Becoming a Professional Gunsmith

American Gunsmithing Institute

How Ron Hennessy Achieved His Dream of Becoming a Professional Gunsmith

Napa, Calif. (February 2015) – About 40 miles east of Carson City, amidst the sage brush and rolling hills of rural Silver Springs, Nevada, lies a small gun repair shop owned by Ron Hennessy, a man who’s finally getting to live his dream of moving away from the big city, living in the country and getting paid to fix guns.

Ron has been working on guns ever since a neighbor taught him how to take apart a Mauser when he was a teenager. Since that experience, he’s been tinkering with guns throughout his life and for the last eight years or so he’s wanted to become a professional gunsmith.

Ron Hennessy - Professional Gunsmith
Ron Hennessy – Professional Gunsmith

Ron didn’t always think this dream was possible. The problem was that for a long time there weren’t any good gunsmithing schools near where Ron lived and the books he could find on the subject weren’t very helpful. A few years ago at the Reno Gun Show, Ron ran into Gene Kelly, the president of American Gunsmithing Institute. Ron found out that he could take gunsmithing courses at home through American Gunsmithing Institute and become a certified gunsmith. At first, Ron took just the gunsmithing courses that interested him. Eventually he was hooked and took the Professional Gunsmithing course and then the Master Gunsmithing course. Ron is currently a Master Gunsmith certified through the American Gunsmithing Institute.

“I’m a typical guy out in rural Nevada with a garage with a nice shop in it. I retired from my job doing road construction three years ago. Because of AGI, I can now do Gunsmithing instead.”

Ron says that most of the gunsmiths he meets aren’t certified and he feels that the Master Gunsmith Certification he earned through American Gunsmithing Institute gives him an edge on the competition.

“I’m currently in the process of building up my clientele. I really love it. I love gunsmithing, I like working with my hands and seeing the final product. You know, you take something and make it look new again or take something that wasn’t operational and make it safe and working again. I love seeing the results of my work and seeing people that are happy with it.”

Not everyone gets to do what they love for work, and Ron was no exception. For many years he worked outside in the heat and the elements doing hard manual labor in the big city. Now, thanks to American Gunsmithing Institute, Ron can work out of the comfort of his own home doing what he loves, fixing guns.

“We have a small piece of land with a lot of sage brush around us and some of the prettiest skies you’d ever see at night or day. I’m happy with it,” he said.

In addition to finally getting to live his dream of fixing guns for a living Ron recently got married three months ago to his longtime sweetheart of twenty-one years.

“She said, let’s get married and I said, what the hell… let’s go for it.”

To learn more about how to become a certified professional gunsmith from the comfort of home visit

About American Gunsmithing Institute:

American Gunsmithing Institute offers complete Certified Professional Gunsmithing Courses and a variety of affordable DVD gunsmithing courses that can be viewed in the comfort of one’s home and at one’s leisure. Unlike traditional schooling, the DVD’s are 100% instruction and can be played over and over again for reinforcement. AGI instructors are all working Master Gunsmiths who provide our students the highest quality instruction available. Visit AGI at to download their free course catalog and find out more about the Professional Gunsmith Course as well as other affordable courses.