Loctite – Works Great! Which Do I Use?

I read this short article from Fusion Firearms and thought some of you may enjoy reading it as well.  We’ve all heard of “purple,” ‘blue,” “red,” “yellow, “and “green” Loctite, but what do those colors really mean?  Read this, you may be surprised!

LoctiteBob’s 1911 Tech Tip:

1911 Gunsmithing & Loctite.

Loctite adhesives have been used in many mechanical assembly applications for years. This is widespread through basically all industry sectors and the firearms industry is no different. Many old manufacturing methods such as staking parts have been replaced by space-age adhesives.

The biggest issue I see in many random 1911 services: folks don’t understand which type to use from the 100’s of products that are available. Or hearing “I used the green Loctite.” Which doesn’t mean much when there are 15 different Loctite with the color green and they all have different uses.

Well, I can make it simple and narrow it down to 3 Loctites that you should use.

  1. Loctite 242 or equivalent: For most sight screws, barrel threads, or screws that may be backing out on you from vibration. This adhesive is more of a “gumming” agent and you can also remove the screw with standard tools after it cures. This will work for most applications.
  1. Loctite 271 or equivalent:  For sight retaining screws, sight bases, sight dovetails etc.. that you wish to retain. This Loctite will generally have to be removed with the assistance of heat. Meaning you will have to use a small torch to heat the area and then remove the part loctite’d.
  1. Loctite 680 or equivalent: For pins, sight bases, sight dovetails, etc.. This Loctite is rarely use, but it still has some application retaining stubborn parts that continue to vibrate from where you want. You will generally have to remove the part with the assistance of heat just like the 271.

Note: Always clean all oil off the parts with alcohol or acetone before applying the Loctite. Follow the instructions on the Loctite bottle for proper cleaning and application instructions.

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Cleaning Your Sig Classic Line Pistol

You’ve gone and done it – invested in a “top end” firearm from a renown manufacturer.  Shooting it feels great.  You want to keep it running smooth for years.  It all starts with basic maintenance, and that means cleaning.

The first, best source for cleaning instructions is the owner’s manual or other documentation from the manufacturer.  “Read the manual” really is the best idea.  It may highlight special steps that need to be performed or provide insights how normal wear should appear.

The Sig Sauer Academy produced a nice video on cleaning their “Classic Line” of pistols.  We know those as the P22X series such as the P220 (popular in .45 ACP and 10mm) and the ever popular P226.  Check out the video, especially if you own a Sig.  Maybe you’ll pick up a new bit of knowledge or affirm you are doing everything right.

Ruger = Great Service

A good customer of mine, let’s call him Jay, recently purchased a Ruger revolver from an on-line distributor.  We completed the transfer without any issues.  When Jay got the revolver home, though, he noticed the barrel did not seem to align with the frame.  In fact, he was hesitant to even put a round through it.

We discussed his options.  Since the transfer occurred and title had passed, the gun could not be returned to the seller demanding a refund or replacement.   Once title passes, the seller can accommodate however s/he wishes.  Or, he could go to Ruger and seek a warranty repair.  Jay went to Ruger, and that was a great decision.

Jay wrote:

I sent the gun to Ruger for warranty repair and just got it back today.

It’s perfect now.  The repair order says they adjusted the barrel, polished the gun and replaced the grips.  I think they replaced the frame or maybe the whole gun. The grips are different. The originals were plain and the new ones have a beautiful grain.

Obviously, Ruger stands behind its products and its reputation.  It’s great to hear that Ruger still holds these traditional values!  Kudos, Ruger!

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Mid-Atlantic Humidity

Summer has arrived and with it the high humidity in our region.  For owners of older firearms, there is a danger of creeping corrosion damage caused by air-based moisture.  Once started, it can be hard to stop.  Prevention is a good way to go.  Using some type of dehumidifier and cleaning your guns at least every six months  should help avoid serious corrosion issues.

electric rod
Dehumidifier Rod

Many gun safes have a place to mount a dehumidifier rod that emits just enough heat to keep the temperature just above the dew point inside the safe.  This is a good way to go.  The drawbacks are finding a safe that will accommodate such a device and the cost of maintaining and electrical cost of running it.

Another option is a self-contained silica beads dehumidifier that is mounted inside the safe.  Once the silica is filled with moisture it becomes ineffective.  This is shown by the color of the beads turning from one color to another (e.g., orange – little moisture; to green – cannot hold any more moisture).   When this happens, simply plug the unit into a wall outlet to “recharge” the beads.  Once it’s ready, just place it back in the safe.

battery dehumidifier
Self-contained Silica

A third option is a canister of silica beads.  Similar to the self-contained unit, they are easy, pretty effective, and simple to install.   When the beads need to be recharged, the silica must be dried and poured back into the canister.  Drying usually means spreading the silica on a cookie sheet and heating in an oven for a period of time until the beads turn orange again.

disicant container
Canister of Silica

All of these options are good, but nothing beats a good cleaning, inspection, and putting a heavy coat of oil on metal parts every six months or so.  This practice helps you detect any new corrosion that can be easily addressed.  My dates are in the first week of July and the last week of December.  While this may be a little time consuming, it’s well worth the effort.  Discovering a gun with corrosion is never fun and leads to a good deal of time working to clean it up and stop its spread.

 

 

 

What’s Wrong with this Picture?

Bronze Brush New
Bronze Brush Cleaning Pistol Barrel

Glance at the photo above.  See anything that may be wrong?

It appears this is a pistol.  Notice the muzzle and what I think is the recoil spring guide to the left in the frame.  If I am right, the photo depicts a non-recommended way to clean almost every barrel.

The preferred and appropriate way to clean your gun’s chamber and bore is to “push” your cleaning patch, brush, or jag from the chamber and “push” towards the muzzle, just like a bullet travels.  In pistols, this normally means removing the barrel from the frame and start your patch, brush, or jag from the chamber.  With rifles, the same rule applies.  You may need to remove the bolt to be able to push a rod straight through the bore.  “Pushing” helps reduce the risk of nicking your barrel crown.

In addition, you can insert the rod starting at the muzzle, pass it through the bore and chamber, attach your brush or patch, and “pull” it back through the bore.  The patch or brush still will be traveling as the bullet travels.  Of course, multiple passes will require you remove and then re-attach patch or brush each time.

An exception are revolvers, of course.  In most cases, you must start from the muzzle since access to the other end of the barrel is not possible with a standard cleaning.  Something like a bore snake or a bush that is on a flexible rod (such as is shipped with many new pistols) may give you the option to clean from the back towards the muzzle.

Be safe and shoot straight!

Best Gun to Teach a New Shooter

Seems the topic among many of my customers is that of introducing people to the sport of target shooting.  A subject that always comes up is the type of pistol to take the first time.  Small gun, small caliber; big gun, small caliber; small gun, big caliber, … you get the idea.

We talk about things that worked and things that did not.  In almost every conversation, through successes and some epic fails (“I’ll never go shooting again”), several common new shooter fears and success factors for that first time on the range have emerged.

Most first-time shooters are concerned about the noise and the recoil.  This is generally followed by the concern not to embarrass themselves or the desire to do well.  So, here’s what I and many of my customers have found that works…

  1. Buy good ear protection.  Inserts, “ear muffs,” or both.  The won’t go to waste.  Hey, you could always use them!
  2. Outdoor ranges are ideal.  Lots of room so as not to feel cramped.  Indoor is OK, too.  Just make sure they know the range rules to avoid the ugly looks of fellow shooters and potential finger wagging of a range officer.
  3. Bring a bigger gun, not a smaller one.  Think a full-size 1911 versus a pocket pistol.  The heavier gun reduces the feel of recoil, probably has better sights, and is big enough that it will take a good, two-handed grip to control.  Big guns enable a great opportunity to teach lots of things (sighting, grip, safety) that may be tougher with a smaller gun.
  4. The bigger gun does seem to offer overall better control.  Better control means better groups and a feeling of success,

That sums up the experience we’ve all had at one time or another.  Good luck you bring a “newbie” to the range.  Make it a great experience for them!

Curio and Relic FFL for Collectors

Ever hear of a “Curio and Relic” license?  The ATF issues various “types” of licenses depending upon the business or purpose.  “C&R” licenses are type “3.”  It is a federal firearms license (FFL) issued by the ATF specifically designed for people who may collect older firearms such as military long guns or pistols.

So, what does that mean to you?  Well, it means that if you apply and are granted a C&R license, you can directly receive C&R firearms from a seller without having to meet with a FFL to do a transfer.  And, the fee for the license is only $35 for three years!

What is a ‘curio and relic’ firearm?  It is one that meets the following:

A regulation implementing Federal firearms laws, 27 CFR §478.11, defines Curio or Relic (C&R) firearms as those which are of special interest to collectors by reason of some quality other than is associated with firearms intended for sporting use or as offensive or defensive weapons.

To be recognized as C&R items, 478.11 specifies that firearms must fall within one of the following categories:

  1. Firearms which were manufactured at least 50 years prior to the current date, but not including replicas of such firearms;
  2. Firearms which are certified by the curator of a municipal, State, or Federal museum which exhibits firearms to be curios or relics of museum interest; and
  3. Any other firearms which derive a substantial part of their monetary value from the fact that they are novel, rare, bizarre, or because of their association with some historical figure, period, or event.

Firearms automatically attain C&R status when they are 50 years old. Any firearm that is at least 50 years old, and in its original configuration, would qualify as a C&R firearm.

Applying for a C&R license is similar to any other license application, except certain steps are waived (such as an on-site, in-person interview and a photograph).  The ATF notes on the application instructions that:

It must be emphasized that the collector’s license being applied for pertains exclusively to firearms classified as curios and relics, and its purpose is to facilitate a personal collection. You may NOT engage in the business of buying and selling any type of firearm with a type 03 license.

View the application and instructions here.  There are record keeping requirements for any purchases (acquisitions) or sales (disposals).  The primary record is often termed the “bound book.”  It must be maintained and available for inspection by the ATF.

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So, if you like to collect older firearms (not subject to NFA regulations), consider the C&R license.  The fee for three years sometimes covers the cost of just one transfer!

Below are some helpful links to further consider if you choose to apply:

Happy collecting!