As with any other skill, the more time an individual practices, the better they become. HD has been a gunsmith since 2004 when he graduated from Colorado School of Trades with an Associates of Applied Science degree in Gunsmithing. Prior to his education, gunsmithing was just a hobby, as it is for many avid gun owners, but he knew there was more to it than the basics he was using and decided to turn his passion into a career. When I see the quality gunsmithing work my husband does I have to ask myself: “Was it his education, his determination, or his raw talent as a craftsman that has made him so good?” There are a lot of hobbyist gunsmiths out there, gunsmiths who learned their trade from correspondences courses, watching YouTube, or just taking guns apart and putting them back together again. I am certain that these gunsmiths bring much to the table, and perhaps I am biased (ya’ think?) in saying that HD’s excellent work is second to none, but I wonder if the casual gun owner knows how valuable a good gunsmith is?
There is more to gunsmithing than just tearing guns down and putting them back together again, trouble shooting, and simple modifications. Gunsmithing is one of the most incredible forms of artistic expression out there, the amount of skill that goes into creating the usable works of art like Holland & Holland, Fabbrica Armi d’Abbiatico e Salvinelli, and even Winchester bring to the market is nearly unfathomable. Firearms that companies like this produce are exquisite and here are some examples of their artistry:
There is such beauty that can be found in classic rifles, shotguns, revolvers, and handguns. While the new “black guns” are fun to shoot, they lack the splendor of a beautifully crafted gun that boasts a superior finish and the gloss of a crafted stock or grips. I am not saying that one is superior to the other, but I am saying that a good custom rifle or shotgun attracts a certain type of person; a person who values craftsmanship, quality, and a durability that has been proven for hundreds of years. These guns are built to last, they are not mass-produced, many are one of a kind. Now I am well aware that not everyone has access to a Holland & Holland firearm (we sure don’t), but many do have access to an educated gunsmith who can make certain that their traditional firearm is well cared for and will serve its purpose for decades to come. These gunsmiths can upgrade stocks, re-blue barrels, and add value for future generations. A word of warning: beware of an overeager gunsmith who is not experienced in which firearms are safe to smith and which are far better off left in their original condition. Many a novice gun owner has taken a valuable firearm to an ignorant gunsmith, who while stripping the finishes, stripped the value right out of the gun.
When your truck needs an oil change, you can usually do that yourself, but there are some things that require an expert’s attention. The same goes with firearms; while there are many things an owner can do themselves, there are other repairs that should be done by a trained and insured gunsmith. We can never forget that these tools, while often very pretty to look at, are meant to be deadly and a simple mistake on the part of a DYI’er attempting to repair their own firearm could lead to catastrophe. We would love to be your gunsmith of choice, but if you can’t get to us (you can always ship your firearm to us) please find a reputable, educated, and insured gunsmith to service your firearms. We care about your safety and want you to always be responsible when it comes to your guns.