There are many reasons for starting a gunsmith business. Gunsmithing has been around for centuries and will likely be in demand for many years. Gunsmiths have a wide range of skills they can bring to their work, including metalworking, woodworking and engineering. They also have a deep knowledge of the history of firearms, which can be very valuable to collectors and enthusiasts. Additionally, gunsmiths often find great satisfaction in knowing that they’re helping people to exercise their right to bear arms. This article will cover how to start a gunsmith business and why you may need a high-risk merchant account for your business.
Table of Contents
- What Are Gunsmiths?
- What Does a Gunsmith Do?
- What Is the Best Way To Get Started in the Gunsmith Business?
- Choose the right payment processor
- Choose a focus for your business
- Get the right tools for the job
- What machines does a gunsmith need?
- Research the relevant laws and regulations
- Obtain the necessary training and experience
- Start building your customer base
- Keep your customers coming back
- Join the American Gunsmithing Association (AGA)
- What Are the Benefits of Starting a Gunsmith Business?
- Are Gunsmiths Profitable?
- Which Gunsmiths Make the Most Money?
- How Much Does It Cost to Start a Gunsmith Business?
- What is the Best Gun to Start a Business With?
- What are the Most Popular Gunsmithing Services?
- What is the Most Important Skill for a Gunsmith?
- What are the Business Challenges of a Gunsmith?
What Are Gunsmiths?
A gunsmith is a person who repairs, modifies, designs or builds firearms. They perform a similar role to an armorer. However, an armorer primarily works on the metal components of firearms, while gunsmiths take care of the woodwork and other materials used in construction.
There are two types of gunsmiths: gunsmiths who make firearms from scratch and gunsmiths who repair or modify existing ones. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) recognizes both types.
Some of the most common types of gunsmith businesses include retail stores, repair shops and custom shops.
What Does a Gunsmith Do?
A gunsmith does a variety of tasks, including but not limited to the following:
- Assembling firearms
- Designing firearms
- Building firearms from scratch
- Modifying existing firearms
- Creating custom gun barrels
- Making adjustments to stocks
- Carving grips and other parts by hand
- Checking the accuracy of firearms
- Test-firing firearms
Gunsmiths must have a keen eye for detail, good hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity. They must also have excellent problem-solving skills.
Some gunsmiths specialize in a particular type of firearm, such as revolvers, rifles or shotguns. Others may specialize in a specific make or model of firearm.
What Is the Best Way To Get Started in the Gunsmith Business?
The following steps will help you with starting a gunsmith business:
Choose the right payment processor
Running a small business means you need a surefire way to accept customer credit card payments. However, banks and traditional payment processing companies like PayPal consider guns and ammo companies high-risk because these types of businesses face many potential legal liabilities.
For this reason, you’ll need to find a high-risk merchant account provider willing to work with your business. Zenti is a provider that specializes in working with high-risk industries, including gunsmiths.
When you open a merchant account with Zenti, you’ll be able to process credit and debit card payments from your customers. Plus, you won’t have to worry about being shut down by your payment processor. You’ll have access to a wide range of features that will help you to run your business more effectively. These features include chargeback protection, fraud prevention tools and around-the-clock customer support. So if you’re ready to get started in the gunsmith business, then open a merchant account with Zenti today.
Choose a focus for your business
What’s your gunsmith business plan? Will you specialize in antique firearms or work on modern weapons? Will you offer repair services or focus on customizations and modifications? Knowing what kind of gunsmithing you want will help you choose the right tools and set up your workspace accordingly.
For example, if you’re working on antique firearms, you’ll need a shop with plenty of room for spreadsheets and other reference materials. On the other hand, if you’re planning to offer repair services, you’ll need a large workspace to accommodate multiple workstations.
Get the right tools for the job
No matter what kind of gunsmithing you plan on doing, you’ll need a few basic tools to get started. These include:
- A set of files
- A set of punches
- A set of taps and dies
- A set of screwdrivers
- A set of wrenches
- An anvil
- A bench vise
- A hammer
In addition to these essential tools, you’ll also need a few specialized tools specific to the type of gunsmithing you plan on doing. For example, if you’re working on antique firearms, you’ll need a set of calipers and a borescope. On the other hand, if you’re planning to offer repair services, you might need a welding torch and a soldering iron.
What machines does a gunsmith need?
The type of machines that a gunsmith needs will depend on their services. However, there are some basic machines that all gunsmiths should have in their workshop, including:
- A lathe: A machine that shapes metal for gunsmiths who need to create custom parts or make repairs.
- A mill: Removes material from a workpiece. Gunsmiths use it to create custom designs or to make precision cuts.
- A drill press: A machine that drills holes in metal.
- A welder: A tool that joins two pieces of metal together.
Research the relevant laws and regulations
The gunsmithing business is heavily regulated, and you must comply with all applicable laws.
For example, gunsmiths in the U.S. need a federal firearms license (FFL). To get an FFL, you’ll need to fill out an application for a gunsmith license and submit it to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). You’ll also need to pass a background check.
In addition to these federal requirements, you’ll also need to comply with state and local laws. Whether you’re running your business part-time or full-time, you’ll need a business license from your state.
Obtain the necessary training and experience
To be a gunsmith, you’ll need the necessary training and experience. There are a few different ways to do this.
One option is to complete an apprenticeship with a certified gunsmith. An apprenticeship is usually a four-year program and will allow you to learn the trade from an experienced professional.
Another option is to attend a gunsmithing school.
You can learn by reading books and watching videos on the subject. However, it’s important to note that this method will take longer, and it might be more challenging to find a job or become a self-employed gunsmith without formal training.
Regardless of which route you choose, it’s essential to make sure that you have the necessary training and experience before you start your gunsmith business.
Start building your customer base
Once you’ve set up your business and chosen a business name, it’s time to build your customer base. There are a few different ways to do this, including:
- Joining a gun club to meet shooters and get your name out there
- Advertising in local newspapers and online
- Handing out business cards and flyers in local gun stores and shooting ranges.
- Offering discounts to new customers to attract attention and get your business off the ground
Keep your customers coming back
Once you’ve got your customers, it’s essential to keep them coming back.
One option is to offer loyalty discounts.
Another option is to offer a warranty on your services to show your customers that you stand behind your work and give them peace of mind.
Join the American Gunsmithing Association (AGA)
Being a member of a professional organization, such as the American Gunsmithing Association (AGA), can help you network with other gunsmiths and stay up-to-date on the latest industry news.
In addition, professional organizations offer discounts on supplies and training, helping you to save money and be a more profitable gunsmith business owner.
What Are the Benefits of Starting a Gunsmith Business?
There are many benefits to starting a gunsmith business. For one, it’s a relatively low-cost business to start up. You’ll need some basic tools and equipment, but you can often find used items at a fraction of the cost. There is a large market for gunsmith services. More and more people are purchasing firearms for self-defense, recreation and hunting. As a result, there’s increasing demand for gunsmiths who can help maintain and repair guns. Creating a gunsmith start-up can also be gratifying work. It’s an opportunity to work with your hands, learn new skills and serve your community.
Are Gunsmiths Profitable?
Yes, gunsmiths can be profitable. The firearms industry is big business. In the U.S., it’s worth 28 billion USD.
The average salary for a gunsmith in the U.S. is 46,090 USD per year. However, those who own their businesses may earn significantly more than this.
Which Gunsmiths Make the Most Money?
There are many factors to consider when it comes to earnings for gunsmiths, including:
- Experience and skill level: Gunsmiths with more experience and expertise can command higher prices.
- The type of gunsmithing services: Gunsmiths who offer custom work or repairs on high-end firearms can expect to make more money than those who only provide basic services.
- The geographical location of the gunsmith: Gunsmiths in larger cities or areas with a higher demand for firearms can earn more than those in smaller towns or rural areas.
How Much Does It Cost to Start a Gunsmith Business?
The cost of starting a gunsmith business depends on the size and scope of the company, the location and the type of services you offer. You can run a small gunsmithing business out of a home workshop or garage with just a few tools and supplies. Those looking to start a more comprehensive gunsmithing business and want to rent their own shop may need to invest 10,000 USD or more. The average start-up cost for a gunsmithing business is 11,015 USD. However, it’s possible to start a small gunsmithing business for as little as 1,400 USD.
What is the Best Gun to Start a Business With?
The best gun to start a business with is the one you know most about. If you have experience with a particular type of gun, you can offer better services and command a higher price. For those just starting, it’s often best to begin with a more common type of firearm, such as a handgun or a rifle.
What are the Most Popular Gunsmithing Services?
The most popular gunsmithing services include:
- Cleaning and maintenance: Cleaning and maintaining firearms helps keep them in good working condition and prevents problems from developing.
- Repairs: Gunsmiths often offer repair services for those who have broken or damaged firearms. Repair services can include fixing a cracked stock or replacing a worn-out barrel.
- Custom work: Many gunsmiths offer custom work services such as engraving, woodworking and metalwork. Custom work can include personalizing a firearm or creating a one-of-a-kind piece.
What is the Most Important Skill for a Gunsmith?
The most important skill for a gunsmith is the ability to troubleshoot problems and find creative solutions. Gunsmiths must be able to identify the root cause of a problem and then develop a plan to fix it. Problem-solving at this level requires a high level of creativity and technical knowledge.
What are the Business Challenges of a Gunsmith?
One challenge of how to start a gunsmith business is finding the right payment processing solution. When choosing a payment processor, there are a few things to consider, such as whether the processor can handle high-risk transactions, how fast they give approvals and what fees are involved.
Zenti is a team of experts experienced in handling high-risk merchant payment processing for various industries. They know what solutions work best for businesses like gunsmiths, and they can help you get fast approvals for your account. Contact Zenti today and be assured that you’re getting the best possible solution for your business.