March Student Spotlight – Timothy Chad Davenport
I’ve always had an interest in firearms of all types, though my personal collection is not a lavish one. While the interest in a gunsmith course had been around in my mind for years, the last few months of 2018 were pretty tough on me. I knew that gunsmithing was something that I wanted to pursue but I didn’t know how to go about it or where to start. I commenced researching every gunsmith school I could find, not only MGS but any other online or distance learning school. I have a wife, two beautiful children, and leaving them for a traditional type of school was simply out of the question and I also have a full-time job. I can’t say for certain what made MGS stand out to me, but it just kept being my go-to when researching. I compared any other school to what MGS offered. One night, I told my wife I had found this gunsmith school and I really want to pursue it. I registered on my phone that night and the rest is as they say “history”. The next morning I started reading the material online, for a while I was finishing the written tests before the material came in the mail. I was definitely fired up and ready to go. The hands-on projects were fun. The MGS team was always ready and eager to assist if I needed support. The best story was the one of my dog eating my stock finishing project, true story, I even sent pictures to prove it. Thank you for including FFL123 kit in the school, which has been invaluable in obtaining an FFL. I have started my business, The Labascus Armory, named after the area where we live. We are working on finishing out a garage area that was built a few years ago which joins my wife’s hair salon, once complete we will have a small sales floor with the remainder of the space being used for gunsmith shop. It is with the sincerest appreciation that I thank Modern Gun School for helping us begin to write this new chapter.
-Timothy Chad Davenport
January Student Spotlight – Bill Sanderson
My experience with MGS was great. I retired after a 34-year career in banking and immediately enrolled in MGS. My interest in tinkering with my own firearms led to my interest in gunsmithing. I am currently a part-time gunsmith and word of mouth is keeping me as busy as I want to be. I have obtained my FFL and include firearms transfers and purchases in my array of services. I did not utilize the online student center for much more than correspondence and test-taking, but everything worked just fine every time I needed it. I chose MGS over many other schools because my research indicated it offered the best value and most comprehensive curriculum for the money. The tools and the materials included are invaluable to a new gunsmith! The firearms assembly/disassembly instructions and the schematics are extremely helpful for building a library. Thank you, MGS, for setting me up for success in my next career!
November Student Spotlight – Brian Guenthenspberger
I just completed the Advanced Gunsmithing Course, and I must say that I’m glad that I did it. I am currently fully employed as a defense contractor, and not working in the firearms industry. But I’ve always had an interest and been active in the field. I took the course mainly to build upon my firearms knowledge. Thankfully I was able to use the remaining GI Bill I had left to take this course. I’ve always had a desire to continue to seek education in firearms-related endeavors in order to continue to expand on my knowledge. Being retired from the US Army, over the years I’ve spent countless hours on ranges of various types, qualified on multiple weapons systems up to and including the M1 Abrams main battle tank, and have been certified at multiple military ranges as a Range Safety Officer. A few years ago, I decided to expand my training to institutions outside of the military. I became certified as an instructor courtesy of the NRA and had a side business for a few years instructing students in firearms safety and marksmanship. I’ve also shot competitively off and on over the years, in everything from three-position smallbore – to all-steel – to sporting clays – to Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) sanctioned events. In recent years I’ve transitioned to exclusively CMP-related firearms activity and completed their Advanced Maintenance Course a couple of years ago, a course solely focused on the M1 Garand rifle. More recently I became a member of the editorial staff of the GCA Journal, the professional publication of the Garand Collector’s Association. I’m also a military historian as well. So, given the combination of military experience, certification as a military historian, and activity in CMP programs, that explains my exclusive focus on US military firearms.
By taking this course, I hoped to expand my base knowledge more into the technical and mechanical aspects of firearms rather than the competition and marksmanship aspect of them. I’m always looking for opportunities to learn more about how firearms function, in order to help me better troubleshoot on ranges and build better competition rifles for myself. I believe I got a great start on that goal by completing this course. Thanks to the staff at MGS for helping facilitate that for me.
June Student Spotlight – James Myers
My overall experience with the school was OUTSTANDING! I found the course work to be challenging but possible with dedication. I really enjoyed how the lessons were broken down into manageable sections and how the section review’s highlighted what you just learned. I also found the staff extremely helpful whenever I needed advice or assistance. I am not currently in the gun repair field, which is why I took the class. I spent 6 years in the Infantry, 3 years in law enforcement, and was raised around firearms, and I plan to open my own shop. This class helped me to understand what is required in the field and which aspects I had the innate skill and which areas I would need to work on my skills. I highly recommend this course for anyone wanting to learn about gun repair. Whether it is for just personal firearm repair and builds or for a business, this course is extremely beneficial, and it is presented in a way that makes it easier to understand and apply the knowledge. Thank you for all your assistance!
April Student Spotlight – David Rolla
I just finished the Modern Gun School Advanced Gunsmithing Course. The course was great – I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. I’m trying to talk my soon-to-be son in law to save up to take the course. MGS sends you everything you need including the projects. This course is very challenging and has a lot of great information. If you get stuck on something all you have to do is call the school or send an email to talk to someone that will help you – they are great!
February Student Spotlight – Wayne LaCrosse
My name is Wayne LaCrosse and I am a proud graduate of Modern Gun School and I couldn’t be more excited. I am in my late 40’s and if I can do this anybody can. I was previously employed as a delivery driver in the adult beverage industry and by accident, I broke my right foot at work. It took this event in my life to decide that I needed to do something different for the future. As a Disabled American Veteran I loved guns and decided to turn my passion for guns into a business and that all started with a call to Modern Gun School. It was not without its troubles for me as a father and a husband and having a full-time job. I had to find time to read and study to get through this course as fast as I could. I started as soon as the first lesson was available and kept doing as much as I could as often as possible until I had finished the final exam. I did all my book work first and the started the projects. It was just easier for me to do it this as I started the school during the winter and it gets cold where I live, so doing projects needed to be done when it was warmer out. It took me the full time to get everything done as we had some deaths in the family and that took me away from the projects. When our life got back to normal I buckled down and got it all done just in the nick of time and I did not need to get an extension to complete the course. I am still employed full time and working with my local gun store to get going in the gunsmithing world to be able to do that full time and work for myself as soon as possible. I have been taking care of my guns and our families’ firearms for years now, but now it’s time to it for me to make my schooling come full circle and take care of all the guns that need to be taken care of. We do not have a gunsmith where I live and the closest one was 30 minutes away, but he closed shop several years ago. Now it is my time to shine and a huge thank you to Modern Gun School for showing me the way. It is because of Modern Gun School that I have chosen to continue my education and I have already become a Certified Law Enforcement AR 15 Armorer. I am also working on my certification for Law Enforcement Glock Armorer and shotgun Armorer which should be done by summer. I can not thank Modern Gun School enough for opening the door to what will be a lucrative business for my family and me. All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you and a big thank you to Elaine Smith for all that she has done, not only for me but for all the students.
January Student Spotlight – David Stingley
I had a wonderful experience while taking the advanced gunsmith course. I served 16 years in the military and thought I know everything about firearms. After taking the course, I was able to gain even more information that made working on firearms easier and faster. The hands-on projects were challenging and showed if you learned the skills to complete them. MGS always answered my questions by phone or email. The staff was always friendly and knowledgeable and willing to help in any way. The main reason I chose MGS, was that my VA education benefits paid for my courses. I have multiple college degrees and always wanted to be a gunsmith. Because of the VA and MGS, I was able to start my training in becoming a gunsmith. My father who is retired Army plans to take the course also. We plan to work with a retired gunsmith and start our own business later this summer. Thank you MGS for a great experience.
November Student Spotlight – Jerry Wallace
I loved the Advanced Gunsmithing course from Modern Gun School It was the best course I have taken and the instructors were very helpful and help you with any questions you may have.
October Student Spotlight – Craig McCoy
I wish to take this time to let you know how grateful I am to your school and its course work. About a year and a half ago I enrolled and took about 9 months to complete the program. Because I already had a full-time job in a business I owned. I would work on it when I could and found it very insightful and educational. Being a hands-on type person I really enjoyed every part of the projects to the complexity and ease of it due to your helpful ways of describing things. I found it very useful to seek out the specific gun being used in the lesson from friends or a friendly shop willing to help and had the good fortune to have many of the guns in my personal collection to take apart in real-time. I absorbed as much info and experience from the coursework to boost my talent with firearms and make me a great gunsmith. I received everything and more at an extremely fair price. You get from this course what you put in. I have put a digital copy of the course on my computer to view schematics (can reduce or enlarge for printing) and instructions at lightning speed and have the binder copies on my shelf. I also have all the needed documents to handle records and work with the ATF procedures. I have on my workbench most everything I need in tools except a mill/lathe but will acquire that shortly as need increases. I referred to the course to set up my FFL and I acquired a large gun safe and utilize a job locker to keep ammo and small arms secure and safe as well as a security system. I was in the transition stage of life, I was selling my business of 30 years and wanted a new challenge. Because of my love of firearms and shooting, I felt it would be great to start a new business in the firearms industry and enjoy life. It required a move from NYS and a more gun-friendly environment. Living in NYS was not compatible with my goals. Having started and run successful businesses in the past, I wanted to take this new skill and my life’s work experiences and talents to new places. I have embellished the gunsmithing by starting a U.S. Wholesale Distribution company specifically marketing U.S. made small gun manufacturers to gun dealers (FFL). The gunsmithing is an extremely important part of the services to be provided in support of our represented companies. I acquired my Local, State and FFL Licenses to be compliant and to do the gunsmithing full time in June of this year and everything should be up and completely running and operational by year-end. We are planning on attending and presenting our represented manufacturers to the industry dealers at national trade shows – NRA, Shot Show, GAO, and others so look for us to see our booth soon. Our company is Underdog’s Distribution LLC – www.usmadeguns.com.
July Student Spotlight – Terry Gill
My name is Terry Gill I reside in the beautiful state of Utah. My association with MGS began three years ago when I enrolled telling myself that it would take me about two or three years to complete. You see it took me that amount of time to construct an inventory of all the guns available through neighbors, friends, family, military buddies, etc. so that every gun that was presented in the lessons I would have access to. I am a hands-on guy and I can try to memorize out of a book all day and come up short but, if I can work, take apart, and touch the item I am learning about it will stay in my mind forever. I’m sure I am older than the average student as I just had my sixtieth birthday. My plan is to retire in about five to seven years and by that time have established a good reputation and clientele so that I can just depend on my gunsmithing business for that extra dough so that my wife and I can travel and work on that bucket list. I see gunsmithing as a career or vocation that does not have an age stigma attached to it. I have never heard the phrase “he or she is too old to be a gunsmith.” Since beginning the course I have built a two-room shop in my basement and one in the detached garage (for saws and drill presses). The shop in the basement houses three benches one for general disassembly/assembly, one for building actions and barrels (barrel vise), and a third for stock carving and checkering. The next room has a small twenty-four-inch metal lathe. I am very excited to one day be skilled at all of my tools and skills. During the time I was taking the courses my friends and acquaintances would bring over their long-guns, pistols, and black guns again for me to learn on the different actions but they got a complete cleaning for free. It worked out great and now the word is spreading throughout my little corner of the community that the guns come back much better than they were when they went in. I just received my FFL in the mail and I have to tell you that the interview was really a pleasant experience to go through and the ATF agent counseled me on the correct category of license and type of ownership that would suit me the best for my set up. He was impressed that I was graduating from a gunsmith school and just wasn’t going to sell guns. All-in-all MGS has been a great experience to go through I enjoyed calling and asking questions of the instructors who really gave good counsel and always had tips on how to make my business more successful.
Muzzle threading project AR 15 platform in 6.5 Grendel. Custom airbrush with Krylon
Complete build (Rem 700 LH action, Kreiger Heavy barrel, Giselle .75 lbs – 2.5 lbs trigger, custom stock) for a FT 6.5mm. Great experience for fitting barrel to action and use of “go-no go” gauges. This action is bedded also
Unique winter tactical stock build on the 308 and muzzle thread. Pillar and partial bedding
April Student Spotlight – Pete Burt
The assistance and advice were exemplary throughout, and I found the course to be very well structured, and that it progressed in a natural, flowing manner. The exams were easy to access and undergo and covered all topics relevant to their particular unit. I would highly recommend this course, especially to anyone outside the United States of America – there may be fewer opportunities to set up a business but if you manage to make it happen you will be in great demand!
February Student Spotlight – Frederick Basham
I am the owner and operator of Basham’s Gun Services LLC. I am medically retired United States Marine and I am a retired from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Office of Inspector General, who choose to attend Modern Gun School to get certification in gunsmithing, I have worked as a firearms instructor and with firearms for 35 years. I worked as an apprentice with my father Gerald Basham who was a Master Gunsmith and firearms dealer. My father taught me a lot about gunsmithing, but I never became an official gunsmith. After he passed away in 2015 several of his clients were coming to me wanting to continue providing the services my father had provided and saw a demand for the services my father had provided. I began looking into schools to become a gunsmith and found the high reputation of MGS to be an appealing school for my needs. I enrolled in the Advanced Gunsmithing Course and found the information to be vast and usable. It not only reiterated what was taught to me by my father, but added a vast amount of knowledge that I had either forgotten or never had the chance to learn. Staff at MGS were helpful and quick to respond to any and all questions within 24 to 48 hours of me sending a message and in some cases the same day. I also have a degree in Business which was completed at an online school, I found MGS staff were refreshing as the college would take weeks to respond if they ever responded. I found the information provided is useful and detailed to prepare me for the opening of my shop. I had already developed an LLC as an NRA instructor and am setting up a shop in Greenville, Kentucky. I am currently waiting on the ATF to complete my FFL and start doing work in a shop by my home. I feel this course of instruction is a great place to start in becoming a gunsmith and a great refresher for anyone that has a little or even a lot of experience. The course is worth the time required to complete it and will not disappoint anyone willing to learn.
January Student Spotlight – Dan Lauver
Modern Gun School provided me with an easily understandable, comprehensive Advanced Gunsmithing course. The course material was interesting and educational and help was readily available. The projects were challenging and applicable to the course material. All in all, a very rewarding experience.
December Student Spotlight – Robert Boots
Thanks to Modern Gun School – with what I learned from the course, I was able to open my own shop before even finishing the course!
November Student Spotlight – Cody Parker
I would like to thank everyone at Modern Gun Repair for the course material and feedback during the course. I enjoyed the material and the experience in taking the Basic gun repair course. It has helped me further my position in my career. I would recommend this school to anyone who is looking to get in the gun repair career field or just for a hobby. This course is very helpful in bettering your knowledge of guns and how to get started in your diagnostics in repairing them successfully and safely. As for me, I’ve been employed at Nosler Bullets Inc. for the last 6 1/2 years. I’ve started my career with Nosler working on the bullet side of things, learning every step in the bullet making process. A little over a year ago I was transferred to the Rifle Department. Starting my Rifle Building career, I started off as a Production Rifle Builder, learning even step of the way to building the Nosler M48 line of Rifles. A few months ago I was given the opportunity to further my career in becoming the Gunsmith at Nosler Bullets Inc. I am currently the Head Gunsmith at Nosler. Doing all the repairs, upgrades and building all the M48 CUSTOM Rifles. Next step for me is to learn Ballistics/ Ballistic testing furthering my career one step further. I wouldn’t be in the position I am today without the completion of the Modern Gun Repair School.
Through my great experience with the course and completion of it, I know of another person
that will be starting the course here soon in hopes of furthering his career path. I thought that it was great to be able to do all the course work online instead of having to wait for the “hard” copies to show up in the mail. Overall I was pretty successful in the course and enjoyed the opportunity to learn and take away unknown knowledge from the course material. Once my fellow work colleagues successfully complete the Basic course, I will be taking on the Advanced course!
October Student Spotlight – Darrell Kinney
The material and education I have gained from MGS are way more than I expected for the price of tuition. I don’t think I would have completed this course without the professional assistance from the student services staff, especially Jacque. Thanks!
September Student Spotlight – Patrick Taft
This has been a great experience going through these classes, learned a bunch about the weapons, but even more about myself. Take the time to enjoy what you are practicing and learning, there is a wealth of information provided in this course, technical, practical and business management. I am strictly a hobbyist at this point, but I do plan to proceed in working in the field, absolutely.
I am in the process of acquiring some used inventory to refurbish and continue to hone this craft and make some money.
August Student Spotlight – Roy Jenkins
What a great experience with Modern Gun Repair. The hands-on projects made you really understand why things needed to be done a certain way. I have enjoyed learning and collecting helpful information to make me a successful gunsmith. I will be applying to many gun shops as soon as I retire from the military which will be in a month. I look forward to learning more about the business and opening my own business one day!
Thanks again Modern Gun Repair, you have given me the tools to make my career as a gunsmith have no limits!
July Student Spotlight – Gary Miller
I have owned and handled guns for over 40 years. Therefore, I thought I knew a lot about how they operated and how to clean and maintain them in good working order. While going through the study materials, I found out that I did not know as much as I thought.
The wheels are in motion to start my own gun repair business. The business set up has cleared the state controllers office and I have received my federal tax ID along with state sales tax certificate. Application for FFL has been with the ATF for about a week.
It’s been great working with the MGS staff. I have recommended your school to several friends and family
June Student Spotlight – Amanda Cowell
After looking at other schools I found that Modern Gun School offers more material and more hands-on projects, The way the material was presented was easy to follow. The staff was very helpful. They always made sure emails where answered and that I got the help I needed. I am currently not working in the field of Gunsmithing but I do hope to one day own a small gun shop!
May Student Spotlight – Gerry Brewer
This is a great course to get your feet wet. No school can prepare you for every instance you will come across, that is what experience and seeking peer review is about. Just as in life you need to be able to push yourself to reach your goals. This course has given me the courage to take my 20 years of skills and apply them in a way that is most enjoyable to me. I have always taken a mindset of continuing to learn something every day. And learning more about firearms every day is very enjoyable for me. This will be my profession in the near future. I have applied for a home-based business license in my area and am in the process of going through the process to acquire my FFL. I did like the flexibility I had with this course to take it at my own pace. The course work is not hard at all to understand and is very straightforward. At least it was for me. The projects were fun and instructive. I happen to have a bunch of the firearms that were discussed in detail, and I am sure a lot of others found that the be the case also. All in all a great introductory to the world of gunsmithing.
April Student Spotlight – Doug McPherson
This is not my first Gunsmithing course. But it is by far the most comprehensive. Being an international student (Canada) the student service I received from individuals was astounding. Every student, no matter where they are located, is important to MGS. I felt that first hand. Another great fact is even though I can take this course from home, it is still hands-on! Perfect for my learning style. This is my third Gunsmith certification, I am a certified welder and machinist. And by far, this course was most enjoyable and informative. Keep up the great work all of you at Modern Gun School!
March Student Spotlight – Matt Miller
After first hearing about the program I had serious doubts, so I did some research. I found that the Advanced Gunsmith Course covered just about all I could ask for and more so I jumped in! From the first day, I felt welcome and felt that I mattered due to your attention to student needs and responses to questions. The course work was challenging yet very insightful and it really helped me expand my skill set. After I graduated from the course I began working out of my home, doing small odd jobs to get a little cash. After a while, I decided to open my own business, start a brand, that lead to the creation of my brand “Tier 1 Tuning”. For a few months, I did jobs for friends, neighbors, and other gun shops. My name began to spread, my reputation for great work got me a lot of attention and I had to expand. Recently I joined up with a local FFL
Gunshop in Fallout Firearms of North Las Vegas and now making a living doing what I love…..the skills I obtained in Modern Gun Schools Advanced Gunsmithing program have helped me to achieve my goals…my dream. Thank you MGS for all you have done, I will always recommend you to ANYONE asking about learning the trade.
February Student Spotlight – Scott Baker
I just want to say that this course went way beyond my expectations. Every aspect was informative and very educational. As a former police officer and more recently a regular gun owner, I wanted to learn more than basic cleaning. I am now in the process of starting a part-time gunsmith business and within the course, I was able to manufacture a useful tool, something I never thought of doing before. With that in mind, I am a subscriber to American Gunsmith, and the December 2016 and January 2017 issues have some pretty long articles regarding manufacturing your own tools.
Special thank you to the instructors, material contributors, editors and the rest of the staff at Modern Gun School.
January Student Spotlight – Shawn Steinschreiber
I magically came across the MGS site after long unfulfilling research of various programs that had lasted about 2-3 months. About two hours after finding the Modern Gun School site, I had enrolled. I absolutely loved the training I received through MGS. The modules were very easy to learn, and what I loved the most was the hands-on projects! The projects help to drive the material home.
I worked for 14 years as a firefighter/Advanced EMT. However, I was permanently disabled in 2013 due to a line of duty injury. During my downtime of disability I learned I had a pretty good mind and hands for working on and repairing firearms. This led me to my search for an online school to fit my budget, needs and wants and MGS more than fit the bill.
December Student Spotlight – Stella Theron
After doing some research I found Modern Gun School online and realise that they offered an extensive gunsmithing course. I was already in my third year of a gunsmithing apprenticeship and fell in love with the field, however in South Africa the accreditation procedure for gunsmithing closed and I wanted to further my qualifications and ultimately my career.
I found the application procedure clear and easy and was thrilled when I received the course materials. I was also pleasantly surprised that my gender did not affect my application in any way as I had faced difficulties in South Africa with experts in the field refusing to teach me purely based on the fact that I am female.
Initially I was a little overwhelmed with the reading aspect of the course but I liked that the fact that it was self-study which meant I was able to work at my own pace. The course took me 18 months to complete, even with my apprenticeship, and I thoroughly enjoyed it for several reasons.
Firstly the practical element, the stock project and the making of the revolver tool were my favourite. The apprenticeship I was doing helped a lot with my projects as I already had the hands-on experience but the additional practice helped to hone my skills. Secondly, I really liked the course material explaining the exploded views of the guns and step-by-step disassembly instructions. When I came across these guns in the shop I was working in I was immediately able to reference my coursework which was great. The material also contained a lot of ‘tricks of the trade so to speak, I gained knowledge from these which I was able to share with my colleagues. Thirdly, the communication I received was excellent. Throughout the course if I had questions they were answered nearly immediately by the school, I really appreciated that. Using the website I could connect with other students too, I never felt that I had been left to fend for myself. In terms of the turnaround time for assignments and exams, I found the school incredible, it provided me with good motivation to keep going.
In some aspects the content was less relevant in a South African setting, for example the course material often referred to sending a faulty part or gun back to the manufacturers to be fixed or changed whereas in South Africa we will custom manufacture parts as they are not as readily available. The licensing laws and processes are also very different, in America you can do quick barrel changes, whereas in South Africa it takes anywhere from 6 months to a year. So I found this information interesting and eye-opening in the sense that the gunsmithing field is so advanced elsewhere.
I am currently in the process of applying for my gunsmithing competency in South Africa with my current company Bullet Central Africa. I am finally able to do after 4 years of work and this based on the qualification I have got from Modern Gun School. For this, I am extremely grateful and I will then be the first female gunsmith in South Africa which is an achievement I am proud of.
The last thing that I want to do is express my gratitude to the Advanced Gunsmithing course and Modern Gun School for the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills that I have over the past 18 months. I intend to continue putting these skills to good use wherever this gunsmithing career path takes me.
November Student Spotlight – Jason Steadward
I have always wanted to learn Gunsmithing but put it off over and over. I was looking online one night and found a link to a couple of Gunsmithing schools. After doing several days of research I came down to 3 schools. I then spent another couple of days researching those schools. Everything kept me coming back to Modern Gun School then I was worried about how much will I really learn online. I thought about it for several more months then one day said: “Well they offered a course at a great price, what do I have to lose?” After receiving my first section of book work I knew I made the right decision. Not only did I learn a lot from the lessons I am now looking at doing work for several businesses in the area. I would recommend Modern Gun School to anyone looking at becoming a gunsmith professional or just want to learn for yourself to take the plunge because not only are you going to learn but you get a great support group of people that will help you anytime you need it.
October Student Spotlight – Mike Horton
Thank you so much for the kind words about my effort on the gunstock project. With me being disabled to where I can’t do the things I once did, at times my spirits waiver and I become depressed. You gave me a renewed outlook and showed me I can be productive again.
After 33 years of working in law enforcement and law enforcement instructing to now not chasing down bad guys or being the first operator of the SWAT team through the door, your phone call was greatly appreciated. It has validated my worth at something again.
I am honored that you have chosen my work to be part of the Modern Gun School information shared with other students. It is a pleasure taking this course. I have learned so much, and when I have a question or concern your staff has always been courteous and timely in their responses. You, the school, and the staff are the best!
Thank you so much,