70gto

Tips for new gun owners or anybody else

65 posts in this topic

Just for the heck of it, why don't some of the more experienced guys pass on some tips onto the new gun owners, it would be just adding one or two things you think they would benefit from. I'm sure we could all learn something or actually improve on a new persons attitude and skill set. Does not have to be long or a manifesto, could just be a one liner etc.

1. Obviously safety first, last and always

2. get some dummy rounds and practice malfunction drills. Dummy rounds only NEVER EVER do this with live ammo, I suggest having a second person verify and check your weapon for same.

3 Learn to draw from holster especially concealed, so you don't shoot yourself in the process. What good is having a carry if you dont practice how to shoot or draw with it. If you are not proficient my advise to you is dont even bother carrying one. 

4. Shoot with someone better than you, you will rise in skill level. Don;t be afraid to ask questions

5. KNOW THE LAW there are a million ways to get yourself jacked up especially in NJ. Thus having all sorts of issues with purchases down the line. are you going to risk the potential of having your second amendment right taken away because some jerk off cut you off in traffic.

6. LEARN how to control your temper and emotions, something as simple as fist fight unless defending yourself can and will get your guns taken away for good, if an arrest is made it becomes part of your criminal history. 

7. Take classes if you can, no matter how much you think you know there is always something to be learned.

8. WEAPON RETENTION TRAINING/ big one last thing you want is your own firearm taking you out.

9. A GUN does not make you a man, its a huge responsibility, not to be taken lightly. IF you feel like your the man because you have a firearm on you just put it away until you figure out your issues. 

10. DONT drink and mix firearms , especially if you carry.

11. Practice with the ammo you will use or carry. There are slight differences, in a situation where your life depends on it, take every advantage you can over saving 3 dollars a box for ammo.

12. Shooting is a perishable skill, you dont use it you loose it applies here more than ever. practice even if its only 1 time a month.

13. Dont worry about speed that will come, concentrate on technique. Smooth will become fast, fast will become smooth over time. Speed is nothing without hits. Rushing your shots proves nothing except you can miss faster than most.

14. Most shootings take place with 3-5 yards. Learn to shoot from a weapons retention position. Have someone show you if you dont know how always be aware of your other arms position before you put a hole in your other arm.

15. Practice shooting strong and weak hand as well as reloading /racking the slide with one hand.

 

More to come. just a beginning. please people add more. 

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Three things we teach the kids in Junior Rifle:

1) This is a sport of a thousand different little things. None of them are rocket science. If you do 800 of the little things right, you'll do better than if you only did 400 of them right.

2) Squeeze the trigger like you're squeezing an eye dropper and only want one drop, not the whole dropper full.

3) Wear eye protection - G-d only gave you one pair and they don't grow back.

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I used to instruct the guys on the line who had a bad habit of jerking the trigger, to mentally say the word squuuuuueeezzzzeeee in their minds as they are squeezing the trigger nice n slow, the gun going off should surprise to you when it goes off in the beginning. I then would chalk the top of the slide of the guys who couldnt aim and shoot high. I would say if you can see the white of the chaulk on the slide the sight alignment is too high.

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In terms of practice one wise person told me when I first started: don't go to the range without a plan, effectively turning dollars into noise.  Make sure you have a goal when you go to practice.  Are you just trying to work on trigger control, are you working on controlled pairs, are you working on time from the holster to a good first shot?  Have a plan and follow it.

As for many of the other things I would highly suggest training by participating in matches such as USPSA and IDPA.  If you are a new shooter don't be concerned that you don't have experience or are not the most accurate or fastest shot.  All you should care about is that you can be safe and follow the rules and that you want to have fun.  The good shooters will not look down on you, and most will take you under their wing and help you out. These matches are a great way to make new friends too.  

 

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1 hour ago, Howard said:

In terms of practice one wise person told me when I first started: don't go to the range without a plan, effectively turning dollars into noise.  Make sure you have a goal when you go to practice.  Are you just trying to work on trigger control, are you working on controlled pairs, are you working on time from the holster to a good first shot?  Have a plan and follow it.

As for many of the other things I would highly suggest training by participating in matches such as USPSA and IDPA.  If you are a new shooter don't be concerned that you don't have experience or are not the most accurate or fastest shot.  All you should care about is that you can be safe and follow the rules and that you want to have fun.  The good shooters will not look down on you, and most will take you under their wing and help you out. These matches are a great way to make new friends too.  

 

I never been to one, I think I have to go, always willing to learn and sounds like a good time

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It's called a HAND GUN, not a HANDS gun! 

After you learn the ways of pistol craft using both hands, consider this:  If you are injured in a scuffle or a firefight, or you are carrying a child for instance, you might have to use WEAK HAND ONLY to take-out a Perp.  If you don't have what it takes to DO THAT for any reason (poor mindset, too much recoil, stove-pipes every other shot, lack of practice, etc., etc.), your hand gun w/ its' 10 round mag (or 20+ in a Free America 9mm 2011 for instance) has become a SINGLE-SHOT, so the first round better hit the Boiler Room!  WTF did he just type?  Read on!

Let me repeat that:  Your semi-auto pistol has become a single-shot due to a malfunction caused by poor recoil management due to stress or already being hit with a piece of pipe or you took a round to your strong side or a hundred other things that can happen.  Do you know how to perform a Tap-Rack-Bang Drill?  Do you even know what it IS?  Can you shoot your defensive hand gun employing WEAK HAND ONLY?  If the answer is "no" then you have to either practice a LOT & up your game or go buy a revolver!

You have to PAY for this type of training.  You can't teach it to yourself standing in a static shooting port.  You either go to a Firearms Class that teaches advanced fighting techniques OR you learn thru osmosis by attending IDPA matches that will teach you to USE COVER WHILE ENGAGING!

I teach weak hand technique on a monthly basis as Match Director of the OBRPC Police Pistol Combat league.  You don't have to be a Cop to shoot the league, in fact a non-member of the Club can shoot it for just $20 American.  We draw loaded sidearms from the holster, engage threats from 7 to 25 yards, and work on several shooting positions, some of which are behind cover.  It's positive reinforcement of learned skill sets needed for all types of "action shooting".  Learning to walk before you run :) 

We meet at the indoor range on the 2nd Friday of every month.  Consider this an invitation.  Just let me know you're coming.

Rosey

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1 hour ago, 345Sire said:

Rosey, are people allowed to attend this 2nd Friday drill even if never having had any holster experience? Even if only to observe? None of the ranges I have been to allowed holster use.  

You can shoot the match w/o a holster.  To do so you need to "start at Low-Ready" (loaded gun at a 45* angle pointed at the floor, finger indexed along slide--NOT inside trigger guard!), and use a gun "rug" or case of some sort that you can fasten closed and lay on the floor.  You need 3-4 mags or speed loaders.  More is better.  Our match is a 60-shot COF per relay & most shoot two relays.  We change mags on the clock.  If you can't drop yer mags on the floor you won't be allowed to shoot, as a gingerly-placed mag encourages the act of crossing yourself with a hand gun (a D-Q'able offense that requires you put your gun away).  We make you observe an entire relay so you can listen to Range Commands & see what everybody else does SAFELY.  Takes about 45 minutes.  Then you can shoot the next relay.  Learning thru osmosis is easy.  I've trained pre-teens to shoot .22's from Low-Ready, so any adult can do it.  Muzzle awareness is KEY for safety.  I promise you will go home a better shooter than when you showed-up!

Rosey

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6 hours ago, Howard said:

"In terms of practice one wise person told me when I first started: don't go to the range without a plan, effectively turning dollars into noise.  Make sure you have a goal when you go to practice."

So as a new shooter I've noticed that this really does help. when I go in with it in my head to something (focus on front sight, focus on grip and extension, etc etc etc) I walk out both having shot better AND not looking at my target like WTF did I just waste on ammo?

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23 minutes ago, Clifton1979 said:

So as a new shooter I've noticed that this really does help. when I go in with it in my head to something (focus on front sight, focus on grip and extension, etc etc etc) I walk out both having shot better AND not looking at my target like WTF did I just waste on ammo?

Drill targets or target drills 

and as @High Exposure says” practice makes perfect “

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4 hours ago, Smokin .50 said:

OBRPC Police Pistol Combat league

So December 7th, from 5 p.m. on is the next time? I think I'd like to at least watch for a few rounds even if I didn't commit to shooting, if it is in any way a competition. If it's lessons or practice, I think I'd feel better about embarrassing myself if I don't have to compete.

Give me a chisel or a hammer and I'll impress the hell outta ya, tho.;)

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40 minutes ago, 345Sire said:

So December 7th, from 5 p.m. on is the next time? I think I'd like to at least watch for a few rounds even if I didn't commit to shooting, if it is in any way a competition. If it's lessons or practice, I think I'd feel better about embarrassing myself if I don't have to compete.

Give me a chisel or a hammer and I'll impress the hell outta ya, tho.;)

DECEMBER 14TH is the 2nd Friday.  We start posting targets & getting the range ready at 6pm.  Watching is FREE but it's like going to the Bunny Ranch w/o rubbers---so bring yer gun & ammo just in case ya wanna take a ride!  Yes it's a match, but fear not, as we all SUCK, so no one will make fun of your SUCKAGE :)   Seriously we have "Regulars" at all skill levels and asking someone who shoots well HOW they do it is a learning experience in the "Tips & Tricks Dept." not to be missed as Howard astutely mentioned earlier.

Remind me to tell ya the ER story about a chisel & a 12 ga.

~R

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So from a safety perspective and one thing I harp upon all the time, (in large part from working major USPSA matches), IF THE SHOT DID NOT SOUND "NORMAL"... STOP!  Keep gun pointed downrange, wait 10 seconds, drop the mag, unload chamber and figure out what is going on.  Check barrel for obstructions (squib halfway down the barrel).

Beyond that, if shooting at a public range, do not shoot rounds you find on the ground.  You don't know what they are, or if they were reloaded. Nothing wrong with reloaded ammo, except if someone reloaded "9 major" and you put it in a stock gun, you may crack something. 

For new shooters in particular stepping up in calibers, if it is the first time shooting the gun, dryfire and manipulate the gun first while it is empty to get a feel of the trigger, weight, etc.  THEN load only 1 round, fire it.  Quite common to see a new shooter pick up Desert Eagle 44 and end up firing a second round into the ceiling by accidentally bump firing it, not expecting the recoil.  Having 1 round in the gun solves that issue. 

Shooting factory ammo is not a guarantee the ammo is perfect, plenty of bad rounds out there, especially in bulk type products.  One area 8 USPSA match, a top level shooter and a contestant from Top Shot had a squib in his Glock shooting factory Winchester White Box. (his bags were delayed, was shooting his carry gun, ran to Walmart and bought Winchester White Box)... turned out there was no flash hole in the primer pocket. lol.  The primer strike lodged the round in the chamber.

And of course... dry fire dry fire dry fire dry fire.  Practice with your gun at home.  You should not be "Getting familiar" with the gun at the range.  That should be done at home when there are no time constraints or people putting you under pressure.

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43 minutes ago, Smokin .50 said:

DECEMBER 14TH is the 2nd Friday.  We start posting targets & getting the range ready at 6pm.  Watching is FREE but it's like going to the Bunny Ranch w/o rubbers---so bring yer gun & ammo just in case ya wanna take a ride!  Yes it's a match, but fear not, as we all SUCK, so no one will make fun of your SUCKAGE :)   Seriously we have "Regulars" at all skill levels and asking someone who shoots well HOW they do it is a learning experience in the "Tips & Tricks Dept." not to be missed as Howard astutely mentioned earlier.

Remind me to tell ya the ER story about a chisel & a 12 ga.

~R

Along with my shooting skills I have to work on my calendar reading, thanks. :icon_redface:

I think I'll try to make it to this.  Now I have to decide which gun has the least expensive mags to replace, if a couple break. :)

Chisels and 12ga, huh? Sounds intriguing,,,,,,,,,

So, I guess there's no condom vending machine in the range men's room, then? :D

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45 minutes ago, 345Sire said:

Along with my shooting skills I have to work on my calendar reading, thanks. :icon_redface:

I think I'll try to make it to this.  Now I have to decide which gun has the least expensive mags to replace, if a couple break. :)

Chisels and 12ga, huh? Sounds intriguing,,,,,,,,,

So, I guess there's no condom vending machine in the range men's room, then? :D

Calendars are an equal opportunity slave master :) 

Mags don't instantly fall apart so bring the gun you're most familiar with & has the longest sight radius.  A compact is an Expert's gun in this game cause 25 yard targets make it humbling.

Chisels & a 12 ga., and YES THERE WAS BLOOD! :) 

No vending in the heads.  The soda machine is in the "Kitchen".  Wawa however is at the end of the street :) 

See you on the 14th.  Bring at least 120 rounds in case you want 2 rides :) 

~R

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I apologize in advance if someone else said this but I recommend new shooters learn step by step how to strip and clean their firearms. It helps when you learn what all the pieces do, how to take them apart and put them back together again. Sure, some firearms can function for thousands of rounds filthy. But if you learn how to take apart your firearms and put them back together it helps if there's ever a malfunction. There's groups that have have free firearms cleaning classes, there's videos on YT, there's experienced people all over this message board that I'm sure would be willing to help someone learn how to clean their firearms. ( And probably have a few extra dirty ones if you need more practice )

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37 minutes ago, Ms. 12 Gauge said:

I apologize in advance if someone else said this but I recommend new shooters learn step by step how to strip and clean their firearms. It helps when you learn what all the pieces do, how to take them apart and put them back together again. Sure, some firearms can function for thousands of rounds filthy. But if you learn how to take apart your firearms and put them back together it helps if there's ever a malfunction. There's groups that have have free firearms cleaning classes, there's videos on YT, there's experienced people all over this message board that I'm sure would be willing to help someone learn how to clean their firearms. ( And probably have a few extra dirty ones if you need more practice emoji1787.png )

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Cleanliness is akin to godliness 

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4 hours ago, Ms. 12 Gauge said:

I apologize in advance if someone else said this but I recommend new shooters learn step by step how to strip and clean their firearms. It helps when you learn what all the pieces do, how to take them apart and put them back together again. Sure, some firearms can function for thousands of rounds filthy. But if you learn how to take apart your firearms and put them back together it helps if there's ever a malfunction. There's groups that have have free firearms cleaning classes, there's videos on YT, there's experienced people all over this message board that I'm sure would be willing to help someone learn how to clean their firearms. ( And probably have a few extra dirty ones if you need more practice emoji1787.png )

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A clean gun is a happy gun and a happy gun will take care of you.

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Just now, GRIZ said:

A clean gun is a happy gun and a happy gun will take care of you.

I learned something similar to that in military school.  Take care of your gun, and your gun will take care of you.  Also, a well oiled gun is a happy gun.

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4 hours ago, Ms. 12 Gauge said:

I apologize in advance if someone else said this but I recommend new shooters learn step by step how to strip and clean their firearms. It helps when you learn what all the pieces do, how to take them apart and put them back together again. Sure, some firearms can function for thousands of rounds filthy. But if you learn how to take apart your firearms and put them back together it helps if there's ever a malfunction. There's groups that have have free firearms cleaning classes, there's videos on YT, there's experienced people all over this message board that I'm sure would be willing to help someone learn how to clean their firearms. ( And probably have a few extra dirty ones if you need more practice emoji1787.png )

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

I agree with you but must add a caution. 

There is nothing to be gained by taking your gun completely apart on a regular basis. Guns are not designed to be taken apart and put back together on a regular base.  Even with the correct tools and know how you will wear out certain parts faster and eventually break something.

Field stripping is as far as you need go.  You want to flush out all that goop in the action?  Use Gunscrubber or Brake Kleen in the red can.  Remember if you do this be sure it's sage on your gun (no problems with Glocks or all metal guns). If you do this remember all lube will also be removed.  Relube as needed for function and protection.

Field stripping causes no more wear on your gun than firing.

The only time a firearm needs to taken completely apart is when it's broken.

 

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1 minute ago, GRIZ said:

There is nothing to be gained by taking your gun completely apart on a regular basis

This....

2 minutes ago, GRIZ said:

The only time a firearm needs to taken completely apart is when it's broken.

And especially this.

It's good to know your firearm intimately.  I know my ARs better than any other machine I own because I built them.  But I ain't gonna take em completely apart to clean them up.  If you really know your firearm, you would know it's unnecessary.

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And especially this.
It's good to know your firearm intimately.  I know my ARs better than any other machine I own because I built them.  But I ain't gonna take em completely apart to clean them up.  If you really know your firearm, you would know it's unnecessary.
But you've learned how to do it at least once....

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6 minutes ago, Ms. 12 Gauge said:

But you've learned how to do it at least once....

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Just because you can, don't mean ya should. 

It depends on whats wrong, how mechanically inclined one is, and how long you can wait for the parts you need to replace because you lost some.

 

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Spot on...  and I think for new shooters we need to clarify as they likely don't know the difference between "field strip" and full detailed disassembly.

For most guns, a "field strip" is all you need... that is generally take apart the gun into three major components, the frame, the barrel and the slide.  

A detailed strip would then go into taking everything apart to the individual components.

The exceptions to this which I can think off of the top of my head would be 1911s/2011s which were designed to be easily detail stripped, Mosin's, etc.  

I try to clean/field strip guns after every time at the range (or around 200-300 rounds), exceptions guns for gun games, where it is after every match (local) or day (multi day matches).  

Along the same lines... CLEAN YOUR MAGS!  Especially if you let them hit the ground.  Fine sand and gravel will create lots of problems and transfer dirt from ground to the firearm.

On the same note... gun storage... 

In NJ we have humidity issues.  If you store your guns in a safe in a basement... throw some of those dehumidifying packets into the gun case, especially if you shoot it once a year or less frequently.   Gun finishes are better now, but guns do rust.  Best of all, take them out of the case with that foam around them, and throw them in gun socks, designed for longer term storage.  Keep boxes elsewhere.   Inspect and oil guns every 6 months or so.

 

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1 hour ago, Ms. 12 Gauge said:

But you've learned how to do it at least once....

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

I disagree.  If you have enough mechanical dexterity you can learn from an exploded view or a You Tube video if you have to.

I've been shooting over 50 years.  For about 10 years I was overseeing several hundred semiautos, revolvers, shotguns, submachine guns, AUGS, M16s, M4s,  and a variety of other firearms.  You would be surprised at few breakdowns that occur.  99.9% of the time when one broke down the reason was obvious from field stripping.  Even then, often parts replacement shouldn't be done by someone who lacks the proper training.

Now if you're a kitchen table gunsmith, trained by You Tube videos and armed with a Dremel Motor Tool you're more often dangerous.  People who think they can do an action job on a revolver after watching You Tube and swapping springs are dangerous. If you're doing this and intend to use it for a "game gun" it probably doesn't make a difference.  If you intend to use the gun for serious social purposes it does.

I have guns I've had for over 40 years that haven't broken down yet.  No reason to take them apart unless they need it.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Maksim said:

Spot on...  and I think for new shooters we need to clarify as they likely don't know the difference between "field strip" and full detailed disassembly.

For most guns, a "field strip" is all you need... that is generally take apart the gun into three major components, the frame, the barrel and the slide.  

A detailed strip would then go into taking everything apart to the individual components.

The exceptions to this which I can think off of the top of my head would be 1911s/2011s which were designed to be easily detail stripped, Mosin's, etc.  

I try to clean/field strip guns after every time at the range (or around 200-300 rounds), exceptions guns for gun games, where it is after every match (local) or day (multi day matches).  

Along the same lines... CLEAN YOUR MAGS!  Especially if you let them hit the ground.  Fine sand and gravel will create lots of problems and transfer dirt from ground to the firearm.

On the same note... gun storage... 

In NJ we have humidity issues.  If you store your guns in a safe in a basement... throw some of those dehumidifying packets into the gun case, especially if you shoot it once a year or less frequently.   Gun finishes are better now, but guns do rust.  Best of all, take them out of the case with that foam around them, and throw them in gun socks, designed for longer term storage.  Keep boxes elsewhere.   Inspect and oil guns every 6 months or so.

 

Maks, there's one point I disagree with.  No reason to detail strip or take any gun unless it's broken no matter how easy it is. 

I have a 1911 that I carried/used for about 25 years. No issues except I replaced a recoil spring guide once.  The gun had at least 25k rounds thru it when the hammer started falling to half cock. Could I fix it?  Probably.  I've taken 1911s apart more than once to refinish them.  However I had access to an accomplished pistolsmith and had him do the job.

Cleaning magazines is a very good point.  Over 99% of feeding issues are caused by magazines.

Another point to add.  If shooting 38s in a 357 and you have issues loading 357s you're not cleaning the cylinder properly or often enough.

 

 

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39 minutes ago, GRIZ said:

Maks, there's one point I disagree with.  No reason to detail strip or take any gun unless it's broken no matter how easy it is. 

I have a 1911 that I carried/used for about 25 years. No issues except I replaced a recoil spring guide once.  The gun had at least 25k rounds thru it when the hammer started falling to half cock. Could I fix it?  Probably.  I've taken 1911s apart more than once to refinish them.  However I had access to an accomplished pistolsmith and had him do the job.

Cleaning magazines is a very good point.  Over 99% of feeding issues are caused by magazines.

Another point to add.  If shooting 38s in a 357 and you have issues loading 357s you're not cleaning the cylinder properly or often enough.

 

 

Oh, I agree with you, no need to detail strip a 1911 for most people, just saying it would not be the worst thing to do, versus say a CZ75 with all the tiny springs. lol.

Detail stripping a 1911 is also beneficial in that it is one step above a field strip for those that want to learn more about how the gun works.  Worst case, it is fairly simple to put back together and no tiny parts to really get lost. 

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13 hours ago, Smokin .50 said:

Calendars are an equal opportunity slave master :) 

Mags don't instantly fall apart so bring the gun you're most familiar with & has the longest sight radius.  A compact is an Expert's gun in this game cause 25 yard targets make it humbling.

Chisels & a 12 ga., and YES THERE WAS BLOOD! :) 

No vending in the heads.  The soda machine is in the "Kitchen".  Wawa however is at the end of the street :) 

See you on the 14th.  Bring at least 120 rounds in case you want 2 rides :) 

~R

This will make you smile: Those parameters mean I'll be bringing an old Ruger MK 2.

Thanks for the encouragement!

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#1 semantics: I did say strip and clean. I meant field strip. (My fault for not being clear and precise enough)

#2 I stand by at least learning every part in your firearm through the owner's manual, YT videos, watching someone experienced completely take apart a firearm of similar make/ model.

#3 I still stand by the fact that this knowledge will help you diagnose issues in the case of a malfunction.

#4 NO, I DID NOT suggest anyone fully disassemble their firearms regularly or start manipulating the parts.

#5 I'm sorry I wasn't clear or precise enough, I was just trying to contribute and think of different advice.



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