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Old 06-15-2013, 12:39 PM
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Default Professional Gun Cleaning?

I was at my local gun store last night picking up the karma win gun (thanks again, Muddyboot!) and a guy walks in and asks the counter guys if they do "professional gun cleaning". The store guys look at each other in confusion and ask the guy "What kind of gun?". The guy replies telling them it's a Glock. At this point I had to conceal a smile knowing we were in for some humor. The customer goes on to explain that his father borrowed the gun and put 150 rounds through it and it's very dirty. The store guys ask him if he needs a cleaning kit and point to the shelf with the kits. The guy says no, he has a cleaning kit, but wants the gun "professionally cleaned". By now, everyone in the store is quiet and listening to this conversation. The store guys, not knowing what else to say, tell him no, they don't do gun cleaning, sorry, and the guy thanks them and leaves.

We all had a laugh at this afterwards but it got me thinking later last night. Sure, the idea of a Glock requiring a "professional cleaning" after only 150 rounds sounds ridiculous, but at the same time I think the shop blew an opportunity to make some money and perhaps gain or maintain a repeat customer. Surely there are times during the day when these guys working the store don't have much to do and could be cleaning a gun, so why not call it a "professional cleaning" and charge the guy $25 or so for the service? He'd be happy his gun got "professionally cleaned" and the store would make a few bucks for basically no work at all. I think it it were my store and I was behind the counter, I would have told the guy, "Oh, yeah, we do that, no problem, bring it in."
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:07 PM
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Many new shooters are entering the hobby and they just don't know, guns confuse them for the most part. I've been shooting for over 45 years now, the day I shot my first gun I learned how to clean it. Most new shooters never had the early life experiences handed down to them like I, and alot of us did. I'm grateful for that.
Having said all that, I actually make some pretty good extra cash cleaning guns for friends/acquaitances, these aren't new guns for the most part but older firearms that they have inherited or have just neglected for years. Many of them really require a good takedown and cleaning, I lightly polish and wax, oil and grease what I can. I've always enjoyed working on guns and cleaning them, it's kind of meditation for me. I've got three here right now, a nice old Remington 511P, that when brought to me looked very bad and was missing the peep sight retention screw (it now looks near new, as good as it will get), a nice older Marlin 36 with milled top strap, this one will be a challenge, and an old Stevens double that will spend it's life as a wall hanger (but a nice looking one!).
On average I get between $25 -$35 for this, so I'm doing something I enjoy and making a little extra spending cash.
Have patience with the Newbies, at least they are trying, and without them we wont have a future.
RD
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:13 PM
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Your LGS guys are idiots.
A guy borrows a gun, shoots it and wants to return it cleaner than when he got it. This is a bad thing?
Your LGS doesn't want to do the job?
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:13 PM
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As someone who owns a business, I have a different view.
I would have told him to bring it in. Then I would have broken out the Hoppes #9 (out of my shaving kit) and taught him how to do it. I wouldn't have charged a dime.
Next time he came in he would buy some cleaning supplies, and, most importantly, tell all his friends how nice the guy at the gun store is.

That is how to build a successful business.
Jim
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:26 PM
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There are a couple of shops in my area that do sonic bath cleaning...not just the kind of cleaning I or anyone can do at home. I've never used it, but they only charge $30 so it seems like it would be worth it the next time I buy a RIA or some other gun that comes packed in grease/oil.
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:35 PM
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P&R got it right!
Never let an oportunity to please a customer pass you up, word of mouth is free advertising and pays off way more than any other form. I've always been put off by the 'gun fighter' attitude of some LGS's, I've refused to set foot in a few because of this, they didn't last long for the most part. You can't run a business and offend the people you want to help you grow, it just don't work that way.
Back in the early '90's I worked in a local shop, the owner was one of the worst businessmen I've ever seen. I used to cringe at the way he treated some people, it was embarassing to see. Once a guy pulled up in the parking lot and he asked me 'Who is that?', told him I didn't know but it looked like a customer. His reply was 'I don't have time for this B.S., I'm trying to run a business!'. We parted ways soon after that.
I've never forgotten that, never will.
RD
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:38 PM
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I think most of the older gun stores,the ones established before the advent of Glocks and such, did, almost always offer a cleaning service.
Some would even allow you to come to the work bench and watch. They also had a competent smith on hand most times. Not so much anymore, but, if you could ever get on good terms with an old smith, boy oh boy you could learn some great gun care info!.. As I said, not so much anymore...My favorite store,( owner and one part-time helper) still has a fair amount of business, cleaning and light smithing.
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Old 06-15-2013, 03:25 PM
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The good part is a lot of people are buying guns.

The bad part is a lot of people are buying guns.

Part of responsible gun ownership is to know how to care for it.

Personally, I find it enjoyable to clean a firearm. Getting all the areas clean, then applying a light, protective coat of oil before placing back into storage or back into your holster for another day of personal protection.

Many people buy out if impulse, shoot then put it up.

Some never clean them.

Others improperly clean them with stuff I wouldn't even dream if using.

If I'm going to lay down the cash for a firearm, I'm going to know how to clean it.

Cleaning should be done before you ever fire it so you can get it range ready and familiarize yourself with it before throwing lead at a target.

SD
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Old 06-15-2013, 03:33 PM
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People I work with bring me different guns all the time to clean for them. I don't ask for anything but I take what they offer me. I did show another guy(via iphone) how to completely strip a Yugo M57 and reassemble it! He later gave me an AK bayonet for my collection!
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Old 06-15-2013, 03:38 PM
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I saw a post on another forum from a gunsmith proclaiming "people clean your guns". He had photos of his friend's Glock that has been carried and only cleaned via a field strip. He was pulling out all kinds of caked on gunk mixed with lint and other stuff.

It might not matter on a newer gun but its not a bad idea to do a detailed strip and clean on thats been shot and carried for a while

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Old 06-15-2013, 04:44 PM
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I also would have done it for $25-$35. Some people just feel more confident having 'professionals' do a job.
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Old 06-15-2013, 06:38 PM
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Up here people buy guns, shoot them 'till they stop working, get them cleaned then start all over again.
I've made a fair bit of money detail cleaning guns. When someone needs a handgun cleaned, a lot of times they'd say, "while ya have it, could you make a holster for it too?" Nobody ever quibbled about prices, they'd get a nice shiny clean gun, a new custom leather holster to go with it and leave happy. I chased down magazines, repair parts and reblued shotgun recievers and muzzleloaded Hawkins replica tangs.
Yeah, I'll clean your guns for ya.
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:40 PM
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I would love to have a slave. No, I mean like a: "girl friday", or a "go-fer", to clean up after the range. I would be so happy.
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:57 PM
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Nothing wrong with asking for a professional gun cleaning. I know one place where all the retirees bring in their shotguns after they went the whole day skeet shooting. The LGS was an idiot, he lost not only one customer but probably a couple potential ones too.
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:23 PM
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I have seen rifles so badly neglected from years of shooting without proper care or cleaning they were considered worn out. A gunsmith with a bore scope and some time could bring a gun like this back to life in many cases.
The owner needs an expensive lesson in the proper care of firearms.
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Professional Gun Cleaning?

As my interests lay in P&R vintage Smith and Wesson revolvers, the first thing I do when I acquire a new, to me, revolver is have my gunsmith clean and inspect it for me. This includes removing the side plate all of the internal parts, then a sonic cleaning, a proper lube job and reassembly. I pay a whopping $45.00 for this. Its money well spent.
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:23 PM
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I quit using professional gun cleaners the same time I quit using professional gun bearers. When the finances are not there, you have to give up the finer things.
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:35 PM
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It's just like anything else - some people don't care to do the maintenance or don't know how to. If they'd rather pay someone to do it for them instead of just learn to do it themselves, who are we to say they're wrong?

Some people change their own oil, some people take their car to the shop... This isn't really any different. Would I pay someone to clean my guns? No. But I'm not going to sit here and say that the idea of paying someone to clean your guns for you has no merit.

IMO, cleaning your guns is just something that you should know how to do as a gun owner, but let's face it, it's not exactly "fun". If some people would rather pay someone to do it for them, that's their choice...
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:31 PM
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First off, I'm a bit anal about cleaning my guns. I've been working on a 7mm Win 70 for the last week, removing probably twenty years worth of carbon/copper/****.

Secondly, I've had a bad run of dealing with 'professionals', so I wouldn't even consider taking one of my firearms to someone I didn't have a long standing relationship with.

I've got a good dozen guns in the cleaning quegue, however, I would be more than happy to clean that man's Glock for $40...
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:41 AM
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Default Um.......

What if the internals need cleaning?? I just saw a very good video on taking apart a 5943 like mine and it scared me pretty bad. Mine doesn't need 'professional cleaning' but I'm not a gunsmith and it looked like I could.....'mess'... something up trying to reassemble. How about taking the side plate off of a revolver to clean and lube the inside? I don't want to attempt that, either. If it needs 'professional cleaning' that's what a gunsmith is for.

Yes, the guy was uninformed, but I don't think it is quite as silly as all that.

PS I just 'non-professionally' cleaned my guns tonight.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:52 AM
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To me "Professional" gun cleaning means a total dis-assembly and clean and re-lube. I have done this for myself for a long time when needed,and I have also done these for some others for a minimal fee. A gunsmith would probably charge $75+ for this. I did a couple 1911's for the owner of my small local range in exchange for the annual membership.
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:09 AM
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It sounds like the LGS blew a perfect opportunity to make a little money and educate a customer and possibly earn repeat business. If it were me I would have done it in front of the customer explaining the process along the way. The owner of my LGS taught me how to completely take down a Glock and a S&W M&P, I bought the M&P.
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Old 02-22-2015, 11:27 PM
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HI db. FIRST OF ALL, THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICE, BROTHER. YOU ARE RIGHT ON THE MONEY ABOUT THIS. IF I WAS THE LGS OWNER, I WOULD BE DOING SOME SERIOUS ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT WITH MY BIG FOOT. BEING A MARINE, I KNOW THAT YOU REMEMBER WHERE YOUR OL' DRILL SGT THREATENED TO STICK HIS BIG BOOT. I CERTAINLY HOPE THE OWNER WASN'T PRESENT, BECAUSE IF HE WAS, HE IS THE BIGGEST FOOL OF ALL ! ! !

NOT ONLY WOULD A CLEANING SERVICE FOR A MODEST FEE BE ATTRACTIVE TO NEW SHOOTERS, BUT IT WOULD APPEAL TO WOMEN WHO DON'T WANT TO BREAK A NAIL OR GET DIRTY, BUSY BUSINESS MEN WHO DON'T HAVE THE TIME, OR HANDICAPPED PEOPLE WHO ARE PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO CLEAN A WEAPON THEMSELVES…..

I AM PARALYZED ON ONE SIDE OF MY BODY, SO I ONLY HAVE ONE HAND THAT WORKS. I MUST RELY ON THE KINDNESS OF FRIENDS (WHICH THANKFULLY I HAVE) TO MAINTAIN MY WEAPONS. UNFORTUNATELY, THEY ARE NOT AS SPOTLESS AS I USED TO MAINTAIN THEM WHEN I WAS ABLE, BUT THEY ARE IN A STATE OF READINESS, IF THE DOO DOO SHOULD FLY INTO THE FAN…..

I PLAN TO TAKE A 6" COLT DIAMONDBACK, THAT HAS BEEN SITTING IN MY SAFE FOR 30 YEARS, TO MY 'SMITH FOR A "PROFESSIONAL CLEANING" TO INCLUDE CLEANING AND LUBE OF THE INTERNALS--A STEP BEYOND ROUTINE CLEANING, FOR ME AT LEAST. THIS IS IN PREP FOR TRANSFERRING OWNERSHIP, AND SHIPPING THE REVOLVER TO MY DAUGHTER IN ANOTHER STATE. HE WILL CHARGE ME FOR THIS SERVICE, WHICH HE WILL PROBABLY PERFORM WHILE I WAIT….…...
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Old 02-23-2015, 12:00 AM
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I have advancing arthritis, and am on meds for cancer that do very ugly things in the supposed treatments. I can still field strip everything I own, but would never attempt a detail strip, as I likely would never get them put back together.
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Old 02-23-2015, 12:47 AM
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I know this thread is almost two years old but here's some perspective.

I've worked at three gun stores, two with a range. None of those places (the owners) wanted anything to do with cleaning other peoples guns. Didn't want to deal with the hassle or liability if something was damaged regardless of whether it was real damage or something cosmetic. Plus, everyone has a different idea as to what is "clean", some people will complain no matter what. Besides all that the owners didn't want us wasting time cleaning other peoples stuff when we could be selling guns, watching the range, teaching a class, or BS'ing (building/maintaining rapport) with the regulars that dropped serious cash like clockwork.

All in all, it was never worth it to do, but if we were slow then yeah we'd talk someone through it.... give a man a fish or teach him to fish and whatnot.
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Old 02-23-2015, 03:42 AM
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My FFL makes some good coin cleaning guns. The only problem is about half his cleaning business comes the week before deer season. He's cleaning guns morning to night during that one week out of the year.
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Old 02-23-2015, 05:18 AM
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P&R nailed it. Make the customer happy, educate, encourage good habits, and probably get lots of repeat business. That was my experience. When I buy a "new" gun (which is generally older than I am) it goes to my gunsmith for a inspection, cleaning and adjust. Most times it's only clean and inspect. Well worth the money to know the timing, gap, etc. are in spec. I could do 90% of that, but the 10% is the safety aspect... And I like having all my fingers, eyes, etc. come back from the range intact. It also supports small business, although Matt & Gwen now have two staff, so they're growing that business as well. Win-win!
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:23 PM
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One of my close friend worked the Gun Counter at a large Box Sporting Goods Store. His best story involved to young lads who wore their hats on sideways and their pants just under their buttocks. The came in and demanded a box of Bullets for a Glock. My friend ask them what caliber and they replied, "Fool we needs a box of Bullets for a Glock." My friend again ask them what caliber and they told him, "do we need to slap you face fool, give up a box a bullets for a Glock."

He sold them a box of 200 grn, .38S&Ws, no return or refund. He also sold them so cleaning equipment like muzzle loading rifle rods and some bullet molds for .44spl. He said they were happy to get it since it might get banned by the government.

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Old 03-02-2015, 08:34 PM
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I must be weird. I enjoy cleaning my guns as much as shooting them.
Don't think I could sleep if I put one up dirty.
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Old 03-02-2015, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rog8732 View Post
I think most of the older gun stores,the ones established before the advent of Glocks and such, did, almost always offer a cleaning service.
Some would even allow you to come to the work bench and watch. They also had a competent smith on hand most times. Not so much anymore, but, if you could ever get on good terms with an old smith, boy oh boy you could learn some great gun care info!.. As I said, not so much anymore...My favorite store,( owner and one part-time helper) still has a fair amount of business, cleaning and light smithing.
Same with my gun store. Oh, it is the same store as yours!
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Old 03-03-2015, 12:13 AM
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I have a buddy that wished to have his AK professionally cleaned. I told him of an ad I had heard on the radio, and if he took his gun to them, go ahead and leave your man card with them as well

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Old 03-03-2015, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by -db- View Post
We all had a laugh at this afterwards........."
This is a problem at some gun stores. Some newer gun enthusiast are somewhat intimidated just walking into a gun store. Then they ask a question and everything gets quiet, the newbie can just feel everyone hanging on every word of the question. Then they leave just knowing that everyone "had a good laugh". The successful gun shop is going to go out of their way to show patience to newbies. Everybody starts out knowing nothing.
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Old 03-03-2015, 01:18 AM
Krell1 Krell1 is offline
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I've never owned my own business but I've seen many where the owner has no good business sense. One in particular treated customers so bad it was embarrassing and I wondered how he had any business at all. People would buy items from him and need help after the sale and he'd give them such a hard time it was a wonder they didn't take him to court. If I'm trying to find a business or service and I place a phone call, I generally will pick the guy who actually answers his phone. So often, you get a message, have to leave one and never get a call back. Old fashioned service has just about died.
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Old 03-03-2015, 01:51 AM
Frank46 Frank46 is offline
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Down here it is very common for someone who takes his rifle,handgun or shotgun in to have it cleaned. I know one guy who does very well cleaning other folks guns. Myself I'm pretty conversant with most military surplus rifles, shotguns and commercial rifles. Self taught on the above and really like cleaning my handguns as well. remember the saying you see on some t shirts."the voices in my head told me to stay home and clean my guns". Funny thing though at the local gun shows almost no one sells cleaning supplies. More than once have been at the local range and someone will say they just got this rifle or whatever from some gunshop and first time to shoot it. You can almost be sure the dealer at a show isn't going to take the time to clean any mil surp or commercial firearm prior to it being sold.Frank
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Old 03-03-2015, 10:52 AM
Krell1 Krell1 is offline
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The local range where I shoot offers ultrasonic gun cleaning. I suupose that would be OK since it would get all the gunk out of the places you can't get by hand. I've never used the service since I like to clean my own. I have a Colt 1911 that still looks new and, when I reassemble after cleaning, I'm very careful not to get the so-called idiot scratch. I'm afraid not everyone would take care of my guns like I do.
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Old 03-03-2015, 11:20 AM
italiansport italiansport is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H Richard View Post
To me "Professional" gun cleaning means a total dis-assembly and clean and re-lube. I have done this for myself for a long time when needed,and I have also done these for some others for a minimal fee. A gunsmith would probably charge $75+ for this. I did a couple 1911's for the owner of my small local range in exchange for the annual membership.
This is what the gunsmithing dept used to charge at the shop where I helped. They either did a complete disassembly and cleaning or an ultra sonic cleaning. Considering the condition of some of the guns brought in it was money well spent. I remember getting older pocket pistols like Colts or Remingtons for example that had probably been sitting for 30 plus years.
In some cases the existing lubricant was so dried up you could barely get the gun to function. Most individuals are NOT capable of disassembling a gun to the necessary degree required in this case so they turn to a professional. The end result was IMO well worth the money.
Jim
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