So you love guns. You love the shiny metal, the loud bang when you fire a shot. And the recoil? Feels like a massage, doesn’t it? Yes, I do know you quite well. I even know that your head is so stuck on guns you’ve forgotten to think of a career path. And now you’re stuck. Friend, do I have good news for you. You can put your love for guns to work, and earn a decent living, too.
Get smithing training and work in an industry you’re passionate about.
A gunsmith is a designer, maker, and repairer of guns. Gunsmithing requires a very high level of craftsmanship in three primary disciplines – woodworking, machining (or metalworking), and engineering. Though the profession is not as popular as it used to be, there is still a high demand for gunsmiths in the U.S. (and worldwide). You will have the option of earning a 4-year degree, an associate’s degree, or a gunsmith certificate/diploma. It all depends on how far you want to go with your gunsmithing career. You can work for someone in their gunsmithing shop or even open and run your establishment.
Smithing Training – The Requirements
As with all professions, there are specific requirements that you need to meet before you can be allowed to start your path to being a notable gunsmith. Here are a few that are mandatory no matter which state or school you choose to do your gunsmithing training in.
1. A Clear Criminal Record
Part of the background check to ensure that you are legible to train as a gunsmith involves checking your criminal record. This is done ensure that your training will not aid in criminal activities. After all, guns must be handled by a responsible and dependable person.
2. You Must Be at Least 18 Years Old
The state determines the age restriction you apply to do your gunsmithing training in. In some states, you have to be above 21 years old.
3. You Have to Pass a Drug Screening
Because gunsmithing is a sensitive profession that requires high safety standards, your thinking capacity and physical coordination must not be compromised by anything – especially drug abuse.
4. Be Cleared of Mental Health Issues
Again, this is because of the risky nature of the job. A steady mind is crucial to becoming a competent gunsmith.
5. Apply for a Federal Firearms License (FFL)
This is not a school requirement, but it is good to get the license early to avoid breaking the law if you plan on doing some practical work for friends (and charge them a small fee), while taking your course.
Now that you have cleared the requirements let’s take a look at what you should expect in your training.
Gunsmithing Training – The Start of an Explosive Career
Because gunsmithing is a practical subject, classes will be divided between the classroom for theory lessons and the workshop for the actual hands-on gunsmithing. Although topics may vary from school to school, the primary courses will include:
As with every profession, safety comes first. Guns, when mishandled, are very dangerous and as such, every gunsmith needs to know every safety procedure related to the use and maintenance of firearms. This information will be invaluable to you and your clients.
Metalworking and Finishing
This course covers basic metallurgy and the welding process. Also included are soldering, brazing, and heat treatment techniques. You’ll also learn metal preparation, touch-ups, and finishes.
Stock Making and Woodworking
Because wood is a significant component of most guns, you will need to learn woodworking – not basic, mind you. Guns must be built to precise measurements and dimensions. As such, your woodworking and metalwork skills need to be very precise.
From reading blueprints to the exact workings of every component inside the gun to modification, you’ll learn all this in the firearms design class.
Identification of Different Types of Firearms
In this course, you will learn to identify different firearms and caliber and evaluate the operational safety of a gun. Different kinds of ammunition are also discussed in this course.
Rifles and Sights
This subject covers the history, design, and function of rifles and sights (also called scopes). You’ll learn how to repair, modify, and maintain different guns and explore re-barrel safety, head-spacing, go gauges, and no-go gauges.
Covered in this course is the introduction to the tools of the trade and how to use them safely. Some schools even include repair and maintenance of the tools.
Routine Firearms Maintenance
This is one of the core aspects of a gunsmith’s job, and this is one of the core subjects in gunsmithing schools. This is to a gunsmith what servicing a car is to a mechanic.
Trigger Finger Itching for Some Teaching?
If you’re excited just by reading this, then gunsmithing is the path for you. What better career than one that puts food on the table, a smile on your face, and a spark in your heart? Go ahead and get yourself gunsmithing training.