General or Specialist?

Deciding on the type of gunsmith jobs you want and need.

by Bill Smith

If you’re like most practicing gunsmiths, you probably started out and founded your business as being a general practitioner. Your reputation and your income was based on doing any job that came along. You did it well and reaped the rewards. Since the time that you started you have become more and more proficient and perhaps even hired an extra hand. You may be getting a little tired of the run-of-the-mill jobs and you may prefer to do certain custom work, such pistolsmithing for specific types of competitions or working on your newly-designed aftermarket part that has taken off locally. You get a handsome figure for building and installing your new “Jim Crank” and believe you’ll do even better if you advertise – naturally. You probably can, assuming this is something enough shooters want.

You are now thinking that due to the increase of the price that you can command for this job, it is a lot more fun and more profitable if you concentrate on this specialty work, which along with something like accurizing work, becomes a big ticket item. You won’t have to have as many total jobs to take in in order to charge the same money as you were used to when you were handling more guns for less cost each that came in to your shop under the heading of general business.

Well, stop and think a little. All of the above may be true but there are several things to think about.

Read more in the June 2021 issue.

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