Hone Your Craft at SDI

Program Details

Expand your qualifications and attain new skills

SDI’s Certificate in Firearms Technology – Handgun Specialist is a comprehensive and accelerated one-semester program, ideal for students desiring to refine their gunsmithing skills and specialize in handgun platforms, whether to gain a valuable credential or to transform their hobby into a profession. This 16-credit program provides an in-depth exploration into revolvers, striker-fired pistols, and hammer-fired pistols, teaching gunsmithing techniques and practices pertinent to these handgun platforms.

The curriculum delves into handguns’ mechanisms and cycle of operations, offering insights into assembly and disassembly techniques, diagnostic and troubleshooting strategies, and methods to enhance the functionality and aesthetics of handguns, ensuring students acquire a well-rounded understanding and proficiency in handgun technology.


The Certificate in Firearms Technology – Handgun Specialist consists of 16 semester credit hours in one 20-week semester. Because of our flexible learning options, students choose to study at whatever time of day works best. However, they will still be able to engage with other online learners and instructors as a part of weekly assignment requirements.

Firearms Technology Discipline

16 Credit Hours

Program Length

One 20-week Semester


FTT 101: Mechanics in Firearms,
FTH 202: Revolvers,
FTH 212: Striker-Fired Pistols,
FTH 223: Hammer-Fired Pistols

To view a full list of course descriptions, click below.

Course Descriptions

Tuition & Funding

This program is approved for use of the GI Bill® and other Veterans Assistance and military benefits, as well as Federal Student Aid (FSA), based on eligibility. Click on the links below for more details regarding tuition, fees, and financial aid. Please contact the Admissions department for more info at admissions@sdi.edu or 480-999-476.

Tuition & Funding

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Veterans Resources

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Active Duty Resources

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Students Stationed Abroad

The Certificate in Firearms Technology – Handgun Specialist program is delivered in 5-week courses. Each course includes practical application labs. In addition to accessing and interacting within the online classroom, students must be able to receive lab kits sent via UPS, FED EX or USPS; perform the practical application assignments; and create and upload videotaped submissions. This program is not available for deployed active duty or reservists at this time. Deployed active duty or reservists are advised to plan their enrollment for a time period when they can receive shipments of lab tools and firearms.

Program Outcomes

Develop your skills and discover your passion with SDI’s Certificate in Firearms Technology – Handgun Specialist program

SDI’s Certificate in Firearms Technology- Handgun Specialist program is a great fit for students looking to hone their gunsmithing skills, learn the techniques needed to specialize in handgun platforms, gain a valuable credential, or expand their hobby into a career. This 16-credit program teaches gunsmithing techniques and practices covering three handgun platforms: revolvers, striker-fired pistols, and hammer-fired pistols.

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

  • Diagnose a variety of handgun malfunctions and prescribe repairs
  • Disassemble and assemble common pistols and revolvers
  • Customize a handgun to improve reliability, accuracy, ergonomics, and/or aesthetics
  • Demonstrate best practices of firearms safety at all times
  • Examine the role of the handgun in the larger context of modern firearms technology

Completion Requirements

To earn a Certificate in Firearms Technology – Handgun Specialist, a student must do the following:

  • Complete all coursework required in the certificate program
  • Complete at least 16 credit hours of discipline-specific coursework
  • Complete the program with a minimum grade point average of 2.0 or above
  • Meet all financial obligations to the Institute

Completion of the Certificate in Firearms Technology – Handgun Specialist does not require additional specialized training, practicum, or externships.

Students must be at least 21 years of age to participate in FTH 202, FTH 212, and FTH 223.

I found the school to be an excellent source for gunsmith courses and knowledge for the industry. I follow a couple of 2A channels on YouTube that the school sponsors and have commented on occasion that I am a graduate of the school and that the learning was fantastic and gave me all the basic tools of knowledge that has helped my gunsmith and firearms retail business to grow and succeed. I highly recommend it to anyone seeking any knowledge in the firearms industry or in gunsmith work you will not be disappointed.

Carl Brown2021 SDI Certificate in Firearms Technology - Gunsmithing Graduate

Tools & Materials

Our curriculum goes beyond the textbook. We believe that online learning should include opportunities to ingest, explain, and demonstrate what you’ll learn as a student. Within your online classroom, you’ll access electronic coursebooks and supplemental multimedia resources, interact with students and instructors, submit assignments and exams, and find extra-curricular ways to make the most of your time as an SDI student. Some courses will also include a hard copy reference book for future use. Plus, SDI programs include a number of entry-level tools to help set you up for success after graduation. Each course has its own required, suggested, and provided tools, so feel free to check out our Lab Tools List to get a feel for what you’ll need and have during your coursework.

Lab Tool List

Take the Next Step

The Certificate in Firearms Technology – Handgun Specialist program puts you on the path to an exciting specialty in the firearms industry. Take the first step down this path today by learning more about SDI.


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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 website at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.