The 10/22 Companion

Full disclosure: I am friends with the author of this book.

Bob Newton, a member of RRPC and a friend of mine, has written a book titled The 10/22 Companion: How to Operate, Troubleshoot, Maintain, and Improve Your Ruger 10/22.

I think that The 10/22 Companion is great resource for 10/22 enthusiasts at all levels. Its 62 pages and 101 photographs are filled with good, solid, experienced based information organized in clear easy to understand language. I recommend The 10/22 Companion for all people who are interested in learning more about or doing more with their Ruger 10/22 rifles.

I first encountered the document that grew into The 10/22 Companion when I, and others, assisted Bob give a Ruger 10/22 Rifle Maintenance & Customization Workshop at RRPC ⇒ earlier this year. It was shorter at that time, but even then it was a great information resource about the iconic rifles.

To learn more visit ⇒.

Remington Agrees to Replace Rifle Triggers

In a settlement that they have set aside nearly $30 million dollars for, Remington has agreed to settle multiple class action lawsuits by replacing the triggers of Models 78 Sportsman, 600, 660, 673, 700, 710, 715, 721, 722, 725, 770, and Seven rifles, as well as the Model XP-100 long range pistol.

Jerry Kuhnhausen’s Books

Book Cover
Book Cover

A quick aside on Mr. Kuhnhausen’s books. If you are working on a gun that Jerry Kuhnhausen has written a book about and you are not using his book as a reference you are doing yourself a great disservice.

I have heard many people I consider master ‘smiths, and even some guild members, swear by his books. They are well written, organized for easy use at the workbench, extremely detailed, and thorough.

If you don’t have the complete Kuhnhausen series you can find them at Heritage Gun Books ⇒, Brownells ⇒, etc.

Glockmeister Sight Tool

In gunsmithing school we are taught to use several different methods of changing sights. There are many different tools that aid in the changing / installation of sights for each type of gun / sight pairing.

One area many people seem to have trouble with is the rear sights on Glock pistols. It is not that changing / installing them is difficult. The hard part is getting them in place without marring the sight with the tool you are using.

I was struggling with this very issue during my last semester in school when I encountered a forum posting raving about the Glockmeister sight tool. It went so far as to question the intelligence of anyone who installed Glock sights more than a few times a year without this tool.

Well as a Glock Certified Armorer I was hoping to work on my fair share of Glocks so decided to give it a try. I visited the website, paid my money, and waited for the UPS driver to arrive. A few days went by and there it was looking up at me from its box. I felt smarter already and I hadn’t even touched it yet.

I used it to install another rear Trijicon HD Night Sight (GL104Y) on a Glock G21 I had been working on. The Glockmeister Sight Tool for All GLOCK Models did not disappoint. It very well may have been the easiest gun accessory upgrade I did in my entire time at school.

I spent more time than I care to admit tinkering with the first rear sight on that Glock. During the install I nicked the side of the sight so I was not satisfied with my work. I would not have returned it to a client in that condition. After I installed the second one with the Glockmeister tool I knew that I would be keeping this tool close at hand. I was done in minutes and there was not even the opportunity to mar the sight in the process.

Any hobbyist with basic skills who doesn’t mind the cost of the tool should not have any problem using it effectively. Just remember that most gunsmith shops will do the work for significantly less then the tool costs.

I highly recommend the Glockmeister Sight Tool for All GLOCK Models for anyone who installs more then three sets of Glock sights a year.

Interesting Find: Older Ammo Boxes

I have been known to help out with the work parties at the range. It gives my wife a few hours to herself and it is a great way for me to give something to the range community, meet the new members just coming into the club, and enjoy the company of other shooters for a few hours.

During an outing earlier this year we worked outside clearing leaves from the drainage channels before moving inside to clean the indoor range.  While sorting the garbage/recyclables Paul found two older ammunition boxes someone had discarded. I found them interesting and asked if I could photograph them. He handed them to me.

I know many of you are asking yourself, “what’s so interesting about an empty ammunition box?” Nothing really, it isn’t the box that’s interesting for me. The interesting part is the history that the box represents.

For example, acquisition of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company by the Western Cartridge Company happened 22 Dec 1931. However, they didn’t begin operating  as the Winchester – Western Division of Olin Industries until 1944. Since the the back of the box says “Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation” and that merger didn’t occur until 1954 the ammunition that came in these boxes must have been manufactured between 1954 and 1980. That is when the New Haven plant was sold to the employees and became U.S. Repeating Arms.

They are 50 round boxes for Western Super Match .45 Automatic  cartridges.

The front of the box has the Western and super-match bullseye X logos the words “Center Fire Cartridges” and a warning to keep out of reach of children.

The short sides of the box are the same and show the super-match bullseye X logo with three lines of text. From a quick Googling I saw where someone suggested that the red 45AWCP in the upper right corner of the short side might be the catalog number for the load.

The long sides of the box are the same and show the company’s logo and three lines of text.

The back of the box has a drawing of the cartridge, the Wester and Olin logos and some text. It reads:

These Western [logo] cartridges with 185 grains Full Metal Case clean cutting bullets are especially designed to give the highest degree of accuracy in match competition. Non-corrosive priming and smokeless powder. Adapted to all standard arms chambered for this cartridge. We warrant the exercise of reasonable care in the manufacture of these cartridges, but make no other warranty, expressed or implied.

If you can offer any additional information, please do so by email or in the comments section.

The Dreaded Unavailable Part

If they practice their craft long enough, both professional gunsmiths and weekend hobbyists will eventually encounter the issue of an unavailable part.

Sometimes it might not be available because the gun is obsolete or rare. Other times the factory, the gun shows, Numrich, Jack First, Wisner’sBrownells, and all other known suppliers just don’t have any.

If you have the worn out or broken part you can use it as a template to make a new one. However, what do you do when a gun is missing the part and no supplier has a replacement or replica available?

As I have said many times, “The most valuable tool in the shop is a good library.” So when I have exhausted all of the above options, I turn to LeeRoy Wisner’s Handbook of Hard-To-Find Gun Parts Drawings. It contains 488 pages of gunsmithing goodness detailing over 2,900 drawings for hard-to-find gun parts. It also  provides instruction on selecting the correct steel, heat treatment, and fabrication.

While the Handbook of Hard-To-Find Gun Parts Drawings is an excellent resource for this type of information there are a few things to keep in mind before you embark on building a replacement part.

The first is always safety. If you do not fully understand the design, and cycle of operation of the gun you are working on, and specifically the part you are considering making, then do not work on it. Take it to a qualified gunsmith for repair. All gunsmiths are legally and morally responsible for repairing guns in a manner that does not play a role in creating any unsafe condition now or in the future.

I cannot speak for other shops, but I know I am happy to work on a project that a customer was not comfortable starting or finishing. In most cases, I am also happy to answer questions you may have about how the work should be done. Just be honest and talk openly with your gunsmith – you might be surprised by the results.

Second, it is important to remember that the drawings in the book were created by measuring used parts. The model parts may have been well worn,  fitted to a specific gun on installation, or modified by the owner. Thus, these drawings are guidelines for parts fabrication. The gunsmith will need to pair these guidelines with the condition and tolerances of the gun on the workbench to create the new part. Parts created from these specifications will need to be hand fitted.

Lastly, you will need to have certain skills and tools to make a part using this book. You will have to be able to accurately read a drawing, select a suitable material, work the material into the part, heat treat the part, etc. Price out the project before starting, you might find that it is not financially viable. It may be financially less burdensome to take the project to someone who already has the materials, tools, and skills.

So what do you do if the part you need isn’t available anywhere and the Handbook of Hard-To-Find Gun Parts Drawings doesn’t cover it? I would suggest two things.

First, I would let the good folks at Brownells know that you would like to see it added to the Handbook of Hard-To-Find Gun Parts Drawings. This will let them know what is of interest to their customers for any future editions or updates that they may consider.

Second, try and find someone who has the same gun. If you can find a working version of the same gun you can use the part in the second gun as a guide for fabricating the part you need. If you cannot find exactly the same gun keep in mind that often gun manufacturers used the same parts in many different models. If the research supports this situation you can find a gun with the same part and work with it. My caution about understanding the design, and cycle of operation of the gun you are working on doubly applies here.

If it works out, remember to make a drawing of the part for future reference and add it to your copy of Handbook of Hard-To-Find Gun Parts Drawings.

Good luck.

Most Important Gunsmithing Tool

The most important tool a professional gunsmith or serious hobbyist can have is a good library. This is especially true for those of us that work in small shops. If you have a question where will you get the answer? The answer is most often found in a book.

Wondering how to convert the safety on a Remington 870 from right hand to left hand? Manufacturer’s instructions (with drawing) can be found on page 711 of the Encyclopedia of Modern Firearms by Bob Brownell.

Need to know anything about the mysterious art of customizing the 1911? Check The Colt .45 Automatic and The U.S. M1991/M1911A1 Pistols & Commercial M1911 Type Pistols by Jerry Kuhnhausen. If it has something to do with 1911’s and it is not in one of those books there is a good chance that you don’t need to know it.

You cant remember how to use the thingamajig you bought from Brownells three years ago. Go to the binder where you keep all the three-hole-punched instruction sheets they send you and review. Oh, you don’t keep them where you can find them easily. You should, it will take less time keeping them organized then finding and downloading a new one from the Internet.

Here is a list of a few of the books, etc. in my shops’ library:

You will notice that the reference library doesn’t have to be limited to books and magazines either. I have DVDs, PDF documents, etc., and a constantly running supply of my own notes as well.

Ok, I think that you get the point. Much of what you don’t know or can’t remember is on the pages of thousands of gun reference works. Take the time to build a good shop reference library and it will earn the investment you have in it back for you many times over.


Footnotes / Sources:

1 – I keep all of the back issues of American Gunsmith that I can get my hands on. If you have any 2010 or earlier copies you no longer want, I’ll gladly pay shipping.