Associate of Science in Firearms Technology Degree 2018 Update

Sonoran Desert Institute

Your chance to learn about the firearms industry and gain a coveted credential, all without having to travel or relocate.

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Curriculum Update

As of January 8, 2018, SDI’s curriculum has changed. If you enrolled at SDI prior to January 8, 2018, your program will be located at the following link.

Pre-2018 Programs and Courses

Associate of Science in Firearms Technology

SDI’s unique Associate of Science in Firearms Technology Degree program offers our students the opportunity to learn about the firearms industry and gain a coveted credential, all without having to travel or relocate. This 60-semester-hour program is the most comprehensive of all the School of Firearms Technology programs, and is one of only a handful of firearms degree programs in the nation.


The Associate of Science in Firearms Technology Degree program is broken into 4, 16-week semesters. Because of our flexible learning options, students choose to study at whatever time of day works best. Each student will work with a member of the SDI Student Services staff to select their personal semester schedules from the following list:

Firearms Technology Discipline BBS 100: Basic Ballistics 3 8
BBS 200: Advanced Ballistics 3 8
FTT 100: Introduction to Firearms 3 8
FTT 104: Gunsmithing Tools Lab 2 4
FTT 111: Firearms Inspection and Troubleshooting 4 8
FTT 114: Custom Kydex Lab 2 4
FTT 201: Firearms Finishes and Engraving 4 8
FTT 210: Customizing and Woodworking 4 8
FTT 211: Stock Refinishing and Metal Work Lab 1 4
FTT 214: Hand Checkering Lab 2 4
FTT 221: Sights, Optics, and Accuracy 4 8
FTT 231: Machining and Manufacturing of Firearms 3 8
FTT 240: Shooting Sports Management 3 8
*FTT 299: Firearms Technology Elective 4 8
Total Firearms Technology Credit Hours 42
General Business Introduction to Business 3 8
Total Business Credit Hours 3
General Education Physical Science 3 8
Arts and Humanities 3 8
Communication Arts 3 8
Science and Mathematics 3 8
Social and Behavioral Sciences 3 8
Total General Education Credit Hours 15

*FTT 299: Elective Options:

  • FTE 210: AR 10 Advanced Armorer
  • FTE 211: 1911 Advanced Armorer (Students must be 21 years of age to sleect FTE 211 course)
  • FTE 215: AR 15 Advanced Armorer
  • FTE 225: Developing a Business Plan

Course Tools List

To view the tools list for this program, please see our tools list here. It is truly our goal to prepare you for success in the firearms industry.

Convenient, Accredited Learning

Because SDI specializes in online learning, students enrolled in the Associate of Science in Firearms Technology Degree program get the convenience of completing coursework at home, backed by a DEAC national accreditation. It’s the best of both worlds with a proven curriculum delivered right to your door. Plus, students round out their degree program by completing 15 credit hours of general education while learning the core topics of firearms technology and gunsmithing. Our unique mix of online and hands-on classes allow students to learn and practice efficiently and conveniently.

Tools & Materials

We conveniently provide our course text materials electronically as well as provide access to view additional resources and submit coursework through our Learning Management System (LMS) during a variety of hands-on training and labs. In addition to the course materials, training manuals, and other learning aids, your program courses include a number of entry-level tools (see our tools list here). It is truly our goal to prepare you for success in the firearms industry.

Tuition & Fees

For tuition information, please click here. This program is approved for use of the GI Bill® and other VA and military benefits. No-interest payment plans are available. Please contact the Admissions department for more info at or (480) 314-2102.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at

Additional Program Information

Program Outcomes

With the successful completion of this program, a student will be able to do the following:

  • Explain, in detail, the operating principles of all major types of firearms.
  • Classify firearms by type, action type, and platform by defined characteristics, and describe the functionality of each.
  • Perform the basic functions of an armorer, to include cleaning firearms; diagnosing, troubleshooting, and repairing a variety of common malfunctions, and assembling a firearm from parts.
  • Improve firearms by customizing woodwork, engraving metal finishes, and applying custom finishes to firearms.
  • Perform basic techniques to fit barreled actions, and describe the process of performing advanced techniques to fit barreled actions.
  • Improve firearms accuracy by installing and adjusting metallic sights and/or optics.
  • Create strategies for improving firearms by synthesizing advanced procedures, such as accurizing, repairing metal finishes, and advanced woodworking.
  • Explain the principles of ballistics as they relate to ammunition production, and explain various procedures for making ammunition.
  • Explain machining operations as used in firearms manufacture and customization.
  • Evaluate the industry of firearms service, sales, and repair, and apply basic managerial practices to a firearmsrelated business.
  • Exhibit best-practices of firearms and firearms-repair safety.
Course Descriptions

For full course descriptions, please click here.

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