It Don’t Come Easy

The life and times of a gunsmith.

by Brian Capps

I knew it was gonna be one of those days. The boss – my friend, mentor and fellow gunsmith – had obviously awakened on the wrong side of the bed and was in a foul mood. Things didn’t go right all morning. Just before getting ready to go out to lunch, the buzzer on the front door went off signaling that we had a customer. I went up to the window to offer my assistance and, in a loud voice, the man announced that he wanted to see the owner. Hearing this, the boss asked if he was a solicitor; the answer was no.

Putting down the parts he was trying to assemble into a working trigger group, the boss came up to the window and immediately launched into an obscenity laced tirade. The “customer” had an armload of cheaply made items for sale, junk that most flea markets would turn away. “Darn it, [this is the non-obscene version] I thought you said you weren’t a solicitor.” Upon hearing this, the man drew himself up to his full height (about 5’ 3”) and announced, “I ain’t no solicitor, I is a salesman.” Can’t argue with logic like that. We hustled him out the door and went to lunch.

Gun shops seem to draw a group of real characters and gunsmiths also get their fair share. We had one guy I called Peter Paul because every time he showed up he had two or three Mausers he wanted repaired or modified.

Read more in our February 2015 issue. Back issues are available.

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