Learn How To Be a Gunsmith

Why Penn Foster?

  • Accredited
  • Self-Paced
  • Supportive
  • Low monthly payments

Gunsmith Career Diploma

You can become a gunsmith in as little as three months, and at 65% less in cost than the average online or traditional school. Penn Foster’s online gunsmithing school has been training gunsmiths for over 20 years, and we’ll help you study at a pace that’s right for you. Our accredited gunsmithing program was recently updated to include 10 streaming videos conveniently accessed right from your personal homepage, and includes information on how to apply for your Federal Firearms License and complete a comprehensive Brownell’s practical exercise.

We’ll help you succeed with expert instruction from dedicated faculty such as Steve Felgenhauer, certified gunsmith. This accredited gunsmithing program provides everything you need to prepare for your future—all for a cost significantly lower than that of other schools.

Curriculum Details

Unit 1

Starting Your Program

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.

Objectives:

  • Understand how to use your Student Portal, including your My Homepage and My Courses pages.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
Getting Started in the Firearms Industry

Objectives:

  • Identify career opportunities.
  • Outline basic firearm assembly and disassembly procedures.
  • Describe government licensing safety, personal safety, and liability insurance.

Unit 2

Identifying and Evaluating Firearms

Objectives:

  • Identify firearms and caliber.
  • Determine if a firearm is safe to shoot.
Gun Stocks

Objectives:

  • Explore gun stock function and design.
  • Make, inlet, finish, and repair gun stocks.
Customizing Gun Stocks

Objectives:

  • Glass bed, checker, stipple, or carve a gun stock.
  • Install recoil pads and buttplates.
Practical Exercise

This practical exercise will help you learn how to locate sources of information and perform business research that will improve your probability of becoming a successful gunsmith.

Additional Unit Materials

Learning Aids:

  • Cartridge Wall Chart
  • Using a Micrometer
  • Modern Gun Values

Supplement:

  • Firearms Glossary

Unit 3

Rifles

Objectives:

  • Understand the history, design, and function of rifles.
  • Repair and modify various rifles.
  • Explore re-barrel safety, headspacing, go gauges, and no-go gauges.
The Modern Sporting Rifle

Objectives:

  • Explore the military and civilian roles of the modern sporting rifle.
  • Describe the care, cleaning, maintenance, troubleshooting, assembly, and disassembly of modern sporting rifles.
Gun Sights

Objectives:

  • Describe the design, function, and installation of various gun sights.
  • Install, mount, and alter mounting scopes.
  • Explore installing new safeties.
  • Install new safeties.
Practical Exercise

This practical exercise will guide you in familiarizing yourself with gunsmith work, gun hardware and tool stores, and your workshop layout.

Additional Unit Materials

Supplements:

  • Customizing Rifles
  • Firearms Record Book

Unit 4

Shotguns

Objectives:

  • Outline the history and development of shotguns.
  • Install, modify, and repair chokes and ribs.
Muzzleloaders

Objectives:

  • Outline the history of muzzleloaders.
  • Load, fire, troubleshoot, repair, and customize muzzleloaders.
Practical Exercise

In this practical exercise you'll research and design a blueing shop, purchase an inexpensive military surplus rifle to sporterize, and familiarize yourself with Brownell's catalog.

Additional Unit Materials

Learning Aid: Customizing Shotguns

Supplement: Gun Parts Catalog

Unit 5

Handguns

Objectives:

  • Outline the history and identification of handguns.
  • Describe revolvers and single shot/specialty pistols.
Ammunition, Reloading, and Basic Ballistics

Objectives:

  • Understand basic ballistics.
  • Describe reloading and bullet casting procedures.
Practical Exercise

This practical exercise will help you become familiar with gun shows, shooting ranges, as well as becoming involved with safety training.

Additional Unit Materials

Supplements:

  • Customizing Handguns
  • Firearms Assembly: The NRA Guide to Pistols and Revolvers
  • Firearms Assembly: The NRA Guide to Rifles and Shotguns
  • Reloading Manual
  • Smith & Wesson® Wall Chart

Unit 6

Basic Metalwork and Machine Tool Operation

Objectives:

  • Outline basic metallurgy and the welding process.
  • Describe soldering, brazing, and heat treatment techniques.
Metal Finishing

Objectives:

  • Describe metal preparation, touch-ups, and finishes.
  • Identify electric counter mounted buffers.
Starting Your Own Business

Objectives:

  • Outline sales and services, types of ownership, licensing requirements, and seasonal issues.
  • Navigate Internet auction sales sites.
Additional Unit Material

Supplements:

  • Drill and Tap Wall Chart
  • Applying for Your Federal Firearms License
Access online to instructional videos
  • AR-15
  • Checkering
  • Clearing a Firearm
  • Disassembling and Assembling a Firearm
  • Engraving
  • Glass Bedding
  • Metal Finishing
  • Reassembly of a Colt 45
  • Removing a Live Cartridge
  • Stock Finishing

Computer Specifications
You will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. You will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows XP® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to complete your program with Penn Foster.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Sample Lesson

To view a Gunsmith sample lesson, click here.

Earn Your Accredited Career Diploma From Our Gunsmithing School

Penn Foster will help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to become a Gunsmith:

  • Basic metalwork, metal finishing, and machine tool operation
  • History of rifles and handguns, and antique firearm restoration
  • Firearm assembly and disassembly
  • Customizing gun stocks, mounting telescopic sights, and custom loading ammunition

A Gunsmith designs, builds, and repairs firearms, which includes rifles, handguns, and shotguns. If you are considering becoming a Gunsmith, here are some qualities that will make you successful:

  • Patient: Repairing or building firearms is a step-by-step process that can take time.
  • Creative: Gunsmiths need to think outside of the box.
  • Detail oriented: It’s important to have a sharp eye and check things twice.
  • Problem solver: Finding the missing piece can be challenging and rewarding.
  • Cautious: Being cautious helps prevent accidents or injury.

After completing my Gunsmith Program, I opened my own gun shop. Penn Foster is a great way to get ahead in a career and the way the program was set up, even the busiest person can get through it. I'm so glad I found Penn Foster.

Guiseppe S, Gunsmith Career Diploma Graduate

I have had great feedback from my employer after my training from Penn Foster. I have also had other job offers for gunsmithing. The knowledge that you learn is priceless. Penn Foster is an excellent school.

Kenny B, Gunsmith Career Diploma Graduate

We make sure you have everything you need:

  • Graduate debt free with 0% interest
  • Books and learning aids included
  • Study Planner App to customize your study plans and keep track of your progress
  • Instructional support from our world-class faculty
  • Access 24/7 to Penn Foster’s online campus, plus immediate membership in the Gunsmith academic group
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

Are there any online resources for Gunsmith students that Penn Foster recommends?

The American Gunsmithing Institute offers a wide selection of videos. Some are free, but some require a fee. You can get more information at AGI - American Gunsmithing Institute.

Where can Gunsmith students receive hands-on training?

The best ways for Gunsmith students to receive hands-on training is through work with their own firearms or by volunteering with their local gun club or shop.

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