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Gunsmith Training Schools

Gunsmithing is a very specialized career field and those who are interested in pursuing it need to attend a gunsmith school. Gunsmith training programs are available at only a few schools around the United States, and some programs are available at smaller community colleges and trade schools. Gunsmith training is considered a trade and requires hours of hands-on training and education. States that require gunsmiths to hold a license may offer certificate programs and work with accredited colleges and schools.

Completing a Gunsmith Training Program

You can find both online and offline gunsmith training programs from some of the country's top community colleges, gunsmithing institutes and private colleges. Heritage Gunbooks is a publisher and distributor of gunsmithing manuals, a series of shop manual books and other publications about guns and the latest techniques. This can be a good resource for continuing education or learning more about the field.

Gunsmith training programs are available from the following institutes, organizations and schools:

  • American Gunsmithing Institute

  • Foley-Belsaw Gunsmith Training (a correspondence course)

  • Lassen Community College

  • Montgomery Community College

  • Montgomery Technical College

  • Murray State College

  • Pennsylvania Gunsmith School

  • Piedmont Community College

  • Pine Technical Institute

  • Southeastern Community College

  • Trinidad State Junior College

  • Yavapai College

Choosing a Gunsmith School

When you are deciding which school to attend, start with programs at a location that has been approved by the National Rifle Association (NRA). The NRA offers several short-term programs and courses during the spring and summer months, and these are designed for students who are interested in gunsmithing as a hobby and as a career.

Gunsmith schools that have been approved by the National Rifle Association include:

  • Montgomery Community College

  • Trinidad State College

  • Lassen Community College

  • Murray State College

If you are looking for an associate's degree or certificate in gunsmithing, you can choose from several programs from private colleges and community colleges around the country. Students who plan to excel in the field choose to complete an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Gunsmithing. Degree programs at gunsmith school include courses such as: Rifle Theory, Machine Shop, Stockmaking, Rifle Rebarreling, Shotgun Making and Handgun Making. Some degree programs also require students to complete small business management courses so that the student can operate their own gunsmith shop or build a business with their skills.

Student who attend school to complete a gunsmithing journeyman certificate program are fully trained for direct employment after school. These programs typically include courses in entrepreneurship, communication skills, technical math, basic computer skills and apprentice programs where students work side by side with professional gunsmiths.

Types of Courses at Gunsmith Schools

Every school offers different types of programs, and some are accelerated gunsmith training courses that can be completed within a few days or weeks. Some of the most common types of courses include:

  • Welding for Gunsmithing
  • Machine Shop Training
  • Caliber Classes
  • Gunstock Checkering
  • Firearms Repair
  • Bolt Action Accurizing
  • Metal Engraving
  • Grinding Knife Blades
  • Basic Knifemaking
  • Rifle Rebarreling
  • Lathe Operation
  • Stockmaking for Rifles

Applying for Admission at Gunsmith Schools

One of the first steps to take is to request an informational packet and application form. These are typically available on the school's website and may be downloaded or mailed directly to your home. The next step is to set up a meeting with an admissions representative or counselor. If you are located far away from a school, you can set up this meeting over the phone. The admissions representative will be able to explain what types of gunsmith training courses and programs are available, what the enrollment fees are and what you can expect as a student when attending the school or training location.

An admissions representative will also be able to help you complete financial aid paperwork and inform you about any scholarships or other sources of financial aid available. Some students attending gunsmith school may be eligible to apply for trade school grants and scholarship programs. These can help to cover the costs of tuition, books, materials and other education-related expenses.

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