The basic stuff is pretty easy to pick up. In a lot of ways its like learning to work on cars or bikes, easiest way to learn it is to do it. Just pick reasonable projects and especially if youre working on something you care about know your limits. Theres no shame in realizing a projects headed the wrong way or beyond your ability/skillset and stopping and getting advice/assistance. Cheep pawnshop guns are a good place to start learning, some will have boxes of cheep, semi broken stuff lying arroubd kn the back they just want to get rid of for cheep thats perfect to learn on.
Great point @Chris19d. In ferkin’ with that trigger job on my SUB, I came face to face with my shortcomings in the gunsmithing dept. (bad lighting, poor tools, can’t see crap, no real deep understanding, lack of desire, etc…) so back to the dealer with a bag of parts’n sixty bucks. Embarrassed? Nah. This is not some new self discovery, I already know myself very well, but watching the videos and hanging out here, I thought I’d give it a whack. (If anything I’m embarrassed going against my original conviction but I ain’t goin’ there🤨)
I AM, however, expert at shopping for and accessorizing the ol’ Sporkmunster! An important distinction to be sure. After all this though I just wanna shoot the dang thing.
I’ve installed all mcarbo parts pro trigger job, trigger bar, recoilless charge handle, muzzle brake it’s got me wanting to learn everything thing about gunsmithing
I think there’s a distinction to be made between being able to swap parts on a gun and being a gunsmith. A true gunsmith needs to have a solid background in math, machining, fabrication, mechanics, problem solving, etc. Given enough time i think i can figure out how to completely disassemble, swap parts, hopefully reassemble just about any gun. A gunsmith I will never be however because I suck at math and I can’t machine or build Guns and parts. My 2 cents that’s all.
@Kona You are correct, as usual. A gunsmith should be able to MAKE a gun not just repair it.
That’s why I said I want to learn about because I want to go to accredited gunsmith school
I have had my oldest gun since 1948. My second oldest since 1952. Hope that answers you question.
All my guns are for some type of defensive or SHTF purpose, however, they all become members of the family. Even my old Rossi .38 does duty mounted under my work desk (no kids in the house and only gun proficient adults). All of my guns are put in the rotation for range time and they all get a good workout.
So far I have only gotten rid of one handgun, a VP9 traded straight up for my second gen2 9MM Sub2k (the Sub2K being the perfect home defense firearm). My only indulgence is the ARs because I like to build not buy. The ARs keep multiplying without my permission just because they are so much fun to build and shoot and every on of those is purpose built.
I don’t follow trends or buy the latest new thing. As a matter of fact most of my tactical training was done with a CZ 75 B Omega, many people at the range don’t know what it is but they sure are impressed when they shoot it. I’ve got over 10,000 rounds through the CZ and it just keeps getting better.
Chris you nailed it twice now. Very good advice for all of us. R S
I know what you mean about AR’s multiplying. I too enjoy building them for a specific purpose. That’s the great thing about AR’s, they are like Legos for adults. You can build them like you want. I am really hoping the S2K will someday have enough market share that we will see the selection of parts for the S2K we currently see for the AR.
Id swear that spare AR parts left alone in my parts cabinet grow into full rifles on their own.
Honestly, I wouldn’t mind some of them self-propagatin’ parts in my closet. Save me a lotta hassle!
@Jefft1967 That is a very good question. I ‘qualified’ with a Glock 17 Gen 4 pistol in 2012. That was actually my first gun purchase. I shot a little Ruger SR22 at the range because I had found purchasing all those 9mm pricey. I liked the Ruger because it was very concealable as well. So, that was my 2nd firearm purchase. I then got concerned with a home defense scenario and purchased a Mossberg Maverick 88. My wife and I visited her father and was ‘gifted’ a Rossi R357B rifle after (a day at the range) with him. I guess now that the ‘firearm bug’ bit I started tinkering with all of my guns. I would pick up a magazine and there would always be a new part to buy/better gun out there! After 6 years of shooting, I am now coming into my own and deciding what ‘feels’ right to me. So, I purchased some AGI material (not that it would make me a gunsmith, but to help me feel comfortable with gun internals.) I have a few guns that I would like to purchase, but I feel I would rather have the satisfaction of building them myself. I have completely rebuilt my Glock so I would have no problem building another one. I would however like to tackle an AR15 and a 1911 kit.
The AR15 is probably the easiest semi-auto to build. If you have access to a mill, you can buy an 80% lower and finish machine it yourself and have an “off the books” AR. There are prints online with all the dimensions needed to complete one. You can also buy a fixture to do a lower on a simple drill press. I started my first one that way, but realized that since I’m a machinist and have a mill, it would be much easier to do on a mill.
I dont have a mill but do have the drill press. I have seen all of the videos to do it online and it looks really simple. I am an ex mechanic by trade. I am interested in buying the 80% and I know that one can get 3 builds out of a polymer 80 set up. There are other jig kits that I know one can purchase for an unlimited build ups, of course the kit is more expensive and from what I understand has more plates in jig kit requiring more steps.
I have never done a polymer lower. The ones I’ve done were from aluminum forgings. Polymer should be much easier.
Not that you would NOT be wearing protective eye wear but I presume that the metal receivers would be messier and the metal filings quite ‘itchy.’ The carbide bits would be more pricey. This is why I was going with the lessor cost factor. I would rather have the money into the gun…
its a vicious cycle.
first I buy la lower parts kit. to keep as spare parts ONLY
Then I scrounge up a lower because i dont want to loose or misplace any of the springs/bits
then i come across a unloved upper cause someone else re-placed a flattop with no fwd assist,
then i dug out that spare melonite bolt i had for emergencies (got a deal on a couple)
then picked up a spare set of FN barrels, from a buddy that didnt like the length
Foud a deal on slightly scuffed hand guard/rail sys.
picked up a stock and grip in a swap.
magazines, Gen 3 Magpul were on sale in coyote, picked up a dozen.
added a sling out of the stash.
flip up H&K style sights, out of the parts box
Mid-evil muzzle brake out of the parts box (picked up 4 of em out of a scratch and dent sale at LGS)
had to buy the gas tube new, didnt have the right length on hand
put a used Gen 1 fastfire on it, with a .500 QD mount. cowitnessed.
see the pattern forming? NOW I dont have a spare lower parts kit.
last month, I picked up a lower parts kit at the gun show.
and now, a buddy has offered me a PSA lower case for 50$
see where i am going with this???
The chips coming off aluminum are not that bad if you have the right feeds and speeds set up in your cut. Plastic, in my opinion is messier because it doesnt really break a chip, you end up with a big birds nest around the cutting tool. Although carbide cutters aren’t really necessary for aluminum. I did use carbide because it allowed me to run much higher feeds and speeds in my cutting. Carbide cutters also last MUCH longer than high speed steel or cobalt enriched H.S.S. tools.
Yes sir, once you build your first your hooked. There will be a second, then 3rd, etc. Pretty soon you need another safe to keep more in. They just seem to multiply on their own.