MEET OUR SMITHS
Grew up in Mackay Idaho and from a very young age was immersed into the shooting world. My father and grandfathers were avid hunters and I looked forward to the fall every year to follow in their footsteps. I began reloading everything from small caliber pistol up to magnum rifle and shotgun during this time as well.
By the age of 12 I was tearing apart everything to discover how it worked and why. This lead to a love and passion for anything mechanical, forming/fabricating parts and building from raw materials. Throughout my teenage years, I was building everything from motorcycles to firearms. Upon graduating High School, I worked as an Auto mechanic until I felt the need to follow in my grandfathers and uncles footsteps. I enlisted into the Navy in 1989 and served as a Corpsman until 2001. I attended Idaho State University and graduated with a BS in Environmental Sciences.
Shortly after, I began working in the Aerospace industry repairing, fabricating and wiring aircraft from general aviation through commercial aircraft. In 2001, a great opportunity was presented and I began working in the Biotech sector and spent 11 years machining, fabricating and overseeing projects involving Homeland Security, NASA, DoD, DoE and was directly involved in obtaining 11 industrial patents.
During these years, I also acquired my FFL/SOT and began building firearms from mild to wild. I attended factory schools for Glock and S&W, as well as online courses for the 1911, accurizing, and blueprinting. I started my own company, Gem State Armory and patented my first tool in 2011. I have spent the last 6 years doing general repairs ranging from basic work to complete custom builds, as well as custom finishes utilizing Cerakote. With over 25 years experience in machining and fabrication I pride myself on my work and stand behind everything I work on.
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My name is Cody Coleman, I’m a Colorado School of Trade’s Certified Gunsmith and I’ve been involved in the firearms industry for little over a decade. I got my start at a young age, grew up on a farm in Montana where I learned to hunt and shoot. Firearms have always fascinated me from a young age, I use to build wooden replicas of all sorts of modern and classic firearms and it was at that point in time I knew I would make my life’s passion for weapons into a career. My family moved to Arizona when I was just beginning high school, and the move only bolstered my passion for firearms due to Arizona’s large firearms community that is present there. In my junior year of high school, I began working with Patriot Ordnance Factory building piston driven AR-15 Rifles. I was involved with just about every level of production at POF where I learned a lot about building modern firearms. Once I graduated high school, I went on to attended Colorado School of Trades. The program covered a very wide range of firearms from modern to turn of the century, and new and old techniques in the trade of gunsmithing. It was a great learning experience for me which I thoroughly enjoyed. I Graduated in 2010 with my Associates in Occupational Sciences Degree and my Gunsmith Certification.
After CST, I worked in the manufacturing of AR-15 rifles once again and then really got into the marketing and selling of AR-15 Rifles. I worked as a On-Site Armorer and Sales Agent for an industry friend until I was recruited by a private military firm to be a Gunsmith Overseas.
I was contracted for a year to work at APS-5 in Kuwait at Camp Arifjan as a Gunsmith II. There we processed the drawn down weapons from Operation Iraqi Freedom, built armories and maintained the heavy weapons for the base. It was a great experience and it was awesome to work alongside the best our nation has to offer.
Upon returning stateside, I went to Florida to assist and work alongside a fellow CST graduate at his company, Definitive Arms. There we built and worked with Kalashnikov rifle platforms. Once my work there was complete, I returned to Arizona. My family had moved to Idaho while I was in Kuwait to return to a cooler climate. So I decided to give Idaho a shot and I’m very happy I did. This a wonderful state, full of great people and a strong firearms industry. I’m very happy to be here at Independence Indoor Shooting working alongside Jeff Halverson and I look forward to helping our customers with their gunsmithing needs.