How To Find A Reputable Gunsmith

If you own a quality rifle or pistol, an antique gun or a specialty firearm, you need a reliable, experienced gunsmith who has graduated from a top gunsmithing school. It is essential that your gun operates correctly each time you pull the trigger as your life may depend upon it.

In addition, a graduate from a top gunsmith school will know which parts are needed for repairs, and he or she can suggest aftermarket parts and additions. The only problem is finding a professional who has successfully attended one of the leading gunsmithing schools in the country and who meets several other important qualifications.

Federal Licensing and Insurance

Even though completing gunsmithing school is essential, the gunsmith must be federally licensed. He or she must be carrying a valid federal firearms license (FFL).

Without it, the shop is operating illegally and you could find yourself in big trouble. Your guns may be confiscated by federal authorities and you may be subject to charges. The license should be displayed by the gunsmith in a conspicuous location. You can check online for its authenticity and expiration date.

The second qualification an appropriate gunsmith must have is insurance. Your firearms are important to you, and it would be a shame to lose them to theft, fire or other disasters. Always verify your gunsmith’s insurance. Check to see if he or she is bonded. That protects you from accidents or negligence.

Gunsmithing Schools

While many gunsmiths are self-taught or learned their trade informally through the years, neither gives you any verification as to what they know and what they can do. Only someone who has graduated from a gunsmith school can provide any sort of verification.

Gunsmithing schools help potential candidates obtain or hone all the skills that are required to be leaders in their trade, but not every gunsmithing school is equal. It is a great idea to ask a gunsmith which gunsmith school he or she attended, and once a diploma or certificate of completion from a gunsmithing school is provided, you may want to do some research on the institution.  

Several types of gunsmithing schools are available for students seeking a gunsmith license. Some of these gunsmithing schools are run by the military or police agencies and are not open to the public, but a gunsmith school for civilians can provide the same or even a higher level of education. This makes researching the gunsmith school of utmost importance.


In addition to asking about the gunsmithing school, you can learn a lot about your smith though his or her reputation in the community. A quality gunsmith will have positive reviews online and from other local gun owners. A great way to start this process is by asking around at local gun clubs and shooting ranges.

You will also want to find out how long the gunsmith has been operating his or her shop.  In most cases, you will find there is a very good reason why a gunsmith has an established shop that is always busy with loyal clientele.

Gunsmithing Services

The final piece of information you will need in order to determine whether you have found a reliable smith for your guns is whether all services are performed in-house, and if not, to who are they going and why. While it is generally recognized that a gunsmith will not be able to perform work on every type of specialty firearm in existence, he or she should not be farming out standard jobs to other shops.

Founded in 1947, the Colorado School of Trades (CST) has been a gunsmithing training destination since its inception. Our gunsmithing school enjoys a worldwide reputation built on a nearly 70-year history and a long list of successful graduates recognized by top Gunsmith employers everywhere. Find out more about a career in gunsmithing by calling 303-233-4697, Ext. 45.

Join Our Community

The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.