If you’re a gun person that wants to take that tinkering and turn it into a money-making venture, or you just want to work on your guns, you’ve probably thought about gunsmithing schools or classes.
It turns out that there are quite a few gunsmithing classes and courses you can take online.
From the comfort of your own home, you can learn how to take hobby-level skills to something you can be truly proud of or even make money with eventually.
So, we’ve pulled together a list of classes that you can take to improve those gunsmithing skills.
In no particular order, here are some gunsmithing schools that don’t require a foot in a classroom.
Best Online Gunsmithing Schools & Courses
Founded in 2000, the Sonoran Desert Institute provides online learning opportunities to those interested in a wide range of gunsmithing and armorer topics.
Today, it is a nationally accredited online firearms school with several different courses.
They have two main programs of study. You can also take advantage of individual classes if you’re just looking to learn certain aspects of gunsmithing — like advanced armorer topics or how to accurize a rifle.
SDI is great for both hobby-level gunsmiths who want to do more in their home workshops and for professionals (or would-be pros that want to break into the industry).
Their instructors come highly recommended by many in the industry. And SDI grads seem to have an easier time finding a job than graduates of most other gunsmithing programs.
Cost is again dependent on what exactly you’re looking to learn. Take the classes you want if you’re not looking for a certification or degree.
Many of the tools you need for the program are included in the program’s cost. They ship out when you start each course.
These tools are a good way to start building out your workshop.
One of the nation’s most well-regarded online gunsmithing schools, American Gunsmithing Institute offers courses geared to various needs.
Whether you want a career as a gunsmith or just want to work on your guns safely and effectively, there’s an option for you.
They offer a professional certificate that you can earn in as little as 90 days.
However, you still get 108 hours of course instruction that covers the basic tasks and techniques of gunsmithing. You’ll also get extensive info on the design of firearms. That means you can take that knowledge to manufacturers for a job in the field.
Best of all, AGI’s online coursework is broken down into individual lessons, each taught by a recognized industry expert.
You can also pick and choose areas to specialize in. This makes the entire course fun and a better value for your money as you’ll be skipping the bits you don’t plan to specialize in.
Students can choose a complete gunsmith certification program or take individual courses.
The professional gunsmith certification will cost between $5,000 to $15,000 — if you’re looking for a full education, that is the way you get it!
But they also offer some specific Armorer’s level courses for $40 plus specialty courses and certified courses that range from $50 to $1,300.
Modern Gun School brings an extremely flexible course for those interested in gunsmithing, either as a hobby or a full-time career.
They have a perpetual open enrollment, so you can start at any time during the year and begin courses in either Basic or Advanced Gunsmithing.
Operating since 1946, they offer lessons covering several different aspects of gunsmithing, buying and selling firearms, and basic firearms information.
These courses come in the form of online classes that you take on your terms. And they’re even personalized by the staff and Master Gunsmith for individual students’ needs and areas of interest.
MGS is a standout among other similar programs. They focus primarily on hands-on training and class project — such as refinishing a stock or building a rifle lower, rather than simply reading up on a process or technique.
Their courses come in three different price tiers — $1,442 for full payment upfront, $1,542 with higher monthly payments, or $1,642 with lower monthly payments.
This makes tuition fairly affordable for the amount of instruction you get. So it offers a good option for hobbyists or beginners to gunsmithing and firearms in general.
New to guns? Check out our online Beginner Handgun Course that teaches all the important stuff you need to know.
Ashworth College is located in my home state of Georgia, and its online program focuses on practical, real-world projects.
Projects are designed to emulate what an actual gunsmith works on daily.
They focus heavily on hands-on learning, and most of your coursework will revolve around demonstrating mastery of one skill or another through completing a finished piece.
These teach techniques for troubleshooting, disassembling, repairing, and reassembling a variety of firearms.
Ashworth courses don’t do a lot of machining or metalworking, but thdo offer a hefty value for what you get.
The entire program costs between $559 and $699 depending on how you want to pay, with some payment plans costing as little as $49 a month.
At the end of the program, you should have a good grasp of basic gunsmithing techniques and should be able to sit for any state or federal firearms or armorer’s test that doesn’t have its own required coursework.
Though they are located in Scranton, PA, Penn Foster Career School operates worldwide through online programs.
Penn Foster provides several degree programs in addition to their GED/high school programs.
They’ve been around for a few decades now, and in that time, they’ve become one of the leading schools for online gunsmithing courses.
The Penn Foster mobile site allows you to study coursework on the go.
They have a dedicated staff for all firearms-related courses, and you can get an associate degree or simply a certificate.
Additionally, they also have one of the lowest educational requirements for entry, with applicants only needing to pass an 8th-grade education equivalency exam at a minimum.
The gunsmithing programs at Penn Foster cover gun safety and firearm assembly/disassembly, antique firearm restoration, customizing gun, mounting scope, handloading ammunition, basic metalworking, metal finishing, and machine tool operation, as well as the history of rifles and handguns.
Lastly, they have numerous flexible payment options, including interest-free monthly payments, in addition to being eligible for veteran education credits and benefits.
The Colorado School of Trade offers a few degrees in machining-related fields, including an Associate of Occupational Studies degree in gunsmithing.
It’s been around since 1947 and is accredited through the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. So, the instruction is sound and well-recognized.
Located just outside of Denver, the four primary classes you’ll take in the 14-month course are Basic Gunsmithing, Machine Shop, Stock Making, and Design & Function.
The first will get you comfortable with the basics of gunsmithing and firearms maintenance.
Then you’ll learn machine shop basics like how to use a lathe, a CNC, and other common tools like Dremels and grinders.
From there, you’ll build and bed a precision fiberglass rifle stock in the Stock Making course before going on to a more in-depth look at the manufacture and design of firearms. This will give you all the technical knowledge you need to work on most common firearm designs.
All in all, it’s a solid course; it can be completed in just 18 months.
Not to be confused with Penn Foster Career School, Penn Foster College has been around for over a hundred years.
It’s probably one of the most well-known distance learning colleges in the country (and certainly one of the oldest).
They’re fully accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission and regionally accredited by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education.
The diploma program will teach you all the basics of gunsmithing, including safety, machining, maintenance, and design.
It’s just a 3-month program and, like many of the others on this list, is completed online.
Tuition is less than $1,000 too. So, this is a great one for hobbyists that want to up their game a little bit or even seasoned pros who just want some kind of certificate to open up some new job prospects.
The main courses cover gun safety, assembly and disassembly of common firearm models, customizing and fitting rifle stocks, and even some antique gun restoration.
(Note: there’s nothing in here about “sporterizing” historic rifles, so there will be no “Bubba-ing” here.)
You’ll also learn how to develop custom ammo loads for precision rifles, how to mount optics properly, and a good bit of firearms development history to boot.
Professional gunsmith instruction doesn’t have to be something that’s out of your reach because you don’t have the time or money to commit to a traditional institution.
These online colleges and courses are great for professionals and hobbyists alike.
Whether you want a job with Glock, Remington, or just your local gun store, there’s a professional program out there for you.
And if you just want to up your game in your home workshop, doing repairs and upgrades to your own firearms yourself, you can acquire those skills yourself.
Which one of these are you most curious about? Let me hear from you in the comments! If you like to get your learn on, be sure to check out our other articles on Best Wilderness Training Courses, Best Compact Pistol Courses, Best Tactical Courses.
7 Best Gunsmithing Schools: Hobbyist to Professional is written by Megan Kriss for www.pewpewtactical.com