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 Post subject: Gun smith credentials
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 10:10 am 
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Is your gunsmith qualified? How do you know beforehand the person who is working on your gun knows what he is doing? I'm talking about the local guys in your area and not the nationally know firms.
Awhile back I wanted an old Stevens 311 repaired. It would open slightly after firing the first barrel and would not fire the second. The first "gunsmith" kept it for two weeks and said he could not repair it. The second (150 miles away) said the same after 6 weeks .Later I turned it over to a friend who fixed it right away, He just welded a small spot on the locking lug and filed it down, no big deal he said. I did not know at the time he even worked on guns.
Is there any credentials a person is required to have or can anyone call themselves a "gunsmith"?




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 Post subject: Re: Gun smith credentials
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 10:14 am 
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Sorry, this should have been in the shotguns general section. Curly can you transfer it?


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 Post subject: Re: Gun smith credentials
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 10:22 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:06 am
Posts: 3696
Location: UK, England, Britain
Its common here. Most gunsmiths are decent. But sometimes there are cowboys.

A guy i knew had some mounts repaired on a gun. All was ok.
Accuracy went way out and holes turned up in his fired brass, loads were smokey too. Upon inspection. There was a neat hole drilled in the chamber.
And was assumed covered with wax.

He just turned up and requested a new gun and 100 rounds. Before he went public.

If you know anything about Uk firearm licensing, you cant just "get a replacement" there needs to be paperwork and licencing variation to buy anything.


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 Post subject: Re: Gun smith credentials
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 11:23 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 10:39 pm
Posts: 4837
wrfish wrote:
Is your gunsmith qualified? How do you know beforehand the person who is working on your gun knows what he is doing? I'm talking about the local guys in your area and not the nationally know firms.
Awhile back I wanted an old Stevens 311 repaired. It would open slightly after firing the first barrel and would not fire the second. The first "gunsmith" kept it for two weeks and said he could not repair it. The second (150 miles away) said the same after 6 weeks .Later I turned it over to a friend who fixed it right away, He just welded a small spot on the locking lug and filed it down, no big deal he said. I did not know at the time he even worked on guns.
Is there any credentials a person is required to have or can anyone call themselves a "gunsmith"?


I think anyone can call themselves a gunsmith. It reminds me of a neighbor of my sister and BIL who took out an ad in a small town yellow pages as an "appliance repair" business. He came over to their house one day and asked if BIL knew how to fix a refrigerator because there was one on its way to this guy's house to be repaired.

I've done a few minor repair and trigger jobs on friends' guns but I never called myself a gunsmith.

My biggest fear would be to leave a gun to be fixed only to come back and find the place empty and shuttered.

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 Post subject: Re: Gun smith credentials
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
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Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
wrfish:
I too had a Stevens 311 that needed repair. I lost count of the times it was supposedly "fixed"! It started failing to fire in one barrel. A couple gunsmiths worked on it but it still wasn't fixed. I finally took it to a gunsmith that I had a fair amount of confidence in & told him to put new firing pin springs in it & I would pay for it regardless of if it fixed the gun or not. Somebody had told me that would usually fix that sort of problem. Well it did, for a brief period of time. Naturally, it waited until I was miles out in the middle of a salt marsh to break again. The gun completely froze up & wouldn't even cock the hammers. I could tell, something was lose in the action. I found an old country gunsmith that had a lot of experience with Stevens shotguns. It had a broken cocking lever!
Gunsmiths have specialties just like most all other professionals. Just because one might be a Cracker Jack rifle builder, doesn't mean he knows squat about double guns. Gunsmiths are not licensed in this State & as far as I know, any State. There are gunsmith schools & courses but the only way I know to evaluate their expertise is from their reputation. Most but not all great gunsmiths I have had experience with had a machinist background. I can do some things but I'm no gunsmith! I think the cocking lever was the culprit all along. I'm thinking it was cracked but not completely broken & the stiff new springs finished breaking it, but what do I know?


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 Post subject: Re: Gun smith credentials
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:32 pm 
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Location: Upstate NY
I don't know about official credentials, but I know I wouldn't trust the majority of "gunsmiths" in my area. My neighbor had the value of a very nice Mannlicher-Schoenaeur rifle reduced significantly by the work of a local "gunsmith" who probably shouldn't have even been in the business.

If I needed repairs on a firearm I really cared about, I'd take the time and trouble to send it to a nationally-known gunsmith or the 'smith with the reputation of being the best for working on that particular brand or model. The Internet can be your friend here...

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 Post subject: Re: Gun smith credentials
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:40 pm 
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Location: Houston, TX and Fairfield Glade, TN
My only experience with a local "gunsmith" left me wondering how the guy learned his trade.

Supposedly, in TN, you have to have 8000 hours of training under a licensed gunsmith. This guy must have had all of his training repairing pistols, because he sure didn't know anything about a wood-stocked shotgun.

I did the job he couldn't do in ten minutes at home. (replacing Ejectors with Extractors on a B. Citori) Thanks to the internet and a member of this site.

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Last edited by richg99 on Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Gun smith credentials
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 6415
Location: Neosho, MO
The only licensing required of a "gunsmith" is an FFL if the customer leaves the gun with the smith for repairs. A local business license would also be required. If parts are ordered as a business for resale to the customer, a sales tax account with the state department of revenue would be required. There are no professional licensing requirements as far as training or competence are concerned.

Caution to you guys doing your buddy a favor by working on his gun. If the gun owner is not present while the work is being done, then an FFL is required and a logbook must be kept (available from Brownells). I'm not aware of anyone being prosecuted for doing this, but you never know.....

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 Post subject: Re: Gun smith credentials
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 2:12 pm 
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Location: Central Texas
Check their reputation - that's the best IMHO. Many have a business and may specialize in certain types of guns.


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 Post subject: Re: Gun smith credentials
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 4:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:33 am
Posts: 1392
Location: northern Oklahoma
I have had a Beretta 92 in to my local smith going on 4 months now for a trigger spring replacement. He lost the first one. Ordered some, or so he said he did, and claims Brownell's has been really slow in shipping things. I've had two orders shipped to me on various things in the meantime. He is as broke as Hogan's goat, so I think he hasn't got the money to even order it. I have two coming now, will take them in when I get them and tell him he's got a week or I'm taking it elsewhere. It's gone far enough.

Good smiths are getting hard to find.


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 Post subject: Re: Gun smith credentials
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:00 pm 
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Skilled, honest, and trustworthy gunsmiths may be one of the the most difficult professionals to find these days. And add expedient to the list and you've set out on a nearly impossible task, and then economical on top, and now you're definitely looking for a needle in a haystack.

Over the past 10 years I've pretty much trained myself to do a lot of stuff on my own thanks to forums and youtube. I figure if I can't make it much worse than it already is, and the investment in wasted parts would be minimal if I can't make any progress, I really don't have much to lose at least attempting to fix it myself (basically my same line of reasoning when working on my own car). I also figure if the chances are better than 50/50 that I take it somewhere else and it ends up butchered, I may as well butcher it myself and save some time and money LOL.

Having a machining degree and a mini-machine shop (all of the standard machine shop tools, just the mini version) in my house helps. Being somewhat of a self-trained gunsmith, and only working on my own stuff, I'd say my skill level meets or exceeds most gunsmiths within driving distances for most jobs (that is to say I'm more confident in being able to do the job to my accepted level of quality than having someone else do it), and many things I wouldn't take on on my own are simply because I don't have the machinery or tools to do it.

Most "gunsmiths" these days consider mounting and boresighting a scope to be "gunsmithing", and many of them sadly can't even get that right. A lot of the bread and butter work for a gunsmith 40 years ago, such as installing sling swivel studs, drill and tap a gun for a scope mount, fitting a new recoil pad, ect now come standard or are drop in parts. So to be a successful gunsmith these days, putting out quality work and being able to feed your family on gun building and repair alone, you REALLY need to focus on one specific facet of gun work, and strive toward being the best in your field.

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 Post subject: Re: Gun smith credentials
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:02 pm 
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Hi,

There are gun "mechanics" and then there are Gunsmiths. Hard to know which is which until too late sometimes.

As a toolmaker that still has a small lathe, mill, welders, and heat treat oven, I've made springs, vee and coil, firing pins, gas blocks and pistons for others off and on over the years. Mostly very old and antique firearms that parts are not possible to get anymore. I do not keep complete weapons around, just the part that needs making. Nor do I order replacement parts. I make them from scratch.

I've been fortunate in living not to far from Pat Laib. And he's done most of my gunsmithing needs. But I'm now 300 miles away from Pat's shop. And he's getting closer and closer to retirement anyway. Not sure what I would do if I needed some gun work anymore. Do it myself I suppose.

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 Post subject: Re: Gun smith credentials
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:29 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:15 pm
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Location: Northern Virginia
You'll some smiths use the word "Factory Authorized" in their ads or on their signs, that sometimes will give you some confidence.


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 Post subject: Re: Gun smith credentials
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:42 pm 
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Quote:
There are gun "mechanics" and then there are Gunsmiths. Hard to know which is which until too late sometimes.


Those "mechanics" are merely parts changers who took a 1 day class at Glock or similar.

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 Post subject: Re: Gun smith credentials
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:27 pm
Posts: 292
Location: Kentucky
Riflemeister wrote:
Caution to you guys doing your buddy a favor by working on his gun. If the gun owner is not present while the work is being done, then an FFL is required and a logbook must be kept (available from Brownells). I'm not aware of anyone being prosecuted for doing this, but you never know.....


Your statement is inconsistent with what the ATF says. They say that someone who works on a gun for a buddy now and again doesn’t need an FFL. Those are my words. Here are theirs:

Dealer in firearms (gunsmith) -- a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to engaging in such activity as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional repairs of firearms, or who occasionally fits special barrels, stocks, or trigger mechanisms to firearms (18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(21)(D))

Explain why this is not right please.


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 Post subject: Re: Gun smith credentials
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:08 am
Posts: 2297
Location: Central NH
Denver1911 wrote:
Riflemeister wrote:
Caution to you guys doing your buddy a favor by working on his gun. If the gun owner is not present while the work is being done, then an FFL is required and a logbook must be kept (available from Brownells). I'm not aware of anyone being prosecuted for doing this, but you never know.....


Your statement is inconsistent with what the ATF says. They say that someone who works on a gun for a buddy now and again doesn’t need an FFL. Those are my words. Here are theirs:

Dealer in firearms (gunsmith) -- a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to engaging in such activity as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional repairs of firearms, or who occasionally fits special barrels, stocks, or trigger mechanisms to firearms (18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(21)(D))

Explain why this is not right please.

I guess I don't have to turn myself in... :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Gun smith credentials
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:55 pm 
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Location: Neosho, MO
Wrong! The point I was making is that to take possession of someone's firearm, you must have an FFL. If your buddy stays there in your shop while you do the work, you're good. If he drops off the gun and leaves it with you, you legally require an FFL and must log the gun into your repair log book. You are not breaking the law by doing the work as is clear in the paragraph quoted by Denver 1911. The violation takes place when you take possession of the gun without having an FFL nor the required log book. Do I think you are going to comply? Obviously not, but I was trying to inform you amateur gunsmiths helping a buddy out that you could possibly get crossthreaded with the Feds. You will do what you want to do.

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 Post subject: Re: Gun smith credentials
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 5:50 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:27 pm
Posts: 292
Location: Kentucky
Riflemeister wrote:
Wrong! The point I was making is that to take possession of someone's firearm, you must have an FFL. If your buddy stays there in your shop while you do the work, you're good. If he drops off the gun and leaves it with you, you legally require an FFL and must log the gun into your repair log book. You are not breaking the law by doing the work as is clear in the paragraph quoted by Denver 1911. The violation takes place when you take possession of the gun without having an FFL nor the required log book. Do I think you are going to comply? Obviously not, but I was trying to inform you amateur gunsmiths helping a buddy out that you could possibly get crossthreaded with the Feds. You will do what you want to do.


Could you provide your source for this interpretation of the law? Everything I’ve found says it’s okay for a non-licensed individual to make occasional repairs and to take possession of the firearm to do so. Oh, and there is no need to open your reply with something lkke, “Wrong!” That just comes off as argumentative .. to a stranger you’ve never even met. Why do that?


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 Post subject: Re: Gun smith credentials
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:00 am 
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Could you provide your source for this interpretation of the law? Everything I’ve found says it’s okay for a non-licensed individual to make occasional repairs and to take possession of the firearm to do so. Oh, and there is no need to open your reply with something lkke, “Wrong!” That just comes off as argumentative .. to a stranger you’ve never even met. Why do that?[/quote]


The down and dirty answer, if you are charging to make the repairs, then you need to be a FFL, and if the firearm is in the shop over night (work place of your FLL), then firearm has to be listed in your A&D book while in the shop, then logged back out if it picked up by the same person that dropped it off. If not picked up by the same person, then gun needs to be transfered back out with the needed paperwork and back ground checks isntead.


On the other hand, if your buddy loans you are firearm to use since you are of legal age and nothing preventing you from using/taking possession of the firearm, and you need to fix it to make is work correctly to use it/ before giving it back to him (without charging him for repair work), the here is where the loop hole exists.

But keep in mind that although you may not have charged him to fix it, your are still liable for the work that you did on the firearm in say a lawsuit, so your back to the sword's edge of needing a FFL, to get the needed liability insurance to begin with instead.


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 Post subject: Re: Gun smith credentials
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:28 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:27 pm
Posts: 292
Location: Kentucky
Dano523,

I still see that counter to what the AFT says:

“Dealer in firearms (gunsmith) -- a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to engaging in such activity as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional repairs of firearms, or who occasionally fits special barrels, stocks, or trigger mechanisms to firearms (18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(21)(D))”

As I read it, charging a buddy to make a repair does not require a license unless you do it as a regular course of trade or business. I am talking about the occasional repair. I have not found case law indicating otherwise. I’d love to see code or case law that shows otherwise. Thanks.




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