If you’re like me, you enjoy working on your own machinery and equipment. In some cases, it makes sense to work on your own personal firearms. This can save time, hassle, and money. At the same time, working on your own gun can result in scratches, damage, and as a worst case scenario, ruining your gun!
It’s important to know what you need to do, how you need to do it, and to be equipped with the right tools. While you can find plenty of information on the internet regarding gunsmithing, much of this information is ill-informed or flat out inaccurate. It’s always good to go to a source you can trust for information. This could be respected bloggers (such as Grant Cunningham), reputable online retailers such as Brownells, or other companies that post information online.
Recently, I had need to do a complete dis-assembly of one of my Smith and Wesson 629 44 Magnum revolvers (more on that later). I have done some repair jobs on revolvers, but this time I needed more information, and wanted to benefit from the experience of a Smith and Wesson expert. So, I decided to order “The S&W Revolver – A Shop Manual” by Jerry Kuhnhausen.
During the dis-assembly process, it was extremely helpful to have this reference as an aid. I was able to anticipate when a tightly wound spring was under tension, or when the removal of a component or assembly would take special attention. It was also nice to have warnings such as “a common mistake here is for your screwdriver to slip and scratch xxx part”. I’d rather not repeat common mistakes!
While I was at it, I bought Jerry’s 1911 shop manual. Again, an extremely valuable resource when working on 1911 pistols. We’ll get around to discussing that at some point as well!