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Gunsmithing Degree

Gunsmithing explore imageThe first gunsmithing courses were designed and offered at Trinidad State in 1947 by P.O. Ackley. Since that time the program has developed into a two year Gunsmithing Degree Program that is designed to train individuals with the basic concepts and skills needed by the professional gunsmith. Coursework at the basic and advanced level includes: bench metal, machining operations, gun repair and stockmaking. A wide variety of specialized courses such as checkering, revolversmithing, competitive rifles, shotgunsmithing and pistolsmithing are also offered. All persons enrolled in the Gunsmithing Program must be able to legally own firearms.


  • Contact Laura at 719-846-5440 for details!
  • Application deadline for Fall semester (August start) is May 15th!
  • Application deadline for Spring semester (January start) is the last Friday in November!
  • Don't wait, space is limited and demand is high!

Ryan Newport imageTrinidad State College
Gunsmithing Department
600 Prospect Street 
Campus Box 331
Trinidad, CO 81082
800-621-8752



IMPORTANT:
Acceptance into the Gunsmithing School is determined on a point system criterion. If there are more applicants than space available, the applicants with the highest scores will be admitted first. If a space becomes available due to a student declining admission, the applicant with the next highest score will be contacted. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified and can reapply the next semester. Students who have been accepted but decline admissions must reapply if they would like to attend at a later date.

Gunsmithing AAS Degree

73 credit hours

Required General Education Courses
MAT 107 or above - 3
English 115, or 121 - 3
Nine credit hours from the following: Science, Social and
Behavior Science, Business, Accounting or Speech
TOTAL general education requirements - 15

Required Gunsmithing Elective Courses
Approved GUS elective courses to be selected from those courses marked * on Gunsmithing Program Course Catalog Descriptions (listed below).
TOTAL Gunsmithing Elective Requirements - 3

  FIRST SEMESTER  
Course  Name Credit Hours
GUS 100 Orientation & Firearms Safety .5
GUS 102 Introduction to Firearms 2
GUS 110 Firearms Bench Metal 5
GUS 112 Firearms Machine Shop I 5
WEL 135 TIG Welding for Gunsmiths 2
  General Education 3
  Semester Credits 17.5
  SECOND SEMESTER  
Course  Name Credit Hours
GUS 135 Firearms Conversion 5
GUS 136 Firearms Metal Finishing 2
GUS 139 Stock Duplication 2
GUS 127 Firearms Machine Shop II 4
BUS 121 Basic Workplace Skills 1
  General Education 6
  Semester Credits 20

  THIRD SEMESTER  
Course  Name Credit Hours
GUS 119 Stockmaking I 5
GUS 205 Firearms Machine Shop III 4
GUS 147 Firearms Repair I 5
  General Education 3
  Semester Credits 17

  FOURTH SEMESTER  
Course  Name Credit Hours
GUS 245 Stockmaking II 5
GUS 247 Firearms Repair II 7
GUS 265 Comprehensive Skills Evaluation .5
  General Education 3
  Semester Credits 15.5

REQUIRED ELECTIVE COURSES

  To be taken as appropriate
to student’s course work
3
  TOTAL Degree  Credits 73

Gunsmithing Certificate

53 credit hours

Required Gunsmithing Elective Courses
Approved GUS elective courses to be selected from those courses marked * on Gunsmithing Program 
Catalog Descriptions (listed below).
TOTAL Gunsmithing Elective Requirements - 3

  FIRST SEMESTER  
Course  Name Credit Hours
GUS 100 Orientation & Firearms Safety .5
GUS 102 Introduction to Firearms 2
GUS 110 Firearms Bench Metal 5
GUS 112 Firearms Machine Shop I 5
WEL 135 TIG Welding for Gunsmiths 2
  Semester Credits 14.5
  SECOND SEMESTER  
Course  Name Credit Hours
GUS 135 Firearms Conversion 5
GUS 136 Firearms Metal Finishing 2
GUS 139 Stock Duplication 2
GUS 127 Firearms Machine Shop II 4
BUS 121 Basic Workplace Skills 1
  Semester Credits 14

  THIRD SEMESTER  
Course  Name Credit Hours
GUS 119 Stockmaking I 5
GUS 205 Firearms Machine Shop III 4
GUS 147 Firearms Repair I 5
  Semester Credits 14

  FOURTH SEMESTER  
Course  Name Credit Hours
GUS 245 Stockmaking II 5
GUS 247 Firearms Repair II 7
GUS 265 Comprehensive Skills Evaluation .5
  Semester Credits 12.5

REQUIRED ELECTIVE COURSES

  To be taken as appropriate
to student’s course work
3
  TOTAL Degree  Credits 58

NRA Summer School’s Gunsmithing Technician Certificate - 16 credit hours

Tuition and Fees
Room and Board
  • Single Room with 19 meal plan
     Approximately $3964 per semester
  • Double Room with 19 meal plan
    $3450 per semester
Approximate Tool Cost

This is the approximate cost of tools needed for class for minimum quality tools purchased through the bookstore.

  • First semester $2,800
  • Second semester $1,500
  • Third semester $1,500
  • Fourth semester $500
    (These figures are estimates only and are subject to change.)

Required tools and materials for Gunsmithing AAS or Certificate programs

The list of required tools and supplies can be found at here. This list indicates prices and part numbers in effect at the Trinidad State College Bookstore. These prices are subject to change. These tools are available from many sources, in addition to Bookstore.

  • Recommended Tool Suppliers

    • Bookstore
      Trinidad State College
      (719) 846-5610
    • Brownells, Inc.
      200 South Front St.
      Montezuma, Iowa 50171
      (515) 623-5401
    • Jantz Supply
      309 West Main St.
      PO Box 584
      Davis, Oklahoma 73030-0584
      1-800-351-8900
    • J&L Industrial Supply
      31800 Industrial Rd
      Livonia, Michigan 48151-1820
      1-800-521-9520
    • MSC Industrial Supply Co
      http://www.mscdirect.com
      1-800-645-7270

Gunsmithing Course Catalog Descriptions

GUS 100
Orientation & Firearms Safety
.5 Credit
The first part of this course is an orientation into the gunsmithing program. The second part of the course will introduce the student to the basic principles of firearms safety. Completing students will receive an NRA home firearm safety certificate of completion.

GUS 102
Introduction to Firearms
2 Credits
Explores the history of firearms and ammunition, firearms design and the function of modern firearms.
CO/PREREQUISITE: GUS 100

GUS 110
Firearms Bench Metal
5 Credits
This course emphasizes shop safety and hand work, including: the proper use of measuring and hand tools, layout, drilling, sawing, filing, soldering, silver soldering, forging, heat treatment and hand polishing.
PREREQUISITE: GUS 100

GUS 112
Firearms Machine Shop I
5 Credits
Introduces theory and practice of shop safety, metalworking lathe, and milling machine operations. Students will demonstrate proper use of machine tools while making specialized gunsmithing tools.
CO/PREREQUISITE: GUS 100

GUS 119
Stockmaking I
5 Credits
Introduces stockmaking techniques for a bolt action rifle from semi-inletted blanks. The course will cover inletting the barrel and trigger guard, glass bedding, installing grip cap, recoil pad, fore-end tip, swivels, shaping, sanding and finishing.
PREREQUISITE: GUS 127, GUS 135, GUS 139

GUS 127
Firearms Machine Shop II
4 Credits
Continues the theory and practice of shop safety, metalworking lathe, and milling machine operations. Students will demonstrate proper use of machine tools while making specialized gunsmithing tools and fitting, chambering, and contouring a barrel for a bolt action rifle.
PREREQUISITE: GUS 112

GUS 135
Firearms Conversion
5 Credits
Examines various techniques for conversion of military rifle actions into customized sporter rifle actions. Bolt handles, safeties, iron sights, scope mounts, adjustable triggers, and trigger guard contouring and other custom conversions and accessories will be included.
PREREQUISITES: GUS 100, GUS 102, GUS 110, AND GUS 112

GUS 136
Firearms Metal Finishing
2 Credits
Focuses on the skills necessary to perform firearms bluing and parkerizing techniques. Topics include necessary equipment, chemical mixing procedures, and safety as they apply to hot caustic bluing, rust bluing, parkerizing and metal preparation.
PREREQUISITES: GUS 100 AND GUS 110

GUS 139
Stock Duplication
2 Credits
Introduces gunstock woods, stock layout, and basic stock duplicating machine operations. Students will sharpen chisels, design and cut a semi-inletted gunstock.
PREREQUISITES: GUS 100 AND GUS 110

GUS 147
Firearms Repair I
5 Credits
Explores firearms repair theory and practice. Topics include necessary tools, design, function, takedown, troubleshooting, assembly and repair of selected handguns, shotguns, and rifles.
PREREQUISITES: GUS 100, GUS 102, GUS 110 AND GUS 112

GUS 153
Ballistics and Handloading*
2 Credits
Course includes the discussion of interior ballistics, exterior ballistics, components and their manufacture, reloading equipment, rifle, handgun, and shot shell loading, bullet casting, and safety.

GUS 162
Gunstock Checkering*
2 Credits
Construction and use of checkering cradles, layout templates and tools. Layout and operation of hand and electric checkering tools.

GUS 201
Tools & Fixtures
2 Credits
Study and manufacture of tools: Milling Cutters, Taps, Dies and Reamers. Study and measurement of screw threads. Projects will include milling cutters, reamers, taps, and dies.
PREREQUISITE: GUS 112

GUS 205
Firearms Machine Shop III
4 Credits
Continues the study of machine tool operation with special emphasis on gunsmithing procedures. Course work includes safety, milling, lathe, and advanced barrel fitting and chambering.
PREREQUISITE: GUS 127

GUS 240
Shotgunsmithing*
2 Credits
This course is designed to give the advanced gunsmithing student the theories and principles of the post popular shotgun modifications. Emphasis will be placed on back boring, choke tubes, forcing cones, shotgun beads, and dent removal.
PREREQUISITES: GUS 110, GUS 112

GUS 245
Stockmaking II
5 Credits
Explores advanced stockmaking techniques for one and two piece gunstocks of both wood and synthetic materials. Techniques in glass bedding, gun fitting, installation of custom hardware and finishing techniques will also be studied.
PREREQUISITES: GUS 140

GUS 247
Firearms Repair II
8 Credits
Provides an advanced gunsmithing course in firearms repair theory and practice. Topics include design, function, takedown, troubleshooting, assembly and repair of selected shotguns, rifles, and handguns. Also included is the use of specialized tools and fixtures.
PREREQUISITE: GUS 147

GUS 250
Competitive Rifles*
2 Credits
This course will include the study of necessary modifications to convert the standard issue AR-15, into a match grade firearm.
PREREQUISITES: GUS 100, GUS 112

GUS 251 
Bolt Rifle Accuracy/Blueprinting*
2 Credits
This course will include the study of necessary modifications to convert the standard bolt action rifle into a varmint, bench rest, or match grade firearm.
PREREQUISITES: GUS 100, GUS 112

GUS 265
Comprehensive Skills Evaluation
.5 Credit
Provides a comprehensive evaluation of skills and knowledge attained after students have completed the Gunsmithing Program curriculum.
PREREQUISITE: Successful completion of all required GUS Classes

GUS 268
Custom Pistolsmithing*
3 Credits
This course is designed to teach the advanced gunsmithing student the principles necessary to modify a Colt, Government Model .45 auto (or its copies) into a competition firearm, as used in various shooting sports. Emphasis is on safety, reliability, accuracy and the fabrication and use of specialized tools, jigs, and fixtures.
PREREQUISITES: GUS 100, GUS 110, AND GUS 105

GUS 269
Custom Revolversmithing*
3 Credits
This course is designed to teach the advanced gunsmithing student the principles necessary to modify a revolver into a competition firearm. Emphasis is on safety, reliability, accuracy, and use of specialized tools, jigs and fixtures.
PREREQUISITES: GUS 100, GUS 110, GUS 105

 



Notes:
Random drug testing of Gunsmithing students may be required as permitted by college policy. Colorado law forbids any person under the age of 18 to possess a handgun. Students must be 18 years or older before the Gunsmithing courses they are enrolled in begin.


If you have questions about the Gunsmithing admissions process, please contact 800-621-8752.

Our Mission:
To prepare our students for employment as a gunsmith, providing them with a broad-based educational experience, which includes a balanced curriculum and practical hands-on education in the use of gunsmithing hand tools, gunsmithing machine tools, firearms repair, stockmaking, and customizing firearms.


Laura Gowen

Administrative Assistant
Berg 210
(719) 846-5440
Email

Gunsmithing brochure image