How To Become A Gunsmith In 2022

To acquire the title, “Gunsmith,” one must possess the skills needed to construct, maintain, and repair various firearms. If you believe in yourself and have vast knowledge and mechanical expertise in gun safety, you should consider becoming the upcoming gunsmith today. The gunsmithing profession is not a walk in the park. One has to acquire diverse skill sets such as metalworking, woodworking, mechanical aptitude, science, and mathematics. The work of gunsmiths involves building, firearms repair, and customizing handguns, shotguns, and rifles. As a gunsmith, you must know the different models and types of firearms to design, modify, and add customized parts guns to improve their performance. Many gun enthusiasts have made gunsmithing their hobby forgetting that they can earn their living with their skills. Once you become a gunsmith, you will have the chance to serve gun owners from both the sporting and hunting world and also those who pursue criminal justice as a career path. Therefore, if you wonder what it will take for you to become a gunsmith, then read on as this article will explain the basic steps on how to become a gunsmith.

How to become a gunsmith

There are several gunsmith programs that one can enroll in to learn how to become a gunsmith. These programs allow gunsmiths to acquire skills and expertise through various ways such as military training, apprenticeships, or through a course study such as a certificate or a degree program. Some schools in the USA offer gunsmithing associate degrees or certificate programs to those interested in becoming professional gunsmiths.  Associate degree programs offered in these technical colleges can take about two years for a student to complete their course while studying on a full-time basis. Gunsmith diploma covers the general education coursework such as Mathematics, English and Science. Community college and trade school do not only offer associate degree programs but also certificate programs which take a lesser time to complete as they do not include the general coursework. Some accredited schools partner with the National Rifle Association so that they can offer short-term instruction in basic skills. 

As a teenager, you can also start early by taking industrial art courses offered in high schools. These courses train people to develop their mechanical skills, metalworking skills, and woodworking skills. If you finished high school several years back, in that case, you can identify experienced gunsmiths from a local community college who are willing to offer you training and give you a chance to work under their close supervision. These class types will offer you the basic skill set needed to be a professional gunsmith. Once you complete your certificate program or diploma and have gathered some relevant experience, you can obtain the Federal Firearms License (FFL). This kind of license differs from the rest of the firearms licenses. It allows gunsmiths to maintain possession of other people's guns for a period exceeding a day while under repairs. To obtain a Federal Firearms license, you must be above 21 years of age and meet a couple of strict requirements regarding gun safety. Field agents are often dispatched to inspect the new gunsmith facility and conduct a rigorous interview with you before granting the license. You can also apply for the Federal Firearms Licence (FFL) through the National U.S Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

Impact of Gunsmith Apprenticeship on Gun Safety 

Gunsmith Apprenticeship has a significant impact on gun safety as it allows upcoming gunsmiths to fully comprehend firearms conversion, specification, repairs, stock-making, and shop safety. Different types of guns have various features that differ from one another. Therefore, it is the work of experienced instructors to ensure that proper safety procedures are taught to the prospective students. The significant impact of gunsmith apprenticeship on gun safety is training apprentices on firearms safety and safer shooting. Gun safety is very crucial as it eliminates unwanted incidents of injuries arising from mishandling of a firearm. By applying for an apprenticeship status, you become knowledgeable about gun manufacturing and shooting. In-depth firearms comprehension optimizes gun safety by instilling greater confidence in the trainees. Gunsmith apprenticeship also gives you a chance to make a career out of your hobby, this aids in perfecting your gun safety measures and practices. Therefore, if you are passionate about becoming a gunsmith, then handling complex machine tools and firearms will be your constant source of excitement. 

 Learn gunsmithing through a local gunsmith program 

Gunsmithing programs such as technical diplomas, associate degrees, and certificates are available from technical schools and colleges nationwide. To learn gunsmithing through a local gunsmith program, you need to focus on the tooling and mechanical skills, metal finishing, gun blueing and welding skills needed in repairing firearms. Students are taught the differences in design and function between types of firearms, the methods required for diagnosing damaged and non-functioning firearms, and carrying out the necessary repairs. As a gunsmith, you are taught how to craft both the wood and metal components of firearms from scratch. These programs offer fairly universal courses, including machine shop safety, formal education, foundational knowledge on how to build guns, and gun safety. Gunsmith curriculums also cover elements such as triggers, levers, hinges, self loaders, and bolt action. They also train on specific crafting techniques, which include; reverse engineering, soldering, and metallurgy. Other classes teach ballistics and chemistry. There are several accredited schools that you can choose from on the NRA website if you find it hard getting a school in your home area. 

You can also enroll in some online gunsmith programs, which will require you to pass a background check regardless of the educational program you select for you to be admitted. The law dictates that prospective students should not be admitted to any gunsmith program before passing the standard firearms background check. In the USA, convicted felons are strictly prohibited from owning or possessing firearms. Therefore,  schools are obligated to ensure that they admit students who are legally permitted to handle and work on firearms. If a student has a history of domestic violence misdemeanor or any prior restraining orders and convictions, they should automatically be disqualified from taking up the gunsmithing program.  Prospecting students should also have a clean bill of mental health. This means they ought not to have a prior mental incompetency adjudication or been committed to any mental health institution.

 The Gunsmith Career

Currently, the firearms industry in the USA is a very lucrative and profitable affair, mainly in the United States. For this reason, manufacturers are continually aiming to improve the firearm industry by innovating new models and technologies. Therefore, if you choose to take up the gunsmith career, you will learn how to properly maintain your firearms collection by applying your inclination and skills in generating an income. Once you complete a certificate program or a degree program, you will come out as an expert in building and designing firearms, building gunstock with wood, and gun engraving to improve the aesthetic value of clients' firearms. Most gunsmith programs are held at trade schools and colleges, and a small number of these schools train on diagnosing and repairing guns. You can apply for jobs and work for sporting stores or gun manufacturers. Gunsmiths in the USA earn roughly around $14 per hour. This means that it is not such a lucrative career, but many people choose to pursue it because of their passion for guns.

On the other hand, gunsmiths who own personal businesses should consider operating costs such as equipment purchases, rent, taxes, and hiring employees. These factors can significantly affect how much you take home at the end of the day. If you choose to pursue the gunsmith career, it is essential to note that the future job outlook in the USA is a bit uncertain, and thus the demand may decrease. Currently, Gun manufacturers are coming up with cheaper firearms with more customization options.

On the other hand, some factors suggest that there is a future growing demand for experienced gunsmiths. The FBI data generated by the background check applications show that the sales of guns have increased in recent years. The increase in gun sales has resulted in a production increase which has made manufacturers hire more gunsmiths. There are pretty many career prospects for new gunsmiths. They can work under supervision, and as they gain the experience, they can be promoted to higher positions and given greater responsibilities in the business,

Some gunsmiths also specialize in particular types of firearms. Skills such as gun blueing and working with complex machinery often come in handy when opportunities arise. Many gunsmiths tend to obtain permission from school officials or legal guardians when applying for new job opportunities, as their recommendations matter a lot. To find these job opportunities, you can visit conferences, career fairs and network with other gunsmiths. 

Benefits of the Gunsmith license issued by the Federal Firearms License

Gunsmiths who operate as a business must have an (FFL) federal firearms license. As a gunsmith, once you feel ready and prepared to put your gunsmithing knowledge into practice, you can apply for the FFL, where you are required to submit a duly filled application, a copy of your fingerprints, and a fee. The fingerprints will be used to run a background check from the criminal records as an ATF carries out the in-person interview. Gunsmiths often retain possession of their clients' firearms for more than a day. There are several benefits of the gunsmith license issued by the Federal Firearms License board. The main benefit is that they ensure that firearms do not land on any mentally ill persons or on persons with a criminal background as they may pose a danger to the public. The fact that gunsmiths must submit copies of their fingerprints has made it easier for the regulatory body to keep track of all firearm handlers. The other benefit of licensing is that FFL-holders must meet all bookkeeping requirements set by the ATF. When a client leaves their gun with a gunsmith, the gunsmith must record that firearm is in their possession on a “bound book,” which is explicitly kept for these purposes. The Federal Firearms license demands that a gunsmith have a detached building from the working space residence. The work of the field agent is to inspect these premises to confirm if compliance with federal regulations is being upheld. These regulations have stringent requirements which are associated with issuing the license. Some of these requirements include; storage of guns in locked safe, detailed gun descriptions, and transaction records carried out by the gunsmith.

As much as it is not a legal requirement, new gunsmiths can join pre-existing professional gun organizations. A good example is the famous American Custom Gunmakers Guild which offers networking opportunities to its members and a chance to learn from well-established and experienced gunsmiths. The other association is the National Rifle Association, whose focus is mainly on gun-related issues. Therefore, the public is put at ease as they have been educated that prohibited persons cannot handle firearms. Prospective workers must pass the standard background check carried out by the regulatory body, complete a gunsmith training program, and obtain a federal firearms license. 


To be a gunsmith, you need to have a passion for handling guns and gun safety. Educational programs will enable you to learn the basic skills necessary in gunsmithing. Apprenticeship is vital as it perfects the skills you have learned in the classroom and helps you be an all-rounded gunsmith. It is important to note that without a license, you will not be able to follow your career path and thus, being on the good side of the law is critical for a successful career in gunsmithing.

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