Anyone who is serious about survival should consider acquiring some level of skill in the care, maintenance and repair of firearms. In a long term survival situation a well maintained and properly functioning firearm can mean the difference between eating and going hungry. In extreme situations it could mean the difference between life and death. Those of us belonging to a group may feel that they have this matter covered. A trained gunsmith would be a big asset to the group, but the dreaded words " what if " spring to mind. Too many things can go wrong. Too many variables. Besides, many people, by choice or circumstances will be " going it alone ". I suggest that it's better not to buck the odds.
Most of us are familiar with our guns, and know how to field strip and clean them. Many accuracy and functioning problems can be remedied by a thorough cleaning. Would you know what to do next if cleaning did not solve the problem? Here are some questions to ponder. Do you know what to look for when your favorite lever gun fails to feed rounds from the magazine? Is it a bent magazine tube or a weak spring? When the action binds on closing is it the extractor out of alignment with the barrel cut, or the ejector binding in the breechbolt? When a gun fails to fire, is it a broken or binding firing pin, or is it a weak hammer or main spring? If your favorite pump shotgun fails to eject, is it because the ejector is not tight on it's rivets, or is the extractor claw not gripping the rim of the fired shell firmly enough? Confused enough yet? No? Well what if.......Just kidding. You get the point. These are just a few of the things that can go wrong. We all know that things can go wrong at the worst possible times.
There are courses available ranging from complete, on-campus classes to correspondence or " hobby " gunsmithing. There are video courses now becoming more and more available as well. Some ranging from complete certification courses down to single, gun-specific videos. Lastly, I can't stress enough, the importance of gunsmithing books and manuals. ( You DO have a survival/preparedness library, I hope ) Whichever option you choose will be determined by how much skill you want to acquire and how much money you are able to invest.
I consider the ability to maintain and repair my guns as important as food, water, shelter and fire. The number of licensed firearms dealers has dropped from around 200,000 in the early 1990's to around 90,000 right now. Many of those dealers were also gunsmiths. This fact alone should be reason enough to take a serious look at gunsmithing. Only you can decide if it is a skill that is imortant to your survival plans. There's no question in my mind. We all pray it will never happen, but the day may come when this knowledge could save your life, or the life of someone you love. Think about it.