Modern Gun School (MGS) was created in 1946, making it the earliest continuously-operating home-based gunsmithing school in the U.S. and in the world. Throughout the years, the school produced professional gunsmiths who have gone on to run their gunsmith’s shops or have worked for many industries and companies. MGS’s reasonable home-based and personalized gunsmithing program offers students from any part of the world the opportunity to study gunsmithing and move on to potentially profitable gunsmithing careers. Its main advantage is that aside from a basic gun repair course, it also has an advanced Master Gunsmith course which enables its students to become proficient gunsmiths. This sets MGS apart from other competing gunsmithing schools that only offer introductory gunsmithing courses and programs. Other advantages of the MGS Gunsmithing Program include an all-inclusive course list that contains the latest gunsmithing information, DVD-based instruction supplemented with additional video links in the Internet, practice work that are afterwards checked by your own expert gunsmith teacher (which you will have as you continue on with the program), storage binders to keep your study materials, and finally, your own Gunsmithing Certificate that certifies you as a fully-recognized and –trained gunsmith.
MGS’s Gunsmithing Program is ideal for first-time students as well as seasoned gunsmiths who would like to add to their present experience and skills. The program is also intended to help those who are eager to focus on one of the many gunsmithing specializations. There are two types of gunsmithing courses in MGS, the Basic Gun Repair Course and the Advanced Master Gunsmith Course. The Basic Gun Repair Course is the school’s preliminary course which is open to any gun buff or collector; in it students are introduced to the gunsmithing profession. The course provides training on how to repair and maintain firearms. Gunsmiths can also join up with the course so that they can sharpen their gunsmithing skills more and acquire new knowledge in the process. The Advanced Master Gunsmith Course, on the other hand, is MGS’s more sought-after course because it gives a more comprehensive gunsmithing education. Aside from learning about fundamental gunsmithing and repair, students can learn how to manufacture, customize, and accurize firearms, and properly use machines and tools to accomplish their work.
The Basic Gun Repair Course is made up of 31 gunsmithing and repair lessons and 4 hands-on projects, with the lessons and projects divided up into 9 units. There is an Introduction and class on gunsmithing terminology at the start of the course, after which a student will undertake each succeeding unit and the lessons and projects that are found in each. Unit 1 covers Gunology, gun safety and regulations, the 38 Smith & Wesson Chief Special revolver and .45 Colt M-1911 pistol, among others. Unit 2 has lessons on the essentials of stock finishing and refinishing, bookkeeping, setting up your own workshop, and learning about the Ruger Automatic and Bearcat pistols. Unit 3 includes studies on the purchase and sale of guns, gun legislation and laws, taking care of your federal gun records, and the basics of checkering, as well as an introduction on the Daisy Air Rifle and Hi-Standard Sentinel Revolver. Unit 4 encompasses lessons on creating your very own workbench and gunsmith’s shop, effective public relations and marketing work, gunpowder and the theory of ballistics. Students will also acquaint themselves with the Remington M-572 and M-550 rifles as well as the Crosman 760 air rifle. At the end of this unit, students will undergo the first of four projects which is a stock finishing project and then continue on to the fifth Unit. This unit has subjects on the National Rifle Association (NRA), the history and development of firearms, guides on hand and measuring tools, and how to select the right kind of power tool and machinery for particular gunsmithing jobs. The weapons that are also included in this unit are the Beretta M-92F; the Remington M-66, M-514, and M-580/581/582 rifles; and the Marlin M-39A lever rifle. The unit concludes with the second project which is precision filing. Unit 6 includes training on lathe usage and understanding precision measuring instruments, setting up and repairing rifle and telescope sights, and soldering; students will also learn about the Winchester M-200 Series, Savage M-24 Combination, and Savage M-88 rifles. This unit closes with students taking up the third project on silver soldering. The seventh unit has as its subjects butt stock modification, stock refinishing, and recoil pads; bluing, how to instruct clients on choosing the right firearm for them (whether they are handguns, shotguns, or rifles); sights and scoping equipment, and learning the basics of hand loading. Students will also be accustomed to the Savage M-99, Remington M-700, and Winchester M-94 rifles. Unit 8 will feature gun service and job pricing; fundamental methods of gun and barrel repair; cleaning items such as lubricating supplies and equipment; kinds of actions; learning about the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI); and knowing all about dangerous gun and ammunition combinations. This unit also highlights the Remington M-760, M-740/742, and M-788 rifles and the Browning Hi-Power handgun. The ninth and last unit includes studies on barrel rebuilding, antique gun restoration, effective public relations, and the art of jewelling and polishing firearms; students will also be introduced to the Mauser M-98, Marlin M-336, and Winchester M-88 rifles, the Ithica M-37 shotgun, and the Glock 17 and Luger Automatic pistols. This unit, and the whole course, culminates with the fourth and last project which is on hand tool fabrication.
The Advanced Master Gunsmithing Course, meanwhile, is basically a continuation of the Basic Gun Repair Course but it trains MGS’s gunsmithing students to become expert gunsmiths by having them learn basically everything there is to know about the industry. In addition to the introductory course, this course has 8 more units that are made up of 34 lessons and 3 projects, for a total of 65 lessons and 7 projects. It starts where the basic course left off; Unit 14 includes the installation of handgun, center-fire rifle, and shotgun barrels, and learning about privately-held brand names and serial numbering. Unit 15 covers the varied tricks of the gunsmithing trade, accurizing the Colt .45 Automatic revolver, servicing and manufacturing muzzle-loading firearms, and studying about Noble shotguns and the M-1 Carbine rifle. Unit 16 encompasses lessons on the Savage M-11 0 rifle, the Remington M-11/48 or Mohawk 48 shotgun, the Crosman M-130 and Browning .22 LR semi-automatic pistols, and the Crosman M-140 air rifle. Unit 17 is made up of lessons on the Beretta Semi-Auto shotgun as well as the Springfield M-1903 and Remington 552 Semi-Auto rifles. In Unit 10, students will study, among other things, customized finishing and plating, polishing and jewelling, and bluing, as well as be acquainted with the Winchester M-12 and M-26A shotguns, the J.C. Higgins M-30 rifle, the Remington M-1100 shotgun, M-141 rifle, and M-870 shotgun. After this unit, students will need to complete two projects; namely, stone polishing and bluing preparation. Unit 11 will involve inletted stock shaping and fitting, customization, “sporterizing,” and accessorizing. The guns that will also be studied here are the Remington M-8 and 81 rifles; the Winchester M-1200 and M-1400 shotguns and M-05/07 and 10 rifles; the Stevens M-311 shotgun; the Mossberg M-500 shotgun; and the Remington M-721/722 rifle and M-31 shotgun. Unit 12 involves lessons on choosing between full-time or part-time gunsmithing, business administration, head spacing, and shotgun chambers, all interspersed with classes on the Winchester M-97 and Stevens M-94 shotguns. This unit ends with the seventh and final project which is micromanagement. Finally, Unit 33 covers studies on how to set rifle barrels and learning all about shotgun ribs, bores, and chokes.
MGS offers its Basic Gun Repair Course for $1,442 and its Advanced Master Gunsmithing Course for $1,742. Students, however, can avail of three methods that they can use to save on their tuition. The first is to pay their tuition in full; through this, they will avail a $300 discount for each course. For students who can’t avail of the full fee, they can choose two payment plans: In the first one, they can save $200 by making a downpayment of $49; they can then make monthly payments of $79, the duration of which can depend on which course they are taking (15 months with the last payment set at $8 for the basic course, and 18 months with the last payment set at $71 for the advanced course). The second payment plan will chop off $100 from the full tuition fee and it also requires an initial down payment of $49 for both courses; however, basic gunsmithing students will have to pay $59 spread throughout 21 months and spend $54 on the final payment, while advanced master gunsmithing students will pay $59 within the span of 27 months.
For additional information, one can visit the MGS website at http://www.moderngunrepair.com/ or send them an email at [email protected]. Its principal office is at 80 North Main Street, P.O. Box 846, St. Albans, Vermont; you can call the school at 1(800)493-4114. Its Student Service Center, on the other hand, is located at 1011 Brookside Road, Suite 110, P.O. Box 3773, Allentown, Pennsylvania 18106-0073. You can reach the center at (610)871-0103.