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Best Gunsmith Schools in Pennsylvania | 2021

If you are looking for a nice location to study gunsmithing, Pennsylvania Gunsmith School is the first place to begin your search. There are only a handful of Gunsmithing schools in Pennysylvania with a high reputation for producing excellent students.

There are other universities and colleges around Pennsylvania that offer gunsmith programs. Becoming a gunsmith requires a high level of precision and craftsmanship.

To become successful as a gunsmith, you must possess some skills in the area of blacksmithing, metalwork, woodwork, or blacksmith.

Pennsylvania gunsmith programs are designed to help you master gunsmith and become exceptional in the field.

Besides mastering gunsmith, students are also trained to build confidence in themselves, develop self-awareness and pride as they progress through their gunsmith programs.  

Attending Pennsylvania gunsmith schools goes beyond the art of making guns. It is about the entire personality of the student. At Pennsylvania gunsmith school, students learn to think and act like gunsmiths.

They learn to apply the skill they acquire from their program to fashion their functional firearm after their studies.

If you are passionate about becoming a professional gunsmith, continue reading to the end to have a full understanding of what gunsmith is all about.

What Is Gunsmithing All About?

The role of a gunsmith may look similar to that of an armorer. However, they are different in the real sense.

While the armorer is in charge of replacing worn-out parts of standard firearms, the gunsmith is responsible for repairing, designing, modifying, and building new guns from the scratch.

Gunsmiths may require a high level of craftsmanship, which includes the services of a top-level machinist, a skilled woodworker, and in some cases an engineer.

A gunsmith handles the high-level repair of firearms and has the required training to reset a well-used firearm to factory standards.

Gunsmiths also make the necessary adjustments to sporting guns for better fit and adaptation for the individual shooter.

Oftentimes, these modifications require extensive work or alterations to the metal framework and stock of the gun.

Guns that require fabrication of new parts, cresting, or engraving usually go to the gunsmith. The average level of education for a gunsmith in the United States is a high school degree.   

Gunsmithing is a very noble profession. It helps one to create an awareness of his/her environment and also boost self-confidence.

It provides an individual with the opportunity to use their creative ability in the most effective ways. Many gun shops offer gunsmithing services.

One of the interesting facts about gunsmithing is that you can either choose to work with an organization or practice on your own.

To practice as a gunsmith dealer or manufacturer, you require an FFL (Federal Firearms) license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

Note that an FF license authorizes you as a gunsmith to carry out firearm maintenance, sell, and make the necessary repairs and adjustments. It does not permit you to carry a gun or own a firearm.

Why Study Gunsmithing in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania is one of the best places to study gunsmithing. Pennsylvania gunsmith schools are reputable for hands-on training and quick-paced course (16 months).

Colleges like the Pennsylvania Gunsmith College does not only train you to become a gunsmith, they also help you to develop self-awareness and confidence in your skills.

They employ both traditional and modern techniques to train their candidates. They are also innovative and incorporate the best practices in carrying out their training.

When you study gunsmithing in Pennsylvania, you are more likely to get industry support during the period of your training.

How Much Does a Gunsmith Earn in Pennsylvania?

According to Economic Research Institute (ERI), the average earning of a gunsmith in Pennsylvania per year is $43,982 and an average of $21 per hour.

However, the average salary range falls between $32,618 and $53,468. Salary.com (28th June 2021) places the average gunsmith salary in Pennsylvania at $42,844 with an average range between $37,254 and $49,096.

How Much Does a Gunsmithing School in Pennsylvania Cost?

The national average tuition fee for Gunsmith/Gunsmithing in Pennsylvania is $21,500. The living cost for Pennsylvania for students on campus is $16,167-$26,428.

Students can choose to stay off-campus and come from their homes daily for their programs.

The average tuition fee of attending a gunsmithing school in Pennsylvania is around $62,252. However, students can also apply for financial aid to cut down on the cost of attending a gunsmith school in Pennsylvania.

How Much Does Penn Foster Gunsmith School Cost?

Whether you want to start your career in gunsmithing or you want to brush up on your existing skills, Penn Foster Gunsmith School is one of the places you should look to for your training.

Penn Foster Gunsmith School runs a gunsmith program and interested students can choose to pay monthly or make a full one-time payment for the program.

Currently, Penn Foster Gunsmith School is running a promo that enables students to save up to $230 on tuition fees, provided they make a one-time payment for the program.

The cost of attending Penn Foster Gunsmith School ranges from $799 to $1,029, depending on your mode of payment.

However, the current fees will only last till the 17th of August before the school reverts to its original price. Therefore, if you are interested in attending a Foster Gunsmith program, now is the best time to enroll in your course.  

Which Body Accredits Gunsmithing Schools in Pennsylvania?

In 1985, the Pennsylvania Gunsmith school was accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

Under the stipulations of the accrediting body, the Master Gunsmith Course ℠ name was replaced with Master Gunsmith Program®.

Top 10 Gunsmithing Schools in Pennsylvania and Its Environs in 2021

  1. Pennsylvania Gunsmith School
  2. Yavapai College Gunsmithing School Arizona
  3. Lassen Community College Gunsmithing Program
  4. Colorado School of Trades
  5. Trinidad State College Gunsmithing Program
  6. Penn Foster Career School
  7. Stratford Career Institute
  8. MGS Trade School
  9. American Gunsmithing Institute
  10. Sonoran Desert Institute

#1. Pennsylvania Gunsmith School

Pennsylvania Gunsmith School is one of the oldest gunsmith schools in Pennsylvania. The school is in Avalon, close to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was founded in 1949.

The school combines both traditional, modern, and innovative methods in teaching its programs.  

Pennsylvania Gunsmith School instills confidence, a sense of awareness, and pride in its students.

Pennsylvania Gunsmith School program schedule is designed to start teaching interested students from the basic knowledge.

As they advance, they gain a solid foundation in gunsmithing and enjoy a successful career as gunsmiths after their training.

The program delivers 2496 intensive clock hours of gunsmithing program with a foundation course that introduces trainees to the basics of gunsmithing.

As trainees progress in the industry, the program follows a planned and organized manner to ensure that students enjoy a successful career after their training.

At Pennsylvania gunsmith school, all the courses and assignments are job-oriented and prepare the students for their career in the gunsmith industry.

Pennsylvania Master Gunsmithing Program lasts for 16 months that is divided into four semesters.

First Semester| Introduction to Gunsmithing

The first semester is an introductory course. It is designed to help the students develop in the following areas:

  1. Perception of space, improve hand-to-eye coordination in students, gauging and layout tools. It also introduces the students to hand-tooling and complex filing techniques 
  2. Introduction to the effective and right way of using heat treatment, fixtures, and springs
  3. It also introduces students to the functions and designs of firearms. It also looks at the basics of advanced firearm polishing techniques, different bluing techniques, and alternative ways of finishing firearms (spray-on and coating finishes).

Second Semester| Intermediate Gunsmithing 1

The second semester exposes the trainees to intermediate gunsmithing. The semester helps the student to develop a skill set in the following fields:

  1. Basic to advanced skills in wood checkering and re-checkering. Students also learn the various engraving techniques for letters, curves, scrolls, and straight lines.
  2. Preparatory course in stock making in both one-piece and two-piece stocks.
  3. Introduction to stock finishing and refinishing. They will also learn how to install a recoil pad, how to install an adjustable butt plate and comb. Other areas include installation of comb, accurizing, repair of stocks and pillar bedding, etc.

Third Semester| Intermediate Gunsmithing 2

The third semester is designed to offer the following skills:

  1. Welding in Oxyacetylene and TIG soft and silver soldering.
  2. Lathe belt work and geared head machines turning threading, knurling, tapering, and boring. The students will also be introduced to vertical milling and grinding machines works.
  3. Custom fitting for barrels and how to apply various procedures and accuracy reaming.
  4. Installation of sight including dovetail, tapping, and drilling
  5. Introduction to simple ballistics and other handloading tools

Fourth Semester| Advanced Gunsmithing

Semester four brings together the entire knowledge you gained from semesters 1 to 3 and marries them all together.

It opens the student’s minds to enable them to perceive things from the mindset of a gunsmith. Besides this, the students are introduced to courses that position them for employment. They are:

  1. Business practice, employability skills, how to create a professional resume that is required for working as a gunsmith after their education. students also learn the fundamentals of owning a gun shop and business ethics associated with running a gun shop.  
  2. Students will also have hands-on experience in creating a rifle from concept to design and finish.
  3. Use all previously acquired skills to make alterations and repair all kinds of guns.

Pennsylvania Gunsmith School has a total number of 72 undergraduate students. You can calculate the annual training cost of attending Pennsylvania Gunsmith School with the school net price calculator.  

#2. Penn Foster Career School

If you want to learn gunsmithing or develop the skills you already have, Penn Foster Career School is the place to visit. Penn Foster offers college gunsmith programs in the following areas:

  • Gun safety and firearm assembling and disassembling
  • Restoration of antique firearms
  • Gunstock customization
  • Gun telescope sight mounting
  •  Basic metal works
  • Custom-loading ammunition
  • Metal finishing
  • Operation of basic gunsmith machine and tools
  • History of handguns and rifles  

Before enrolling in a gunsmith program with Penn Foster Career School, it is essential to check your state’s requirements.

Penn Foster also offers an online gunsmithing career diploma for three months. The online classes are flexible and students can study at their convenience.

With over 30 years of experience in gunsmithing, Penn Foster gunsmith academy is dedicated to providing professional knowledge and instruction through its gunsmith faculty.

They also provide the opportunity for students to gain hands-on training through Brownell’s practical exercise as they study towards obtaining their diploma in gunsmithing.

At Penn Foster Gunsmith Career School, you also gain access to industry-standard gunsmith resources.

You will also learn how to use your Federal Firearms License to enable you to develop the confidence to pursue a career in gunsmithing.  For information about tuition fees and the method of payment, visit the following link.

If you are ready to acquire the basic knowledge to turn your hubby /dreams into a profiting career, visit the Penn Foster Career school’s official website today and begin your registration.

#3. Yavapai College Gunsmithing School Arizona

Yavapai College started its gunsmithing program in 1969 and has grown into one of the leading gunsmith institutes in Arizona.

This college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and ranks among the top 5 gunsmithing schools in the US. Students who graduate from Yavapai Gunsmithing School rank among the top choice for employers.

To be eligible to apply with Yavapai Gunsmith School, applicants must be at least 21 years of age or have military service.

When you attend Yavapai, you learn how to assemble and disassemble handguns and rifles. You also learn how to measure metal and use different types of gunsmithing tool craft, engrave, finish and install optics and other accessories on the gun.

Yavapai College Gunsmith School offers a 24 -months intensive course in gunsmithing. Graduates from the school obtain an AAS degree and certification in gunsmithing.

However, there are two levels of certification from Yavapai which are gunsmithing and advanced gunsmithing. To obtain a gunsmith certificate at Yavapai, students must pass the following courses:

  • Apprentice gunsmithing
  • Journeyman gunsmithing
  • Professional gunsmithing and
  • Master gunsmithing

For an advanced gunsmithing certificate, the candidate must complete the various Guild firearm courses, CNC machinery, and Competition firearms.

You can calculate the tuition fee for Yavapai using the college calculator. As a student at Yavapai College Gunsmithing School, you will be responsible for purchasing all the tools you need for your program.

Nonetheless, there are also various financial options available for students for financial support. They include options like grants, loans, and scholarships.

To register for your gunsmithing program and learn more about Yavapai, you can visit the official website below.

#4. Colorado School of Trades

Colorado Gunsmithing School was founded in 1947 and is located in Lakewood, close to Denver. The school is renowned for its custom approach to its program for every student for more than 7 decades. 

If you are passionate about guns and wish to grow beyond the conventional level of educational limits, the Colorado School of trades is the best choice.

Graduates from the Colorado School of Trades can be found in almost all reputable gun shops in the United States.

Students who complete their gunsmithing program at Colorado School of Trades will obtain an Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Gunsmithing.

The duration of the Gunsmithing program at the school is usually 14 months long with a focus on the following courses:

  • Basic gunsmithing
  • Machine shop
  • Stock making
  • Gun Design and Function

Students at the Colorado School of Trade spend 350 hours for basic gunsmithing courses and 800 hours for Design and Function courses.

The total number of hours spent by students at the school is 1800 hours. A major part of the training hours (1505) is spent in the laboratory, which covers an area of 15.000sq. ft.

The rest of the time is spent in intensive classroom lectures.

For the estimated net cost for taking the Colorado School of Trades Gunsmith program, you can use the net price calculator. Colorado School of Trades also offers assistance to students in the form of loans, grants, and scholarships.

The school is also keen on business and helps students to succeed in their careers as gunsmiths. The school coordinators assist students with the basic preparation and knowledge to scale through any interview, prepare their CV, and start up their private gunsmith businesses.

For more information, program stats, and registration, you can visit the official website of the Colorado School of Trades today.

#5 Trinidad State College Gunsmithing School

Trinidad State College Gunsmithing Program is one of the most innovative gunsmithing programs in the United States.

The program duration is two years and the average employment rate for students that graduate from Trinidad Gunnsmithing School is over eighty percent.

They also run on a well-balanced curriculum that ensures that graduates acquire basic to advanced knowledge to give them an edge over other students from other gunsmithing schools.

Trinidad State College gunsmithing School cover the following program:

  • Gunstock making
  • Gun Repairs
  • Machine tools
  • Hand Tools, Gun customization and Metal Finishes, and Customization

Students that study at Trinidad State College can choose to go for an AAS degree in Gunsmithing or Gunsmithing Certificate.  

AAS degree requires 72 credit hours while 57 credit hours are required for a Gunsmithing Certificate.

There are also other certificates you can obtain when you attend Trinidad State College Gunsmithing School.

You can study as a Brownell’s firearm tech instructor and obtain an NRA Safety certificate or take a course in Gunsmithing Technology and Gunsmithing Fine Arts.

Trinidad State College Gunsmithing School is a member of the National Rifle Association Summer Schools.

The tuition fees for Trinidad State College Gunsmithing School Degree Program are around 18,000 dollars.

Students can apply and access different financial aids such as loans. Through a work-study program, students can also raise money to finance their program.

For more information about Trinidad College Gunsmithing School, visit the official website by clicking below.

#6. Lassen Community College

You cannot talk about gunsmithing schools without mentioning Lassen Community College. The school was founded in 1945 and is one of the oldest gunsmithing schools in the United States.

Lassen Community College is located in Susanville, which is in Northeast California. Every new academic session, the school welcomes a total number of 22 intakes into their college gunsmithing program.

Lassen runs a 24 months gunsmithing program that is divided into four semesters. Students from Lassen Community College will study the following courses during their years of study:

  • General Gunsmithing
  • Firearms Repair
  • Gunsmith Machinist and Metal Finishing
  • Riflesmithing
  • Pistol and Long Gunsmithing

When you attend Lassen Community College, you can gain two Associates in Science degrees in General Gunsmithing and Firearms Repair.

To find out more about the tuition fees for the General Gunsmithing program, kindly follow the link. The tuition fees for Firearms Repair can be accessed using the following link.

The cost of attending Lassen Community School can be on the high side since students are required to provide their gunsmithing tools.

Students are also required to provide guns for both semester’s courses works. You can visit the school website for a list of all gunsmithing tools you need to provide and the type of guns required for the program.

Many students often shy away from Lassen Community College after considering the cost.

However, the good news is that students can access financial assistance from the school, provided they meet the requirements stipulated by the school.

For more information about the gunsmithing program, visit the official website of Lassen Community college.

#7. Stratford Career Institute

Stratford Career Institute has years of experience and runs one of the most comprehensive online gunsmithing programs you can complete from home.

Students from Stratford Career Institute can either earn an Associate of Science certificate in firearms technology or a certificate in Firearms Technology.

The learning options are flexible at Stratford Career Institute. Therefore, students can choose to study at any time they want.

As part of students learning assignments, they are supposed to interact with their instructors and other online learners every week.

To obtain a certificate in Firearms Technology, the program is a long 16-week semester course that is broken into two sessions.

The Firearm Technology program is a 32 credit hours package that is broken into two 16-week semesters.

It is a good start for those who wish to upgrade their gunsmithing skills and those who wish to acquire the essential knowledge to run a gunsmithing company.  

For those that wish to get certified and obtain an Associate of Science in Firearms Technology, the course spans 16 weeks and is broken into four parts.

Students can also complete their education from home with a DEAC-certified school. The program has an elaborate curriculum that ensures that you acquire all the necessary knowledge you require from the comfort of your home.  

For more information about the University and the tuition fees available, you can visit the official website and request further information.

#8. Modern Gunsmith School (MGS) Trade School

MSG Trade School offers both Advanced Gunsmithing Courses and Basic Gunsmith Repair Courses. They also offer online courses for students that wish to study at their own pace.

MGS Trade School gunsmithing school is accredited by DEAC and MSA and has affiliations with post 9/11 and Montgomery GI Bill.  

Modern Gunsmith School is one of the largest gunsmith schools. It is also among the oldest gunsmith school that still ranks as best in different areas.

Advanced Gunsmithing Courses

To obtain the certificate in Advanced Gunsmithing, the student has to cover 65 lessons and complete 7 projects.

Advanced Gunsmithing Courses provide extensive knowledge of the firearm industry from the manufacturing process to the usage of different firearms.

The course introduces students to the skills and requirements of the gunsmith industry.

Basic Gunsmith Repair Courses

The course is designed for those that take gunsmithing as a hobby. It is also essential for those that wish to acquire knowledge in the field of gun repair.

Students that enroll in the Basic Gunsmith Repair Course will learn the right way to clean, fine-tune and make adjustments to firearms. The courses involve a total of 31 lessons and 4 projects.

The tuition fees for Modern Gunsmith School are very affordable. The school offers three plans of payment for gunsmith programs at the school.
The price ranges from $1,999 to $2,199 for Advanced Gunsmithing training and $1,690 to 1,890 for Basic Gun Repair Certification.  

For more inquiries about tuition fees, life at the school, and other expenditures, kindly click the following link.

#9. American Gunsmithing Institute

American Gunsmithing Institute is the leader in self-paced gunsmithing programs. They offer the finest video-delivered gunsmith courses that provide students the opportunity to respond to any part of the training from anywhere at any time.

The institute has a BBB rating of A+ and is approved under the provisions of the California Private Postsecondary Education Act (CPPEA) of 2009, which became effective from January 1, 2010.

American Gunsmithing Institute offers a professional gunsmithing certificate that you can obtain in 90 days. They also provide students with 180 hours of Course instruction that covers both basic and extensive gunsmithing.

The courses at American Gunsmithing Institute are divided into topics and each topic is handled separately by a renowned industrial expert.

The process enables students to select the areas to specialize in during their studies. Students at AGI can skip the courses they are not interested in and focus on the ones that interest them the most.

Students can also choose to go for an entire gunsmith certification or focus on specific courses. A professional Gunsmith Certification at AGI costs between $5,000 to $15,000 to acquire.

There are three levels of Professional Gunsmithing Certification from the American Gunsmithing Institute and they include:

  • Pro-Level I: focuses on all the basics of firearms design, repair, and functions. Level One courses include 108 hours of design instructions, repairs, and firearms function. Students can dive into the repair and maintenance of firearms immediately after level One.
  • Pro-Level II: become a more competent gunsmith with Pro-Level Two. Level two expands your skill and helps you become a more efficient and effective gunsmith.
  • Master Gunsmith: learn advanced skills and gunsmithing techniques, which includes welding. Master Gunsmith helps you to become a professional in the field of gunsmithing.

Students who wish to take their gunsmithing program a little further can sign up for Enhanced Masters Gunsmithing Course to enhance their specialization and obtain a complete set of gunsmithing tools that will enable you to set up your private gunsmithing business.

Find out in detail about American Gunsmithing Institute and its Courses by following the link.

The courses at American Gunsmithing Institute are divided into topics and each topic is handled separately by a renowned industrial expert.

The process enables students to select the areas to specialize in during their studies. Students at AGI can skip the courses they are not interested in and focus on the ones that interest them the most.

Students can also choose to go for an entire gunsmith certification or focus on specific courses. A professional Gunsmith Certification at AGI costs between $5,000 to $15,000 to acquire.

There are three levels of Professional Gunsmithing Certification from the American Gunsmithing Institute and they include:

  • Pro-Level I: focuses on all the basics of firearms design, repair, and functions. Level One courses include 108 hours of design instructions, repairs, and firearms function. Students can dive into the repair and maintenance of firearms immediately after level One.
  • Pro-Level II: become a more competent gunsmith with Pro-Level Two. Level two expands your skill and helps you become a more efficient and effective gunsmith.
  • Master Gunsmith: learn advanced skills and gunsmithing techniques, which includes welding. Master Gunsmith helps you to become a professional in the field of gunsmithing.

Students who wish to take their gunsmithing program a little further can sign up for Enhanced Masters Gunsmithing Course to enhance their specialization and obtain a complete set of gunsmithing tools that will enable you to set up your private gunsmithing business.

#10. Sonoran Desert Institute

The Sonoran Desert Institute was founded in 2000 and focuses on providing students with the opportunity to study a wide range of gunsmithing and armorer topics.

SDI is nationally accredited and offers various kinds of online courses that target different categories of students. SDI offers two different kinds of gunsmithing programs.

Students can also choose to take courses in only specific fields and participate in only select classes.

SDI is suitable for both those who wish to take gunsmithing as a career and those who take gunsmithing as a hobby.

SDI instructors are professionals in the field with many years of experience in gunsmithing. Graduates from Sonoran Desert Institute find it easier to land a job than students from other gunsmithing institutes.

The tuition fees for Sonoran Desert Institute are dependent on your choice of programs. If you are not looking for a certification or degree at the end of your course, you can simply select the courses you wish to take.

The tuition fees for SDI also include the cost of many of the tools you will require for your gunsmithing course. You can use these tools to set up your home workshop and start practicing your lectures from the comfort of your home.

The certificate you can obtain from SDI are:

Associate of Science in Firearms Technology

The expected time of completion for this program is 2 years while the maximum completion time is 3 years.

Credit Hours

60 (4 16-week semesters)

Tuition Fee

$18,300

Educational Resource Fee ($595 per semester, not more than 4 semesters)
$2,380

Total Program Cost
$20,680

  • Certificate in Firearms Technology—Gunsmithing

The expected time of completion for this program is 8 months, while the maximum completion time for this certificate is 1 year.

Credit Hours

32 credits (two 16-week semesters)

Tuition
$9,760

Educational Resource Fee ($595 per semester, not more than 2 semesters)
$1,190

Total Program Cost
$10,950

Students who enroll in a part-time program may complete their program a little longer than the stipulated time. Students may also complete the program in less time depending on the annual enrolment opportunity.  

For more information about Sonoran Desert Institute School of Firearms Technology, kindly visit the official website.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What does a gunsmith do?

A gunsmith customizes, repairs, and assembles firearms according to customer requirements and stipulations.

Can you take your gunsmithing programs online?

Yes. Many gunsmith colleges offer their courses online.

How long do I need to study to become a certified gunsmith?

The duration of studies may vary according to the gunsmithing school you choose to enroll in for your studies.

Is the role of the gunsmith the same as that of an armorer?

The role of a gunsmith is more detailed than that of an armorer. An armorer is responsible for replacing worn-out parts while a gunsmith does a factory-level reset of guns.

Does Gunsmithing have any relevance in today’s world?

Yes. With an estimated 7 million guns manufactured and imported into the United States yearly, gunsmithing is even more relevant than before.

Can I access financial aid in gunsmithing?

Yes. Many gunsmithing schools provide their students with financial aid in the form of loans and federal grants to assist them in their studies.

Conclusion

Gunsmithing is a very interesting career path that requires a lot of dedication and hard work. Gunsmiths earn a decent living and have experience working with different types of firearms.

While there are several gunsmithing schools available, your choice of school will determine the kind of experience you acquire and how long you will spend in school.

However, gunsmithing courses are usually completed within two years of study. The work of a gunsmith also covers a broad area and requires skill and knowledge in different areas including welding and craftsmanship.

As a gunsmith, you should also understand how to interpret blueprints and work with computer-aided designs software. you can start your gunsmithing career today by enrolling in a suitable gunsmith school.   

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