Yearly Firearm Maintenance

This is a discussion on Yearly Firearm Maintenance within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have searched the forum for this subject buy have not found a satisfactory response to this question. How often should we have our primary ...

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Thread: Yearly Firearm Maintenance

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Pikachu711's Avatar
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    Yearly Firearm Maintenance

    I have searched the forum for this subject buy have not found a satisfactory response to this question. How often should we have our primary SD firearm to be inspected by an armorer. This should be a part of owning our respective brand of firearm. I'm no authority of when & how often we should have our primary handgun examined by a firearm professional but it makes sense to some degree.

    How often should we be allowing an armorer of our favorite manufacturer the opportunity to examine our various firearms?

    If we carry one type/brand of firearm how often should we be allowing an individual firearm armorer the time to examine their respective firearm?

    Any thoughts on this subject would be greatly appreciated.
    "Gun control is being able to hit your target."
    Glock 26

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    It's something I've never done. I have guns that I have been shooting for over 20 years that have never been inspected by anyone but me. I maintain my guns religiously.

  4. #3
    Distinguished Member Array GWRedDragon's Avatar
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    I inspect my guns whenever I clean them and replace parts that are starting to show a lot of wear. For instance, I replaced the recoil spring assembly on my original G26 after awhile of heavy use (The plate that mates to the slide became loose). The old one went into the spares bin for emergency use. In a year or two I will probably replace the small springs. There is no reason not to when they are $1.00 or so each.

    I don't expect to have to replace anything on my carry G26 since I fire it very infrequently, but all the same I do inspect it whenever I clean it and parts will be changed out if there is ever a question about something.

    Some people probably think I'm nuts for preemptively replacing parts on a Glock. All I can say is, it doesn't hurt anything and I can certainly imagine ways not doing so could hurt. I guess I just like my guns to be in peak working order. It is a mechanical device after all, even though it has GLOCK stamped on the side.

    I think of it like an aircraft engine: if you have a ton of hours on your aircraft engine, you have to have it rebuilt even if it seems just fine...that way you can be extra sure it will work when you need it.
    "Trust in God with hand on sword" -Inscription on my family's coat of arms from medieval England
    ---Carry options: G26/MTAC, PF9/MiniTuck, PPK/Pocket, USP40/OWB---
    ---NOTE: I am not an expert. If I ever start acting like a know-it-all, please call me on it immediately. ---

  5. #4
    Member Array NoNameMan's Avatar
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    My opinion is that if I shoot a gun often, and properly maintain it, then a yearly check-up isn't necessary. I function check a weapon every time I clean it, which is every time I shoot it, sometimes more frequently if I carry it or it's been a while. If I notice anything abnormal then it's taking a trip to the gunsmith.
    "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

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    Senior Member Array wjh2657's Avatar
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    I was trained as an armorer in the USMC. I have purchased detailed manuals and handbooks on all my guns and I have the AGI DVDs on all of them. I also have purchased gun specific tools to correctly dissassemble and reassemble my weapons with a minimum of possible damage. I say this because I inspect my own guns, but I do not recommend that everybody else do it.

    I carry several different J-Frame S&W revolvers depending on the season and mode of dress. When it comes time to make a seasonal change, I take the oncoming seasonal weapon out and start the drill:

    Pre-season:
    1. LTI (Limited Technical Inspection) of weapon.
    3. Clean and lube weapon.
    2. Fire weapon at range.
    3. Disassemble and detail inspect weapon for wear or damage.
    4. Clean and lube weapon and reassemble.

    Post season:
    1. Disassemble weapon and detail clean.
    2. Detail inspect for damage or wear.
    3. Oil internal parts .
    4. Reassemble weapon.
    4. Wax exterior, put in "gun blankets" (silicone impregnated cloths)and store in gun safe.

    The post season detailed inspection is why I don't do a detailed inspection at the pre-range session.

    This procedure not only applies to my EDCs but also to my long guns. HD shotgun gets same treatment as EDCs but at semi annual points.

    If you only carry one EDC, check with the manufacturer and see what they recommend. I know that in the Armory we checked a rifle or 1911 annually whether they were fired or not. If you are not trained in detailed dissassembly/reassembly I don't personally recommend you try it, but you should set up some sort of at least annual inspection and detailed cleaning with a trained armorer. Most of us spend a lot on our weapons and they rate the care. But the bottom line is that you want to be sure that you have done everything possible to ensure proper function of the weapon. Don't believe the "super weapon" stories about guns that never break or never need cleaning. Some of the most expensive high end guns I have owned have let me down and some of the cheapest have stood me in good stead. Guns may look rugged on the outside, but they are all complicated and delicate inside. They need care!


    In the end, two clicks are not as good as one bang!
    Retired Marine, Retired School Teacher, Independent voter, Goldwater Conservative.

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    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pikachu711 View Post

    How often should we be allowing an armorer of our favorite manufacturer the opportunity to examine our various firearms?

    I'm capable of inspecting and performing routine maintenance my own firearms. Put me in the "never" category.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."

    Theodore Roosevelt

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    Distinguished Member Array Reborn's Avatar
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    I rely upon myself.....
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    Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.
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    You should really know your gun inside and out and be fully knowledgeable in its safety, design, function, basic disassembly and reassembly. Once this is achieved, you will know when and if the services of an armorer is ever needed. As a rule, your weapon should never fail to fire or otherwise fail to function.
    Regards,
    “Monsters are real and so are ghosts. They live inside of us, and sometimes they win.”
    ~ Stephen King

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array Sheldon J's Avatar
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    Heck I strip and do a detailed inspection of my CC gun weekly....
    Anything obvious would get fixed, and all they can do is a visual on the parts, unless you want a magnaflux which I can do also.....
    The only time I MIC it is after the first 10,000 rounds..... then every 10K after.
    "The sword dose not cause the murder, and the maker of the sword dose not bear sin" Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac 11th century

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    Senior Member Array wjh2657's Avatar
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    All of the above procedures are good and would suffice. I think the issue is whether an individual should detail disassemble their weapons and would they know what to inspect the weapon for wear or damage? Anybody of workable intelligence should be able to do this if they buy a good manual/DVD and learn how. I am amazed every time I go to the range how many malfunctions occur, how many are due to simple problems/cleaning and how the shooter doesn't have the foggiest idea how their gun works or why it isn't working now. A person will spend $800-$2000 on a full race gun and then not learn anything about it's internals. I personaly want to know my EDC is "healthy" everytime I put it in my pocket. Simple lookovers and cleanings on a routine basis will take care of most guns, I'm probably a little OC on my detailed system.

    The problem is more prevalent now that we have a lot of newbies who are not really "gun people' buying and carrying handguns out there now.

    I had 2 different firearms (M-16 and a 1911) fail on me on two different occasions when my life depended on them. Luckily I had backup. I had nightmares about it for years, until I started getting OC and doing my little mantra.
    Retired Marine, Retired School Teacher, Independent voter, Goldwater Conservative.

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    Member Array HiFreq47's Avatar
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    Not to disrespect any "armorers", but you're putting a lot more stake in that word than is necessary.

    I assume you're talking about a Glock Certified Armorer because you have a Glock as your avatar and because they're the only people using the term "armorer" that I know of.

    You can train to be a Glock Certified Armorer by yourself, just detail strip your Glock (takes about 15 minutes with a small punch being the only tool you need). Done. The Glock Certified ones are the people who payed money to be taught that so noobs could bring a gun to them for a spring replacement. Glock armorers are NOT metallurgists. They are NOT necessarily gunsmiths. They are little more than people who know how to fully disassemble and reassemble a Glock.

    A gunsmith on the other hand is a trained professional who, if good enough, understands the minute intricacies of the weapon(s) he specializes in. In the 1911 world for instance, this includes sear/trigger/hammer engagement and function, ramp angles, extractor tension, ejection timing, headspace, hood clearance, and the black-art world of barrel timing. A typical gunsmith is a machinist and understands metal better than most.

    Glock armorers are none of that - again, no offense attended to any here who might be. Luckily most Glock armorers I've met feel the same way about the certification as I do =)

    Learn about your own pistol. You should be inspecting it every time it gets cleaned and it should get cleaned at least every 500 to a thousand rounds. And it should get at least a couple hundred rounds fed through it per month.

    If your pistol is built correctly, it should last longer than you with little more than spring changes and the occasional new barrel.
    Billy
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    Glock 23 in a Barber Leatherworks IWB

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    Senior Member Array wjh2657's Avatar
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    I am not now a certified armorer. I never did go back after retiring from the USMC and get re-certified, so the term is probably misused. I was trained as one and have kept myself current on my weapons by judicious use of books and DVDs. I don't work on other peoples' guns. The USMC experience just gave me a good working knowledge of what to look for and what to expect.

    You are correct, a Gunsmith is a machinist and has in depth training on the weapons internals. I send my guns back to the factory if anything goes critical with them. I have had bad experience with "Gunsmiths" in gunshops. I don't believe most of them really work often enough on guns to very proficient. Those that do have the right skills and are in the larger shops have a waiting list longer than the factory! If the OP is willing to spend the time effort and money, if his piece needs special tools, to learn how to do it himself, than that would be the best way. If however, he isn't pursuing increasing his knowledge about the workings of his gun, then he does need to find someone, Armorer, Gunsmith, good buddy or whatever, to clean and inspect his weapon occasionally.

    Smith and Wesson does still train and certify "Armorers" btw.
    Retired Marine, Retired School Teacher, Independent voter, Goldwater Conservative.

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array varob's Avatar
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    After about 3,000 rds. I sent my 1911 to the gunsmith for an full disassemble and cleaning. I was surprised when he told me that the internal parts still had some packing grease on them.
    Don't believe what you hear and only half of what you see!
    -Tony Soprano

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    Member Array dogrunner's Avatar
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    Sorry if I hurt your feelings, but I find it utterly amazing that someone could be so absolutely mechanically 'challenged' that they couldn't decide if their gun needed some work!

    Good Lord, you've gotta have some ability with the handling of the thing to operate it!.....Do you get your brakes on the car checked when they squeal or if it fails to start or shift gears properly? Do you stop and have it checked if it belches smoke on starting or operating it....Do you change the oil and filter frequently?

    Any of the former are COMMON SENSE and you ought to apply the same rule of cleaning/being aware of proper functioning with your gun as with your transportation............if you can't, then you ought NOT to carry the thing any more than you ought be driving a motor vehicle!!

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    Member Array llongshot's Avatar
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    Sorry to disagree with dogrunner but don't let his/her tirade get you down. I've had a gunsmithing FFL and a pile of reference material [nobody knows it all] and a gazillion of hollow ground screwdrivers and steel and composite punches and vises and composite clad pliers and vise grips ad nauseum. I own at a minimum one of each of the following.....AR/Benelli/1911A1/CZ/H&R/Ruger/Thompson Center Encore shotgun, rifle, pistol [pistol from 30.06 to .460] also ad nauseum. And I still don't know all there is to know about every one. And neither does dogrunner. Learn enough to do the field strip and clean and find someone you trust to work on the type of weapon you have and have them do a complete strip and examination as often as it makes you feel confident with the gun. Heck, since dogrunner's such an expert you might wanna hire him. Oh, and by the way, sorry if it hurts your feelings "dogrunner".

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