Pennsylvania Gunsmith School was founded in February 1949 to meet the occupational demands of many returning World War II veterans who were in need of training. Under the guidance of Mr. A. W. Thacker and several highly skilled Gunsmith artisans, the school was formed to fill the training void, which was once occupied solely by apprenticeships. The original mission of the school was to provide highly technical training in a shorter period of time than the usual 7 to 11 year apprenticeship normally required. These talented individuals crafted the foundation and philosophies of the school that have carried on to this day.
The school was originally located on 6th Street, in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to provide easy accessibility to the veterans. During the Korean Conflict, Mr. A. W. Thacker retired and his nephew Mr. George R. Thacker was appointed President and Director. Under Mr. George R. Thacker’s supervision, the school has been transformed into an institution that is recognized world wide as providing highly trained and skilled Gunsmiths. This transformation included several moves throughout the years to provide greater class and bench space and equipment modernization with a culmination of efforts that are encompassed in the present facility. Mr. Thacker has talked and met with hundreds of Gunsmiths and Gunsmith employers to shape and mold the Master Gunsmithing Program into a training program that meets the demands of the current Gunsmith industry.
In 1975, Mr. Thacker's son, G. Robert Thacker joined him and has worked side by side with him for over 30 years. Today, PGS is under the guidance of Mr. G. Robert Thacker and continues his father's philosophies of providing superior, closely mentored training. PGS is a private vocational technical school training students exclusively in the field of Gunsmithing. Graduates of Pennsylvania Gunsmith School are located throughout the world.
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