The Handloaders Bench Home
Home Search search Menu menu Not logged in - Login | Register
The Handloaders Bench > Gun Smithing > Smithing > Penn Foster Gunsmith course

Welcome to HandloadersBench.com. You will receive a activation email with a link in it to activate your account. If you don't receive the email check your spam or junk folders. Email servers look at our email as spam. Our mission here is to provide a place for those interested in the hobby of Reloading Ammunition. We offer a series of forums where they can ask questions, share answers, and highlight successes & failures so that others can learn. If you join our site please be aware that front porch rules apply. If you wouldn't say it on your front porch with grandma, your pastor and your 12 year old niece present it doesn't belong here. The Golden Rule applies. If you can live within those guidelines, Welcome Aboard! Spammers, trolls, and flamers will not last long here, your time would be better spent looking for a board where those traits are acceptable. HB Administration

Penn Foster Gunsmith course
 Moderated by: Poacher, DesertMarine
 New Topic   Reply   Printer Friendly 
 Rate Topic 
AuthorPost
 Posted: Fri Nov 18th, 2016 03:28 AM
   PM  Quote  Reply 
1st Post
Jeremy McLean
Junior Member
 

Joined: Tue May 17th, 2016
Location: Co. Springs, Colorado USA
Posts: 27
Photo: 
Are you a handloader?: Yes
Favorite type of cartridge to load?: rifle
My favorite chambering is:: 30-06
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

I'll admit that I've been reluctant to tell all that I completed this course on this forum or any other web site for that matter because I value my privacy most of all. Here I am doing it any way because I get asked all the time what my opinion of it is and I suppose that I need to stop being a hermit and pass on my knowledge.

First I'll say that I graduated from this course with a 98% GPA and completed it in a month and a half.

I asked others who had taken the same type of course for some feed back about their experience and only had one solid response from a friend of mine who had indeed taken an online gunsmith course long before I even enrolled. He told me that the he thought it would be a good fit for me given the fact I have more than 21 years of experience in the ARMY and I am mechanic by trade with 90% of the tools necessary to make the change to become a gunsmith rather easy. Moreover I'm tired of back breaking work so I took his advice and ran with it.

There were several factors that influenced my decision to take this on line correspondence course instead of a residential course.

1. The cost for tuition was the biggest factor. It was less than $1000 and I live on a fixed income as a retiree. A resident course like Trinidad community college for example will cost well over $25,0000 so you do the math.

2. I would have had to relocate and that wasn't an option for me because my wife was expecting.

3. I already had most of the tools and mechanical experience necessary.

4. It's a self paced correspondence course.

5. The school helps veterans.

I had a pleasant experience with this school. Additionally I will tell anyone who's listening if you are just starting out in life with no experience at all seriously consider attending a resident course at some of the colleges that offer this program. It isn't a program that specializes in one particular type of firearm. It is generalized so in other words it covers the basics and you receive a diploma.

Now that all of this has been said. I will advise any one considering an online gunsmith correspondence course weigh all of the pro's and cons carefully and then make an informed decision.



____________________
Jeremy

"Necessity is the mother of all inventions."


 Posted: Fri Nov 18th, 2016 02:20 PM
   PM  Quote  Reply 
2nd Post
BEAR
Senior Member
 

Joined: Mon Oct 12th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 5280
Photo: 
Are you a handloader?: Yes
Favorite type of cartridge to load?: I load everything!
My favorite chambering is:: 260 ...
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

Good luck on your career or hobby.

Most of places like Penn foster have what is called a "diploma Course' meaning they give you a piece of paper or a so called 'certificate'. Unfortunately many of these places are limited training; and the diploma is just a piece of paper; not sufficient to meet state licensing boards.

Will your state Colorado except the Penn Foster 'diploma' for getting a state Gunsmith License?

Gunsmithing is really just a highly skilled machinist trade; you might want to get some precision lathe and milling hands-on training to supplement your on-line stuff.



 Posted: Fri Nov 18th, 2016 02:54 PM
   PM  Quote  Reply 
3rd Post
RobertMT
Master Handloader


Joined: Sat Jan 17th, 2009
Location: Columbia Falls, MT
Posts: 5736
Photo: 
Are you a handloader?: Yes
Favorite type of cartridge to load?: rifle
My favorite chambering is:: 270wsm ...
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

I would look at what you want to do, with your training. A friend, several years ago, was offered "retraining" when mill, downsized. He chose gunsmithing and went to school in CO, probably Trinidad. He moved down there, for couple years, to complete course and came back to find gunsmithing job. Course taught him a lot, but no CNC courses, every where he applied, was looking for either experienced or someone with CNC experience. He finally ended up doing some hobby gunsmithing and find another job.

On the other hand, kid from work, fresh out of HS, took CNC classes and found job, second place he applied for. Barrel maker has since been bought out and moved out of town, but he readily found another CNC job.



____________________
Fake news sites = sources of information, not censored by those currently in power.

MSM = sources of misinformation, approved by those currently in power.

It's only a conspiracy theory, if it's not true.

Citizens are armed, subjects aren't.


 Posted: Fri Nov 18th, 2016 11:20 PM
   PM  Quote  Reply 
4th Post
Jeremy McLean
Junior Member
 

Joined: Tue May 17th, 2016
Location: Co. Springs, Colorado USA
Posts: 27
Photo: 
Are you a handloader?: Yes
Favorite type of cartridge to load?: rifle
My favorite chambering is:: 30-06
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

The State of Colorado doesn't require a License to be a Gunsmith however an FFL is or you can work under someone else's FFL.

I have been addressing the short comings that you guys have identified with the program. For example I've contacted AGI the American Gunsmith Institute to possibly fill those voids again this is only a possible solution and not my only resource. I've also looked at the machinist curriculum for Trinidad community college, The Colorado School of Trades and Pikes Peak community college. If I decide go with community college route I'll most likely stay local. I only need to polish those skills anyway and I like to make informed decisions.

I realized very quickly when I first started to explore all of the Educational institutions that offered the gunsmith course that almost all of them are privately
owned and do not accept the GI Bill In all of its forms only a select few do.

I've also found a mentor here locally which is a really big help.



____________________
Jeremy

"Necessity is the mother of all inventions."


 Posted: Sat Nov 19th, 2016 02:31 AM
   PM  Quote  Reply 
5th Post
RobertMT
Master Handloader


Joined: Sat Jan 17th, 2009
Location: Columbia Falls, MT
Posts: 5736
Photo: 
Are you a handloader?: Yes
Favorite type of cartridge to load?: rifle
My favorite chambering is:: 270wsm ...
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

Many of the "schools" don't accept GI bill, because GI bill won't certify them. I'm certain that many of the schools are OK, but I would be more careful on uncertified ones. A diploma/certificate is only as good as schools reputation.

A mentor or ability to work under someone, is far more useful/valuable, than a piece of paper.



____________________
Fake news sites = sources of information, not censored by those currently in power.

MSM = sources of misinformation, approved by those currently in power.

It's only a conspiracy theory, if it's not true.

Citizens are armed, subjects aren't.


 Posted: Sat Nov 19th, 2016 07:07 PM
   PM  Quote  Reply 
6th Post
Jeremy McLean
Junior Member
 

Joined: Tue May 17th, 2016
Location: Co. Springs, Colorado USA
Posts: 27
Photo: 
Are you a handloader?: Yes
Favorite type of cartridge to load?: rifle
My favorite chambering is:: 30-06
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

You're absolutely right. This is the reason why I started this post to inform others of my experiences so they can learn from it the easy way and not the hard way.



____________________
Jeremy

"Necessity is the mother of all inventions."


 Posted: Sun Nov 20th, 2016 01:41 PM
   PM  Quote  Reply 
7th Post
BEAR
Senior Member
 

Joined: Mon Oct 12th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 5280
Photo: 
Are you a handloader?: Yes
Favorite type of cartridge to load?: I load everything!
My favorite chambering is:: 260 ...
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

So many 'junk' schools out there just trying to make a quick buck, that Feds are now very sceptical about permitting Federal loan/grants to just anyone that says "we educate".

To get Fed money/bank loans/GI Bill a school has to prove: it has at least 80% of graduates get gunsmithing jobs and that their curriculum permits State Licensing.

Quality gunsmithing schools no longer take "hobbyist" or senior retire people that just want to work out of basements for cheap. Those people still count in the Fed process and reduce the number of bonafide placements.

Check Pennsylvania Gunsmithing School, great program. and they have been around since the early '60. They take GI Bill and Fed Loan programs.

http://www.pagunsmith.edu/faq.php

Gunsmithing isn't a highly monetary rewarding career; so check out the $$$ before spending your time and money. Make sure the $$$ fit your desires.



 Posted: Sun Nov 20th, 2016 06:29 PM
   PM  Quote  Reply 
8th Post
Jeremy McLean
Junior Member
 

Joined: Tue May 17th, 2016
Location: Co. Springs, Colorado USA
Posts: 27
Photo: 
Are you a handloader?: Yes
Favorite type of cartridge to load?: rifle
My favorite chambering is:: 30-06
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

Have you or anyone else attended a gunsmith course?

Resident, correspondence or otherwise?

If so what was the result of your experience?

Was it good, bad or were you indifferent to the experience and why?

I'd like to hear someone else's first hand experience as I'm sure some of the others would.

Your thread is a great resource to another great school I'm sure but I wouldn't know because I didn't attend that school.

Keep the positive information coming.



____________________
Jeremy

"Necessity is the mother of all inventions."


 Posted: Mon Nov 28th, 2016 04:56 PM
   PM  Quote  Reply 
9th Post
Jeremy McLean
Junior Member
 

Joined: Tue May 17th, 2016
Location: Co. Springs, Colorado USA
Posts: 27
Photo: 
Are you a handloader?: Yes
Favorite type of cartridge to load?: rifle
My favorite chambering is:: 30-06
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

That's interesting no responses 8 days which leads me to believe that all of the facts and data posted by others was completely without any personal experience.



____________________
Jeremy

"Necessity is the mother of all inventions."


 Posted: Tue Nov 29th, 2016 05:04 PM
   PM  Quote  Reply 
10th Post
BEAR
Senior Member
 

Joined: Mon Oct 12th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 5280
Photo: 
Are you a handloader?: Yes
Favorite type of cartridge to load?: I load everything!
My favorite chambering is:: 260 ...
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

Good luck Jeremy. You know what they say about horses and water. over and out.



 Posted: Sun Dec 11th, 2016 10:48 PM
   PM  Quote  Reply 
11th Post
president100
Full Member


Joined: Wed Feb 27th, 2013
Location: Wisconsin USA
Posts: 349
Photo: 
Are you a handloader?: Yes
Favorite type of cartridge to load?: I load everything!
My favorite chambering is:: 257 Roberts ...
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

RobertMT wrote
A mentor or ability to work under someone, is far more useful/valuable, than a piece of paper.


Huge plus one there! You will learn far better and more practical do's and don'ts than Any school will teach you. Having that piece of paper is a plus in many folks eyes nowadays but when the rubber meets the road it is real world experience.
Gunsmith-part mechanic, part machinist, part artist, part metal fab, part carpenter...



____________________
"When the hammer drops the BS stops."

"Don't let them beat you down with their inexperience."

You won't know until You Actually try it.

"The impossible just takes longer".


 Posted: Tue Dec 13th, 2016 04:07 AM
   PM  Quote  Reply 
12th Post
Poacher



Joined: Sun Aug 14th, 2005
Location: Kansas USA
Posts: 1982
Photo: 
Are you a handloader?: Yes
Favorite type of cartridge to load?: I load everything!
My favorite chambering is:: everything.
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

Jeremy,

Glad you're here at the bench and I'm sure you will find some very knowledgeable folks here that have years of gunsmithing one way or the other. Furthermore some of the posters here while they may not have attended a course have knowledge of someone who has like "RobertMT" and relate what they saw.
A few others like "bear" have a lot of information about what to look for as far as accreditation so you're money gives you the best return on investment. If you nose around here I'm sure you'll find a few of our posters who also might have some more info for you.
It sounds like you are getting a grasp on what you might want to do which is great because there are so many pitfalls. My part of the suggestions would be to look towards the cnc and traditional machining since you can always use those skills towards the smithing part.

Wish you the best
Take care Be safe Poacher.



____________________
I carry my gun because that's the safest place for it.

it's very strange, in fact I've never seen it before, to see blinders on the wrong end of the horse. I fear your narrow view of things will serve you poorly. "Ghrit"


 Posted: Tue Dec 13th, 2016 04:47 AM
   PM  Quote  Reply 
13th Post
Jeremy McLean
Junior Member
 

Joined: Tue May 17th, 2016
Location: Co. Springs, Colorado USA
Posts: 27
Photo: 
Are you a handloader?: Yes
Favorite type of cartridge to load?: rifle
My favorite chambering is:: 30-06
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

Thank you for the positive reinforcement to what I'm trying to accomplish. I see that you read the entire post from the start. Rest assured that I take all the criticism, and information as positive. I take nothing personally.

I am waiting now for the approval from the VA for a machinist course that I have applied for. The biggest hurdle now is cutting through the red tape with the VA. Now its just a waiting game for me.

Thanks again



____________________
Jeremy

"Necessity is the mother of all inventions."


 Posted: Wed Dec 14th, 2016 02:10 AM
   PM  Quote  Reply 
14th Post
Poacher



Joined: Sun Aug 14th, 2005
Location: Kansas USA
Posts: 1982
Photo: 
Are you a handloader?: Yes
Favorite type of cartridge to load?: I load everything!
My favorite chambering is:: everything.
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

Excellent, I think the machinist course will serve you well and if you ask around here you will find a few old machinist's that can help you out.

Take care Be safe Poacher



____________________
I carry my gun because that's the safest place for it.

it's very strange, in fact I've never seen it before, to see blinders on the wrong end of the horse. I fear your narrow view of things will serve you poorly. "Ghrit"


 Posted: Wed Dec 21st, 2016 06:45 PM
   PM  Quote  Reply 
15th Post
Jeremy McLean
Junior Member
 

Joined: Tue May 17th, 2016
Location: Co. Springs, Colorado USA
Posts: 27
Photo: 
Are you a handloader?: Yes
Favorite type of cartridge to load?: rifle
My favorite chambering is:: 30-06
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

Much to my surprise I just received my Post 911 GI bill award letter in the mail. Damn that was fast. Now its up to me to choose the school. Next year I'll be relocating to Wisconsin near Milwaukee.



____________________
Jeremy

"Necessity is the mother of all inventions."


 Current time is 07:11 AM
The Handloaders Bench > Gun Smithing > Smithing > Penn Foster Gunsmith course
Top




UltraBB 1.17 Copyright © 2007-2008 Data 1 Systems
Page processed in 0.1807 seconds (11% database + 89% PHP). 28 queries executed.