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becoming a licensed gunsmith

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Gunsmithing' started by gunsrgood4u, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. gunsrgood4u

    gunsrgood4u Vancouver WA New Member

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    i want to go to a gun smithing school and get certified as a professional gunsmith but all i can find is online courses. i want to go physicly learn hands on. are there any gunsmithing schools you know of?
     
  2. ridnjon

    ridnjon vancouver wa Active Member

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    4224B667-B563-4996-A646-4277DE680031-4846-000003C06A69932D.jpg
     
    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  3. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    colorado school of trades

    "Licensed" is a paper you get from the feds no education requirements.

    "certified" not sure what you mean. By whom?

    Basically hang up a shingle, and bam, you are in business.
     
  4. wayoutwest

    wayoutwest Polk County, Oregon Active Member

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  5. gunsrgood4u

    gunsrgood4u Vancouver WA New Member

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    thanks
     
  6. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Probably the finest school in the US is the one at Trinidad State JC in Colorado. Not just a fine school but also close to a premier shooting facility at Raton, NM (just down I-25 at the NRA Whittington Center). Learn the trade and practice shooting on time off.

    Going to school will merely teach one the basics. The real knowledge comes from hands on work and problem solving. One solution to going out of State to a good school would be to see if there is a Gunsmith with an established and recognized business that is nearing retirement. Discuss the possibilities of becoming an apprentice, with the goal of purchasing the business eventually.

    I retired from an industry where this was one of the best ways for a business owner to sell the business he'd built over the years. Their "Managers" would enter into a buyout agreement, take over day to day operation of the business with a portion of the proceeds set aside for the "down payment". Once the trigger threshold to purchase the business was reached the "apprentice" took over and made monthly payments according to the original contract.

    The benefit to this method, although not as instantaneous as "hanging up a shingle" are:

    A fully equipped shop with equipment being purchased at the depreciated value, not at full new cost.
    A Customer Base
    An established reputation
    A former owner who will more than likely be available to assist through difficult issues or even help out when busy.

    The other thing to consider is "Just what is a Gunsmith".

    In my opinion they are first and foremost good machinists. Not just cut and file til it fits but patient and exacting artisans.

    They are also part artist. It's one thing to just assemble an AR from a box of parts and accessories. Not much artistry involved.

    It's another thing to take a basic rifle action, and when finished have an accurate rifle that doesn't just shoot holes in paper or game, it's also a work of art, showing the Gunsmith's and owners personality.

    You con only learn so much of that in school. The rest comes from working at the side of the "Masters".

    Now, how good do you want to be?
     
  7. gunsrgood4u

    gunsrgood4u Vancouver WA New Member

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    would going to a "special school" even be worth it. or should i continue working hands on and learning on my own projects? do i need to get certified to enter the industry as a gunsmith?
     
  8. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    All training is worth it. If you have the time and financial resources to go to a formal school then do so. You'll get a good foundation and then, as a practicing gunsmith, be able to handle repairs or special requests of your customers which you may not have learned by experimenting on your own firearms. When you're in business you don't want to be experimenting, or fumbling your way through a problem with a customers firearm.


    As for "getting certified", not a requirement. You can apply for an FFL (remember you will be receiving firearms from customers you will have to log, and also purchasing receivers that are considered the actual firearm by BATFE. This will require you be an FFL.

    When you receive your FFL, that and a business license from the state and locale you do business in are about the only "Certificates" you need for your wall. That Diploma from a school of gunsmithing will go a long way to convincing your customers that you really know what your doing. From there it's a matter of spending your entire career building and maintaining a reputation.

    It's not a lot different than opening an auto repair shop. If you want to be successful in either profession, you have to know what you're doing and an education in the trade really helps. It only takes one or two p-o'd customers to destroy any chance of success.

    Good luck.
     
  9. Pete1

    Pete1 SW Wa. New Member

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    Colorado School of Trades.
     
  10. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    One of the thing that should be mandatory. I like the idea that someone drilling on my gun has done this quite a bit.
    I would say that a machine shop class might do you better.Then a gunsmith class.
    One of the things that would keep me from doing gunsmithing for a trade now.That and my aching hands.
     
  11. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    I wanted to be a gunsmith since I was 6 years old! As a teenager I was told by my mentor (a gunsmith) that first and foremost you need to become a good machinist and craftsman. I have now been a machinist for over 20 years and a fulltime gunsmith for about 7 years. All my spare time was spent working on my own guns and a few friends, and reading everything I can get my hands on about gunsmithing.


    I treat every customers gun as if it were my own.