Gunsmithing requires hands-on technical skills, good manual dexterity and attention to detail. Professionals and hobbyists in this field can work with pistols, shotguns and rifles. If you want to learn more about repairing firearms, read on.
Inside Gunsmith Careers
The gunsmithing trade is concerned with maintaining, repairing and cleaning firearms. Professional gunsmiths also restore old firearms. In the field, a gunsmith usually works as a professional or a shooting enthusiast performing a variety of tasks. For example, some gunsmiths might alter the barrel of a firearm to improve accuracy or repair a malfunction. A gunsmith might also make custom alterations to a firearm, such as porting, chambering or scope installation.
An aspiring gunsmith can choose from a wide range of educational and career routes. Many options are specialized to a specific type or brand of firearm. Education-Portal.com offers free resources to help you find the right gunsmithing program.
Educational programs in this field are stand-alone courses, certificates, diplomas or associate's degrees. Gunsmith programs are available in person and through distance learning. Both types of programs require hands-on work, and distance learning programs provide either the required materials or a parts list. Required tools and materials might include a bench grinder, polishing equipment, a drill press, a heat treatment furnace, pin punches, hand saws, reloading equipment and a ball peen hammer.
Once they've enrolled in a program, students learn how to customize firearms, use machine tools and refurbish firearms. Other coursework might cover malfunctioning firearms and preventative maintenance, as well as how to create new parts for a firearm.
Check out the following articles to get additional information on formal education options in gunsmithing.
Distance Learning Options
Students can learn how to work as a gunsmith through distance learning courses and programs. However, hands-on work needs to be completed at home using tools and materials provided by the school or purchased by the student.
Gunsmiths may perform specialized work depending on their training and experience in the field. For example, some work as repair technicians or firearms inspectors. Others specialize in certain types of firearm modifications.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not collect employment or wage data specifically for gunsmiths. However, as of March 2014, Payscale.com reports that the median wage for those in this occupation was $14.00 per hour. Annual incomes ranged from $21,090 to $54,611.
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