How do I get into gunsmithing?


February 28, 2003, 10:31 AM
I would like to be able to work on my own guns, and a few friends of mine would also like for me to work on theirs. Where can I get the training needed to do minor work?

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February 28, 2003, 12:41 PM
depending on the level of smithing you are looking for, you can go to the bookstore (even library) and pick up a firearms manual.
you can surf the net for particular repairs that you are looking for.
there are videos and more books from Brownell's and finally, you could enroll in one of the gunsmithing schools.

DT Guy
February 28, 2003, 03:33 PM
You know how to make a small fortune in gunsmithing?

Start with a large one.

Seriously, it takes a great deal of work to be a successful gunsmith, although people like Novak, Laughridge and Smith show that it's possible.

Do it because you love it, and can't imagine doing anything else, and don't expect to get rich.

(Sorry to be grim....)


February 28, 2003, 09:00 PM
It's really just because I want to do it.

March 1, 2003, 01:27 AM
First, decide on the limited models of guns you want to work on:
1911 or M98s or Rem870s or ARs or what... Pick one.

Second, make, modify, buy borrow or steal the necessary tools to work on the specific model. It is critical to have the proper jigs and tooling to work on the gun without hacking on it and annoying your potential clients.

Third, gather all the info you can on the model, parts diagrams, pics, books... I would seriously consider the AGI Gunsmith video on they specific model you choose... I understand some are pretty good...

Once you have mastered and memorized a specific model, then branch out.

March 1, 2003, 07:11 PM
I've already done that. I want to work on the CZ-75 and the Mossberg 500.

AGI, eh? Are they any good?

Revolver Armorer
March 8, 2003, 08:29 PM
You never stop learning how to repair any given class of small arms. This takes appropriate technical data, shop classes, on hands training, cut-a-way firearms (let's you see how a guns mechanism works). Gunsmithing schools are an excellant baseline for learning small arms repair. If you are in law enforcement you can attend a few factory classes that will basically show you how to keep guns up and running. It all depends what you are attempting to learn and how much time you are willing to invest. I have found that the very best gunsmiths are machinists and can heat treat steel. This is a real gunsmith. They have manufacturing capabilities and know just how to build parts, major components and even a complete firearm (must be licensed by the government to do so). Just the same, you can invest in short term NRA Gunsmithing schools from what I am told. That is a start, but being a hobby oriented person or a real Gunsmith are two different things. :)
That is not to say that a hobby Gunsmith cannot turn out good work.

March 10, 2003, 10:53 AM
Gunsmithing is like playing the piano, you are never done learning, and there is no certain spot when you say you know how to do it.

I started out buying broken 22's at pawn shops [by offerring half sticker price] and getting the spare parts from Numerich.
Then I would sell the fixed 22's at a little guns shop on consignment.

I didn't make any money, but I was fixing guns. Typically I would pay $30 for the 22, and spend $15 on parts and shipping. If I sold the 22 for $45 after seller's fee, I was breaking even.

I also buy allot of guns at the gunshow, just to take them appart, clean the parts, reassemble, shoot it once, and then I am done with it. I ususlly buy the cheapest gun at the gunshow. I got a Mauser for $12.50 at the last gunshow. I really love taking Mausers apart.

May 27, 2010, 03:38 AM
I was wondering if anyone here had any experience with the AGI courses my self. They look pretty good, but it is not the cheapest around for sure. The level 1 courses are $197 a month. There are a total of 5 videos on the 1911. An armorers, a 3 disc set for 1911's basics and mods, and a trouble shooting video. I would like to try them out but not sure if they are worth the investment. If anyone has some of the AGI stuff or has seen it before please do tell. :)


May 27, 2010, 08:41 AM
I have watched several of the AGI videos and the one fella (older heavyset) on there seemed a little heavy handed and rough with what he was doing...

Taurus 617 CCW
May 27, 2010, 08:48 AM
The AGI courses are decent and informative. They can be dry at times but they do have the necessary information to work on the gun. A word about working on Mossberg 500's, the AGI video covers tools that Mossberg sells to their armorers, you my want to look into them. They will help with the trigger housing mechanism disassembly. I also suggest taking pictures of the entire trigger/hammer disassembly process as you go. You will not regret doing it, trust me!

For formal training, you have a gunsmithing school located near you in Pennsylvania that you may want to look into.

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