Archive for the ‘disassembly’ Category

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Gun ammunition is not cheap, but the non-practice of self-defense encourages terrible consequences within the foreseeable future.

If we own guns, we all must do some live firing gun practice. At home snap cap use, or dummy round practice, is important too. Yet, live fire does not hide our flaws when shooting, and we all have them.

Live fire also exposes our deficiencies in gun safety, the handling of firearms and the proper cleaning of weapons. Even when our weapons jam, live fire will put our knowledge of tap, rack, reload, and if that doesn’t work: safety, lock, release, into action. The only way we can zero in our rifle sights for better shooting accuracy is with live firing.

An important truth to live firing is that it is better to go alone, then join a group of unknown shooters, even if the live fire outing was the idea of a friend of a friend. Doing live fire with annoying ‘gun dudes,’ and a lot of them are out there, can make a fun day of shooting into an experience of pure suffering.

You are still shooting live rounds – which can destroy human life within seconds. Do not risk your personal safety, nor your personal freedom, by visiting a live fire range with other unknown shooters. Even good friendships can strain when going out for a day of live fire shooting.

One time in the distant past, I remember going out live fire shooting in the desert with a bunch of guys who I did not know beforehand. While it was my turn to fire, a good shooter commented to me on my lack of hitting the target, and he showed me some good gun handling pointers, which made my accuracy a lot better.

Live fire shooting at the range is necessary for becoming a better marksman. It is expensive, loud and messy, but all shooters must practice at the range. The well-practiced range shooter will also know how to deal with gun jams, misfires, using good ammunition versus the cheap crap loads, and how to parlay cover tactics when firing shots at the enemy. Live firing is also the ideal spot to test out newly purchased rifles and pistols.

Live firing is basically a solo practice in order to improve accuracy and gun handling. The range should not become a social event however, nor should any alcohol or drug use enter into the activities.

Live fire shooting must adhere to the strictest practices within gun safety protocols.

Before driving to the range, the shooter needs to purchase lots of ammunition for the weapons. Regular ammunition loads are sufficient. Shooters should avoid unknown ammunition or bullets recently reloaded from untrusted shooters. Reloaded rounds work well when offered from proven experts who use reloading procedures, or when purchased from experienced gunsmiths.

The shooter must possess both ear plugs and ear headphones. Another time I went shooting, I remember having to cover my ears every time this guy shot his 308. I was only wearing cheap ear plugs.

The other required safety equipment includes safety glasses, and if it is a very sunny day, sun glasses. All shooters must wear hats, (baseball caps are good), for when the bullet brass or steel kicks back to the head – which it always does.

When at the shooting bays, shooters always point their weapons’ barrels down range, or when not shooting, the weapon barrels lie either facing up or down on the rifle racks. Remember, all guns are loaded.

The most important safety procedure at the range is never firing until every person at the bay says it is OK. Before live firing, each shooter has to make sure that the others are also shooting their weapons. Once a shooter signals to the other range people that he needs to post, check or remove a target, then all the other shooters must stop shooting and remove their weapons facing down range.

Shooters should also remember that firing hundreds of rounds of ammunition can lead to overheating of the barrel and the chamber bore. It is important to rest one rifle or pistol after shooting many rounds, and then practice with other weapons. Most shooters bring at least the majority of their weapons to the range in order to practice as much as possible.

Marksmen can also practice ducking for cover and then shooting, moving and shooting, and shooting from the hip, kneeling, or standing, or even lying in the prone shooter position. All of these tactics make for better gun handling. Regular practice and good effort work. The most important part is actually getting to the place for gun shooting. Whether it is target practice, the indoor pistol range, or just plinking in the desert destroying old televisions, practicing increases gun skill.

After live fire shooting, the gun practitioners need to take a shower, wash their clothes and clean their firearms. One of the negatives of live firing is the amount of lead residues on the clothes, body and hair, after all of the gunpowder found inside the rounds.

Some shooters like to clean their weapons while on the range right after shooting. I do not like this method because disassembly and reassembly of weapons can turn into a messy assignment. What if that small pin of my rifle falls into the sand or dust? What if I try to remove a gun piece and there is still a round in the chamber, or I had forgotten to remove the magazine? I do not want to risk any negligent discharges at the gun range.

Live fire range shooting represents the finality of practice transformed into the role of action. Every time we live fire our weapons, they become more familiar and more personal to our hands, bodies and minds. Eventually, our weapons will become extensions of our arms, hand, eyes – and our minds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I once spoke with a gunsmith about the usual issues that people had brought to him concerning their malfunctioning weapons. The owners often went out for a day of shooting and then suddenly, the rifle or pistol jammed on him or her. These particular pistols and rifles were hardly ever used tools, or the owners stored them in some closet, basement or garage structure.

The owners had hoped that the weapons would work, but often the guns seemed to not function at the correct times. The gunsmith told me plainly that the main problem was that the owners had just forgot to clean their rarely used weapons. The gunsmith had to charge them a steep fee for working on the guns – but a good cleaning, after such a long time of non-use, might have avoided those gunsmith visits.

After a fun day of shooting with friends, or plinking at old cans, bottles, metal boxes and broken televisions in the desert, I used to dread the cleaning ritual. I didn’t like the process of having to check my guns, once again, for any live rounds in the chambers, and then the full disassembly process of the weapons. With my rifles, sometimes a little spring piece would jut out of nowhere and fall somewhere on the floor. Looking for that annoying, tiny piece on the floor somewhere – bothered me greatly.

And then it was the straight on cleaning, with the barrel cleaning taking up most of my time. The worst part was the reassembly because I always had trouble fitting the bolt back into the action of the rifle chamber. In the past, I ‘ve had to call friends over my place, so they could help me out with such mundane tasks.

Recently however, I have overcome the dread of cleaning my weapons. Part of this transformation was due to recognizing the natural, human laziness in doing any cleaning at all. For those of us that enjoy cooking, the washing up and drying of cookware, plates, cups and utensils is not that much fun either. But this is a part of living, and cleaning is one of the actions of light that brings us more peace and happiness.

We clean our anuses and ass cheeks after excreting feces, so we material beings also need to clean our tools for whatever purposes after having used them. We can also embrace cleaning as a virtuous art in itself.

Yes, it takes up time and the wiping actions are quite monotonous, but it is simply another stage in our lives. We can do our cleaning well and thereby, keep using our tools, shelters and bodies in good health. Cleaning is an honorable act of accomplishment. It signifies our basic love for ourselves, where we currently reside, and the instruments in our lives that are important to us.

Before I buy a weapon, I always ask the seller to show me how to clean the thing. I have found that weapons cleaning has helped me learn more about that particular weapon. While I clean the different parts, I can see how the firing pin hits the brass or steel cartridge, how the guide rod helps engage the bolt and the round, how the hammer cock moves the trigger, how the slide assembly moves the bolt, or how the trigger aligns with the action chamber.

This is the most important lesson with cleaning the weapon. The more we clean our weapons, the more accustomed we become to disassembly, viewing the different mechanisms in firing, and reassembly. We transform ourselves into the experts of our very own tools for the martial arts. If we were to engage with live firing during a red alert scenario, then we would feel a lot more comfortable in using our chosen guns. I could not imagine the horrible feeling of dread, while using an unknown weapon during hot combat. Cleaning the weapon will kill that dread.

Before cleaning our weapons, we could set up a special section for the cleaning. Gunpowder, lead and grease will spill and fall out, so we need some backup surfaces for the work. I normally lay out some old fabrics on the table. I also put on elastic hand gloves, to avoid the lead residue getting all over my hands.

I make sure the weapon’s safety is on. I lay the weapon horizontal on the fabrics, with the barrel muzzle facing out, towards a wall facing the outside, (not someone else’s apartment or house), and I grab the weapon’s manual user’s guide. I look up disassembly.

I next move the slide back and check the chamber to see if there is possibly a live round inside. In the past, I have discovered live rounds in the chamber before cleaning, so this is an important and necessary step. After double-checking the safety in the on position and making sure the chamber is free of rounds, I disassemble the weapon. I have found that disassembly is a lot quicker than the reassembly.

Once the weapon is completely disassembled, I lay the different parts out on the fabrics, and then I grab the necessary cleaning tools from the gun cleaning kit. The first thing to clean, and the hardest, is the barrel bore since it has the lead and gunpowder residue inside of it. For the barrels, I now use bore snakes, which are long fabrics that you put in the bore of the rifle, while sprinkling a little gun cleaning oil on the fabric. You pull the bore snake line from the barrel muzzle end, (where the bullet exits), for cleaning. I have had to do this method a couple of times for a good clean. I next inspect the barrel from the muzzle end, in the light, to see if the bore is clear of dirty obstructions. For handguns, I use a thin rod with a brush on the end. I put a little oil on the brush and move it back and forth inside the bore.

Around the barrel and receiver chamber, I use a gun cleaning toothbrush with a little gun oil. I try to get rid of the black soot crap. Following this, I use small white pads with a little oil around the area. I also like to use Q-Tips in the hard to reach spots. At the end, I like to pass a clean white pad, and later, clean Q-Tips around the whole barrel and receiver part. When I feel the whole barrel complex is free from most of the soot, I then move to the bolt.

I clean the bolt with the gun cleaning toothbrush and a little oil. Afterwards, I rub the oiled white pads and Q-Tips on it, and especially around the firing pin area to get rid of the real dirty areas. For the revolvers, I clean the cylinder chambers with a round wire brush and gun oil. I gently wipe around the revolver’s ejecting rod.

I also lightly clean the breech, (the back of the gun), hammer-trigger assemblies, slides, and guide rod-coils with a bit of oil, some white pads, and Q-Tip rubbing. The last part I clean is the whole rifle or handgun, including the stock, the forestock, the magazine area, and the trigger guard with a little oil and some white pads. Finally, I wipe down the different parts with a silicone cloth that gives the weapon a nice, overall clean look.

Now comes the hard part – reassembly. For handguns, this part is not that hard, but for rifles, I usually have my issues inserting the bolt properly into the action chamber area. Although, the reassembly is sometimes frustrating, the practice of reassembly makes the gun owner a better handler of the tool. I have gotten faster in my reassembly skills over the years.

Once the rifle and handgun is fully assembled, check to make sure the slide or pump, and the bolt move easily in the action-chamber. I always do a final wipe with the silicon cloth around the whole weapon. I check to make sure that the safety is still on, thereupon, I lock the weapon and store it in a safe place.

During this whole cleaning ritual, I always reexamine the cleaned parts. Once I view the completely cleaned weapon, which is ready for storage, a great feeling washes over me. I have taken care of my precious tool. This is not an act of love for my guns, but an act of love for being a good artist. A good artist cherishes his or her instruments for both creation and destruction. This is part of the magic of life – expertise in handling tools.