Gunsmith school programs.
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:03 PM   #1
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Default Gunsmith school programs.

Ok I'v been looking at all the different schools for learning the trade. Not only the brick and mortar but also the on-line or the correspondence courses. But with all the research I have found I have not found a single ranking of the different programs. I would like to know how the different schools compare to one another. How well are the different schools respected in the gunsmith community as far as new graduates are concerned. Basicly I want to know which school is 'best' and which one is at the bottom of the list. I'm hoping to make this into a complete review and sticky it
I'm looking for real info here not third or fourth hand info.
With all the pro smiths, people in the industry and all the enthusiast's that are on this forum. Let alone the knowledge and experience we should be able to at least get a top 3 or 4 for the schools offering gunsmith programs.
Appreciate the help everyone.

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Old 02-25-2014, 10:49 PM   #2
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I believe it has already been covered. Brick and mortar is always better than correspondence. Nobody takes the online classes seriously but they are a good place to start if brick and mortar isn't an option. Beyond that it is the gunsmith himself and his abilities that are judged.
For example I have an engineering and metal fabrication background. I started by working on my own guns and those of my friends. I got into a shop and basically ran the place and did my gunsmithing on the side. I brought my customer base to the shop and expanded it from there. I took an online class for giggles and learned a few things but it was really a joke. I finished a 1 year class in a month and passed with a 99% average. I didn't Even read half the books, just took the tests. I then took a Glock Armorer course. Again I learned a thing or two but it's just a piece of paper that backs up my abilities. When I left the shop my customers followed. The shop hired an Armorer from the military. He screwed up a few jobs and was fired.
By all rights he would be considered more qualified than me. The reality is his "qualifications " can't touch my abilities. If that helps any.

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Old 02-26-2014, 12:51 AM   #3
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If I was asked I say to be a machinist first then take an on-line course to learn about guns. But if you are a machinist why would you make less by working on guns?

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Old 02-26-2014, 12:58 AM   #4
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Exactly. You have to love guns and the job. If you're in it to make money, you're in the wrong profession.

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Old 02-27-2014, 11:38 AM   #5
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What I was asking was how do the programs at the brick and mortar school stack up against each other. I was hoping to get more responses from people who had gone to them. While I appreciate you views and how you got into the business the info I'm looking for is how well the brick and mortar school programs prepare you to be a smith. Which one teaches students the best. And if there are people who have experience with the online programs which ones are worth the money for what they teach.

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Old 02-28-2014, 08:50 AM   #6
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Some folks can learn but maybe only to a point. Sometimes it's best to be born with a bit of a knack.

A real live apprenticeship should better measure and develop your abilities.

As with any profession, there are plenty of graduates who suck. An institution can only do so much.

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Old 03-12-2014, 01:03 AM   #7
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Hands on is better if you can find one. Watch out for Penn Foster!! Blowed $800. for the online deal an didn't get anywhere. material was out dated. An the tool kit you got for completing the corse was tools from LOWES!! Total BULL!!!!

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Old 03-12-2014, 11:18 AM   #8
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Mine was less, through the VA. The set of tools I got was shipped from Midway USA. On my own I bought a Fat wrench, extra screws and pins, and a delux Screwdriver and scope mount set. I have a shooting rest, and also two bags, but I need a project type vise, such as the Tipton, or the MTM...and a few other things, but I don't have 10K to drop on a full shop with a lathe, or 16-17K when you skimp on the lathe and also get a CNC computer set up. I don't have reloading Equipment any more either...so I'm just extending my learning.


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Old 03-12-2014, 02:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgthooah04 View Post
Ok I'v been looking at all the different schools for learning the trade. Not only the brick and mortar but also the on-line or the correspondence courses. But with all the research I have found I have not found a single ranking of the different programs. I would like to know how the different schools compare to one another. How well are the different schools respected in the gunsmith community as far as new graduates are concerned. Basicly I want to know which school is 'best' and which one is at the bottom of the list. I'm hoping to make this into a complete review and sticky it
I'm looking for real info here not third or fourth hand info.
With all the pro smiths, people in the industry and all the enthusiast's that are on this forum. Let alone the knowledge and experience we should be able to at least get a top 3 or 4 for the schools offering gunsmith programs.
Appreciate the help everyone.

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If you click on the sticky above for gunsmithing schools, it has links to their web sites and will explain all the programs that they offer. That will be much more informative than the answers you are getting now.


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Old 03-12-2014, 03:10 PM   #10
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I come from a mechanical background and like to be able to work on all my own stuff. One company I worked for (not firearm related) requires we take some sort of training each year to put ourselves in the students seat, be it online or otherwise.

I took the Ashworth Gunsmithing course. I got a discount because I took a previous class from them. They said this class could be done in 12-18 months. I did the whole thing in 1 month. Learned quite a few things. Already forgot what tools they sent, but I have all my own tools anyway. I think it gave me enough information for what I was wanting to know: what work I could do on my own and when I should seek the advice of a professional.

It also gave me the insight as to how much more there is to learn. From my life experience in 3 careers, schools are fine for getting you started, but the real meat to learning anything is getting out there and doing it, even if you have to work for free for a while to gain the experience.

Good luck and never stop trying to learn!

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