Posted in Career Insights

Working with and using firearms is a hobby for many people.

But if you’ve ever considered seeing if you could turn that hobby into a career, you may have wondered what exactly a gunsmith is and, more importantly, What does a gunsmith do?

What is a Gunsmith? 

If you’re thinking about becoming a gunsmith, it’s important to know what you’re getting into. Simply put, a gunsmith is someone who repairs, designs, and builds firearms.

In addition to the technical knowledge of how a gun fits together, a gunsmith knows how to make sure they are functioning safely after they are re-assembled or repaired.

Working with firearms is serious business, so it is important to understand the inner mechanisms of a gun before jumping into a career as a gunsmith.

A gunsmith will also have specialized knowledge of many of the different kinds of firearms there are so that they will be able to appropriately address any maintenance or repair issues that come up.

What Does a Gunsmith Do?

Like most jobs, the day-to-day duties of a gunsmith may vary. In general, however, a gunsmith can expect to work with specialized tools when working on a firearm, either during a brand new assembly or if the firearm was brought in for repair.

Gunsmiths have many responsibilities. Some of them include repairing malfunctioning firearms, assembling new firearms, and customizing firearms to a clients’ specifications.

However, likely the most important thing that a gunsmith does is safely and responsibly handle the firearms they work on. 

Repairing Malfunctioning Firearms

Being an expert in firearms, a gunsmith is often a gun owner’s first stop if their firearm begins to malfunction. This is a serious aspect of a gunsmith’s job, as malfunctioning firearms can be unpredictable.

As part of the repair process, gunsmiths are responsible not only for cleaning the weapons, but also inspecting them for missing parts, worn areas, cracks, or malfunctions.

Assembling Firearms

When asked, What is a gunsmith? an easy answer is someone who assembles firearms. As a professional with the technical knowledge of the machinery inside firearms, gunsmiths are relied upon to ensure firearms are assembled correctly.

This is where knowledge learned in licensing courses is critical. A gunsmith must be precise when building a firearm.

Customizing Firearms

Some gunsmiths are able to add aftermarket customizations to firearms. This includes adding scopes and grips. 

Completing Other Specialized Requests

Many gunsmiths complete specialized training to offer services such as:

  • Engraving,
  • Stockmaking, and
  • Finishing wood.

These components of a gunsmith’s job don’t concern working with the actual mechanics of the firearm but are highly requested by paying customers.

Additional Gunsmith Duties

Working with firearms is serious business, and a gunsmith is someone with the skill and expertise to safely handle and maintain any firearms that come through their shop.

Many gunsmiths work at a gun range or in a gun store, either that they run themselves or as a part of a larger company. This means that in addition to handling malfunctioning firearms, a gunsmith may also need to assist customers.

What Is the Educational and Career Path to Become a Gunsmith?

Since gunsmithing requires a bit of technical knowledge, it is highly recommended that aspiring gunsmiths enroll in a community college or trade school program.

These programs, which often span about two years, teach and train students to become competent gunsmiths. At the end of the program, students usually earn an associate degree or a certificate.

Some rising gunsmiths chose to jump right into a professional organization’s training program. This might allow you to begin working with firearms sooner than in an educational program.

Other Requirements

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) requires all gunsmiths to be licensed to

  • Assemble firearms,
  • Customize them, and
  • Engrave them.

To become licensed, an aspiring gunsmith must work with the ATF. Educational courses will likely cover the requirements for the ATF licensure more thoroughly.

Want to Know More About Gunsmithing?

If you’re not ready to fully commit to a two-year training program, start with an introductory course to the gunsmith field.

Gaining the fundamental knowledge you need to start towards a career in gunsmithing is just a click away. Stratford Career Institute is proud to offer a new course on gunsmithing as a part of its distance learning program.

It’s important to note that this course is not comprehensive, but it is a good place to start to get answers to questions like What does a gunsmith do? and Is gunsmithing a good career for you?

Enroll today to get started on your career path to gunsmithing!


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Explore a Gunsmith Career

Explore a Gunsmith Career

If you’re thinking about becoming a gunsmith, it’s important to know what you’re getting into. Enroll in Stratford Career Institute’s gunsmithing course today.