One of the key needs, if you are to work on your firearms, is to know not only how to field strip a firearm, but how to go about disassembling and reassembling the firearms beyond the basic field strip. For instance, replacement of parts of a trigger mechanism, certain feeding mechanisms, replacing a firing pin, etc., require that the firearm be broken down beyond that needed for general cleaning and maintenance. Often, such assembly and disassembly have to follow a certain sequence of steps, or there may be certain "tricks" to the process--things that cannot necessarily be discerned from inspecting the firearm or consulting an exploded diagram of the firearm. So, starting in the early 1980s, Gun Digest began publishing a series of books that described the assembly/disassembly process for the benefit of gunsmiths and hobbyists, which each book focusing on a particular class or type of firearm. Obviously, these books cannot include all firearms, makes and models. But often you can find examples of a firearm close enough to what you have that, even if not the exact model, is close enough to give you guidance. Gun Digest has updated these books over the years, and some are into their 4th, 5th, or even 6th editions. In fact, I would point out that Gun Digest is currently, at the time of this writing, offering a sale on the whole current collection (in PDF format) for $84.99.
But if you are only needing the information for one particular project, even that cost may seem too much, and perhaps your local library does not have the books in its collection. There are older editions that you can sometimes find on the Internet that have been scanned and made available. Some of these are as follows:
- Part I - Automatic Pistols (Revised Edition).
- Part II - Revolvers (Revised Edition).
- Part III - Rimfire Rifles (Revised Edition).
- Part IV - Centerfire Rifles.
- Part V - Shotguns (Second Edition).
- Part VI - Law Enforcement Weapons.
Disclaimer: I'm not the author of any of the documents or things in the collection and/or library linked above and cannot vouch for their accuracy or completeness--use them at your own risk. I am not responsible for the posting or offering of any of the documents or things in the collections and/or libraries and have no control over whether they are posted or taken down.