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Old August 1, 2008, 10:25 AM   #1
Dezynco
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Gunsmith courses, schools?

I'm seriously considering taking gunsmith courses. I've poked around the web and found a couple of independant study courses and requested more information. However, are there any 'smiths here that can recommend a good study course?
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Old August 1, 2008, 10:32 AM   #2
hoytinak
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Great group of experienced guys. www.schooloftrades.com
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Old August 1, 2008, 01:12 PM   #3
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There is no substitute for a truly hands-on classroom experience with a master gunsmith guiding you and correcting your mistakes. Attending one of the trade schools that offer training in gunsmithing is the only way to learn well, in my opinion. Many of these trade schools offer 2-week gunsmith training classes to serve folks who want to learn but don't want to take 2 years out for school.
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Old August 3, 2008, 05:23 PM   #4
Tom-C
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I took two of the 2 week classes at Montgomery Community College in Troy NC this past summer and was very saticfied (NRA gunsmithing series).

The first was basic machine shop and they do that one during the break so the full time students are not there and the summer students have the shop to themselfs.

The second was 1911 accurizing and again a great class with a great instructor.

There were two classes of the two-year full time students (they start a year apart) there during the 1911 class so we got to talk to them and they all seemed very satisfied and were more that happy to show off some great work, with very little encouragement :-).

Sign up for any of the classes at MCC and you will be happy. I am going again next year.
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Old August 4, 2008, 11:04 AM   #5
norsecat
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Gunsmith courses, schools?

I have bin to both Lassen in California and Trinidad in Colorado.
Both have Summer classes on week to week schedule.
Contact the School closest to you next may.

Lassen in Susanville California has a week based system and you can take a class for just the week with out having sign up for the semester.
530-251-8800
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Old August 4, 2008, 12:12 PM   #6
Dezynco
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So what do you all think about if I started one of the independant study courses, then next May, June, July I take a few of the NRA gunsmithing classes to get some good "hands on" experience? We have a friend of the family that is an excellent "Master Smith" that I might ask to study under. I could always ask to sweep the floors or something, might just learn a few things that way too!
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Old August 4, 2008, 03:17 PM   #7
Scorch
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Quote:
So what do you all think about if I started one of the independant study courses, then next May, June, July I take a few of the NRA gunsmithing classes to get some good "hands on" experience?
Sounds like a good plan.
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Old August 21, 2008, 02:47 PM   #8
hockeysew
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Quote:
So what do you all think about if I started one of the independant study courses, then next May, June, July I take a few of the NRA gunsmithing classes to get some good "hands on" experience? We have a friend of the family that is an excellent "Master Smith" that I might ask to study under. I could always ask to sweep the floors or something, might just learn a few things that way too!
I will second that plan. While the independant course will give you some good theory and insight, nothing will replace "Hands On".
I have taken a couple of the independant courses and I can reccomend the "Modern Gun School" in Vermont. Decent, concise curriculum and one thing I really like: The fact that you have to provide written answers vs multiple choice on the internet.
The written requires a bit more thought process, therefore you will retain it better.
You should also look into a local community college for any metalwork and machining courses. They will help you in ways you will never realize.
I would really look to your "Master" and see if he would be willing to take an apprentice.
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Old August 21, 2008, 04:30 PM   #9
dclevinger
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This is just my opinion so take it for what it's worth.....

If you really are serious about getting into gunsmithing, make an investment in yourself and go to an accredited school. I took one of the home study courses and opened my own shop. It didn't take me long to realize that I needed a lot better education. Yes, I knew how to thread and chamber a barrel, how to make and finish a stock from a blank and a ton of other things but had never actually done any of it. I decided to enroll at CST and after 14 months I had done almost everything there is to do to a gun (the home study thing took a year). The best part about it, there were qualified instructors right there to tell me what I was doing right or wrong. When people are trying to learn something, mistakes will happen. The schools know this and will generally take care of damaged items. I saw a student destroy the stock on a beautiful pre-64 model 70 while trying to glass bed it. The school bought the customer a new stock.

Are you planning to open your own shop or are you going to work for someone else? Most shop owners would prefer to hire someone that has been to one of the schools unless they're looking for an apprentice. Even if you are planning to work for yourself, todays customers are well educated and won't put up with someone that doesn't know what they are doing. It only takes a few messed up jobs to cause a shop to close. Word travels fast these days and when a customer is unhappy, he will tell everyone he knows.

Some people will agree with me and others won't, that's fine. As I said, it's just my opinion. Good luck and keep us posted.

David
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