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  1. #1
    Hoplophile webster's Avatar
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    Becoming a gunsmith

    It's become clear to me that my current career path will not see me through to retirement. I've been comparing some of my options, mostly looking at skilled trades, but also gunsmithing. I've seen a few places offering distance education, some of which look pretty cool. My only concern is job security/stability. Are there any viable career options that don't involve opening your own shop? I'm not really in a position to do that right now. How easy or difficult is it to get into an armourer position for, say, a police service? Weapon tech for the CF? Are these options even possible with civilian training? Would this career provide a decent income for sustaining a young family? Does anyone know about what a gunsmith makes in a year?

    Sorry for all the questions, and if I'm way off base here, please set me straight. I just want to know if this is an option I should keep on the table. I'm in health care right now, so my experience is basically zero, except for working on my own guns. Here is one of the courses I was looking at:

    http://www.pcdi.ca/courses/2v/outline.html
    I like guns.

  2. #2
    Junior Member erickaclarke's Avatar
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    I'm actually enrolled in that course and it seems pretty good. Really good price as well. Although the best gunsmith I know did the program at the "Sonoran Desert Institute".

  3. #3
    Senior Member Foxer's Avatar
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    I don't know any gunsmiths around here that lack for work. I think if you can stick with it long enough to get a reputation chances are you'll be ok.

    I have no knowledge of this personally - but just from what I do know I suspect its' one of those jobs where you scrape by and work for whomever will hire you for low wages till you gain enough skill and experience to start to get your own customers and then the money gets decent.

    It also seems to me that many successful ones have one or to things that are 'their thing'. For example, there was a smith here who did a fairly good business doing the 45-70 conversion for lee enfields. Had it all figured out, was quite good at it, and while any smith could probably figure it out he was the guy everyone went to for that.

    There's also steve in the states who's legendary for his skill with lever guns. It's not all he does, but anyone who talks about lever gun work talks about steve and he does quite well i believe. So there's room for 'specializations' that help get your name out there.

    I'm guessing youd' look at a few lean years, then improve as you begin to find your niche and gain experience.

  4. #4
    Member awndray's Avatar
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    I have no insight to offer, but maybe you can talk to Jason here in Ottawa. https://plus.google.com/105119380787...ut?gl=ca&hl=en He seems to be the go-to guy. I've heard of a few good smiths west of town, but I've used any of their services.

    I do know one guy - Peter Griffin in Renfrew. No, he doesn't have a dog named Brian. I shoot IDPA with him. Great guy. He's a certified S&W and Glock armorer, among others. He does some work for the RCMP every now and then if I recall. He might have some insight, if you want me to put you in contact with him.

    There also a young chap who took some courses an started doing some work out of Sports Action on St Laurent in Ottawa. I forget his name, but maybe go for a drive and ask for the young smith.

    Actually, there is a course offered in Maniwaki, QC. Apparently the only smith program available in Quebec (though they claim to be the only program of its kind in Canada). I don't know that they offer it in english though. http://cfpvg.cshbo.qc.ca/armes_feu/armes_feu.html
    Last edited by awndray; 04-26-2014 at 09:34 AM.

  5. #5
    Hoplophile webster's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies, everyone. It helps a lot. And thanks to Ericka for giving this thread a bump. I'll check out those guys you mentioned, awndray, see what they have to say. Will Mr. Griffin know who I mean if I tell him awndray (Andre?) gave me his name?
    I like guns.

  6. #6
    Member awndray's Avatar
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    Andre should suffice, but I just sent you a PM with details.

  7. #7
    Hoplophile webster's Avatar
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    Perfect. Thanks again.
    I like guns.

  8. #8
    Canadian ForcesMember
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    nothing against you but check with the cfo for their new guidelines they tend not to recognise this course as they consider it very basic nothing against taking it but they will want you to get hand on apprentice training first (lots) before they licence you or if you are retired military or police with extensive arms training them you are in. good luck and never give up keep pushing forward.

  9. #9
    Canadian ForcesMember
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    the quebec course is the only course in canada however and no offence it is taught in french only

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  11. #10
    Member awndray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bwgunsmith View Post
    nothing against you but check with the cfo for their new guidelines they tend not to recognise this course as they consider it very basic nothing against taking it but they will want you to get hand on apprentice training first (lots) before they licence you or if you are retired military or police with extensive arms training them you are in. good luck and never give up keep pushing forward.
    What? The CFO controls skilled trades now? Since when do they hand out gunsmith licenses?

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