Advanced Gunsmithing Certificate Pre-2018

Sonoran Desert Institute

Tool List

FAT 105: Introduction to Firearms

FAT 100: Firearms Technology I

AFY 100: Accuracy and Functionality

FAT 200: Firearms Technology II

BBS 100: Basic Ballistics

CFL 100: Cleaning Firearms Lab

SFL 100: Stock Fitting and Metal Work Lab

BTL 100: Basic Hand Tools Lab

*FTC 301 Capstone Project tool lists will vary with course selection.

Curriculum Update

As of January 8, 2018 this program has changed and will no longer accept enrollment. For current curriculum, please click the link below.

Current SDI Programs

Advanced Gunsmithing Certificate

For students looking to hone their gunsmithing skills, learn the techniques needed to operate a gunsmithing business, gain a valuable credential or expand their hobby into a career, SDI’s Advanced Gunsmithing Certificate program is a perfect fit. In this 32-credit program, you’ll learn gunsmithing techniques and practices, shooting sports management, and more—you’ll also complete a build of your choice! All of your credits earned during the Advanced Gunsmithing Certificate program will transfer into our Associate of Science in Firearms Technology Degree program, should you choose to continue your education with SDI.

Gunsmithing Education, Your Way

You’ll learn gunsmithing at home, and our programs are designed to fit into your busy schedule. Because this certificate program is delivered via online and at-home learning, your educational process is stress-free and convenient. You can submit exams online any time of day (or night!), and Instructor assistance is a click away.


AFY 100 4 Accuracy and Functionality
BBS 100 3 Basic Ballistics and Swaging
BTL 100 1 Basic Hand Tools Lab
CFL 100 1 Cleaning Firearms Lab
FAT 100 4 Firearms Technology I
FAT 105 4 Introduction to Firearms
FAT 200 4 Firearms Technology II
FTC 301 5 Capstone Project
SFL 100 1 Stock Fitting and Metal Working Lab
SSM 200 5 Shooting Sports Management

Advanced Gunsmithing Certificate Gainful Employment Disclosure

Additional Program Information

Program Objectives

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

  • Explain firearms fundamentals
  • Evaluate different methods for the cleaning and repairing of firearms
  • Demonstrate various strategies for troubleshooting defective firearms
  • Apply selected methods for the replacement of firearm barrels
  • Describe various methodologies used in the finishing and engraving of firearm metal
  • Utilize various techniques in the development and making of ammunition
  • Evaluate multiple managerial strategies for the development of a gunsmithing business

Course Descriptions

AFY 100: Accuracy and Functionality

This course provides an understanding of procedures for cleaning, properly storing, and accounting for firearms. During the course, the student will examine techniques for the complete and comprehensive cleaning of firearms. Diagnosis of problems of firearm functionality will be explored. Functionality will be addressed for rimfire, centerfire, and black powder firearms. Additionally, firearm sights and sighting systems will be reviewed.

BBS 100: Basic Ballistics and Swaging

This course will identify techniques for the development of ammunition. Included will be lessons on swaging and casting bullets. As an outcome of the course, students will be able to understand the basics of ballistics and techniques to develop more accurate ammunition.

BTL 100: Basic Hand Tools Lab

In this lab, the student will engage in hands-on techniques with some of the gunsmith’s essential hand tools. The student will replicate appropriate tool methods on a variety of firearms with the aid of detailed diagrams and drawings. Techniques will be identified that gunsmiths apply in the use of files, rasps, hacksaws, drills, wrenches and screws. Maintenance techniques of these tools will also be identified.

CFL 100: Cleaning Firearms Lab

In this lab, the student is supplied with training lab tools. The student will demonstrate cleaning techniques by utilizing the tools from the lab to ensure a firearm will continue to operate properly. The lab provides step-by-step instructions on techniques to disassemble different kinds of guns and examine them for obstructions. The lab includes methods for cleaning and conditioning guns by removing greasy buildup, powder, and moisture.

FAT 100: Firearms Technology I

This course will describe techniques to replace the barrels of firearms. An outcome of the coursework is the formulation of techniques to fit the chamber and adjust the free bore and headspacing. Also, techniques to adjust the trigger pull on rifles, handgun, and shotguns will be described.

FAT 105: Introduction to Firearms

This course is an introduction to firearms technology and the field of shooting sports management. During the course the student will review firearm fundamentals and multiple types of firearms available. The student will be introduced to the necessary tools for comprehensive firearms repair

FAT 200: Firearms Technology II

This course covers the preparation and finishing of metal. Techniques for polishing, bluing, Parkerizing, and browning of metal are explained and practiced. Also included are methodologies for the engraving of metal that will allow customization of firearms.

FTC 301: Capstone Project

This course will provide the structure to plan, develop, present, and assess a shooting sports project that incorporates outcomes from other courses in the School of Firearms Technology. This course will be completed in consultation with a faculty member. The project will be based on an area of focus determined by the student and approved by the faculty member. Students may opt to use topics from other courses, including those in the optional FTA prefix series, as part of the project course. Note that optional courses may require additional fees.

SFL 100: Stock Fitting and Metal Working Lab

In this lab, the student will operate the tools needed to fit the stock and trigger to meet a gun user’s requirements for a proper fit. A model of developing and adjusting the proper fit for a gun user is included.

SSM 200: Shooting Sports Management

This course will provide the foundation to establish a firearms-related business. Included in the course is a review of the practices, rules, and laws that govern the operation of a firearms repair and sales business. In addition, the course is an introduction to bookkeeping and appropriate business record maintenance related to shooting sports. Advertising and marketing will also be described.