There are four basic sections to the program at Yavapai College. You start off in the apprentice gunsmithing course and progress through to the master gunsmithing course. As is standard for gunsmithing schools, the apprentice gunsmithing course begins by giving you an overview of the basic gunsmithing skills. You will learn about safety concerns as well as basic machine and hand tool skills. The course also introduces you to computer ballistics software applications. At the end of the apprentice gunsmithing course, you will be able to use firearms, machine tools and bluing equipment safely. You will be able to identify and repair a number of rifle designs and be able to disassemble and reassemble various firearms. You will be able to complete a wood stock as well as be able to use ballistics software to develop ballistics data and research information.
The second section of the gunsmithing course is the journeyman gunsmithing course. In this course you will continue to study more advanced machine tool use and firearms applications. You will learn about the design, function and repair of shotguns, pistols and revolvers. You will also learn about the different firearms used in trap, skeet and sporting clays. At the end of this course, you will be able to maintain, repair and troubleshoot a variety of handguns and shotguns. You will also be able to customize a number of different shotguns and you should be able to operate a number of machine tools such as a vertical mill, precision grinder and a dividing head. You will also be expected to design and make a classic rifle stock from scratch and to identify trap, skeet and sporting clays firearms.
The next section of the course is the professional gunsmithing course. In this course you will learn even more advanced gunsmithing skills. You will learn about action modification and compensator theory as well as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms rules and regulations governing firearms. The course will introduce you to advanced tooling operations and how to modify break action shotguns. The course will also teach you about dealing with aftermarket handgun components. You’ll learn how to assemble, fit and tune these aftermarket components. After completing this course you are expects to be able to identify violations of the rules and regulations set by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. You should also be able to extensively customize pistols and revolvers and break action shotguns. You will also be able to maintain and repair these shotguns. In addition to these skills, you will also know how to install barrels on a number of different rifles safely.
The final section of the Yavapai College gunsmithing course is the master gunsmithing course. In this section you will continue to develop and master various gunsmithing and metal skills. The top gunsmithing schools offer various non-technical skills and the Yavapai College is no different. The main focus of this course is to learn various skills that are necessary to run your own business. After completing this section of the gunsmithing course, you will be able to develop a business plan so that you can apply for a small business loan. You will also be able to use demographics to help sell your business plan to the bank. You will have the ability to accurately price the services that your gun shop will provide as well as use marketing tools such as brochures and ads. The last section will also teach you how to communicate effectively with customers and vendors and how to develop a portfolio. The portfolio will include a resume, photos and finished work.
The course content for this school is similar to other gunsmithing schools. There is a heavy focus on practical work in this course and its practical content compared to theory classes compares favorably with other traditional gunsmithing schools. You are expected to be present approximately six hours a day to complete this course.
The cost of the two year program is $670 per semester for Arizona students, $1080 per semester for western states and $3,500 per semester for all other states. The cost of equipment and tools will depend on any tools that you already have but you should expect to pay around $3000 for the necessary equipment to complete the course.
Compared to other gunsmithing schools, Yavapai College is a good choice. The cost and the skills learned rank close to a number of other gunsmithing schools and it has a good reputation. It has been ranked as one of the top three gunsmithing schools for a number of years and it delivers the skills necessary to not only become a skilled gunsmith but also to be able to run your own gunsmithing business. All in all this would be a good choice for someone interested in learning to become a gunsmith.