Have you ever considered a career as a gunsmith?
Becoming a gunsmith presents an exciting opportunity to work with a variety of firearms in different ways.
During your work, you could design, customize, repair, and create various gun types.
Gunsmithing careers can prove to be a fascinating and rewarding trade.
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Like with any career path, there are pros and cons to entering the field.
Therefore, before you sign up to become a gunsmith, it is critical to understand what the profession involves.
Keep reading to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a gunsmith!
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Pros of Being a Gunsmith
- 2 Cons of Being a Gunsmith
- 3 Pros and Cons of Being a Gunsmith – Summary Table
- 4 Should You Become a Gunsmith?
Pros of Being a Gunsmith
The pros of being a gunsmith include:
One: Become a Safer Shooter
One of the greatest benefits of gunsmithing is you become more knowledgeable about gun manufacturing and shooting, which can lower the likelihood of accidents.
Generally, gunsmiths have fewer mishaps when handling firearms because they know the inner workers of the product.
Also, detailed comprehension of firearms creates greater confidence in handling, thus improving your safety and the safety of those around you.
Two: Be Part of a Historic Trade
Firearm creation is a long-running tradition around the world.
Historically, the repairing and manufacturing of firearms have always been accomplished by gunsmiths who have spent hundreds of hours dedicated to producing the highest-quality firearms that consistently deliver unmatched results.
As technology has progressed, the production of firearms has also improved.
Regardless, when you become a gunsmith, you are entering into a historic fraternity that is bigger and older than you.
The innovative spirit has been the foundation of gunsmithing for hundreds of years and that is what the fraternity is about.
Three: Excellent Flexibility
If you did not want to give up your day job but still strive to become a gunsmith, this is a career that can be accomplished part-time.
It is never easy to walk away from a job you may also love and have generated income for years, so gunsmithing allows you to create a home-based workshop, work part-time at a large gunsmithing operation, or for an important manufacturer.
This career path allows you to benefit from flexibility, so you can make money from your hobby on a part-time or full-time basis.
Four: Rewarding Occupation
Being a gunsmith is a rewarding activity, whether as a hobbyist or professional.
As a professional, you will have access to countless hand-operated equipment and tools that help build guns.
You can further expand your knowledge and skills of different software types to help design parts of firearms.
Learning to use this variety of tools and equipment is a hands-on skill that can be put to effective use.
In addition to learning new skills, gunsmiths can earn a lot of money.
Although the median U.S. pay is just under $32,000 per year, New York gunsmiths can earn up to $85,000 while Montana, Pennsylvania, and Texas gunsmiths have annual salaries ranging from $60,000 to $80,000 per year.
Five: Work with Many Weapon Types
One of the most engaging aspects of becoming a gunsmith is the opportunity to work with firearms.
If you are an individual who is enthusiastic about weapons, then this is the best profession to meet your needs.
By choosing this career path, you have an opportunity to build weapons while working with a variety of models either through construction or a modification of their design.
For example, you may have the chance to improve the ergonomics in the foregrip, which makes for a safer and more comfortable shot.
Six: You Will Understand Firearms
According to existing gunsmiths, one of the best aspects of their careers is to truly comprehend every specification of each weapon.
Since there is a countless number of firearm types on the market, each with distinctive features, becoming a gunsmith provides insight into the best designs, how they operate, safety features, ergonomics, and the details of every part that works together to produce a whole unit.
While most gun owners know what to do in emergencies, when they stop working and have other issues, the experience gained as a gunsmith helps understand the root cause of the smallest nuances and how to fix problematic parts.
Seven: Your Hobby Could Become a Career
Every individual dreams of transforming their hobbies into careers.
Remember, you may love your hobby, but do not get paid to do it.
As a gunsmith, you get paid to do what you love and be around the firearms you enjoy.
Therefore, if you are enthusiastic about funs, becoming a gunsmith delivers an endless source of excitement and entertainment.
Currently, the firearm industry is profitable and lucrative in the United States.
As a result, manufacturers are regularly targeting innovation within the industry by developing new models and technologies to improve comfort, accuracy, speed, and precision.
Cons of Being a Gunsmith
While there are many advantages to becoming a gunsmith, there are also several disadvantages for which you should be aware, including:
One: Age Requirement
Since the role of a gunsmith requires the handling of risky weapons, decision-making, and the operation of dangerous machinery types, you must meet be a certain age to enter the field.
This age varies based on the state in which you live but is a minimum of 18 or older.
Two: Dangerous Customers
Although most customers looking to purchase or have firearms repaired are upstanding and responsible citizens, guns tend to attract more unsavory individuals than in other hands-on-skilled fields.
Therefore, you may be creating or repairing firearms that could be misused in society.
The greatest risk of firearm use is the person who is utilizing the weapon and not the weapon itself.
Nevertheless, you must be aware that not all the guns you create, or repair are being used for defense or casual shooting at the range.
Three: Dealing with Difficult Customers
Those who need repairs or want a customized gun typically have little patience since they do not understand the field.
It is common for an inexperienced deer hunter to bring in their gun for repair a few days before the season starts and expect it to be ready quickly.
When they realize the gun will not be ready for opening day, it can become difficult.
Due to the number of components inside a firearm, the process can take a lengthy amount of time depending on the issue.
Four: Exposure to Firearms Residue
One of the greatest downsides of this profession is continuous firearm residue exposure.
Over prolonged periods, this residue can be highly toxic and harmful to your health.
If you are repairing a gun that has been used a lot, there is a high probability you will encounter lead dust, which is a hazardous material.
Also, this exposure can put your family at risk, especially when you spend time with them after work.
Five: Risk of Equipment-Related Injuries
Building and repairing weapons requires specialized machinery that you must learn how to use to be successful.
These industrial machines must always be used according to the instruction and operating procedures to avoid injury.
Grinders and milling machines are the two pieces of equipment with the greatest risk.
Therefore, before using either, you must thoroughly know the use and operation to avoid injuries.
Six: Risk of Weapon-Related Injuries
Although gunsmiths are generally safer when handling weapons because of their in-depth knowledge, they are not immune to accidents.
Whether you are repairing or making a gun, you never know when the firearm will accidentally discharge causing bodily harm to you or a coworker near you.
This is a major risk that you need to be aware of and follow all proper precautions when building or repairing weapons.
This risk is much higher when gunsmithing at home where standard operating procedures are at a minimum, compared to a large gun manufacturer.
Seven: Slow Pay Increases
Although the gunsmithing field can be incredibly financially lucrative, it takes time and countless hours to build your reputation.
Many gunsmiths choose to be self-employed, which makes for much slower salary advancement.
Self-employment offers a lengthy list of advantages and disadvantages but is not the ideal option for everyone.
Luckily, many career options exist in the industry that do not require you to run a business.
Pros and Cons of Being a Gunsmith – Summary Table
|Pros of Being a Gunsmith||Cons of Being a Gunsmith|
|Become a Safer Shooter||Age Requirement|
|Be Part of a Historic Trade||Dangerous Customers|
|Excellent Flexibility||Dealing with Difficult Customers|
|Rewarding Occupation||Exposure to Firearms Residue|
|Work with Many Weapon Types||Risk of Equipment-Related Injuries|
|You Will Understand Firearms||Risk of Weapon-Related Injuries|
|Your Hobby Could Become a Career||Slow Pay Increases|
Should You Become a Gunsmith?
Becoming a gunsmith offers a variety of advantages and disadvantages that you must consider before entering the field.
Gunsmithing allows you to combine a weekend hobby with a highly rewarding profession that can be lucrative depending on your reputation.
However, if you have mechanical skills and enjoy the various aspects of machining, such as groove cutting, spring forming, hacksawing, and soldering then this could be an excellent opportunity.
Also, if you have excellent hand-eye coordination and steady hands, problem-assessment and -solving skills, excellent math skills, and can communicate effectively with the public, then gunsmithing might be the right vocation to meet your needs.
If you have any of these skills and want to get into the gunsmithing field, then research the requirements for your state and how to get started in this rewarding field!
The best place to start?
A gunsmithing online training program, getting certified should be one of your first steps to take.
Read the full guide: How to Become a Gunsmith