True gunsmithing - dying art?

True gunsmithing - dying art?

This is a discussion on True gunsmithing - dying art? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; On most gun boards threads crop up to do with results from bad gunsmith work - ''bodged'' often sums up the consequences. I have come ...

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Thread: True gunsmithing - dying art?

  1. #1
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    True gunsmithing - dying art?

    On most gun boards threads crop up to do with results from bad gunsmith work - ''bodged'' often sums up the consequences.

    I have come to the conclusion that in fact we have Gunsmiths and also Gunmechanics. The true gunsmith - certainly in old days - was the guy who could make about any part - in fact build an entire gun from scratch if so desired.

    The Gunmechanic OTOH - often really just wields wrench and hammer and is not genuinely able to do all that folks need. That sometimes means he tries too hard and fails - with bad results.

    This is not to do down good mechanics - but my general impression is that ''old school'' true smiths are slowly dying off and not being replaced. Agree? Disagree?
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    I'd agree. I can't find a smith around here that's interested in my business.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array AirForceShooter's Avatar
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    I agree completely.

    AFS
    Gun control is hitting what you aim at

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Your absoultly right one there there a few i would let put sights on but nothing else

    Then trying to find someone to do something at all is another or do it they way you want it not the way they want it

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    My problem is any gunsmithing services I might look for would realistically be for my revolvers or for a long gun. I'll just send them to the Performance Center sometime I guess. Basically if it's not a 1911, a Class 3 firearm, or a Glock, you can forget it around here.

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array RSSZ's Avatar
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    There's a mechanic. There's a millwright. There's a mechanical engineer. There's all kinds of PHD's.Then there's a gunsmith. They are a dieing breed. They know the mechanics of guns. They don't have to have any real formal education. Sometimes a trade school. Expierence is their tool of the trade.I've had work done by allot of shops but have only known of 3 gunsmiths. I had some shotgun work done when in Maine. Cast off,legnth of pull reduced,forceing cones relieved,bbls chopped,and regulated(Ruger Red Labels)These guys were great. They specialized in high end shotguns. Mine were the cheapest that they had ever probably worked on. A true gunsmith is ALWAYS worth the money IMO. --------

  7. #7
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    Post Copy Of Page From Very Old Trades Book

    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    I always thought a Gunsmith was formally trained as a machinist and then had to apprentice to learn the rest of the trade.

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    I'd say you were correct Euc - metal work, machining etc - are pre-requisites I'd say on the road to being a true gunsmith, many skills tho have to be aquired which probably go above and beyond those basic traits - such as almost jeweller's fine filing and honing. Hehe - even some math skills too

    I would always expect the old traditional gunsmith to have been the guy with the solid base as you mention but who then worked for years with a master craftsman gunsmith, learning the trade the hard way. Experience needs learned usually thru doing, not just reading.

    QK - fascinating excerpt there.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  10. #10
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    Considering the completely botched "gunsmithing" jobs I've seen, I agree there's a lack of good smiths around.

    Anybody catch the commercial on TV where you can get your degree in Gunsmithing by ordering the appropriate how-to's through the commercial?

    The XS Sight installation on my USPc was botched by a smith who said he didn't have right tool to install them. Well, he shouldn't have installed them, considering he ended up slightly mushing the front sight to where it's a big white oval instead of a circle.

    Engraving firearms takes some incredible skill, too.
    "Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    A lot of it's simple money. Who wants to go into a field where people are going to whine about $20 more often than not and there is no way to do things to their satisfaction?

    I know of one acceptable one locally. He's nearly 80. I don't trust him on anything post-1965, however. Like the old school gun shop, the gunsmith is generally dying off.

    I'd thought about pursuing some formal training, but realized that there was no market for it. I'll stick with being a better than average gun mechanic with some fabrication skills.

    There just aren't enough guns that *need* the work any more to support a full-time smith in most areas - or enough $$$ to be made when there is.

    The *only* time I've made substantial enough money to consider it is on insurance-company-funded restorations, and those I've gotten quite good at.
    Driver carries less than $45 worth of remorse.

  12. #12
    Member Array Chad's Avatar
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    **heavy sigh**(there should be a smilie for that)

    I am currently trying to determine...with much help from some good folks on another forum...if one of my Colt Delta Elites has been seriously impaired by a gunsmith.

    Makes me wanna cry.....

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Ohh no what happend to teh Delta elite

  14. #14
    Member Array Chad's Avatar
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    Looks like the ramp was cut too much.
    Went from a misfeed every 2-3 mags to 2-3 misfeeds per mag.

    This delta was my first 10mm...I'm not a happy camper.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Frame part of the feed ramp or the barrel ?

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