Title: Faculty, School of Firearms Technology

Highest degree and school: Masters in Communication Leadership, Gonzaga University

Teaching at SDI since: 2017

James Ryan teaches a number of courses for the School of Firearms Technology. A firearms enthusiast since childhood, he is cohost of a weekly podcast that discusses firearms, firearm-related accessories, and firearms news. Jim shared, “I love the firearms industry and there are a lot of fantastic people in it who do their part to make this part of life in America possible for so many.” Outside of SDI, Jim is a photographer and videographer specializing in instructional design, whose work has been used at multiple universities in his home state of Washington. Prior to that, he worked in television production for ABC, MTV, and MyTelevision, most notably on the shows The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. He holds a masters in Communication from Gongaza University.

Jim believes that gunsmiths and FFLs are more important now than ever before. He says he came to SDI because he wanted to be part of an organization that was going to give people a good fundamental knowledge of what they would need to know if they wanted to work in this field. His favorite course to teach is Shooting Sports Management, where students are tasked with designing their own firearms-related business from the ground up; “It’s great to work with the students and see how they come up with their own ideas and they’re all very interesting.”

Jim says his idea of the perfect day depends entirely on what passion or hobby he can dive into: “If it’s a sunny day outside, then I can go hiking with the family, take photographs, go rockhounding, or go shooting. If it’s a rainy day, I’m just as happy in the garage working on one of my guns, reloading, polishing rocks, or playing games.” He loves spending time with his wife, daughter, and their three dogs. When asked what he’d like to learn more given the time, Jim suggested lapidary, the practice of shaping stones: “A lot of the skills and techniques from gunsmithing transfer over to that hobby so finding rocks, polishing, shaping, and cutting them into interesting things is where I’d like to play for a while.”