*Parts Kits for Your Firearms*
By Gadget

All you us are aware that we need spare parts for our firearms, same as you do for your car, lawnmower, or chainsaw.  Some of us may have had little or no training in gunsmithing or firearms repair.  With that in mind, allow me to help you sort through what you need to have, as a minimum, for your firearms.

Iím not going to attempt a listing of each firearm by model, but try to help you learn to analyze your armory and figure out, for yourself, what you need.

Any parts kit for a firearm will start with three things:

1) Firing pin
2) Extractor if semi-auto
3) Ejector

These are high stress parts and are difficult to duplicate exactly.  I would have 2 of each.

Continue your analysis and think about what other high stress items are involved.  What parts are "loosable" when you field-strip the weapon down? Pins, for example can roll around and get lost. Springs, another BIG problem area, are prone to either break (flat springs) or launch into the next county (coil springs).  Normal wear and tear is another area to think about.  A worn disconnect or safety sear can cause unintentional full-auto firing when worn down. (DONíT file these things down intentionallyóitíll cause you more trouble than itís worth!!!)  Donít forget magazines and clips when putting up spares.  Bad springs and followers can be problem-children as well.

Lets go through types of firearms and see what weíll need to do with each:

Auto-pistols:  Look at your pistol.  A barrel is very easy to replace and will wear with time.  How about a barrel-bushing (Colts)?These will wear, particularly if it is the collet-type. Double actions usually have a hammer-dropping safety. Donít count on it and always point it away when you engage this safety.  Any auto will have a slide stop and well as a magazine catch and each will have a spring.

Revolvers:  Spare center pins (especially S&W)-if the cylinder is hit sharply, it can become bent or broken, jamming the gun.  The hand is another high wear item. Itís the part that engages the cylinder ratchet and turns the cylinder to the next chamber.  This part will probally have to be fitted by a gunsmith, as will most revolver parts.  These weapons require special tools, such as a mainspring vise, and are a hassle to work on anyway.  Be SURE of what you are doing before attempting any maintenance on a revolver.

Shotguns:  Whatever shell stop your gun has.  If semióget whatever friction rings or gas seals that are found on the magazine tube; pumpsóaction bar lockMagazine tube spring and a cap are a good idea in either case.

Rifles: Typical firing pins, extractor, ejector, springs, and pins will suffice.  If yours has a part you think is weak (handguards on older Colt AR-15s), get that as well.

It should be noted that all firearms have screws that get gone at the worst possible time. I would suggest here getting an assortment package from someplace like Brownellís.  Be aware of the difference between an essential part and a desirable part.  An example of this is an extractor is essential while a spare rear sight is desirable.  Also, the proper tools for the job will make this type work much easier.

 The best way to accomplish your own parts list is to field-strip your weapon, and using the exploded diagram you should already have, look for spots that wear, the parts you have removed, and the parts still installed and decide what could YOU lose, what could become lost, and what can wear out.  This doesnít take a rocket scientist to figure out, just someone with attention to detail and a willingness to learn.

Good luck and God Bless you in all you endeavors.


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