Training programs for aspiring gunsmiths are most commonly available at the undergraduate level through 2-year institutions. Some are geared at experienced gunsmiths, while others can meet the needs of beginners.
Only a few accredited U.S. community and technical colleges offer gunsmithing education and training programs. Among the best of these schools, Yavapai College and Piedmont Technical College offer certificate and associate's degree programs in the field. Colorado School of Trades also has a strong program. Each of them provides wide-ranging, comprehensive training for aspiring gunsmiths.
Enrolling in gunsmithing programs typically requires meeting a range of requirements, including background checks. Students must also provide their own gunsmithing tools, which can cost around $3,000.
Yavapai College in Prescott, AZ
Yavapai College is a public, 2-year college that offers certificates, advanced certificates, and associate's degrees in gunsmithing. To enroll in one of these programs, students must be 21 years old or have had military service. Students must also have either a concealed carry license or a current federal background check. Students take classes that cover concepts in machining, rifle theory, metal refinishing, stock-making, entrepreneurship, and re-barreling, and they work with specialized tools including lathes, engravers, heat treat ovens, mills, and stock duplicators.
Piedmont Technical College
Piedmont Technical College offers introductory and advanced certificates in gunsmithing. Advanced certificate students get to build a pistol, rifle, or shotgun for their final project. Classes are held during the day and in the evening and include classes in tool use, blueprint reading, gunsmithing techniques, handgun technology, rifle stock-making, barrel fitting, and gunmetal finishing. Both certificate programs require students to complete final projects.
Colorado School of Trades
In the gunsmith training program at Colorado School of Trades, students develop their skills through firearm repair and modification projects. In addition to focused training in the field, the school also provides career services such as assistance with resume writing and interview preparation. Students must be at least 18 years old to enroll and can join the student-run CST Rifle & Pistol Club.
More Gunsmithing Schools
Additional schools with strong gunsmithing programs include:
|Lenoir Community College||Kinston, NC||Has three workshops dedicated to gunsmithing and construction trades|
|Montgomery Community College||Troy, NC||Offers short-term National Rifle Association gunsmithing courses in addition to the school's gunsmithing program|
|Murray State College||Tishomingo, OK||Gunsmithing students go on field trips and attend professional conferences|
|Piedmont Community College||Roxboro, NC||Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges|
|Pine Technical College||Pine City, MN||Since the program was started in 1980, the average job placement rate has been very high.|
|Trinidad State Junior College||Trinidad, CO||Has the oldest gunsmithing program in the United States|
For students who want to become gunsmiths, there are community and technical colleges around the country that offer good training programs.