For all preppers out there, this is a question: How well do you know how to modify and repair weapons? This is an important question. Your guns will only be able to protect you if it works properly.
What do Gunsmiths Do?
You might think that “What do gunsmiths actually do?” is a simple question with an obvious answer. However, unlike most questions, the answer may not be as obvious as it seems. So what is a gunsmith, and how does one spend their time? This is the question you must answer in detail before you start to build your life around a career in gunsmithing.
Let’s start with a definition. An armorer is someone who simply replaces firearm parts. A gunsmith can do so much more. A gunsmith not only can repair and modify guns but can also design new weapons or create them from scratch. This skill set is far more intricate and complex than simply replacing one piece of a firearm with a newer one. You will find creative people attracted to these two last parts of a gunsmith’s job description. Making guns for others who share the same preferences can help you make a living.
This is why gunsmithing is an interrelated skill. You’ll need to know the details of machine work as well as woodworking. Engineering skills are not optional. In practice, you will make minor adjustments to firearms for personal shooter purposes. Gunsmiths see these minor differences as a whole different world. Even if you do simple repairs, you will most likely build the parts you need in your own workshop rather than simply replacing any parts you may have.
Some gunsmiths specialize in cosmetic alterations. This would include creating intricate decorative engravings and refinishing weapons. Even these methods will cut off tons of potential customers without the intricate knowledge and skills required to repair or design weapons.
Gunsmiths tend to start in gun shops and not open their own businesses. Others work as gunsmiths in armories and factories that make and repair weapons. Many gunsmiths can specialize in one type of weapon but are generally skilled in designing, repairing, and modifying all types of weapons.
Specializations in Gunsmithing
We have already said that there are many areas you can specialize in the art of gunsmithing. It’s worthwhile looking at the main areas of specialty so you can have a better idea of whether the trade is right for you and what type of gunsmithing would suit you best.
Engraver: There are no two ways about this – high-customized, aesthetically-designed guns are simply cool. This specialization is for people who are passionate about making guns more beautiful. You will need to be artistically inclined. A steady hand and keen attention to detail are essential for this type of work. There are many things you won’t be able to do, such as abstract spirals or leaves or dogs. This means you won’t get many chances for original designs.
Stockmaker: A stock maker may make custom stocks to suit a particular sportsperson’s needs. Stock makers love shotguns and will make custom stocks for serious shooters. Stock makers can often design and build stocks for disabled shooters. Often, this specialization is combined with that of a checker (a gunsmith who specializes in adding checkering to stocks).
Finisher: A finishing agent is responsible for the gun’s finish. The metal undergoes a series o chemical processes such as browning, blueing, and even Parkerization. This not only creates an artistic effect but can also make the gun more durable and resistant to the elements.