Let me start by saying that we recommend to everyone that they read their owner’s manual before they use their new gun.
We see it all the time. People buy a new gun, take it home, load it up, shoot a bunch of paper and have a little fun. That’s all well and good, but then what?
Well, now comes the moment of truth. We’ve got to take that baby apart, clean it, and put it back together. After all, we’ve spent a pretty penny on this pistol and we want it to last. In fact, we may be staking our life on the fact that it goes BANG the next time we pull that trigger, right?
Why Are We Stating The Obvious?
So many times we get customers who bring in their guns so that we can show them how to field strip or reassemble them. And guess what? There’s a handy little book that comes with all new guns. It’s called your Owner’s Manual!
And if you purchased a used gun which didn’t include one all is not lost. You can usually call the manufacturer and get one for free, or you can download an electronic copy online. Even out of production guns usually have digital copies of their owner’s manual available.
Why is this important?
Well, when you’re dealing with an object that has the capability of spewing lead faster than a speeding bullet…well, okay, as fast as a speeding bullet…and something intended to contain small explosions while being held in your hand. So you want to make sure everything is in working order, right?
Well, I used to own one of these guns, or I owned a previous model, so…..
Yeah, that doesn’t always count. New models have, well, new features. SOME of those new features can change how the gun works. There may be some important new safety items added and they may require special attention. Take the series 70 vs. series 80 1911. The series 80 has a firing pin disconnect, or a drop-safety if you will, added to the mix. It also has a quarter cock safety instead of the half cock safety. These are important differences, not just for assembly and disassembly, but for function checking your pistol. For instance, the half cock safety would not let the hammer fall when you pulled the trigger, even with the thumb safety off and the grip safety depressed. By contrast, the quarter cock safety would let the hammer drop under the same conditions.
Other important features may be the ability to fire +P or +P+ cartridges…or the inability! Using overpowered ammunition in a firearm can have catastrophic consequences and really ruin your day! We had one customer bring in a revolver which was chambered in .45 Long Colt and 410 gauge. He neglected to read that the gun would only accept 2 1/2 inch 410 shells. The 3 inch shells would fit in the cylinder, but once shot, they caused the firearm to lock up with live rounds still in the chambers. He had to bring it in for us to fix because he couldn’t clear the firearm or remove the spent shell casing. This would have been avoided if he had only read the manual and followed a few basic safety rules like checking the markings on the firearm. Our intent is not to embarrass anyone, but to illustrate a point.
It bears repeating, we always recommend to our customers that BEFORE they go to the range they take their new gun and the owners manual and sit down in a room WITH NO AMMO and practice taking the gun apart, putting it back together, and while you are at it, go ahead and clean it. Many firearms are packed in special oils for shipping which should be removed before use.
So the moral of this story
Real men worry about protecting themselves and others from potential danger. When you purchase a car, you learn where the controls are, how they work, what the safety features are, and how to maintain it correctly. This keeps you and your family safe and extends the life of your new prized possession. The same goes for your new firearm. And the best source for this knowledge is your owner’s manual.
So as you see, real men really DO read directions! At least the smart ones do!