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I've really wanted to go to school for this but I'm just not really sure if I should or not. I plan to go to school soon to relearn welding its been years and I know its not the greatest paying job out there but the more I'm active the better for me.

But anyways any thoughts on the gunsmith schools? Suggestions? I've worked on a few guns from family members repairing/replacing stocks,cleaning, repairs that I could figure out. I would honestly enjoy learning more.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Trinidad Colorado was the place to go , suspect still is , I wanted to go there out of high school but my mother did a good job of convincing me there were no jobs in gun smithing she had a classmate from high school that went to Trinidad who we went to church with she asked him to talk to me and explain I would just end up in machine tool and die any way , so I went to school for what I was good at and not what I liked.


some day I am going to gun smithing school and fix that
 

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Understand going in to it that Gunsmithing jobs, at least entry level and most of the rest don't pay very well. Most people that get into it to do general Gunsmithing are either retired and facing a second career, going in on the GI bill, or using it as a resume jumping off point- or they just really like the work and don't mind the pay.

Gunsmithing is like most of the trades in that specialization is where the money is. Go to welding school and you'll land a $30-40k job, but get your scuba certs and you can double or triple it with an underwater welding gig. With Gunsmithing, if you really want to make some money, you'll need to stack on some finish cert (Cerakote etc), or redouble the machine training you got in GS school and get into making some widget or some specialized mod.

My formal training was through old-school apprenticeship, but at this job and the last I've hired guys out of all of the major schools (including the at-home one). They are all comparable programs with their own strengths and weaknesses (including Trinidad). One of the stronger programs going right now is Montgomery county community college in NC (Charlotte area). I've got 4 guys from there right now and they are all pretty well put together. I spend in and around (now or in the past) at MCC, Trinidad, CST, and PGS, and the programs all evolve and are based on the preferences of the instuctor stable at the time.

The two universal truths I've found about guys coming out of school are, it only teaches you enough to know how to begin to learn the trade, and the guys only get out what they put into it. I've headhunted known good programs and found one or two really good guys in a class of pooh-birds. And even the good ones get a little panicky when you point them at a lathe other than the one they used in school and hand the a barrel to hog on.

Good luck, whatever you decide.
 

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The two that I looked at were Colorado School of Trades and Trinidad State College (Colorado). I knew two gunsmiths that went to each one, and both liked their school. As Gunmonkey said, after you graduate, you have to put your time in. I looked into it 40 years ago before I got married. There were buisinesses that would take me as an apprentice after I graduated, but it wasn't enough to support a family. I decided to go to school to be a machinist, turned that into a parttime job in a shop, and had a pretty good boss that let me learn as I worked. Good luck whichever way you go. Curt
 

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I had two sons who went through linemans school at Trinidad, and since they were interested in guns as well, they knew/brought home several people in the gunsmith classes.

I did see a lot of work, and some had made it a four year course. Pretty darned good to my limited knowledge! As GMI says, total experience counts, but these kids and men definately had a leg up.

At the time of the youngest sons graduation... 2-3 years ago, They said they had lost their biggest sponsor. Brownells, which would hurt! Whether they did or not, I don't know, and never followed up on.
 

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I think its a hard trade to truly get in to. If its not going to be a primary job, then go for it. If its going to be the primary job, theres a lot of guys that have been doing it a while, some are good, some are great, many are gun mechanics, replacing parts, and make expensive mistakes, that often wont be made good on. The required equipment to do much beyond very basic stuff adds up very quickly. What can happen often is somebody brings a gun to be repaired, you do the job, then they freak out that it costs almost as much as the guns is worth, if not more. Your time is worth X amount of money per hour, and many guys seem to think you should repair grandpas old gun for the cost of parts (and not making anything on the parts) plus 10 bucks, even when you have an hour or more in it from ordering or making parts, 45 minutes talking about what a great gun grandpas old cheap gun is, then all the yacking when they pick it up. The best shops have a counter person to do the flack diversion, paperwork, and talking so the gunsmiths can actually do their job. That costs money, and it takes a steady business to make it work.

If you can work for a shop that's established, that would be great, though not always easy to get in the door of a reputable shop.

I've looked into it in the past, and talked to many gunsmiths over the years. The patterns seem fairly consistent. If I got into it, I'd want to be with someone like Hamilton Bowen or comparable truly custom grade gunsmith. Not likely to happen without serious experience beforehand.

Best of luck.
 

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Sent you a pm earlier Bigwolf. I went to the Colorado School of Trades. Heard not so great stuff about the one in Trinidad. Heard the one in PA is also a good one.
 
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