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Old September 18, 1999, 08:56 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 20, 1999
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Anyone use the AGI Armorer's course videos? I don't have any gunsmith experience and was wondering if these could be used by a beginner or if you should already have some experience. I don't plan on doing any major overhauls but being able to break down everything I own and maybe replace a part or two seems like it would be nice.
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Old September 18, 1999, 11:24 AM   #2
Join Date: September 13, 1999
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I've never watched any of the tapes but I did take a couple of classes that Bob Dunlap instructed at the Lassen Gunsmithing School.
He was very thorough on the DFR (design, function, and repair) of the gun that we were working on. When Bob started making the tapes he had full control of how they were made so I assume that they should be very informative.
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Old September 18, 1999, 04:35 PM   #3
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
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I took summer classes at Lassen with Bob Dunlap. What years were you there?


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Old September 18, 1999, 06:33 PM   #4
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Well, I guess this one on't win me any friends among the AGI fans here, but I'm sworn on my secret cereal prize decoder ring to tell the truth.

Several years ago, I ordered the tape on S&W Revolvers. A revolver was completely disassembled and I actually could see SOME of it happening (poor camera work and not enough cameras and and angles). The production quality was pretty poor and amateurish. The gunsmith (I honestly can't remembrer the name) was probably okay, but was a poor teacher for this medium (TV, no live audience). Very boring delivery, no eye contact with the camera, pretty much a monotone.

In the beginning of the tape, he actually called the Smith design a "dinosaur!" That cost him a majority of credibility with me because there is literally nothing new in handguns that hasn't been designed literally decades ago--the auto pistol design predates the century we're about to leave! Even if I were to concede that his statement were true (I don't for a second), the fact that he is probably talking to Smith sixgun fans makes that an error in judgment at best and an offense at worst.

I think a person could disassemble, clean and reassemble a Smith sixgun after viewing this tape, but I wouldn't give 100% odds. My impression of the effort, based solely on this one tape is two thumbs way down.
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Old September 18, 1999, 07:06 PM   #5
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Join Date: February 20, 1999
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I agree with Rod, I've seen the Glock video and thought it was amateurish. The camera work was bad, everything seemed unrehearsed and ad libed. The guy (I think it was Dunlap) mumbled alot and the way he lubricated the weapon was ridiculous! (he just kind of sprayed everything with break-free) If your new to working on guns their videos are not what your looking for.
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Old September 18, 1999, 08:19 PM   #6
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
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The classes I was enrolled in was at least 40 hours long; and including the work done during lunch, generally longer!

The issue of video learning has been discussed earlier here at TFL and a search will reveal the old thread.

My own belief is that it is hard to believe that a 2 hour tape can be considered a substitute for lecture, demonstration, and hands-on classing work. I would save my money.

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Old September 18, 1999, 09:36 PM   #7
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While I'll agree that a 2 hour video tape is a poor substitute for a live instructor and days of hands on work, the AGI videos are great for those that want to get a basic understanding of thier firearm.

The AGI videos pick up where most owners manuals leave off. They will teach you disassembly/assembly, maintenance, basic operation and some history about your firearm. I own quite a few of the AGI videos and have always learned a few things from each one that I didn't know before. I prefer the videos that have Bob Dunlap.

For example;
Before I bought the AGI videos, I lacked the confidence to fully disassemble my SIGs for fear I wouldn't get them back together properly. Now I have no problem. I'ts nice to be able to pause and rewind the tape while you work along with it.

If you know you firearm like the back of your hand, you probably won't get much from the videos. If your like me and want to learn as much as posible about your new firearm, while removing the fear of breaking something or ending up carrying it to a gunsmith in a zip-lock bag, the videos help a lot.

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Old September 18, 1999, 09:50 PM   #8
James K
Join Date: March 17, 1999
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I have not seen any of those videos, but I believe any course should first discuss the gun design and how it works.

Then, if it is a course in, say, accurizing the M1911 type pistol, it should show how the changes affect the functioning, how to use a bench block, how to use hammer and sear blocks, how to use a stoning jig, how to harden parts, what other tools are needed, discuss long recoil spring guides, show how to fit a barrel bushing, show how to fit a link, etc., etc.

As you can see, this is a lot, and this is just one aspect of one pistol. Can a video tape teach even a little of this? I doubt it.

Maybe if all you want is to learn to take off a sideplate and clean a revolver, or take the slide off a SIG, a video tape can teach it. Beyond that....

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Old September 19, 1999, 09:30 AM   #9
Bob A
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Join Date: September 11, 1999
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I bought the 1911 tape a year or so ago, to get a better understanding of my gun. It was worth the information, but I wouldn't tune my extractor from what I received from the tape. I'll try and take a couple of classes at Susanville in Jan.
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Old September 22, 1999, 05:25 AM   #10
Join Date: September 13, 1999
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Bob A.
One problem there is that as far as I know Bob Dunlap no longer teaches at Lassen. I don't know who is doing the DFR's nowadays.
I heard that Bob hightailed it out of Kali and moved to Idaho I think. Gary Boyd is still there and is a nice guy and very helpfull. As for Lassen it is a good school but I think Yavapie (yuk) in Arizona is the happening school now. Bob is the one who made Lassen what it was and with him gone I don't know how the school is faring.

I attended school for about 2 years in 91 and 92 had to drop out because my Mom had cancer and I had to help out around the house more. Didn't do summer classes because I had to work and save money for school. I sure hope I get to go back one of these days. When I went I had no idea what I was doing had minimal tools and really didn't have an understanding of gun work. I just liked guns and thought that I would be good at it. Now that I've matured a little I've started learning about the functions of firearms on my own and doing minor repairs.

[This message has been edited by Woody (edited September 22, 1999).]
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