necessities for DIY gunsmithing in a pinch

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necessities for DIY gunsmithing in a pinch

Postby clayinva » Sun, 12 Feb 2012 15:30:55

In the event of a TEOTWAWKI scenario, obviously it would depend on the mix of weapons someone has, but generally what parts should we have on hand for gun repairs if you have to do it yourself, that are subject to breakage during normal use?
For instance, what spare springs should you have for semi-autos? A spare guide rod or two?
What parts for different types of rifles - bolt-action, AR types, AK variants, or lever-action?
How about shotguns? Revolvers?
Are there some basic gunsmithing tools that make sense? And are there basic 'gunsmithing for dummies' texts out there that would make sense to keep around?

Appreciate any insights y'all would have. I am capable of loading, shooting and basic cleaning, but beyond field-stripping for cleaning purposes I would be afraid to take a gun apart and not be able to get it back together, and I would like to remedy my level of ignorance.


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Re: necessities for DIY gunsmithing in a pinch

Postby M1A4ME » Sun, 12 Feb 2012 18:35:24

I think parts breaking in a gun must be very rare.

I have several that are approaching 100 years old and they still work. That doesn't mean that nothing will break but you're probably more likely to run out of ammo for your gun than to have a part break.

I had a rear sight break on my new M29 a few days after I bought it. Tiny, absolutely necessary for the rear sight to work. Took some looking to find one. Hasn't broken since and it had a lot more rounds through it after it was fixed.

Had the firing pin spring break on my father-in-laws Rem. 742 (locked up the firing pin so that the gun would not fire).

Had the whole bottom come out of a 1911 magazine one day (dumped the spring, follower and 4 or 5 rounds in the dirt).

But if you knew how many guns I've had and how many rounds I've fired through them you'd realize its still a very small amount of breakage. I've fallen into that thing of buying spare parts for some of my guns and I have bags, jars, etc. of oil up and sealed parts that my boys will probably sell someday.

Having said all that, if I was buying 3 or 4 guns to last the next 30 or 40 years I'd buy a couple of spring packs for each one. I'd buy sight parts for each one. I'd buy a couple of firing pins for each one. I'd buy spare screws for each one (some of those screws are tiny and easy to lose).

Also, be sure you've got the tools to work on them. No use having spare parts if you can't take them apart to diagnose and issue and replace the parts. Some guns take special tools. Many surplus type guns don't require much in the way of tools to disassemble them. I don't know about the new Ruger GP100 but the old speed sizes and security sixes only required a dime (or a common screwdriver) to remove the grip screw and then no tools were required to disassemble the rest of the revolver. A 1911 requires no tools to disassemble it unless you want to remove the grips and then a common screw driver will do that.

Its not a bad idea to get on the internet, go to the website of the company that made your guns, and download the parts list and diagram to help you figure out how to take it apart and put it back together.


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Re: necessities for DIY gunsmithing in a pinch

Postby clayinva » Sun, 12 Feb 2012 19:23:19

That is actually pretty encouraging info, thanks. What is a 'spring pack'? Do they actually come that way or do you have to order all the springs?


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Re: necessities for DIY gunsmithing in a pinch

Postby OakRidgeStars » Sun, 12 Feb 2012 19:41:16

M1A4ME wrote:Its not a bad idea to get on the internet, go to the website of the company that made your guns, and download the parts list and diagram to help you figure out how to take it apart and put it back together.


While your at it, you can start collecting diagrams of other popular handguns or rifles. One of the things that can help get you by after a SHTF situation is the ability to use your skills to barter for goods or services. Having some level of gun knowledge can be a valuable asset.

Tons of manuals: http://stevespages.com/page7b.htm

As far as tools go, just the basics will probably do. The usual hand tools, like screwdrivers, pliers, vise grips and is a must. And don't forget to have a set of pin punches and hammers on hand too.

The rest may depend on whether your guns require any unique tools for take down and cleaning.


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Re: necessities for DIY gunsmithing in a pinch

Postby joeshmo » Mon, 13 Feb 2012 23:57:21

Abused rifles break all the time. If TEOTWAWKI happened you would have a much higher chance of parts breaking . Remember, no one ever rolls around in the mud with their AR or 1911, rained submurged in water on ect ect... Have plenty of spare parts.


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Re: necessities for DIY gunsmithing in a pinch

Postby CCFan » Tue, 14 Feb 2012 00:16:34

A good screwdriver to pry open the eastern bloc 7.62x54R spam cans would also help. :clap:

While maybe not tools exactly, pick your favorite SHTF platform and get a good book (or 2) on it. I just picked up the Kuhnhausen shop manual for .45 auto because I'm interested in learning the nitty gritty. If you have a book, you can read it even if electricity is gone. You can have all the tools in the world, if you don't know how it works when the pieces are put back together, it's all for naught. Who knows, if you know *why* you need that tool, you may be able to make one to fit your needs as well.
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Resistance to Tyranny is Obedience to God.


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Re: necessities for DIY gunsmithing in a pinch

Postby jdonovan » Tue, 14 Feb 2012 00:17:03

the best spare parts kit is a second fully functional item.

Shortest time to repair, and high confidence it will work when pressed into service.


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Re: necessities for DIY gunsmithing in a pinch

Postby traveler » Sun, 08 Jul 2012 12:16:22

I don't worry about this at all. With the possible exception of airsoft, airguns and silenced .22's, nobody is going to be doing any practicing once shtf, so what's going to wear out the guns, hmm? If you are smart enough to have both a pistol and a rifle, you will be able to use one or the other to replace yours if it breaks or gets lost in some way, right? If you are smart enough to use the commonly available guns, especially the M4 rifle, replacement parts are not far away, I assure you, in the event of shtf. If the latter occurs, so many people will be dead, so soon, that lots of guns and ammo and everything else will be lying around, waiting to be used.


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Re: necessities for DIY gunsmithing in a pinch

Postby traveler » Sun, 08 Jul 2012 12:19:16

The noise of each shot that you fire is likely to "call in" your killers, for up to 2 miles around you. Best think of that before you decide whether or not a sound suppressor is in your future, for shtf, as well as how much ammo you can benefit from caching. Very few people are going to survive firing the first 50 rds of ammo that they have, because they lack enough sense to hide properly, use cover and or darkness, choose their battles, and have the necessary skills and gear.


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