top Five

Firepower - - CONTENTS - TEXT BY SI­MON CRUZ

01 Pis­tol Main­te­nance

When prop­erly main­tained, firearms can be ex­pected to func­tion prop­erly. Main­te­nance must be per­formed pe­ri­od­i­cally be­cause it will guar­an­tee that your pis­tol will last and func­tion when needed.

02 Clean­ing Sup­plies

Some peo­ple pre­fer ul­tra­sonic cleaner, but I pre­fer get­ting my hands dirty. Keep in mind that cer­tain chem­i­cals can damage your wood grip pan­els or your nickel-plated steel gun, so read the la­bel. Cot­ton swabs, old t-shirts or hand tow­els will def­i­nitely come in handy. To save time clean­ing bar­rels, I at­tach my bore brush rod to a hand drill and use it to speed up the process.

03 Field Strip­ping

Safety first! Clear your firearm of any live am­mu­ni­tion and keep am­mu­ni­tion away from the clean­ing area. Field strip­ping is the eas­i­est way to clean your gun. Just dis­as­sem­ble the ma­jor parts (frame, bar­rel, slide, re­coil spring assem­bly), spray your chem­i­cal and let ev­ery­thing set. Af­ter a few min­utes, start brush­ing. I field strip all my pis­tols af­ter every 500 rounds.

04 De­tail Strip­ping

Most gun man­u­fac­tur­ers rec­om­mend that you de­tail strip your pis­tol every 5,000 rounds. Cau­tion! Don’t just de­tail strip your gun with­out proper training. I highly rec­om­mend that you take it to a cer­ti­fied ar­morer or at­tend an ar­morer’s course to learn proper gun dis­as­sem­bly.

05 Func­tion Checks

Func­tion checks are a must af­ter every de­tail strip­ping. This will en­sure that you have in­stalled all the parts in the right places and help you de­ter­mine if the in­ter­nal parts need re­place­ment. Here are some tips:

With an un­loaded gun, close the slide, in­sert an empty mag­a­zine and re­lease it three times. The mag­a­zine should drop freely. If not, some­thing is wrong with your mag­a­zine catch/ re­lease or the mag­a­zine it­self.

Next, with the empty mag­a­zine in the mag­a­zine well, pull the slide to the rear. This should lock the slide/ac­tion open. Do this three times. If the slide fails to lock to the rear, check your slide catch/re­lease.

Next, re­lease the mag­a­zine. Pull the slide back and re­lease it. The slide should move for­ward into bat­tery. If not, check your slide catch/re­lease.

Now, en­gage the ex­ter­nal safety and pull the trig­ger. The trig­ger should not re­lease the striker. If you have a trig­ger safety, pull the sides of the trig­ger with­out en­gag­ing the trig­ger safety. If the trig­ger pulls, re­place the trig­ger assem­bly.

Last, pull the slide back. While hold­ing the slide, let it move for­ward about an inch, go­ing into bat­tery, and re­lease it. The slide should go into bat­tery on its own. If not, re­place your re­coil spring assem­bly.

The fi­nal func­tion check is to fire your gun at a shoot­ing range.

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