In post World War II, veterans were looking for a way to receive training so that they could start new careers. Untold numbers of vets wrote to P.O. Ackley requesting training.
Ackley returned home from a vacation to find a huge pile of mail on a desk in his office, all from men seeking a chance to learn gunsmithing. P.O. had tried to train a few men in his business but found that it was counterproductive. He took the mountain of mail to the Junior College in Trinidad and suggested they start a school to deal with the hundreds of G.I.s who had returned home and had veterans benefits to spend for training.
The school agreed to set up a program and in short order the first round or classes began. P.O. Ackley taught at the school for the first three years of it’s operation. He also helped choose instructors who could pass along quality training to the vets.
Ackley left Trinidad in 1951 when his business was sold to an out of state concern. But the school lives on and is still training gunsmiths today.
A new book on P.O. Ackley will be available in 2017, it will cover his entire career. From 1936 to 1989 Ackley manufactured scope mounts and barrels, he wrote articles and books, and he was “The Gunsmith’s Gunsmith”. No other gunsmith of the 20th century was as influential in the firearms trade. Six years of research have produced an amazing amount of new and interesting information. You may think you know about Ackley, but trust me, when you read this book you will learn so much more…
Book has recently been published, “P.O. Ackley, America’s Gunsmith”