Why I Don’t Work On Guns

It’s Better For All Of Us — Really

Occasionally, I’ll meet an old acquaintance at the post office, bank, or wherever and they will ask, “Do you still work on guns for a living?” Emphatically, I reply “No! I write about guns for a living.” I’m emphatic about this matter for good reason. I have learned through hard and expensive lessons that I should never, ever, work on guns: anyone’s or mine. When I have, a disaster is generally the result.

Oh, I can certainly dismount most guns far enough to clean, although, I’m not famous for scrupulously clean firearms. But, I can take things like my M1 Carbines apart for a scrubbing when they get dirty enough to cease functioning. I can even change broken springs in Colt SAAs. However, I once took a Ruger New Model Blackhawk apart and spent an entire afternoon putting it back together. Back in the ’70s, I took apart a Smith & Wesson Model 27 .357 Magnum. Somewhere around here I still have the one part that was left out when it was reassembled. The gun worked OK so I didn’t worry about it much, but after that continued to happen, I ceased dismantling guns.

My problem is I have just about no small motor skills with my hands. In college, a fellow dorm resident decided to try to teach me to play the guitar one evening. After a short while he took it away from me saying something about hopelessly stiff fingers. Also, I have no intuitive mechanical ability. It’s always a wonder to me how mechanical things work. The first time I changed my own oil in my pickup, the oil ran out onto the ground because I forgot to put the plug back in. Just the other day I put more windshield washer fluid in our mini-van, but halfway through the gallon jug realized I was putting it in the radiator overflow container!

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