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VernDog 10-24-2008 03:43 PM

Gunsmithing Correspondence Course Recommendation
I am seriously interested in trying to make a living doing something that I love. My passion is to build custom rifles (I have been a successful long range shooter for 25 years). I assume I would have to become a licensed gunsmith in order to realize this dream (not that that's a bad thing), I would actually enjoy studying the entire range, A to Z - beginner to expert gunsmithing, but could never devote the time and expense of having to attend an out of town school for a year or two while the bills keep piling on.

Can you guys suggest a legitimate and highly recommended correspondence course? Every school says they are the best. Most are sure to be less than stellar while others are sure to be downright rip-offs.

I'm sure the best option is to attend a highly accredited school, but my situation dictates that I pursue the second best option.

Thank you in advance,

dclevinger 10-24-2008 09:46 PM


Back in about '93, I took a correspondence course from NRI Schools. I was happy with the course but I don't think they are around anymore. The big problem with the correspondence classes is that there really is no hands on instruction. You get the theory and how-to but you don't get the advantage of having an instructor right there with you.

Two years after I finished the NRI program I moved to Colorado so I could attend CST and am glad I did.

The NRA summer classes are worth looking into. They only run a week or two per class and are a very good option.

Good luck.

VernDog 11-02-2008 09:07 PM

Thank you Dave.

How about AGI (American Gunsmithing Institute) out of California? Anyone heard good or bad about them? This is a course with video taped instruction (over 100 video lessons), mostly featuring Master Gunsmith Robert Dunlap actually giving hands on demonstrations of the how's and why's. Close up views with cutaway guns so you can actually see just how the parts interact with each other instead of just theory given in text.

They tout themselves as America's premier gunsmithing correspondence institution. After passing all the tests, you are supposed to be a certified gunsmith.

I really like the video concept far better than trying to gain this knowledge from books, and having the videos to fall back on as refresher is a huge benefit, however it is very expensive compared to all other correspondence courses reviewed. Cost is over $7,000.

I would greatly appreciate any input.

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