Course Descriptions
Gunsmithing tool list (general list, before you take any classes)
(for tools/materials for each individual course, see below left)


Eventually all the courses listed below will have pic thumbnails on them. Some of them do now. Most of the pictures were taken by gunsmithing student Thom Noblitt-Gonzalez, 2005. Some newer photos by Orrin Winton, 2006-08.

 

FIRST YEAR, FALL SEMESTER CLASSES

dot Guns Needed: First Year

dot GSS 50.1: Recoil Pad and Sling Swivel Installation

dot GSS 50.3: Open and Optical Sight Installation

dot GSS 52.1: Gunsmith Machining 1

dot GSS 52.2: Gunsmith Machining 2

dot GSS 52.3: Gunsmith Machining 3

dot GSS 52.4: Gunsmith Machining 4

dot GSS 52.5: Gunsmith Machining 5

dot GSS 52.6: Gunsmith Machining 6

dot GSS 54.1: Oxyacetylene Welding for Gunsmiths

dot GSS 54.2: Electric Welding for Gunsmiths 1

dot GSS 54.3: Electric Welding for Gunsmiths 2

dot GSS 54.5: Hardening and Tempering of Carbon Steels

dot GSS 59.2: Metal Preparation for Finishing and Caustic Bluing

dot GSS 59.3: Parkerizing

dot GSS 59.4: Color Case Hardening

dot GSS 59.9: Alternative Metal Finishes

 

FIRST YEAR, SPRING SEMESTER CLASSES

dot GSS 51.1: Stock Inletting

dot GSS 51.5: Glass Bedding for Strength

dot GSS 51.6: Wood Stock Preparation for Finish

dot GSS 55.4: Stock Refinishing and Repair

dot GSS 56.1: Headspace

dot GSS 56.3: Bolt Action Barrel Fitting

dot GSS 56.4: Barrel Contouring

dot GSS 57.1: Bolt Action Rifle Breeching and Headspace

dot GSS 57.2: Action Blueprinting

dot GSS 57.3: Action and Bolt Modifications

dot GSS 57.6: Truing Exterior of Action

dot GSS 57.8: Bottom Metal Modifications

dot GSS 58.2: Pressure Bedding and Pillar Bedding

dot GSS 62.4: Correcting Oversize Firing Pin Holes

dot GSS 64.1: Composition Stock Fitting and Bedding

  

SECOND YEAR, FALL SEMESTER CLASSES

dot Guns Needed: Second Year, Fall Semester

dot GSS 59.5: Rust Bluing

dot GSS 59.7: Niter Bluing and Heat Coloring

dot GSS 60.1: DFR Recoil Operated Auto Shotguns

dot GSS 60.2: DFR Gas Operated Auto Shotguns

dot GSS 60.4: DFR Pump Shotguns

dot GSS 61.1: DFR Single Action Revolvers

dot GSS 61.2: DFR Smith & Wesson Revolvers

dot GSS 61.3: DFR Colt Revolvers

dot GSS 66.2: Revolver Barrel Fitting

dot GSS 67.1: Blowback Principle

dot GSS 68.1: DFR Locked Breech Single Action Auto Pistols

dot GSS 68.2: DFR Locked Breech Double Action Auto Pistols

dot GSS 68.3: DFR Blowback Auto Pistols

dot GSS 70.1: DFA Triggers 1

dot GSS 70.2: DFA Triggers 2

dot GSS 73.2: Spring Making

  

SECOND YEAR, SPRING SEMESTER CLASSES

dot Guns Needed: Second Year, Spring Semester

dot GSS 62.3: Misfire Correction

dot GSS 63.1: Double Gun Single Triggers

dot GSS 63.2: Double Gun Ejectors

dot GSS 63.3: Double Gun Locking Systems

dot GSS 63.5: Double Gun Hinge Pins and Headspace

dot GSS 66.1: Non Bolt Action Rifle Barrel Fitting

dot GSS 66.3: .22 Rimfire Barrel Fitting

dot GSS 69.1: DFR Gas Auto Rifles

dot GSS 69.2: DFR Pump Rifles

dot GSS 69.3: DFR Lever Action Rifles

dot GSS 69.4: Non Bolt Action Feeding

dot GSS 71.1: DFR .22 Auto Rifles

dot GSS 71.2: DFR Bolt Action .22s

dot GSS 71.3: DFR Pump and Lever .22s

dot GSS 71.4: DFR Marlin 39A

  

SUMMER NRA PROGRAM COURSES

dot GSS 77: ACCURIZING M1-M1A FOR COMPETITION

dot GSS 79: BASIC CORRECTIONAL ARMORERS SCHOOL

dot GSS 82: GENERAL GUNSMITHING

dot GSS 83: GENERAL GUNSMITHING - ADVANCED

dot GSS 87: LEAS/ DES. & REPAIR DOUBLE ACTION AUTOPISTOLS

dot GSS 88: LEAS/ DES. & REPAIR SINGLE ACTION AUTOPISTOLS

dot GSS 89: LEAS/ DES. & REPAIR FULL AUTOS, PHASE 1

dot GSS 91: CUSTOMIZING COLT-TYPE AUTO PISTOL, ADV.

dot GSS 93: LEAS/ DES. & REP. CNTR SNIPER/ VARMINT RIFLES

dot GSS 95: LEAS - BASIC

dot GSS 98.02: COWBOY ACTION LONG GUNS

dot GSS 98.03: COWBOY ACTION SHORT GUNS

dot GSS 98.04: ADVANCED KNIFEMAKING

dot GSS 98.06: DFR LONG GUNS

dot GSS 98.08: CUSTOM BUILT 1911

dot GSS 98.09: COLOR CASE HARDENING

dot GSS 98.12: COWBOY LEATHER BELTS AND HOLSTERS

dot GSS 98.13: METALLURGY

dot GSS 112: MACHINE SHOP FOR GUNSMITHS

dot GSS 112B: INTRODUCTION TO KNIFEMAKING

dot GSS 114: BASIC RIFLE BARRELING

dot GSS 117: GAS TUNGSTEN ARC WELDING FOR GUNSMITHS

dot GSS 119: ADVANCED RIFLE BARRELING

dot GSS 123: BASIC HARD METAL ENGRAVING

dot GSS 124: WELDING FABRICATION FOR GUNSMITHS

dot GSS 129: PNEUMATIC GUNS: DESIGN, FUNCTION AND REPAIR

dot GSS 133: SCRIMSHAW

dot GSS 134: CAUSTIC BLUING

dot GSS 148: ADVANCED CORRECTIONAL ARMORER SCHOOL

  

  

PICTURES FROM THE GUNSHOP COURSES
Please note, all of the pictures in this group were taken by gunsmithing student Thom Noblitt-Gonzalez, 2005.

dot Machine Shop Images

dot Gunsmith Welding Images

dot Gunsmith Rifle Stock -Related Images

dot Soldering-Related Images

dot Armory Images

dot "Guns" (in general) Images

dot Full-Auto Images

dot Revolver Images

dot Chambering (Rifle Barreling) Images

  

  

COMPLETE LISTING OF COURSE NUMBERS, INCLUDING 'OBSOLETE' COURSES NO LONGER TAUGHT:

dot Complete List, including obsolete course numbers

  

  

Lassen College Gunsmithing
Guide to Courses

Join the Fun!!

Note: This is not the official Lassen College Gunsmithing Website. If you want to visit that page, click here

  

  

History of the Gunsmithing Program

The Gunsmithing Program of Lassen Community College first came into being in September 1945. Harlan Fritts, the first student, approached Mr. C.W. Frost, at that time the Lassen Union High School industrial arts teacher, about obtaining a junior college course in gunsmithing. Mr. Frost had been a custom gunsmith before the war, and although tools were lacking for such a course it was started on a trial basis.

Throughout the year 1945-46 Harlan was the one and only student, and, although no advertising was released, the year of 1946-47 saw twelve new members enrolled in this course.

In the 1947-48 school year the enrollment jumped to twenty-one, and in the 1948-49 school year enrollment was at thirty-two.

In the year 1949-50 the enrollment was up to forty-seven with 138 requests for admission turned down due to limited facilities.

Mr. Frost remained strictly a gunsmithing instructor for the first five years of the program and moved the program into a separate building with new metal working tools and other special tools needed for the course.

The gunsmithing course began as a community service program with initial curriculum presenting courses on the conversion of surplus military rifles into custom sporting arms. Training was conducted in a quonset hut behind the junior college building on Main Street in Susanville. At that time Lassen College was part of Lassen High School District with a shared superintendent/president.

The second instructor for the program was Mr. Hugh O’Daniel who taught through the spring of 1957. In that year John Wise taught, developed and expanded this program for a period of twenty-five years until his retirement in April 1982.

Robert Dunlap, instructor of advanced gunsmithing students at LCC until 2002, came to Lassen College as a student in 1959, just a year and a half after John Wise was hired. At that time there were two separate training programs: the first ran 12 hours a week. As the program progressed, Wise became instrumental in getting the evening program converted from a community service activity to one which was fully accredited.

In the 1960s, when enrollment at Lassen was very low, it was the gunsmithing and the forestry programs that provided justification from keeping the college from closing. About 1968, the gunsmithing activity was moved from its original home in the quonset hut to a larger facility in the basement of Lincoln School. The program was conducted in the basement location while awaiting completion of the new campus.

The gunshop was moved into its present facilities and accepted students in the new facility for the first time in January 1972. Bob Dunlap returned to Lassen, as a second instructor, to help John Wise manage the newly expanded program in September 1972. Over the next several years the curriculum was changed with emphasis shifting from military conversions to the more lucrative field of gun repair. Another major change was the expansion of the program from 37.5 to 80 semester hours in 1975.

In 1976, the two-year curriculum, which earned a graduating student a Gunsmithing Technician Certificate, was expanded and a third-year program, more advanced and specialized, was added. Students who completed the three-year course were awarded the Professional Gunsmith Certificate.

In the fall of 1977, a class on the assembly and fine-tuning of single action revolvers from kit form was added. Enrollment increased significantly and a third instructor, Mr. Richard Scott, was hired.

Initially, the three instructors, Wise, Dunlap, and Scott shared the teaching of all the classes but after about two years, teaching responsibilities shifted and each instructor began to specialize. Wise, as the senior instructor, taught beginning machine shop, military conversions, beginning stock making and reloading classes. Dunlap specialized in all aspects of gun repair, rust bluing, advanced stockmaking and advanced reloading. Scott taught advanced machine shop, and black powder rifle fabrication.

By 1979, the growth of the program and expanded enrollment called for another increase in the staff with the hiring of a half-time teacher's assistant. In 1981, another alumnus, Ron Hart was hired as the first qualified (7.5 years in the gunsmithing field) full-time teacher’s assistant. The following year, Richard Scott left the instructional staff and two Lassen gunsmithing program graduates joined in. Ron Bacchus was hired as the machine shop instructor and Gary Boyd joined the staff as an instructional aide.

In 1981, Steve Taylor began teaching the welding portion of the gunsmithing program with specialized classes developed for welding for gunsmiths. In November 1982, the gunsmithing facility at Lassen Community College was dedicated as the "John Wise Vocational Gunsmithing Building." Wise, who had been fighting a losing battle with cancer, passed away only three weeks later, ending 25 years of leadership and guidance for this unique program.

Early in 1983, discussions were started between the Education and Training Division of the National Rifle Association and Mr. Robert Benbough, a college representative, to bring the unique short-term summer NRA gunsmithing school to Lassen College. Plans to continue to develop through 1983, and, for the first time in 1984, a full schedule of 19 different one- and two-week courses covering many facets of gunsmithing were offered.

In the summer of 1984, Ron Hart left the teaching staff for a job at Murray State in Oklahoma. John Vest was recruited to begin in October 1984.

In 1986 Bob Benbough left and coordinating of the NRA program was taken over by John Vest. By 1990 John Vest's teaching duties had increased so that he could no longer coordinate NRA and cover his teaching requirements. Ellis Evans assumed the NRA responsibilities until 1999. In fall 1999 Cliff Bannister replaced Ellis as NRA coordinator and also started teaching some gunsmithing classes.

Bob Dunlap retired in July of 1995. The enrollment in the gunsmithing program had been in a slow decline for several years, so when Dunlap retired, a decision was made by the remaining gunsmithing instructors and the college administrators, to alter the program to make it easier and faster to do with fewer instructors. The enrollment then started declining at an even faster rate.

By 1999 there was serious talk of eliminating the gunsmithing program. In 1999, Ron Bacchus quit and moved to Oregon.

In the spring of 2000, John Vest retired and Cliff Bannister was reassigned to another area of the college. Gary Boyd took over as the NRA and Gunsmithing Coordinator, and Dave Renner was hired as an instructional aide.

In the summer of 2000, Bob Dunlap was hired as a consultant to revamp the gunsmithing program and to teach part-time. At that time, a decision was made by instructors Gary Boyd and Bob Dunlap and Vice-President Linda Kennedy to phase out the conventional semester and replace it with one-week courses, similar to, but more concentrated than the summer NRA courses.

Starting the fall of 2000 the new system started to be phased in as the old semester program was being phased out, a process that took nearly two years. Teaching of the gunsmithing program was now being down by full time instructor Gary Boyd and part time instructors Ken Brooks, Bob Chavez, Bob Dunlap, John Martin, Martin Scott and Chet Brown. The spring of 2001, the Gunsmithing and NRA Programs Coordinator's responsibility were split in two, creating two directors with Gary Boyd head of the Gunsmithing Program and Steve Taylor head of the NRA Program.

By Spring 2002, enrollment in the gunsmithing program was rising rapidly. The 2002 Summer saw the best enrollment ever in the history of the Summer NRA Program. Gary Boyd retired in the fall of 2002. John Martin was hired as a full time faculty member to replace Gary Boyd. Steve Taylor assumed the responsibilities for the NRA and Gunsmithing Programs. The Gunsmithing program began its first semester with the new system fully in place and being run by John Martin and Steve Taylor.

 

 

Short Biography of John Martin

Originally a commercial fisherman, John Martin has been teaching for Lassen Community College since 2002. Specializing in precision rifles, he has a wealth of knowledge in general gunsmithing, and excels at gunsmith machining and welding. An alumnus since 1992, he was the only student of the legendary Bob Dunlap to be hired to work at PISCo, Dunlap’s business (Pacific International Service Company) during his course of study. Dunlap has often referred to John as the “The Greatest Young Gunsmith in America.” Upon moving to the area of Lassen County, John took a tour of the school grounds and enrolled in the program that same day for no other reason than it looked interesting. Known for his Wildcat custom rifles, he spends a majority of his free time sharing them with the local coyote population in which he has expressed a great love/hate fondness for the furry critters.

  

This page was created by Orrin Winton and George Gaskill
This site last updated on February 6, 2008


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