Gunsmiths are licensed professionals who make and repair guns. They are fully trained to design, clean, repair, maintain, trouble shoot malfunctions, test for operation and accuracy and modify firearms based on clients’ needs. Professional gunsmiths are generally self-employed (a Federal Firearms License is required of them) or employed to small businesses. They can also be employed in firearms manufacturers, industries and service companies where firearms are used, and with military or firearms clubs.
Gunsmithing can be a rewarding and lucrative career to people. Trained gunsmiths are paid at a going rate of $35 to $65 an hour. If you think this might be the career for you, start your way by enrolling in a school for gunsmithing. Such institution offer both theoretical and practical courses that are relevant to the manufacture and repair of guns.
Gunsmithing academies offer a wide range of relevant courses. The most basic course in gunsmithing covers gun making. It’s a preliminary course where the use of the tools required for gun making and repair are introduced. In this course, students have to perform different finishing methods on the metals that are used in making guns. Another remarkable topic in the course is how to disassemble and reassemble various guns. This process also involves familiarizing oneself with the different parts of a gun. It’s just like break downing the gun and being able to put it back together in working order.
Moreover, academies for gunsmithing teach students how to make the parts of a gun from steel. Oxyacetylene welding is also taught. This process is important in assembling the gun parts and putting them together. The training also covers treating the steel rods and metal parts of a gun. Students are then provided the opportunity to test the gun he or she made.
Stock making is another interesting course taught at institutions for gunsmithing. Stock making is the art of building new firearms. Students learn how to tailor a new firearm to a particular shape and size. The essence of the course is to equip the gunsmith the ability to create a gun to the specifications of a client. After the stock making course, diagnosing and repairing problems that a firearm may have follows. This is the final step that students have to take. Like all vocations under trades and careers education, the student must be trained very well on his craft.
Here are a few of the most popular gunsmithing schools that you can choose from:
- American Gunsmithing Institute – The training available through here is led by three professional gunsmiths who guide you through detailed instructions on their online video courses. They offer the only certified gunsmithing video training available. Course completion typically takes around six weeks.
- Pennsylvania Gunsmith School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – This school is established in 1949. It has trained gunsmiths all around the world and offers a comprehensive curriculum that is geared toward helping students learn the trade and find a career in their desired specialization. Pennsylvania Gunsmith School is an entirely hands-on, skill-based curriculum that is taught in laboratory or shop settings, allowing future gunsmiths to be educated directly from a trained, professional gunsmith. Course completion typically takes around 16 months.
- Penn Foster Career School: This school is also based in Pennsylvania. Penn Foster is an online, accredited career school that offers programs and certificates in a variety of specializations, including gunsmithing. The courses are designed for independent study, but they have faculty and advisors available 11 hours a day, six days a week, to answer any questions. Course completion typically takes around five months.