Gunsmithing Schools?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing Forum' started by Gordo323, May 11, 2010.

  1. Gordo323

    Gordo323 New Member

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    I have been a helicopter mechanic for the last 30 years, I have loved the life (still do), however my passion has always been for shooting guns. I was wondering if anybody has any advice for becoming a gunsmith. I am seeing alot of ads in my favorite gun mags lately offering online training, and was just wondering if any one has had any experiences with these schools, or is it best to just go off on my own?
    I am 52 years old and the travel involved with what I do now is taking it's toll! Not rich enough yet to retire, just looking for something for the future!
     
  2. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Some of the on-line schools may be okay, but IMO, I would go in-resident (or at least hang around a good smith's shop). Cylinder and Slide offers a "Hands-on" class for the 1911. There are also Armorer's classes offered by different manufacturers. Various classes at vo-tech schools can be used in the pursuit of your new "hobby". Good Luck.
     

  3. Biohazurd

    Biohazurd New Member

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    Check out Colorado school of trades. they got me started in the biz... ha ha.


    By the way i frown apon an online gunsmithing school. Gunsmithing is a trade not a science you need hands on real world training to become an efficient gunsmith IMO, Something an online course can offer you.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2010
  4. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Active Member

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    You're not going to get much out of online gunsmithing schools. I'd strongly suggest an on campus trade school or gunsmithing course. Gunsmithing is something that requires a LOT of hands on training.
     
  5. Gordo323

    Gordo323 New Member

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    Thanks for all replies, I think I am going to try and get a part time job doing the grunt work at a local gun shop as my work schedule dosen't allow me the chance of attending a full time school.
     
  6. Biohazurd

    Biohazurd New Member

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    I ment something it can not offer you, My bad..
     
  7. cappaletti

    cappaletti New Member

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    I've taken 3 correspondence/online gunsmithing courses. 1. North American School of Firearms, Newport Bch, CA (mentioned in NRA Gunsmithing Guide), Phoenix State University Gunsmith Certificate program and Ashworth College School of Gunsmithing, Norcross, GA. Best by far (in my opinion) is Ashworth College and North American School of Firearms is no longer in existence (took that course in 1975) but by far the best way to learn is thru an established shop or by going to one of the accredited schools (Lassen, Colorado School of Trades, Montgomery Community College, etc.)
     
  8. cappaletti

    cappaletti New Member

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    Almost forgot! (it's the age thing!) Another way to start is by taking a machine shop course at a local community college. It will help a lot...
     
  9. IMAPEOPLEPERSON

    IMAPEOPLEPERSON New Member

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    I ordered the master gunsmithing course from AGI . I thought it was a valuable asset myself, and feel that anyone could learn from it. The dvd's they send you go into great detail of the firearms and they give you a great library to go back and refresh yourself on the kind of firearm you are working on, at least for me they do. you can start by just ordering one of their videos and see for yourself. I think it was well worth the 8k the class cost, i have always been a tinker with the lathe and mill and i now do far more than i could before i took the course, With the master gunsmith course you get all the firearms videos along with a practical course in machinery. along with test and i could study at my own pace. I thought it was a great investment. Just some food for thought and my 2 cents. here is the link AGI - Home
     
  10. cappaletti

    cappaletti New Member

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    Agi

    I also have purchased AGI Armorer's courses (28 total) and like them a lot. A good machinist course along with AGI videos or correspondence/online courses
    would probably make the grade!
     
  11. MoreAltitude

    MoreAltitude New Member

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    Just my .02 ( devalued to .01 in today's market) but stay the course with the helo a&p thing, and use this time to build to your gunsmithing knowledge and credentials as a side thing till retirement. You most certainly can acquire more money in that field, then once retired go full tilt with your true passion. As an a&p you are perfectly suited to be a great gunsmith. Now if you are truly not happy with your chosen profession that's another story, follow your dreams...
     
  12. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    At 52 it will be hard to take a huge pay cut. I would apply for disability before I tried to keep everything going on the $8 an hour you will make as an apprentice gunsmith. Even with all your previous experience no one will want to pay very much with no experience in a gun shop. People have tried to hire me in gun shops. They did not make an offer that seems like they wanted any help. I will lease more land and bale hay until I die before I work for that kind of money.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  13. GeneralPatton

    GeneralPatton New Member

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    Did anyone else read the graduation rate and number of students taking courses on the AGI site? I mean, the rate of graduates is like 15%. If I was spending the Thousands of dollars it cost to take those courses I think I'd at least want the certificate. The graduate rates were low and the number reporting any job placement was 0. Doesn't make one to confident in an online school that wants nearly $8000 to make you a Master Smith
     
  14. kerstingm

    kerstingm New Member

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    I am currently taking courses through Modern Gun School ($1.700.00 for the advanced course 65 lessons) with backup support from some AGI courses so I can have a visual reference to what I am reading. Once I can afford it I will purchase the level 1 professional course which is running around $3k. and I also want the PRO trigger job course for $600. I already have welding and machining experience from my 20 years of maintenance work. I do not have the ability to relocate to go to any schools at this time. So this is my best option, I have taken the Glock Armorers course which was my first hands on course. With what I had learned from my courses and from doing my own firearms work I was able to ace the class, I totally agree that a hands on trades school is the best way to go, but I can say the online courses can work if can get some hands on experience to backup the book or video courses.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
  15. Benreload21

    Benreload21 New Member

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    I also recommend a hands-on School. I graduated from Colorado School of Trades. You will not have the skills by watching a video or reading a book. Don't get get me wrong I have a library of books & videos, although they are a small part of becoming a gunsmith. CST has been been open since about 1945. There is another school in Trinidad, CO. Both Schools have graduated some very will know gunsmiths ie.. PO Ackley & JERRY KUHNHAUSEN just to names few. It's not easy cheap or easy but they are some of the best Schools!
     
  16. kerstingm

    kerstingm New Member

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    I cannot agree with you more that a hands on trade school is the best way to go in this trade or any hands on skilled trade, with maybe even more so for this one just because of the dangers if you do something wrong you can cause someone to get seriously hurt. It is not always possible to relocate to go to one of these schools, all I can do is get to as many hands on courses I can that manufacturers put on throughout the year. I already have the Glock's Amorers course, I know Sig puts on a few, but will need to travel to their school for them, which is very possible since it is only a few days.
    I know that I will only preform jobs that I have already preformed on my firearms first and know I am doing them safetly and correctly.
    Thank you for your input
     
  17. Benreload21

    Benreload21 New Member

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    I had read somewhere on one of the threads that CST was old school. They now have a new building & they now have C&C machines. They have almost all armor's courses with factory reps are available as side courses. I personally have taken side courses for Colt (M16/AR15 & 1911 70 & 80 series), Glock, Remington (700s & 870), Berretta (hand guns & shotguns), mossberg 500. Yes CST isn't cheap but you leave there with a credited Associates Degree, a toolbox full of the most essential handtools & any number of specialty tools that you can build, also at least one custom rifle that you build from the ground up. I built 4 Custom rifles, one being a 30-06AI that I built for my final grade. It will shoot as well as most bench rest guns.. It's one of a few elite gunsmith schools that just about any seasoned smith has heard of. I can still call my instructors when I'm have a problem & they always help me out. You can walk out of school into a gunsmith business & be recognized as a gunsmith. Where as in an online school they won't even talk to you. You definitely get what you pay for, no disrespect intended to those taking online courses.
     
  18. kerstingm

    kerstingm New Member

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    I totally agree with the best way to learn this trade is by going to an actual school, but for those of uswhodo not have that option, I am going through Modern Gun School with several video backup courses through AGI
    I still believe AGI is the best option for what they offer. Yes it is one of the highest priced one out there short of attending a college, considering this is all hands on trade you really need at least a video to get a better idea of what needs to be done. I amoneof those guys that might not always pick up on something just by reading it, I willsaywith what I have learned so far I am grasping the trade pretty good. I have been able to repair anything I have had to work on so far. Newest pistol taken in is a 1940's FN-Browning Hi-Power in need of some tender loving care, cleaning and updated parts. I am not worried in the least that I can repair it.
    I hope this helps you, this is coming from someone going through class now.
     
  19. ahlthat

    ahlthat New Member

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  20. DrFootball

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

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    Smithing classes

    I recently began courses at Penn Foster In Pa(Online), and after completing this I will attend a local school with a GS program(Yavapai College-Az..). Im not looking to work for someone else, although I will have a paid internship after I finish these courses...