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Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Gunsmithing

Gunsmithing Program Objectives

Our Gunsmithing courses are designed to teach the necessary skills which will enable the reasonably diligent student to enter the profession of Gunsmithing as an entry level general Gunsmith. Students in these gunsmithing courses will learn the skills necessary to specialize in one (or several) of the specialties within the profession (e.g., general repair, custom gun work, pistolsmithing, accurizing firearms for match competition, production of competition rifles, shotguns, etc.). Upon completion of the program the graduate will receive an Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Gunsmithing.

Our students learn Gunsmithing through the repair of customer firearms in the largest Gunsmithing shop in the U.S. In our gunsmithing courses we use hands-on teaching methods refined over nearly 70 years.

Basic Course (250 Hours)

Drill Press, Gun SchoolCourse Objective: This course is designed to teach the student basic use of tools, safety, math, purpose of specific equipment, and familiarize the student with the concepts of stock refinishing and metal preparation, along with the bluing process and recoil pad fitting. At the conclusion of the Basic section, students will complete "Cycle of Operations". During this activity students will receive each of the eight major types of firearms for the purpose of tear down. As you are tearing down each firearm you are required to write down the action cycle of each of the firearms in sequence. The hand guns include a revolver and a short recoil semi automatic pistol. The long guns include a pump action, break open, lever action, bolt action, gas operated semi automatic, and a blowback semi automatic.

Drill Press Operation
Hand Tools & Uses
The “Bluing” Process
Stock Refinishing
Recoil Pad Fitting

Shop Math
Blue Print Reading
Grinding, Sanding, Polishing
Cycle of Operations

Machine Course (400 Hours)

Engine Lathe, Gunsmithing SchoolCourse Objective: This course is designed to teach specific and practical uses of particular pieces of equipment, along with the conceptual use of each. Students will be taught oxy-acetylene welding, and heat treatment of steel. Upon completion of this course students will have threaded and chambered a barrel for a bolt action rifle (approved caliber of their choice) and test fired it in our test firing booth.

Engine Lathe
Milling Machine
Universal Grinder

Tool Bit Grinding
Oxy-Acetylene Welding

Stockmaking Course (350 Hours)

Milling Machine, Gunsmith SchoolCourse Objective: This course teaches the concepts, techniques and skills which will enable the student to build custom firearms. The course also covers aspects of different stockmaking materials, metal preparation, sights, ballistics, and hand loading (theory only). Upon completion of this course students will have built a custom bolt action rifle, which includes a walnut and synthetic stock.

Stock Finishes
Stock making
Internal/External Ballistics

Gun Sights
Use of Firearms

Design & Function Course (Minimum 800 Hours)

Stockmaking, Gun RepairCourse Objective: This course is the crux of the program comprising 44% of the total program hours. Design and Function refers to diagnostics and repair of customer firearms. The classroom segment includes conversions of military to civilian firearms, specialty tool development, and trigger assemblies. During this course students learn the practical application of Gunsmithing skills. Students are required to troubleshoot, diagnose, and repair per customer order 30 firearms from the gun shop (students can bring up to 8 of their own guns in to count toward the 30).

Students are also required to do a specialization project of a minimum of 100 hours. This is an opportunity for students to specialize in their particular area of interest. The student can choose their project as long as it is gun related, legal, safe, and school supported. The cost of the project(s) is the student's responsibility.

CNC MACHINING (Lab fee $800)
CNC Machine, Gunsmith School This 90-hour (three-week) course is a specialization elective and covers basic CNC machining practices on common, industry-type CNC machines.  The student will learn programing on CNC mills and lathes. Set-up, fixtures, job planning, advanced machine practices including expanded understanding of speeds and feeds, and machine operations are covered.  The student will be introduced to Mastercam Cad Cam software and be required to complete a project from the design stage to final machining and assembly.  The objective of the course is to acquaint students with CNC practices they will be exposed to in the firearms industry.

Not all students will qualify to take Introduction to CNC Machining.  Students must have a minimum of 100 hours of specialization time available.  Preference is then given based on attendance, overall GPA and machine shop GPA. There are six seats available per three-week course.

TIG WELDING (No lab fee)
This 60-hour (two-week) project is a specialization elective. The student will learn basic techniques for welding steel, stainless steel and aluminum, with an emphasis on welding gun parts.

Design and Function
Business Training

Special Hand Tools
Trigger Assemblies
Shop and Lab Hours
Classroom Hours
Total Program Hours


Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Gunsmithing
The AOS Degree is not designed for credits to transfer to another college. It is up to an individual college what credits they will accept.

ED Gainful Employment Program Disclosure – Colorado School of Trades

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