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michigan0626 01-27-2012 11:14 PM

NRA Gunsmith Courses
On the NRA Gunsmithing site, they endorse 4 colleges for short summer gunsmithing courses. They have a school in Colorado, Trinidad State Junior College. They have 9 weeks of courses with 3 or 4 different courses per week. I have thought about taking a 1911 course to learn in detail the 1911, and how to fix/customize the pistol. This would strickly be for hobby. Unless I could get good enough to make something someone else would be willing to buy, then I might try to do 1911 work on the side. Would this be the way to go. Im not sold on these dvd courses that are advertised. I live in Florida with a good paying job, I cant afford to leave or quit. That is why this one week course is attractive. But is a one week course good enough?

For the resident 1911 gunsmiths, is the tools list a good one? Is it complete, would you add anything? Does anyone sell complete gunsmithing kits? What brand of tools are considered the standard, not a Rolls-Royse, but not a Yugo, a quality high value Ford.

I would like to go this year, but I dont think I can miss a week of college, hopefully next year. The other thing I like about it is that the tuition is 450 out of state. The Cylinder and Slide week long 1911 course is $4500, Vickers gunsmithing class is about $2400.


July 9 - July 13
1911 Handguns
The 1911 pistol has been around for 100 years and is still one of the best-selling guns on the market today. It is carried by military, law enforcement and private citizens all over the world. In this 1911 Customization class we will be focusing on taking a production pistol and turning it into an accurate, reliable carry or competition piece.

We will perform the following in the class:
Fitting a trigger and performing a trigger job
Fitting and tuning thumb safeties
Fitting and tuning grip safeties
Tuning the pistol for reliability
Installing Novak style sights
Tightening the slide to frame fit
Fitting match grade barrel and bushing (barrel is optional)

The class will cover much more but we won’t have time to perform all of the operations in five days. Some of these operations are: checkering, cocking serrations, flat topping and serrating the slide, undercutting the frame and much more.

Dave Clevinger - Instructor
Tool List
Students will need a 1911 style pistol and replacement parts. Please contact me directly for recommendations. Tools required for the class are:
Gunsmith screwdriver set
Small ball-peen or brass hammer
Gunsmith punches
6 or 8 inch smooth cut file
Needle file set
10-8 Performance 1911 bench block
Aluminum bushing wrench
Grip safety fitting jig to match your grip safety
Marvel 1911 sear jig
Hammer/ sear stone set
Bench stone
6 inch steel ruler
Dial caliper
Dremel tool and accessories

If students want to fit a new barrel the following tools will also be needed:
Hood length gage
Barrel alignment block
Locking lug file
Slide/ frame rail file

dclevinger 02-01-2012 01:32 PM

Here is an example of what we'll be talking about in the class.
Welded and machined rails
Match bushing and crown
Novak sights
Trigger and trigger job
Thumb and grip safeties
Ball cut slide
Top serrations
Beveled mag well
Undercut frame
Reliability package
and so on.....

The tool list is very basic. To purchase all of the specialty tools that I will be bringing for you to use would cost well over $2000 not including the machine tools like end mills and dovetail cutters.

I've been teaching this class at CST for about 2.5 years and have it designed to give the student a good head start in the right direction. Some students come to the class with very good skills and attention to detail, others have to develope the skills and the eye. I try to cater to both and everyone in between. All students will need to continue to practice after the class to really hone the skills needed to turn out high end pistols.

Please let me know if you have any questions at all.

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