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Thread: what is a gunsmith?

  1. #21
    Boolit Grand Master


    missionary5155's Avatar
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    And John Taylor has made some very good Dan Wesson barrels !
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
    Male Guanaco out in dry lakebed at 10,800 feet south of Arequipa.

  2. #22
    Boolit Grand Master uscra112's Avatar
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    I learned from the Williamsburg gunsmith during a visit sometime in the '70s that worn-out files imported from England were the colonials' only source of high-carbon steel.
    Cognitive Dissident

  3. #23
    Boolit Buddy todd9.3x57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawlerbrook View Post
    Todd, does he accept mailorder work and if so, would you share his contact information. Pennsylvania is not the far from Central NYS.
    i don't think he does. his waiting list is about 4 or 5 months, maybe more. i can check tho.
    I was in uniform for four years, and I know that heroism doesn't occur from taking orders, but rather from people who through their own willpower and strength are willing to sacrifice their lives for an idea.

    Thor Heyerdahl

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  4. #24
    Boolit Master
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    I made Flat springs out of old circular saw blades.
    I use to find lots of Concrete Wet Saw Blades in the trash at the construction sites that I managed.
    You can also use hack saw blades for making thinner springs like for sights and trigger springs.
    I tell people I am not a Gunsmith.
    I am a Firearms Recycler.
    I turn Junk to Treasures.

  5. #25
    Boolit Grand Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Firearms recycler, LOL! I'll have to remember that one.
    Cognitive Dissident

  6. #26
    Boolit Grand Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    To see what level of the game they're at, I take a quick glance in & around their shop
    and make a value judgement from what I see.

    For example:
    One place offered gunsmith services- but they didn't have hardly any tools in sight.
    I didn't think they could have done much more than mount and bore sight a scope.

    Then there are others:
    Any body that's been in Ray's Hardware down in deepest darkest West Dallas will remember the old
    German guy that had the shop upstairs. I always wondered if he wasn't some fleeing Nazi war criminal.

    This guy had machines up there that I wondered why they hadn't fallen through the floor into the store downstairs.
    And tool boxes like you'd see in a car mechanic's shop.

    Among other things-- He had a large clientell of bench rest shooters, and built a bunch of rifles for them.
    From looking around his shop-
    I had total confidence he could install and properly cut the chamber on my Rem700 for its new Shilen heavy barrel.

    If you wanted to re-barrel something- he'd do whatever ya wanted, and make some real killer deals on new factory
    pull off barrels, or cut the back off a inch or so and rechamber & thread one from a big stack of high end custom barrels
    that guys had had replaced after 'so many' shots in competition.
    Political Correctness and the cancel culture is only allowed to exist because of the coward culture.


    In school: We learn lessons, and are given tests.
    In life: We are given tests, and learn lessons.

  7. #27
    Boolit Grand Master

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    The local Gander mountain advertised having a in house gunsmith. Had a nice lathe and mill, jigs and fixtures, plenty of tooling. The only thing he did was mount scopes and bore sight. When they closed the lathe and mill still had cosmoline showing on them. He would do a trigger job other than spring change wouldnt recrown or any modifications that required removing metal. That was their gunsmith

  8. #28
    Boolit Buddy
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    I attended Colorado school of trades fresh out of high school (I'm not a gunsmith, but I do qualify as a gun crank), and the first stage of training was something they called pseudo, which was kind of a weed out process. They gave the students a series of simple projects to turn out, using hack saws, files and abrasive paper. Tolerances were set at plus or minus .005 and polished to a 400 grit finish. All of this was to teach if you had what was needed. While I had the aptitude, I had never gone there before. I can say, without a doubt, I have used what I learned there in almost every aspect of my life, because they taught you how to figure out how something works by looking at it's function, with or without a manual. Not many of the under 30 or 40 can do that, sadly.
    Chicken Little has finally found an audience

  9. #29
    Boolit Grand Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Filing seems to be a lost art among the young. Like tuning up an engine.
    Cognitive Dissident

  10. #30
    Boolit Master

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    Even changing oils .

  11. #31
    Boolit Master elmacgyver0's Avatar
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    I bought a barrel, then proceeded to build a single shot .50 BMG rifle, from scratch excluding the barrel.
    I don't think I qualify being a pimple on a real gunsmith hind side.

  12. #32
    Boolit Buddy
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    I can tell you that some vehicles are bordering on acrobatics to change the oil. What used to take 15 or 20 minutes to do sometimes takes an hour!
    Chicken Little has finally found an audience

  13. #33
    Boolit Grand Master
    Mk42gunner's Avatar
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    "What is a Gunsmith?"

    Jack of all trades, Master of most.

    Its why I will work on my own guns, but not anyone else's.

    Robert

  14. #34
    Boolit Buddy
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    Unless you are licensed and insured, it's really not wise to work on someone else's weaponry. The legal and liability structure around firearms is crazy!
    Chicken Little has finally found an audience

  15. #35
    Boolit Buddy hoodat's Avatar
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    I entered the Small Arms Repair program at our local Technical Institute back in 1975. At that time, it was one of the highly accredited, schools in that field, as well as several other programs such as Auto/Diesel, Machine Processes, Welding, Mechanical Engineering, etc.

    The gunsmithing degree was a two year associate degree, and the first year was identical curriculum for Welding, Machining, and Gunsmithing. After that first year, each of those three fields focused on their individual degrees.

    It became clear to me that after a measly two years of instruction in any of those three fields, we would come away with some solid basic skills, and a huge void that would need to be filled working under the watch of older, experienced, experts -- for several years.

    During that first year, I was talking to the best gunsmith in our area, and he told me that unless I was crazy or stupid, I should change my major to machining or welding, and keep guns as a hobby. The condensed version of his advice was that as an occupation, gunsmithing was coming to an end, and that I would likely come to hate it. I might even come to hate guns, and a good many of the folks who use them. I took his advice.

    Now at the age of 65, I've done a lot of different things occupationally, and am thankful for the skills I learned during that two years of college. I'm also thankful for the advice I got from that seasoned old "expert" gunsmith. Now a days, I'm a truck driver who still enjoys my hobby, and the folks who participate in it. jd
    It seems that people who do almost nothing, often complain loudly when it's time to do it.

  16. #36
    Boolit Buddy almar's Avatar
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    I think that, as a gun owner, you should be able to do most repairs or upgrades on your firearms and have the knowledge and tools to do it. A gunsmith in my view is the guy you go to when you have neither the answer, means or guts to fix the problem. I think you did it correctly, talk to them, ask them questions. By all means, if they dont kow how to blue a gun, they are a fake. I never met a real gunsmith, i always did things myself. I would say though that a guy like "the real gunsmith" on you tube is a real gunsmith. Randy knows his stuff.

    It seems to me that many people in the trades dont live up to expectations.look at how some new homes are built these days, from tiles to shingles...there seems to always be many things that make you wonder...
    Last edited by almar; 01-23-2022 at 05:10 PM.
    “It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.”
    ― Winston S. Churchill

  17. #37
    Boolit Grand Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by almar View Post
    I think that, as a gun owner, you should be able to do most repairs or upgrades on your firearms .
    Our local gunsmith was a personal friend for over 30 years.
    He'd help and talk me through a few things, and I bought most of my reloading stuff, and a few guns from him.
    I'd trade out different things like when he needed some heavy tool or something welded, etc.

    One time another buddy had a heirloom double barrel 12 ga. that had gotten a big dent on one barrel.
    I'd didn't have the tool and wasn't going to get one to push out barrel dents.
    I took it in to the shop, and my friend instantly looked all depressed and said, "OH nooooo...."

    Trying not to laugh..... I asked, "What"?
    He looked at the shotgun and said, "If you can't fix it yourself, this project is going to be real hard".
    Political Correctness and the cancel culture is only allowed to exist because of the coward culture.


    In school: We learn lessons, and are given tests.
    In life: We are given tests, and learn lessons.

  18. #38
    Boolit Grand Master



    M-Tecs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by almar View Post
    I think that, as a gun owner, you should be able to do most repairs or upgrades on your firearms and have the knowledge and tools to do it.
    Ideally that would be true. Reality is most people are not very mechanically inclined. It's truly amazing how much damage these people can do anytime they try to do their own repairs or modifications.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, there’s absolutely no point."
    – Amber Veal

    "The Highest form of ignorance is when your reject something you don't know anything about".
    - Wayne Dyer

  19. #39
    Boolit Buddy almar's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, i agree. Those bubba fixes can be horrible. I meant that you should be able to fix it correctly on your own. For eample, adjusting an extractor or ejector on a 1911, shimming a dovetail sight, fitting a cylinder stop etc.
    “It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.”
    ― Winston S. Churchill

  20. #40
    Boolit Grand Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by almar View Post
    I think that, as a gun owner, you should be able to do most repairs or upgrades on your firearms and have the knowledge and tools to do it. .
    I count myself a pretty good mechanic and engineer, probably got it from my father. Built and rebuilt machine tools for 30 years, ranging from 10EE Monarchs to aerospace machines bigger than a boxcar. Built race bikes for a hobby for 20+ years, and won a few races with 'em. Engineered automation and fixtures for a first tier supplier to Ford and GM. In my retirement I've rebarreled and relined and restored quite a few old Stevens, H&A and Ballard rifles. making parts as needed including springs..

    But I won't touch the innards of my Colt and S&W revolvers. I may be the owner and user, but that work will go to a specialist

    Speaking of which - can anybody recommend a smith who's good on Colts? One of mine needs the hand stretched.
    Cognitive Dissident

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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