View Full Version : Question about gunsmith schools

June 20, 2008, 02:29 PM

I am interested in going to school and am would like some info/experiences on the Colorado trade school and the Yavapai college school.

I visited the Yavapai school and it seemed like the machines were worn, the light was dim in the shop, they shared a giant area with the welders so it was polluted and none of the students would talk to me. I have heard (read online) that this is the 'best in the west' but it didn't look it. Maybe I am missing something?

I tried to Google the head guy i met, Alan Lohr, and he has no web presence at all, seems like his name should be out there, right?

I am going to visit up to Colorado next month but would like any input any one has on the subject.


June 20, 2008, 03:22 PM
I went through the program at Yavapai in the mid 80's and learned quite a bit, The only instructor from that time that is still there is Rachael Wells (engraving), It is my understanding that a gentleman named Bob Szweda is in charge of Stock making instruction, if you get a chance talk to him about the school.
Bob was in the class behind me and turned out to be a talented stock man, as for the rest of the staff, I have no idea.
I haven't been up to prescott in over 15 years so I haven't seen the current setup, I did hear that they merged the machine shop with the welding shop and could see how that would be undesirable. Back then, the two were seperate.

June 20, 2008, 05:50 PM
Lassen Community College in Susanville, CA used to have a very fine program. You might want to call them.

June 20, 2008, 06:43 PM
Colorado School of Trades and Trinidad State Jr. College in Trinidad Colorado are considered to be the best gunsmithing schools around.

Colorado School of Trades is considered to be THE best.

June 21, 2008, 04:09 AM
You might want to forget about Yavapai, I guess they have really gone down hill.

See "togofree"s post on the link below.


June 22, 2008, 09:06 AM

I am a recent graduate of Colorado School of Trades. While I cannot speak about the other schools mentioned, my experience at CST was fantastic, so I can certainly recommend going there.

PM me if you'd like and we can speak more in-depth.

June 22, 2008, 10:05 AM
Thanks everyone!

I think from what I have read, and seen, it seems like since Alan Lohr at Yavapai took over the program things have not been that great.

pinotguy: How many different types of guns came through your hands? I hear you actually take in guns to repair, learn hands on, versus Yavapai where you get don't get to touch anything you don't already own, is that true?

Did they have a good track record of placement after?

ogree: I think I met Rachel Wells when I was there, older woman who does insane engraving? Here husband was a Mauser cutomizer or something?

Yes, the welding and Gunsmith shop share a giant hanger like warehouse and like that guy wrote it seemed dim and bad air quality. Maybe I was there on a bad day, who knows!
Thanks again!

4V50 Gary
June 22, 2008, 11:39 AM
The lathes at Lassen were worn when I went there (in the mid '80s).