Who is your Gunsmith when SHTF?

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by M14sRock, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. M14sRock

    M14sRock New Member

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    I have a policy regarding my guns. They need to be user friendly and easily maintained.

    I need to know that in a worst case scenario I can repair any of them that may need it. This means that I keep spare parts on hand for the guns I have, and I know how to fit and install them.

    So there are a lot of great guns on the market that I have no interest in using anymore.

    Guns that use rivets or proprietary roll pins are not suitable for long term use. Why? Because if the guns you own today became the only guns you would ever own, are you capable of keeping them running? When a gunsmith or warranty center is no longer available, can you keep your guns running? In my case the answer is “yes”.

    Guns that go "Sproing!" when you take them apart may not be the best to have when SHTF.

    HK policy is that once a roll pin has been removed it should be discarded and replaced with a new one. For someone like me who does periodic detail stripping and cleaning, that policy does not work. Great guns, but not conducive to long term maintenance. Can those roll pins be reused in a pinch? Of course. But for how many uses?

    Sig Sauer “P” series pistols are famous for shedding grip screws (and having grips fall off). And under the right side grip is a spring that is crucial to the operation of the pistol. But those plastic grips are easily broken, thereby exposing the easily lost spring. The pain truth is that Sigs are fragile and easily taken off line. But they are fairly easy to detail strip.

    CZ makes some great pistols. World class. But they have lots of small parts, and spare parts are not readily available. A lack of spare parts is not good. CZ’s take a ton of hard use, but when they break they are a pain to repair.

    Ruger is well known for keeping their spare parts strictly controlled. Good luck finding spare parts for most Rugers.

    Browning Hi Powers are very easy to maintain and work on. Not all parts fit each version though, so have your spares on hand. Spares are also tough to track down at times.

    1911s? They are the interesting pistol. A 1911 is brilliantly designed to be detail stripped with no tools other than the parts of the pistol. They take ton of abuse before parts start failing, usually. But those parts are not typically considered “drop in”. They can require some fitting, so I consider the 1911 a “tinkerers pistol”. Parts quality also varies greatly from one company to the next. But anyone who is even moderately mechanically inclined can keep a 1911 running. Just be aware of issues like non standard firing pins from one maker to the next. SAI uses proprietary firing pins. Know what your gun needs. And beware when using full length guide rods, super tight bushings and hex head grip screws. They can all require extra tools to remove.

    Glocks are the easiest to maintain. Take down can be done with something as simple as a stiff paperclip, or a nail. As a bonus, all of the spare parts a Glock is likely to ever need can be stored inside the hollow cavity in the grip. And Glock parts require absolutely no fitting at all. The tolerances are kept very tight in the manufacturing process, so all parts interchange.

    In the revolver world, S&Ws are the easiest to maintain and also the easiest for which to get spare parts.


    So if your SHTF pistol is your only pistol, make sure you have a rudimentary knowledge of how it works, and how to keep it running. Get the spare parts you may need to keep it running and pre-fit and test them while they are available. And make sure you have a good supply of spare springs no matter what you use. Springs wear out fast. Some countries restrict gun parts like they do guns. Get spares now.
     
  2. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger New Member

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    Really good post. I know who I'll be following around like a puppy dog when the SHTF!
     

  3. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    I am.

    And if I run into trouble, my gunsmith also happens to be a former military type that did work on 5 continents and he happens to be in my A/O ( just across the water and about 5 blocks in actually.

    But a great idea for a thread. ;)

    JD
     
  4. M14sRock

    M14sRock New Member

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    "Ding, Ding, Ding!!!" That is the answer.

    It was a rhetorical question.
     
  5. billdeserthills

    billdeserthills New Member

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    Dude- Really Now,
    Roll pins can be your friend, all you hafta do is buy an assortment of them
    Many gunmakers offer a "spare parts kit" especially for the paranoid at heart.
    Why not get yourself a tube of "Lock-Tite" Blue color is a good beginning.
    Brownells carries a huge assortment of parts for 1911's & other guns.
    I can't believe anyone on a gun forum only owns one gun?
     
  6. M14sRock

    M14sRock New Member

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    Not intended to get your panties in a bunch, Bill. It was intended to get people thinking about who is gonna fix their broken guns when there are no gunsmiths, warranty centers or Brownells and Numrich's left.

    Everything you posted is true, but how many gun owners have the spare parts they need and the skills to replace them? Not the majority.

    I know people who only have enough ammo on hand to load a couple of mags, and have seen plenty that don't keep ANY ammo on hand.
     
  7. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    my choice is ar15 which is obvious parts wise and milspec 1911. colt/springfield/ww2 make. reason being that while new parts need fitting you seldom need to fit parts when moved as a unit once they are working when moving to a new frame. 1911 milspec also seldom break. once fitted together sear disconector hammer safety can often be transferred as a unit.

    ive got enough spare parts to keep my 1911's until ive long since exhausted any realistic ammo supply or need.

    anyway thats been my experience. ive experimented between my ithaca, springfield and series 70 and all parts interchange 100%.

    ive thought about that shtf where to get parts problem as well.

    this is one of several reasons i wont put my faith in glock.

    [​IMG]

    if the case is a little long or or bulging a scootch, which is very liekly in a shtf reloading session where time is precious and exhaustion a real factor. making perfect ammo to prevent the above is not something i care to risk when a glock can and will fire a round when slightly out of battery. leading to a lot of unsupported case with stock barrels. aftermarket barrels can alliviate some of the danger.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  8. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Thanks. I understand it was rhetorical, I was answering to keep the thread going and give you props for a good thread idea. ;)

    JD
     
  9. M14sRock

    M14sRock New Member

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    I know. Me too!:D
     
  10. M14sRock

    M14sRock New Member

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    Check the firing pin on your Springfield. I think you will see that it is not the same as a Colt, or USGI FP. No issue, but get a spare for an SAI from Brownells. As far back as 1987 (that I know of) Springfield Armory was using a FP very similar to a .38Super FP. But USGI 1911 parts have dried up.

    And that blown case in the Glock is due to high pressure loads causing a case rupture. It is an ammo problem, not a gun problem. 1911's do that too, which is the main reason for fully supported chambers and ramped barrels on many custom 1911's. .45ACP is not a high pressure round, so hot (+P, +P+) loads can cause problems. Standard velocity ammo will never be a problem in a Glock .40 or .45.
     
  11. bgeddes

    bgeddes New Member

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    My choices of firearms are not typical, and this is part of the reason. The ones I own and shoot, I understand to the barebones, with a few exceptions.

    Being able to use, maintain and repair stuff is important to a certain type of individual. While learning the finite details of firearms can be a long process, it seems to be not terribly different than many other mechanical devices in modern life.

    I am working on a S&W wheel gun currently.
     
  12. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    i understand the hot ammo thing but shtf beggers cant be choosers when it comes to ammo. i do have spare pins with three different 1911's plus spares im gtg. main gun will be a rifle handgun is not primary. even full auto parts from military sources will work in a civvy AR15.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
  13. M14sRock

    M14sRock New Member

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    Amen to that. That's why I have "plenty" of ammo. Good on ya for having the spare parts.

    But those over pressured loads are gonna blow anything. It is fashionable to blame Glocks, but everything KBs when over loaded. Ever wonder why most of the blown guns are .40's and .45's, and not 9x19 or 10mm? The 9x19 and 10mm are designed for high pressures and the .40's and .45's are not. Asking the round to do more than it was designed for is never a good idea.
     
  14. IGETEVEN

    IGETEVEN New Member

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    What he said. :D

    Except, only 3 continents for me, and If it comes down to reconing a hard to find, or a much needed part not on hand...well you did say it was a worst case/SHTF scenario. :cool:
     
  15. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper New Member

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    I'd fire my gunsmith in a heartbeat if I could find one that worked cheaper.
    Limited knowledge, not big on finesse. All his tools are old and are more suited for changing a transmission or laying track for the railroad than for gunsmithing,

    Yep, I'd fire myself if I could:eek:
     
  16. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

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    My father-in-law barely even has enough ammo to fill one cylinder of his revolver. If we can hook up in a bad situation, I'll have to be his gunsmith. I've got an extra (or more) of every spring and pin in my arsenal.

    I wouldn't have it any other way. This is the reason for 1911 and AR-15!
     
  17. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    I have been tinkering with my guns for some years now. I am nowhere near a gunsmith, not even close. However, I am pretty handy and have become somewhat more proficient as time has gone by.

    I can probably get by. Maybe only just, but I think I can get by.

    BTW, having good manuals makes all the difference. I have a bunch of the Gun Digest Assembly/Dis-assembly Manuals. They're worth their weight in gold. (or they could be ;) )

    Great thread idea Rock.
     
  18. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    I'm like Don as I'd never call myself a gunsmith but I am knowledgeable of the guns I own and I do keep common spare parts on hand. Actually just ordered another batch of 1911 spare parts just because. Great thread and hopefully it makes folks think a bit...
     
  19. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Although not a true gunsmith, I do all my work myself (with very few exceptions).

    Having parts that swap is one thing, but having the knowledge of how to do it and how parts work together is another.
     
  20. Poink88

    Poink88 New Member

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    I also hope people keep a hard copy and not just electronic copies of them. In extreme SHTF, there might be no power or all computers are fried.