun license.

Additionally, one would want to become a gunsmith, just for the passion to ensure that guns used by national security are in a good state of gun health.

Is Gunsmithing a Good Career?

Yes, gunsmithing is a perfect career path as it exposes you to many skills and also every type of firearm.

As a gunsmith, you'd learn some basic works of an engineer and a technician. You'd also come to learn about good management.

Also, gunsmithing exposes you to gain many skills and you'd repair, create, and customize guns. 

Moreover, there is more demand for gunsmiths in various countries. That's why we have decided to show you how you can become a gunsmith.

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What Does a Gunsmith Do?

We have given many tips on the duties of a gunsmith, but on second thought, you must see the major duties gunsmiths are required to do.

  • Custom builder/designer
  • Finisher
  • Stockmaker
  • Checkerer
  • Gun engraver
  • Pistolsmith
  • Manufacturer

#1. Custom Builder/designer

Gunsmiths build custom guns that satisfy customers' specific needs. They can do this starting from scratch, or adding to existing guns.

A good gunsmith can also do the finishing and decorations of the guns.

Gunsmiths can be called upon by professional shooters like avid sports shooters, target shooters, or any person who wants custom characteristics added to their firearm to create highly accurate or custom-looking firearms.

#2. Finisher

As earlier said, the gunsmith also surfaces finishing on guns.

This can be done using several chemical processes to give the gun good decoration and texture. They employ chemical processes such as browning, bluing, and Parkerization, among others.

#3. Stockmaker

The gunsmith can carve out gun parts from woos and fit them into the metal body to suit the customer's dimensions.

This is what is referred to as the stock makers.

#4. Checkerer

This specialization of gunsmiths is often combined with the stock makers. 

This is when the gunsmith uses checkering tools to create an ornate pattern of small raised diamonds in the wood surfaces that are to be gripped.

#5. Gun Engraver

Gunsmiths use hand graving tools or die-sinker chisels to cut designs or pictures into the metal surfaces of the gun. 

The firearms engraver must first be a highly gifted and capable artist who can compose the desired design freehand on paper. 

The engraver must thoroughly know human and animal anatomy, botany, perspective, and composition.

#6. Pistolsmith

They are very competent and specialize in work on pistols and revolvers.

Thus they are called, ‘Pistolsmiths', and should be proficient in a range of skills such as checkering, woodworking, machining, metal finishing, and metalworking.

They must have an excellent understanding of the mechanical characteristics and function of the guns they work on.

#7. Manufacturing

Gunsmiths produce parts of guns and sell them to other gunmakers or industries.

They can also specialize in producing some custom guns on a small scale. Thus, they are also partial manufacturers of guns or their parts.

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What Is The Career Outlook of a Gunsmith?

There are many places where a gunsmith can put his/her prowess to use.

Even recently, according to statistics and data, there has been a high demand for gunsmiths, especially in the US.

Some places a gunsmith can work are listed below;

  • Gun manufacturers
  • Law enforcement agencies
  • Independently owned gun shops etc.

How Much Does a Gunsmith Earn?

The salary scale of a gunsmith depends on a lot of factors. However, from a report from PayScale, gunsmiths receive an average salary of $16/hour in the US.

That is about $40,000 in a year. But a gunsmith who owns his business makes way more than this in a year.

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How to Become a Gunsmith | Step-by-Step

How to Become a Gunsmith
How to Become a Gunsmith | Schools, Programs, Career Tips & FAQs 5

Gunsmiths can learn their craft in various ways, including apprenticeships, military training, and completing a degree or certificate program.

There are a few schools across the United States that offer certificate or associate degree programs in gunsmithing, and attending one of these programs is a highly recommended way to learn how to, gunsmith.

Thus, to successfully become a gunsmith, you have to follow the processes below carefully:

  • Acquire Skills and Knowledge
  • Get On-The-Job Experience
  • Obtain Formal or Training
  • Verify Licensing Requirements
  • Locate a Job
  • Become a Member of a Professional Organization

Step 1. Acquire Skills and Knowledge

To become a gunsmith, you first learn and know a few tricks involved in the trade. 

There are many ways to do this, you can start by learning basic skills such as woodworking and metalworking. Having a good background in maths is a good hack.

Below are some other basic skills you can learn for a start:

  • Knowledge of mathematics
  • Attention to detail
  • Precision woodworking skills
  • Ability to perform detailed metalworking
  • Interest in firearms, especially the history of guns
  • Manual dexterity
  • Familiarity with power tools eg lathe, vices, drills, and other tools
  • Enjoy meeting people and getting to know them and their needs

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Step 2. Get a Job Experience

On the other hand, it is also advisable to get primary experience in gunsmithing.

Gunsmithing is a recognized apprenticeship program so you may find a place to work as a gunsmith's helper.

You may even apply to be an observer if there is no room to fit you in. You will learn a lot by paying close attention.

Step 3. Obtain Formal Education or Training

The next step is obtaining a formal education or training from an accredited institution. Some technical colleges and community colleges offer courses in Gunsmithing.

You can either obtain a diploma or an associate degree at these institutions.

The diploma programs may require not over 6 months of the session while the associate degree certificate may take up to 2 years or less.

Some non-credit-earning courses are offered by the National Rifle Association.

Step 4. Verify Licensing Requirements

Now, the next step in becoming a gunsmith after obtaining a formal education is to get a verified license.

This license is being acquired and rendered by The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives requires that gunsmiths hold a valid Federal Firearms License if they build or sell firearms.

This is for persons in the United States. You check your country for authorities that issue licenses to gunsmiths.

Though, some requirements you must meet to get a verified license are below:

  • Ensure you have a requirement to work
  • The applicant must be 21 years old or older
  • Along with the age requirement, you must meet certain other legal and ethical conditions.

Some additional laws may require additional licensing in a specific city or town.

Step 5. Locate a Job

When you have met all the aforementioned procedures, you can now seek a job placement as you're fully certified as a gunsmith.

Even you can start up your own business.

Step 6. Become a Member of a Professional Organization

Meanwhile, to become part of the gunsmith network, it is advisable to consider joining a professional organization made up of gunsmiths all over the country.

This is a brilliant way to meet others who will share tips and craft information with you.

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How Long Does It Take To Become a Gunsmith?

Becoming a gunsmith takes a series of stages and procedures as it also requires lots of experience. The experience matters as it is what makes you more professional.

You can either get one by working for gunsmiths or even applying to watch how the work goes so you can easily learn the pros and cons involved in the work. 

Meanwhile, obtaining an associate degree or certificate in gunsmith will take two years or less. Also, it will take six months to obtain a diploma in gunsmithing, whichever is the case you choose. 

However, to become an expert requires several years of experience and practice to start your own business.

In this career path, many gain experience in the military or working as a machinist and this can add years to how long it takes to become a gunsmith.

Which Body Accredits Gunsmithing Programs?

When considering undertaking any program in any institution, you ensure that your intended course of study is properly accredited in your desired institution whether it is an online or offline program. 

However, there are no accreditation bodies for gunsmithing programs. The National Rifle Association (NRA) affiliates with short-term courses at some institutions in the US. 

Furthermore, gunsmiths must have an FFL certificate (Federal Firearms License) and must meet all its requirements.

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Where to Go to School for Gunsmithing

Have you asked questions like; Which institution best offers gunsmithing programs?

Then you need not bother because we have selected top-notch countries that offer amazing and well-educated programs in gunsmithing.

You can see them below:

  • Federal Republic of Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

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Best Gunsmithing Schools and Programs 

How to Become a Gunsmith
How to Become a Gunsmith | Schools, Programs, Career Tips & FAQs 6

We have also selected some prominent institutions where you can undertake a good program in gunsmithing. Though, it is in no particular order;

#1. Harvard University

The great Harvard University in Massachusetts is one of the recommended schools to undertake a program in gunsmithing from our list.

The institution is very proficient in what they do and has proven to be the best institution in many key areas of study.

Thus, to learn more about the school, visit the portal through the link.

Visit School

#2. Stanford University

Another profound institution to undertake a program in gunsmithing is Stanford University in California.

The school is very proficient in handling engineering programs.

Visit School

#3. Colorado School of Trades

The Colorado School of Trade offers an associate degree in gunsmith and is very effective in its training scheme.

This is one of the best schools to undertake a program in Gunsmith. 

Visit School

#4. Yavapai College

The Yavapai College in Arizona is also a tremendous school to undertake a program in gunsmithing.

The institution has proven itself significant in engineering-related courses and is very good in its gunsmith program.

Visit School

#5. Pine Technical College

Another good institution to consider taking a Gunsmith program is Pine Technical College in Minnesota.

They also offer an associate degree in Gunsmithing and are a very good school to try out.

Visit School

Other good institutions include;

Summary

Gunsmithing is a very good career path, and you'd learn to be a pro in guns and their management.

Therefore, if you aspire to obtain an associate degree in gunsmithing or training, we urge you to pursue your dreams soon. This is because no one does that for you.

So if you have any further questions on becoming a gunsmith procedure, relate to us using our comment box below.

We assist you in any way we can until we are sure your dreams are being met. 

References 


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