Colorado School of Trades Partners with Ultimate Reloader

We’ve just on-boarded a new gunsmithing school partner, the Colorado School of Trades (CST)!


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About the Colorado School of Trades

This hands-on, two-year college was founded in 1947 and has evolved with the times to offer a comprehensive and respected program.

Student Reaming on Lathe at CST Shop

This program is affordable and can be completed in under two years under the guidance of experts. The Colorado School of Trades has a 20,000 square foot facility and large machine shop filled with lots of specialty equipment and capabilities.

From Colorado School of Trades

Colorado School of Trades is an accredited institution offering an Associate of Occupational Studies degree specializing in Gunsmithing. Colorado School of Trades is accredited through the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). Founded in 1947, Colorado School of Trades has offered our Gunsmithing Training Program since the very beginning. 

Are you interested in a career in Gunsmithing? Here are a few things to consider. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation there are an estimated 423 Million Firearms in the United States, and less than 10,000 legitimate Gunsmiths available to work on them. This equates to over 42,000 firearms per Gunsmith. That shows favorable job security in a marketable career like few others!

Colorado School of Trades has developed a unique hands-on system utilizing project oriented and customer provided training that has been honed for the past 75 years. The school prides itself on a personal approach that allows students to acquire job skills that will prepare them to enter the work-force as an entry level Gunsmith and begin a lifelong career in the field.

In our 20,000 square foot industry simulated facility, Colorado School of Trades can accommodate up to 160 students with new classes beginning on the second Monday each month. This allows for individual class sizes to remain small, putting more focus on student and instructor interaction. All instruction is project and customer based. Using “Real Customer Projects” allows for students to experience many real world work situations under instructor supervision.

Students are offered additional courses throughout the duration of the course. Armorer’s Courses consist of representative from various companies visiting Colorado School of Trades to pass along information regarding certain platforms. These Armorer’s Courses usually carry additional costs that are determined by those putting on the course. Presenting companies may include but are not limited to; Beretta, Glock, Sig Sauer, and Smith & Wesson. Cerakote also provides a free course to all students at the school once a year to supply students with the knowledge and application of their product.

Total cost to attend Colorado School of Trades is approximately $29,850. Tuition cost for our program is $25,200. There are additional costs including approximately $4,500 of tools and materials necessary to complete the program, including all aspects of the bolt action project rifle, as well as a $150 supplemental accident insurance policy. 

What to Expect

The program starts with learning firearms systems and platform fundamentals. This includes how they work, how to troubleshoot, disassembly, reassembly and more.

Student Using Mill at CST

Everything else you learn stands on this foundation. Next comes machine shop fundamentals including running a lathe, turning, holding tight tolerances, threading, working with stocks on a mill, etc. These are all key skills I will be looking for when I go to hire someone for my own gunsmithing shop.

The Colorado School of Trades works very closely with the parent company of Cerakote. All of the instructors have been through Cerakote Certified Applicator Training and are up to date on the latest technologies and techniques.

By the end of the program, you will build full custom rifles and emerge with lucrative skills including stock making.

Why does it matter?

I’m especially excited about this particular partnership because there is a lot of synergy between what is taught at the Colorado School of Trades and what I show on the channel. Precision rifle builds and Cerakote are significant examples of this.

Inside of CST Shop

I’m also looking forward to getting to know the staff, professors and owners at CST and learning from one another. There are a number of things I’d like to do that I haven’t done yet, like bluing a barreled action or revolver parts.

Their hands-on approach and impressive resources also stand to set you up for a successful and lucrative gunsmithing career.

Online learning is a great resource, but it’s no substitute for hands-on experience and working with an expert. I learned so much from my time working with Gordy Gritters that I could not learn from anywhere else.


Looking forward, Ultimate Reloader is going on a road trip to the Colorado School of Trades! I’ll be interacting with the students and staff, as well as learning and teaching! What I learn at CST will find its way into our regular content as well! Keep an eye out for what’s coming next!

If you’re interested in attending the Colorado School of Trades, check out their website

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Gavin Gear

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