Being a Gunsmith – Pros and Cons of this Popular Profession

Special Guest Author – Jay Chambers

Nothing in this article should be construed as providing any form of legal advice.

In order to make guns, gunsmiths are necessary. Gunsmiths are people who either build guns by themselves or modify and repair them. It’s a must, considering the number of people who own guns. This job requires dedication, attention to all details, and precision, as well as ability to use machinery.

But just like with all jobs, being a gunsmith comes with its own pros and cons. So, before you sign yourself up for this, it’s essential to know what the profession involves. Therefore, this article will explore some of the advantages and disadvantages of this job. Let’s get started!

Pros

  1. You Can Earn a Lot

You work with guns, and this can be a dangerous thing. Accidents are possible at any given time. Having that in mind, you should be paid a lot to compensate for it. While the pay isn’t the best at first, the annual pay can increase over time.

Nationally, a gunsmith is paid around $31,910 each year. It’s less than many other professions, but the good thing is that the amount can increase over the years. In order to earn more, you need to practice as much as you can. For a few years, you must work as an apprentice in a machine shop, or with someone who manufactures firearms.

Gunsmiths in the U.S. can earn more than the national median pay, depending on where they live. For example, a New York gunsmith can win $85,000, while states such as Texas, Pennsylvania, and Montana offer annual salaries between $61,000 and $79,000.

  1. You Don’t Need to Go to University

The cool thing about becoming a gunsmith is that you don’t have to attend college in order to practice this profession. The minimum education requirement is a high school diploma – this means that you can start working earlier, without spending 3-4 years on college education.

Of course, you can also enroll yourself in gunsmith school and gain more knowledge and skills to help you in the future profession. But overall, the job is more accessible as it doesn’t require a college diploma.

  1. You’ll Work with a Lot of Weapons

Surely the most engaging part of this profession is the engagement with firearms. If you’re someone who’s very passionate about weapons, then this profession will fit you. For one thing, you will have the chance to build them. At the same time, you will work with a lot of models as you will have to either repair them or change their design.

For instance, for some of them, you may have to add better ergonomics, such as a good foregrip. An example of such a foregrip is the Bravo Company KeyMod Gunfighter KAG Angled Grip. It has a stop to let you pull your rifle into your shoulder. It’s short, angled, and doesn’t take a lot of space on the handguard. Taking these advantages into consideration, it’s obvious why one would want improvements when it comes to ergonomics.

  1. Self-Expression

Another great benefit when it comes to being a gunsmith is that you’re able to express yourself. If you’re someone with artistic talent, then you may be able to express yourself by designing guns, which will bring you some good cash.

You’ll pretty much be able to show your creativity by conveying your own vision about guns. It can be really fun, and you have the chance to create something unique.

  1. You Can Improve People’s Safety

Before you’ll be able to operate as a gunsmith, you’ll be trained in how to instruct people when it comes to using firearms – thus, you can increase their safety. This way, you will contribute to a safer world, since you’ll be the one telling them what to do and what not to do to keep themselves and their family safe. There’s a feeling of satisfaction coming from doing what’s right.

Cons

  1. Being Exposed to Firearms Residue

One of the downsides of having this profession is firearm residue exposure. Basically, the residue can be harmful to your health. If the gun you’re repairing was used a lot, the risk of coming in contact with lead dust increases. So, it can be a potential hazard for you.

Not to mention that exposure to residue may put your family members at risk too, especially if you spend time with them after work. If you have children, for example, you may put them at great risk too.

  1. Risk of Injuries from Machinery

Gunsmithing doesn’t require you to operate using your hands. To build and repair weapons, you will need certain machinery. But to be able to work with this machinery, you need to learn how to use it. These machines are not toys and using them improperly may lead to serious injury.

Machinery such as milling machines and grinders are some of the ones with potential injury risk, so before using them, you need to be instructed on how to do so. Not to mention that you have to carefully follow every rule that comes with operating these machines.

  1. Risk of Injuries from Weapons

Another great risk comes from dealing with the actual weapons. Whether you’re making or repairing a gun, you never know when you will accidentally fire it and cause bodily harm, either to you or someone near you. It’s a great risk that you need to be aware of and avoid as much as you can.

This can be avoided if you make sure the weapon isn’t loaded while operating it. Otherwise, you risk injuring yourself or someone else.

Final Thoughts

It’s always important to know the pros and cons of something before embarking on a journey. Being a gunsmith has its own share of advantages, but there are also some drawbacks that you should be aware of prior to getting the job. Hopefully, this article was able to give you an insight into being a gunsmith.


Jay is a pro free speech business owner based in Austin, Texas. Having lived through several natural disasters and more than a few man-made ones (hello 2008), he believes that resilience and self-sufficiency are essential in this increasingly unpredictable world. That’s why he started a business! Jay writes over at Minuteman Review.

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