Gunsmith Jobs

What Do Gunsmiths Do; How to Find a Gunsmith Job

To know a Gunsmith’s job, you need to know who a gunsmith is. Gunsmiths are skillful professionals that make and repair firearms. They can modify and customize a variety of existing firearms. A gunsmith can occupy different positions in different firms, depending on their level of knowledge and experience. Besides working with in-depth knowledge of metals, gunsmiths may also possess a design skillset and can work with other experts on a project. In the US, gunsmiths work under the licensure of ATF’s firearm dealer license.

What Do Gunsmiths Do?

A gunsmith’s job includes cleaning, assembling, analyzing, designing, and repairing malfunctions of firearms. The gunsmith could design and make a new gun or modify an existing gun. As a gunsmith, you may be tasked with the duty of acquiring or improving gun accuracy, mounting scopes on guns, restoring old firearms, creating custom load mechanisms for specific clients’ ammunition, and a whole lot more. You can also be tasked with providing rust protection for firearms.

What is the Workplace of a Gunsmith?

Gunsmiths can be employed in industries or companies where firearms are manufactured. In addition, agencies such as the military or other law enforcement agencies require the services of gunsmiths. Gunsmiths can also work in small gunsmith enterprises and they can start their gun shops. Gunsmiths in most industries work between 40 to 50 hours every week. However, they may work more if particular deadlines or special contracts are signed.

Gunsmith Jobs With Areas of Specialization

A gunsmith can specialize in the following areas:


Stockmaker gunsmiths are specialists that carve guns from wood. They carve a piece of wood and model it into the metal to be used for the gun. This is usually done for custom-made shotguns. These specialists are highly skilled with craftsmanship experience. They craft the gun so that the finished product is durable and robust enough to withstand a high level of recoil from firing multiple rounds. Although there are guns made from wood built using saws, chisels, files, and other equipment, modern stock guns are now made of automated types of machinery.

Gunsmith Stockmaker
Gunsmith Stockmaking

Custom Builder

These skilled gunsmith professionals specialize in building new guns. They can fabricate and assemble raw materials. They can make customized guns for special agents, shooting athletes, and other requesting agencies. Custom firearm builders also include gunsmiths that make firearms for hunters and shooters. This group works with other gunsmith specialists to produce a well-finished and decorated firearm.

Gun Engraver

These specialized gunsmiths use hand-powered tools to engrave metal. They make use of either a hand-graver or die-sinker’s chisel to cut or make a design into metals of the gun. To be a gun engraver, artistic skills are highly required. The skill of an artist enables the specialist to come up with creative designs on the gun.

Gun Engraving
Gun Engraving


Pistolsmiths are gunsmith specialists that work on pistols and revolvers. Pistolsmiths are proficient in some skills like woodworking, metal finishing, checkering, metalworking, and machining. They are usually tasked with the customization and creation of a pistol. They can also modify the working of a pistol that operates in a faulty manner. As a result, the pistolsmith can build highly accurate firearms more than the accuracy of standard models.



In an industry producing guns, a team of expert gunsmiths is selected as gun finishers to ensure that each gun is designed with optimum durability and ruggedness. Finisher gunsmiths use chemical processes to make guns corrosion-resistant on their steel surface. They may also combine these processes with thermal processes to harden the material. This combination results in a thin, tough surface layer with a rigid core. They can also introduce colors to the surface of the gun.

Gunsmithing Finisher
Gunsmithing Finisher

Gunsmith Job Licensing

Before you start practicing or setting up a gun shop as a firearm maker, you must obtain a dealer license. Whether you’re a gun manufacturer or just a gun engraver, you still need to obtain a license before you begin practicing as a gunsmith. In addition, if you ship guns from one state to another, you will require special licensing. These licensing requirements ensure that dealers follow through with all the rules and regulations involved in firearm sale, manufacturing, and handling.

Job Outlook of Gunsmiths

The job outlook of gunsmiths remains uncertain. Some factors suggest a possible increase in the future, while others suggest there will be a decrease in gunsmith job demand with time. A background check on gun sales in a recent study has revealed a massive increase. This increase in gun sales has encouraged industries and gun firms to hire more gunsmith professionals to keep building guns. This will eventually lead to increased demand for gunsmiths.

Some gunsmiths who have learned the gunsmithing craftsmanship often tend to intern under senior gunsmiths. As they gain expertise, gunsmiths can then advance into positions that are more significant. Moreover, a gunsmith who has undergone training and has gained expertise over the years can decide to start their own gunsmithing business if they have obtained enough capital. 

How to Get Gunsmith Jobs?

Suppose you have gone through the training required of a gunsmith, such as getting a gunsmithing degree. You need to apply for and obtain a federal firearm license before you begin to apply for a gunsmith job.

There are a number of ways to start getting jobs. Begin by applying to gun stores and manufacturers close to you. Watch out for available vacancies on notice boards. Ensure that your resume is well polished. Apply in person to job vacancies and prepare for interviews. You can also send resumes to arms manufacturers or industries with a gun-making division via the internet. Moreover, you can consider rifle clubs and shooting sports associations for job information. You can also join firearms social forums online or job boards to get a job opening information. For instance, if you are looking for a gunsmith job in Colorado or a gunsmith job in Texas, engage online job boards for those cities.

Gunsmithing jobs are not impossible to find. All you need is persistence and patience. Write follow-up letters to the companies where you have applied and wait for their responses. 

Gunsmith Job Salary

The salary of a gunsmith depends on the experience level and qualification. Sometimes the specialty and the number of hours of work also lead to a variation in each individual’s salary. The average salary of a gunsmith in the United States stands at about $38,000 per annum, equivalent to $744/week and $3,225/month. An entry-level gunsmith earns as low as $33,000 per annum, while an experienced gunsmith with several years of working experience can earn up to $48,000.


How long does it take to become a gunsmith?

The whole process of becoming a gunsmith can take up to five years. To become a gunsmith and start making a gun, you will need to obtain a degree or certificate. Although obtaining a gunsmith degree takes two to three years, you will essentially need a few more years of practice to obtain the required expertise. If you are starting your own gunsmith business, you may need to spend a few extra years on becoming an expert gunsmith. You may also decide to take an associate degree program in gunsmithing. All these add to the learning curve and the process of becoming an expert.

What is the best way to find a gunsmithing job?

Online job boards offer the best way to hire and find gunsmithing jobs. Most industries and businesses would prefer to post their job openings online. Therefore, you should attempt to meet a potential employer for gunsmithing jobs online. If you’re an employer looking to hire gunsmiths, you should post your job requirements to multiple job boards to enable a wide range of people to reach out for applications.

What is the difference between a gunsmith and an armorer?

A gunsmith is someone who works on guns by repairing, altering, developing, or building guns. An armorer, on the other hand, normally repairs only worn-out parts in ordinary rifles. Armorers are civilian gunsmiths that make body armor, shields, and helmets and keep and maintain weapons. Gunsmiths restore well-used or degraded weapons to new condition by performing factory-level repairs and upgrades. In terms of salaries, an average armorer earns more than an average gunsmith.

What is the working condition of gunsmiths?

Gunsmiths generally work on the bench, using several tools. They work indoors in workshops equipped with heavy-duty equipment such as drill presses, saws, nails, drill grinders, and other metalworking tools. Gunsmiths do not work under too much pressure. Gunsmithing areas may involve heat, fire, and noise coming from fabricating machines. Some retail gun stores require gunsmiths who take time to speak with customers as well as do all sorts of gunsmithing jobs.

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