In a year, Iím going to retire from the Army after 21 years in the service. Iíve really been thinking hard about what Iíve wanted to do with my life when I retire. Iím a Cavalry Scout and that doesnít exactly carry over into the real world well.
I have my foot in the door for a job where I would be earning about $15 (might be $18) an hour as a civilian contractor. Thatís good money, but there are a few draw backs, at least in my mind. If I were to get injured or lose my job I have nothing to fall back on. I have no marketable skills. There is a real possibility of another draw down and reduction of civilian contract jobs.
See, the thing is that Iíve always been drawn to guns, ever since I was a kid. I joined the Army because I liked guns. I initially planned to get out and work in a gun shop or be a gunsmith but ended up staying in the Army because I liked what I was doing.
I am the go to guy around here when it comes to weapons, although I have no formal training. I enjoy trouble-shooting firearms and find it absolutely fascinating, although I am somewhat intimidated by the term 'gunsmith'. I'm not sure I have the aptitude for the finer aspects, but I like repairing guns.
Does anyone know about Lassen Community College in Susanville, CA?
Does it make any sense for me, a 40-year-old man, to attempt to go school full time with a wife and two kids and then try to start a career in gunsmithing?
Are schools like Lassen worth the time and effort?
Do I really want to move to California (only until schools over) with all the crazy gun laws and nonsense?
Are there any other schools that teach gun repair or gunsmithing that are located in Texas or Kansas?
Should I just take a few classes in machining and forget the formal gunsmithing schools?
My wifeís mom has a house in Susanville thatís currently sitting empty. Itís up for sale but hasnít sold, yet. Itís possible that we could rent this place while I go to school. I would be getting about $1300 a month in BAH from my GI Bill , all tuition and fees would be covered, books should be mostly covered, and Iíd have my retirement check to help live on. Iíd have to get a job, at least part time, to put food on the table for my family. I graduated from high school in California, so I qualify as a resident student and could keep my Texas residency.
The best advice Iíve had seen so far is that if you plan on being a gunsmith, donít quit your day job. Well, Iím cool with that. Itís possible that the contracting job may still be there in couple years and I could possibly get hired on after I were to graduate school, then do gunsmithing on the side.
What input do you guys have? I havenít really talked it over with my wife yet, but I will soon.
Biting off more than I can chew?
I appreciate any advice. I may not be around much. Iím currently deployed overseas and the internet is hit and miss. Anyway, thanks a lot.