gunsmithing practice surfaces?


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eastwood44mag
June 14, 2007, 11:36 PM
Looking to get into gunsmithing, but don't want to invest a lot of money if it doesn't work out. So, I'm looking for some CHEAP practice materials.

Does gun steel behave differently than more common steel (i.e. can I practice finish work on scrap steel, or do I have to get scrap guns to work on?)? What's the best way to start learning on one's own (I DO plan on taking classes to earn a certificate, but I have free time now, and no schools nearby)?

Any other advice?

Thanks.

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Taurus 617 CCW
June 14, 2007, 11:59 PM
All steels are classified by grade. The stuff we use at school for standard practice work is 1018 CD (cold rolled steel). It's soft enough to work with but hard enough to make some parts out of. I would recommend buying a machinist's handbook before you get started. They discuss the different types of steels in it and may be of great help to you.

eastwood44mag
June 15, 2007, 02:04 PM
I figured I'd grab a shot-out K98 barrel for less than $10 and try my hand on it.

Sunray
June 15, 2007, 02:17 PM
"...Looking to get into gunsmithing..." There's very little money in it. However as a hobby, on the cheap, go buy beat up bubba'd milsurps and play with them.
Forget the machining until you can take some machining courses. It's not something you can learn from a book or video. Look in your local Community College course calendar for a beginner's machining course.
Buy books and more books on firearms in general and gunsmithing in particular. Start with Hatcher's Notebook. If you don't like to read, find another hobby. Most smithy's spend a great deal of time with their nose in a book.

jpcampbell
June 15, 2007, 10:40 PM
Sunray is right on about books, I have books from the 40's to today. He is also right about the machine courses.
I have made a very good living as a gunsmith for many years, it just takes 16 hours a day 6 days a week to do it. Learn to diagnose different types of gun problems before you learn machining. A lot of repair work can be done with hand tools Screwdrivers, files, stones, rubber mallets, a good vise etc... Buy good quality tools Brownell's has several good kits for gunsmithing. Try to find a gunsmith to learn from. Take some business classes no matter how good a gunsmith you are you can lose it all if you don't have good business practices.
Good luck it is a great trade and for me I never dreaded going to work.

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