View Full Version : Do gunsmiths have a test fire chamber in their shop???

03-06-2012, 10:53 AM
Decades ago, I was a customer of Bernie Thompsons gun shop on Wardlow Rd in Long Beach. Sharing the shop was Mike's Gunsmithing. I know they had a way to test fire in the shop as Bernie took a shotgun into the back and I heard 3 muffled shots. Bernie went out of business circa 1990.

Question: do most smith's have the ability to test fire their work on the premises? Let's assume for discussion they wanted to check a 1911 .45 for function. Or, is this now something so regulated that it has become history?

Don Edmondson
03-06-2012, 10:58 AM
In Idaho most do I had a range all I had to do was open a window. worked grate in winter. summer we just went outside miss having the range close Don

03-06-2012, 11:08 AM
Many have a bullet trap like this.


03-06-2012, 12:18 PM
I heard the gunsmith at one of the local stores here in L.A. test-fire guns on several occasions. Not sure how common it is though. I believe, he used a bullet trap of sorts.

03-06-2012, 1:04 PM
Wouldn't the Smith have to be licensed as a shooting range in order to legally fire a gun inside a building? I know of a few who do have a chamber but I'm not sure if they use it anymore;).

glock 357
03-06-2012, 1:26 PM
Wouldn't the Smith have to be licensed as a shooting range in order to legally fire a gun inside a building? I know of a few who do have a chamber but I'm not sure if they use it anymore;).'

I was just thinking that too. If they have all this what would prevent a smiths shop from running a range aside from things they would need to buy to build an indoor range?

03-06-2012, 2:15 PM
That's sort of why I asked the question. I was thinking it was probably acceptable decades ago; but now would require some kind of range permit. With all the reqs and permits, plus the lead exposure, ventilation issues I wondered if this was something that was now history.

I can see a smith in a rural area having access to open space.

(it's my hope to move too rural Nye county Nevada soon -- and live where I can go out my door and shoot in any direction!)

Thanks to all who responded.

Kindest regards,


03-06-2012, 7:07 PM
They used to have one at B&B guns in North Hollywood- they tested a used 12 gauge for me before I bought it.

It's probably just something a few smiths do without a permit and get away with it- it's not like they're popping off dozens of rounds (shooting range) and the public can't use it.

When they test fired at B&B, I didn't even hear it. THey must've had a concrete back room or something :D


03-08-2012, 10:33 PM
I just kick open the back door....

03-08-2012, 11:09 PM
they used to just shoot it into a bucket of sand

03-09-2012, 8:52 AM
It would not be a "range" as it's for testing only. Shooting into a bullet trap, not for accuracy testing. The only requirement is a conditional use permit.

03-09-2012, 12:56 PM
We've looked into it at Valkyrie and it's nearly impossible even for function testing. It's mostly the environmental crap, but most cities make it illegal to discharge firearms without a special permit. When you apply, they rezone your address so they can't issue the permit.

03-09-2012, 5:13 PM
Did you ask to go with a conditional use permit? That should not require any rezoning and would exempt you from the "discharge" prohibitions.