View Full Version : Anybody heard of the American Gunsmithing Association?

March 26, 1999, 11:20 PM
I got an information package, actually more of an advertisement, in the mail today to join The American Gunsmithing Association. The deal sounds pretty good. Monthly tech magazine, 24 hour tech info line, discounts from some well known companies, etc.
The thing is that I've never heard of them. I checked my rather limited references and searched the web, but no luck.
They offer a six month trial membership for $19.95 with money back if not satisfied. There is no mention of renewal cost.
It sounds like one of those "too good to be true" deals.
So, does anybody know anything about this outfit?

4V50 Gary
March 26, 1999, 11:27 PM
I belong. (choke...admission). Somethings the articles are quite good and others are very basic (field stripping). Some outfits give you a discount (10% from Gun Parts Inc if you belong). For me, it's tax deductible so why not?

March 26, 1999, 11:42 PM
Grayfox, 4V50Gary:
Is this the same outfit that sells the video
library ? If it is , 19.95 a month membership
sounds like a bargain compared to the 29.99+ship/hand. Membership probably gets you
some benefits.


March 27, 1999, 01:23 AM
4V50 Gary,
Can you tell me the regular membership cost? I'd hate to join and later find out renewal was too expensive.

They offer the AGI video series at up to 30% off. Also DBI books for 20% off. might be worth joining just to update my library?

BTW: what kind of bear are you? Ursus americanus, Ursus middendorffi or Ursus horribilis? :)

March 27, 1999, 01:57 AM

Ursus Americanus.
Thank you for asking.

Gun Plumber
March 27, 1999, 02:01 AM
I joined about two years ago and quickly got my money back! That Tech magazine is about ten to twelve pages at best after you count the abvertisements! The articals are ok, but don't think for a minute they will turn you into a gunsmith. The discount coupons they gave me were all expired! The normal renewal fee for the next year was something like $50.00! IMHO it's a rip-off for what you get!

March 27, 1999, 02:04 AM
Gun Plumber:
They sure have slick advertisement. I have seen their ads in all the major mags. Are the tapes detailed?


Gun Plumber
March 27, 1999, 02:09 AM
I bought there Glock Armorer's video and was not impressed.

March 27, 1999, 02:13 AM
Thanks for the info. What about those courses
offered in the back of American Rifleman?

Gun Plumber
March 27, 1999, 02:19 AM
If your talking about the $500.00 set of tapes, I don't know? After what I experienced I would not take the chance!

March 27, 1999, 11:59 AM
I've belonged for about three years. Agree with all comments above. BTW I am not a smith nor do I play one on video. Lots of interesting info though. I believe they also have an insurance deal if you're in the business. I thought that renewal was $45 but it's been a while and I'm too lazy to look in my checkbook log.
They had a dispute with Brownells a few years ago as to discounting. Brownells would not accept membership for discounts to smithy pricing. Brownells went so far as to send out a flyer to ABA membership stating that just because you're an ABA member doesn't mean you automatically get the discount pricing. That pricing was to bonafide smiths only.

March 27, 1999, 12:01 PM
Do a search to see what TFLers thought of AGA (AGI) videos. We had a discussion on them a while back. If I recall, it was pretty much unaminous against their videos.

[This message has been edited by fal308 (edited March 27, 1999).]

4V50 Gary
March 27, 1999, 12:03 PM
I thought membership was something like $29.95 for a year, so $19.95 is too much!

Concerning the tapes, never bought one since I personally don't believe that you can squeeze a week's of instruction into a 2 hour video. Go to a NRA school like I do. In fact, the instructor (Dunlap) in some of those tapes was one of my NRA instructor back in the '80s. Better to have a few weeks of hands on classroom under your belt (basic armorer, semi-automatic pistol, long gun) and you'll have a working knowledge of how guns work, how the different parts function with respects to each other and towards the overall operation of the firearm, and what pitfalls to look for.

Concerning DBI books, I'll only buy one if it's used and very inexpensive. The principles of operation or disassembly is pretty much the same and after you've had some exposure, experience (and sometimes a little schooling), you'll find you can disassemble and reassemble virtually anything. Variations on a theme if you will. Better to concentrate on a few good books (Howe's "Professional Gunsmithing", Jerry Kuhnhausen's series are excellant, and even the Gun Parts catalog). Having books helps but putting time in at the bench is where the difference will show.

Returning to the AGA mag, some stuff is quite good but other stuff is so basic (I disdain field stripping articles) it isn't worth reading. I do like the discount from Gun Parts though. Brownell's doesn't really honor AGA membership and bases their discount on whether you're a dealer or gunsmith (licensed).

Hope this helps.

March 27, 1999, 11:47 PM
Thanks for the info. The fact that I never heard of them should have been my first clue. They also pushed the fact that you didn't have to be a gunsmith, just interested in it. I consider myself as a hobbyist and own very few guns that I haven't tinkered with in one way or another. But I would consider it an insult to the true craftsmen of the trade to dare call myself a gunsmith.
The ad is in the garbage.

March 28, 1999, 03:25 AM
Well grayfox imho you messed up. I have been suscribing since 1992. My last check to them for one year was $39. March issue had a good article on the IZH81 detachable mag shotgun.
The article tells how the owners manual is wrong on how to field strip it. So the magazine saved me a lot of time and trouble because I bought one last month. If I had followed the manual I still would be swearing at the gun. 24 pages minus one page for back issues ad. Reading 5 or 6 issues is not going to make you a gunsmith but will make you into a more informed gun owner.
The march issue saved me about $39 worth of frustration and I still have 9 more issues to go.
As for as the tapes go I bought the AK and SKS ones. I learned alot about how and why they work. The cut away SKS trigger group was really good because it showed the relationship of sear,disconnector, and hammer in motion when the trigger was pulled.

George Stringer
March 28, 1999, 08:03 AM
I've been a memeber for a couple of years. While some of the information may not be earth shattering in revelation, there's a lot more to it. Just the 10% Gun Parts discount more than pays for the subscription. I don't buy videos as I agree with Gary on that. But, all in all, I think it is worth more than a subscription to Guns & Ammo or one of the other rags or at least it is to me. George

March 28, 1999, 08:06 AM
What's the old expression? "I wouldn't belong to a group who would have me." :)
Something like that.
Anyway, I received my offer to join, saw it said "...Gunsmithing..." and figured it was beyond my knowledge, expertise, and (to some extent) interest.
From what JA says, maybe I was wrong.
Bottom line seems to me: If you're getting information that you want or need, it's a good deal. If the information is too technical or inadequate, it's not a good deal.
To show how our wants and needs differ, I used to subscribe to at least five or six gun mags and belong to as many as eight gun organizations (playing the numbers game). My "discretionary" resources were stretched pretty thin, so:
- I decided to drop the gun mags. I can get all the info I need just reading TFL.
- I only belong to three gun organizations.
- I spend the rest of my "gun budget" trying to get new shooters into the fold, buying ammo, etc. I still don't shoot as much as I should, or would like to.
To each his own. (Maybe my gun budget is smaller than yours...)
But the info we get on TFL is priceless.

March 28, 1999, 02:57 PM
Ok, I've reconsidered and pulled the info back out of the garbage. Hell, I've thrown away 20 bucks on a lot less. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I'll give it the trial membership and see how it goes. I do enjoy tinkering with my guns. :)

Thanks to all for your input.

September 23, 2004, 05:03 PM
The Videos are by the American Gunsmithing Institute not by the American Gunsmithing Association and the benefits are kind of chincy more of an add for this mans insurance for gunsmiths have not taken this offer though

September 25, 2004, 03:41 PM
They both do tapes.

"THE AMERICAN GUNSMITHING ASSOCIATION distributes an unique set of videotapes covering the design, function and repair of small arms. If you are interested in gunmaking, the information conveyed in their videotape course is fundamental to your craft. For more information, write to The American Gunsmithing Association, 75 Holly Hill Lane, P.O. Box 2626, Greenwich, Connecticut, 06836-2626, call 1-800-241-7484, or send a fax to 1-203-661-4802." - from a quick google search

October 19, 2004, 12:43 AM
I WAS a member for two years. I am no longer. Enough said. I am a gunsmith. And I approved this message.

4 Eyed Six Shooter
November 2, 2004, 10:15 PM
As a working gunsmith, I would have to say that I have found some things useful, others very basic. I've been getting it since it first started (somewhere around 1997 I think). The more experience that I got as a gunsmith, the less useful it has become to me. That said, every once in a while I do find something useful. I think it's about $39.00 a year. A couple of the things that I learned have made me far more than the cost of a years suscription. For a person who is looking to learn more about gunsmithing, it might be worth the price. As others have said, it's a tax write off for me, so why not. There is some fairly good dissassembly info on guns that are hard to find info on, especially newer off brands.
Good shooting, John K