Yavapai College Gunsmithing School Review and Guide

Yavapai College, located in Arizona’s Yavapai County, is a community college that has its main campus in Prescott and also has locations in Sedona, Chino Valley, Prescott Valley, and Clarkdale. Established through a countywide election in 1956, with the motto ‘Life explored.’, the college held its first class in fall of ’69. The college district has its earliest buildings on land that once came within the boundaries of Fort Whipple, a military base that has stood since 1864. As of 2010-11, the College offered 99 certificate, degree as well as transfer options to its students in 73 assorted study programs. Besides the conventional curriculum, the college also offers a number of learning options to match the lifestyle/situation of its various students that include service learning/internships, prior learning credits, non-credit courses, dual enrollment, college for kids, internet courses, telecourses, open entry/open exit courses, senior programs and a high school equivalence program. The college offers Associate degrees in Science, Business, Elementary Education, Fine Arts, General Studies, Nursing and Applied Science.



Gunsmithing Program


LocationTypeIn State $Out of State $FinancingLength (months)
Prescott, ArizonaA.A.S
A.A.S = $6,900
Certificate = $4,600
A.A.S = $22,500
Certificate = $15,000
YesA.A.S = 24 + GER
Certificate = 24


Gunsmithing Classroom courtesy of yc.edu
Gunsmithing Classroom courtesy of yc.edu

Yavapai College is the home of Yavapai College Gunsmithing School Arizona, which was considered one of the best three gunsmithing schools in all of the US for many years – the other two being Colorado School of Trades and Trinidad State Jr College. The school has worked hard to achieve these high rankings and have since augmented and modified their delivery structure so that people could get the education they wanted in a way that best suits their needs. Graduates from this program acquire an Associate of Applied Science degree with specialization in gunsmithing – an ideal certification for someone who aspires to be a professional custom gunsmith.

Besides the standard gunsmithing program that enables students to readily acquire jobs after graduation, there is also an Advanced Gunsmithing certificate the prepares them with much more advanced training in areas of their preference such as CNC machining, guild firearms production and competition firearms.

The A.A.S. degree takes 24 months plus your general education requirements to complete whereas the certificate requires 24 months.


Yavapai College Gunsmithing Tuition


The pricing model at Yavapai College differs from standard colleges in that it gets rid of nearly all course fees, yielding a greater degree of transparency in pricing. The tuition cost for an A.A.S. when you are out of state is at $22,500 and Certificate at $15,000 excluding misc. costs such as residence, tools and textbooks. Try their cost calculator here.




Student Learn Gunsmithing at Yavapai College. Photo Credit: yc.edu
Student Learn Gunsmithing at Yavapai College. Photo Credit: yc.edu

The Gunsmithing program at Yavapai College consists of both general requirements and program specific requirements. General education courses, amounting to a total of 19 credit hours, include those pertaining to college composition / applied composition, numeracy, physical and biological science and behavioral / social science.

Gunsmithing requirements have Apprentice Gunsmithing as the first course – that teaches the basics such as safety standards / liability; design, function and repair of firearms, measuring instruments, metal finishes and application of computer ballistics software application.

The Journeyman Gunsmithing course involves the study of firearm application and machine tool use, milling, precision grinding, turning, break action shotguns, design/function of pistols and revolvers, stockmaking, application/design/function of shotguns.

The Professional Gunsmithing course trains the students in advanced techniques and applies their existing skills. They are taught precision barreling of rifles and major modification of revolvers and pistols. Sophisticated stockmaking procedures and machining of core firearm components is also taught.

The Master Gunsmithing course teaches mastery of gunsmithing and metal skills through capstone courses for student portfolio building. It also trains students in coming up with successful business plans. Each of the four gunsmithing courses consists of ten credit hours each making gunsmithing requirements worth a total of 40 credit hours in the program.

A Related requirements course in Career Search and Success worth 1 credit hour, alongside Gunsmithing requirements (40 credit hours) and General requirements (19 credit hours), makes the Associate of Applied Sciences degree in Gunsmithing a 60 credit hour program.




The faculty at Yavapai College’s Gunsmithing School consists of highly skilled and trained professionals who have the considerable experience in their fields, and some whom have professional establishments as well. The faculty can, therefore, impart more than just the knowledge required by curriculum – they can give valuable lessons in entrepreneurship and other professional practices.




The gunsmithing program at Yavapai College focuses on providing its students with knowledge and expertise that makes them adept in the custom weaponry trade so they can get employed in this field after graduation. They may even start their own business if they wish to do so. However, those who want to go into the firearm repair sector should not go for this program.


Pros and Cons


Assessing the core benefits and drawbacks of a school is essential to making the correct choice for your education. There are plenty of field specific benefits as well as additional perks of attending Yavapai College’s Gunsmithing program as well as a few drawbacks:



  • Reputed as one of the best gunsmithing schools in the country – impressive CV
  • Comprehensive training in customized weaponry trade allows employment/earning rapidly after graduation.
  • Students able to pursue hobby courses if they are not interested in full degree.
  • Topnotch faculty with years of diverse field experience
  • Advanced gunsmithing degree allows students to hone their skills and knowledge even further
  • Competitive and more transparent pricing
  • Multiple financial aids including grants, loans and scholarships, available from the college as well as from outside sources.
  • YC Roughrider Athletics and YC Performing Arts Center provide ample extracurricular activities for those interested.



  • Admission for next session limited to just the first 50 entries who are able to submit their details after 2nd of January.
  • Program not recommended for those who want to learn firearm repair.
  • Tools have to be purchased at student’s expense.


Yavapai College Gunsmithing Reviews From Across The Web


After my father retired (from the aerospace industry), he took the 1911 class at yavapai college – TWICE – and LOVED it (he took it as a hobby!), made some really nice guns, one of which was featured in a magazine article about the class about 10 years ago.

Found on ArizonaShooting.com


I lived right by Yavapai and it is highly regarded as a school.

Found on Falfiles.


And the one at Yavapai, while I don’t know any of the instructors, has an excellent reputation, easily equal to that of the Colorado program or the Lassen College program.

Found on NevadaShooters.com


When I worked at Gunsite in the early to mid -90s we hired several graduates of the Yavapai college program. Usually we would interview prospects that were recommended by the instructors, then take them on as apprentices while they were still in school. We had good luck with most of them, good basic skills. I would say that the Yavapai curriculum was more well-rounded than some of the other schools

Found on NevadaShooters.com




The gunsmithing school in Arizona offers a well-rounded educational experience with comprehensive gunsmithing courses, flexible delivery methods, affordable fee system and plenty of extracurricular activities to broaden the exposure of students and prepare them for interaction with other individuals. For someone who wants to master the craft of custom gunsmithing, this is one of the best choices in all respects.

1 thought on “Yavapai College Gunsmithing School Review and Guide”

  1. How can one of my students get an applicantion?

    John Stinespring
    Cabell Midland HS
    Ona WV
    fax 304.743.7569


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