Each semester utilizes specific tools, supplies and firearm components (such as actions, barrels and stock blanks) as the student progresses through the program. PGS maintains a school store and offers pre-assembled tool kits for semesters 1, 2 and 3 for the convenience of students.
The basic supplies and tools PGS provides are chosen from a variety of sources because of their appropriateness to the Gunsmithing curriculum. Many are specialty items not typically available in hardware or big box stores (such as a checkering kit). Others are carefully chosen with safety in mind, such as heavy gauge rubber gloves for bluing.
PGS purchases in bulk when possible to pass savings onto students, and guarantees items to be free of defects and will replace an item in those instances.
PGS does not operate a gun shop. Work performed by students on bluing and repair projects are provided from their personal collection, or from their family and friends. This has two advantages: the student controls the types of firearms and projects they work on, and with other students enrolled, they are exposed to dozens of different firearms in each semester as they interact with their fellow classmates and view other students’ projects.
In semester 4, students design and “build” custom firearms, starting with an action, a barrel blank and a stock blank. Students procure these items individually, both through PGS and directly from suppliers. Wood grade, finishes, optics and other accessory items are all at the discretion of the student’s preferences and budget, as well as instructor approval.
Students find there are literally hundreds of tools, jigs and fixtures utilized in the trade, and while efficiency and speed means greater profit to the Gunsmith businessman, when our students complete a task manually – at least one time – a greater concept of the skill is learned. We hold true to that tradition, and also agree with past and current instructional staff that a gunsmith can complete most tasks with minimal tools that fit in just the top of a toolbox!