Are Gunsmiths Becoming Extinct?
To say it is difficult for the American gunsmith to survive in today’s toxic political environment would be an understatement. We are pummeled on a daily basis by rules, regulations, laws, ATF compliance checks, mounds of paperwork, taxes and scores of gremlins that attack in the night. Conditions are extremely hostile for one man in a single shop to make ends meet and support a family of two much less one with kids. Yet, the talent exists and the flame of desire still burns bright for young men and a few women who enter the field. Full service gunsmith schools like Montgomery Community College in Troy, NC. , Trinidad State Junior College in Trinidad, Co, and Murray State College in Tishomingo, Ok, have fed these flames of desire and have been the firearms industry’s educational leaders for scores of years. These fine schools have honed the talents of the finest gunsmith students in the world. The cost of all education today is “through the roof” no matter what field of study you choose, but the high cost of education falls heavy on gunsmith students who often come from a lower rung on the socio economic ladder. Tuition is just one high cost, but when you add very expensive tooling, books, the cost can be suffocating. Add to that apartment rent, fuel and groceries and the financial burden for many skilled students can be daunting – stressful – overwhelming. This is where the American Pistolsmiths Guild will step up to the plate with a new, unique, “business proven” scholarship program designed to help top notch gunsmith students financially and professionally. The Guild is offering $1,500 plus another $1,500 from Brownells for a total of $3,000 to gunsmith students in the final hours of their course of study and in the top 10% of their class. Eligible students fill out an application available as a download from the APG web site and submit it along with recommendation letters from at least two professors, a formal transcript showing grades with grade point average, completed hours of study and remaining hours of study. If the student is selected he or she will receive a check for $1500 plus another $1,500 from Brownells with “no strings attached.” The student scholar can spend the money on anything he chooses including fuel for his car, apartment rent, gunsmith tools, groceries or anything else important for his staying in school. He will also be added to the rolls of the American Pistolsmiths Guild as a “student member” to pique his interest in becoming a full member upon graduation and completion of Guild membership requirements. The student will have access to Guild members who will stand by to give advice and possibly job opportunities when the education is complete. We hope the firearms industry will rally behind this futuristic oriented scholarship program and help establish it as a nucleus program with their money and support. Frank and Pete Brownell of Brownell’s have stepped up to the plate with matching funds for every $1,500 donated by others up to $5,000 per year. The Brownell family has been a leader in the gunsmithing supply and firearms industry for well over 50 years, Pete Brownell is a board member of the National Rifle Association and Pete’s and Brownell’s generous support for the Guilds gunsmith scholarship program is greatly appreciated. Donations from other industry giants, hopefully as an annual amount in $500 increments will be greatly appreciated as will amounts in “any” denomination from individuals. Your donations may be sent to Scott Mulkerin; 3775 Foskett Road; Medina, Oh.44256. Scott will place scholarship money into a special account from which checks to students will be written. Ten-Ring Precision, has kicked off this industry leading program with a $1,000 donation. The first recipient of a Guild scholarship is a student I met at the Brownells De Moines, Ia. Job Fair in May 2010. This fine young man, Dennis Chi, has graduated from Trinidad State Junior College, one of the oldest and finest full course gunsmith schools in the US. Dennis presented himself at the Job Fair in a very mature, businesslike manner. He was well dressed, clean cut and appeared to be a goal oriented person. Credentials for this former US Army Cavalry E-4 Scout Specialist were simply stunning which included glowing letters of recommendation from two professors. Since Dennis Chi received the first scholarship the Guild and Brownells have presented scores of scholarships to the finest gunsmith students and the combined scholarship award is now up to $3,000 with a limit of five students per calendar year. Please, let’s all get on board and be a part of educating quality, future gunsmiths. Alex B. Hamilton 06-01-10
THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS ARE REQUIRED FOR SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION AND MUST BE SUBMITTED AS A COMPLETE PACKAGE:
* A COMPLETE, FILLED OUT APPLICATION.
* A COPY OF YOUR “FORMAL” TRANSCRIPT.
* LETTERS FROM AT LEAST TWO “GUNSMITH” PROFESSORS.
* YOUR PERSONAL LETTER EXPLAINING WHY YOU BELIEVE YOU QUALIFY FOR THE $3,000 SCHOLARSHIP.
* ANY OTHER INFORMATION YOU BELIEVE WOULD HELP YOU WIN A SCHOLARSHIP.
Scholarships are limited to five per any calendar year.
ONLY STUDENTS IN THE PREAPPROVED SCHOOLS WITH NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED GUNSMITH PROGRAMS LISTED BELOW ARE ELLIBLE:
Trinidad State Junior College in Trinidad, Colorado
Montgomery Community College in Troy, NC
Pennsylvania Gunsmith School in Pittsburgh, PA
Yavapai College in Chino Valley, AZ
Pine Technical College in Pine City, MN
Murray State College in Tishomingo, OK.
Colorado School of Trades
Piedmont Technical College, SC
ALL OTHER SCHOOLS WISHING TO HAVE THEIR STUDENTS ELIGIBLE FOR A GUILD/BROWNELLS SCHOLARSHIP MUST HAVE A GUNSMITH SCHOOL DIRECTOR CONTACT ALEX HAMILTON BY PHONE, 1-210-494-3063; AND IN WRITING AT 1449 BLUE CREST; SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS 78232.
We have provided two different formats for your convenience.
Download an application by clicking on one of the following:
(Microsoft Word) APG Scholarship Application
(PDF Format) APG Scholarship Application