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Gunsmith

Gunsmithing requires hands-on technical skills, good manual dexterity and attention to detail. Professionals and hobbyists in this field can work with pistols, shotguns and rifles. If you want to learn more about repairing firearms, read on.

Inside Gunsmith Careers

The gunsmithing trade is concerned with maintaining, repairing and cleaning firearms. Professional gunsmiths also restore old firearms. In the field, a gunsmith usually works as a professional or a shooting enthusiast performing a variety of tasks. For example, some gunsmiths might alter the barrel of a firearm to improve accuracy or repair a malfunction. A gunsmith might also make custom alterations to a firearm, such as porting, chambering or scope installation.

An aspiring gunsmith can choose from a wide range of educational and career routes. Many options are specialized to a specific type or brand of firearm. Study.com offers free resources to help you find the right gunsmithing program.

Education Information

Educational programs in this field are stand-alone courses, certificates, diplomas or associate's degrees. Gunsmith programs are available in person and through distance learning. Both types of programs require hands-on work, and distance learning programs provide either the required materials or a parts list. Required tools and materials might include a bench grinder, polishing equipment, a drill press, a heat treatment furnace, pin punches, hand saws, reloading equipment and a ball peen hammer.

Once they've enrolled in a program, students learn how to customize firearms, use machine tools and refurbish firearms. Other coursework might cover malfunctioning firearms and preventative maintenance, as well as how to create new parts for a firearm.

Check out the following articles to get additional information on formal education options in gunsmithing.

Distance Learning Options

Students can learn how to work as a gunsmith through distance learning courses and programs. However, hands-on work needs to be completed at home using tools and materials provided by the school or purchased by the student.

Career Options

Gunsmiths may perform specialized work depending on their training and experience in the field. For example, some work as repair technicians or firearms inspectors. Others specialize in certain types of firearm modifications. Examine the articles below to find out more about careers in gunsmithing.

Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not collect employment or wage data specifically for gunsmiths. However, as of 2014, Payscale.com reports that the median wage for those in this occupation was $15.00 per hour. Annual incomes ranged from $21,561 to $58,780.

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    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Informatics and Illustration
      • Medical Residency Programs
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    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Dental
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    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
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    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
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    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
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      • Computer Engineering
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      • Environmental Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering

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