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Old January 10, 2012, 08:39 PM   #1
paddywhacked777
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Finding smithing schools - plz help

I'm trying to find a gun smithing school relatively close to my area (northern ky), but i honestly have no idea where to begin. It's nearly impossible to find anyone willing to take me on as an apprentice with things the way they are, and Google is being anything but helpful at this point. Has anyone been through this process and could point me in the right direction?
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Old January 10, 2012, 09:40 PM   #2
Fleet
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I may be wrong, but I think this is the closest one to you. There just aren't many of them around.

http://www.nragunsmithing.com/montgomery.html
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Old January 11, 2012, 08:44 PM   #3
Dfariswheel
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Here's the list of schools:

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.
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

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
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Old January 11, 2012, 08:54 PM   #4
paddywhacked777
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Thank you very much. I was looking into the school in Pittsburgh last night. Seems to be the most thorough and legitimate courses of what i've seen so far. They're fasfa eligible, as well. Added bonus is tools and materials are included in the tuition (not really sure that applies to the project firearms though).
I suppose i just assumed there would be more schools in the country. Kind of a shock to find out there are so few.
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Old January 12, 2012, 08:06 AM   #5
Don P
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Quote:
Thank you very much. I was looking into the school in Pittsburgh last night. Seems to be the most thorough and legitimate courses of what i've seen so far. They're fasfa eligible, as well. Added bonus is tools and materials are included in the tuition (not really sure that applies to the project firearms though).
I suppose i just assumed there would be more schools in the country. Kind of a shock to find out there are so few.
An old dear friend attended the school in Pittsburgh. You will make some of your own tools and project guns are at your expense. Could be guns that family or friends want work done on , upgrades, refinish, repair. Excellent course too bad I'm poor, other wise I would be there.
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Old January 12, 2012, 03:39 PM   #6
William T. Watts
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Trinidad State Jr. College is 1st Class

Gunsmithing School is expensive, I attended Trinidad State Jr. College in Trinidad, Colorado, I Completed the course of study in 2001. I spent out of pocket more than $20K for tuition and tools, when I left I had more than $10K in student loans that had to be repaid. TSJC focus is Custom Gunsmithing, the other schools I checked out were more repair oriented. I think you should make a clear distinction which interest you the most!! William T. Watts Class 2000/2001

Last edited by William T. Watts; January 12, 2012 at 04:07 PM.
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Old January 12, 2012, 11:35 PM   #7
paddywhacked777
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Correct me if i'm wrong, but doesn't tsjc offer individual 1-2 week classes through the semester? I think repair work is a broader base to start with, more fundamentals. As far as the custom work, supplemental courses like those offered by tsjc seem like the way to go once i have my base established.

Thanks, Don. I was wondering about that. Pittsburgh is where i'm leaning towards. Just have to see how fasfa pans out.
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Old January 13, 2012, 08:09 AM   #8
Don P
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Old January 13, 2012, 08:10 AM   #9
Don P
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Quote:
1-2 week classes through the semester? I think repair work is a broader base to start with, more fundamentals.
A 1-2 week class to learn repair work?? I think not. In my opinion you have this backward.
How can you possibly do repairs without having a solid base of understanding on how something works. Firearms are NOT GENERIC, one size does not fit all.
Following you thought on this what would you do when a customer brings in a firearm for repair that he/she has tried to fix and parts are missing or broke and new is not available.
What would you do with this customer.
I think you may need to open your eyes much wider if you plan on doing this.
I spent 3 years in high school learning the automotive trade and came out a green horn/wet behind the ears with a whole lot to learn yet mechanic.
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Old January 13, 2012, 12:52 PM   #10
paddywhacked777
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Don, i think you misread what i wrote. What i meant was that i would rather attend Pittsburgh because of the fact that it is an actual two year associates degree in repair work rather than go to tsjc's 1-2 week courses on customization. Perhaps when i am done with Pittsburgh, the tsjc courses would make more sense to me as supplemental information, but not until then.
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Old January 13, 2012, 08:41 PM   #11
Dfariswheel
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You pretty much have the right idea.
Get your education, then take specialty courses to learn more about an area you might want to specialize in.

Many of the good schools offer short specialty courses, the NRA has short summer classes, and Cylinder & Slide Shop offer specialty courses, mostly in the 1911.
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Old January 14, 2012, 12:55 PM   #12
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There's also a 2-year Gunsmithing program at Wabash Valley Community College in Mt. Carmel, IL. It's probably the closest one to you the next would be Pine Technical College, 70 miles north of the twin cities in Minnesota.

I went to Pine Tech's 2-year course and really liked it. The 1st year is centered around gun repair and assembly/disassembly of firearms. Pine Tech is unique among most resident gunsmithing schools in that they have a vault with hundreds of firearms to dissassemble. The 2nd year is when you get to the more in depth subjects: machine shop, barrel chambering, blueing/painting, stock making, etc.

Pine Tech has also added a new 18-month course call Prototype Gunsmithing and is for people who would like to become firearms designers.
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Old January 20, 2012, 03:21 AM   #13
paddywhacked777
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Wabash Valley requires you to have a FOID card to attend. Does anyone know the requirements for that? Do you have to be a resident of IL to get it? And if so how long do you need to be a resident?

The prototype gunsmithing at Pine Tech sounds right up my alley, but i feel it would be wise to take the standard two year program first to better comprehend the essentials. Do you know anything about the application requirements for Pine Tech?
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Old January 20, 2012, 10:39 PM   #14
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One area that the gunsmithing schools touch on, but some don't go into enough (I have been told) is running a business. If possible, take some courses in doing that, if not before gunsmith school, then at least before you open a shop.

I opened a thread on another site, and I hope the moderators won't mind if I point to it. It has been very interesting and you might be interested.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=637143

Jim
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Old January 20, 2012, 10:43 PM   #15
paddywhacked777
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Thanks, James. I planned on getting a four year degree at the local college in entrepreneurship after the smithing degrees were under my belt.
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Old January 20, 2012, 11:16 PM   #16
James K
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I don't think a gunsmith needs four years of college or an MBA from Harvard, but he needs enough to be able to distinguish a business set up to make money from a hobby shop set up to play with guns.

But if you do go with four years, take the business courses first; if you wait four years after gunsmith school you will forget too much. It will be easier to catch up on the business stuff than on the gunsmithing (IMHO).

Jim
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Old January 21, 2012, 08:30 AM   #17
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I went to TSJC and graduated in 1984.
It was custom rifles , but you had machine shop and stockmaking and repair classes. Welding too.
You could take different areas of study.
I had pistolsmithing as well repair.
Been at for 25 years. Got into tool and die making school and have the certificate to prove it.
I am from Louisville.
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Old February 18, 2012, 10:05 PM   #18
MYSTERT85
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Current PGS student here, you will be hard pressed to find a better school. the professors are outstanding and the small group of students are great. be prepared for a lot of work its 40 hours a week of class time.
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Old February 18, 2012, 11:34 PM   #19
osageid
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Nice thread ! My son is interested in this trade!
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Old February 19, 2012, 09:22 PM   #20
William T. Watts
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Trinidad has NRA classes in the summer months that usually are for 1-2 weeks, their PH # is 800-621-8752 internet is www.tsjc.cccoes.edu If any one is interested in the NRA classes contact the college and they will tell you what will be available and when (plus fees and tools necessary). William
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