Test Firing the Easy Way

SiersBy John Siers a.k.a. “Gunsmith Jack”

There will always be gunsmith jobs that require you to test fire the gun after the work is complete, and if you don’t have a suitable bullet trap or firing range near your shop, that can be a hassle. There’s also the question of ammo, especially if the gun shoots an uncommon caliber you don’t happen to have handy. You can always ask the customer to supply some ammo, but otherwise you end up buying some and adding that to the bill. Continue reading


AR-15 Issues… You Never Know What’s Going to Walk Through the Door

SiersBy John Siers a.k.a. “Gunsmith Jack”

As a gunsmith, I have to love the AR-15 just because of all the business it brings me. Probably a third of the customers that walk through my door are bringing me an AR with some silly problem or other. Of course, there are a lot of ARs out there, and a lot of unqualified people trying to assemble and/or “customize” them. That’s a little scary, but so far most everything I’ve seen has been a “fail safe” problem – in other words, no shooters were injured in any of the incidents described here. Continue reading


Gunsmithing the Phoenix HP-22/25–Part 2

Continued from Part 2SiersBy John Siers a.k.a. “Gunsmith Jack”

Continued from Part 1

So OK, now let’s spend some time with that strange and unconventional safety arrangement on the other side of the gun. This first picture below shows the safety in the “Safe” (Up) position. The top tab would have been pushed up into the recess in the slide, covering up the word “Fire” (and also preventing the slide from being moved). Note that the tail on the rear of the safety is blocking the sear. Continue reading


Gunsmithing the Phoenix HP-22/25–Part 1

SiersBy John Siers a.k.a. “Gunsmith Jack”

Just when you thought all of those cheap little pistols from the “Ring of Fire” era – the Ravens, the Lorcins, the Brycos, etc. were history… along comes the Phoenix. This pistol has been around for a couple of years but recently seems to have gotten much more popular. I’ve not only seen them on gun auction sites but also in the display cases at local gun shops. They may cost as much as $150 over the counter, but can be had online for around $100.Phoenix1 Continue reading


The Much-Maligned Raven–Part 1

SiersBy John Siers a.k.a. “Gunsmith Jack”

Most gunsmiths rarely get to see a Raven MP-25 (or its nearly-identical predecessor, the P-25) let alone work on one. Raven Arms went out of business after fire destroyed the Raven plant in 1991, and while the MP-25 continued to be produced for a short while by Phoenix, it was out of production before the end of the century. The gun is generally held in low regard by the shooting sports community, and since used-but-functional Ravens can be found on the market for less than $100, it is hardly worth the money to have a gunsmith repair one of them. Continue reading


Refinishing guns with DuraCoat

SiersBy John Siers
FFL and AGI Certified Gunsmith

Time was when a customer wanted a gun “refinished” a gunsmith had only a few choices – blue or parkerize for the metal, and if the stock needed some work it was time for sanding, steaming, and maybe some Tru-Oil.

Nowadays, there are still a lot of black guns out there, but many of them are not parkerized, and blued finishes are getting harder to find. More often than not, you have to turn to the “Used Guns” section of your local gun shop to find one with wood furniture, and in case you haven’t noticed, guns are now appearing on the market in some pretty strange colors. Continue reading


My Take on “Collectible” Guns

SiersBy John Siers (AGI Certified / FFL Gunsmith)

What can you do with an old gun that is no longer serviceable? Well, you could just hang it on the wall or toss it into the gun safe and hope that it will somehow become valuable in the future. Unfortunately, most old guns are not really “collectible.” Unless an old gun is rare, sought-after, historically significant, or in near-perfect condition, it isn’t likely to have much “collector” value. Continue reading