Features the activities around a mom-and-pop gun shop in Wheat Ridge, Colorado called Gunsmoke run by Rich Wyatt with his wife Renee, son Kurt, and daughter Paige. They buy, sell, and trade guns as well as being a full-service gunsmithing shop. They can modify or build guns. They even have what it takes to manufacture brand new guns from scratch. They can machine parts from a solid block of steel, and have done so on-screen.
Each episode will consist of one firearm being modified, one new firearm being manufactured, often by being machined out of a block of steel, and the boss getting into his helicopter, flying to another corner of the state and haggling his way through a transaction.
The series was cancelled in December of 2012. In 2017, Rich Wyatt was convicted for fraud and tax evasion. He lost his Federal Firearms License the same year the show was canceled, though he continued operating the store, instructing his employees to complete transactions through a straw FFL held by another nearby store. In 2015, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms raided the shop through a sealed warrant and Wyatt was arrested, and his business shut down.
This program provides examples of:
- Big Fancy House: A lot of customers seem to have these, which isn't surprising since they have the cash to splurge on custom-made guns which rarely go for under $10 grand.
- One guy even owned a castle, which he claimed had been in his family for generations.
- Bling-Bling-BANG!: One episode had Rich build a blinged-out 1911 pistol for his wife for their anniversary; silver-plated finish, custom-engraved slide, mother of pearl grips, and diamonds on the grips and sights. He originally wanted diamonds on the slide too, but the jeweler explained that you can't set diamonds into stainless steel.
- Another episode had a customer order a gold-plated Desert Eagle.
- Bookends: Each episode begins and ends with part or all of the main family crew burning off ammo at the range.
- Bullet Time: Come on, people. These guys build guns. They have to test-fire them. Strangely enough, they apply this to scenes of machining. Seemingly to pad out the length of the program. Without this, they may well run a full minute short each episode.
- Death from Above: One episode had an M16 rigged to be door-mounted on a Huey helicopter, with Rich unloading it on several targets on the ground.
- Don't Try This at Home: Each episode starts with a disclaimer stating this to the sound of a gun being locked and loaded.
- Dramatic Gun Cock: The show frequently goes to commercials just before a weapon is to be test-fired or fired by a customer.
- Dumb Blonde: Paige sometimes uses Obfuscating Stupidity to avert this; she actually comes off as quite savvy, and dumb only when she wants to be.
- Dueling Shows: With Sons of Guns, although, they are on different nights.
- Family Business: Rich owns the store and his wife and two kids are employees there. Rich and Kurt frequently mention how Kurt will someday take over running the business from Rich.
- Gun Porn: Well, duh. With a title like American Guns, what did you expect?
- Hand Cannon: One customer commissioned the Gunsmoke crew to make a literal hand cannon; a black-powder, muzzle-loading replica of the first handheld firearm.
- Handguns: Their bread and butter is the M1911 series pistol. But they also deal in new and antique revolvers.
- Pink Girl, Blue Boy: One episode has the team make a set of "His and Hers" revolvers for a couple, differing only in the color of the grips - black for the man's gun, pink for the woman's.
- Pink Is for Sissies: One episode had Renee agree to make a pink 1911 pistol for a female customer. Rich (and several of the gunsmiths) thought it almost sacrilegious to paint such a famous and historic gun that color, but went along with it anyway.
- Small Girl, Big Gun: Renee and Paige, without question.
- Almost directly mentioned by Renee when referring to Regan Smith's wife holding a 12-gauge pump shotgun.
- Special Guest: One of the clients Rich went to visit was NASCAR driver Regan Smith and his wife.
- Stuff Blowing Up: At least once an episode. Usually coincides with the final test-firing of the brand-new gun by its new owner.
- Team Pet: Paige's little dog.
- Wall of Weapons: Gunsmoke wouldn't be much of a gun store without at least one wall living up to this trope. Some of the people Rich visits to buy guns from have these in their homes as well.
- Weaponized Car: One episode had a pair of Walther PPK pistols mounted under the front bumper of a car, the customer being inspired by the modifications done to the vehicles in the James Bond movies.