One of the NRA’s Top Picks for Gunsmithing School
An Extraordinary Gunsmithing School
Last fall I decided to take two firearms to the Murray State College Gunsmithing School in Tishomingo, Oklahoma. I have an old Sevens double barrel 16 gauge and a Remington Mod. 12 pump .22 caliber rifle. My Uncle Max passed down the 16 gauge to me, likely because I was bugging him too much. My Uncle Max is an extraordinary man. He has traveled the World as an ornithologist collecting rare birds. To his credit he has found numerous new species of birds with some being named after him. He once shot a twelve pound, at the time, unknown duck in Argentina. Since food in Argentina was so expensive…he ate this duck. A single chicken cost $12 USD. He skinned and preserved this duck as a specimen. He claims it tasted good.
Once when I was about 12 years old, I watched Uncle Max shoot a small flying bird with this very 16 gauge shotgun. One shot and he was down. The trick was, he was using an adapter in his shotgun. He shot the small flying bird with a Winchester .22 shot-shell, of the kind which had #12 shot and a crimped end. He was and is an amazing shot.
The problem with this Stevens double barrel was, it had been fired so much the firing pins became warn and started wiggling causing the firing pins holes to be widened. If you examined the firing pin holes you would see a “star” type hole instead of a small round one. I took it to a very reputable gunsmith where I lived. Eight months later and several attempts to contact, I finely got in touch with him. He told me he was not comfortable in attempting to fix the 16 gauge Stevens. He said he might attempt it for $400 but could not guarantee the results. I took back my shotgun and thanked him.
The Remington Mod. 12 .22 pump was old and well used. I bought it off of a friend who need some cash. I knew at the time it was not working as it was designed. A couple of years later I took it to a local gunsmith. He said he fixed it and charged me $90. He did not. The shells still stuck in the barrel.
Visiting Murray State College Gunsmithing School
Now a few passing years, last September, I took the Remington Mod 12 pump .22 Rifle and double barrel Stevens and put them in the truck. I drove to Tishomingo, Oklahoma to the Murray State College Gunsmithing School. A five hour round trip from Oklahoma City. I contacted the staff there and left these two firearms. As you can tell, I was not in a big hurry. I talked to John Bohon and John Tremblay and explained the problems with these two firearms. I was given a tour of the facilities and met several students. All students were extremely professional with “Yes Sir” and “No Sir” responses.
I was given work ticket stubs as receipts. I knew on the onset this process would take several months due to students learning on my firearms. The up side I would get them fixed by students being closely watched at a very reasonable price.
Fast forward to May, the end of their school year, I drove back to Tishomingo and picked up the two firearms. The students did a great job. The Remington Mod. 12 was fixed by Devin Gray and the Stevens 16 gauge double by a nice young man by the name of Ethan Kendrick. I was told by Gunsmithing Program Chair John Bohon the Stevens was a challenge for the student and staff but they accomplished the mission.
Because of my experience with the Murray State College Gunsmithing School, I can say I highly recommend them. The Gunsmithing School at Murray State College has a limited class. They only take 30 students each school year. It has a competitive acceptance into this school which is rated by the NRA to be in the top four in the United States. They will run a criminal background check on all applicants. They pick the cream of the crop to admit to this program. If you are interested and think you can muster up, contact them at the links provided below.
Murray State College
NRA Gunsmithing School Finder