Specialization

As a gunsmith, important qualities that must be possessed are a propensity for three dimensional puzzles, attention to detail and a mechanically analytical mind.

Skip Walters

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If you really want to succeed as a gunsmith, it is always best to specialize. If you find a niche you enjoy and in which you excel, you will most certainly succeed.


I have colleagues that have created a “widget” that everyone will want and they are enjoying a good income, have retired or have passed their business on to their descendants.


Many have gone from general gunsmithing to become obsolete part manufacturers, specialty rifle/pistol shops, used gun part suppliers, specialty metal finishers, ultralight gunstock manufacturers, wood checkerers and carvers, engravers, etc. Some gunsmiths have become inventors. They manufactured and sold their invention or the sold the rights to it.


As a gunsmith, important qualities that must be possessed are a propensity for three dimensional puzzles, attention to detail and a mechanically analytical mind. These abilities will serve you well as you embark on your gunsmithing journey.


If you’re doing this just for fun, a hobby or as an extra source of income, specialization is not necessary. You can repair guns at your leisure and covering business costs isn’t a necessary consideration, if such is the case.


Gunsmithing can be much like being a doctor. You may laugh, but consider that any general practitioner can treat you for a cold, or give physicals. That doctor charges the patient a given amount for a visit. If referred to a specialist, the cost will be twice as much and the wait for an appointment may take much longer. The specialist is paid a premium for their knowledge and expertise.


Specialists are experts in their narrow field and charge accordingly. A specialist usually has greater demand if that specialist has achieved any notoriety. That notoriety can go either way. If someone is a specialist and has a poor reputation, their business will not survive. Make certain you are truly a specialist before taking on the title.


There are many aspects to gunsmithing. Pick the aspect that you enjoy if success is what is sought. If you love what you are doing, you never really call it work.