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Gunsmithing as a career.

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Old 11-07-2011, 12:48 AM   #1
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Default Gunsmithing as a career.

I plan on becoming a gunsmith and working for someone when i get out of the USMC. What i want to know is the education i need to become one. Good gunsmithing schools, math knowledge etc. I figured i would ask some people who may be a gunsmith. all answers are appreciated
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Old 11-07-2011, 12:49 AM   #2
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Head over to the introduction page and introduce yourself! As far as schooling, AGI (American Gun Institute) to my knowledge, is number one.
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Old 11-07-2011, 01:20 AM   #3
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Well- depends. You want to be a gunsmith, or run a gunsmithing BUSINESS?

Yeah, you are going to need math. If you want to be more than a parts replacer. A good smith is a mechanic, machinist, woodworker, and puzzle solver. How to use machine tools (lathe, miller, drill press) and hand tools. Knowledge of metals, metalurgy, and some chemistry.

Going beyond basic skills- know enough business to be able to keep books- tax man is going to be looking for that. How do you set price for your labors? Markup on parts?

Beyond what you can learn in schools (like the Colorado School of Trades in Trinidad CO) being apprenticed to a GOOD smith has a lot to be said for it.
What we have here is... failure- to communicate.
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Old 11-07-2011, 01:24 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by MrInfantry1994 View Post
I plan on becoming a gunsmith and working for someone when i get out of the USMC. What i want to know is the education i need to become one. Good gunsmithing schools, math knowledge etc. I figured i would ask some people who may be a gunsmith. all answers are appreciated
Semper Fi. I would definitely listen to C3's advice. Go to the actual school and with the new GI Bill rules your entire costs should be covered. You could take some Community College courses in machining and things that would help but don't do the online crap.
"Regardless of whether justified of not, you will feel sad about killing another human being. It is better to be sad than to be room temperature." - Joe B Fricks.

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Old 11-07-2011, 01:33 AM   #5
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i want to be a gunsmith
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Old 11-08-2011, 01:18 AM   #6
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To be a smith, a real world classroom as opposed to AGI is the preferred. After all, learning is best done by practice, and that's difficult without a well equipped school house. If you don't feel you can make it to an actual school, then I would suggest majoring in machine tool at your local community college, and augmenting this with the AGI videos. Order a catalog from Brownells and Midway USA. Start a library. I'm old Army, so I don't know how you Sailors do it, but the Army makes unit armorer an assigned task. If the Corps does the same, volunteer for it. Hope this helps.
"I'd rather die on my feet than to live on my knees." E. Zapata
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Old 12-12-2011, 05:37 PM   #7
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Default Gunsmith Schools

I attended the Gunsmith School at Trinidad State Jr College, liked it, ran my own shop and succeded. I'm retired now . Colorado School of trades is in Denver and is a private school not associated with an academic such as a community college. It is an old school and may be OK. There are several other schools around the country. Search Gunsmith Schools for a list. I would stay away from corespondence schools simply for the lack of "Hands On" experience you get at a Brick & Mortar Academic based school. I have an AA for my 2 years of study.

You can get good experience with Machining, Welding, Stock Making, Bluing, Custom & Repair work & More at a resident school. TSJC (Trinidad has Dormitories for students, cafeteria and more. We also had 18" of snow one day but school went on. Most of these are what I call real schools IE: Resident, Hands On, schools with shops & Instructors!

Colorado School of Trades
1575 Hoyt Street
Lakewood, CO 80215
Phone: 800-234-4594

Lassen Community College
P.O. Box 3000
Susanville, CA 96130
Phone: 530-257-4211

Modern Gun School
80 North Main Street, P.O. Box 846
St. Albans, VT 05478
Phone: 800-493-4114

Montgomery Community College
1011 Page Street
P.O. Box787
Troy, NC 27371
Phone: 800-839-6222

Murray State College
One Murray Campus
Tishomingo, OK 73460
Phone: 580-371-2371

Penn Foster Career School
925 Oak Street
Scranton, PA 18515

Pennsylvania Gunsmith School
812 Ohio River Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15202
Phone: 412-766-1812

Piedmont Community College
1715 College Drive
P.O. Box1197
Roxboro, NC 27573
Phone: 336-599-1181

Pine Technical Institute
900 4th Street
Pine City, MN 55063
Phone: 800-521-7463

Sonoran Desert Institute
10245 East Via Linda,
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Phone: 480-314-2102

Trinidad State Jr. College
600 Prospect
Trinidad, CO 81082
Phone: 800-621-8752

Wabash Valley College
2200 College Drive
Mr. Carmel, IL 62863
Phone: 866-982-4322

Yavapai College
1100 East Sheldon Street
Prescott, AZ 86301
Phone: 520-776-2150
Lakewood, CO 80215
Phone: 800-234-4594
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Old 12-12-2011, 06:13 PM   #8
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C3 gave you great advice and i have personally been an apprentice for almost 6 years. Im good at math, problem solving, science/chemistry, not so good with wood but getting better, and from what others tell me im a great welder/machinist. If i were you id try to find someone to take you on as an apprentice. Semper fi brother.

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Old 12-13-2011, 09:00 AM   #9
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Great advice guys.

Look at the custom gunsmithing shops. Now look at the local shops that do everything.

Where do you plan to be in 5 years? To be recognized in the gunsmith field is not an easy task.

A thousand "Atta-Boys" get wiped out on 1 "Aw-Crap". And the "Aw-Crap" hangs around longer.
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"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

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Old 12-15-2011, 02:21 PM   #10
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I attended Lassen in the mid 80's and felt I received a pretty good education. They were weak in teaching machining but very good in teaching design function and repair, they also had a very good welding program.Being a good tig welder can give you allot of options as a GS . When I was there B Dunlap was one of the instructors there he is also one of the guys who does allot of the AGI vids and to my knowledge AGI was started by some former lassen grads. I was working for Bob when he was filming some of the first vids and they were basically the design function and repair classes he taught at lassen. That said I really think to be a good gunsmith you need to be hands on experience and to be graded by a teacher and compare your work to that of other students/gunsmiths . If you plan to start your on shop a small business management class or two would help. Another thing to consider is pay/bennifits. Your not typically going to make allot or get medical bennifits. I also have seen brownells has some job placement seminars of some type going on every yr so you may want to contact them and speak to some of there gunsmiths
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