Want a Job in the Firearms Industry?

gun jobs

Image courtesy of NSSF

If you are looking for a career in the firearms and shooting sports industry, there are a variety of ways to land one.  The easiest for many people is to start at a local gun store or big box retailer.

There are, however, national companies and manufacturers who are hiring on a regular basis.  Searching a company’s site will often locate an employment page with current job openings listed.  Hitting Smith & Wesson’s website or cruising over to Ruger’s yields a variety of jobs from engineers to analysts to sales managers.

Don’t forget about the large online retailers either.  Midway USA is hiring, as are Cheaper Than Dirt and Brownells.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) also publishes a list of industry jobs on their website.  As of this writing, the list includes jobs at companies including Remington, FNH USA and SOG Specialty Knives.

If you are looking to get into the shooting industry, the jobs are out there.  And with the internet, they are easier to find than ever before.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/.


  • MightyGrey

    He shouldn’t have his nose-picker on the trigger in the store…

    • John Dewey

      Let’s just assume both men in the photos are practicing safe firearms handling skills and that the gun has been cleared by both parties; however, if you are acquainted with the gentleman on the right and know him to be a nose picker, than you are correct, he should keep his filthy fingers well away from the trigger. Gross!

      • mnoswad1

        except length of trigger reach and weight of trigger pull are characteristics that need to be assessed before buying something for several hundred dollars.

        I’d never but something that I couldn’t at least dry fire first.

  • Axel

    After clearing the rifle I sometimes dry fire guns in the store. Provided that the staff permit it with regards to primarily firing pin wear. Keep it pointed in a safe direction, as always.

  • dp

    Jobs in firearms industry? Oh yeah! But that is not exactly for creative people with their own ideas. More you are into it, more you know, more you can produce on your own. This is NOT exactly what they want. It is business just like any other, for profit. Not for fans. Was there, seen it.

  • George Hill

    An OEG on a Lever Action? I find the gun store irresponsible for leaving that on a used trade in gun. And negligent for showing it to a customer.

    • Chrome Dragon

      That’s not an Armeson OEG, that’s a Weaver Qwik-Point R1. Early model, judging by the length of the mount. Think of it as a ginormous, heavy, $25 version of the fiber-optic Insight MRDS. They’re one of the best kept secrets on the used-gun market. I own two versions of the Qwik-Point – an R1 and an R22, which came with a 3/8″ dovetail mount instead of a Picatinny rail grabber, and am in the market for another R1.

      If you want to operate them at night, you can tape a Photon Freedom (or some similar device; however, the Freedom specifically has a dimmer with an extremely broad range so the dot can be adjusted) to the clear plastic part on the front (use blue painter’s tape so it comes off without damage) as an illuminator. There’s a patent for an illuminating device to pair with these things, but I’m not sure they ever actually got manufactured. ( http://www.google.com/patents/US3974585 )

      I’d consider 3D printing a sleeve to serve in place of the tape, had I such a printer. The patent should have expired in 1996. Maybe I’ll put something together in SketchUp and send the blueprint to Thingiverse for on-demand production.

  • John Galt

    As someone in the industry… it is not all happy-go-lucky range time, in fact there is very little unless you can make your living reviewing the firearms/compete in spare time.

    • insider

      Depending on the manufacturer, it can be a bit like hotdogs. I love hotdogs, but have you ever seen them being made?

    • Ian

      I concur. 90% of the jobs in the industry, if not more, are about as interesting as bagging groceries, or assembling PCBs. Or if you’re one of the guys who actually does go to the range, that’s *all* you do. Does shooting targets all day sound fun? It’s not. Or maybe you’ll land the ultra cool designer/engineer job. I hope you enjoy being swamped in paperwork and being asked to put square pegs in round holes.

      Oh and this is all at reduced pay compared to every other industry. Because guns.

      • Frank C.

        Ian, I’d say 95% – I’m in the industry, I thought it would be magical and lots of shooting and cool projects. Reality: Office Space. But, with Guns and gun talk.

        • Klaus

          Yep…that’s it. Its a job. A fun one sometimes (rarely) and at most times utterly brutal.

          Enjoy long the hours and meager pay, even if you’re an engineer ;(

          • Brad Peirson


            “Enjoy long the hours and meager pay, even if you’re an engineer”

            That sort of defines “engineer”

    • dp

      … and plenty of stress with not satisfactory test results, pressing deadlines and general annoyance by arrogant boss. Your next rise? Forget it!

      Like somebody says above, its low margin industry; no space for fat left. Better pick up your favored AR and hit the range.

      • Ian

        The arms industry is anything but low margin. Low margin might be what’s reported or claimed but it actually is profiteering at its finest unless your company’s name is Jennings or Charter. If you want to talk about lean-run companies you’re better off picking the auto industry despite all of its huge mistakes.

        Low paying is a much different animal.

        • dp

          Those who are so fortunate they are working on gov’t contracts; that’s different cup of tea. And those are extremely tight lipped about what they rake, the only secret there is.

      • Jim Nanban

        This sounds exactly like every other job I’ve ever had.

    • Squidpuppy

      So basically, it’s like any industry / workplace / job. Particularly those with a hype for “fun times”. I know a lot of people who’ve worked in the computer gaming industry, for example, and by all accounts, that’s no picnic.

      BTW, John Galt, who are you, again?

  • Joe

    I’d love to join the firearms industry, but I noticed a problem with most of the jobs. They’re almost all in states with restrictive gun laws. I’m not trying to debate the merits of those laws, but wouldn’t you think that, in order to attract the right talent, you’d want to locate in a place where the use of your product is encouraged rather than restricted? That’s just good business sense. Henry Ford would have never drawn workers to Detroit if Michigan had anti-driving laws. Computer workers wouldn’t want to go to California if computer use there was restricted. If you want to attract talent that’s passionate about your product, you need to have your jobs in a place where use of your product isn’t restricted.

    • At least we have had some movement in that area. There have been at least a few that have moved to Texas and other southern states.
      I see that trend continuing. Only time will tell how many more will move. States are certainly courting them with tax incentives and other assistance.

    • Squidpuppy

      I expect it would be frustrating and often depressing working in such states. I know several LGS owners in CA, and know this is likely true. But here’s the thing: perhaps that’s where the need is greatest? The more industry and revenue, employment and support there is, the less local government can ultimately oppose it at a base line level. In the end, fanatics get shunted aside by cold, hard realities, like money and voters – anyway, that’s the hope…

    • Anonymoose

      Outside of the relatively few companies in New England, California, and now Colorado, where are these firearms manufacturers in anti-gun states? It seems to me that most gun companies are based in fairly gun-friendly Right-to-Work Southern and Southwestern states or moving there, except for the few companies in Ohio and the Northwest (not sure how Northwestern gun laws are but Ohio’s seem pretty good except for the hi-cap magazine ban).

      • Suburban

        There’s a few in Illinois. Armalite and Springfield Armory being two.

        Colt and Stag Arms in Connecticut.

    • Rich

      NH(SIG & Ruger), VT (Century) and ME(Windahm Weaponry) are not anti gun, quite the opposite, at least for now.
      Mass and states south suck, please don’t lump us in with the rest of the idgits!

  • Spencedaddy

    after more than 8 resumes sent to Remington, AAC, and other firearms companies with no response, and not even a “sorry we have selected someone else” I am wondering if there really are any jobs for 3D Design and rapid prototype people. or maybe the modern resume screening systems just screen everybody out because you are not an EXACT match…..discouraging

    • Klaus

      Are you actually applying for openings, or just sending in resumes?

      There’s a big difference.

      • Spencedaddy

        applying for openings and sending in resumes….every major firearms and accessory manufacturer. its a statistics game at this point. but what I was getting at is that when you send in an application electronically, HR departments basically disqualify you by having specific things missing or different than their program wants. maybe the HR director could get by with you only having 3 years of experience in something, but when you select that you have 2 their program screens you out. its frustrating.

    • Jim Nanban

      Also hoss, I’ve sent literally hundreds of resumes and applications to companies in several major fields (IT, Retail, Defence, Automotive, etc etc etc). I have gotten a “we selected someone else” from 6 of them… 4 of those were staffing firms who had other contracts they wanted me to try to fill. Never, EVER expect a “sorry we have selected someone else” response. This is not school, this is the real world.

      • Spencedaddy

        as have I, you and I have probably a similiar story with that. I do not need a “wake up call” I have been living in the “real world” for some time. the problems that I see are that we have these unfilled positions and are screening people who otherwise would have been fine candidates because of HR and other people relying on programs to pre screen people. for instance, I had to recently do a personality test that took almost 2 hours to do. along with (as you probably experienced as well) basically re writing my resume into their system. all my education, languages, programs that I know, only to not check one of their boxes and be kicked out of the running…maybe I am just sore from people taking too much time or not being responsive.oh well

  • Mike

    I’m a full time student with a summer job doing assembly, QC, shipping, packaging, etc at a small local firearms company. A few things. Everyone in the industry knows everyone else, its a small world. It’s not always glamorous, but I am fortunate that the company I work for is run by great people and the work environment is awesome. This is not always the case, and likely due to it being a small company run by like-minded people. I’m not making a career worthy wage, but for a summer job I am happy, and happy to have a foot in the door and have met some great people.

    Right now there is a bubble, so look for part time or seasonal working helping with getting product out the door. That said, I do have friends who have recently gotten on as engineers fresh out of college. If you make a good name for yourself, you’ll find a lot of people in X company know people at Y company, or may have had a hand in building Z company. I can’t emphasize how small of a world it is.


  • Corey Lewis

    Good day. I am a Senior Executive Recruiter that specializes in the Firearms Industry. I have placed candidates of all types in many different companies. Feel free to contact me via Twitter @mastrheadhunter or via email (1) corey@dunhillsolutions.com or (2) mastrheadhunter@gmail.com