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I know that many pistolsmiths pride themselves on being one man operations where they've done all the work on anything that goes out the door. But what about the advantages of having an apprentice or two?

1) Many hands make the work light. :smile: And some tasks (packaging guns for shipment, sweeping the shop, dis-assembling and cleaning pistols) don't require a master's touch.

2) Teaching is also an opportunity for learning, since a student's questions will force the teacher to think about issues he might not have considered on his own.

3) This is the "biggy": Today's apprentice can become tomorrow's master. If a gunsmith works alone, odds are that the experience, skills, and knowledge he's accumulated over a lifetime will someday die with him. That seems like a terrible waste.

Consider, too, that other highly skilled professions use some sort of apprenticeship system. The great painting masters of the Renaissance had workshops of assistants and even brain surgeons don't work solo.

I suppose the biggest obstacle to hiring an apprentice is finding someone talented enough and dedicated enough who's willing to work at the starvation wages that the typical pistolsmith can afford to pay. :wink: True?
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