I attended Glock Armorer's School on this past Wednesday. I am almost a certified Glock Armorer but suppose that will not really be the case until they send me the official certificate saying so. Thanks to the good instruction from a seemingly very competent instructor, I did fairly well at it too. During the practical exercises, each of the students took down and reassembled a pistol several times. I got one thing wrong once and had to ask for help but learned from that mistake and did not repeat it nor make any others. I was not the fastest to disassemble and reassemble one of them but nor was I the slowest even though I deliberately took my time. No need to hurry like some of the younger guys who seemed to be having a contest among themselves to see who could get it done fastest. Then again nor was I slowed down by not knowing how to get it back together like one or two of the other guys, who during the test portion at the end of the class seemed to be having some real difficulty figuring it out. They got it done though, on their own and did it well, so they also passed. I am guessing that everyone passed although no one was saying anything either way. As for me I got the practical portion of the test done perfectly and I also scored 100% on the written portion of the test.
Truth be told, it is truly amazing at how few parts a Glock has when compared to an older style more conventional pistol. For instance, I doubt very much that I could learn how to disassemble and reassemble one of my Beretta 92 series pistols during an 8 hour course of study. I have seen the parts diagrams for them and they have more parts by far. Besides that, Glocks use all drop in parts. I think the Berettas may do likewise but many pistols such as a standard 1911 would probably require fitting therefore necessitating the expertise of a qualified gunsmith to exchange some specific parts. Take a look at the 2 diagrams, one of a Glock and one of a Beretta 92FS and you will see what I mean about the Glock being simpler by virtue of using less parts (bear in mind I cannot vouch for the correctness of either of these exploded parts diagrams).
The simplicity of the Glock makes it much easier to work on than a more complex pistol with more parts or so they say in Glock Armorer's School. By the way, they did not mention other pistols by brand, I brought up the Beretta only because I own a few of them and they are near and dear to me so they came right to mind when thinking of another pistol to use as an example. They are definitely made up of more parts and I figure probably would be much more complex to work on than something like a Glock 26. I am not, in any way, putting down the Berettas - they are finely crafted psitols indeed - otherwise I would not own 3 of the model 92 series, one of the 70 series and would not have owned the several others I have owned over the years.
Back to the Glocks, a lot of them can use parts interchangeably between different models and a lot of those parts simply drop into place. There are new Glocks coming out and those will not have as wide a parts interchange capability with older models but if I remember right some parts are still interchangeable (never interchange parts between models unless you are a Glock Certified Armorer and you know that the parts are actually interchangeable). The interchangeability of some of the parts certainly makes it easier for an armorer when stocking parts and easier when diagnosing and fixing problems. Another thing that makes Glocks a pleasure to work on is that the virtually whole gun (with the exception of the sights which require other tools) can be disassembled and reassembled using a single tool, the Glock Armorer's Tool, which is basically a punch with a plastic handle. Two other tools, a small screwdriver and a small pair of needle nosed pliers can make some things easier but probably are not really needed to detail strip and reassemble these pistols. Well, really there is one other tool you need, that is the knowledge of how to do it and get it done right. If you want that, take the course if you meet the elligibilty requirements, it is worth it. In order to take the course, Glock requires that: "...you must be an active law enforcement or military officer, private security, GLOCK Stocking Dealer/Range Program Employee or current GSSF member.".
I did it on my own dime instead of asking work if they would pay for it. Training of an employee that benefits the job is often paid for by my employer but I figured I would help both stimulate the economy and save the tax payer some money by paying for it myself. Besides, this way I am not beholden to anyone regarding owing them the benefit of my newly learned skills. Of course, if they ever need help during the annual detail stripping and cleaning of personally owned government authorized Glocks for my fellow agents, I will be happy to lend a helping hand. Mostly though, I am hopeful that my new skill set will allow me to do 2 things. One I am certain about, the other is a wait and see kind of thing. The thing I am certain about is that now I will be able to fully service my own Glock 26 pistol. That alone was well worth the $150 it cost me for the 1 day class. I will, of course, also be able to service any other Glock pistol I may buy, or that my son may buy. He turns 21 late this year and is hoping to get a pistol permit for target and hunting.
What else I am hopeful of though is that I will be able to make a few bucks now and then servicing other people's pistols. If I make enough to pay for the cost of the Glock Armorer's course 3 years from now, when my certification expires, then it will be all well and good because the next class will have been paid for ahead of time. I imagine by then it will go for around $175 or $200 but that should not be hard to make with a few charged for repairs. Now if I do that, I guess I will need insurance and a business license and all, and that will cost too, so I'll have to do a few more repairs. Time will tell if it is a money maker or not. if not, well as I said, it was worth the cost of the course just to be able to have the knowledge of how to repair my own Glock. Before even think of taking my own apart for a detailed cleaning I will pick up several of the parts that are most likely to need replacing either because of need for repair or because the parts got lost when the gun was stripped down. I could be very easy to lose one or two of the parts so best to have them on hand if need be. Also not a bad idea to have a supply of parts that may break such as an extra ejector or two, maybe couple of extra coil springs and maybe some other springs too. I really do not anticipate any breakages but better to be prepared now before all such things are banned and I can no longer get em later if and when something does break.
All the best,
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3 hours ago