View Full Version : AGI at home gunsmithing?

12-01-2009, 10:50 AM
Like most of us here, I have dreams of being able to work on and build my own guns. And I will save money.:smile:

The AGI gunsmith DVDs seem to promise that they can make my dreams come true. So what do you guys think? Can I really become a gunsmith by putting a little work into watching these DVDs? Is AGI the best rout to go or are there other better DVD courses? I would love to hear from gunsmiths and people that have taken the course.

12-01-2009, 01:39 PM
I bought the video on building a 1911 for my machinist teacher to build a gun. He has been doing gunsmithing for 25 years that I know him and he was satisfied with the instruction.

12-01-2009, 10:04 PM
Don't know about AGI, but years ago, I took the NRI gunsmith course, and graduated 'with Highest Honors', for what it's worth. The catch was, it did NOT make me an expert in anything! The more I learned, the less I actually knew. I was able to rebuild my first Enfield rifle, and go from minute-of-pieplate to 2 inches at 100 yds. Pay your money,....

12-02-2009, 08:22 AM
I have not seen the AGI videos, but I would think if you combine them with the gunsmithing books out there it should at least get you off on the right foot. You still need some basic mechanical aptitude to do anything with guns, or any tool for that matter. Even then when the little spring that drives the widgit that actuates the thingy that makes the whatsit cam the thingamabob over into position goes flying across your garage.....then you'll wonder if any of it was a good idea!

12-02-2009, 04:32 PM
Bret just hit on all the salient points to being a successful gunsmith...

1. You have to be mechanically gifted. The more gifted, the better.

2. You have to be able to think analytically; you have to have a creative enough imagination to see the problem and divine a solution. More often than not, a direct replacement part is not available, so you have to be able to come up with an alternative solution.

3. Guns are mass produced objects, meaning they were designed to be assembled by a group of semi-skilled laborers making very little money. So if something seems hard, it's because you're not doing it right. There is a trick to everything; it's your job to either know or figure out what it is.

Books and videos do a great job of providing the last point, but unfortunately, that's only 20% of the job. The other 80% is numbers one and two.

12-02-2009, 05:39 PM
2nd Nut - I had a very good friend who was in the machine trade for over 50 years. He had worked at Frankford Arsenal during WWII and was the shop foreman for Paul Jeager Guns for 7 years. He had always done gunsmithing at home until the day he passed (when he was 86 years old). He was very good at his trade.
I asked him once to teach me to do what he does. He told me I was certainly a good enough mechanic, but I didn't know enough about steel, hardness, tempers, etc. Said it takes years to learn all that. Because we were very good friends and knew each other well, I trusted his judgement and never brought it up again. Sometimes I wish I had . He's been gone about ten years now and I still miss him every day. Just me experience. Enjoy Mike

12-02-2009, 07:20 PM
Thank you all. I would like to think I have what it takes to be a gunsmith, and am willing to learn. Unfortunately I have no one local to teach me, that is sort of why I thought AGI might be worth a look into. I guess the very least I might learn from the DVDs is whether or not I have it in me.

12-02-2009, 09:15 PM
I had only one AGI video and found it to be amaturistic.
The 'expert' worked on the gun with ill-fitting and inappropriate tools.
I would not spend money on another from them.


Charlie Sometimes
12-02-2009, 10:30 PM
I have bought "How to make Flat and Coil Springs" and "How to heat treat Carbon Steels & Case Harden Metal Parts" courses.
I got them By One, Get One Free; or half price, depending on how you look at it.
I haven't had time to watch much of either since I got them, but what I what I did watch of the spring making seemed well done, and Bob Dunlap made it look easy enough- kind of like you have some experience and he helps fill in the gray areas that you can't pick up with out seeing it done, or wasting lots of time and material.

I would like to see some of the full courses, though.
Seems like an awful lot of money for everything, but at least you would have the ability to watch everything as much as you wanted in review.

Let me know what you decide and how it goes.