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Gunsmith training?

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Gunsmithing' started by nighthawk, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. nighthawk

    nighthawk PNW Member

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    Hello,

    I am wanting to learn how to be a gunsmith. I do a lot of things on my own like, blueing, stock refinishing, minor repairs, mounting scopes etc. I really want this to be my profession as it is my greatest passion. Anybody know any gunsmiths around here that would be willing to teach somebody if I worked for them for free?

    Thanks
     
  2. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    No, there aren't a lot of guys left who are willing to let someone apprentice.

    If you are serious, then you need to go to one of the quality schools. Colorado School of Trades, Trinidad Jr. College, even Lassen Community College. There are probably others that would work as well. This is the best way to learn to do things right. You can try learning from a video, but you don't have anyone to ask questions when things aren't clear (which is often when you are learning).

    Once you get out, the most successful guys I know go to work for a shop for a time. It's kind of like apprenticing, but with a basic skill set. Then after time, you can strike out on your own. I know other guys who've struck out on their own right away after school, but its a steep learning curve.

    It's also not a cheap business to get into. I recently opened my own shop (after schooling and working for other shops). I'm into it several thousand dollars, and I could still go buy another $10,000 worth of equipment if I had the funds. I've known other guys who've found a retiring smith and just bought out all his equipment. It works well if you have the funds.

    None of this is meant to scare you. It's meant to let you know that there are more gunsmiths than you might figure out there. If you go into it without the proper preparation, you won't succeed.

    Good luck! I hope you are successful in your endeavors!
     
  3. richdav

    richdav oregon Member

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  4. netcarrier

    netcarrier Portland, Oregon Active Member

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    Hi Nighthawk,

    There is always American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) Home Study. If you would like I have some of the DVD's and I would let you watch some to see if you think it maybe right for you. I live in SE. Portland. PM me if you would like to view some.
    Just for information I got my Certified by them.
    Tony
     
  5. sierrahiker

    sierrahiker Santa Clarita CA New Member

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    Hello..I am thinking of attending Lassen CC for their gunsmith course. I am hearing about a wait list to attend. Anyone have any information on wait time to attend..thanks Mike
     
  6. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six North Greenlake, Seattle New Member

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    If I were eighteen again (or 25) I'd enlist as an armorer.
     
  7. uban77

    uban77 Maui, HI. Luck favors the prepared.

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    AGI a good way to start. But enrolling in community college. To learn how to work with metal, tig welding. Classes in becoming a machinist. Will give you a good foundation to start. And you don't need a big fancy shop to work on guns. It's the learning curve of all the different types of weapons. There are all levels of gunsmith. Knowing what you have to farm out and what you can do in your shop is important. And don't be afraid to make a mistake.
     
  8. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six North Greenlake, Seattle New Member

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    I own an AGI video.

    I'd sell it to you, but I'd be ripping you off.

    You can't teach gunsmithing over the phone, through the internet or through videos. There's a reason that trades use apprenticeships.
     
  9. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    The AGI video series is a good resource for people who are already gunsmiths. But when there isn't a person in the room to answer questions when something isn't completely clear, its usefulness is limited. I have watched several of the AGI videos. Some are pretty decent. But if you rely solely on them for your education, it is my opinion that the best most people could hope for would be to become armorers or glorified parts installers. Can there be exceptions to that? Yes, but they would be rare.
     
  10. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six North Greenlake, Seattle New Member

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    Makes sense to me.
     
  11. sierrahiker

    sierrahiker Santa Clarita CA New Member

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    I am 67 and do not have to depend on a job for income..LOL