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Gunsmithing schools

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posted on Nov, 5 2019 @ 08:14 PM
Long term I'm looking at owning and operating my own gunsmithing business. I'm currently limited to what I can do legally without having any FFL license, so I've just been sticking to some small stuff like cleaning, diagnosing performance/function issues, and making minor adjustments.

I know there are a few different ways to become a legally licensed gunsmith, but I don't know of anyone willing to take on an apprentice for 8000 hours and to be honest that doesn't seem to be an appealing way to spend my time even if I could find someone to take me on. I don't think anyone around here would have enough experience or knowledge to keep me engaged for that long.

There are a few local manufacturers that have pipelines to get there, but I would be stuck with their way of business in that their bottom line is their product and what they are willing to do for me is as long as it seems of value to them.

That being said I'm looking at going to a school instead. I'm not too worried about money as I have yet to use my GI Bill. I'm leaning towards the Colorado School of Trades among a few other ones. I'm open to opinions and other's personal experence . So, anyone have any suggestions?

posted on Nov, 5 2019 @ 08:20 PM
a reply to: AutomateThis1

Schooling would probably be good.

I'm guessing the potential varies widely by area. Around here, especially during the good times, it seemed you could find a gun store with a quality gunsmith easier than a liquor store. But the boom and bust cycle took out a lot of good shops, regardless of the level they offered.

I think that trying to find something with a manufacturer, even part time or "low skilled" (basic assembly, diagnosis or testing) would help bolster credentials and in the long run get some exposure to more tenured and rewarding positions either with small manufacturers, parts manufactures or with munitions companies.

It's a great industry and if it's a passion it would be a dream job for many. I think taking in all you can, no matter what it is, would always transfer well.

You have a GI bill, so I'm assuming(obviously) you have prior military experience, even getting involved in NRA instructing(or other firearm instructing) along with schooling and maybe doing a few rounds at some manufacturers would all net you a solid career, one way or the other.
edit on 5-11-2019 by MisterSpock because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 5 2019 @ 08:26 PM
a reply to: AutomateThis1

not sure where you live but where i live in NW montana we have gun smiting classes at my local college this coveres what they do and what classes perhaps you local colleges have them? i took a few engraving classes back in summer of 2016 was weird being Required to bring my gun to college .but they had a system for it and the place where i took them was somewhat separated from the main campus

posted on Nov, 5 2019 @ 08:30 PM
Also, from what little I know, it seems a lot of the more regarded gunsmiths have backgrounds in competition shooting, either in the actual competing themselves or having had worked on competitors arms.

Yes, I know that seems obvious. But even being regionally or locally involved with competition will probably help you a lot. If you can get involved and make yourself available(likely for low cost) to some competitors that would give you a foothold in your area.
edit on 5-11-2019 by MisterSpock because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 5 2019 @ 08:56 PM
Thanks for the input so far. I was an armorer while I was in(make of it what you will), and I was also involved with anti-terrorism while serving on a tactical team. I was pretty good at it. Outside of the military I've done a fair bit of coaching/training and I enjoy it. I've never been big on sport shooting, but do encourage people to practice on a regular basis and look at security/protection/self-defense from an outside-in approach.

I've reached the point where I've done a few favors for friends and have started to get requests from more and more people. So far everything I've done has been for free, but just to be on the safe side I want to make sure that everything I do is legal. I figure that if more and more people are going to continue to contact me I'm going to start charging for my time and experience.

Also, I'd rather not have BATFE or someone else come kicking my door in lol.

I really did look at local manufacturers, but it just seems like it would take even longer to reach my goal and then there are the obvious non-competition agreements. It's a dream of mine to have my own line of firearms, so I'd like to avoid as many complications as possible.

posted on Nov, 5 2019 @ 08:57 PM
Colorado has a dedicated school just west of Denver... Lakewood area I think. They are top rated in the field and include machining, for the actual manufacture of firearms and placement at Factories after graduation ( 18 mos.) like Barretta and Springfield, depends on whether you want to fix them or make them I guess. Another at a junior college in northern California was also highly ranked, but takes longer and only offers 1 or 2 classes per semester...but my info is 20 years old.

p.s Colorado school of trades

posted on Nov, 5 2019 @ 09:04 PM
a reply to: Knapperdude

Yup, I'm pretty sure the Lakewood location is the one I was looking at. Not sure, but it was the Colorado School of Trades I was checking out. I liked what I read and it doesn't seem like it would take long to get in. If I'm not mistaken it said that new classes start the second Monday of every month and is only fourteen months long. Also if I'm not further mistaken there's also a business degree attached to the program so I guess that wouldn't hurt lol. Colorado is a nice place for the most part so it would be kind of like a training based vacation.

I'd probably go back to Tennessee afterwards.
edit on 5-11-2019 by AutomateThis1 because: grammar

posted on Nov, 6 2019 @ 07:06 AM
You could always reenlist, and take relevant coursework. If you were to double-down small arms trading with machining classes you would be headed into the field with a strong skillset." target="_blank" class="postlink"> icle/126023/ordnance_school_small_arms_course_on_schedule_to_offer_gunsmith_certification

I dont know what your personal situation is, but it's often better to be paid while learning than paying to learn.

As Mr.spock said, get to know your local/regional shooters. They know who is best for trigger work, bolt/action lapping/honing, barrel work.

I shot competitively for years, and was very particular about who was doing my work.
Big difference from repair and simple mods on stock civilian offerings and high end, custom built rigs for match shoots.

Best of luck to you.
edit on 6-11-2019 by Notoneofyou because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-11-2019 by Notoneofyou because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 6 2019 @ 07:47 AM
Come to Texas.
We make guns here.
Lots of guns - great guns.
AND yesterday, we outlawed income tax.
There's not an over abundance of gunsmiths here either!
Outside manufacturing, there's hardly anyone who could fashion a barrel from a blank.
There's a market for somebody who could fashion a concealable, hicap 7.62x25 that didn't weigh 3 lbs.
That being said, take the quick route to getting your license and get into biz asap - or take your skills and market them now and pick up the expertise as you go.


posted on Nov, 6 2019 @ 06:37 PM
All the good gun smiths i know were machinist first and did gun smithing part time or after retiring.

This and other guns the navy built for the seals were not built by gunsmiths but were built by machinist.

posted on Nov, 7 2019 @ 06:26 PM
Thanks for the replies again. I don't plan on reenlisting. I did my time and don't really care to do more. I do have a good bit of machining experience. Having a gunsmithing business is something I wish to do on the side. I'm good at engravings, leather work, metal work, wood work, whatever work.

My point is that there is only so much I can legally do without breaking any laws. I looked at a few local manufacturers and while they offer programs a person could use to get everything they need it still involves some schooling or apprentice type deals. I already know that it will probably take longer to do it through an employer because their bottom line is their product first and what I want last.

So, in my mind it seems my time would be saved and better spent by going to a school where their focus is on me so I can get the most out of it.

Trust me if all I had to do was pay money and get the various licensing that's what I would do.

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