Ever since I’ve been a little kid, I’ve been curious about everything — it might explain why I got into science.
As an adult, this curiosity has persisted. One of the more practical aspect of this curiosity is taking stuff apart to see how it works. This has been particularly handy when dealing with firearms.
Take, for example, my Marlin 336 rifle — it was made sometime in the 1960s and I bought it on consignment about 5 years ago. Fine rifle, and looks to have been very gently used. I’ve kept the barrel and the parts accessible after a basic field-strip well-oiled with Break-Free CLP, but never really got into the guts of the action, nor took off the wood and magazine tube.
After yesterday’s Great Re-Zeroing and Caleb’s admonition to inspect the bolts of one’s AR-15s, I figured I’d go through all the firearms I own, detail strip them, clean every part, lightly oil all the internal parts to prevent corrosion, and then lubricate them according to their respective manuals. Glocks and ARs are easy, as I do this about once or twice a year for them, but I have never taken apart the Marlin.
Although the Marlin is constructed very simply out of large, durable parts, there’s a lot of screws and two barrel bands. There’s a very specific order — which I found by trial and error — to removing everything. Since the barrel bands hadn’t ever been removed, I gently tapped them off. Unfortunately, I added a few very minor scratches to the quite-shiny, blued receiver and around the screw holes on the barrel band. Hardly noticeable, but it irks me a bit.
After thoroughly cleaning, oiling, and greasing the appropriate parts of the gun, I managed to get it all back together. A few hours spent this afternoon concluded with a more thorough understanding of how the mechanism works and will serve me well if I ever need to work on it in the future.
While some might not find much value in understanding all the little mechanisms that make up their gun, I do, and I strongly recommend that others explore the working parts of their own guns, for cleaning, at the very least.