Your points are well taken. Not an easy decision to make, and I haven't made the jump yet...initially, I will concentrate on what I know (carpentry) and custom gunstocks/duplication and certain small parts for which I feel a market exists. This will not require the FFL for startup. I do have a degree in Business Admin. so I'm realistic about projections and business models.
The versatility of the CNC, as said, would allow me to take on a pretty unlimited range of other custom projects as well. Tough to make a career change past 50, but....
I've spoken with ShopBot, and I'm going to see one of their machines that's local to me. No CNC experience. I will have to learn; but, it is my intention to hire someone with the experience to teach me what I need to know.
I'll have to see if this old dog can learn some new tricks.