Blog & Club News

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Jeff Cooper’s Gun Safety Rules

If you’ve been around firearms at all most likely you’ve heard of Colonel John Dean “Jeff” Cooper.  He was an United States Marine and father of the modern technique of handgun shooting.  His rules of gun safety have been recounted by millions of people and are still true today.

Four Rules of Gun Safety

  • Rule 1:  All guns are loaded. 
  • Rule 2:  Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
  • Rule 3:  Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
  • Rule 4:  Be sure of your target.

Teach these to your kids and quiz them before you teach them to shoot!

By | January 23rd, 2018|Main|Comments Off on Jeff Cooper’s Gun Safety Rules

Gun Cleaning Kit Masters Workshop – Sunday July 30

Gun Cleaning Kit Masters WorkshoEveryone is welcomed to attend the Sunday workshop on July 30th, where we’ll have Frank from Gun Cleaning HQ in for a gun cleaning workshop. Frank has over 30 years of experience cleaning thousands of different types of guns. He has extensive gunsmithing skills and in this workshop he’ll be bringing in a wide variety of dirty guns for you to clean!

Learning how to clean your gun is important but you’ll also learn when and when not to clean your gun. We’ll be going over the different components of the gun cleaning kit and will be supplying everyone that attends with a universal gun cleaning kit so that you will become familiar with all the parts.

Often times many people over clean their firearms and this can be just as damaging as never cleaning them. We’ll take a look at what happens if you don’t clean your gun and moisture builds up on it and you allow it to sit. Rust will build up and there’s no way to remove it.

Using something as simple as a bore snake will save you thousands of dollars on replacing your firearm. It literally takes a few minutes to break it out and clean your gun and you can even use them at the range or out hunting. Frank will show you everything about the bore snake and you’ll learn when to use it and when not to use it.

Part 1 –Gunsmithing 101

The first part of the workshop we will discuss some basic gunsmithing and learn the various components of each firearm. We’ll take apart a rifle, AR and pistol to see how each component should be cleaned. Also, you’ll learn some of the basic rules you want to follow when cleaning your guns.

We will be learning how to safely secure your long guns using a gun vise. A good gun vise is worth its weight in gold because you need to keep your gun still if you want to really get a good clean. A regular vise is a very bad option because it can easily damage the sensitive areas of your gun. They are very inexpensive and you will receive one with the workshop.

Part 2 – Cleaning Rods and Brushes

This will include a breakdown of each tool in your universal gun cleaning kit. We’ll look at the different types of brushes, including bronze, nylon and stainless steel. You’ll learn when to use each type of brush and what areas of the guns you should use each brush for. Of course, we’ll also be using cleaning rods and we’ll take a look at a 3-5 piece cleaning rod to learn how to use those with your brushes and cleaning jags.

Part 3 – Gun Cleaning Solvents

We will discuss the importance of using a good gun cleaning solvent to use with your gun cleaning kit. There are literally hundreds of different gun cleaning solvents out there and Frank is somewhat of an expert on all of them. You’ll learn the difference between cleaners, lubricators, and protectors.

 Part 4 – How to Use a Bore Snake

A bore snake is a quick way to clean your gun, usually when you’re in the field. Everyone should be familiar with a bore snake but if you’re not then you’ll become a master in a short period of time. The bore snake is one of the most important tools in your gun cleaning kit and once you have the technique down, you’ll be able to whip it out and clean your gun in 2 minutes flat!

You’ll also learn what cleaning solvent to use with your bore snake and how much to use. This can be a bit difficult at first but you’ll get the hang of it in a few minutes.

Part 5 – Full Cleaning Your Guns

In the final part of the workshop, you will be tasked with doing a full clean on each of the firearms that you’re given. All guns are not previously cleaned and some of them are very dirty, so it will be up to you to get them spotless. We will coach you through this and make sure that if you make any mistakes or have any questions, we’ll be right there.

Please be sure to contact us before attending. If you are signed up for the newsletter then you’ve already been notified and several people have already asked some questions, so I thought I would answer them here. The price of the workshop is included in the newsletter and may be more if we decide to upgrade the cleaning kits.

You’ll be exposed to a wide variety of different guns, so this is a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with guns you may have never seen before AND learn from a master gunsmith and gun cleaner.

By | July 16th, 2017|Main|Comments Off on Gun Cleaning Kit Masters Workshop – Sunday July 30

July Meeting

Independent Living Gun Club urges all of its members to take the time to join GOAL and the NRA. For the price of two boxes of ammunition, you can help to support your rights at both the state and federal level. Please sign up today if you are not already a member. Independent Living Gun Club is currently open for membership.  If interested, please stop by our Club on any Sunday afternoon, or visit our Website for dues information and to apply online!

July 1st Gun Club Meeting

The July meeting was held at the clubhouse on July 1st  at 8 PM. Thank you to the members who made the meeting.

It is with deep regret that I must announce my resignation as President of the Independent Living Gun Club effective August 1st. I have accepted a unique employment opportunity that will require me to move out of state. Though I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that my move will present, I will miss the Club and the many friends I have made here. I ask that you give your total support to Paul and the rest of the Officers and Directors of the Club for the remainder of the year, and any future Officers and Directors, as you would hope to be supported by the membership if you were in the position.

I had hoped to see the many projects we had started to improve our facility be completed, but I know that the membership will rally to the cause and see them finished soon. I also ask the membership to continue to be fully involved in all aspects of our Club by making every effort to attend the monthly meetings, various matches, and work parties. I hope to be able to visit the Club on trips back and see that we are still a vibrant, growing association of involved shooters. I thank you for all of your support over the years, and will miss the Independent Living Gun Club and the many friends in the California shooting community greatly – Joe Johnson

The Membership applications have been updated to reflect the new address of the Governor. If you are in possession of any of the old applications, please discard them, as they will not be properly delivered. New applications are available in the Clubhouse.

Our RSO’s have been showing up for duty on the scheduled long range days only to find no one interested in using the ranges. The weather has not been cooperative for most of the spring and summer so far, so we can understand the lack of participation. We will continue to have RSO’s on duty, and hope that the Ranges become used more. If not, we may cut out one of the scheduled days during the summer months.

It may also be possible to move one of the days from Saturday to Sunday if people are interested. Please let your Directors and Officers know how you feel on the subject, and be sure to make the meetings.

By | July 2nd, 2017|Main|Comments Off on July Meeting

A Brief History of Gun Scopes

If you want a rifle scope, you know just why; to enhance your vision while looking for that perfect shot. A gun scope is used to give additional accuracy to your firearms, air guns and crossbows. Gun scopes for firearms started being utilized in 1835, and it has taken centuries to perfect them. Scopes allow the user to focus on both the crosshair and the target as well. To obtain the best hunting scopes, some say you’ll want to make sure they have a zoom; this can be a very important feature to some hunters. Another important feature is that you can actually carry. However, while searching for a scope that fits your unique needs, you must first decide it is important to you.

Gun scopes are made by many prominent manufacturers, and put to the ultimate tests before being sold to you. Some of the most popular gun scopes available today include Leopold, Bushnell, Nikon and Tasco; however, there are over 4,000 scope manufacturers. Hitting what you will be aiming for however reason for adding a scope to your hunting gear, so discovering the right scope by the right manufacturer is key!

Using a gun scope can help you become a more successful hunter, so you are on the right track to success. So remember to purchase a superior quality gun scope without breaking your budget. Make sure your scope includes the features you want including a power-selection ring, and sun shield to reduce glare. Mount your scope carefully. Also, always use a lens cover. Depending on who you ask, your lens is central to the part of your scope, so using a cover is the greatest thing you can do to keep your scope in perfect condition. Good luck during this hunting season.

By | June 28th, 2017|Main|Comments Off on A Brief History of Gun Scopes

Monthly Gun Cleaning Classes

Gun Cleaning Classes

We offer monthly Gun Cleaning and Gun Smith Classes which are meant to train people in the art of gun cleaning. Gun cleaning is essential to every gun owner and in this 6 hour workshop style course we cover many elements; including cleaning, repairing, modification, designing and building of firearms. Gunsmiths have access to an industry that is wide and the right qualifications can get them factory level work in designing and building of guns, or more artisan and exclusive positions in renovation, modifications and alterations of firearms. You might also gain employment with the military or other law enforcement agencies, shops that sell guns or you may run your own Gun Cleaning business.

gun cleaning kitMastery of the Gun Cleaning Kit

There are many parts to the art of the gun cleaning. They are usually expected to have some knowledge in mechanics, working with metals, wood, and be an artisan as they might be required to do some decorations or to custom make certain parts for their clients. They may also be expected to have some knowledge in ballistics as cartridges and the projectiles they make on coming out of the barrel must be studied and adjusted to make for perfect performance of the finished guns.

Gun Cleaning and gunsmithing schools must be able to have programs that deliver these courses and offer practical sessions to enable their students to learn and practice the skills of the trade. They must also have had the right licenses and permissions to enable them to operate in the state.

Available specializations for Gunsmiths

While the Gun Cleaning schools may give you the necessary knowledge that is needed to undertake most of the common tasks that a Gunsmith may encounter in their daily work, in some cases students may wish to specialize in one area more than the other and some of the available specializations include;

Builder/ Designer

These are possibly the most highly skilled and multitalented class of gunsmiths because they must also be proficient in the other areas of Gun Cleaning. They are able to design, manufacture and assemble parts to make a complete gun according to the customer’s specifications. They are usually sought after by professionals in target practice that require very powerful and accurate firearms.


These are gunsmiths that are specialized in putting the finishing touches on the metal parts to provide corrosion resistance and in some cases also for decoration.


These are craftsmen specialized in carving the stocks of guns, fitting the stocks to the metal barrels and also to design the stocks to fit the customer’s dimensions which may not be standard.


Checkerers represent gunsmiths that specialize in engraving intricate patterns on the wooden section of the guns that makes it easy to be gripped. There are also fine carvings that are done at the edges.

Gun Engravers

Engravers are specialized in cutting fine designs on the metal surfaces of the guns. This can be in standard designs or on special designs requested by clients.

Manufacturing of parts

Some gunsmiths become specialized in manufacturing a number of parts for the market. Most Gun Cleaning schools will give you the possibility of pursuing one or more of these career paths and successful completion will make you eligible for one or more of state and international licensing organizations for gunsmiths.

By | June 28th, 2017|Main|Comments Off on Monthly Gun Cleaning Classes

Gunsmithing Tools

Gunsmithing tools like the tools of any other craftsman or artisan need to be of very good quality in order that the gunsmith may be able to produce works of very high quality. The art of gun cleaning and gun smithing requires several years of specialization and apprenticeship. While there many people that are involved in all parts of the trade, most gunsmiths have honed one or two of their skills to perfection and work almost exclusively in one area of gun cleaning.

There are gunsmiths that are involved with the design and creation of guns from scratch and they need to be good in machining for the larger cuttings and designs as well as be able to handle the smaller tools for the finer details of the trade. Some of the larger tools for machining processes include; stock copiers that are able to copy the stocks of guns, Barrel makers for producing barrels of different specifications.

As a gunsmith, you will also need different kinds of files, drills, dies, hammers, punches, wrenches and screw drivers. The best thing to do when acquiring gun cleaning tools is to get a basic tool set that can often be bought boxed together for convenience. This is usually composed of the tools that are commonly employed in the common tasks that goldsmiths may face on a day to day basis.

The best move will be to prepare for and buy additional tools as required for your business or activity, and also as you develop, specialize and find yourself dealing more and more in a specific area.

Where to acquire tools for gunsmiths

Since gun smithing is a highly skilled trade, there are many tools that the gunsmith will have to be able to make for himself, according to his specifications and according to the needs of the guns he designed (if it was designed from scratch) and built or If the guns have been customized to perform in a specified way depending on the demands of the customers, the parts may not be standard and the gunsmith may be required to build the part completely or modify existing parts to meet the specific need. It is for these reasons that utilizing the appropriate gun cleaning tools are important.

Another avenue where you can get tools for the gun cleaning trade is the internet. There are diverse shops online to find gunsmith tools, some totally online based and other shops that are both online and also based on a physical shop location that you can visit.

Whether you are buying offline or online, it is essential that you investigate to know if the seller is certified to sell gun related accessories. You will also need to verify if they are selling goods from manufacturers that are reputed to have good quality products. In this respect you will have to do your assignments by researching on which manufacturers are known for their quality tools and parts, as well as which agencies are responsible for quality control and for making sure that the seller is operating within the laws.

This is extremely important because counterfeit tools and gun parts will not be able to function at the degree of efficiency that they are required to work and may lead to a defective gun being produced which may be a danger to their clients. Getting the right gun cleaning tools will not only enable gunsmiths to perform their work efficiently, but will also lead to the construction of products that are safe for their owners.


By | June 28th, 2017|Main|Comments Off on Gunsmithing Tools

How to Become a Gunsmith

Learning how to become a gunsmith might take you through a winding route that gives you training in all the different aspects of the trade, or it may take you directly to one or two aspects of the training such as working on a particular part or set of features which you can master. A gunsmith can be described as a person that repairs, modifies designs or builds guns or gun parts. Many gunsmiths can do all of these, but most of the times on a day to day basis many specialize in just one or a few of the aspects that make up the art of the gunsmith.

Gunsmiths are highly employable and are employed by gun factories, by military and other agencies that deal with guns and regularly need these to be conditioned and repaired, shops that sell guns, or they may run their own business or dealership in arm manufacture and repairs. There are many routes that you can take to learn how to become a gunsmith. These are;

Colleges and Universities and Vocational schools

Some colleges and universities and vocational schools offer gun cleaning courses to interested persons. They give you training in both the theory and practice of the gunsmith as well as the relationship, duties and responsibilities that they have to their community. In many cases these schools also offer correspondence courses to those who wish to learn from home or for whom time constraints due to work or family ties make it impossible for them to keep regular class schedules.

The Military

Guns are widely used in the military and they are always on the lookout for new personnel that can maintain and do  gun cleaning. The different branches of the military regularly recruit, train and employ those that are interesting in working with guns. This is a good route to those that like a military setting.


This is possibly the oldest form of gunsmith training in which a new gunsmith learns from an older professional and this is by watching and completing projects of his own. This can take several years, but many of the most exclusive gunsmiths learned by this way and especially the artisan gunsmith that makes guns not only for function but for the beauty of the product.  If you want to learn how to become a gunsmith, this is probably the most sought out method to learning the craft thoroughly.

Individual companies and Organizations

There are some companies that offer gunsmith courses. Sometimes this is tied to a particular product or service they are offering.  For example the National Rifle Association regularly offers courses in gunsmithing.

Online Gunsmithing schools

The internet has no doubt changed the way we communicate today and it is possible to find almost all kinds of learning process online today. There are some institutions that are currently offering online gunsmithing courses that instruct students by the use of interactive media in the form of audio-visual material and texts.

DIY Gunsmithing

Another less popular route but nonetheless a possibility on learning how to become a gunsmith is the DIY route to gunsmithing where you can learn by yourself, reading books, trial and error and persistence.

By | June 28th, 2017|Main|Comments Off on How to Become a Gunsmith