Welcome to Your Gun’s Extended Warranty 1. Here we’re going to focus on specific firearms, their range essentials, their care as well as tips and tricks that have been learned from both official armorers as well as gunsmiths and experienced shooters. We will go over in detail what types of tools we recommend, links to where you can get them, what works and what hasn’t worked for us, and share lessons learned from our past mistakes.
Guns are a lot like cars and thus they require a lot of care to be taken with them regardless of how tough they are marketed as. Just like a poorly maintained car will soon see the end of its life, a poorly maintained firearm will quickly turn into a paperweight and in the wrong circumstances, could lead to the end of your life. Your Gun’s Extended Warranty is just that – Your Gun. While our vehicles may have routine maintenance schedules mandated by an owner’s manual, no one but you is responsible for making that happen and this series is aimed at helping you keep your firearms and your range equipment in great condition for years to come by making your own extended warranty.
Your Gun’s Extended Warranty 1: Range Gear & Care for Glock Pistols
The Glock 17 and 19 have been wildly popular since each pistol’s introduction. Aside from a few dimensional differences, the pistols are more or less the same, and thus their routine maintenance and parts are shared between the two without much variation. One practice that I have found myself increasingly adhering to whenever possible when I go to the range now is to keep everything for one specific gun in one range bag. Tools, ammo, and sometimes even eye protection and ear protection when possible. Having several inexpensive range bags, each with specific tools and equipment for the gun they go with is a great way to stay organized and make sure you always have spare parts, correct tools, and other associated gear ready to go when you head out to the range. So what exactly is necessary for the range bag of a Glock owner?
Range Bag Essentials and Spare PArts For Glock Pistols
For hearing protection, I’d recommend at least keeping one pair each of in-ear and over-the-ear hearing protection. Indoor hearing ranges can be quite disorienting due to the increased reverberation of gunfire. In those cases, you might want to consider doubling up with both sets.
- Caldwell E-Max Pro Series Over the Ear Electronic Hearing Protection
- Mack’s Ultra Soft Foam Ear Plugs (just buy a big case and put several pairs into your range bag)
This can fall into two categories, if you’re already wearing prescription glasses you’ll want to carry around a few pairs of side shields. This goes doubly so for ranges where you’ll be shooting at steel or other non-paper targets. For the rest of us, two pairs of safety glasses are always good to keep on you, and anything that is rated against high-velocity impacts (ANSI Z87.1) should keep you safe from errant spall and blowback.
Hammer and Small Pistol Cleaning Kit
This one is especially important for reloaders as a squib at the range can prematurely end your range session when testing new ammunition. I’ve had it happen to me a number of times and now it’s standard practice for me to have some brass rods (like you would clean your gun with) and a small 4oz hammer for clearing any stuck bullets from the barrel. Most of this stuff can be found within a simple pistol cleaning kit and the brass cleaning rods inside should be long enough and sturdy enough to knock free any stuck bullets.
Glock Disassembly Tool
The Glock Disassembly Tool is the only tool you really need to completely disassemble a stock Glock pistol. You should always keep one of these in your range bag just in case you need to make any field-expedient maintenance on your gun so your range day isn’t ruined.
I hate paying for targets which is why I normally shoot steel. But when you’re going for accuracy shooting paper is the best way to measure your performance and target pasters can help you preserve your target for a bit longer until you start shooting a single fist-sized ragged hole in the paper. Even then target pasters can be used as a point of aim to stretch the use of the target out for a bit longer.
Snap caps are great tools that I think are criminally underused in pistol training. Most of the time you have the locking action of your pistol that prompts you to perform a reload but having a snap cap thrown in with your live rounds can be a great way to give yourself a semi-random way of performing an unexpected reload. Not only will they help you on the impromptu reload side, but they are also a good way of training yourself out of jerking the trigger by exposing when you’re doing so on the dummy round randomly placed inside a magazine.
CLP and Rags
CLP is a great thing to lightly wipe your guns down with at the end of a range day but it can also help some stubborn guns that may have dried up by sitting in the safe for too long or perhaps have gotten some light dust or debris on them. CLP shouldn’t be used to soak your gun in as it can cause ammunition malfunctions but I always keep a small canister in my bag to keep my guns lubed up properly. In addition, I always throw some old cut-up t-shirts in there as well to use as rags.
Glock Recommends that your pistol be inspected annually by a certified Glock Armorer and that the following “wearable” parts be inspected for “satisfactory function.”
- Recoil Spring Assembly
- Firing Pin Spring
- Firing Pin Safety Srping
- Extractor Depressor Plunger Spring
- Magazine Catch Srping
- Slide Lock Spring
- Trigger Spring
- Magazine Spring
- Slide Stop Lever Spring
If you’re a forward-thinking individual and shoot your Glock pistol a lot it may be smart to keep a small container of spare Glock parts around for your specific pistol should any of them need replacement. Additionally, Glock also specifies that a worn extractor can cause issues and should be replaced if it is worn, chipped or otherwise damaged.
Glock Armorers Adam S and Sam S both tell me that Glock actually doesn’t specify any parts replacements after certain intervals on their pistols. However, they do tell me that Glock says that no additional tools are needed besides the tried and true Glock Disassembly Tool. The Glock Disassembly Tool can be used to disassemble the entire gun including the magazines. Glock recommends that magazines shouldn’t be disassembled, especially on a regular basis. However certain circumstances that Adam has been involved in have necessitated the complete disassembly of his firearm.
Obviously, mud can get everywhere in a firearm if you’ve recently taken a dunk with a calf in some fresh muck and you’ll want to disassemble the entire firearm if something like this happens. Instead of a simple field strip which is accomplished by removing the barrel, slide, and recoil spring, you’ll want to continue on to disassemble the entire gun and examine your magazine, complete trigger assembly and housing, locking block, slide stop lever, trigger housing spring, locking block pin, extractor, extractor plunger, firing pin, firing pin safety and spring, the barrel, recoil spring assembly and the slide cover plate.
Each of these items should be meticulously inspected and cleaned should your firearm ever be exposed to large amounts of dust, mud, or water to ensure that no debris can be found on or around any of these parts or inside of the slide or frame. I’ve included a short video below on a complete disassembly guide for the Glock 19 and this can more or less be used for just about any Glock pistol as they all share more or less the same architecture (slight variations exist for the Glock 43X and 48).
If you are unsure or unconfident in your ability to fully disassemble a gun, it goes without saying that you probably shouldn’t be disassembling your gun to upgrade its components. Learn how to fully disassemble and reassemble your gun first before attempting to upgrade it with aftermarket parts.
Authors Note: You should remove the magazine first before retracting the slide and inspecting the chamber to make sure it is empty.
Although complete disassembly can be accomplished with only the Glock disassembly tool, a few other tools like picks for removing springs and in particular the magazine catch can be useful as well. Also, a punch block really comes in handy as well, as this can help you with removing stubborn pins with a hammer without losing them. Personally, I just use a roll of masking tape to tap or push out my pins.
Your firearm’s performance can be directly affected by how well it is maintained. In particular, you want to be sure your firearm is properly maintained and cleaned throughout its life if it is something you rely on as a defensive option. Just like you wouldn’t skip changing your brakes or having your vehicle inspected for major flaws in its operation, you wouldn’t put your life in the hands of a poorly maintained Glock pistol.
Setting yourself a reminder on your phone or calendar is a great way to keep your carry piece in top working condition. If you’re a competitive shooter, it might be a good idea to clean your pistol after every match as sometimes 500+ rounds can be fired just from your pistol alone and if you’re using reloads, this can turn your gun from pristine to covered in carbon in no time. In any case, the Glock Safe Action series of pistols continues to be one of my favorites out there for their simplicity in both design and in its inherent maintenance and care. What are some of your Glock pistol cleaning methods and gear? Let us know down in the comments.