10 Best Online Gunsmithing Schools In 2022

If you work with guns, you will need to purchase and obtain a license for that firearm. You may also choose not to buy a firearm and learn how to manufacture guns through online gunsmithing schools.

These institutions offer gunsmithing as an online program. Students can enroll and study from the comfort of their homes.

While taking the program, students will learn how to assemble, maintain, clean, repair, and customize all types of firearms. In addition, they will have a comprehensive knowledge of the safety laws governing the buying, selling, and usage of firearms in each country especially the U.S.

The gunsmithing program takes less than six (6) months to complete. Upon successful completion, they acquire a certificate or diploma and can sit for any federal or state licensing exams. By acquiring a distance education from gunsmithing schools, you will build a rewarding career from something that you really love.

So, if you like guns and wish to build a career from them, you should check out any of these online gunsmithing schools in this article.

Meanwhile, look through the table of contents for an overview of what to expect in this article.

Who is a Gunsmith?

A gunsmith is a skilled tradesperson who designs, manufactures, modifies, and repairs a wide range of firearms. Gunsmiths may also carry out creative works including metal engraving and woodcarving.

The job description of gunsmiths varies depending on their specialization and employer. Gunsmiths are mainly employed by firearms manufacturers, military and law-enforcement agencies, gun shops, and sporting goods stores.

The main duties of gunsmiths include:

  • Assembling and dissembling firearms
  • Removing corrosion from metal gun parts
  • Repairing damaged firearms
  • Inspecting, cleaning, and lubricating guns
  • Replacing barrels and firing mechanisms
  • Correcting headspace of guns and cartridges
  • Adding custom or aftermarket parts including swivels, recoil pads, sights, scopes, grips, and stocks.

Finally, gunsmiths must possess certain skills including metalwork, woodwork, parts fabrication, ability to operate machinery, attention to detail, mathematics, and chemistry.

Are online gunsmithing courses worth it?

Yes. An online gunsmithing program is more affordable when compared to in-person trade schools or community colleges. Another reason is that you will not have to relocate as you will be taking classes online from the comfort of your home or office.

In addition, online gunsmithing schools offer a flexible curriculum that enables students to combine work and family commitments with their studies.

How long will it take me to become a gunsmith online?

Online gunsmithing programs do not have the requirements of on-campus gunsmithing programs. The curriculum of online programs covers several theoretical principles and concepts on ballistics, ammunition, metalwork, different types of firearms, and basic tool usage.

Generally, it will take you between three (3) months to one year to complete an online gunsmithing program.

Are gunsmiths in demand?

Gunsmiths are always in demand throughout the year. Graduates with degrees in gunsmithing can find entry-level jobs in factories that manufacture firearms. They can also find jobs in the armories of law enforcement or military agencies.

According to DegreeDirectory, the demand for gunsmiths is projected to be steady in the future. The manufacture and repair of firearms are projected to increase gradually between 2011 and 2021 according to the Department of Labor.

How much can I make as a gunsmith?

The salaries of gunsmiths vary depending on their position of employment and years of experience. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of gunsmiths is $31,910 per year.

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If you wish to earn a higher salary as a gunsmith, you will have to practice for many years as an apprentice with a firearms manufacturer or in a machine shop.

Read: Top 15 Gunsmithing schools in the USA | Cost, Requirements, Accreditation

Where can I find gunsmithing jobs?

If you are thinking about becoming a Gunsmith, perhaps you are wondering where your talents will be most useful.

The first place is working as a gun manufacturer. In addition, there are lots of career possibilities where you may apply your certificate and expertise in gunsmithing besides working in a firearms store. Aside from this, you can own your own shop. 

As a gunsmith, you can become a machinist and apply your knowledge in gunsmithing, when needed. Basically, a machinist is responsible for assembling, repairing, or maintaining machinery. An apt knowledge of how to cut and shape materials to meet various needs is just what you need.

You can also become an Engineering Technologist with your knowledge as a gunsmith. This might in some way require extra learning but it will be worth it. Engineering Technologists are tasked with the duties of assisting engineers or scientists in the design of new tools or products. You will most likely need a degree in civil, electrical, or mechanical engineering to work on projects in this capacity.

The Best Online Gunsmithing Schools

Below is a list of the best online gunsmithing schools. These online schools were selected from other institutions based on the complexity of the gunsmithing curriculum, financial aid, nature of the gunsmithing coursework, online availability, skillset, entrepreneurship as a self-employed Gunsmith, and accreditation.

Therefore, the best online gunsmithing schools are as follows:

  • Penn Foster Career School
  • Sonoran Desert Institute
  • American Gunsmithing Institute
  • Modern Gun School
  • Ashworth College

1. Penn Foster Career School

Penn Foster Career School is a private distance vocational school in the U.S. that was founded in 1890. Over the years, the institute has been offering gunsmithing training to students.

Currently, Penn Foster offers an online diploma program in gunsmithing. During the program, students learn about gun safety, firearm assembly & disassembly, and restoration of an antique firearm.

Students also learn how to customize gun stock for specific purposes including mounting scope, precision rifle competition, basic metalworking, handloading ammunition, metal finishing, machine tool operation, and history of handguns and rifles.

Penn Foster’s coursework help students prepare to sit for the Federal Firearms License exam. The online program can be completed within three (3) months.

If you wish to apply to Penn Foster, you will have to be at least 17 years of age and submit educational transcripts of at least 8th grade.

Penn Foster offers flexible payment options such as interest-free monthly payments. The tuition fee for the online gunsmithing program is $695 and it covers books, industry guides, and complete instructions for acquiring a Federal Firearms License.

After completing the program, graduates can work in gun repair shops, sporting goods stores, target rages, firearms manufacturers, law enforcement agencies, and the military. This makes Penn Foster one of the best online gunsmithing schools.

The institution is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council, the Commission on Secondary of the Middle States Association of Colleges, and the International Association for Continuing Education and Training.


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2. Sonoran Desert Institute

Sonoran Desert Institute is a private online for-profit institution in Scottsdale, Arizona that was established in 2000. 

The institute offers online gunsmith programs including Associate of Science in Firearms Technology, Advanced Gunsmithing Certificate, Advanced Armorer Courses, and Ballistics and Reloading Certificate.

It takes four semesters (16 weeks) to complete the associate degree while the certificate programs can be completed in less time. Students may choose to enroll in the certificate programs first and go on to pursue the associate degree at a later time.

The institution ships textbooks, study guides, a cleaning kit, and a wide variety of tools to students. These materials help them to acquire hands-on experience in the design, repair, and maintenance of firearms.

To enroll in Sonoran Desert Institute, applicants will submit an online application, official high school or GED transcripts, and a statement of eligibility in handling firearms.

The tuition fees at the institution are as follows;

  • $20,080 — Associate of Science in Firearms Technology
  • $10,630 — Advanced Gunsmithing Certificate
  • $1,250 — Ballistics and Reloading Certificate
  • $595 not including $295 per credit hour — Firearm Technology Individual/Optional Courses

Sonoran Desert Institute is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education, and National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.


3. American Gunsmithing Institute

American Gunsmithing Institute is one of the top online gunsmithing schools in the U.S. It offers several online courses for both hobbyists and professional gunsmiths. The institute also offers certification in gunsmithing.

American Gunsmithing Institute offers over 108 hours of online training in gunsmithing where students learn how to design and repair pistols, revolvers, rifles, and shotguns. The online courses are offered in a video format by renowned gunsmiths. Students can choose their own curriculum, do the entire program, or pursue specific courses.

AGI’s online gunsmith program can be completed within three (3) months.


4. Modern Gun School

Modern Gun School is a private online institution in Wilmington, Delaware that was established in 1946. The institution is widely recognized for training many professional gunsmiths thereby making it one of the best online gunsmithing schools.

Modern Gun School offers an online diploma gunsmith program that teaches students how to design, repair, maintain, and troubleshoot guns. The institution offers two gunsmith courses including advanced master gunsmithing and basic gun repair.

In the advanced master gunsmithing course, students are trained to become professional gunsmiths that will go on to run their own gunsmith business. It comprises 65 lessons and 7 projects.

The basic gun repair course is a short version of the Advanced Gunsmithing course and is designed for people who do not want to become professional gunsmiths. It comprises 31 lessons and 4 practical projects.

If you wish to enroll in Modern Gun School, you will have to submit an application online, official high school or GED transcripts, a completed Enrollment Agreement, and the initial program down payment (part of tuition).

The tuition fee includes $1,999 with Plan A (full payment), $2,099 with Plan B (higher monthly payments), and $2,199 (lower monthly payments).

Modern Gun School is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and Distance Education Accrediting Commission.


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5. Ashworth College

Ashworth College is a private for-profit online college in Norcross, Georgia that was established in 1987.

The institution is one of the best online gunsmithing schools as it offers a diploma in gunsmithing that focuses on short guns and rifles. Here, students learn how to clean, assemble & disassemble, inspect, and maintain firearms through Ashworth’s comprehensive 19 lessons.

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The acceptance rate of Ashworth College is 100%. Ashworth also offers affordable monthly payment plans for as low as $49 per month, family tuition discounts, and student referral bonuses. The tuition fee for the online gunsmithing program is $754.

Upon graduation, students receive a one-year Silver Membership in the Gun Club of America ($299.50 value). The Gun Club of America is a national fraternity for firearm enthusiasts. Additionally, graduates can work at firearm dealerships, hunting or sports shops, armory management companies, or operate a gunsmith business.

Ashworth College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and Distance Education Accrediting Commission.


Frequently Asked Questions on Online Gunsmithing School

Is gunsmithing a good career?

Yes. Gunsmithing careers give you exciting opportunities to work with firearms in different ways. In the course of your work, you may find yourself creating, repairing, customizing, and designing a variety of guns. Careers in gunsmithing can prove rewarding and fascinating.

Where can I learn to be a gunsmith?

We’ve listed some top schools online where you can learn to become a gunsmith. In addition to the schools already listed, here are some other schools offline where you can also become a gunsmith.

  • Sonoran Desert Institute.
  • American Gunsmithing Institute.
  • Modern Gun School.
  • Ashworth College.
  • Penn Foster Career School

What is the best online gunsmithing school?

Interestingly, the same schools noted for being the best offline are also the same online. Therefore, the best online gunsmithing schools are as follows:

  • Penn Foster Career School
  • Sonoran Desert Institute
  • American Gunsmithing Institute
  • Modern Gun School
  • Ashworth College

What is the average salary of a gunsmith?

According to ziprecruiter.com, different gunsmiths earn salaries according to their level of experience. Junior gunsmiths earn between $2000 to $45,000. But senior personnel get paid up to $58,000 annually. On average, a senior gunsmith earns $4,833 every month.

What is an FFL?

FFL simply means Federal Firearms License. A federal firearms license does not authorize you to carry a gun. It only authorizes you to sell, perform maintenance or make repairs to them.

Does a gunsmith need an FFL?

To work as a gunsmith, you need a federal firearms license. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) are all supposed to be licensed in order to be regulated. 

Please note that a federal firearms license does not authorize you to carry a gun. It only authorizes you to sell, perform maintenance or make repairs to them.


Turning your hobby into a money-making venture is a good move for people who like working with guns. Before starting the venture, you will need to gain comprehensive training in the design, assembly, maintenance, and repair of all types of firearms.

If you do not have the time and money to enroll in traditional gunsmithing classes, enrolling in online classes is the right move for you. You can enroll in any of the top online gunsmithing schools that are provided in this article and start your journey right away.


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