Want a trade and career with: good prospects, ‘honest days work’ self employment, a good income, very strong long term prospects, and that doesn’t entail working for the Government or big industry? Does that sound impossible today? Well, to my surprise, it appears that it is possible, if you think a tad outside the box…
1. Gun owners in Canada are legion. Even restricted, and yes prohibited (but duly licensed) gun owners are huge in number in all regions and increasing.
2. Firearms can not, in general, be serviced or modified by the owner.
3. Most firearms require periodic service.
4. Guns owners like to personalize and customize firearms.
5. Skilled gunsmiths, particularly for pistols, are very scare.
6. Though there are many good gunsmiths available in the US, it is virtually impossible to have firearms serviced cross-border (Canadian, not US, border services are actually the problem).
From this you might conclude correctly that:
1. There is a large, fairly affluent populace of firearms owners in Canada who need gunsmith services and can not easily obtain them.
2. A good gunsmith is greatly appreciated.
3. There is a very large (and increasing) trade in firearms and services, with very few full service dealers with real interest in their clients.
All this points to the reality that the prospects for a gunsmith with good skills (particularly with hand guns) are wonderful in Canada. This is particularly true with the movement of trade to the Internet, which allows a business to be visible, known, and to service clients Canada wide almost as if they were local.
Good so far, but now the problem…
No full time community college in Canada presently appears to offer training in the gunsmith trade. Even within the related tool and die making trade training, where this would be a natural option, there is little awareness – even as their base trade declines.
This would appear to be mostly a politics and awareness problem, since this somewhat exacting occupation appeals to the same ‘geeky’ propensity that much of high tech work does.
The only training available is of the ‘correspondence school’ variety. Not to demean this, since I have no direct knowledge, but it would not seem to offer the same level or legitimacy as college, and one wonders about government licensing afterwords. But I may stand correct in this later, if someone can fill me in.
Any training seems to be of the traditional apprentice variety – meaning that you must find a gunsmith in order to become one. This is something of a catch 22 admittedly. That notwithstanding, some mechanical and tooling skills, combined with some research, should yield a training path.
So, folks, it appears that if one would like a challenging, rewarding, self-employed career, where are you greatly appreciated by your clients and have a solid income, look no further than gunsmith’ing and firearms sales.
This is definitely not a tongue in cheek post. I only discovered this situation when I started to own firearms and wanted the sort of skilled and personable service that I would expect in my own field (IT). I have been fortunate to find a wonderful firearms adviser and gunsmith, but I had to look 1500 miles west. This says it all…
Now, since I am curious I may investigate training options a bit more.