Gunsmithing

gunsmithing

In Piedmont Technical College's Gunsmithing Program, you'll learn the skills you need to be a professional Gunsmith. The Gunsmithing program consists of an introductory and an advanced certificate and is the only one of its kind in South Carolina.

A Career in Gunsmithing

The firearms industry in the United States is booming, and gun sales are at an all-time high. This high level of interest creates an opportunity for people with an interest in firearms and the right set of skills and knowledge to provide a valuable and lucrative service to gun owners.

Hunters, sportsmen, collectors and firearms enthusiasts all need the services of experienced gunsmiths to repair and customize their favorite firearms. That means there's a big demand for skilled professionals to keep the weapons working well.

Gunsmiths repair and modify firearms to blueprint and customer specifications. In their work, gunsmiths use hand tools and machines such as lathes, mills, surface grinders and buffers. They may restore antique guns, convert old rifles to up-to-date firearms or adapt factory-made rifles to the special needs of customers. Many gunsmiths are self-employed, and some work for gun manufacturers or sporting goods stores. 

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What Will I Do as a Gunsmith?

In Piedmont Technical College's Gunsmithing program - the only one of its kind in South Carolina - you'll learn the skills you need to be a professional gunsmith.

Students completing the program will have gained the knowledge and confidence to set up a gunsmithing shop or become employed by a company that requires this type of skill.

Some of your responsibilities may require you to:

  • Make custom modifications to pistols, revolvers and shotguns
  • Work with hand tools and basic machine tools, including drill presses, bench grinders and the lathe
  • Utilize metal polishing and metal refinishing techniques to refurbish firearms
  • Complete custom barrel-fitting, chambering and action alterations
  • Inlet, shape and finish custom rifle stocks
  • Test and compare finished work pieces to specifications

Career Quick Facts

Career Outlook
  • Median Salary Average:  $56,940
  • SC Salary Range:  $33,590 - $83,570
  • Placement Rate:  93%
Entry Level Positions
  • Gunsmith I
  • Journeyman Gunsmith
  • Armorer
  • Ammunition Specialist
  • Manufacturing Action Assembler
  • Retail Gun Sales
  • Field Gun Sales Rep
  • Self-Employment

Program Information

The gunsmithing program at Piedmont Technical College offers two certificates - Introduction to Gunsmithing and Advanced Gunsmithing.

The introduction certificate will provide the novice gunsmith experience with hand tools, blueprint reading, schematic understanding, basic machine tool operations and the nomenclature used in gunsmithing.

The advanced certificate is designed for students who have completed the Introduction to Gunsmithing certificate. Instruction covers advanced metal finishing, custom barrel-fitting, modern stock refurbishing and more.

Students also can complete the associate degree, which is good for those who would like to either own their own business or gain employment with a major firearm manufacturer.

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Acknowledgements

Piedmont Technical College would like to thank the following organizations for their generous support of our gunsmithing program: 

  • National Rifle Association
  • NRA Foundation
  • Brownells
  • Midway USA
  • FN Manufacturing
  • National Wild Turkey Federation
  • Hornady Ammunition
  • Charter Arms
  • Friends of NRA, Greenwood Chapter
  • South Carolina Arms Collector Association
  • Blue Press Publishing
  • Mark Novack inc.
  • Hunters Headquarters
  • Montana Rifle Company
  • ER Shaw Barrel Company
  • Hogue Stocks
  • MJT Customs
  • Doug Turnbull Mfg.
  • Kokopelli Products
  • Legacy Arms Works

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