Gunsmith Stocking Stuffers
Although Christmas has come and gone, there is always time to gift your gunsmith. Let’s discuss some items that every smith can use.
For the new smith, or for someone aspiring, there are many items that will help get them started. When I was considering going into business, my wife purchased a Gunsmith Punch starter kit. I practiced disassembling and reassembling my personal firearms. I wanted to make sure I could take a firearm apart and put it back together before I jumped in and started taking strangers’ guns apart.
This was a great gift, not only for the practical reason, but the bigger gift was knowing that my wife was supporting my career. Many other items are just as important as a punch kit. Items like AR wrenches, gun cleaning kits, screwdriver kits or a bench mat. All these items are great for that person who is just getting started. These items can be considered the building blocks of our career.
I was fortunate in that I learned gunsmithing growing up. Spending countless hours in my dad’s gun shop, gave me the building blocks I needed. Investing in a gunsmithing school like MGS Trade School is a great gift to give. This will give you the foundation you need to build that successful gunsmithing business. Practical knowledge is important, but more important is how to run a business.
Gifting a course at the local community college or an online tutorial on how to run a small business would be a great item for a gunsmith to find in his stocking. Other ideas that focus on the business can include a business marketing kit, business cards, a pamphlet, or some other means of getting the business noticed. I personally tried Facebook for a short time. It didn’t work for me, but if you are savvier at that sort of thing, it may work for you.
Purchasing a website building service may be another way to help your gunsmith get his or her name out there. When I research a business, I always check to see their digital footprint. I think if a business is putting forth the effort for business cards, pamphlets and a website, then it is a business that I can initially trust.
Furthering the education of your gunsmith is another great idea for a stocking stuffer. Many manufacturers provide training for their manufactured products. Manufacturers like Glock, Smith & Wesson, and Springfield offer Armorer Certification courses. These certification classes beef up your resume. They give them some accreditation and enable them to showcase themselves as an expert. Expanding knowledge is always welcomed.
There isn’t a smith out there that has worked on every gun or has fixed every problem of a firearm. The internet is a huge advantage—it provides the perfect resource to learn more. True too are the Gun Digest assembly and disassembly books. You can find them on eBay, and they are great as well.
If you are still trying to figure out the best gift, talk with your gunsmith to find out what areas he would like to expand his business, or in what areas they struggle with and find the educational items needed to pursue it.
Time and Patience
For the past twelve years I have had my shop, no gift has been the best gift ever. The best gift I have tried to give myself is the gift of patience. There have been many times I have been stumped on a firearm and have asked myself “what am I doing?”
Self-doubt is a confidence killer. In the early days, I asked these questions of myself often. If it wasn’t for peers, my wife, and my faith, I wouldn’t still be in business today. My wife was there in the beginning and cheered me along every day. She gave me the gift of her support and her patience. She gave up evenings and weekends for me to pursue my dreams. The gift of my abilities was emphasized by the relationships I built with a couple older smiths in my area.
When I was on the ledge ready to quit, they were there letting me know that they believed in me and gave me work to do that they couldn’t do. Another smith giving you work to do because they can’t do it, or don’t do it as good as you is very uplifting. The true gift giver is faith in God. He gave me the ability to take that firearm apart, the wisdom to recognize the issue, the physical ability to fix it and reassemble it.
Ultimately, He gave me that gift to restore a firearm to its original condition. Early on in my gunsmithing career, standing in front of that buffing machine, removing rust and pits, I thought anyone could do it.
But, if anyone could do it, then there would be gunsmiths everywhere; they are few and far between. Realizing the gifts you have inside of you is the greatest gift you can give yourself.
I hope 2024 is your big year to get out there.
Written by: David Johnson, Leatherneck Gunsmithing