HARRINGTON, Maine — Jim Green never thought he would be able to turn his childhood love of guns into a job. And he definitely never thought it would put him on TV.
But for the Harrington businessman, guns created a way to get recognition through the TV show “Lords of War.”
Green started a GunWorks, a gunsmith business in Harrington in May of 2010. The business was doing well for a while.
“After two years, I began to hit the bottom of my market,” Green said. “I started talking to someone about YouTube.”
Green began to run out of guns to fix.
A customer approached him to tell him about YouTube and encouraged Green to create YouTube videos on cleaning and caring for firearms. Green was hesitant at first.
“I thought it was just for kids,” he said.
Green eventually gave in and began posting videos on firearm care. “People kept saying ‘You’re giving away your secrets,’” he said. “It’s not giving away my secrets. People are going to remember I told them how to do that so when something really does go wrong, I am there to fix it,” he said.
Green said this marketing strategy has worked, and through his videos he has picked up customers from across the United States.
“I have a full-service machine. I show people how to take the gun apart and I tell people which parts go where,” he said.
His YouTube videos grabbed the attention of an entertainment production company, Bray Entertainment, which has produced “Pawn Stars,” among other TV shows.
The show was looking for a gunsmith expert to be a part of the show “Lords of War.” The show focuses on four men as they look throughout the nation for antique weaponry and auction them off. The team guarantees each weapon they auction is in working condition.
“I’ve gotten to shoot guns that I’ve never seen outside of a museum,” he said. “I’ve had my hands on $20 million of products.”
“Lords of War” premiered Jan. 23 on National Geographic Channel. Green and his wife, Kendra Bonnett, have only seen the first episode.
“We got to see the first one, we had a premiere party in New York City,” he said. “We don’t have a TV.”
Green says with all he has to do in a day, he has no time to watch TV. He hopes to catch the show on DVD at the end of the season.
A disabled veteran, Green hopes to operate a larger gunsmithing shop in the future and plans to hire disabled veterans.
“I know where they’re coming from,” he said.
Green says his childhood experience in North Carolina got him his start in gunsmith expertise.
“My dad got me started [with a gun] when I was 5 or 6,” he said. “It wasn’t a big thing for a kid to have a gun back then.”
Distributed by McClatchy Information Services