Gumsmithing Schools


January 30, 2012, 10:13 PM
I've been looking into gunsmithing shools but can only seem to find "online" classes. I find it hard to believe you can call yourself a gunsmith without getting your hands dirty. Does anyone know of any gunsmithing schools in metro Detroit, or close to? Please help me out.....

If you enjoyed reading about "Gumsmithing Schools" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
January 30, 2012, 10:19 PM
I've been looking at possibly attending Pennsylvania Gunsmith School, but that's probably a bit far for you. Far for me too, come to think of it. It looks like a great program, though.

January 30, 2012, 10:22 PM
Are you talking about Penn Foster?

January 31, 2012, 10:23 AM
Wasn't there a long thread on this last month? Several folks posted long lists of schools? I think there might be a "search" function for THR.

There are well regarded residence schools in CA, AC, two in CO, OK, PA, one of the Carolinas. There are two or more correspondence schools, and the point is to do the actual work; although I agree that there is a lack of feedback and demonstration in those.

NRA also puts on short 2-week type courses, mostly on specific guns, at various locations around the country. They list these on their website.

You can also sometimes work out free "internships" or "apprenticeships" with working gunsmiths. They probably want to see some value to this so it would help to have taken several machine shop classes at a local junior college. I talked to a guy just last week who puts in a couple half days each week at a fairly well known custom shop; no pay but he gets experience.

January 31, 2012, 03:55 PM
Are you talking about Penn Foster?

Nope, this place:

February 1, 2012, 01:46 PM
There is also a program at Pine Technical College in Pine City Minnesota. I know MN is almost as far as PA when in Michigan but a quick search did not show anything closer.

February 4, 2012, 05:33 PM
I'm from metro Detroit and attended PGS. If you don't have a background in the work it is a great way to figure out the basics of classic American gunsmithing. Got me into the field, and I couldn't be happier.

As far as the distance goes, there is a student from metro Detroit there now as well, and rent in the area is quite cheap. Not Detroit cheap, but still cheap.

And, it shares a parking lot with a bar. What more could you ask for?

Is suggest going for a tour there at least, but talk to the students you see around, mostly outside, to decide if the school is for you. You can get a much better idea of what is really going on that way, then you ever will from the people trying to get your money!

Best of luck to you, I know it was the best choice I ever made.

February 5, 2012, 11:20 AM
Do yourself a favor and see what Trinidad State Junior College has to offer.
Great place, great country,great people AND the info IS there if you wish to grasp it.
Been there, done that!
It would be very helpful if you had even a SLIGHT backround in the machine shop arena.
Zeke, Class of '61

March 1, 2012, 06:01 PM
Is it a good idea to take an online gunsmith cert program towards a career change, already have an interest, some knowledge and passion for guns?


March 1, 2012, 07:10 PM
On line courses ??
Save your money and the ensuing heartache.

March 1, 2012, 09:11 PM
Online courses are a dirty joke in the industry.
Apply for a job with an online "degree" or "certification" and you'll be lucky if all they do is laugh in your face as they kick you out.

Mail order courses are a not-quite-as-dirty joke in the industry. Apply with a degree from one of them and they probably won't laugh too hard until you leave, then they'll pitch your resume in the trash.

The problem with gunsmithing is while the potential harm that a jack leg "gunsmith" can do can be fatal, no actual license for competency is needed.
In many states I would have had to pass a test and get licensed to be a watchmaker. When I graduated from watchmaking school, the test I took to graduate was the state licensing test in that state, so I was licensed there.
People who do potentially dangerous work have to pass tests and get licensed, including engineers, water district employees, gas fitters and electricians, etc.

But gunsmiths don't have to prove competency so you can get a "certification" by simply printing one on your printer from "The Johnny Jones School of Master Gunsmiths and Bartenders" and it's as good as one from an internet or mail order school.

If you want to be a hobbyist who works on your OWN guns, one of the internet or mail order schools may get you started.
If you want to be a professional gunsmith qualified to work on OTHER peoples guns there's two main roads to that.

1. Find a REAL master gunsmith who's also able to teach it and will take on an apprentice. These are very few and even farther between.
If you intend to get a job, he better also be well known in the industry for turning out quality, competent apprentices.
Billy Bob who runs a small shop probably isn't known to very many people in the industry, so he's going to be no real help to you.
His reputation in the industry is going to be your resume.

2. Attend one of the top gunsmithing schools. There you have a Master gunsmith/instructor looking over your shoulder and telling you how to do it, and how to do it better/faster.
He'll also tell you if you're not doing it right, and one way or another if you simply aren't cut out to be a gunsmith, they'll let you know that too.

Top schools with the best reputation in the industry are schools like Colorado School of Trades, and Trinidad Junior College.
These are real professional schools. They take years and LOTs of money.
When you graduate, the certification or degree will get you a job interview anywhere, and they won't be laughing.

35 Whelen
March 1, 2012, 10:19 PM
Oh....I saw the title to the post and thought you were interested in learning how to build, repair and maintain chewing gum. Sorry...:D


If you enjoyed reading about "Gumsmithing Schools" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!