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Thread: Careers in the Firearms and Reloading Industries

  1. #41
    Boolit Master am44mag's Avatar
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    Be very careful about choosing to turn a hobby into a career. It does not take much to turn something you love into a job that you want nothing to do with when you get home. I woodwork as a hobby and have been doing so for about a decade and a half. It didn't take too long to learn that building what someone else wants is nowhere near as fun as doing your own thing. In fact, it sucked the fun out of the hobby to a large degree. I'm much pickier about what I do now, and I enjoy my hobby more too.

    When I was first going to college, my plan was to get a degree in Mechanical Engineering and go into exactly what you want to do. There was a lot of reasons why I ultimately chose a different path, but not wanting to ruin my passion for firearms was one of them.

    I would keep firearms a hobby, and just go into a career that pays well enough for me to thoroughly enjoy that hobby.

    If you really want to get into firearms, maybe try being a gun writer on the side. As far as the firearm industry goes, that's probably one of the easier and more flexible careers to get into. Especially since many places are online only now. Don't try to do it as a job, at least not at first. Just write a few things, see if you can get someone to buy and publish them on their site. There no risk other than a bit of your time and effort. Who knows, you might get good enough that you become one of those writers who gets to travel around the country, go to SHOT shows, and shoot cool guns for a living.
    ______________________________________________
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  2. #42
    Boolit Master
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    . . . the best way to stop enjoying your hobby is to make it your life work.
    . . . Amen!

    I had the same fire for a shooting related career for some years, but was dissuaded by talking to the people in the industry, who were perennially trying to find better ways to make ends meet without much success and the gun store employees who were commonly looking for a job that pays a decent wage on the side. One manufacturing fellow I talked to said there's a great deal of turnover in the industry, but most get a job with a competing company because there are a limited number of seats in an inherently limited industry which is always trying hard to expand market share. An idea I had was to work a career that pays decently and develop my hobby-related ideas on my own.

  3. #43
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    Soon after I retired one of my VA Tech cadet company classmates who went on to command an infantry battalion was telling me how hard it had gotten since Obama's administration because most of the true war fighters were purged and most O6 and above who were left were mostly "blow dried, fake tanned, liars." He went on to say how hard it is to compete against liars

    Daughter is still in from before Obama. She can attest to the truth in this. The Officer Corp about O4 and Senior NCO's have learned how to play the political game to get ahead. Obama did a real number on the institutional memory of our military and it may take decades to recover if ever.
    I am become death. The destroyer of worlds

    We all do our duty when there is not cost to it, honor comes easier then. Sooner or later there comes a day in every man's life when it is not so easy, a day when he must choose and live with it for the rest of his days.

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    George Orwell

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  4. #44
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonp View Post
    Soon after I retired one of my VA Tech cadet company classmates who went on to command an infantry battalion was telling me how hard it had gotten since Obama's administration because most of the true war fighters were purged and most O6 and above who were left were mostly "blow dried, fake tanned, liars." He went on to say how hard it is to compete against liars

    Daughter is still in from before Obama. She can attest to the truth in this. The Officer Corp about O4 and Senior NCO's have learned how to play the political game to get ahead. Obama did a real number on the institutional memory of our military and it may take decades to recover if ever.
    Thanks for the independent validation. Our men will fight with heroism and honor, as they always do. That alone does not yield victory. Life in combat arms business doesn't require a refined persona, but blunt honesty and the iron will to do what is required even when that involves grave personal consequences when going against conventional wisdom. Veterans understand this. Most of America doesn't. This situation is made worse by things like the Department of Homeland Security branding veterans as a domestic threat because they have militarily useful skills and may not support the direction of the current administration. That declaration is more insidious than people might think, because it is motivated by a desire by the left to control those veterans who still take seriously their oath to defend the Constitution. It also drives much of what we've seen in terms of personnel drawdown and the evolving current politics. Just look at the small percentage of General Officers cashiered in 18 years of war without victory and you have the answer...Especially when compared to the numbers during WWII where commanders were relieved regularly, and without prejudice.
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  5. #45
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    I worked for three gun companies. Don't expect to make much money.
    There aren't many true custom shops anymore, as the younger generation seem enamoured with black guns now. Learning to actually build guns takes a long time. I've been at it for 40 years, and learn something new every time I talk to other builders.
    One thing that happened was, when I was working for others, my shooting time really dropped, except for one company where we test fired every rifle out the doors. Those jobs are rare.
    Setting up for doing the business yourself is quite expensive. I usually jobbed out machining processes, and checkering once my eyes went bad and arthritis set in.
    You don't learn to build a $15-20,000 rifle overnight. I'm not familiar with the powder development end of the business, but as others have said, such jobs would be as rare as hen's teeth. Good luck in your endeavors, but have a fall back plan.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  6. #46
    Boolit Buddy
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    Continue with your engineering degree, study electrical , mechanical, automation. Next start shooting competitions and meeting people in the industry.
    NRA High Master XTC
    DR# 2125

  7. #47
    Boolit Master


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    I have no idea what the demand is, but there aren't too many companies producing swaging equipment.

    Lots of guys have their own internet gun channels on Youtube or blogs: Mr. Gunsgear, Hickok45, Gunblast, to name a few.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cole440 View Post
    Hey, just figured I would chime in as I am also 19 and looking for internships and such. I am a political science major focusing on American Politics and Public Law so we are going different directions, but just remember, it will all work out! Best of luck to you friend! Hopefully some day when I purchase a new firearm it will have your stamp of approval!
    Cole
    Quote Originally Posted by dangitgriff View Post
    About that degree..?
    Burn it or bury it and start over at Mises University in Auburn, Alabama learning Austrian Economics. After America goes bankrupt we will need a few sound monetary advocates to rebuild the banking and financial sectors.
    ďThe whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.Ē ~ H.L. Mencken
    Ashamed to see this 2nd quote. It's attitudes like this that mean we will never be able to change anything politically in this country.

    1st, telling someone to burn their hard work is just rude.

    2nd, if we don't have young people go into American Politics and/or Public law, how is anything ever going to change? Complaining about it on an internet forum isn't going to do it. This young person has far more opportunity to make changes than us on this forum with our keyboards and internet connections.

    Don't discourage young people, encourage them, teach them values, let them loose in the system with those values... repeat this process until you have the change. I have two children that I have molded into sensible young people with the values and ideas that I want to see in our future generations and government. Do this with your children and grandchildren.... or just go back to complaining on the interwebs...

  9. #49
    Boolit Grand Master

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    CandyCoatedBoolits,

    I would encourage you to continue your Engineering degree. You might be able to turn an engineering background into a decent paying job in the firearms industry but its not very likely. I think you are on the right track sending inquirys out to the powder manufactures, the bullet companies, maybe even to the firearms manufactures.

    We have a Remington plant in our area and its known as one of the better paying jobs. A decent wage and some benefits. There are production jobs, maintenance jobs, ect. Apparently the employees are discouraged from talking very much. As a reloader, I have tried to engage a few of them in conversation, mostly unsuccessfully. I'm pretty sure that they make their own brass and bullets but I'm unsure about powder and primers. They have a lab and they test ammo.

    Good Luck to you.

  10. #50
    Boolit Buddy OutHuntn84's Avatar
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    Here is my best advice based on 15 years of experience getting people jobs.
    Get off the computer, exit the class room and go talk to your future employers. Find out what degrees, experience and opportunities they will be looking for in the upcoming year. Then see if those jobs can afford you the life style you want. Once you narrow down what your future employers want, you can start working towards it. After you figure that out and as soon as you can start working for them. Internships, part time, scrubbing a toilet, it doesn't matter get your foot in the door. There are state and federal funds available for paid internships at little to no cost to the employer.
    Once you show that kind of leg work and dedication to peruse a job like that; you're a shoe in.
    Employers are hard pressed to find good people with the skills and work ethics they want. You give them the opportunity to mold you to their spec and most reasonable employers will jump at the chance.
    Also don't limit yourself to name brand manufacturers. Look for the small to mid sized companies that support the gun industry. Almost everything is subbed out to someone; find out who they are.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightman View Post
    CandyCoatedBoolits,

    I would encourage you to continue your Engineering degree. You might be able to turn an engineering background into a decent paying job in the firearms industry but its not very likely. I think you are on the right track sending inquirys out to the powder manufactures, the bullet companies, maybe even to the firearms manufactures.

    We have a Remington plant in our area and its known as one of the better paying jobs. A decent wage and some benefits. There are production jobs, maintenance jobs, ect. Apparently the employees are discouraged from talking very much. As a reloader, I have tried to engage a few of them in conversation, mostly unsuccessfully. I'm pretty sure that they make their own brass and bullets but I'm unsure about powder and primers. They have a lab and they test ammo.

    Good Luck to you.
    One reason they may have not had much to say, they may have not known much. When I worked for a company doing AK47 compliance conversions, I was the ONLY real gun guy in the shop. It was a job for trained monkeys, and that was what was working there. They had no firearms problem solving skills whatsoever. I was never so happy to be laid off of a job in my life.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  12. #52
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    Careers in the Firearms and Reloading Industries

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimner View Post
    Ashamed to see this 2nd quote. It's attitudes like this that mean we will never be able to change anything politically in this country.

    1st, telling someone to burn their hard work is just rude.

    2nd, if we don't have young people go into American Politics and/or Public law, how is anything ever going to change? Complaining about it on an internet forum isn't going to do it. This young person has far more opportunity to make changes than us on this forum with our keyboards and internet connections.

    Don't discourage young people, encourage them, teach them values, let them loose in the system with those values... repeat this process until you have the change. I have two children that I have molded into sensible young people with the values and ideas that I want to see in our future generations and government. Do this with your children and grandchildren.... or just go back to complaining on the interwebs...
    1st, a political science degree is as useless as teats on a bull. A STEM degree will ensure a good income will be derived from hard work, not mulcted from the taxpayers via political diktat.
    2nd, Chelsea Clinton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, et al, are hell-bent on using the political process to steer us into full-blown socialism, and they will get there with the help of the Congress in its entirety, not to mention the OPís generation of voters, who now comprise the largest voting bloc in the United States. Donít become politicians with political science degrees and psychopathic tendencies to rule the world. Socialism killed over 100 million people in the 20th century, so, yeah, thatís a hard NO.
    The best values to teach our young generation today are that government is not your friend, so avoid the machinery of government at all costs and make every effort to reduce the size and scope of government; audit and end the Federal Reserve; and focus on individual success in spite of the government interventionist policies that stand in every Americanís way.
    Also, study Austrian economics and reject modern monetary theory if you want to build the kind of wealth you will be able to pass down to succeeding generations, which will be much easier as soon as the Federal Reserve is shut down for good.
    R/Griff

  13. #53
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    A picture is worth 1000 words:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    On September 29, 1959 Russia’s (USSR’s) Premier Khrushchev delivered his message to the UN; … his prediction for America. TV coverage of him banging his shoe on the podium was carried on all of the network news broadcasts. At that time, the word ‘communism’ was feared throughout our nation.

    THIS FOLLOWING WAS HIS ENTIRE QUOTE:

    "Your children's children will live under communism, You Americans are so gullible No, you won't accept communism outright; but we will keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you will finally wake up and find you already have Communism. We will not have to fight you; We will so weaken your economy, until you will fall like overripe fruit into our hands." "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."

    Consider this when you listen to the rhetoric of the Democrat presidential candidates.
    Historically socialism leads to Communism. So, how do you create a Socialistic State?

    History teaches that there are 8 levels of control; read the following recipe:

    1) Healthcare - Control healthcare and you control the people.

    2) Poverty - Increase the poverty level as high as possible, because poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them.

    3) Debt - Increase the public debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.

    4) Gun Control - Remove the ability of dissenters to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state without resistance.

    5) Welfare - Take control of every aspect (food, housing, income) of their lives because that will make them fully dependent on the government.

    6) Education - Take control of what people read and listen to, and take control of what children are taught in school.

    7) Religion - Remove the belief in God from the Government and schools because the people need to believe in ONLY the government knowing what is best for the people.

    8) Class Warfare - Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. Eliminate the middle class. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to tax the wealthy with the support of the poor

    This is exactly today’s Democrat agenda espoused by the current candidates for President!

    May God bless you and your Family richly with the foresight and freedom to make correct decisions for/with them!

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    Last edited by Outpost75; 01-23-2020 at 04:21 PM.
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  14. #54
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    The above deserves a like.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  15. #55
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MT Gianni View Post
    The above deserves a like.
    Thanks.

    I censored some less politically correct thumbnails I may have sent, but the humorous ones still get the message across...
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  16. #56
    Boolit Master
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    Reading this thread certainly makes me glad I'm retired.

    Just a couple things
    First, complete your education.
    Second, without a mentor its hard to go anyplace this day and age.

  17. #57
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
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    I can't add much to what's been said already but I will say get a job for yourself or working a company providing goods or services that people will always want and need not what is the newest trend or fad product
    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!

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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