How To Start A Career As A Gunsmith: 3 Tips

Gunsmiths are people into build, restore, and customize weapons such as handguns, shotguns, and firearms. They can perform simple tasks such as disassembling, washing, examining, and reassembling a gun.

Still, they can also perform complex tasks such as metal paint, wood, and metal engraving designs, as well as custom firearms design. The jobs in this field are in a variety of areas, including knowledge and skills.

Gunsmiths need to be familiar with different firearm styles and models so that they can design and add custom parts to guns and change them to improve performance. It requires knowledge of chemistry to work with metals and metal finishing.

Gunsmiths are building, restoring, and customizing weapons such as handguns, shotguns, and firearms. Photo credits to: 

Training To Become A Gunsmith

Gunsmiths may learn their skills in a variety of ways, including apprenticeships, military training, and graduation or certification. In the United States, there are just a few schools offering certificates or associate degree programs in gunsmithing, and completing one of these programs is a highly recommended way to learn this career.

Students in training programs operate under the guidance of professional teachers, taking courses on topics such as the protection of weapons, the security of machine shops, the repair of firearms and storage, and the conversion of firearms.

It takes about two years to complete associate degree programs in gunsmithing at the full-time status. It includes general education work, such as English, mathematics, and science. Schools offering associate degree programs may also offer certificate programs that finish more quickly and do not include courses for general education. Several schools also collaborate with the National Rifle Association to provide short-term or summer programs to provide necessary skills training.

Gunsmith Job Description

  • Fix and adjust weapons to the specifications of the model and customer.
  • Use hand tools and machines like grinders, planers, and millers in their work, and they can revive ancient weapons, turn old rifles into state-of-the-art firearms, or tailor factory-made rifles to customers’ special needs.
  • Most work for manufacturers of firearms or shops of sporting goods. Some of them are self-employed.

The work requires several different skills. You must be capable of handling and using a firearm. You also need to understand the various specifications for assembly, such as fitting the action and barrel into the stock. They must be able to attach optical sights, grips for weapons, and pads for recovery, and they may be needed to install new choking devices. Implementing these modifications requires skill in removing the old finish from the barrel and action.

Where To Apply To Jobs As A Gunsmith

The U.S. working situation is uncertain. Some factors say that gunsmith demand is going to decline. For example, gun manufacturers offer cheaper firearms with more customization options. Nevertheless, other factors suggest that in the coming years, there will be a growing demand.

Statistics from the FBI on applications for background checking show that in recent years gun sales have increased at a high rate. The increase in gun purchases has resulted in increased hiring by gun manufacturers to meet demand, and it can also lead to increased demand for independent gunsmiths.


Gunsmiths need to know how to read blueprints, and some of them also deal with computer-aided design software. Gunsmiths also need to learn how to forge, design, and use devices such as lathes and mills. If you believe a job in this area would be enjoyable for you, take the above steps and get started!

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