In Colonial and early American times, a single flintlock rifle could have taken at least 300 man hours to complete. It makes me think that 'lowly' muzzleloaders were as expensive as Rolex watches in their heyday. The early gunsmith was a master of several trades. It is loving hand craftsmanship as this that is largely missing in a modern world. Fathers should show their boys this video to truly appreciate excellent workmanship. Certainly this video is much more fascinating to me than any computer games. It is old-fashioned pride in workmanship as this that made America a once-great nation. Mr. Gusler exhibits the genius of Einstein and the work ethic of an Amish plow horse.
Look at the hard labor of forging and welding a single barrel by hand.
Now my question: how are modern American guns made today and do the manufacturing techniques today differ from those shown in the video? Has the industrial revolution greatly changed gunmaking? Are modern barrels still beat seemingly endlessly with hammers by hand?
It seems as an early gunsmith had to be a blacksmith, a forger, a farrier, a founder, a welder, a hand machinist (largely with files), a woodworker, a stock maker and an engraver as well as he had to know how to proof newly-made barrels.