Don’t waste your time thinking about whether or not to take this class. TAKE IT!!! You’re reading the reviews about it, so you KNOW you’re interested in it. Let me help push you across the line so you’ll sign up.
I had always wanted to learn how to assemble an AR properly. Like many, I spent my time doing searches for all of the great YouTube armorers and whatever else I could find online. Everything I found showed you what to do and how to do things (and it wasn’t necessarily correct), but that was about it. This class gets into why things are supposed to be done a certain way.
This class was WELL worth the time and money spent on it.
Since most probably won’t read the full review, here’s what you should bring, at a minimum:
A completed AR or a full parts kit for the rifle you want to build. The store is open on Saturday, so you can purchase parts, if you’re missing anything.
Toolkit for building and working on your AR. You can order one from SOLGW, if you don’t have one or know what to get.
A notebook and pen or pencil.
Thumb drive to get a copy of the PowerPoint used during the class for future reference.
Safety glasses for working on your AR. There are a lot of springs and little parts that will go flying, if you’re not careful.
Mike was outside welcoming everyone to the class. All during the weekend, he was concerned that people were learning something and enjoying the class. He is the kind of guy you want in this business. There were a few people in the class who had rifles that were sub-par, from large, “REPUTABLE” manufacturers, and he fixed the problem parts on the spot, on his dime. He was happy to sit down during breaks to just talk to people.
When I got into the classroom, I signed in, showed my weapon was clear and made sure I didn’t have any live rifle ammo. YOU DON’T WANT TO HAVE LIVE RIFLE AMMO IN THE CLASS/SHOP TO PREVENT A ROUND FINDING IT’S WAY INTO A CHAMBER!!! Ammo for your pistol, if you carry, is fine, but it’s usually secured in your magazines. There was a table set up with doughnuts, chips, cookies, coffee, Gatorade, sodas & water. I wasn’t expecting this, but it was a welcome surprise, since I forgot to bring something with me to drink during the class. You always tend to forget the simple things when you’re in a hurry to get out of the house.
Kent was the primary instructor for the class. This guy knows his stuff. He has years of experience working as an armorer. He is also VERY patient and took the time to explain things as many times as it took for people to understand them. Student knowledge ranged from Police armorers doing their annual recertification to people assembling their first full AR, like me.
The class started off with a history of the rifle, basic nomenclature, function and field stripping.
We then starting talking about the specs the gun was originally built to and how many manufacturers have starting doing their own things and lost their way. The specs are the specs for a reason and when they get changed, you run the risk of the gun wearing out quicker than it should. This wear can lead to the rifle becoming unreliable and stop working for you at a bad time (defensive situation). One of the biggest things I learned in the class was how a lot of companies will go out of their way to save a few cents here and there and give you substandard parts rather than what should be in the rifle. You need to ask yourself, is your life worth those few cents the manufacturer saved?
Most of the upgrades offered today are solutions looking for a problem to solve or just another way for a company to make money. I understand they are in business to make money, but is it necessary?
Do your research, not in an echo chamber where you’re going to be told exactly what you want to hear, but talk to the people who actually build, run the rifles hard and really know & understand how they work.
There was a lot of great information passed on Day 1. There’s too much information for me to put here, you’ll need to attend the class to get it.
We started with a more detailed discussion about taking the rifle down and started disassembling our lower receivers.
A little later, we started on reassembling our lowers. There was a detailed instructor demo on how to do it, then we moved on to a detailed demo on how to assemble an upper. That dust cover spring is a PAIN!!!
We broke for lunch, but I don’t think anyone left. Kent stayed with us and was more than willing to help us assemble our rifles. I know I needed help, it was my first time building an upper and I wanted to do it right.
At the end of the day, they offered the option of test firing the rifle you just assembled. Most people took this option.
At the end of the day, there were completion certificates handed out, questions answered and a lot of shop talk going on. All in all, it was a great class. I had a lot of my preconceived notions shattered and changed my mind on what is important with one of these rifles. Again, if this is something you are interested in, SIGN UP! It never hurts to get more training and knowledge on something. You won’t regret it!!!