People with a passion for something often learn as much as they can about their interest. Take people who love cars, for example. Most learn how to service their vehicles or carry out some minor repairs. The same is true for people who are passionate about guns.
People who love guns usually dabble in gunsmithing, and many become professionally accredited and licensed gunsmiths. Depending on who you talk to, you will hear the words “gun builder” and “gunsmith” used interchangeably. But do these words mean the same thing? Or is there a real difference? We delve into this smoky issue and clear the air about these two terms.
Hold onto your pants (or gun belt) because you just might be surprised.
What’s the Difference Between a Gunsmith and a Gun Builder?
A gunsmith is someone who designs, makes, modifies, repairs, and sells guns. Gunsmithing is a profession that has a long history and won’t be obsolete anytime soon. To be a gunsmith, you need a lot of passion, patience, and practice to build up the required skills – and there is quite a number. Acquire these skills through gunsmithing training. Some of the skills a gunsmith needs are woodworking, machining, designing, and some engineering. A gunsmith also needs to have a very keen eye for detail and very steady hands.
Now that you know what a gunsmith is, the next question is “What is a gun builder?” The answer is more complicated than it seems. A gun builder is a person who makes or repairs guns. Yes, a gun builder is a gunsmith. Where’s the complication, you ask? It’s in the way that gun enthusiasts use the term “gun builder”. In many circles, a gun builder is a person who custom-builds guns – a gunsmith who specializes, if you may.
What Is a Custom-Made Gun?
As great as technology is in advancing gun design and efficiency, there is one flaw that will forever remain inherent in them – mass production. Anything mass-produced will always have shortcomings, minor flaws that we are forced to live with. Many times, though, you don’t have to live with them. In the case of guns, this is where custom-made guns come in – and the gun builder (gunsmith) who customizes them.
Why Have a Custom-Made Gun Made for You?
Custom-made guns are guns made to fit your specific needs, be it sporting, hunting, or any preferences to a gun you may have. In short, custom-made guns perform better at what you use them for and in many cases feel better, too. Depending on how and why you want to customize your gun, there is a gun builder and customization to give your gun that extra “edge.”
For example, if you find your hunting rifle too bulky for stealth mode in the woods, you can have a gun builder customize it by shortening the barrel, giving you a more compact gun you can use to sneak up on your prey easily. Perhaps you are more into revolvers and would like your pistol to be more accessible and more accurate to shoot. A good gun builder can give your revolver a simple action and trigger job to help you with that. Simply put, whatever improvement you wish could be done on your gun can be done by a competent gun builder.
Another great reason to have your gun(s) custom-built is for stealing the limelight at the range. Even if you’re not an excellent marksman, your custom-built rifle will make the mark for you – on your colleagues, that is.
So Is There a Difference Between a Gunsmith and a Gun Builder?
Technically speaking, a gun builder and a gunsmith are the same professions. They do the same job and produce the same results. Theoretically, it depends on who you talk to. Some gunsmiths prefer to be called “gun builders” because of their specialty in a particular type of firearm or because they build their custom guns from the ground up. An example is GA Precision. They have been in the custom gun making business since 1999.
We have come full circle from where we started our discussion. Gunsmith or gun builder – which is which? I’m sure you have realized that they are the same thing. Even so, make sure to be on the same page as the “gun builder” if you want some modifications done to your gun.