A History Of Gunsmithing

gunsmith_signGunsmithing was a time-consuming and meticulous profession before the Revolutionary War. Gunsmiths had to be skilled in metal work, wood work, metal casting and be artistic. Creating a new firearm would often take up to 400 hours of labor. Gunsmith shops were usually crowded with materials, equipment, gunsmith tools and poorly lit.

Gunsmiths would do occasional repairs and often hired apprentices who worked for them for years. Colonial gunsmiths would personalize and repair handguns that had been imported from England. Gunsmiths were hired to make the larger rifles as they were not imported, and they often cost as much as a full set of clothing. Measurements were taken to ensure that the gun was the correct size for its owner.

The ”Pennsylvania rifle” or ”Kentucky rifle” was produced by mainly German Gunsmiths. Accuracy was improved because of the longer rifled barrel. It was more affordable because if the smaller bore which required far less powder. The stock was usually metal engraved and carved.

Gunsmiths were in demand when the new Americans began to move west. Reliable firearms were required for protection and hunting. Still using homemade gunsmith tools, most of the work involved converting or repairing rifles. Gun and ammunition sales became a part of gunsmith trade while they also repaired household items such as scissors, knives and clocks. Apprentices were often sons or nephews working for family members.

A Gunsmith is a highly skilled craftsman who is able to develop, restore, fabricate, or repair guns. Gunsmiths are usually specialists or general practitioners who have clients who hunt, collect firearms, deal in firearms, and anyone else who may be qualified to own a firearm. You will find most Gunsmiths working in self owned businesses. They do require skills to perform occupational duties, such as refined hand/eye coordination, keen sight and grip. This includes work experience and education that is necessary to qualify for employment.

If you are interested in becoming a gunsmith you can begin preparing for this before completing your GED.

By completing course in subjects such as mathematics, English, psychology, business communications, students often prepare for their careers. Students may participate in shooting clubs, complete courses in gun safety or hunt. There are certificate programs, internships or degree programs that can expand your training and further education. There are many courses such as identifying and evaluating firearms, gunsmith tools, hand and power tools, metalwork, ballistics and ammunition and many more.

Once certificate courses are completed, students usually secure entry level employment. The National Rifle Association offers many courses and gunsmiths who have experience like to continue their studies and become masters of their craft. Gunsmithing opens employment in areas such as sporting goods stores, private shooting ranges, gun shops or self owned businesses.

There are community colleges and correspondence courses that offer several courses of study in this area which can take less than two years. Many of these courses lead to certification and degrees. Some of the more well know schools also offer training in this trade. They can be located by doing a little research on the internet.

 

How To Become A Gun Collector: Choosing Varieties and Models To Put In Your Gun Case

20130125-181854-300x200Not everyone starts out with the intention to be a gun collector. A lot of people start off owning one gun and become more interested in collecting as time goes on.Check out this article and learn about different collections, collectors, and things you should keep in mind when you’re collecting.

Different Types of Collecting and Collectors

Every collector collects differently and for different reasons. Some people want to collect different models for variety. Some collectors just like to collect guns that they could also use in the future, like a rifle that can look magnificent in a gun case but also be taken out hunting. Other times, it’s the history of the gun that is intriguing to the collector. Collectors may even take a shine to specializing in a particular type or model of guns, such as competition guns or military weapons. Ultimately, the guns collected reflect the interests and personality of the collector. Every collection is different, just like the collector.

Factors To Keep In Mind When Collecting

– The make and model.

This is where many collectors begin and is a big part of specialized collections. Factors when it comes to make and model include the quality of the product, when they were used, and the brand. Different collectors will gravitate to different guns from manufacturers, such as Smith and Wessons, Winchesters, Colts, Lugers, British Enfields, S&W, and more. Doing your research and getting information from different collectors and resources can help you determine what make and model would be best for you.

– The condition.

When collecting guns, you should keep condition in mind. Collectors should ideally hold out for the guns that are in the best condition, and this is especially true if you as a collector is considering selling the firearm in the future. However, if you love a particular gun and feel that you need that gun sitting in your gun case, then as long as the gun is a good piece and is not in a highly damaged condition, it’s a good buy. Every collector is different. You alone know what type of gun and factors you are going for.

– Restoration and finish.

Even long time collectors can find it difficult to distinguish between restored and finished guns that are worked to look like new. Mint condition finished guns can be nearly identical to well done restorations. Inspect the pieces that you buy, and ask for documentation or proof that the firearm is what it is said to be.

– History, rarity, art.

Guns can also be distinguished by their history, the rarity of the piece, and art. Rare guns are not always valuable. Beware of sellers using this tactic to drive up the price. The history of ownership of gun can be a point of interest and catch a collector’s eye. Finally, engraved guns and unique guns with artistic value are often created. Many collectors are interested in the history and the craftsmanship of such pieces. Nineteenth and twentieth century engravers have created some beautiful works.

Where Do Gun Collectors Find Guns For Their Collection

The Internet has many gun auction sites that collectors can take advantage of, such as AuctionArms.com and GunBroker.com. Live catalogue auctions are also a good place to find collector’s pieces. Gun, collector, and commercial shows are all also going to have great guns of interest to many collectors. Collectors can also go to specialty dealers or use mail order, buy from fellow collectors, check out retail gun shops, classifieds,or even flea markets, estate sales, and pawn shops.

Collecting guns is a learning process. At the end of the day, gun collecting is about passion, interest, and what guns would look great in your gun case.There’s no wrong way to collect. As long as you love the models in your gun case, that’s all that matters.

Simple Steps to Train Yourself to Becoming a Fine Shooter

royalty-free-gun-clipart-illustration-225847Hobbies can take many different forms, from collecting stamps to coins or even cooking. One of America’s favorite pastimes is hunting.  To get started, a hunter must choose their weapon of choice.  Unless you plan on bow hunting, it is likely that you will have to invest in a firearm.  Choosing a reliable and powerful gun is perhaps the most important purchase a hunter will make.  A wrong purchase may lead to dangerous accidents as there are many cases where the misfire from the guns have taken life of people or even injured the user.

Before purchasing a gun it is of vital importance that you do your research.  First identify what type of gun you need , and for what purpose.  Are you hunting big game?  Do you need a small pistol for protection while bow hunting?  

  • For a small deer or any likewise animal, a .338 to .270 LAPUA is good
  • With the exception of adjusting modes, a .308 will also suffice
  • For smaller hunting a shotgun is enough for the purpose

Once you have determined what type of gun is needed, make sure to compare a few different models.  It is also vital you choose a gun that is easy to maintain and clean.  DO NOT purchase a gun that you are not familiar with, as this can cause an accident down the road.

DO NOT choose a gun solely based on price.    . A gun owner should only take performance and caliber into consideration when purchasing a weapon, not just price.One of the biggest mistakes first time gun buyers make is to choose a gun thinking it is the best because the price tag is high. It is best advised to buy them from government licensed shops as they are staffed by knowledgable gun enthusiast and can make great recommendations.  Many even offer handsome discounts.

Once you have purchased your gun, it is important to understand how to properly use and maintain the gun.  Luckily, there are many gun shops and gun ranges that offer training sessions that will teach the gun owner how to shoot, load, unload, and clean the weapon with ease.  They will also be able to explain any questions you may have when reading through the manual.

 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Hunting Tips from the Best

gameplan1The 2015 hunting season is just around the corner, so you need to be well prepared if you want to be successful in your hunting trips. Similar to any other activity or hobby in life, bow hunting is something that requires both money & time investment. You will always get what you put in. If you put no desire, you spent no time preparing and you spent no money on hunting gear, your chances of having a great hunting season are limited. However, if you invest both money and time in this unique hobby, your chances of having an extraordinary hunting season grow exponentially.

You can now change your own luck by following these 5 bow hunting tips made by the best.

  1. Be Well Prepared

First of all, you need to make sure that you work on your archery form. Most shooting problems fall into one of the following three categories: improper grip, shooting too long or locking the left arm. In order to shoot like a pro, train regularly and improve your archery form. Develop your stance, learn the best body/torso position, improve your grip and use various anchor points to improve your accuracy.

  1. Stay Fit

The next important thing you need to do is to make sure that you are in shape when you go out hunting. You should have a healthy lifestyle all throughout the year in order to ensure maximum efficiency and competitiveness. To make the most out of your hunting season, you need to be ready to give your best. You cannot do that if meanwhile you’ve put on 20 pounds or you lack the energy to use the bow properly.

  1. Practice on 3D Courses

There are a plethora of 3D courses in all across the US you can use to keep yourself interested and up to date with the changes. Not only that training offseason is one of the best exercises to keep you on the right path, but you can also learn how to leverage modern technology to improve your accuracy and become better at hunting deer.

  1. Scout Early Before the Season Starts

Do not make the common mistake to scout your spots in the last minute. You need to realize that nothing puts the deer on alert more than a bunch of hunters who are struggling to find a hunting spot. Start in early July or August and place a few hidden trail cams around the perimeter of your hunting spot. Remember to retrieve the cards from the cameras a few weeks before starting the hunting in order to know exactly where to hunt.

  1. Tune your Hunting Gear

Lastly and probably most importantly, you should make sure that your hunting gear is working perfectly. Tune up your gear or buy new items from http://www.exploreproducts.com/. On this website, you can find a wide range of hunting items, from handgun and rifle cases to caps, t-shirts and grip adapters.

The Bottom Line

As the 2015 hunting season draws near, you need to be ready for a perfect hunting experience. Improve your hunting strategies, improve your shooting skills by practicing on 3D courses, tune up your gear and hunt according to the wind. Your success is then guaranteed.

Reasons To Take Up Gunsmithing As A Hobby

gunsmithing2Gunsmithing is the art of building, modifying, altering, or adding accessories to a firearm. Gunsmiths add various scopes to rifles to make them more accurate, add handles to shotguns to make them easier to hold, add magazines to pistols to enable them to carry more rounds, and make numerous other modifications. People who own firearms, either for hunting or for recreational use, should seriously consider taking up Gunsmithing as a hobby.   There are many great reasons to do so.

  1. Knowledge.

For gun enthusiasts, taking up the hobby of gunsmithing will greatly improve their understanding of the firearms they own. What better way to understand how something works than to take it apart and make modifications? While browsing online through various gunsmith tools, you’ll stumble across numerous kits, accessories, and parts that you didn’t even know existed. You’ll learn about cleaning pads, parts kits, trigger kits, conversion kits, maintenance kits, various scopes, and other gun accessories. The more knowledge you have about your firearms the more capable you will be of using them to their best ability.

  1. Safety.

Owning a firearm is a serious matter. Firearms are dangerous, so they should be cared for properly and used only in environments where they are safe. Taking up gunsmithing as a hobby will provide you with a better understanding of your firearms, which will lead to you understanding how to safely use them.   When it comes to safety, the more you know about your guns the better.

  1. Functionality.

A great reason to take up gunsmithing as a hobby is that it will increase the functionality of your firearms. For example, you may wonder why you are so inaccurate with your AR15 when you take it to the shooting range.   However, after taking up gunsmithing you’ll quickly realize that there are numerous scopes and rail risers available that will greatly increase your shooting accuracy. Numerous gun parts, tools and kits will boost the functionality of every firearm you own.

  1. Individuality.

Another great reason to take up gunsmithing is that it allows you to make your firearms your own. When you purchase a firearm at a store, you do so knowing there are thousands of other people with the exact same gun. After learning about gunsmithing, however, you’ll be able to modify your firearm to make it your own.

  1. Durability of your firearms.

Firearms are a big investment. They require you to purchase a safe and ammunition, and to spend money taking them to the shooting range to test them out. As such an investment, they should be cared for properly. By learning about gunsmithing, you’ll quickly realize how to take your guns apart and clean them. You’ll learn that specific types of guns have parts that are more likely to break, so you’ll be able to stock up on those parts and make fixes when the time comes. In other words, you’ll learn how to care for your investment and keep it working properly for as long as possible.

5 Deer Hunting Gear Items That Are A “Must Have”

Karen_TurkeyThe sport of deer hunting requires a combination of patience and preparation.   In order to enjoy a successful and safe hunt it is important to be sure you have all the necessary hunting gear required. Here is some specific hunting gear that you need for bow hunting. With these added items, your hunting trip will not only be safe, but significantly improve the overall experience.

Bows And Arrows

Whether you prefer a compound bow or a cross bow for hunting, it needs to be fast, accurate and must have a strong impact delivery system. Selecting a hub or elliptic system for a compound bow will significantly reduce the force needed to hold the cable, giving you more time to concentrate on your aim. When you use a crossbow for deer hunting, there is not much strength needed, making it ideal for hunters or all body types and ages.

When it comes to equipping the bow with the right arrows, select the ones that are best compatible with the bow and have the stiffness and length to provide a clean hit. Paying a slightly higher price for the best arrows is worth it since your hunting accuracy, kill shot and speed depends on it.

Right Clothing

The right camouflage or dull colored clothes such as olive green colored outwear are best suited for a deer hunting trip. Apart from the camouflaged pants, shirt and jacket, you might want to consider face paint as well to blend into the surroundings.

For safety reasons, it is good practice to wear a brightly colored hat to alert other hunters in the area of your presence. Apart from the usual clothing items you may also need waterproof gloves, rain bibs, heavy boots, wool socks and heavy wool sweater.

Scent Masking

It is important that your hunting gear includes a good quality scent killer to mask your scent. Since deer has a strong sense of smell, they can smell you from far away. This item may just cost a few dollars, but can be your ultimate tool for hunting that trophy deer.

Backpack

Knowing what you might need out in the field is unpredictable, so your backpack must be equipped with all the essential items that you might need on the hunting trip. However, since hunting requires you to be silent and instinctive, you can’t carry around a huge backpack. Some of the items that your backpack must contain include:

  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Map of the area
  • Compass
  • Thermal blanket
  • Binoculars
  • Hunting Knife
  • Camera with extra batteries
  • Food and water
  • Painkillers, insect repellent, sun shades

Scouting Information

It is important to scout the area that you are going into for the hunt. Spend a few hours looking into the different tracks, search for deer tracks and mark them on the area map to be prepared for the hunt. Once you have done the scouting expedition, use your latitudinal and longitudinal location to create a topographical map of the region. Including a well prepared map in your hunting gear ensures that you are not heading into the hunting grounds blindfolded, and know exactly where to look for.

With the right spots to look for accompanied with top notch hunting and support equipment, you hunting trip will be enjoyable and rewarding.

Crucial Safety Tips Every Firearm Owner Should Know

gunsafetyFor a long time now, target shooting and hunting have been categorized as some of the safest sports.  However, the handling and storage of firearms has been a top concern for many people. Firearm owners and enthusiasts alike can be exposed to safety risks whenever they handle firearms, hence the need for safety discipline both at home and on the range. The following are some of the most important tips for all firearm owners to keep in mind.

Tip #1: Keep the Gun Pointed in a Safe Direction

It is very crucial for firearm owners to realize that guns should always be treated with caution and respect.  Even if you are sure the gun has been properly unloaded, it is essential to be aware of your surroundings.   It is recommended that if you are not in a firing position, the gun be holstered or held muzzle-down, in a gun case or locked while pointing away from people. Similarly, when in a firing position, the gun needs to point downrange or to the identified target.

Tip #2: Watch Your Trigger Finger

Another important tip to keep in mind is that your finger should always be off the trigger until there is an actual need to shoot. This means that if you are just holding the gun, the trigger finger should be indexed such that it rests straight alongside the body of the gun. Alternatively, the finger can rest outside the trigger guard so long as you do not touch the trigger until you are actually ready to fire.

Tip #3: Confirm Your Target and Beyond

According to the Armed Defense Training Association, you are responsible for the entire path of bullets from your firearm. Since there is a possibility of a bullet hitting your desired target and still continuing through, you need to be aware of what is beyond your target. You need therefore to aim responsibly and fire in directions you are assured the bullet will be safely halted.

Tip #4: Practice Safe Keeping of Firearms

Last but not least, you should be conscious of your gun such that you keep it unloaded when not in use, store it in a locked cabinet or vault away from unauthorized access and use a gun lock as an additional precaution. Ammunition should also be locked away separate from the guns. More so, you should be sure of how your firearm operates and how to handle the gun parts during cleaning.

These tips are meant to keep every gun holder conscious and aware of their responsibility when handling firearms, they should therefore be heeded not only for prevention of injury, but also to avoid damage of precious property.

How To Properly Clean Your Gun

gunslick-34-piece-universal-gun-cleaning-kit-64020-lgIf you’ve operated an engine then you know the importance of keeping it clean and servicing regularly. Guns operate in a similar manner; they need to be taken apart and cleaned in order to remove any foreign particles that may interfere with functionality.

Use the steps below to disassemble the weapon for cleaning- but keep in mind that some types of weapons come with explicit instructions from the manufacturer for cleaning. Before cleaning any gun, take a few minutes to reference the owners manual.

Step 1.  Find Or Clear A Large Space To Work

Find a large surface to work on, and make sure the place is bright and well ventilated. Some of the chemicals used to clean guns give off strong smells, which makes ventilation very essential. Spread a soft cloth over the flat surface of your work area before taking the weapon apart. Rough surfaces could cause scratching of internal parts, and that may affect regular functions.

Step 2.   Use Proper Tools

Using the right tools and products to clean your gun is essential.  The type of gun cleaning kit you purchase depends entirely on the type of gun you have; but if you own several guns, there are a number of universal gun cleaning kits that work on a variety of guns. At their most basic, the pieces making up the cleaning kit should include the following:

  • Oil, which is used to lubricate the gun
  • Cleaning solvent
  • Cleaning rod and cleaning patches
  • A small brush

If the kit doesn’t include a small brush, you can use a toothbrush for the same purpose.

Step 3. Unload The Weapon

This step may seem obvious, but it is perhaps the most important step you must take before cleaning any weapon.  Remember safety first. Ensure there aren’t any bullets in the chamber and/or barrel.

Step 4.   Dissemble The Weapon &  Begin Cleaning

Dip the brush into the chemical as needed and use it to clean the inside of the cylinder. If it’s the first time cleaning the gun then you might find a buildup of dirt but with regular cleaning this part shouldn’t take too long. After enough cleaning, use a cleaning rag to wipe out the dirt and chemical cleaner.

To clean the barrel, start by attaching a cleaning patch to a cleaning rod and then dip the cleaning patch into the cleaning solvent until it is wet but not dripping. Now using the rod, slowly push the cleaning patch into the barrel of the gun and clean the inside. Do this several times, and make sure to replace the cleaning patch as it comes out, do this until the barrel gets clean.

When you’re done cleaning, you will have to use the lubricants that came with the cleaning kit. Use a fresh cleaning patch and rod to apply oil into the barrel, and use the same oil on all the moving parts of the gun, just to ensure smooth movements of all the parts.

Step 5.  Reassemble The Gun & Store Safely Away From Children

Guns require proper care and that includes cleaning- which you can learn to do with this guide. Keep your weapons clean and in good working condition by using the right tools for cleaning.

The Five Essential Type Of Hunting Equipment Every Hunter Needs

hunting-432Hunting requires a lot of preparation on behalf of the hunter as well as having the appropriate equipment in order to ensure a successful hunting experience. While there are thousands of different items, the following list contains the five essential types of hunting equipment that any hunter needs to succeed:

  1. Scent Blockers: A deer’s survival depends on its sense of smell. In fact, the lack of a scent blocker is a recipe for failure when hunting deer. They can easily spot the smell of a human being and run away before the hunter has the time to shoot. The most effective way to tackle this situation is to use more than one type of scent blocker when going hunting. There are many types of scent products ranging from vitamins, deodorants, hunter clothing that doesn’t let the human scent escape for deer to smell.
  2. Survivor Tactical Backpack: It doesn’t matter how much equipment a hunter owns if he isn’t able to carry it with ease when in the woods. In order to solve this problem, a hunter can make use of a survivor tactical backpack which contains outside pockets. He or she can organize equipment accordingly so that it is easily accessible. Elastic bands as well as additional loading straps will allow him to carry virtually anything he will need in his hunt. The hunter may also pass hours waiting for the perfect shot, so a backpack that allows for the carrying of hydration equipment is always a preferred option.
  3. Binoculars: Another crucial component of hunting equipment is having high-quality binoculars. While there are many types of binoculars, ED binoculars are the binoculars of choice when it comes to hunting. ED glass allows the image to be sharper. It provides a better color resolution which gives the hunter a better view of the target as well as the distance between them. Results are more accurate shots, increasing chances of a successful hunt. Ergonomic designs are always sought after since the hunter normally will be spending a large amount of time looking through them at its target.
  4. Ear muffs: Probably the most important thing to have is ear protection. Ear muffs offer the hunter protection against the sound of shooting which he will be hearing multiple times throughout his hunting days. Ear muffs with noise reduction of NRR 26dB are just what is needed. Sometimes ear muffs are sold in combos with safety glasses so you can “kill two birds with one shot”.
  5. Gun cases: There are varying sizes for gun cases, almost all of them range from 40 to 48 inches. Therefore, you will have to be aware of the size of the rifle before purchasing a rifle case in which it will fit. There are many designs and styles available giving you many options depending on your preferences. Keeping your gun away from moisture as much as possible is very important to the life and safety of your gun. Rusted barrels can cause accidents to happen.

7 Tips To Avoid Common Gunsmithing Mistakes

gunsmithing-placervilleThe trade of gunsmithing has been passed on for generations and the people who practice this trade come from all walks of life. For many, the art of gunsmithing creates a deep familiarity and connection with their firearms.  However, if you make a mistake it can easily turn from a fun, quick task to a very expensive project.   In order to avoid these costly mistakes, take a look at the tips below.

  1. Always read the manual.  Understanding every part of your firearm will require some time to read through the manual.  Not every gun is put together in the same way, and will have different requirements. These manuals are a great reference source, and will help the gunsmith disassemble and assemble the firearm.   If you can not find the manual, many manufacturers have manuals available online.
  2. Keep it simple, at first.  Until you have logged many hours researching and practicing on a variety of guns from a master, stick to simple repairs and cleaning. By keeping it simple, you will perfect your skill level without incurring other costly repairs because you bit off more than you can chew.
  3. Clear your workspace.  In order to properly complete repairs or modifications you will need to have a well lit, clean and clear work space.  Trying to locate a small spring or a pin on a dark , cluttered table is incredibly difficult.   Be sure to set aside a space and drape a white cloth over a table before you being the modifications.
  4. Use the right tools.  We have all heard the phrase, a man is only as good as the tools he has.  This is true for gunsmithing as well.  Using the wrong tool can cause damage to the screws or finish on the gunsmithing. Invest in a proper gunsmithing tool kit.
  5. Do not use too much muscle.  Most gun modifications should not require much force.  Never force it.  Take the time to make sure everything is lined up correctly, if you become frustrated take a break.  Many times the part will click together after you are rested and relaxed.
  6. Be mindful of what you are replacing. Compare the new gun parts with the old will help you take notice of any changes between manufactures.  This can help you avoid installing a poorly fitted or wrong part can cause the gun to malfunction, which is extremely dangerous.
  7. Leave it to the professionals.  Finally, know your limits.  While cleaning, fixing loose parts and replacing worn pins are relatively easy DIY projects, others are better left to the professionals.

 

Keeping these tips in mind will save you both money and countless hours of frustration.