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Thread: What is gunsmithing

  1. #61
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    2,557
    Very interesting thread; I've enjoyed the read. I worked for a gunsmith many years ago, as a part time beginning machinist. I found a good job in industry and never looked back. I don't say that to disparage you self employed gunsmiths. Quite the opposite- I have a lot of respect for what you guys do. It's a lot of work and long hours. I've heard the specialization theme many times over the years. The guy I used to work for specialized long ago, and last I heard was doing very well.

    I suspect that one of the reasons the average customer is so cheap is that modern mass-produced guns are so cheap. You can often buy a brand new bolt action rifle, with scope, for under $300. It's going to be a cheap, mass produced thing, but many of them shoot pretty well. You can often find a very usable plastic-wonder pistol for around the same money. $300 is roughly a day's wages for a lot of working guys. It's really not that much money. The self-employed guy has to bring in more than I do, just because of all the overhead, and the fact that you never get paid for anywhere near all the hours you actually work.

    So what this means is Joe Sixpack brings his huntin' gun to be fixed up, expects you to spend hours working on it along with all the other time inherent to any project, but doesn't want to pay much because after all, he could just buy a new one for $300. There's just no value in putting much time into a cheap gun.

    I can do most things for myself, that don't require actual machine work. I can make a lot of small parts and sure understand what was said about the value of knowing how to use a file. One of these days I'd really like to get a small lathe, but just for my own stuff as a hobby. I've done a lot of projects for friends over the years, enough that I've got a reputation among them as the go-to guy. I've been referred to as a "gunsmith" on occasion and I quickly correct that. I am NOT a gunsmith, any more than the kid down the street who is always tinkering with his car is a certified mechanic. I only take on projects for good friends, and I always refuse payment. I'm an amateur, and it's a favor for a friend, nothing more.

    One friend of mine is always saying I need to get into it as a business, because everything I've done for him has turned out so nice. I tell him every time that the problem is for one thing, I don't have the skills to be a real gunsmith. For another, I couldn't afford it. For a third, the reason his projects turn out nice is because I can take the time, in my spare time, to spend 20 hours on something for him. If he paid a gunsmith to do that the cost would be astronomical. No, while I certainly respect what you guys do, it's not for me.

  2. #62
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Puyallup, Washington
    Posts
    2,066
    A fellow gunsmith commented a while back on how to make a million buck as a gunsmith, start with five million.

  3. #63
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    1,274
    Quote Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post
    A fellow gunsmith commented a while back on how to make a million buck as a gunsmith, start with five million.
    just like bein a farmer (downunder anyways)

  4. #64
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    8,026
    Quote Originally Posted by indian joe View Post
    just like bein a farmer (downunder anyways)
    A local farmer won 2 million in the lottery. When asked what he'd do with all that money he said he'd keep farming till it was gone in a couple of years........

  5. #65
    Boolit Master


    HangFireW8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Central Maryland
    Posts
    2,516
    I see the OP is off to band camp.
    I give loading advice based on my actual results in factory rifles with standard chambers, twist rates and basic accurizing.
    My goals for using cast boolits are lots of good, cheap, and reasonably accurate shooting, while avoiding overly tedious loading processes.
    The BHN Deformation Formula, and why I don't use it.
    How to find and fix sizing die eccentricity problems.
    Do you trust your casting thermometer?
    A few musings.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check