The Smartest Man I Know

And Why Everybody Needs To Know One

When most of us ponder gunsmithing shops, we conjure up visions of a building chock full of machines, tools, fixtures, vats of unappealing liquids, hoppers of gun parts, corners occupied by stands with firearms in various states of disrepair, and maybe a poster or two of some guns up on the wall. Out of this physical plant emerges the finished product, typically produced along the lines of sausage—which nobody should ever watch done. While it is true physical resources are critical to the proprietor’s success, his human resources are just as important, because without them the enterprise will surely fail.

No matter how smart your pet gunsmith is, he will inevitably encounter problems that are simply insurmountable with his equipment and skill. No amount of study of manual or gunsmithing text will get you through some difficulties with uncooperative guns, tools or processes. What separates the men from the boys is the wisdom to recognize their limitations, and have written by the phone the numbers of vital human resources to call upon in time of crisis.

I may not be the brightest star in the firmament but my momma didn’t raise no fool, so I have spent a lifetime accumulating friends who are sources of skills, gear and knowledge which I do not have. You should, too. My gang has done a lot of bacon saving during my career. I’ll tell about a few of them but you can’t have their phone numbers; some names have been changed to protect the guilty and innocent alike.

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