Gunsmithing Student Handbook Series

The Gunsmithing Student Handbook Series from Fred Zeglin, et al. is a collection of four primers filled with modern information about gunsmithing and tools. Learning how these are designed and made will make you more efficient and profitable as a gunsmith. Chambering for Ackley Cartridges, Understanding Headspace, and Chambering Rifles for Accuracy were the first three. Gunsmith Tools, Cutters & Gauges – A Primer is the newest release of the series, containing over 100 years of knowledge about how and why gunsmithing tools are designed and manufactured as they are.

Fred Zeglin, gunsmith, teacher, and writer, has worked with the makers of gunsmithing tools, reamers, headspace gauges, and more to create this series. Each book provides a highly detailed and technical explanation of the subject at hand in a way that any gun lover will be able to understand. The series dovetails nicely with each other as the subjects are all connected. Zeglin compiled knowledge from Clymer Precision Inc., Dave Manson Precision Reamers, JGS Precision Tool Manufacturing, Pacific Tool and Gauge, and SAAMI together, collating all these sources into cohesive works that represent a century of best practices.

Zeglin has been building custom hunting rifles for over thirty years. His teaching experience includes conducting classes for the NRA Short Term Gunsmithing program at three separate colleges and as the Coordinator/Instructor for the Firearms Technology program at FVCC. Prior to the Gunsmithing Student Handbook Series, Zeglin published Hawk Cartridges Manual, Wildcat Cartridges, Reloader’s Handbook of Wildcat Cartridge Design, and P.O. Ackley, America’s Gunsmith. Zeglin also created two digital video courses for the American Gunsmithing Institute: Taming Wildcats and Reloading A to Z.

“People who have decades of experience with a job and its tools have a ‘curse of knowledge.’ In short, they have no idea how much of what they know needs to be explained to people with less experience,” said Zeglin. “Even the terminology that we use requires defining. I think these books are a huge step toward breaking that curse.”

All of Zeglin’s books are available in paperback or eBook format on Amazon. His books as well as services can be purchased directly from or by contacting 406/752-2520 or

Read more in the November 2020 issue.

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