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What Are the Core Courses of a Gunsmithing Education Program?

Aspiring gunsmiths may enroll in a gunsmithing training program to learn how to design, repair and modify firearms. Read on to learn more about the education and skills you'll receive in a gunsmithing program.

Training for a Gunsmithing Career

Many technical schools and colleges offer gunsmithing training. Gunsmithing programs typically take about two years to complete. These programs train professionals to design and modify guns according to customer needs. Aspiring gunsmiths must learn how to troubleshoot and repair firearms. Gunsmiths must also know how to make parts for guns. Aspiring gunsmiths need to acquire the following additional skills:

  • Drilling, sawing, soldering and filing firearms
  • Polishing
  • Metalworking
  • Making specialized gunsmith tools
  • Gun fitting
  • Bluing and Parkerizing guns

Important Facts About Gunsmithing

Possible Careers Gun shop and/or sporting goods store owner, firearm manufacturer
Prerequisites Submission of driver's license, high school transcripts, Accuplacer test scores, immunization records, birth certificate, and a personal statement
Specializations Engraver, custom designer, pistolsmith, stockmaker, and checkerer
Programs Some companies offer internships and apprenticeships
Median Salary (2018) $36,080 (for metal and plastic machine workers)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) -9% (for metal and plastic machine workers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Typical Core Courses in a Gunsmithing Program

In many gunsmithing programs, students complete training in a machine shop or lab setting. Trinidad State Junior College (TSJC) offers one of the oldest gunsmithing programs in the country. According to TSJC, gunsmithing programs often offer specialized, basic and advanced coursework (www.trinidadstate.edu). Initially, students can expect to learn about gunsmithing theory and firearm history. Advanced students may be able to complete coursework in various areas of interest, such as revolversmithing and pistolsmithing. Students will also take several core courses, including:

  • Firearm safety
  • Machine shop
  • Firearm conversion
  • Stockmaking
  • Metal finishing
  • Firearm repair

Gunsmithing Education Options

Many gunsmithing schools offer associate degree programs and certificate programs. Students who want to take liberal arts courses in addition to gunsmithing classes may opt for an associate degree program. Yavapai College in Prescott, AZ, offers a 60-credit degree program and a 40-hour certificate program for gunsmiths. Yavapai Gunsmithing School reports that students must spend roughly six hours on campus each day to satisfy course requirements (www.gunsmithing.org). Aspiring gunsmiths who cannot attend such on-campus courses may choose online training.