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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey! First post in a long time, forgot about this good forum.

I'm from Australia and trying to get into gunsmithing. Unfortunatly for us there is not an entrenched or popular outdoors culture (but this is changing)

Wanting to be get involved in this shift I sought to develop my knoweldge but there are no smith schools in Australia (with the exeption of the army, which is off the cards) or finding a smith and getting <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]-->apprenticed (not ideal). I would like industry qualifications to work in the field to hopefully achive what I desire, a smith school in Aus.

I am looking and in need of a school in USA. I plan to be enrolled by 2014 (or in) if everything can be arranged.

I have of schools I was looking at,, (just one of the referenes I've used)

To me the choice is coming down to three schools:

TSJC Gunsmithing

Penn Gunsmith School
Pennsylvania Gunsmith School: Program Overview

Pine Tech
Gunsmithing Technology | Pine Technical College

Pine Tech appeals to me because my partner who I met last year works IA and lives in WI. Being close to her is pretty important too! I have heard good things from Penn/Trinidad. I have heard equally good things about Pine Tech but I have heard less about it. Can anybody give me any personal testimony to the quality of the school?

* Does it give a good practical eduction like Penn does?
* Is it of good repute?
* Are there any other schools that I should consider? Proximity to IA/WI would be nice but not essential.

I've many weeks of reading and consideration, this is not a random whim, I will be contacting the schools personally and I am curretnly saving all my pennies to finance the trip etc... but I really appreciate addtional feedback because I have very few people (if any) that can help me out in Australia!


3,939 Posts
Most of the Gunsmiths that I use are graduates of Pennsylvania School of Gunsmithing. I have visited their facility on a number of times. It is not an 'college setting'; but actuallya very large machine shop. their instruction is 95% hands on with lots of individual projects.

I have no experience with Pine Tech or any of its graduates.

Trinidad has a good reputation, but I'm not that familiar with it.

412 Posts
Hi Tristan,

I attended Trinidad for a two week course in machine shop. We turned, threaded and chambered a barrel to our action. Covered work that would have taken a semester to do with regular class. This was in the late 70s so no up to date information.

I do know that Trinidad has turned out some great custom gunsmiths. The school had their own stock duplicator and local shops that provided barrels and what ever we needed that the school didn't provided. They have a dorm and cafeteria on campus and the cost was reasonable. Trinidad is a small quiet town and not too far from the NRA facility in New Mexico. It is hard to get to Trinidad with limited transportation.

You need to pick a school based on what you want to do. If basic gun smithing is all you are interested in then any of the schools will do. If you want to be a custom stock maker or a custom metal worker or finisher, then you need to pick the school that offers the best in those disciplines. Don't forget to find out about the schools micro-welding facilities. Micro-welding gives you a big advantage for a lot of metal work. If you intend to build barrels or actions with CNC machines then pick a school that is strong in CNC training.

What I am saying is just don't pick the closest school. Pick the school that gives the best education in what you want to specialize.

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