Knowing Your Shooting Sports Equipment
There are differing levels of knowledge for different purposes when taking apart your gun, so be prepared. Many guns come with takedown instructions; read these all the way through before starting. There is also a wealth of information on the internet. YouTube, for example, is filled with videos of people disassembling and reassembling their guns.
Firearm Disassembly and Maintenance Tips
The first, and the most important, step is to ensure the gun is clear. Eject any magazines, rack the gun and visually inspect that there is no chambered round. Finish the racking procedure by releasing the slide or bolt and pull the trigger. Listen and ensure that you hear the hammer/striker fall. If you have an external hammer, ensure that is in the down position. If you don’t hear it, rack it and do it again. There isn’t a gun I know that should be taken apart without performing this procedure.
Most of the time you’ll be taking the gun apart to clean it. This is generally termed a field strip. This type of disassembly allows you to clean the parts most impacted by the firing of the gun. I recommend doing this in a well lit and contained area. You’re going to need good light to see, and the confined area is in case something goes flying. Ever wonder why TANDEMKROSS sells a spring and detent for the Victory trigger? This is why. I also recommend working on a cleaning mat, like the TANDEMKROSS "Medic Mat", it helps keep everything together. When disassembling your gun, take note of the order, you’re probably going to reverse it when putting it back together.
When you are performing a deep clean, or changing parts, you’ll be closer to doing a full disassembly. While some manufacturers provide instruction for this, many do not, this is where YouTube comes in. Find and watch the video all the way through before starting the disassembly. This has two benefits, 1) if you don’t like the video, you can find a new one and 2) it prepares you for what’s in store. About 99% of the parts don’t need to be forced to be taken apart and you don’t need a hammer (roll pins are an exception). There may be pressure from a spring that needs to be released, that’s about it. If the parts don’t come apart easily, then there may be a problem and this is where you may need to get a gunsmith involved.
Once you’ve fully disassembled your gun and cleaned it, it’s time to put it back together. If you are replacing parts, remove the parts you’re replacing and put them to the side, preferably in a Ziploc bag. When you are assembling your gun, remember, nothing is forced. If you feel something isn’t going together smoothly, it’s not time to get a hammer. Check to make sure you are putting it back together correctly, and if you are, then it may be time to get a gunsmith involved. Take your time, follow the directions and you’ll do fine.
Once the gun is back together, rack the gun, slowly. If it’s not racking like it did before, something is wrong. You may need to take it apart and check that you did everything correctly. Once the guns racks successfully, point the gun in a safe direction and pull the trigger to ensure the hammer/striker falls. There is only one thing left to do, test fire.
Testing Your Work
When you get to the range, load 1 round into a magazine and fire it. If that is successfully, load 3 rounds and make very deliberate pulls to ensure the gun doesn’t go full auto. You are also ensuring that the rounds are being extracted and ejected. If you’ve successfully fired 3 controlled rounds, load up 10 and fire them as fast as you can. If the gun discharged the rounds only when you pulled the trigger, then you are all set and are ready to use the gun again.
Knowing how to take apart your gun is essential to keep it running. Knowing how to replace parts is also essential. Should something break during competition, you can go to a safe table, disassemble, fix it, reassemble and get back into the competition. This is a much better solution than having to take a DNF (Did Not Finish).
Take the time, read the instructions, watch the videos, and next time you’ll be capable of doing it all yourself. Don’t forget, you can’t fix it at the range if you don’t have spare parts, and TANDEMKROSS has the parts to keep you in the game.
Until next time, remember, One Shot, One Steel.
Jeff Jones is a 3-way GM in Steel Challenge and 2017 Florida State Champion in RFPO. He easy to find, look for the black safari hat with the Steel Challenge logo on the back and the TK logo on the front. He’s always happy to talk about shooting and TANDEMKROSS. If you see him at a match, stop over, introduce yourself and ask him your question.