Firearms Technologies Certificate

This certificate program is designed to provide a solid foundation in theory, design, and function of firearms. This certificate will prepare the student for an entry-level position in the firearms industry or provide a building block toward owning a business as a gunsmith. This program contains both lecture and significant hands-on training designed to instill an understanding of the design and function of today’s firearms.

Practical application of knowledge in a safe and professional manner is stressed. Emphasis is placed upon the completion of several gunsmith projects from blueprints and schematics using a combination of both hand and machine tools. The student will acquire the basic knowledge to get started customizing guns. This program provides a clear understanding of firearms function, enabling graduates to assist with design or tolerance issues in a manufacturing environment. Students who complete the program leave with a collection of specialty tools for the repair or customization of firearms.

Upon completion of this program, students will:

  • Use precision measuring tools such as Micrometers, calipers, indicators and various specialized gauges as they apply to firearms;
  • Operate manual lathe and vertical milling machines, including common work holding set-ups to perform gunsmithing services or custom work;
  • Prepare metal to a desired finished state;
  • Diagnose and troubleshoot a variety of firearms along with the knowledge base of how to correct malfunctions, restoring the firearm to safe and reliable condition;
  • Recognize and understand the operation of various firearms systems; and
  • Understand firearms accuracy and the many variables that affect it.

Admission Guidelines

  • Click here for the program application packet.
  • Applicants must have the ability to own and possess firearms.
  • Prior to acceptance into the program, applicants must submit to and pass a background check to prove their eligibility to own and possess firearms.
  • Application Deadline: August 1.
  • Click here for information about the admission process at FVCC.

Program Information

  •  Loaded firearms are not permitted on campus.
  • This program is being offered as a pilot program for the 2014-2015 school year.
  • Students are expected to know and adhere to all firearms safety protocols. See program information website.
  • Working knowledge of blueprint reading and precision measuring is recommended prior to enrolling.

Additional Costs

Students are expected to provide firearms and tools.  See details on program information website.

Opportunities after Graduation

Firearms technology employment opportunities following graduation vary from self-employment to working for established firearms manufacturers. The growth of the firearms industry indicates an increase in the need for people skilled in the operation, modification, repair and manufacture of firearms.

Employment opportunities may be enhanced by combining training in firearms technology with advanced machining training.


Pete Wade
Occupational Trades Building 108
(406) 756-3968


Will Richards
Occupational Trades Building 204
(406) 756-4862

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Last modified: July 21, 2014