Gunsmith school programs.

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing Forum' started by sgthooah04, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. sgthooah04

    sgthooah04 New Member

    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.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Firearms Talk mobile app
  2. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

    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.

    better judged by twelve than carried by six.

  3. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

    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?
  4. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

    Exactly. You have to love guns and the job. If you're in it to make money, you're in the wrong profession.

    better judged by twelve than carried by six.
  5. sgthooah04

    sgthooah04 New Member

    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.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Firearms Talk mobile app
  6. Hookeye

    Hookeye Active Member

    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.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
  7. wghuffman

    wghuffman New Member

    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!!!!
  8. DrFootball

    DrFootball disappointed & disgusted, But DETERMINED... Lifetime Supporter

    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 I'm just extending my learning.

    Sent from my iPad using Firearms Talk
  9. masterPsmith

    masterPsmith New Member

    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.

  10. motorcyclenut

    motorcyclenut New Member

    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!
    SWSinTN likes this.
  11. JDallas5

    JDallas5 New Member

    There is a college called Yavapai college in Prescott Arizona that claims to be the best in the nation for gunsmithing. I am currently on the alternate waiting list for fall 2014 meaning if someone backs out I could possibly get in and if I don't get in 2014 I have a first seat to fall 2015. They had a waiting list of two years when I applied my junior year of high school, I am now in my senior year and they notified me that they had gotten rid of the waiting list because it bounced from two years to four year waiting list. It is now first come first serve. They notified me that I needed to get them a federal back ground check and make a student account at the college.

    From this college you can get two certificates and an associates degree in gunsmithing. They did add on a third year course of masters gunsmithing.

    The gunsmithing course is located in a warehouse that used to belong to Ruger but they upgraded to a bigger warehouse right next to the old one and donated it to the college. Some other courses such as aviation and automotive thingsare located in the warehouse. (Don't be scared be the word WAREHOUSE the building is extremely clean and well taken care of) there is also one way in and one way out and you have to be buzzed into the building so safety is defiantly a virtue there. And of course no live ammunition is allowed.

    Some course that are also located in the warehouse related to gunsmithing are a cnc machining class and also metal engraving. The metal engraving is taught by a professional engraver. Her portfolio is literally amazing. Sorry I cannot remember her name.

    They recommend not to even take another classes for the first half of the year while taking the gunsmithing course because it is so hands on interactive .

    The down turn is that you are required to have like 15 guns for the first two years and also a couple thousand dollars of tools for the class. The guns are specific and some are expensive such as a m1a and Ar 15. (May not be expensive to you but it is to me)

    If your interested then you should check out Yavapai college. The gunsmithing part of the sight is hard to find so you must either search for it in the search bar or go to degrees and certificates and click on the gunsmithing degree or certificates.

    If I remember correctly they take in around 40 people a year and all ages are welcome, they have state of the art machinery and your grade is determined on the quality of work you produce.

    When I went Susie Check (the gunsmithing program secretary) gave me a tour and told me of a guy who came and only completed two years of the program along with engraving and sold two rifles that he made at the college and profited 20k each rifle! If your into making money then this is also a possibility but I just love guns and want to learn more.

    This college compared to Pittsburg gunsmithing school is ten fold better with cleanliness and quality and has more experts in many fields.

    More prepared than most. Less prepared than many.