I'm looking to get my foot in the proverbial door of the gunsmithing trade, but I can't seem to find any schools other than the Colorado School of Trades, another one in Pennsylvania, and another in North Carolina... I need to find a school in Wisconsin or Illinois, and it boggles my mind that I can't find one. So, if any of you are gunsmiths already, tell me how you got your start in the field, and any LEO's, please ask your department smiths how they got their starts. I can start small and just do stock refinishing and gun cleaning at first, but I'd like to get the knowledge I need to do it all, from fixing, to custom gun manufacture. The tools I need for just stock refinishing and some basic repairs cost well over $5000. While I'm more than willing to spend the money (I was willing to spend $20k on mechanics tools) I don't want to throw my money away on tools I'll never use. I need to get my education, and I need to get it close to home. My other option is to get one of you Colorado boys to sponsor me and my kid for 16 months so I can go to the right school. My wife and I decided that if I go to Colorado for over a year, I'm taking Cory with me, since he's legally not her kid... I don't have any other options really if I want to go to this school. =) My Marine Corps Armorer background helps a lot for skills I already have, but it doesn't get me **** when I'm looking for a job... everyone wants to see the degree, or they want to see your previous work... since I don't have any previous work, it's impossible to get anywhere.