Arms Expert


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LANDMAN4389
January 24, 2012, 01:19 AM
Does anyone happen to know if there is any kind of certification to become an arms and armor expert?

Possibly classes or a degree that could be obtained?

Possibly to gain a job working in the film industry or doing appraisals for individuals, estates, etc?

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RhinoDefense
January 24, 2012, 01:33 AM
No there is not. Experts are generally self proclaimed.

TwoWheelFiend
January 24, 2012, 01:46 AM
People who are experts on things usually dedicate their lives to the subject. My suggestion would be to read a lot.

mljdeckard
January 24, 2012, 01:48 AM
^^ What Rhino said.

I know so much about guns that people in the non-THR world drop their jaw when I talk about them. I am starting a side business doing instruction and light building and modifications, but I went out of my way to get some NRA and state certifications which taught me absolutely not a single thing I didn't already know, to be able to attach some credibility to my business cards. (If you don't believe me, take the NRA basic pistol instructor course.)

It kind of depends on whom you are trying to convince you are an 'expert'. If you are talking about being a court expert witness of some kind, you are generally going to be some kind of professional in the field with a degree, like a crime lab tech or a ballistic engineer. When you are put on the stand as an 'expert' witness, the other side has the opportunity to challenge your knowledge. I THINK, (although I have not yet had the chance to try in real life,) that I could trip up the vast majority of people who give expert testimony in court concerning firearms. You would therefore want to narrow your scope of expertise. You wouldn't say; "I know everything there is to know about the history, manufacture, procurement, implementation, and maintenence of firearms." You would rather say; "I am an expert in the field of forensic ballistics." This way, you don't open yourself up to a challenge trick question you can't see coming.

LANDMAN4389
January 24, 2012, 02:03 AM
I know a lot about guns but not all guns so I wouldn't consider myself an expert. :D

I was just curious if there were any degrees or such that could be obtained.

I'd love to find a job in the firearms industry.

Appreciate all the info!

mljdeckard
January 24, 2012, 02:18 AM
Talk to some crime lab guys and some gunsmiths. You are looking at metalurgy, machining, engineering, and you need to be modern about it. Geet some training with CNC and modern drafting tools.

Thefabulousfink
January 24, 2012, 06:33 AM
I would think most "experts" that get paid for their services come from 2 backgrounds. Experienced or Academic. I I wanted to become an "expert" I would either join a branch of the military or law enforcement and get as much training as possible, or get a degree like History and spend a lot of time reseaching.

Then publish a book. If it is good, it will get you noticed by the sorts of people who pay "experts".

You could also go the technical route of working in the firearms industry.

Paid "experts" are generally worth what the community thinks they are worth, so you will need to promote yourself to get ahead. Many "experts" don't know 1/10th of what some THR members do, but they have enough credibility and got noticed by the right people.

It will take some work, but it's not impossible. Like TWOWHEELFIEND said, you will need to dedicate your life to it.

N003k
January 24, 2012, 08:21 AM
Keep in mind, what makes an 'expert' depends on who you're talking to...

I've been called a computer and gun expert by people that know considerably less than me about both... However I know next to nothing about both compared to a LOT of other people.

I'd also second reading, a LOT. That'll get you somewhere at least.

Lex Luthier
January 24, 2012, 08:22 AM
This world seems to expect a college degree before they give you any credence and respect, so you might consider any piece of gilted paper that marginally resembles the angle you are attempting follow.

Otherwise, be content to be smarter than a lot of people and occasionally have the opportunity to lead the discussion.

parsimonious_instead
January 24, 2012, 08:25 AM
The more I read into the topic of firearms, the more I realize that I don't know.

Knowing a bit, a pinch, or a lot more than the "average person" about firearms does not make one an expert, by any stretch.

Curator
January 24, 2012, 09:32 AM
An expert is a guy with a briefcase more than 50 miles from home. I have been involved as a firearms curator/armourer for 40+ years, and NRA instructor for at least that long, and a Training Counsleor for 25+ years. I still consider myself a student. The more I learn, the more I see I do not know, and the more I am surprized to find some of what I thought I knew was actually wrong. I try to specialize in American 18th and 19th century firearms and avoid giving opinions on anything made after 1945.

303tom
January 24, 2012, 09:39 AM
An expert is someone widely recognized as a reliable source of technique or skill whose faculty for judging or deciding rightly, justly, or wisely is accorded authority and status by their peers or the public in a specific well-distinguished domain. An expert, more generally, is a person with extensive knowledge or ability based on research, experience, or occupation and in a particular area of study. Experts are called in for advice on their respective subject, but they do not always agree on the particulars of a field of study. An expert can be, by virtue of credential, training, education, profession, publication or experience, believed to have special knowledge of a subject beyond that of the average person, sufficient that others may officially (and legally) rely upon the individual's opinion. Historically, an expert was referred to as a sage (Sophos). The individual was usually a profound thinker distinguished for wisdom and sound judgment.

Experts have a prolonged or intense experience through practice and education in a particular field. In specific fields, the definition of expert is well established by consensus and therefore it is not necessary for an individual to have a professional or academic qualification for them to be accepted as an expert. In this respect, a shepherd with 50 years of experience tending flocks would be widely recognized as having complete expertise in the use and training of sheep dogs and the care of sheep. Another example from computer science is that an expert system may be taught by a human and thereafter considered an expert, often outperforming human beings at particular tasks. In law, an expert witness must be recognized by argument and authority.
Look up expert in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Research in this area attempts to understand the relation between expert knowledge and exceptional performance in terms of cognitive structures and processes. The fundamental research endeavor is to describe what it is that experts know and how they use their knowledge to achieve performance that most people assume requires extreme or extraordinary ability. Studies have investigated the factors that enable experts to be fast and accurate.

Loosedhorse
January 24, 2012, 09:51 AM
Experts are generally self proclaimed.There are different levels of credentials, of course.

If you are a teacher (and there are often certifications for that) of students interested in the field, and can point to students that have learned from you, that's one thing. If you are a master (a teacher of other teachers), and can point to other teachers that have paid to learn from you, that's another. And if you can point to masters who have traveled to learn from you, that's another yet.

Of course, if you are making your living in the field in question (employed by several auction houses to give value estimates for firearms under the gavel, for example), and have done that for long enough for the market to have decided to keep you, that says something. Of course, what we often see is a person who is employed in related fields (like an LEO or a firearms safety instructor or a doctor, etc.) who claims to be an expert in, for example, "terminal ballistics and wounding," when they know about as much on that as you and I do.

Courts sometimes need expert witnesses. The experts usually go through a voir dire process so that the judge is convinced he (or she) is in fact expert in the field in question. Having had trial experience as an expert is also a credential.

"Amateur" means a person who does somethng because he loves it. I'm sure many "professional" experts love what they do; but dedicated amateurs can be pretty darn knowlegeable (as a walk through our Reloading forum, for example, will demonstrate), even if they lack credentials.

txgunsuscg
January 24, 2012, 10:01 AM
Depends on who you talk to. Many people attach a lot of credibility to certifications, which is why I am about to take my NRA instructor courses. I have been told by the guys who taught me to shoot (men who spent a lot of time getting shot at) that they really didn't learn a thing from the course, but it got them the certificate to show people.

Loosedhorse
January 24, 2012, 10:44 AM
they really didn't learn a thing from the course, but it got them the certificate to show people.I hope they meant they didn't learn a lot about gun safety or target shooting (or whatever their cert is).

Because I learned a lot about how to structure a firearms course, and how to teach persons what is in large part a mechanical skill, but in some ways is even more about attitude.

Of course, if they got the cert with no intention of teaching, that may not matter. And that's fine; to each his own.

Bubbles
January 24, 2012, 11:15 AM
While most experts are self-proclaimed, if you're looking at an expert witness for a particular firearms subject (legal, manufacturing, gunsmithing, ballistics, tactics, training, etc) then you need to look at the person's resume, history on other cases, etc.

ball3006
January 24, 2012, 11:43 AM
Yeah, have a table at a gun show..................chris3

JFrame
January 24, 2012, 11:45 AM
I believe an important criterion for being a firearm expert is to be an agent for DEA.

"I am the only one in this room professional enough to handle this gun..."

BLAM!


.

mljdeckard
January 24, 2012, 03:43 PM
I'm going to have to discount the military as a place to become a firearms expert. Unless you are a weapon tech for a unit like the Marine or Army marksmanship unit, you really don't learn much about guns. It is entirely possible to be in the army for twenty years and learn basic use and maintenence of an M-16, familiarization with a pistol and a couple of machine guns, and nothing more. Nothing about ballistic theory, (Or much more likely, a lot of BAD info about ballistic theory,) history, or any other weapon or ammo. The military likes to keep weapon training short, simple, and uncomplicated.

Chindo18Z
January 24, 2012, 06:36 PM
Other options would be to seek a job, apprenticeship, or volunteer position with:

Museums that house or display arms & armor...

Auction Houses that sell such items...

Antique shops that deal in collectible arms & armor...

Universities with Anthropology or History departments sponsor digs, artifact restorations, or historical research...

Re-enactment societies...

dprice3844444
January 24, 2012, 06:39 PM
they have those schools out in colorado,or you can work for batfe,they supposedly know everything

trex1310
January 24, 2012, 06:43 PM
In order to qualify as a firearms expert (on the internet) you must be
and/or do all of the following:

- be retired from the military and a scout/sniper with at least 108 kills.
- be a retired law enforcement officer and a SWAT team leader.
- be a retired Taurus armorer.
- have a black belt in Sha-Na-Na (in case you forget your gun).
- have attended at least 6 dozen Gunsite courses until wounded by
Clint Smith personally.
- belong to at least 2 dozen firearms related forums with a minimum
of 9,000 posts in each and moderator in at least 8.
- certify yourself as an expert whenever you post.

:D:D

txgunsuscg
January 24, 2012, 07:03 PM
I hope they meant they didn't learn a lot about gun safety or target shooting (or whatever their cert is).

Because I learned a lot about how to structure a firearms course, and how to teach persons what is in large part a mechanical skill, but in some ways is even more about attitude.

Of course, if they got the cert with no intention of teaching, that may not matter. And that's fine; to each his own.
They already had extensive experience teaching everything from basic qualifications to close quarters combat, just no civilian certification, so for the jobs they were applying for, they weren't paper "experts".

I have solid firearms experience, and solid instructing experience, but I have never combined the two. I hope to gain a lot when I take the course in two weeks.

IROCZ
January 25, 2012, 04:27 PM
I actually was recognized by a judge as a firearms expert in a Pa. Civil court! I got paid like $100 dollars an hour for like 2 hours. Only once. But I don't whore myself out, or promote myself as I see others doing. But I am an armorer and a firearms instructor. No one knows everything. Most self proclaimed experts are just self absorbed and thier favorite subject is themselves. Ever notice with some, you get thier advice whether you want it or not. I'm still a student, and still have alot to learn. Good luck, learn all you can, and what you need is "Documentable Training" and Military or Police service really helps to build your credibility.

FIVETWOSEVEN
January 25, 2012, 05:25 PM
I know more than the average gun owner but I'm far from an expert.

Leathermarshmallow
January 25, 2012, 07:11 PM
Ex = A has been
Spurt = a drip under pressure.

So an Expert (EXSPURT) is usually just an old drip under pressure.:p

IROCZ
January 25, 2012, 07:16 PM
Very nice! I agree!

O C
January 25, 2012, 07:31 PM
An "Expert" is someone, who doesn't know more than you and I, but is organized, and has slides.

LANDMAN4389
January 25, 2012, 08:39 PM
A lot of good info fellas. I'm an expert in screwing up, that is all I can claim. :D

max popenker
January 26, 2012, 09:22 AM
well, some people do call me an "expert' because I wrote a book or two on the subject of firearms.
But like many others in this thread, I'm considering myself as nothing more than an "advanced amateur" who likes to learn about guns, dig deep into histories and subtle technical details, and share the learned knowledge with others, preferably in exchange for more knowledge.
No one can know it all.

Dr.Rob
January 27, 2012, 03:18 PM
Write a few books, work in the industry for more than 10 years.

As far as being an 'armorer' in film, there is no 'certification' in Colorado. Some states like New York have a very explicit policy for weapons handling for film and tv. Not abiding by their rules results in criminal fines and/or penalties. Read that as jail time.

Often the armorer is the propmaster. Sometimes an 'expert' is brought in (usually meaning the armorer is the prop wrangler for the guns only) if the budget allows for it.

More or less: you don't have to be a gun expert to work in the movies. You do need to be well versed in individual state laws regarding the film industry.

Flopsweat
January 27, 2012, 04:42 PM
They already had extensive experience teaching everything from basic qualifications to close quarters combat, just no civilian certification, so for the jobs they were applying for, they weren't paper "experts".

I have solid firearms experience, and solid instructing experience, but I have never combined the two. I hope to gain a lot when I take the course in two weeks.

You likely will. You'll learn more if you teach the class a few times. You need to teach a certain number of students per year to maintain certification anyway. Plus it is really fun teaching those classes. I've taught a lot of people informally, but I still get a big kick out of watching folks in the formal classes go from timid and quiet to enthusiastic and focused in a few hours. And of course knowing that they are going to use their guns in a safe manner. It's so much fun I'd do it for free - which in fact I do.

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