Best guns to learn 'smithing?


August 3, 2006, 05:28 PM
I'm interested in eventually doing some of my own custom work (not as a business, not for profit--for personal use only), and was wondering what guns are the best to learn on. I'd not be doing any engraving or gold work, but would like to learn how to properly refinish, replace bad springs, etc.

Any ideas?


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August 3, 2006, 06:12 PM
I'm not gunsmith, but I'd suggest learning skills on firearms that are easily replaced and have an abundance of aftermarket replacement parts.

In terms of price, Mosin Nagants come to mind. You can find a beater for $60 and have some fun with it, and not burn a hole in your wallet at the same time.

August 3, 2006, 07:10 PM
The 1911.

August 3, 2006, 08:19 PM
1911 and Beretta 92.

August 3, 2006, 08:31 PM
Suggest you stay away from the tupperware since they cannot be fixed [ooh- boy, am I gonna catch it for that one :D ] anyway, that's what real gunsmith advised when I was considering one. Good discussion area though...

August 3, 2006, 08:39 PM
1911 and S&W revolvers.

August 4, 2006, 09:19 AM
1911 pistols, Mauser 98 action rifles, Smith and Wesson handguns, get your Glock Armorers Certificate.
These are a great place to start,,,,,

Oh, you want to do the work and make some real money too??

Learn to repair foreign handguns, CZs, Tangfolios, Bersa handguns, etc. and buy the equiptment to allow you to repair any and all versions of the semi automatic AKs and SKS rifles.
Learn to build and accurize M1 Garands and M14 type rifles.
Learn to build and accurize AR rifles.
Learn to repair foreign and domestic over under and side by side shotguns and learn to properly refinish the wood and metal on these.

This is the real need to know repair stuff that makes my bread and butter money.
Oh, If you can master the art of refinishing a Model 94 Winchester and making it "look right" the first time then you will have become a master.

August 4, 2006, 10:12 AM
10 years ago I started going to pawn shops and offering 50% of sticker price for any used .22 rifle that was broken. I would ask to come behind the counter and look at all the guns. I would inspect the rifle and list all the problems when I made my offer. They always sold it without asking the boss. Some pawn shops will not play ball, and only give 10% off to dickering no matter what is wroing.

Anyway, I would take the 22 appart and order used parts from

Those people were a pain 30 years ago, but they have got some nice people there now.

Then I would fix the 22 and sell it on consignment at another pawn shop that would sell for 15%.

I kept the Ruger 10/22 that I got for $35.
You may come to like some practice pieces too.

Now I buy 98 Mausers and sporterize them.
I do all the machining, but I am still having the welding done for me.

At gun shows, I buy Mausers that were sporterized, but something went wrong. Ususally, the sights or scope won't line up. Easy fix.

August 4, 2006, 03:21 PM
and pick up a few beaters and work on them......chris3

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