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How do I get Gunsmith Training?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 27 April 2018
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There are three different types of schools that offer gunsmith training, which is designed to meet the needs of people who want to explore gunsmith as a career. Community college training programs typically have fixed start dates, slightly higher tuition, and restricted program offerings. In addition to higher fees, they also provide an array of student services, such as counseling, career assistance, library and fitness center access, and other support services.

Private career colleges have continuous intake, shorter programs, and a mature student community. The training is very focused, and often includes courses to become a master gunsmith. Student services may be limited to career assistance and high-level career counseling.

Online schools are for students who are self-motivated and focused. There are limited student services available with this type of school. Gunsmith training through this type of school is typically comprised of access to course materials and an Internet connection to the instructor.

The risk of an online gunsmith training program is the lack of instructor oversight. Although the course material should be sufficient, a physical skill such as this often benefits from hands-on training on the finer points. Technique can be corrected to avoid repetitive strain injury or potential damage to the equipment.

When selecting a gunsmith training program, skilled instructors are essential. The instructors should have extensive experience in the mechanics of gun cleaning, repair, and restoration. Expertise is this field is primarily developed through experience. Don’t be afraid to ask the school for a biography of the course instructors, but this is not the only method of evaluating the quality of the instructors. Talk to prior students or the instructors themselves to get a better understanding of their level of knowledge.

Any gunsmith training program should include ample opportunities to practice your skills. The only way to increase your skill in this trade is through practice. Ask about after-hours access to shop or one on one session with the course instructor. Reconsider any training program that is unable to provide practice time to students.

Work with your local gunsmith store or association to learn more about the skills required to become a gunsmith. Many associations offer short training programs that are an introduction to becoming a gunsmith. It is important to note that the primary focus of gunsmith training is top quality or antique guns or rifles. Very few programs cover mass produced guns, as these are typically more cost effective to dispose of than to repair.

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umbra21
Post 2

@Iluviaporos - I think that if a person was diligent, they could manage to get almost the same quality of training from an online course as from a regular school.

You'd have to seek out people who were actually plying their trade and see if you could work with them a little, and maybe do a couple of hands on courses at a gunsmith school.

But, gunsmith training online would include video and so forth. I'll bet it even includes a way to get the tutor to oversee your work somehow, probably by your recording it and sending it to him or her.

I think that letting any beginner touch my gun would make me nervous, to be honest, and anyone who had a good reputation among people I know, regardless of how they originally learned the trade, would give me more assurance.

lluviaporos
Post 1

I would be very nervous about giving work to a gunsmith who had been trained by gunsmithing courses over the internet. I'm sure they do get enough information to know in theory how to repair a gun properly, or even make one from scratch.

But, there are some things that I think are very difficult to learn without someone physically showing you how to do them.

You might have the best theory in the world, and be trying your hardest to get it right, but if you are holding something crooked, or looking at a diagram the wrong way, you will still get it wrong.

I just don't think I'd feel comfortable using a gun which had been worked on by someone like that.

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