Learn to Become Your SHTF Camp Gunsmith
Dr. John Woods 07.28.15
Every gun owner I know eventually learns to tinker on their guns. It is an essential skill for preppers and all survivalists. I mean there are so many things a gun owner can learn to do on their own guns that some gunsmithing skills just seem to come naturally. Working on guns certainly requires some mechanical aptitude.
Most gun owners like working on their own guns or helping others. I mount my own scopes, attaching mounts and getting the optics lined up. I boresight them myself, too. It is pretty easy to add a whole host of modern accessories to an AR rifle. The list is endless when it comes to handing new things on an AR.
There are some cases, too, when I might replace a part or add a customized part, but that is about where my gunsmithing talent ends. Like electricity and plumbing, there are professionals I call on to get a repair job done right the first time. That is the way it is with hardcore gunsmithing work, too.
Action work, stock repairs, sight installations, trigger replacements, new barrels, and broken parts in the bolt or elsewhere almost always require the skills of a well-trained gunsmith. This is especially true if machining work, a drill press, stock inletting, or other technical repairs are needed. Such is the case, too, with fine tuning a pistol or revolver action or changing out finicky springs or pins.
If you have an interest in becoming a real gunsmith, there are several avenues to follow. There are some good home study courses out there that would certainly be helpful, especially for the hobbyist gunsmith. However, if you truly want to become a professional gunsmith, then I highly recommend attending a good community college program where all the skills of metal and woodworking on guns is taught in a hands-on environment. There is little substitution for actual work on guns under the watchful eye of an experienced gunsmith.
If this is a career path that interests you, then plan on acquiring a comprehensive set of proper gunsmithing tools as well. Obtain a catalog from Brownell’s in Iowa to get an idea of the types of specialty tools needed to become a first class gunsmith. Like car mechanics, gunsmiths are constantly adding new tools and pieces of equipment as well as study guides. It’s all just part of the process.