How Prepared are you to Repair your Own Guns?

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by Dunerunner, Sep 8, 2014.

  1. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    I just read that S&W is discontinuing the manufacture of parts for their 3rd Gen pistols. I have never thought about having replacement parts for my weapons. I'm going to start stocking up on parts for all my firearms, today! Need to get myself educated on gunsmithing while I'm at it, too.

    Who is going to repair your guns come SHTF?
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  2. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I have a good stock of AR-15, FAL, M1 Garand, 1911, AK, SKS, CZ52 and HI-Power parts and will be stocking up on Glock parts now that I can buy them directly from Glock.

    Don't forget specialized tools like a barrel wrench and receiver blocks for AR-15s.
  3. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++

    Dunerunner that would probably be you. Many manuals both new and old out there on practical gunsmithing. Go on the forums for your particular arms and ask what "breaks". yep, gather parts but more important are the tools needed. A simple spring jig and files along with the various punches and other hand tools will take you a long ways with the practiced skills needed to keep "ol' Betsy" running.
  4. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    For those interested, check with your local community college... many offer gun-smithing courses.
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  5. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Got fortunate and picked up a vintage S&W armor's data book...along with some handwritten tips & tricks. Been acquiring parts specs for as many of my pets as possible.

    Come SHTF, the same person is going to perform repairs as
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  6. GOG

    GOG Free American Monkey Site Supporter

    I picked up the Gun Digest Assembly/Disassembly Manuals for revolvers, centerfire rifles, semiautomatic pistols and the one for shotguns some years back. They are excellent source material although in some cases they can lack detail.

    I have Stephen A. Camp's "Shooters Guide to the Browning Hi Power" and a book for customizing and maintaining the 10/22.

    Other than that, I've relied on the internet, mostly specific forums. I still don't have a good manual for the 1911, but after getting nudged by Dunerunner's post, I'll probably get Jerry Kunhausen's book this week.

    I have a Tipton rifle vise that comes in handy. Years ago I splurged on Brownell's mega deluxe screwdriver set and I have accumulated punches, hammers, pliers, files and assorted tools over the years.

    I am by no means a gunsmith, but I am a fairly capable tinkerer. I enjoy the process of working on firearms. Most of the time it's relaxing and rewarding time spent.

    I'm pretty handy around the house and can generally handle most household repairs. I'm also old enough and just wise enough to know when I'm out of my depth.

    "A man's got to know his limitations." ...Clint Eastwood ;)
  7. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    Check the monkey files (resources) there are many files with information on most common firearms... this may be a good starting point for you....
    GOG likes this.
  8. BigEd63

    BigEd63 Monkey

    Great thread.
    Being able to repair and maintain your firearms over a long term period are often over looked in preps.
    GOG likes this.
  9. Finster

    Finster Simplify, I'd say more but this says it all.

    There are aftermarket parts available for almost all guns, some may need to be made to spec and therefore a little pricey.
    The best sources I am aware of are Brownells, and Midway and there are sources that cater to gunsmiths the names are available from your local gunsmith.
    Part or every preppers "TEAM" should include a gunsmith, a local guy you need to develop a relationship with now... I do most of my own gun smithing, including modifying parts and finishes. I have a few local gunsmiths I use for milling, welding and highly specialized tool work. It doesn't take much to be friends with someone that shares a common interest.
  10. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

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  11. Finster

    Finster Simplify, I'd say more but this says it all.

    Almost every part that comes off a gun, mine or a customers gets inspected, repaired and labeled for "future use". This inventory of used parts will never be used to repair a customer gun, or even my own in normal times. Just like spare magazines I will never use until I have to use them these parts are JIC designated. Spare guns, spare parts, spare mags, spare ammo, spare cleaning supplies. All put away for the most common guns and calibers. And it doesn't take much for anyone to do the same. Here's an example;

    I had purchased a Browning Buckmark .22 pistol in 1987, primarily because it was a close match in sight picture and grip angle for a colt Gold Cup. I have used this fine $400 firearm for almost 30 years, running at least 10,000 rounds of high velocity ammo through it. Now bear in mind that sounds like a lot of money for a .22 pistol in 1987, and it was. But in comparison to 10k rounds of .45 ACP that it save me from practicing with, cheap as beans. OK so my gun is almost 30, and it has a few years on it, but I take really good care of my guns and it still feeds reliably, and shoots accurately.
    Not as good as new but really good. So instead of retiring the old gal, I rebuilt her.
    I bought all the replaceable parts, springs, levers, pins and firing pin and a recoil buffer from; the whole shabang cost about $100 including new magazine springs* and new fiber optic sights. This is clearly on 25% the cost of a new gun, it always ran great but was probably bound to break eventually. So I installed all the parts in about 20 minutes, I had about 15 useable old parts which I cleaned and bagged. I had two parts that were not "good" meaning they were definitely out of spec, the recoil buffer which was completely deteriorated and the trigger transfer bar, was slightly bent and worn from rubbing on the frame. I bought replacements for both of these ($12 combined) and added them to the baggie.

    So for $112 I have a rebuilt pistol and a reasonable rebuild kit for said pistol. The only other key part I did not replace is the barrel!

    You can do the same thing with many common rifles, pistols and shotguns. In fact many of the "consumer models" made today have few or no "gunsmith required" parts. Anyone reading this could build one give the instructions and the parts.

    * I put new magazine springs in my pistols all the time. If you store your mags loaded, even some of the time you need to replace mag springs. Every magazine I have ever seen has a removable spring that usually requires no special tools to dissasemble for cleaning maintenance or replacement.
    Glock springs in the gun and magazines are supposed to be changed every 1 - 2 years! There is no such thing as maintenance free.
  12. GOG

    GOG Free American Monkey Site Supporter

    Great post Finster.
  13. vonslob

    vonslob Monkey++

    I am not prepared in any way to repair my weapons and that is something i need to change.
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  14. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I've repaired/rebuilt a handful of guns, seems to be a knack of mine. While I don't have the spare parts on hand that I would like to, I can just about rebuild all of my glocks and AR's.

    I would like to get some parts for some of my other guns (10/22, shotguns, etc.) but I just haven't done it yet. Maybe that will be one of my goals in 2015, increase my supply of spare parts for the common used guns in my safe.
    GOG likes this.
  15. HappyPuppy

    HappyPuppy Monkey

    I have a spare lower kit from Rock River and another kit of all the other Little springs and rings I a have a spare BCG too a must if you have an AR IMO

    I'm adding an ak too for versatility, ease of use and simplicity.

    I carry a Little 380. I am adding a mid size 9mm too hopefully some good Black Friday sales. I don't know how to do more than basics
    On pistols.
    GOG likes this.
  16. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    I built my AR's to make sure I knew them inside and out and to ensure that I had the tools and knowledge to keep them going. My next bolts will be Savage to make home smithing and maintenance easier due to their design. They may not be as fancy and pretty as others, but they shoot just as well or better and they will be easier for me to keep going. Pistols have a minimal if any role for me in SHTF as 9mm weighs as much as 556 and I'd rather have the weight of a service pistol in 556 ammo anyway.
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  17. HappyPuppy

    HappyPuppy Monkey

    Similar to how I look at it. First thing when I get dressed the wallet goes in one pocket the other I put the 380

    I tried to carry the bigger ones like a Springfield tactical 45. It was just too big and heavy. So I never carried it. This peashooter is always with me.

    In SHTF the AR will be with me always. However a case could be made for a pistol carbine and handgun say a 357 lever action and revolver. That would work and serve most situations if
    Not all.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014
  18. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    There are as many ways to do it as there are people. I'm sure as heck not going to tell anybody to remove pistols from their plan. To me a small pistol like my M&P Shield has the utility of concealment that I can't get with my rifles in a situation where I might not be carrying one. Outside of that, most pistol rounds are poor man stoppers, coupled with poor accuracy makes them a bad bet for me. Outside of SHTF I love 'em all, though!
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  19. AmericanRedoubt1776

    AmericanRedoubt1776 American Redoubt: Idaho-Montana-Wyoming Site Supporter+

    We simply have been getting two to three identical of each major firearms platform: ARs, AKs, Ruger 10/22 Takedowns, Savage bolt actions, Glocks, and Mossberg shotguns.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2014
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  20. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Many firearms use roll pins I have a good assortment of roll pins for firearms and other uses also well stocked at hardware and auto parts stores.

    Pretty cheap 245 for $19.95 here.

    Super price on ATD Tools - 373 at

    850 at Brownells for $63.99
    With the increasing use of roll pins in guns, we've been looking for a good assortment of them in black steel finish to offer. Finally found it - with 850 pins in 8 diameters and various lengths (see below). Should take care of most gun needs!
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