Where Are You Going?

An overview of getting into the gunsmithing profession.

by Bill Smith

To understand where we gunsmiths are going, we should best try to understand who we are for the word “gunsmith” is bantered about quite easily. Almost anyone can get an FFL or take an online course classifying him as such. One can take a correspondence course and be a “Gun Expert” in six months (so it is claimed). Unfortunately, these courses cannot put brains or experience in the ends of your fingers. You might be able to read the lessons but if you have no experience – and that gained hopefully as an apprentice – you are ill-equipped, even though you have a diploma to work as a gunsmith.

Most of these correspondence schools also have law courses. Interestingly, none of them admit you to the Bar and I certainly wouldn’t hire a six months “Law Expert” to defend me, if need be, against the IRS or BATFE. No clear thinking person would. The same is true of the “yesterday I couldn’t spell the word, today I are one” gunsmith. If any of us owe anything to ourselves and to the public we owe competence and experience, or in other words, credibility. A file, hammer, vice, and bench does not a gunsmith make.

For new gunsmiths, it is extremely valuable to have a background of…

Read more in the May 2021 issue.

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