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Old 02-22-2008, 06:13 PM
straitshooter straitshooter is offline
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Default How to become a gunsmith

I have been debating on getting in gunsmithing since it goes hand in hand with many of my other hobbies. What is the best way to get into this, I found a couple schools online, are they needed? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Old 02-22-2008, 06:44 PM
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Find a smith and become his apprentice.

d-a
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Old 02-22-2008, 06:49 PM
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I've made a couple of stocks, replaced firing pins, blued parts and that sort of thing. What sorts of things are you wanting to do, maintaince type stuff or build complete guns?
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Old 02-22-2008, 06:50 PM
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i'd like to be able to pretty much do it all
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Old 02-22-2008, 07:56 PM
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Buy yourself a nice lathe, milling machine, grinders, disc sander, belt sander, blast cabinet, and several thousand $$$ worth of tooling and you will be 1/3 of the way there. Then you apply for the FFL and after 6 to 12 months of jumping through hoops you might get your license. Of course before you can get your license you have to have a legal store front, insurance, business license, etc.

In my experience, hobbies are only enjoyable as hobbies. Once they become a job, they become work.
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:08 PM
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There is a real gunsmithing school out west. I think it is in Colorado.
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:56 PM
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My dad went to the PA Gunsmith School in Pittsburgh about 15 years ago or so. George Thacker is the director there and has well over 50 years experience in gunsmithing and has worked with many of the legends of gunsmithing. The course was broken up into about 5-6 sections over 18 months. The sections were broken up into stockmaking, custom alteration, chambering and rebarreling, and reblueing (hot blue, bakering, etc.). The course focuses on gunsmithing and not parts changing, so some experience in operating a vertical mill and lathe helps quite a bit.
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:58 PM
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The school with the best reputation is the one in Trinidad, Colorado. It would be awesome to combine gunsmithing school out there with Colorado elk and mule deer hunting.
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Old 02-25-2008, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d-a View Post
Find a smith and become his apprentice.

d-a
yep, best way.
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:02 AM
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Troy NC http://www.montgomery.cc.nc.us/acgunsmith.htm

I've read about their program
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by leoparddog9 View Post
Troy NC http://www.montgomery.cc.nc.us/acgunsmith.htm

I've read about their program
i have a friend that graduated from there about 15 years ago. He is a very competent gunsmith.
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:19 PM
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To begin with, I would go to a local Vocational & Technical school and start taking machinist courses. If you want to be a competent smith, they will come in handy. I've had dealings in the past with some graduates from the Colorado school and they were not much more than butchers, and poor ones at that largely because their machinist skills were at best lacking. A list of some gunsmith schools can be found at http://www.gunnersden.com/index.htm....h-schools.html .
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Old 02-27-2008, 10:55 PM
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I graduated from Trinidad's gunsmithing program in 1994. Then I went straight to Maryland Gun Works here in Augusta GA, where I have been ever since. Im NOT a full time gunsmith any more. work was slow and at the time I could not pay the bills and work on commision. SO I started working in our sister business, MGW ltd. Now Im a CNC machinist making gun tools and sights for other gun companies. MGW products are all over the gun industry. Brownells and Midway USA are our biggest dealers. Its not gunsmithing, but its still gun related. I also make car parts which is now over half our products. Anything to pay the bills....

Ive posted several times about the Trinidad program. If you want more detailed info, send me a PM. If you cant go through two year A.A.S. degree program they have a certificate program also. They have summer courses that are great for learning in a short amount of time. I took Basic and Advanced Engraving summer courses that way.

Heres an article from the Denver Post on TSJC Gunsmithing program:
http://www.denverpost.com/commented/ci_6866275



Quote:
Program Information
The first gunsmithing courses were designed and offered at TSJC in 1947 by P.O. Ackley. Since that time this program has developed into a two year Gunsmithing degree Program that is designed to train individuals with the basic concepts and skills needed by the professional gunsmith.

Course work at the basic and advanced level includes: Bench Metal, Machine Operations, Gun repair and Stock making. A wide variety of specialized courses such as Checkering, Revolversmithing, Competitive Rifles, and Shotgunsmithing
http://www.trinidadstate.edu/degrees/AAS/gunsmith.html



I wont talk about other programs that I dont know anything about. But I will say this, I also heard about the butchers.

Last edited by mike bell; 02-27-2008 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:16 AM
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Gunsmithing is a slow business, your better off enjoying it as a hobby. It's a lot more fun not having to deal with everyone else' problems.
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