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How to Become a Gunsmith

Being a gunsmith or a person with the knowledge of the art and science of making guns is something that many people find interesting. In fact, the Discovery Channel even had a show entitled Sons of Guns, where they describe how to make guns and show them in action, which has amped up the excitement of gun lovers and inspired many of them to become a gunsmith. 

Aside from that show, you may find it challenging to find resources on how to become a gunsmith. There might be a lot of online information about guns, but they often do not focus on being a gunsmith. Alpha militaria, for instance, has a massive collection of expert guides on what type and model of gun you should get, plus other informational articles about guns. The entire focus of the website, like most gun sites, is not about being a gunsmith.

That’s why we wanted to give you proper information that can help you expand your knowledge and even inspire you further to pursue the path of a gunsmith. Read on to discover how.

Traditional vs Online

Well, there are a few routes available to you to learn how to be a gunsmith. There is the traditional school route and there is the on-line route. 

Of the two, the traditional school route is the most common but it is also the longest and most expensive route. The on-line route is the shortest and least expensive but it also lacks the hands-on teaching aspect of the traditional route. 

Both routes work great, but you have to pick between them based  on the type of learning you excel in. If you are a person who needs someone to guide you through complicated things, then the traditional school route is probably the best. If you are someone who can learn things by reading and watching videos then the on-line route can work well. Both ways teach the basic skills needed for gunsmiths though.

Traditional Gunsmith Courses

The traditional school route is one that is fairly well established. However, there are only a few schools in the US that teach gunsmith courses. The most famous of these schools are the Colorado School of Trades Gunsmith Program in Lakewood, Colorado, and the Pennsylvania Gunsmith School in Pittsburgh, PA. Both programs are among the highest-rated in the country and take about 1 1/2 to 3 years to complete. In addition to these two schools, there are other schools available in California, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Illinois that offer gunsmith programs. As the programs at the Colorado School of Trades and Pennsylvania Gunsmith School, these programs take a long time to complete.

If you find yourself still wanting to learn how to be a gunsmith but you don’t have a lot of time, the National Rifle Association offers short term gunsmith courses at a number of locations across the country. These range from courses on basic firearms repair to courses on how to make a stock for a gun from scratch. These courses usually last 1 to 3 weeks and are taught by master gunsmiths in a small class setting. These courses allow you to take one class at a time until you learn what you need to be a gunsmith without the long term requirements that the traditional schools require.

Online Gunsmith Courses

Gunsmith skills can also be learned on-line though through a number of sources that allow those who may not have the time or resources to attend either the National Rifle Association courses or the traditional schools to still learn gun-making. The American Gunsmith Institute, Penn-Foster Career School, and Ashworth College all offer on-line correspondence courses that can give you the skills needed to be a successful gunsmith. These courses range from as inexpensive as $800 dollars to as much as $5,000 dollars. They are delivered through a series of books that you download and DVD videos that the schools send you. There are still other options for learning how to be a gunsmith if this doesn’t seem to be something in your resources.

There are a number of on-line document libraries that offer a variety of books on the subject. Also, you can order books on how to do gunsmith work through your local library. One of the on-line document libraries that has a large number of gunsmith books is Scribd. They have books on everything from how to build a basic firearm to the more complicated things like making your own ammunition. Through the study of these books, one could learn the skills needed to be a gunsmith.

You Need An Expert’s Guidance

Whichever route you decide to take, the thing to remember is that it is possible, if you apply yourself, to learn the gunsmith trade. The traditional route offers the advantage of having someone, who is an expert, there as you work through a 40 hour per week course for 2 to 3 years teaching you the skills. 

The National Rifle Association courses offer a short term version of the expert courses. The on-line correspondence courses offer the ability to study on your own schedule at your own pace. 

Then last but not least the books available through the local library and online document libraries offer the opportunity to teach yourself the skills of a gunsmith. The one thing to remember as you progress on your journey to being a gunsmith is to be safe and enjoy what you are doing. If you do this you will soon find yourself building guns and enjoying the art and science involved in being a quality gunsmith.

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