Monday, March 04, 2013

Hippie gun cleaning.

It was just a good night to channel my inner hippie tonight. So I broke out the Bushmills (Did hippies drink Bushmills?), put on the 70's peacenik tunes, and sat down to clean guns.

First, the mood music.

Then the Bushmills, on the rocks, because this could go on all night.

First weapon break down:

An Uzi, as simple as it gets. The stripped receiver at top, with the top cover, barrel retaining nut, bolt, trigger pack and retaining pin, mainspring and barrel. Wood stock to the left, because I like shooting it better with the wood stock than with the folding sheet metal one.

(Hey...Woodstock. Gotta be a hippie joke there somewhere.)

The inside of the receiver. Pretty much a stamped metal flat folded to shape, with an ejector welded in and sights added. Any good high school metal shop student could make one.

The bolt. Not much more complex. One solid chunk of steel with a firing pin machined in place. The only removable parts here are the extractor and the pin that holds it in place.

The barrel is really about ten inches long, but you only see 2" when the weapon is assembled. The rest is inside the receiver, going all the way back to the magazine well.

When installed, the bolt rides over the barrel several inches. This is known as a "wrap-around bolt" and it's what makes the Uzi so compact.

Everything is getting brushed and wiped down, then lightly oiled.

Then the trigger pack, enclosed in the pistol grip. The magazine goes up through the grip. Not only does this put the center of balance right over your shooting hand, but it makes mag changes easy under stress with the "hand-finds-hand" muscle memory training.

And again, the mechaism is basic and robust. Relatively few moving parts in here and they're all pretty beefy.

All cleaned and oiled and back together. No tools required for disassembly or reassembly.

This gun was designed in the late 1940's/early 1950's by a man who knew what it was to operate and work on weapons in the field--the legendary Uziel Gal. It's overbuilt and heavy, but it'll outlast any MP-5 or other more modern design precisely because it is a little tank of a subgun.

That one done, let's change the music.

More Bushmills, and grab another dirty weapon.

Break the Browning Hi-Power down by moving the slide back and popping the side stop out right-to-left. Then the slide comes off and the barrel and mainspring come out.

If it looks a lot like a 1911, it should. This was John Browning's last design. He died before ever seeing it in production but you can see a lot of his engineering in it.

The inside of the slide, and the machined barrel locking lugs. It's actually simpler than the 1911 here as there is no barrel bushing or mainspring plug to remove (or pop you in the face if you get careless when trying to re-install it).

Clean and oil the trigger mechanism here.

Then re-install the mainspring and it's guide beneath the barrel. It locks into place a bit better than a 1911, but it can inadvertently be installed upside down. Don't do this.


See how it's bent in the first one and straight in the second? That makes a difference.

Then the slide goes back on, and the slide stop pushes through the hole in the mainspring guide, and all is right with the world.

Time to put the cleaning gear away because the Bushmills is gone. But I've got two more clean weapons. Cleaner than any hippie, to be sure. As to why hippie music? I dunno. Maybe is has something to do with the duality of man...the Jungian thing.

Or maybe I just felt like it.


  1. Old trick used in the UK when we had
    pistols,if you want to improve the
    trigger pull on a 9mm Browning Hi Power remove the mag disconecter spring but for god sake remember that it will then fire if the mag is out and a round still chambered.

  2. Sounds like a very nice evening. But you reminded me of the fit of stupidity I had that caused me to get rid of all my hippie LPs.

  3. Anonymous12:39 PM

    U Z that Israeli for "Get off my lawn"?

  4. LOL! Nice looking hardware.