Firearm Consulting Services

I am available for consultation for firearms history, technology, terminology, or other information. Firearms are a complicated field mechanically, historically, and culturally. Even respected media sources often get the facts wrong, and for someone who is looking for a specific answer, it can be overwhelming to know where to even begin looking.  

I can provide help in the form of a consultation by e-mail, phone, or video chat. 

Have a question or looking for advice? Send me an email at dakota.potts@gmail.com to get started. Your e-mail will allow me to provide a no-pressure quote, make sure we are both prepared for the session, and request or acquire any additional materials that may be required. If you have a simple question that doesn't require in-depth research or explanation, you may even find you get an answer free of charge! 

Who Could Benefit from Consultation (and Why) 

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  • Authors - If you are a writer of gripping fiction, accuracy is important to immerse your reader. If you're writing about crime, adventure, sci-fi, war, or any other action-packed genre, it's likely many of your readers will have firearms experience. Writing inaccurate, confusing, or drastically unlikely sequences can leave these readers unsatisfied. If you're writing non-fiction for educational or persuasive purposes, it's imperative that you get your facts right. Nothing will destroy the credibility of your piece faster than making technically inaccurate statements or assertions. Firearm Consultation for writers includes proof reading segments for accuracy, answering mechanical questions, doing historical or technical research (e.g. "What kind of gun would my character have access to in this time period/country/job?" "What will my character feel when shooting X gun?" "Is this sequence technically possible/feasible?") or any other kind of question you could come across during your writing. 
  • Video Game Developers - Video games have a tricky relationship with guns. Although some games do very well with less-than-accurate representations of guns, accurate gun handling and great gun play are always solid and appreciated features in any action or shooting game. You want to make sure your presentation to the player is immersive and responsive. Firearm Consultation for Video Games can include feedback about models and animation, comparative power and ballistics of different guns/ammo, historical research, gun balance, ideas for cool prototype or rare weapons, or any other questions you could come across while creating your game. 
  • Help Identifying or Learning About Your Gun - It's estimated that there are close to 500 million guns in America. Even if you're not all that into guns, there's a good chance there are guns in your family and you might end up in possession of one. Whether you inherit an unknown gun, find it in the attic, or buy it cheap at an estate sale, you might end up with a gun (probably an antique) that you know nothing about. You'll naturally have some questions. What is this gun? Where did it come from? What is it worth? Is it considered safe to shoot and can I even find ammo for it? You can get answers to these questions from a trained, professional gunsmith without taking time out of your busy schedule or leaving your house. 
  • New Gun Owners and Troubleshooting - Buying a new gun can be an overwhelming experience with all the options on the market. For the average person, guns aren't cheap, and you may only be able to afford one shot to get the one you need. A consultation will help you narrow down your needs and give you personalized suggestions for your situation as well as what to expect. If you already have a gun that's misbehaving, a virtual consultation will often provide enough information to diagnose the issues without having to go to your local gunsmith and risk having to wait your turn in their backlog of work. 
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Who am I? 

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I am, first and foremost, a lover of firearms, history, and the art of precision. Beyond that, here are some of my credentials: 

  • Graduated from Piedmont Technical College's School of Classical Gunsmithing 
  • I have built high-dollar custom rifles for national competitors, extreme long range hunters, and law enforcement professionals
  • I have worked as a gunsmith for a US-based manufacturer of AK pattern firearms 
  • I have shot competitions ranging from rimfire target shooting to long-range precision rifle matches (with firearms I built or modified) 
  • I have done freelance technical gun writing for manufacturers, blogs, and online magazines

Promises and Policies

I believe honesty and ethics are the keystones of any good business transaction. There are limitations on what I can do virtually, and there are guidelines I will always follow. 

  • I cannot provide legal advice.
  • I cannot provide legal appraisals but I am happy to give you an estimate on the approximate value of a firearm or related item. 
  • If I am unable to provide the information you need in a reasonable time frame, the service will be free of charge. 
  • I will never initiate charges without a clear and mutually accepted agreement of the services to be provided and the cost of the services. 
  • I will never withhold information about an item that I have reason to believe could endanger a person's physical safety, property, or legal status. 
  • I am happy to provide general safety precautions and good practices for safe use of guns (i.e. appropriate ammunition for older guns) but I cannot guarantee the safety of any firearm. Several factors must be seen in person, such as the headspace, bolt face and locking lug condition, or any cracks in the receiver or barrel. I can tell you if any firearm is patently unsafe to fire or requires special precautions but any firearm in doubt should be checked in person by a gunsmith with appropriate tools and gages. 
  • I will not provide detailed instructions on how to modify a firearm illegally, obtain a firearm illegally, or do anything illegal with a firearm. If you are looking for this information for a work of fiction, I may ask for corroboration on your piece and work with you to get the information you need. This is up to my discretion as a professional and you will never be billed for declined services.