The American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is a private postsecondary education institute and online gunsmithing school that are unique among the many similar schools that are found in the country. This is because it provides home-based educational tools on gunsmithing through its extensive catalog of Video Courses. These courses are available either as “e-lessons” (online video tutorials) or through DVDs that are sent to students who enrol in their gunsmithing courses. AGI is headed by Gene Kelly and it is situated at 351 Second Street, Napa, California 94559. It is authorized to operate by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) of the State of California.
The main advantage that AGI provides for its gunsmithing students is its comprehensive and wide-ranging array of gunsmithing subjects. They cover virtually every type of firearm as well as the various popular guns that exemplify each category. AGI also offer specialized courses that seasoned gunsmiths can take up to augment and improve their skills, or hobbyists who are eager to learn more about their favorite firearms. Another great advantage that AGI has over rival online gunsmithing schools is that its typical gunsmith certification course can be finished in only three months’ time, or more than 108 hours of video instruction. At this short time, students can study everything that need to learn about pistols, shotguns, rifles, and everything associated with them, as well as their maintenance, general design, and function.
Students who take part in AGI’s video courses are taught by three professional and certified gunsmiths who are recognized and respected in their chosen gunsmithing fields: Robert “Bob” Dunlap, Gene Shuey, and Darrell Holland. They hold years of extensive knowledge and practical know-how in building, repairing, and customizing firearms. They deliver their video courses in an easy-to-understand manner and they are presented in exceptional detail. Students in AGI’s online gunsmithing program can also select which classes would they like to include in their own custom curriculum, and they have the option to either take up a full gunsmithing certificate program or select any course that they like.
AGI’s considerable course catalog is divided into distinctive categories ranging from new gunsmithing courses, fundamental firearm types, building and modifying specific kinds of firearms, general and advanced metal work, reloading, working on triggers, improving shooting technique, and working on specialized firearms such as cowboy-action guns, assault rifles, and machine guns. Each of the courses in turn are divided further into specific categories such as famed examples and brand names for each firearm type, kind of gun component, relative techniques for properly handling and cleaning them, and others. The list of available courses offered by AGI is so extensive that students can freely pick from each of the course categories to come up with their unique online gunsmithing program. However, for beginners, AGI gives them introductory lessons that can help them get through their gunsmithing course. For example, a one-hour starting Professional Gunsmithing Course lesson will involve studies on stopping jams and ensuring proper feed on an auto pistol, measuring the needed “range” in a Smith and Wesson revolver pistol, how the Colt AR-15 gas mechanism works, how to do trigger repair work on an AR-7, and many more.
Apart from the Professional Gunsmithing course, AGI also offers courses on Disassembly/Reassembly (D/R) as well as Armorer’s Courses. The former helps students master the whole D/R process in a progressive manner, while the latter adds D/R with repair and maintenance work. These two courses are provided for each of the 51 guns that are included in AGI’s programs. They are available for $19.97, along with shipping and handling charges.
The tuition for the complete AGI Professional Gunsmith Certification Program is about $700, depending on the specific kinds of courses that you included with it. An individual course starts at $39.95; their price depends on their length and general difficulty. Some courses are bundled together into “packs” while some cover a complete gunsmithing program. You can test out AGI’s video courses by first signing up for 21 free gunsmithing video mini-lessons. If you are satisfied with what you saw, you can continue on by signing up for a full-time professional gunsmith certification course, or by choosing first from the AGI catalog and video lesson sampler that the institute will send to you. If by any reason you are not satisfied with any of the courses, AGI has its “100% Bulletproof Guarantee” where students can get back their money (minus shipping fees) when they send back their DVDs to the institute within 90 days of buying them.
The AGI Gunsmithing Certification Program provides an extensive gunsmith curriculum that can be taken at home and be completed in as short as three months’ time. However, it does not give its students practical knowledge on its many courses, as well as expert supervision and evaluation from an expert gunsmithing instructor. And just like any online gunsmithing school, AGI does not give its students a facility where they can attend laboratory classes, or basic gunsmithing tools, practice firearms, and machinery that the students will use (in short, the students would have to get them themselves). It also lacks a job placement service, but this is offset by the extensive number of courses and specializations that it offers, which helps its students master their gunsmithing field in the shortest time possible.
AGI can be found in the Internet at http://www.americangunsmith.com. You can contact the institute by calling its toll-free number at (800)797-0867, or via its local number at (707)253-0462. You can also get in touch in them through fax at (707)253-7149. If you want to place a video lesson order, you can e-mail its Sales and Support department at [email protected]. If you want to sign up for AGI’s Professional Gunsmith Course, go to http://www.americangunsmithinginstitute.org/offer/?ad=agiweb and fill up the necessary fields that you will find on that page.