If anyone ever tells you that all gunsmithing schools are the same, they are wrong. Much like a lot of things in life, schools have their own strengths and weaknesses. And like most things in life, you want to find the right gunsmithing training program that can best help you learn this craft.
On this page you will find some tips and hints on how to narrow the list of gunsmithing schools down so you can find the right one. Even though you may be an easy going person, you want to find a training program where you feel like you fit in. This will help you learn since you will be more comfortable.
Take a few minutes and read through our guide on finding the best gunsmithing schools. The information presented here is perfect for anyone who wants to start up a new career in firearms or for the person who wants tinker around on weekends. If you have any questions or suggestions on how to make this page better, feel free to email me.
Why Find the Best Gunsmithing Schools?
While you might think that you are just going to one of the gunsmithing schools to learn, it is much more than that. You need to find a training program that will give you the best results as well as one that allows you the freedom to learn. If there is one piece of advice we can give to anyone thinking about going to gunsmith training it is that you have to find a school that best fits you and your expectations. This way, you are getting the education that can best help you start a new career.
In the tabs below you will find a number of topics that can help make the search for the best gunsmithing schools a lot easier. While you may have to put some work in to it, our tips and suggestions should make it faster. So let’s get started.
What Should I Know Before I Start Looking?
Before you even start looking at gunsmithing schools, you need to make an honest assessment of yourself. Even though you may be a firearms enthusiast, you might not have the personality or the temperament for a gunsmithing career. So before you spend any money and end up finding out that you don’t want to do this, answer the following questions honestly.
- Do you like working with your hands?
- Do you have a good work ethic?
- Are you detail oriented?
- Are you a self-starter?
- Do you really want to work on firearms or do you just like to shoot them?
- Are you mechanically inclined?
- Are you inquisitive and can solve sometimes complex problems?
- Are you going to be happy being a gunsmith as a career?
- Are you able to learn and get rid of bad habits?
- Do you ever feel a sense of pride in the work you have completed?
- Are you prepared to deal with bureaucratic red tape?
- Can you be organized enough to run your business while following all the laws and regulations?
- Are you able to keep your ego in check if you need to work for someone else to hone your skills?
- Are you good at math and working with numbers?
- Do you have the desire to create?
- Can you be a people person when talking with customers?
Should I Set Some Priorities When Looking For A Training Program?
Yes, it is important to set the priorities before you start searching through the various gunsmithing schools. Start out by making a list of the top things you need to have to make going to training successful. Then from there, it is easy to know what you are looking for. Here are some examples of priorities that we came up with.
- Location of the school
- How far is the commute
- The cost of training
- The average number of students in a class – also known as the student to instructor ratio
- How long it will take to complete your training
- Which of the specialties are most interested in and does the school offer classes
- Is relocation an option
- Class scheduling and your other responsibilities like a job
- The reputation of the school or training program
What Are Some Tips to Finding the Right Gunsmithing School?
We mentioned earlier that you will have to do a little bit of research before you can find the right gunsmithing schools. Never fear we are here to help. Below there are a few of the top tips we can recommend to help you find the real deal.
- For starters, you will have to decide how far you are willing to commute to training
- Enter your zip code in the search widget in the upper part of this page or type “gunsmithing schools” in your favorite search engine (we prefer Google)
- Make a list of all of the training programs that are within your area
- Visit each of the websites for each of these programs to see what they have to offer
- Contact the school or talk to a representative of the school
- Find out how much the training is
- Ask about what requirements you have to fulfill before enrollment
- Ask how long they have been offering the gunsmith training program
- Make sure you ask about financial aid and scholarships or if they have a payment plan to help pay for training
- Find out what the graduation rate is for students
- Ask the admissions office or a representative if they have a job placement service for you start working once you finish training
- Get a copy of the program curriculum and class schedules
- Check out how long training takes and if you will get a certificate, diploma or a degree
- Find out if they are licensed or accredited, find out by which group and contact them for details on the status of the training program
- Find out how the classes are structured and if they have night or weekend classes, if you currently have other obligations such as a job or kids
- Check to see if the instructors are knowledgeable and have some real-world experience as a gunsmith
- Ask the accreditation or licensing group if they school has had any complaints or issues
- Visit each of the gunsmithing schools and possibly audit a class to see how it feels
- See if the facilties and equipment well maintained or new
- Try to talk with instructors and students for their opinions
- Do a search on the internet for any reviews of the different schools
- Contact local gunsmiths and ask where they got training and what their opinions of the area programs are
In some instances you may find that going to an online school may be the right choice. This is as long as you can find an experienced gunsmith to help you work on your hands-on training. So don’t count out online schools by any means.
What Are Some Questions I Should Ask A Gunsmith School?
To help you out, we’ve created a list of questions that you can ask representatives from gunsmithing schools. This checklist can help you remember what is important to ask so you can figure out which of the training programs in your area is a good one. Don’t be afraid to add questions to this list, after all you have to feel that it is the right school for your education.
- How much is gunsmith training going to cost?
- Can I get financial aid to help pay for training?
- Does your school have an installment plan for tuition?
- What are your enrollment requirements?
- How long would it take me to get an associate degree at your school?
- What about a diploma or certificate?
- When do you schedule your classes? Is it during the week, at night or on the weekends?
- How many hours of hands-on training should I expect to get?
- What type of classes do you offer?
- How new is the shop equipment?
- How many years of experience does your instructors have in gunsmithing?
- How much time is spent in the classroom?
- On average, what is the student to instructor ratio?
- Is the gunsmithing program lessened, accredited or certified?
- By what groups is the school accredited? Can I have their phone number?
- How long as this gunsmithing school been in business?
- What is the graduation rate for your students in this program?
- Does your school offer any kind of job placement services?
- Does any of the firearms manufacturers visit your program?
- Is blueprint reading part of the curriculum?
- Will I be able to take some business and marketing classes too?
Is Accreditation Important When Picking a Gunsmithing Program?
There seems to be some confusion out there about licensed, accredited and certified training programs. Let’s try to clear some of this up so you can better understand what it all means and why it is important. Let’s first look at the term licensed.
When talking about schools or programs that have been licensed, this means that it has met the standards and regulations set up by the state. This may be necessary in many states for a program, or in our case one of the gunsmithing schools to operate.
A certified institution such as a school or program means that it has met the approval of non-governmental agency or association. Some of these are state or regional organizations, other times it is a professional organization such as the National Rifle Association (NRA). Basically, this means that the school or program has been given a seal of approval and doesn’t necessarily guarantee the educational worth of the program.
Accredited is the big boy on the block. This means that the program and school has been reviewed from top to bottom for educational worth and quality. Organizations or agencies that give accreditation can be regional or national and have been approved by the U.S. Department of Education.
Typically you will only find gunsmithing schools that are part of a junior college and community college have proper accreditation. Because of the higher standards, the training at these programs is continually monitored to maintain accredited status. Accreditation can be seen as an important factor when picking out a training program since a decent education is almost guaranteed.
In our opinion, you want to enroll in one of the gunsmithing schools or programs that have been accredited or at least licensed. This way you won’t be risking throwing hard earned money down the drain by going to a fly by night scam school. However, if you are feeling like you want to gamble, ignore this advice and go right to it!
What Do You Think?
Hopefully the information we’ve provided above will make it much easier to decide on which of the gunsmithing schools can provide you with training. Researching the schools may take a little bit of time but in the long run it is really worth it. You want to spend your money and time right, not finding out that the instructor or school is worthless.
Are you ready to start searching? There is no time like the present since the longer you wait the longer it will be before you can finish up. Do you think you can easily find one of the gunsmithing schools that is the best fit for your goals?