If You Get 29/35 on This Quiz, You May Be Able to Fake Your Way As a Gunsmith


By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: Yuri_Arcurs/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Because guns don’t grow on Remington trees, for centuries, gunsmiths have been an integral part of the firearms manufacturing process. They often conjure ideas for brand new weapons and they have all of the varied skills – from wood carving to metal working to physics – necessary in building and testing these contraptions, too. They are part scientist, part artist, and their work finds its way into the hands of hunters, recreational shooters and soldiers the world over. Do you really know anything about what it takes to become a gunsmith?

Every weapon, no matter how finely manufactured, is different from others. That means their accuracy varies, too. Gunsmiths can calibrate and customize weapons of all type to make them better than any factory could hope to.

Gunsmiths don’t always make brand-new weapons. Often, they specialize in repairs, fixing worn or broken components to make handguns, rifles, and shotguns safe and accurate again. In doing so, they can reduce the hazards associated with shooting and making the firearm much more effective.

Take aim at this gunsmith quiz now! Let’s see if you’re the next John Browning!

You must clear the way. Which part of a gun helps to remove spent cartridges from the chamber?

Semi-automatic weapons use ejectors to push spent cartridges out of the way. This makes room for a fresh round.


Don’t get the wrong idea. The "butt" refers to what part of the weapon?

The butt is, as you probably guess, the backside of the firearm -- the very end of the stock on a rifle or shotgun. On a handgun, it's the part that you smack against an enemy's head during combat.


Oxygen is the devil. What's the purpose of "bluing"?

Rust doesn't just make a gun's finish look awful, it can actually ruin the weapon. Bluing is a chemical process that prevents the rusting of steel … but only if you care for the gun properly.


Gunsmiths really worry about cracks in which part of a weapon?

Any visible cracks in a firearm should arouse worry. But gunsmiths are particularly worried about any fractures that appear in areas like the chamber, which are subjected to a lot of pressure during shooting.


It's the big ones. To what does "big bore" refer?

"Big bore" refers to large ammunition for bigger-than-average guns. For example, many gunsmiths refer to .30-caliber and larger rifles as big bore.


No, it's not a corny idea. Why might gunsmiths employ the word "grain"?

Grain has multiple uses in the gunsmith world. It may refer to the weight of a bullet, or the amount of gunpowder used in a certain cartridge.


Which term refers to the speed of the round as it exits the gun?

Gunsmiths are intimately familiar with muzzle velocity, an indicator of the round's speed as it exits a gun's barrel. Muzzle velocity varies greatly depending on the firearm's configuration and round.


If you see a rifle bolt with curved grooves in it, you're observing what?

Some gunsmiths say it's mostly for looks. Bolt fluting involves cutting cool-looking groves right into the rifle bolt. Some owners like fluting for its looks and also because it reduces weight (by a small amount).


Gunsmiths loathe it. What's a term that describes gunpowder residue buildup?

You have to clean firearms regularly, otherwise they're subject to fouling. Fouling results from buildup of gunpowder residues and other particulates, like dirt.


Gunsmiths use the word "load" in reference to which part of the shooting process?

"Load" is the general term for the overall round that's being fired through the gun. Loads vary widely even for the same gun depending on the intended purpose.


Gun engravers are a special type of gunsmith. They're particularly good at what?

Guns aren't always tools or weapons, they are sometimes objects of beauty. Gun engravers have steady hands that let them create incredibly intricate artwork in a firearm's metals.


It's nothing to do with intelligence. Why might a gunsmith use a "dum-dum"?

A dum-dum is a non-functional cartridge. They allow gunsmiths to dry fire a weapon and test its action without actually shooting a round.


What sort of firearm has a distinctive hinge?

It almost looks like you're breaking the gun in half. Break action weapons snap open via a hinge to allow for easy loading.


How do gunsmiths use proof loads?

Safety is always key in gun making. Gunsmiths use proof loads -- extra powerful rounds -- to make sure the gun is safe to use under normal shooting conditions, and then some.


What's one reason you might add muzzle threading to a gun?

Muzzle threads allow you to add certain components to a gun, such as a suppressor or flash hider. These add-ons can be invaluable in certain scenarios.


What's distinctive about a "jacketed" bullet?

Jacketed bullets are those with a harder metal surrounding a softer core. A full-metal jacket refers to a soft bullet that is completely encased in harder metal.


What's the purpose of a "sear"?

In guns with a high rate of fire, the sear is critical. It helps prevent the gun from shooting more than one round at a time, otherwise the consequences could be hazardous to the shooter's health.


Squaring the receiver face is an example of which activity?

Action truing can fix a number of issues with factory-made guns. By squaring the receiver face, the barrel will be mounted more precisely in its housing … meaning your aim will be truer.


It has nothing to do with lying. To what does "action truing" refer?

A lot of guns are imperfect out of the factory. Gunsmiths can follow an action truing process to correct issues with the weapon's action, thereby improving its overall functionality.


What's one potential gain from bolt fluting?

The benefits of bolt fluting are debatable. But thanks to smaller surface area, it may help make the bolt easier to operate, although some shooters dispute this idea.


It's all about the bulls! What does it mean to "accurize" a gun?

All gunsmiths know how to accurize a gun. The process involves several techniques that make the weapon more accurate.


You're mostly likely to find a "choke" on which type of gun?

Chokes narrow the end of a shotgun barrel, altering the spread of the lead shot. A full choke creates a denser pattern than a modified choke.


How is an armorer different from a typical gunsmith?

Armorers are a specialized type of gunsmith. They use their skills mostly to replace gun components that are simply worn out from use.


Which part of a firearm houses the primary firing components?

Receiver is the term used to reference the firing components in general. It's the part that rests between the barrel and the stock.


Gunsmiths must know all about MOA, which stands for what?

MOA, or minute of angle, measures the angle of spread as a round travels over distance. Gunsmiths must understand the math behind MOA in order to truly accurize firearms.


What sort of action has a sliding forearm that ejects spent rounds and loads fresh ones?

Some people say it's one of the most familiar sounds in the world -- the sound of a pump-action shotgun. With one motion, the shooter ejects a spent shell and loads a fresh one.


It happens at the end. "Parkerization" is an example of which task?

Parkerization and bluing are two finishing processs. They help to protect the gun's steel parts from corrosion.


Just jam it in there. What's an issue that results from receiver threads being cut inconsistently?

Mass-produced guns often have imprecisely cut receiver threads. Gunsmiths can correct this problem so that the cartridge pushes directly into the action instead of at an awkward angle.


Power to the people! What's one reason you might want to upgrade your bolt action rifle's bolt knob?

It's a common upgrade for bolt-action owners. They'll ask a gunsmith to take off the old knob and add a larger one -- this makes it easier to operate the bolt action thanks to improved leverage.


Something to behold with your eyes. What does a gunsmith do with a "checkerer"?

A checkerer is, ultimately, a sort of teensy saw that lets the gunsmith add checkered flourishes to a stock or forearm. These not only add beauty, but they can improve grip, too.


The shape is all off. Why might a bullet "keyhole" a target?

When bullets are shot through barrels too large for the round, the lead tends to tumble unevenly through the air. The result is a keyhole-shaped pattern in the target.


In a rifle, what are the "lands"?

Rifles have grooved barrels that increase bullet accuracy. The tops of those groove -- the parts that actually touch the bullet -- are the lands.


Bolt fluting might save you about how much weight in the overall heft of your rifle?

Let's face it -- bolt fluting looks awesome and it's mostly for aesthetics. It might save you around an ounce on weight, but more likely it'll be even less.


What part of a gun directs a controlled explosion in a specific direction?

The barrel is a gun's most vital component. This metal tube harness the power of gunpowder and lead, directing it toward the target of your choosing.


Which part of the firearm is most affected by "obturate"?

"Obturate" is the technical term for the way bullets expand as they pass through a barrel. The better the fit, the better the accuracy.


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