Curious about a gunsmiths’ career path? Check out our featured craftsman: Tyler Weaver, Master Gunsmith of Precision Rifle Works, LLC.
Tyler Weaver has been a professional machinist for the past decade. Tyler has an associate degree in business management and is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Gunsmith School’s Master Gunsmith Program. Tyler decided to focus his business on a full range of custom work. He started Precision Rifle Works out of his home basement, making anything from gun parts to aerospace military parts.
What is the firearm project you are most proud of?
I'm most proud of the Bren Mk1 I built from a torch cut parts kit while I was in gunsmith school. I had to take sections out of a second sacrificial receiver to splice in for the missing sections on the good receiver. It was inspiring to see something that used to operate on one system be converted to work on a completely different system.
What is the most challenging part of being a gunsmith?
The most challenging part of being a gunsmith is trying to have gun owners understand the value of true gunsmith work. We live in a mass-produced world where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find customers who understand the level of skill, dedication, and time that goes into repairs and custom made parts.
How long have you been working as a gunsmith?
I knew I wanted to be a gunsmith when I saw all the different mechanics and designs guns have. My father introduced me to guns at an early age. I would get gun books as gifts and read them inside and out. When I was in my early teens my dad and I would work on family guns together. I’ve been professionally working on firearms since I opened my own gunsmith shop in April of 2018.
Tell us about a project you’re working on now:
I’m currently working on making an entire new forend for a W. Jeffrey & Son Rook rifle— the rifle was shipped to me from the other side of the country. So far, I’ve got the forend metal machined, the hand fit to the receiver, and the latch mechanism is complete as well. My next steps are inletting it into a piece of black walnut that was picked to match the buttstock.
What skills are most important in your line of work?
The most important skill a gunsmith needs is creativity. Creativity in the form of a special tool that needs to be made to accomplish a specific task, or when a customer is looking for a one-of-kind part made for a special gun. Most gunsmiths work in a small shop and on a tight budget. Being creative with ways to save space and making multi-functional or universal tools will pay dividends over time.
Do you order from Numrich? Tell us about your experience if so.
Something I like about Numrich is always having a smooth buying process which helps me do my job. The first gun I ever built was from a Numrich Uzi Model A parts kit.
What are your future career goals?
In the future, I’d like to transition to creating one-of-a-kind firearms and bringing an artistic flare back to the firearm industry, that seems to be lacking in recent years. Ultimately, I would like to build a unique gunsmithing business and carry on the tradition by teaching my daughter the trade — in hopes that she may work alongside my wife and me one day.
Interested in seeing more? Follow Precision Rifle Works on Instagram and be sure to keep an eye out for our next gunsmith feature.