Gunsmith character jug prototype modeled by David B. Biggs and produced by Royal Doulton of Burslem, England, in 1963. A finished piston or rifle required fine detail work on iron and steel, the carving of decorative designs, hammering and casting brass and silver into complex shapes and engraving hard and soft metals. These skills were usually learned in an apprenticeship lasting five to seven years, beginning between the ages of twelve and fourteen years and completed by twenty-one. Colonial gunsmiths mainly performed repair work because imported firearms were cheaper than those made in Williamsburg. Rifles were the only Virginia arms produced in quantity. Gunsmiths often repaired axes and other items made by blacksmiths, cast shoe buckles and other items, and sometimes repaired silver objects. A musket stock forms the handle of the jug.