Best way(s) to learn gunsmith skills
One of my New Year's resolutions is to add to my skill sets throughout the coming year, and one of the skills I'm thinking would be useful is gun repair. I google searched "gunsmith course" and looked at several different options, but to be honest, they all seem like those 'Quick Study" type votech schools that are just after your cash for little content in return. Having been an educator myself, I'm always leery of those types of places. I saw that AGI place that sells videos that are gun specific, but I was looking for something a little more broad, like slide actions instead of "Winchester 1897" and "bolt actions" instead of "Savage 116" etc.
Can anyone recommend some good ways/resources to learn something of gun repair skills where I actually get something useful for my cash? I'm not talking about a full on, career changing education, just enough skills to repair my hunting guns when and as they break. (I've already got three to learn on.)
There's a series of books, action and type specific (one on revolvers, one on pistols, centerfire rifles, shotguns, and rimfires) show complete dissassembly and assembly, does not address common problems, etc...
the gunsmithing journal is somewhat useful but it's an advertisement for AGI. the videos are great except they are gun specific (had a feeding issue with a Henry copy 1886....) and expensive when added up.
Best advice is a: get some old parts guns, tear them apart, put them back together, etc, and b: see if a gunsmith near you will take the time to teach you some, most won't because of 2 reasons, 1: you're creating and educating the competition, and 2: no money in having someone look over your shoulder..
If you have a basic knowledge of mechanics, and don't mind working with tiny springs and levers, it's really alot of fun (it's my therepy).
The closest thing to that kind of mentor around here is Rbuck.
Originally Posted by DoughNut
You can try to attend NRA summer gunsmithing classes at several of the gunsmithing schools.
yeah, I saw that the other day.
Originally Posted by BARTFRNCS
$350 per week tuition times NINE WEEKS $3150
$100 per week housing times nine weeks $900
Eat out 3 meals per day, $10 per meal avg, times nine weeks $6300
Lost wages per week times nine weeks (opportunity cost) $3600
Total cost $13,950. That would cover enough tuition for me to complete my PhD. No thanks.
I don't want a degree or certificate, and I don't want to work as a gunsmith. I just want to learn how to repair traditional firearms (my guns, family member guns).
Actually that was the best advice you will get on how to learn gunsmithing. Those NRA sponsored classes aren't meant to be a full time course, just a week or two for someone that has a JOB, and wants to learn a LOT in a week. You are obviously so smart at calculating the cost FIRST, that you wouldn't benefit. Every one that I have taken has been far more than any week of a regular school class, and I was already gunsmithing full time. All of the participants are there because they want to be, unlike some/many college classes I have taken. Often, many of the participants have enough skills that they could teach the class. This means the instructor can raise the level considerably as he has a lot of helpers for the less experienced folks in the room. At Trinidad the machine shops are open after hours and projects fly forward with lots of co-operative help. You are expected to bring several (serious) projects to work on. The pool of experienced enthusiastic gun folk from the other classes is an extra plus. You can live, eat, breathe, gunsmithing. It doesn't get any better than that. The dorm rooms are basic but it is normal for gunsmithing work to continue even there. The school has no problem with that. How many other school bookstores sell mauser actions and rifle barrels?
Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town
Save you money, pick a class-there are dozens to choose from, get on the jet, and pay attention in class. BEST money I ever spent on education, period. Thank you NRA. You will be a changed pair of hands when you return.
Or maybe you will still be calculating the cost and sitting at home. W&R
I'm always willing to help a guy fix a gun but I'm not a real gunsmith just a tinkerer. However I have 50+ years of experience tinkering on mechanical stuff. About 30 years of auto mechanics and auto machine shop parts rebuilding. It's very difficult to teach that kind of experience without actually doing it as there are a lot of different skills that combine to make a gunsmith or mechanic or most any hands on mechanical labor. You need to know some of metalurgy, welding, soldering, brazing, tempering. Tecniques of cutting, grinding, measuring, drilling,tapping, filing, sawing, bending, polishing and bluing metal. Then there's the wood. A good stock maker is an artist not just a carpenter or even a finish carpenter. A kid down the street that I help with his car occasionally, asked me to teach him to be a mechanic and I didn't even know how to respond. There is no way to become a gunsmith or mechanic for that matter without a lot of time effort and usually money being spent. Almost anyone can be a tinkerer however, and how difficult a project you can sucessfully complete will depend on your basic skill set combined with your patience level and how determine you are to learn how to fix whatever is broken. I went to a two year community college auto mechanic course and although I did very well in the class, I was not by any stretch a journeyman mechanic when I graduated. I applaud your desire to learn how to fix your guns on your own and as I said before, I will be glad to help you fix your guns and let you help and learn as we go. There are quite a few books on gun repair that cover a lot of the general things you need to know and reading those could give you a good idea where to start. If you run into a problem with a gun and you just don't know what to do. There is a real gunsmith that frequents this forum ( Gunbugs) that always seems willing to answer anyones gun related questions and is very knowlegable. But if you just need a little tinkering let me know. I'm glad to do what I can.