In any sport there are the players (sportsperson), the sales industry, the sports organizations, and the repair/maintenance businesses. Most of the time I get caught up with the players and sports organizations and I fail to recognize the people and businesses that make up the infrastructure of the sport. Recently, I needed to repair my grandfather’s old shotgun and I started to research gunsmiths in my community. Following a few days of research and telephone calls I selected a gunsmith for my repairs. After my first visit to the shop I came away thinking that I don’t know 10% of a gunsmith’s knowledge.
A gunsmith must possess skills as a mechanic, a metalworker, a woodworker, and an artisan; be knowledgeable in shop mathematics, ballistics, and chemistry; and be capable of working accurately and precisely. In addition to this rather daunting list of skills the gunsmith must also stay abreast of, and comply with federal, state, and local laws, ordinances, and requirements.
The primary job of a gunsmith is to ensure that your gun functions safely. However in examination of my old shotgun the gunsmith checked for cracks, worn barrel, missing parts, bore obstructions, safety mechanisms, worn sear edges, and the condition of the firing-pin. After all of this, the shop also gave me great advice of how to properly and safely fire a proof-load through the weapon. Next time you questions the condition and safety of one of your old guns… find your local gunsmith and start asking questions that these experts truly understand.