I have had an interest in firearms for most of my life. I own more than a few guns and derive a great deal of enjoyment shooting them. Some of my firearms have seen quite a bit of use and can be compared to a high-mileage automobile. Needless to say, they all require regular maintenance and the occasional repair. Back when I was on the job, the unit I supervised was responsible for keeping a couple hundred handguns, shotguns and rifles in shooting trim.
So where does one acquire this expertise? Instruction manuals provided by the firearms manufacturers at the time of purchase typically include information on routine maintenance and basic field-stripping. Many users and professionals, however, have a need to take this to the next level.
Over my career, I’ve had the good fortune of attending armorer’s schools sponsored by a number of different manufacturers. This training will not turn you into a bona fide gunsmith, but it will get you up to speed on weapon function, assembly/disassembly, troubleshooting and repairs. Depending on the complexity of the weapon systems, these programs usually last between one to five days.