Visual Encyclopedia

Gunsmith

A gunsmith is a person who repairs, modifies, designs, or builds guns. This occupation differs from an armorer who usually only replaces worn parts in standard firearms. A gunsmith actually does modifications and changes to a firearm that may require a very high level of craftsmanship requiring the skills of a top level machinist, a very skilled wood worker, and even an engineer. Their level of craftsmanship usually requires several years of training and practical experience under a higher level gunsmith, attendance at a gunsmithing school, or both. A gunsmith also does factory level repairs and renovations to restore a much used or deteriorated firearms to new condition. They may make alterations to adapt sporting guns to better fit the individual shooter that may require extensive modifications to the firearm’s stocks and metal parts. These repairs and redesigns may require fabrication and fitting of non-available parts and assemblies, which the gunsmith usually fabricates themselves. Gunsmiths may also renew metal finishes to new condition levels, or apply carvings, engravings and other decorative features to an otherwise finished gun. The environment in which all this takes place often varies depending on the specific locality, with some gun stores featuring one or a handful of individuals performing this work under their roof, some may work as individuals in their own, separate shop, or it may be a group of highly trained specialist craftspeople who each contribute their individual skill to completely manufacture highly crafted custom made firearms from basic metal and wood raw materials.

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Part 1: AK-47 Stock Refinish - Introduction/What to Expect

Contributed by Alexandra Breed

Part 2: AK-47 Stock Refinish - Fitting Stock Pieces

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Part 3: AK-47 Stock Refinish - Upper Hand Guard Removal

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Part 4: AK-47 Stock Refinish - Stripping & Bleaching the Stock

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Part 5: AK-47 Stock Refinish - Metal Hardware Refinish

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Part 6: AK-47 Stock Refinish - Staining/Creating Custom Color

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Part 7: AK-47 Stock Refinish - Applying the Custom Color

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Part 8: AK-47 Stock Refinish - Final Steps & Completed Rifle

Contributed by Alexandra Breed

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