How to Become a Gunsmith

In order to become a gunsmith, you should posses that natural inclination towards guns. As a gunsmith, you may be designing, manufacturing, customizing, repairing, cleaning, assembling, disassembling, engraving or selling the guns. Usually, a gunsmith specializes in one or two of the skills mentioned above. As gun is a weapon, stringent federal regulations dictate this profession. Gunsmiths usually are hired by government agencies or private gun manufacturers.  

How to Become a Gunsmith

A gunsmith is adept in usage of various guns, machine tool processes, ballistics, metallurgy and wood working. A thorough knowledge of balance, sight and grip is also vital for becoming a gunsmith. If you find a knack for all these skills apart from love of handling guns, then you can to become a gunsmith by following the steps given below. Having background knowledge of metals will help you in this career.

  • Attend an accredited Gunsmith school for a formal education to learn the basics of a gunsmith job. The most reliable courses are the ones conducted by the National Rifles Association. These are short-term and no-credit courses. Choose a suitable course and complete it successfully.
  • Work under a professional gunsmith for few years and get on-the-job experience as it is very essential in this career. Learn as much as possible about guns during this period.  At least 8,000 hours of training is required to complete most of the apprenticeship programs.
  • Become adept in using drill press, reamer, lathe, gauges and milling machines. If required, complete a machine shop course to become proficient. Also learn to use hand tools for grinding, polishing, sanding, chiseling and filing.
  • Learn all federal, state and local laws related to manufacture, fabrication and sales of firearms.  You must acquire a Federal Firearms License (FFL) if you wish to build or sell firearms.

Tips for Advancement

  • Continue working with the professional gunsmiths even if the apprenticeship is completed as starting something on your own is a costly affair. This is because license premiums are too high and difficult to get. You can do part-time work for them and start your own setup in a small scale after few years.
  • It is better to start your career with police department or government agency. You can also get hired by a gun manufacturers or custom gun producers. While working with them, work towards building your contacts to develop a customer base. It will help you when you while starting your own custom gun manufacturing or sales.
  • If you are starting an own manufacturing or sales unit, it is highly recommended to acquaint yourself with local laws, licensing requirements and insurance procedures.
  • Learn the basics of business like book keeping, managing funds and marketing skills to develop your business.

If you have the ability to fulfill these crucial requirements and a good orientation of business then you can start a firearms shop.