Videos and books can be very handy reference material because we often learn faster by first watching someone else. With that in mind, On-Target Productions offers videos describing the disassembly and reassembly of firearms, featuring many of America’s most popular guns such as the M1911 and Springfield XD pistols, the AR-15 and Mini 14 rifles and the Mossberg 500 and Remington 870 shotguns.
After watching their online “sampler” video, I requested a copy of On-Target’s disassembly and assembly of a rifle I know well—the M1 Garand. Visually, the video is well done with brightly lit firearms and illustrative procedures. Close-ups are in focus and the parts are, whenever appropriate, held in a vise to keep them motionless while On-Target owner Larry Shields describes the procedure. Shields walks the viewer through disassembly, cleaning, lubing and reassembly in a non-judgmental, “Mr. Rogers” kind of voice, so we don’t feel dumb for not knowing how to do this without instruction. The inclusion of the clean-and-lube lesson is for the novice and contributes to the video’s one hour, 12-minute length. There’s more than one way to skin a cat and, though differing somewhat from my own, Shields’ techniques with the Garand work as well as mine. You’ll appreciate his method of using a vise when reassembling the bolt.
The only nits I would pick is that I would have included a spot of grease at the bolt lug/op rod camming surface, bolt camming lug and locking recesses, as the Army Tech manual FM 23-5 directs. I would also caution the owner to note the position of the accelerator before removing the op rod catch, because if it rocks out of place on reassembly, the op rod catch locks up and the rifle won’t function. For a complete list of On-Target firearms videos, visit their website at www.OnTargetVideos.com.
For those who prefer printed instruction, the Gun-Guides booklet on the M1 Garand is an inexpensive, quality option. The most outstanding feature is the clear, high contrast black and white photography that is superior to that of the Army Tech manual. The spiral binding allows the 5½″ x 8½″ 16-page manual to lie flat on your workbench and the print quality makes even the tiny parts in the “exploded view” easy to see. Gun–Guides publishes several booklets on other firearms as well, most of which retail for around $7. Visit www.Gun-Guides.com for more information.