is AGI a legit gunsmithing program

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing Forum' started by Nickwashere, May 3, 2012.

  1. Nickwashere

    Nickwashere New Member

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    I wanted to take some kind of online gunsmithing course just to get my feet wet and build my knowledge about guns and found this site but I don't want to be ripped off.. Any know if they are reputable or not?
     
  2. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    They are very expensive. Their videos are great to have on hand but I would recommend buying them as needed or wanted.
    If you are going to spend in the area of $10k for a home program I would recommend sonoran desert institute. They have a good program with some hands on projects and you can further your studies with their associates in firearms technology course.
    http://www.sdi.edu/gunsmithing.html

    There are a couple other starter programs that are cheaper $1k if that's what your looking for check out Penn fosters program.
     

  3. masterPsmith

    masterPsmith New Member

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    In my opinion, you would be better off going to a good bookstore and buying some good books on general gunsmithing, riflesmithing or pistolsmithing. You can also get great books on specific firearms. I have seen some of the online gunsmithing courses and IMHO, they are not worth the money or the time and that comes from me having 45 years in the trade.


    Jim...........
     
  4. Deuce

    Deuce New Member

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    Im currently taking an online because Im out of the country at the moment and will be for a while, but its through Ashworth College and its pretty good. I only paid alittle over $900 for it and it gives about 116 college hours which works really well with the my military career at the moment.

    But its also like masterPsmith said it will never make up for 45 years of hands on. It will be something to start out with, but if you have a local shop that you can ask to help at or see if they can put you as an apprentice of something like that it would be good too.

    I know just from being a machinist what they teach in a classroom is never enough to just say I can do it.
     
  5. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    First thanks for your service.
    Now, the ashworth course is ok. I looked into it. My only problem with the ashworth course is that it is entirely based off of a $35 gunsmithing book. A newer edition of the first book on the topic that I ever purchased. It is a good book but besides that if you are paying out of pocket for the course it is not worth it.
    Penn foster is slightly more in depth but also is a knowledge base only. If I remember correctly its actually a bit cheaper than ashworth.
    The course goes from very basic stuff up to an introduction to more advanced smithing and machine operation and into starting your business. As I said though its basically only a knowledge base for opening a home based ffl.
    The sonoran desert program is hands down the best home based course but still not as good as a brick and mortar school.
     
  6. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    The best advise is masterPsmith -
    "buying some good books on general gunsmithing, riflesmithing or pistolsmithing."
    Brownells has many books on this subject. The books can be referred to again and again. I doubt that there are any great gunsmiths that don't have a big library of gun books. I have over three dozen and after all my years of gunsmithing I still look at them.
     
  7. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    While a good library is beneficial to have to fall back on and freshen up on things. Walking into an ffl and saying I'm looking for a gunsmithing job or apprenticeship. I have read some books. Ain't gonna cut it.
    Atleast if you can show you have made the investment of time and money and passed a course. You are showing dedication and the ability to learn. Now if you can bring some builds with you and that diploma. You got something there.
     
  8. Deuce

    Deuce New Member

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    Yeah thats really all that I was looking for because Im not going to go big with it and make a living or anything like that is a little side job that I've always just wanted to do mainly for fun and little about the cash flow.

    But I already have a good understanding about most firearms just from the military and being around them most of my life and the fact that I hang out in a gun shop while I'm off of work and my wife is at work haha.
     
  9. wjnfirearms

    wjnfirearms New Member

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    The biggest problem I see with correspondence courses is that there is no "hands on" training. For many subjects, you need to do to really learn. Learning theory and seeing others do it is good, but there's no substitute to actually practicing whatever one is learning.

    You need to think of it like this. Would you trust repairing your car to someone that learned by mail and had no experience actually fixing a car? What about treating an injury by an EMT that learned online? For continuing ed, maybe. For a newbie, think about it.
     
  10. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    Absolutely agree. That's why I recommend sonoran desert atleast they have some hands on. Either way you need the experience. Without a basic knowledge base it would be very foolish to pick up a gun and start working on it.
    The hands on is a must and anyone who takes an online course must take it upon them selves to put what they learn to use at their own expense.
    Just a scary side note emt's don't really have hands on as part of their training. Splinting a persons leg in a college classroom and pretending to handle a sucking chest wound is not real experience.
    Point is you have to start somewhere.
     
  11. Deuce

    Deuce New Member

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    The EMT thing is the same with our Combat life saving classes unless you can get in the advanced class and actually do everything you learned on a pig and try to save it.
     
  12. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    Yeah my buddy is a cls trainer. He would disagree. I told him I just picked up the field kit and he laughed and said he wouldn't let me near him with it if it meant dying. Lol he knows I'm first aid certified and took the emt course.
     
  13. Nickwashere

    Nickwashere New Member

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    Thank you all for the excellent feed back.. I have decided to go with the ashworth collage..for the value that is abetter option considering the cost..which book was that class based I off of mountainman? I'd like to pick it up
     
  14. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    I would recommend Penn foster but its your decision.
    The ashworth course is based off of...
    The 3rd edition if I remember correctly.
     

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  15. Nickwashere

    Nickwashere New Member

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    Some how I missed penn foster completely on the first read through..checking them out now!
     
  16. vagunsmith

    vagunsmith New Member

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    I chose Ashworth. I chose them because all the info I could get on penn foster appeared to have people dressed as though they were still in the 50's. I would suggest if you are young and serious about this as your future to attend a hands on 2 or 3 year college or gunsmith school. Myself I was 55 years old and have had had considerable experience working with machine shop equipment and am a lifetime maintenance millwright. Ashworth as well as other home study courses cannot teach you the machine shop skills you need to be a gunsmith. You will need to get the machine shop training elsewhere. A certified gunsmith school would be the perfect way to go for a young person who has their mind set on this as a lifetime profession. There are a couple of community colleges in North Carolina that offers a degree in gunsmithing.