If you enjoy firearms and have an interest in design and modifications, you might want to consider taking your hobby to a new level.
Gunsmithing is a trained position that involves the creation, repair, customization, and modification process of firearms. The work they do may be more general or be specialized, depending on the professional’s interest.
Gunsmiths also often specialize in engraving and finishing, processes to decorate and protect guns. They also might have a more specific focus, such as pistol work, shotgun specialization, metal, and woodworking. Take a look at the surprising benefits a career in gunsmithing entails.
How Do You Become a Gunsmith?
Gunsmiths generally have a strong interest and background in trade skills, such as woodworking, construction, metal arts, and basic engineering processes.
Strong math and problem-solving skills are generally a must to apply to the process of creating and modifying safe and legal firearms.
Since gunsmithing is a recognized apprenticeship program, many people start by working as an assistant or observer to get some practical experience. Formal education and training are generally needed to make the skill into a full-time career.
Many technical and community colleges offer courses in gunsmithing and best business practices to provide you practical skills for when you go out on your own. There also are gunsmithing classes online that you can look into, although it is suggested you get some practical hands-on experience with this as well.
To build or sell firearms, you also will need to hold a valid federal firearms license. There are also many professional organizations you can join which can help find work and provide opportunities to grow your business.
11 Surprising Benefits of Working in Gunsmithing
If you first clicked through this due to an interest in customizing your weapon or wanted ideas to mod your favorite firearm, but now imagine doing this as a profession- take a look at some of the many benefits a career in gun design modification can bring.
1. Turn a Hobby into a Career
If shooting sports is a hobby that you enjoy, and you love to work with various firearms, then why not make money doing what you love?
Turning your hobby or favorite pastime into a career is what millions of people wish they could do, and you are lucky enough to have the foundation already in place to make it a reality.
2. Education is Affordable and Easy to Obtain
Although no real formal education is needed to be successful, obtaining hands-on training and taking classes specific to the required skills, then gunsmithing can help you get ahead from the get-go.
Certificates generally only take 6 months or so to obtain. Taking some basic business classes and the classes required to strengthen your firearm and help you get a job or business started right away.
3. Skill Building
The skills you’ll build, such as mathematics, machining, and metal design can be used in other areas of expertise as well.
Having a good trade under your belt and knowing how to handle a wide variety of tools, along with the creative processes and ingenuity that goes along with it all, only makes you a more well-rounded employee in other fields.
4. Opportunities to Expand and Specialize
There are many opportunities to expand basic gunsmithing skills. You can specialize in specific types of firearms, such as rifles, pistols, or shotguns; become proficient in design and modification; or even become a specialist for a manufacturer, researching new, innovative technologies.
5. Explore Your Artistic Talents
If you love to create and build weapons, guns have many opportunities for artistic expression. Woodworking, metal art, and stylistic blueprinting is all a part of this skill.
In fact, it can be highly specialized as many gunsmiths hire out these skills to those who have a more natural proclivity for it. This can become a highly specialized talent and pays well.
6. Become a Refurbishing Expert
If you happen to be a history buff, there is no work refurbishing and rebuilding historical firearms.
In fact, many galleries and museums keep specialists on hand just for this purpose, expanding your skill base and opportunities.
7. Expand Your Mental Capabilities
This is a challenging set of skills to master, but the possibilities of expansion are practically endless. Continually challenging yourself with something you enjoy builds mental processes, keeping you sharp.
Problem-solving skills can help stave off anxiety and even keep mental decline at bay.
8. Enjoy the Flexibility of Self-Employment
Running your own business, freelancing your work, or specializing under contract often allow you to time manage and create a flexible work environment so you can put what is most important first.
The job can travel as well, and if you can sell your skill to various institutes and employers, it may even be one that allows you to travel while you work.
9. Enjoy Job Security
Working for yourself and having a skill that will always be needed will keep you at work. Even if you only prefer using it as a side hustle or a means to make a little extra money as a part-time option, you’ll have a means to expand when you are ready.
That also means you will always have something to help you stay employed.
10. Learn to Create Your Perfect Firearm
If you are dreaming of the perfect firearm that fits your grip and provides all the details you desire, you now have the means to customize your own weapon.
It is also a way to gain clients as a highly sought after skill when you learn to build a weapon from the ground up to perfect the feel and balance when carrying and shooting.
11. Save Yourself Money
Chances are if becoming a gunsmith is an interest. You already are a gun enthusiast. Quality firearms and accessories can be costly, and picking and choosing your favorites due to budgeting reasons can be frustrating.
When you learn how to build, mod, and specialize, you can often take care of many of these costs yourself. It also is common to trade your skills for what you need and want.
Ready to Get Started in Gunsmithing?
If all this sounds like it might be right up your alley, what’s holding you back?
One of the best ways to get yourself started in the right direction is getting some classes under your belt in both the skills and business so you can hit the ground running once you are secure in your talent.
Also, ask around to observe and help local gunsmiths to ensure this is a job you would truly enjoy making more a part of your life.