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gunsmithing schools

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by assaultrifeman80, Mar 22, 2009.

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  1. assaultrifeman80

    assaultrifeman80 Member

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    Location:
    northern indiana
    What are the requirements for becoming a registered gunsmith. Also where is a good place to get some gunsmithing education. I have been a do it yourself gunsmith for years now. I really enjoy working on guns. I was wondering if I can get schooling through the mail or over the internet. I don't believe there is anywhere around here to get schooling. I live in northern IN near South Bend.
    Any info would be much appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    There's no such thing as a "registered gunsmith".

    To be a gunsmith who charges for work, you need to have a Federal Firearms License (FFL), comply with all State or local business licenses and zoning requirements, and have a State tax number.
    If you have a brain at all, you'll also have insurance so customers can't sue your socks off.

    Here's the list of gunsmithing schools. The ones with the best reputation are Colorado School of Trades and Trinidad Jr. College.
    NO mail order or internet training course will prepare you to be a professional gunsmith:

    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

    Penn Foster Career School
    ICS-Intext
    925 Oak Street
    Scranton, PA 18515

    Pennsylvania Gunsmith School
    812 Ohio River Blvd.
    Avalon
    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

    Sonoran Desert Institute
    10245 East Via Linda, Suite 102
    Scottsdale, AZ 85258
    Phone: 480-314-2102

    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
     
  3. assaultrifeman80

    assaultrifeman80 Member

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    Location:
    northern indiana
    thanks for reply
     
  4. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    See if your community college has a machinist course and a small business course. Those are good places to start without spending a bunch of bucks.

    Then pick a good gunsmith school (Dfariswheel's list is the best I have seen).

    Search this site for the many previous threads on the subject.

    Get some capital.

    Good luck!

    Jim
     
  5. koginam

    koginam Member

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    The main gunsmith schools are a great place to get hands on training and you get to work on many different types of firearm, the correspondence schools offer some information but you get little hands on training with other than your own and friends firearms.
    Apprenticeship is another way to go but their is a limited number of sponsors right now, that may change as more gunsmiths learn the advantages of having an apprentice. www.taogart.org can help with getting into an apprenticeship, and setting up a training program for a machine training course with a community collage.
    It also helps to build up a library of how to books, manuals, and schematics.
     
  6. JMusic

    JMusic member

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    I'm 54 years old. STarted their maintenance company. Became a project then plant manager for a second facility. I quite just now with a years severence. I want time well spent and I want to become a proffesional I have some machineing skills. I have a mill. I have Lathe experience no cnc What kind of course close to Knowxville Tn. Would make be a real gunsmith?



    Jim
































    b
     
  7. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    See the above list of schools...that's it.

    As above, forget the correspondence and internet "schools".
    For training a professional, an attendance school is it.
    You "might" learn by doing apprentice work for a working gunsmith, BUT.......

    1. You never know if the trainer really knows his stuff. Hacks train other hacks, and being in business is no indication he's a hack or a pro.

    2. Unless he's a nationally known smith who ALSO is known for turning out well trained apprentices, he's going to be no help in getting hired or into business.

    If you're serious about becoming a REAL gunsmith, go to one of the top schools, and take the business classes too.
     
  8. hotlead

    hotlead Member

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    How long are the schools?
     
  9. TheBookGuy

    TheBookGuy Member

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

    This place is just up the street from my store. I checked it out a couple months back.
    The tuition is something like $20,000 (better check this it could be more, since i wasn't planning on attending i kinda ignored this number).
    The classes are 8 hours per day, 5 days a week for 18 months. no breaks other than the weekends. (no holidays etc.)
    You learn everything from the ground up, starting with making your own gunsmith tools from scratch.
    The final exam is creating a bolt action or pump (rifle/shotgun).
    The only thing you DON'T do at this school is create the barrel (they ship these in but you get to bore it)

    Top Notch school if i were younger or in need of a career this would be the place.
     
  10. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

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    Southeastern Pa.
    Trinidad State Junior College
     
  11. JMusic

    JMusic member

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    Is there anything in Ohio this fall or winter? I've done triger work for years on rifles and pistols. I have some of Brownels jigs and the stones. I have many Dove tail cutters but need some advise there. Wy weakness would be
    Truing and cutting rifle threads unless you your dies. I don't want to be average I want to be a pro. Do you have to go to school for that and is there on in ohio. Oh I also want to become a charter Captain this winter. Good luck right?


    Jim
     
  12. JMusic

    JMusic member

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    One mire question would a Master cert qualify you for ffl?
     
  13. JMusic

    JMusic member

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    Jim I've been in mechanics all my life. Startaed srebuilding pellet rifles when I was 12. I have the tools from Browning and stanede for action jobs. Have machinery experience lathe and die. Also have very experienced help. Can I get by with a n internet cert knowing I wont take on what is new to me?



    Jim
     
  14. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    One mire question would a Master cert qualify you for ffl?

    Master cert in what?

    The only thing that will qualify you for a Federal Firearms License is the investigation by the ATF.
    You fill out all the paper work, get finger printed, etc, then send it all in.
    The ATF does a full investigation of you, what you intend to use the FFL for, gunsmithing or gun sales, and usually they pay you a visit to look over your place of business, security provisions etc.
    They may or may not issue you a FFL.
    There is no other way to "qualify" for a FFL.

    Can I get by with a n internet cert knowing I wont take on what is new to me?
    An internet "certification" is worth no more than the paper its printed on. You can buy an online certification that you have a PhD in physics too, but it has no value.
    Taking an internet or correspondence gunsmithing course is better than nothing, but it will NOT qualify you to open up shop as a gunsmith.

    If you really KNOW how to do specific jobs and stick to doing only them you can get by, but when people visit a gunsmith they want more than a couple of simple jobs available.
    Offer only a few jobs and all you'll make is pocket money. You can't run a business on just a few tasks.

    Sorry, as far as being a professional gunsmith running a business, just having an FFL and knowing a little bit about a few simple jobs isn't going to cut it.
    You don't open a professional garage knowing only how to change tires and replace windshield wipers, you don't open a watchmaking business knowing only how to install a watchband.
    This is a recipe for how to fail at business and loose your shirt in the bargain.
     
  15. JMusic

    JMusic member

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    You know with that definition I do not beleive I have ever met a profesional Smith. Some were good at sights, mounting scopes. Some were good at action and trigger work. But I have not met one man who could rebarrel to different caliber in a rifle. These were always sent off. I disagree you have to do all at a gun shop. I have never walked into on of these shops. I always considered these specialty shops that can true receiver barrel bore. Maybe I should just get FFL licsence and start from there.


    Jim
     
  16. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm member

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    Colorado School of Trades is a joke. I'd never hire anyone with their training. Trinidad is my top choice.
     
  17. JMusic

    JMusic member

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    Making tools can be done sometime and others why wouldn't you just purchase from Brownells. I have lathes, mills, grinders , surface grinders with magnetic bases. A slew of specialised Smitty tools, MiG and torches and ac/dc welders. Devilbiss paint guns for refinishing heat treated weapons and stocks. I can always send it to someone else if I run into exotics. I've been dong action jobs "properly" and installing sites when I was 15 years old. Sounds like what I need is and FFL. Thanks for the info guys. Oh yeah I'm ex LEO with carry permit. Why should I fear the ATF?



    Jim
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2009
  18. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    I don't know about gunsmithing schools but in the diesel mechanics and truck drivers arena,tech school graduates have to be de-progammed to be worth anything in the "real" world. Such graduates are generally know-it-alls with no qualms about arguing with veterans. When I trained someone I preferred a raw recruit over a technical school grad. They are more open to learning the way it's really done.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2009
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