Gunsmith Apprenticeship

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  • Gunsmith Apprenticeship

    Hi folks,

    Background: As an aspiring sparky about to complete a Cert II Pre-Apprenticeship in Electrotechnology, I have begun to look at a broader range of trades from Plumbing to Carpentry and inevitably as a shooter, Gunsmithing. My family has a strong trades background, with my brother, father and uncles all carpenters and joiners, however until the end of Year 12 I was always more school oriented. Until now. I have done some research and apparently all that is required to be a gunsmith in Victoria is a piece of paper (permit/certificate) from the state government or police authorizing work on firearms, however I have limited knowledge of fitting and turning and I'm interested in learning the actual trade. As a matter of interest, do gunsmiths take apprentices? I would be happy to live and work anywhere in Victoria. I'm a keen shooter and would like a trade that encompasses my passion.

    * Finished yr 12, didn't enjoy uni
    * Pre-apprenticeship to be sparky
    * considering gunsmithing as a trade also
    * know next to nothing about it
    * anyone with knowledge on this or who is qualified/skilled please chuck in your 2c

  • #2
    That I know of mate the is no such thing as a gunsmiths apprenticeship offered in Australia...

    It is in the UK, Europe and USA (in some places its a minimum 8 years)... But not here unless it has changed in the last month or so since I talked to my smith about it...

    You will have to talk to FAR/WLB in your state and ask the questions about how to become one and the rules/regs and paperwork required to become a smith...

    In QLD you need a technical trade in one of the metal work trades (fitter etc) to start then the correct category licenses and then an approved workshop and armory...

    The only other thing I can suggest is to go to your local smith and ask the question... Then if your still keen offer to help for free, so you can learn and see if its a viable career for you (also shows your willing to put the effort in)... Smiths work in microns not mm and it is mostly done by hand and in a lot of jobs near enough isnt good enough... The skill will only come with experience but you still need to build the skill...

    I thought home smithing laws in Vic where good? Unlike up here


    • Guest's Avatar
      Guest commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Luke I'll have to have a chat with the local smiths.

    • Jonno
      Jonno commented
      Editing a comment
      If you were looking at a trade that would set you up with the right skills to be a smith later on, might I suggest having a look at fitter/machinist. Covers a lot more than just turning.
      If you can get yourself an apprenticeship with a machine shop, learn the trade there and get paid to do it, then start doing some gun smithing after that you'd be set. It's a long road, but I'm guessing you're only young and got plenty of time.

  • #3
    becoming a tool maker, is probably the closest thing to a gunsmith.
    wouldn't hurt to also be a chippy.


    • #4
      G'day mate,

      While I am not a gunsmith, nor have I ever done any gun smithing I am an apprentice fitter and turner working at a engine rebuilding shop, the tolerances and machines I use at work are more or less the machines used in the gun smithing world but on a much bigger scale,

      I would have to agree with the others that fitting and turning would be the best experience especially on the machining side of things, using machines such as cylindrical grinders, surface grinders, crank grinders, lathes, mills, horizontal and vertical boring machines, Cnc and cylinder honing machines and learning to use them accurately! my tolerance is usually .0002" but I quite often work to .0001" (.00254mm) which would be the same tolerance as gun smithing

      So I would recommend the fitting a turning trade as a beginning step, mainly working at a place the focuses on machining one of parts (higher accuracy) than mass production

      Regards Byron


      • Varmtr
        Varmtr commented
        Editing a comment
        As per Jonno & Send It has mentioned. Also look at doing a metallurgy coarse. Seeing as you live in Vic give Peter Schwarz a call at Schwarz Gunsmithing he should be able to tell the in and outs of what you need to do.

        As a ex sparky : don't let the smoke out and if in doubt bridge it out

    • #5
      Thanks for the help and advice guys, decided it would be more wise to become an electrician due to the nature of changing gun laws etc, am now a 1st year apprentice in a large commercial company, life is good, soon to be selling my .308 and buying new rifles!




      • Varmtr
        Varmtr commented
        Editing a comment
        Good luck Molon in your apprenticeship. When you get the chance during your apprenticeship do further training eg plc's, scada, motor control etc