Instruction Hours: 19

Length in Months: 12 (Self-Paced)

Course Description


We start with the history of locks, showing locks as much as 400 years old, and then move into the different types of keys. Learn everything you need to know about keys, from key blanks and catalogs, to how to make keys. We teach you how to hand-file and machine-cut flat keys, bit keys and cylinder keys. We demonstrate three different methods of code cutting cylinder keys for padlocks, door locks and automotive applications. We use detailed close-ups to teach how to properly compare keys and find the correct blanks.


We explain each lock mechanism in detail using diagrams, cutaways, and super close-ups to show even the smallest details. Here’s what you’ll learn about each type of lock:
Warded Locks: We go over all the different types of warded locks including padlocks and old house locks. We not only teach how the mechanisms work, but we also show how to make a key by creating an impression of the lock. We show you how to use the proper tools to “pick” open any warded lock.
Lever Locks: Everything from the simplest cabinet lock to sophisticated safe deposit locks is covered. Lever locks are much harder to impress and pick, but our instructor gives you all the tips and tricks learned from more than 40 years of locksmithing.
Wafer/Cam Locks: We cover wafer-style locks and cam locks in great detail, including automotive wafer locks. Extreme close-ups, diagrams, and cutaway locks take all the mystery out of wafer lock mechanisms.
Pin Tumbler Locks: Using a special cutaway lock mechanism, we show you the basic design and operation of pin tumbler locks – the main type of lock used in residential, commercial, and automotive.

Testing and Certificate Requirements

When you complete this course, you will take an examination to test your knowledge. When you pass your exam with a score of 80% or higher, you will receive a Certificate of Completion.

  • Request Info

    Send Me an Info Kit & Free Video Lesson "How to Get Started in Professional Gunsmithing".

    What level of gunsmithing education are you seeking?
    I am a Hobbyist and only want to work with my own guns.
    I want to be a Professional Certified Gunsmith Part-Time / Full Time.
    I want a retirement income within 3-5 years.
    I am an FFL dealer / Gunsmithing is a potential add-on business opportunity.
    Are you a veteran?
    Check here if you are a veteran.
    Disabled Veteran / Vocational Rehabilitation
    Please only check this box if you are a Veteran with a Disability Rating or you will you be working with Vocational Rehabilitation or Workers Compensation to enroll in our program.
    Request Mini-Lessons by Email
  • It is not a requirement in the state of California to obtain a Gunsmithing Certificate to practice gunsmithing. However, possessing a Gunsmithing Certificate will demonstrate a proven level of competence. A Federal Firearms License and State licenses are required to operate a gunsmithing business.
    The American Gunsmithing Institute’s approval to operate as a private postsecondary institution in the state of California is based on provisions of the California Private Postsecondary Education Act (CPPEA) of 2009 (California Education Code, Title 3, Division 10, Part 59, Chapter 8), which was effective January 1, 2010. The Bureau can be reached at 2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400, Sacramento, CA 95833, www.bppe.ca.gov, toll-free telephone number (888) 370-7589 or by fax (916) 263-1897.
    Professional Gunsmithing Courses not available to Oklahoma residents at this time.