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gunsmithing school

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by tcsnake, Feb 9, 2012.

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  1. tcsnake

    tcsnake Member

    Jun 11, 2009
    Sonora, North California.
    hi all, let me first start by saying that i love guns. i have shot just about every gun out there from full auto's in las vegas to a bolt action deer rifle out in the woods.

    my question is where can i learn to be a gunsmith, and im not talking about a weekend warrior job, im talking about being the BEST at what i do. to give some scope of my skill level i can now take my 1911 apart into every single piece and put it all back together, not that impressive but its a start. i have no real world experience just a thirst to learn and a desire to listen.

    i have saved up around 6k in funds and want to find a school that is prestigious enough within the shooting community to excell me to the top of my career. I need this. i need it for myself and my future.

    thank you.
  2. Fleet

    Fleet Member

    Sep 20, 2010
    A little search on the forum goes a long ways.
  3. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Here's a list of the available professional schools.
    The one's with the best reputation in the industry for turning out stone cold pros are Colorado School of Trades, and Trinidad Junior College. Lassen in Califiornia also has a good rep.
    A degree from either will get you a job interview.

    These top schools are not cheap. They do take GI and rehab education programs.
    If you ever intend to start your own business, have a brain: Take some business courses.

    Colorado School of Trades
    1575 Hoyt Street
    Lakewood, CO 80215
    Phone: 800-234-4594

    Lassen Community College
    P.O. Box 3000
    Susanville, CA 96130
    Phone: 530-257-4211

    Modern Gun School
    80 North Main Street, P.O. Box 846
    St. Albans, VT 05478
    Phone: 800-493-4114

    Montgomery Community College
    1011 Page Street
    P.O. Box 787
    Troy, NC 27371
    Phone: 800-839-6222

    Murray State College
    One Murray Campus
    Tishomingo, OK 73460
    Phone: 580-371-2371

    Pennsylvania Gunsmith School
    812 Ohio River Blvd.
    Pittsburgh, PA 15202
    Phone: 412-766-1812

    Piedmont Community College
    1715 College Drive
    P.O. Box 1197
    Roxboro, NC 27573
    Phone: 336-599-1181

    Pine Technical Institute
    900 4th Street
    Pine City, MN 55063
    Phone: 800-521-7463

    Trinidad State Jr. College
    600 Prospect
    Trinidad, CO 81082
    Phone: 800-621-8752

    Yavapai College
    1100 East Sheldon Street
    Prescott, AZ 86301
    Phone: 520-776-2150
  4. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    SE GA
    Some good reading on the topic from the most respected name in the industry.


    I actually trained to be a gunsmith. Completed the Trinidad State program using the GI Bill and worked for a riflemaker for a year.

    Now, since I do not want to live in poverty I am a mechanic. Interesting fellow that Grant Cunningham. He really seems to know his stuff about this business. He suggests to folks who want to get into the business to take some automotive classes to get an understanding of mechanicals. Me, I started as a gunsmith and went to meckanicking.
  5. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

    Feb 24, 2005
    Southeastern Pa.
    I also graduated from Trinidad ('61) in the Bill Prator, Lou Mrace, Jim Wilson era.
    The Gunsmithing knowledge at the time WAS THERE for those who REALLY wanted to grasp it.
    A BIG change since then is the "custom rifle' from the Mil/Surp arena.
    It AIN'T done no more.
    The School is great, the area is great and the Trinidad folks are super.
    Business classes are offered as part of the curricula.
    As for myself, if you research other posts, I have parlayed my Trinidad expirence into an EXCEPTIONAL no nonsense ,no bullpoop career as a Tool & Die maker.
    Respectfully, Zeke
  6. N.Schafer

    N.Schafer Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Waterville, MN
    I agree with Zeke partially. I graduated Trinidad '08 with an AAS and am currently employed as a gunsmith.

    The "custom rifle" from the Mil/Surp is not commercially economical nowadays. BUT, it is a great way to learn the basics in school. Action work, barreling, stock making, etc. And I have a heirloom quality Mauser 98 now!

    All that said, If you want to be the best, go to school and listen. Of course, I recommend Trinidad:)
  7. 25cschaefer

    25cschaefer Member

    Jan 24, 2011
    Flathead Valley, MT
    I'm attending Trinidad now, it is a great school and they have (some) summer cram courses that are still open. The demand for the school is so great that they will be accepting applications for fall 2013 soon but you will have to compete with a few hundred other folks, including an interview to get into the degree program. The summer classes are first come first serve and you don't have to be enrolled in the degree program.
  8. Jim K

    Jim K Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    "i can now take my 1911 apart into every single piece and put it all back together"

    So? At one time I could do that blindfolded, but it didn't make me a gunsmith. If you can take each part, explain what it does, what parts it interfaces with, how it fits into the overall design, and what problems it can cause if defective, you will be on your way to understanding guns and working on them.

    xxxxxxxx see below xxxxxxxx Here is a fun question for M1911 fans. Why does the M1911 have a barrel bushing and the Browning High Power does not? (Warning - partly a trick question!!)

    Since nobody has taken a guess at that question, and I don't like off topic posts, I am going to move it and start a separate thread. I think it might be fun.

    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  9. a98kdoc

    a98kdoc member

    Sep 2, 2010
    Lassen grad

    I went to the Lassen program in California (The Glorious Peoples Republic)

    I think the Trinidad program is better then Lassen and the school of trades in Denver. Witch has a high cost of living or commuting. Colorado is a free state CCW are easy to and so is the police sign off on full Auto or other Class 3 fun and games.

    Contact me if you like

  10. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    Frozen North
    I was talking to the local gunsmiths, they said yeah, they't take an apprentice, AFTER you graduate with your AAS, because when you are working on a $4,000 custom rifle, it really sucks to make on slip and destroy it.
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