Depending on the school’s focus and the expertise of its faculty, some programs provide a more hands-on approach to gunsmithing while others provide more training on how to run a gun shop or gunsmithing practice. Below are the common courses found in a gunsmith program in a college setting:
- Metallurgy: Students will learn about the metals and metals finishing required in gunsmithing, techniques such as treatment and tempering as well as tools encountered in a gunsmith shop setting.1
- Gunsmithing Hand Tools and Firearms Customizing: These courses provide an overview and the understanding of the tools involved in making custom firearms.
- Gunsmithing Machine Tools: These courses designed to teach specific and practical uses of machinery and tools involved in creating parts of a firearm.2
- Gun Maintenance and Repair: Students will learn about the history, design and function of firears in order to identify and repair various firearm designs, including shotguns and rifles.3
- Stock design and making: Students will learn about different stockmaking materials, metal preparation, sights, ballistics and loading.2
- Gun Safety: These courses will cover the design and mechanisms of firearms as well as approaches to safe firearm handling. Students will be able to apply this knowledge in maintaining a safe firearm as well as be able to handle them without causing harm to self or others.
The objective of these courses are to provide students with understanding of the various elements of a firearm, including triggers, hinges and levers, bolt action and self loaders.4 They will also learn techniques such as soldering, metallurgy and reverse engineering which are required in the building and repair of parts of a firearm.
In addition to the curriculum, students may want to pursue further education as a Master Gunsmith or work in a gunshop as an apprentice in order to gain more experience. Regardless of which route they take, they will require to obtain a firearm license in order to handle and work with firearms following completion of their program.
- Lassen Gunsmithing (2014) NRA Gunsmithing Schools.
- Colorado Schools of Trade (2014) Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Gunsmithing.
- Yavapai College (2014) Associate of Applied Science – Gunsmithing.
- Education Portal (2014) How to Become a Gunsmith: Education and Career Roadmap