SDI Course Descriptions
Course availability may vary each semester. Not all courses may be offered each term.

Firearms Technology

Sequence for scheduling will vary.

BBS 200: Advanced Ballistics, 3 Credit Hours

This course builds on the outcomes of the Basic Ballistics course. The course will explain how ammunition accuracy is impacted by gunpowder and various projectiles. This course will address reloading techniques for various types of ammunition and will include article reviews discussing various firearm technology.

FTE 211: 1911 Advanced Armorer, 4 Credit Hours

This course presents a comprehensive overview of 1911-style firearms. Discussed in the course’s lessons are the history, development, and practical applications of 1911-style firearms, including their parts, the function of each part, ammunition types and calibers, troubleshooting, maintenance and repair. Also presented are sight options, considerations for building or buying your 1911-style firearm, tuning your 1911 for accuracy and reliability, customizing the 1911 with coatings and accessories. Students will be presented a step-by-step lab for completing build kit. Students must be 21 years of age to select the FTE 211 course.

FTE 217: Modern Sporting Rifle, 4 Credit Hours

This course presents an overview of the AR style platform in various configurations, including the AR 15, AR 10/LR .308, and AR 9/pistol caliber carbine. Discussed in the lessons are the history, design characteristics, operations, and platform-specific characteristics of these rifles. Students select a platform on which to demonstrate practical skills and abilities, including the measurement of critical dimensions, assembly and disassembly procedures, and the use of specialty tools. Malfunction diagnosis, operating characteristics, and application of gunsmithing techniques will also be demonstrated.

FTE 218 Pump Shotgun Armorer, 4 Credit Hours

This course presents an overview of the pump shotgun platform in various makes and models. Discussed in the lessons are the history, design characteristics, operations, and platform-specific characteristics of these firearms. Students receive a pump shotgun platform on which to demonstrate practical skills and abilities, including the measurement of critical dimensions, assembly and disassembly procedures, and the use of specialty tools. Malfunction diagnosis, operating characteristics, and application of gunsmithing techniques will also be demonstrated.

FTE 225: Developing a Business Plan, 4 Credit Hours

This course includes establishing a formal business plan for a firearms related business. Included are the various stages of researching and outlining a plan, consideration of marketing, financial, and other general business factors and presentation of a formal plan.

FTH 202: Revolvers, 4 Credit Hours

This course is a comprehensive exploration of the revolver. Students learn about the legal definition of a revolver, the mechanical design of the revolving action, and the history of this handgun platform. Common parts and their functions, troubleshooting methods and strategies, and customization techniques are all covered in this course. Additionally, students will disassemble and assemble a revolver to learn about the historical roots of this family of guns while practicing skills that can be applied to today’s custom firearms.

FTH 212: Striker-Fired Pistols, 4 Credit Hours

This course covers striker-fired pistols in detail. Topics include parts and function, assembly and disassembly, and customizing for performance. Students will practice building a striker-fired pistol from a parts kit and stippling synthetic material used for pistol grips. Additionally, students will learn about researching firearms and firearms schematics to help them access valuable information before beginning work on a project.

FTH 223: Hammer-Fired Pistols, 4 Credit Hours

While core emphasis of this course is the hammer-fired pistol, also examined are concepts that generalize to most modern automatic handguns. Students explore pistol malfunctions and methods of preventing or repairing them, the parts and components of hammer-fired pistols, and methods of improving pistol operation and reliability. Students also learn how to research firearms components needed for repair and customization jobs. Students will perform critical measurements and perform various hands-on projects to enhance striker and hammer-fired pistol performance. Prerequisite: FTH 212

FTT 100: Introduction to Firearms, 3 Credit Hours

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 practice researching disassembly procedures and demonstrate a comprehensive project on the topic of cleaning firearms.

FTT 101: Mechanics in Firearms, 4 Credit Hours

This course is an introduction to firearms technology. During the course, the student will review firearms fundamentals, simple machine concepts, and various firearm operating systems. Students will apply concepts and fundamentals in practical applications to identify working systems of firearms.

FTT 104: Gunsmithing Tools Lab, 2 Credit Hours

In this lab, the student will engage in hands-on techniques with some of the gunsmith’s essential hand tools. The student will replicate detailed firearms disassembly using their assigned tools, with the aid of research and detailed diagrams and drawings. Techniques will be identified that gunsmiths apply in the use of files, rasps, hacksaws, drills, wrenches and screws, among others. Maintenance techniques of these tools will also be identified.

FTT 111: Firearms Inspection and Troubleshooting, 4 Credit Hours

This course will describe methods to diagnose malfunctions of a firearm and prescribe an appropriate troubleshooting method. The course will address rimfire and centerfire rifles, handguns and shotguns. Also reviewed are methods to diagnose modified and competition firearms as well as learning to diagnose malfunctions through cartridge case analysis. A lab on the topic of fastener repair will be assigned to the student, along with requisite materials to accomplish proper screw removal, repair, and restoration.

FTT 114: Custom Kydex Lab, 2 Credit Hours

This lab investigates the development and design of firearm holsters, including modern thermoforming designs. The student will participate in a detailed project on the topic of designing firearm retention devices, to include both the one-piece and two-piece designs. Lab materials will be provided to the student to customize a holster to a specific designation.

FTT 122: Introduction to Ammunition and Basic Ballistics 3, Credit Hours

This course introduces students to important concepts related to ammunition and basic ballistics. Students will develop an understanding of the terminology pertaining to these topics. This knowledge will help them as they communicate with their instructors and fellow students in their courses throughout their time with SDI as well as throughout their professional work within the firearms industry. Among other concepts, students will demonstrate their understanding of the various steps of ballistics, the material and environmental aspects that affect ballistics, cartridge design, various propellant types, mechanical steps completed within a firearm, and phenomena that occur as a projectile moves through the air.

FTT 201: Firearms Finishes and Engraving, 4 Credit Hours

This course covers the preparation and finishing of metal. Techniques for polishing, bluing, Parkerizing, and browning of metal are explained. Modern firearm finishes, such as spray-on finishes, hydrographics, ferritic nitrocarburizing, PVD coating, and other methods are discussed. Also included are methodologies for the engraving of metal that will allow customization of firearms.

FTT 210: Customizing and Woodworking, 4 Credit Hours

This course will describe methods to replace and repair gunstocks. Techniques on ways to properly select the wood and to shape the stock will be described. Included in those techniques will be methods to fit the new stock to the action of a firearm. Included in this course is how to custom fit a gunstock to a customer’s specifications and how to install a recoil pad. Students will demonstrate the process of gunstock inletting, and a hands-on lab on this topic is included.

FTT 211: Stock Refinishing and Metal Work Lab, 1 Credit Hour

In this lab, the student will practice and develop the stock refinishing and metalworking techniques examined in FTT 210 and FTT 201. Students will sand, stain, seal, and finish the wood stock provided, and will polish the brass components and install them onto the stock. Also, students will be provided a browning solution to finish the barrel, and will be provided with a brass lap and compound to finish a rough crown of the barrel. Students will also continue the discussion regarding “classical” and modern gunsmithing techniques, learn more about muzzleloading concepts, and finish the assembly of the Traditions Shenandoah Muzzleloader.

FTT 214: Hand Checkering Lab, 2 Credit Hours

This lab will cover hand checkering wood stocks and pistol grips. Checkering is a process of cutting parallel grooves with specific wood cutting tools. You will be provided with all supplies necessary to complete this process, to include wood and cutting tools. These tools are used to familiarize you with the techniques of hand checkering, and a final test on the topic will be conducted. A template of the pattern will be provided in the course.

FTT 221: Sights, Optics, and Accuracy, 4 Credit Hours

This course provides a thorough understanding of accuracy for the gunsmith. Included in this course are techniques on how to inspect a rifle for accuracy, tools needed to achieve accuracy, installation of sights, and mounting optics. Other topics introduce the gunsmith to modern bolt-action trigger kits and how to check proper fit of a bolt-action rifle. A core component of this course is to describe the correct procedure of rifle bedding, including how to pillar bed both modern synthetic stocks and wooden stocks. This course also explains how to properly maintain long-range hunting rifles for long-term storage and to mount a telescoping optic.

FTT 231: Machining and Manufacturing of Firearms, 3 Credit Hours

This course provides a comprehensive overview of machining and other metal manufacturing concepts. The student will discover the science behind metallurgy and how to shape metal for a desired result. The student will be introduced to milling machines, the metal turning lathe, polishing tools, and other firearms-specific machinery. Included in this course are the processes of welding, soldering, and brazing. Methods for configuring a barrel to a customer’s unique specifications will also be covered in detail. Also included is an overview of heat treatment, normalizing, and how to temper gunmetal.

FTT 240: Shooting Sports Management, 3 Credit Hours

This course provides 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.

*FTT 299: Firearms Technology Elective, 4 Credit Hours

See individual descriptions of courses that students select from to fill this elective.

*Additional Information Regarding State-Restricted Elective Options (these restrictions and guidelines are subject to change at any time):

Residents of California, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York may not enroll in the FTE 211 course due to state restrictions.

Residents of Washington state must be at least 21 years of age to participate in all FTT 299 Firearms Technology Electives, except FTE 225: Developing a Business Plan.

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

Firearms Technology – General Education

AGT 100: American Government, 3 Credit Hours

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of American government and politics, focusing on the historical evolution of government and policies, and the major institutions and processes. Course goals include developing an interest in and understanding of today’s government, policy development, and politics, as well as developing critical thinking and information literacy skills in the areas of government and politics. Topics include the Constitution; federalism; civil rights and liberties; the structure and processes of the three branches of government; political socialization; interest groups and public opinion; political parties and the election process; and basic U.S. social, economic, and foreign policy. Students will examine institutional structures and how they interact with each other to explain the processes of government and how the historical development of the United States has affected the contemporary political environment. Instruction includes an analysis of the formal and informal processes by which public policy is made; how individual actors impact the contemporary political environment; and application of informational literacy skills in the study of politics.

BSM 100: Business Mathematics, 3 Credit Hours

This course applies math fundamentals to business applications. Topics include a basic math review, business statistics, profit calculations, payroll, banking, interest calculations, insurance and taxes. Students will learn to solve mathematical problems; apply mathematical concepts to various business transactions and statistics calculations; and analyze business problems using mathematical equations.

ENS 100: Environmental Science, 3 Credit Hours

This course explores the relationship between man and the environment. Students examine the balance between natural resources and the needs of mankind as well as the scientific, political, economic, and social implications of environmental science. Students will examine the field of Environmental Science in terms of theoretical perspectives, economics, policies, and environmental ethics. Included is an exploration of population growth and demographic transitions; toxic substances and their effects; non-renewable energy sources and their impact on the environment; the biodiversity of earth and conservation biology and its benefits; and the foundations of environmental science. Students will learn how to analyze land use and planning for creating livable cities; evaluate soil as a system and its importance in the environment; describe the function of the earth’s atmosphere, its composition, structure, and changing global climate; and appraise the importance of water and marine ecosystems. The student will also understand how to examine renewable energy and analyze the types of waste generated and disposal methods.

SCI 101: Intro to Physical Science, 3 Credit Hours

This course introduces students to the foundational ideas and concepts of physical science to gain a better understanding of the world. Topics covered include measurement, motion, force and motion, atomic and nuclear physics, elements of chemistry, work and energy, temperature and heat, and waves and optics. Direct application of some of these topics to firearms studies will be made to provide students with further context and real world application.

ENG 101: English Composition I, 3 Credit Hours

This course develops written communication skills with an emphasis on understanding the writing process, analyzing text, and practicing writing for personal and professional applications. Students will learn to implement the steps of the writing process; identify essay components; and write effective and grammatically correct paragraphs and essays. Instruction includes how to analyze the role of reading and writing in academic and professional careers; apply strategies to achieve clarity and effective style in writing; differentiate between writing patterns; identify sentence types and parts of speech; discriminate between proper and improper use of punctuation; and to implement correct spelling. The student will also examine and then apply strategies and guidelines for writing an effective research paper.

PSY 101: Introduction to Psychology, 3 Credit Hours

This course introduces human behavior. It includes the study of the theories and concepts of psychology including the scope of psychology, biological foundations and the brain, sensation, perception, motivation, personality, learning/memory, emotion, states of consciousness, personality theories, cognition, lifespan development, and applied psychology. In this course, students will examine the field of psychology in terms of history, key perspectives, issues, and current trends. Instruction will cover scientific and research methods; the anatomical structures and physiological functions related to psychology; sensation, perception, heredity, and genetics; consciousness, sleep, sleep disorders, and hypnosis as related to psychology; the underlying principles and basis of the psychology behind learning, memory, and experience; cognitive abilities and intelligence from a psychological perspective; the different phases and stages in human development; the different motivation theories; and the psychological basis of emotions. Moreover, students will examine sexuality and gender in relation to psychology; psychoanalytic approaches and humanistic theories to explain behaviors and traits in personalities; health psychology and approaches to health management; different mental disorders; psychotherapy, differing methods, and their effectiveness; the importance of thoughts; trends in social behavior; and the impact of social influences.

BUS 101: Introduction to Business, 3 Credit Hours

This course provides students with an overview of business in an increasingly global society. Topics include the business environment, ethics, management, marketing, production, information systems, financial elements, entrepreneurship, and global business. This course serves as an introduction to business terminology, concepts, environments, systems, strategies, and current issues, and provides a solid business foundation for more detailed and higher-level study in subsequent courses. Students will gain an understanding of the key components of contemporary U.S. and international business in addition to the role of ethics and social responsibility within this sector. Included is an examination of how businesses can be organized and structured; the key strategies, tools, and issues involved in operations; and the key financial concepts involved in enterprise. Students will be instructed in how to analyze the various functions of and approaches to management, marketing processes, forces, and issues in a business enterprise; and to develop a business plan incorporating sound concepts, systems, and strategies.

Certificate in Unmanned Technology – Aerial Systems

Sequence for scheduling will vary.

UAS 101: Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Fundamentals, 4 Credit Hours

This first course in unmanned aircraft systems introduces the history and evolution of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The course provides a technical introduction to the subsystems of an unmanned aerial system (UAS) to include the aircraft, payload, propulsion, navigation, wireless communications and control, autonomy, ground control station, and support systems/equipment. The topics of man-machine interface, system design, FAA regulations and UAS operations in the national airspace are also introduced. Students are introduced to how unmanned aircraft systems are used in the commercial/civil, public service, and military sectors.

UET 101: Introduction to Engineering Technology, 4 Credit Hours

This course provides students with an introduction to a broad range of engineering technology topics and fields, such as mechanical design, engineering materials, machining, computers and programming, data analyzing and graphing, robotics and process control, and communications. The course includes mathematical instruction necessary to be successful in the program to include basic algebra as well as geometry and trigonometry for right triangles to solve simple problems. Studies and discussions include the roles, duties, responsibilities, fundamental skills and knowledge required in the various careers in the Engineering Technology industry. Also included are studies and discussions on Engineering Technology as a profession, professional ethics, and social responsibility. Lectures on topics of special interest to engineering technologists may be included as subject matter experts are available.

UAS 202: UAS Aviation Management, 4 Credit Hours

This course provides the student with a comprehensive knowledge of a professional aviation organization model with special focus on the key pillars of safety, operations, maintenance and culture in the context of the current regulations and specific requirements to operate an UAS in the national airspace for commercial use. UAS operations, operational risk management, aeronautical decision making, training, scheduling, standardization/evaluation (STANEVAL), maintenance, remote pilot in command responsibilities, and key federal regulations and guidance for flying commercially in the national airspace. Prerequisites: UAS 101, UET 101

SYS 212: Project Management for UAS Engineering & Technology, 4 Credit Hours

The Project Management for UAS Engineering and Technology course explores project management theory and best practices that can be used in the unmanned and autonomous aircraft systems industry. Students learn the elements required to develop general and technical projects. The course discusses the five phases of project management and how each phase is utilized in the official project plan. Prerequisites: UAS 101, UET 101

SYS 201: UAS Systems Engineering Management, 4 Credit Hours

This course introduces students to systems thinking and concepts. Students learn what comprises a system and study systems engineering management principles used to develop new systems. The course examines case studies related to UAS ethical considerations to facilitate student understanding of and appreciation for public and private concerns with unmanned aircraft systems. Prerequisites: UAS 101, UET 101

UAS 231: UAS Flight Test & Evaluation Part I, 4 Credit Hours

This course provides an introduction into how Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are flight tested and their performance is evaluated. This course provides students with the background and knowledge to understand the fundamental principles of flight test engineering. The topics covered include Introduction to Flight Test Engineering, Test and Evaluation Fundamentals, UAS Test Management, UAS Performance Testing, UAS Flying and Handling Qualities Testing, and UAS Systems Testing. Prerequisites: UAS 101, UET 101.

UAS 250: FAA sUAS Professional Remote Pilot, 4 Credit Hours

This course provides students with a comprehensive education in the knowledge areas covered by the Remote Pilot – sUAS Airman Certification standards. Students learn to fly drones and develop safe flying skills in a state-of-the-art drone flight simulator and hands on application. The course presents instruction on the components of a modern multi-rotor drone, fundamentals of flight, navigation, communication, sensors, human factors, and risk management. The course includes a comprehensive overview of the U.S. National Air Traffic Control System using 3D animations and describes how it affects remote pilots and drone operations. This course provides comprehensive review of subjects included in the FAA Remote Pilot – sUAS Airman Certification Exam. After completing the course, the student may seek to attempt the FAA exam which is administered at an FAA exam center.