How Much Do You Know About Gunsmithing?


By: John Miller

5 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

There are no guns without gunsmiths, the men and women who design, build and repair the world's firearms. There's a whole lot more to the job than gunpowder and lead. Do you really know much about gunsmithing?

What does a gunsmith do?

Gunsmithing is a centuries-old trade. These men and women build and repair guns, and design and modify them, too.


The stockmaker is responsible for making which part of a gun?

Stockmakers are accomplished woodworkers who make the stocks for guns. On a rifle or shotgun, the stock is the non-mechanical portion that serves as a handle. It's often made of wood, or in many modern guns, plastic.


Which of the following men is a famous gunsmith?

in the late 1800s, John Browning revolutionized many aspects of gun making. He filed more than 100 firearms patents and built a company that's now world-famous.


What makes gunsmithing such a challenging profession?

It's a challenging trade, indeed. Gunsmithing spans many different skills, from woodworking to metalworking. It requires that the worker understand gun mechanics and physics.


You would most likely find a pistolsmith making which kind of weapon?

Pistolsmiths typically specialize in making pistols. Compared to rifles and shotguns, pistols require slightly different skills suited to smaller, compact sidearms.


What might a custom gunsmith do?

Custom gunsmiths are true artists. They'll take a customer's specifications and build the firearm of their dreams.


Why do gunsmiths install "ejector kickers" into some firearms?

Some firearms include ejector kickers, spring-loaded devices that expel spent cartridges. In older weapons, the shooter often had to manually extract spent cartridges.


What is one of the most important aspects of a gunsmith's work?

Guns aren't worth much if they're dangerous to the shooter. That's why a gunsmith must make safety a top priority, ensuring that the weapon can handle its job without an explosive malfunction.


Gunsmiths often build two triggers into which type of gun?

"Go ahead, make my day." Double-barrel guns, like side-by-side shotguns, sometimes include two triggers, one for each barrel.


What is NOT a type of finish that a gunsmith would apply to a firearm?

No, there's no greening in gunmaking. However, browning and bluing both refer to chemical processes that protect the finish on a gun.


Why does a gunsmith add a "proof mark" to a firearm?

A proof mark is visible evidence that a weapon was tested before being sold to a buyer. Proof marks show details about the gun, such as load and barrel length.


A gunsmith would be especially concerned if he or she observed a hairline crack in which part of a gun?

From a safety perspective, some parts of a firearm simply can't be cracked, otherwise, they might catastrophically fail during operation. A crack in the bolt or chamber area would be especially worrying.


What's the part of a firearm that strikes a cartridge to fire it?

The hammer strikes the cartridge to fire it. This system is much more reliable than old-school flintlock or matchlock firing mechanisms.


In gunmaking, what does the "checkerer" do?

The checkerer is the person who uses checkering tools to add patterns to a gun stock. On some guns, these patterns elevate the weapon to art.


Georg Luger was a gunsmith particularly famous for designing what kind of gun?

Luger was an Austrian designer who created famous pistols. Those pistols became iconic when the Germans deployed them during World War II.


What does a finisher do during the gun-making process?

A gun's finisher uses chemicals to create a corrosion-resistant surface on the metal components of the gun. A quality finish adds beauty and ensures that a weapon will last for many years.


Why does a gunsmith built a "chamber" into a rifle?

The chamber is the hollow area that accepts a cartridge. Once a cartridge is "chambered," the gun is ready to fire.


Which designer made a very successful (and deadly) early machine gun?

Hiram Maxim unveiled his Maxim recoil-operated machine gun in the 1880s. It fired hundreds of rounds per minute, making it one of the deadliest weapons of the era.


Gun engravers usually work their magic on which part of the gun?

Engravers are top-notch artists who can freehand amazing patterns using precise tools. They often engrave the metal receivers found on firearms of all kinds.


True or false: Is it important for gunsmiths to understand "ballistics"?

Ballistics is a field that addresses projectiles in motion. Gunsmiths understand ballistics inside and out -- otherwise, their guns wouldn't work quite right.


Gunmaker Eugene Stoner designed which famous American weapon?

Stoner designed the AR-15, often referred to by its military designation, M16. No matter the name, this assault rifle was legendary during the Vietnam War.


What does a gunsmith do with a "bore snake"?

A bore snake is a tool that's used to clean a gun bore. Residue from gunpowder must be regularly cleaned from gun barrels. Otherwise, a variety of problems may develop.


Why would a gunsmith "accurize" a gun?

Accurizing refers to altering a stock weapon to make it more accurate. It's a vital part of the gunsmith trade.


Benjamin Tyler Henry is famed for making which sort of firearm?

Henry built the iconic Henry rifle, a lever-action repeating rifle common in the Old West. It took him more than three years to design the first version of this famous rifle.


If a gunsmith is "tinning" the gun parts, what is she doing?

Tinning refers to the act of applying a thin coat of solder to the metal parts of a gun to make them stay in place. Final assembly takes place later.


Gunsmiths perform "rimming" to make room for which purpose?

Rimming refers to creating a recessed area at the end of the barrel to receive a cartridge rim. Often, gunsmiths have a tool just for this single purpose.


Gunmaker John Garand was famous for designing which weapon?

Garand designed the M1 Garand, a semi-automatic rifle deployed by the Allies in WWII. The rifle was so reliable and accurate that it made Garand a household name.


Why would a gunsmith build a "combination gun"?

A combination gun includes two styles of gun, such as a rifle and shotgun, in one unit. Gunsmiths sometimes build them as custom pieces.


True or false: Do finishers sometimes "black" barrels to finish them?

Like bluing or browning, blacking is indeed a type of finish for gunmetal. Hot water blacking and express blacking are two types of this process.


Mikhail Kalashnikov became renowned for designing what sort of weapon?

Mikhail Kalashnikov designed the AK-47, the world's most numerous assault rifle. His ingenious creation is operable in even the worst conditions.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!