Letter Re: Suggestions on Spare Parts for Guns?

I heard a radio host talk about the value of having certain parts for guns on hand. Can you recommend a dealer or source for good quality parts for firearms? I am not a gunsmith. Does anyone make parts kits for the most commonly broken parts like springs,etc. It would be nice if you could buy them for say a 1911, AR, etc. I guess the AR is full of small things that get lost and cannot be replaced or made. Maybe you could elaborate with a posting on a list of what to buy etc, thanks. – Boosters

JWR Replies: The selection of spare parts will vary widely, depending on maker and model. Some models have a propensity for excessive wear, loss, or breakage on certain parts. For example, AR-15, M16s, CAR-15s, and M4s are notorious for broken ejection port dust covers, and buffer retainers, as well as galled gas tubes, gas tube keys, and cam pins. Parts for most autopistols are “drop in” replacements about 80% of the time. In contrast, revolver parts, especially hammers and triggers, usually require fitting. So unless you have experience at stoning and honing, there is no point to buying most spare revolver action parts. (BTW, this is one reason that I tend toward autopistols.)

Here are my basic spare parts vendor recommendations:

M1 Garands, M1/M2 Carbines, M1As and M14s: GunThings.com and Fulton Armory

AR-10s: Since some parts and magazines differ dimensionally between makers, buy spares directly from your rifle’s manufacturer (Such as American Spirit, Armalite, DPMS, Knight, Rock River, etc.)

AR-15s, CAR-15s, M16s, and M4s: Bushmaster, DPMS, DSArms, Vector, and Kaiserworks.
M17S Bullpups (The poor man’s AUG): BushmasterGunThings.com,

L1A1s and FALs: Gun Parts Guy, GunThings.com, Akron Armory, Kaiserworks, and DSArms

HK91s (and clones): HK4ever, Vector, HK-USA, and perhaps POF-USA.  (The latter’s parts are made in Pakistan.)

AKs: Akron Armory, GunThings.com, DSArms, Vector, and KVAR

RPDs: Vector

Steyr AUGs and SSGs: Guns South.

Galils: Vector or CDNN Sports

Uzis: Vector

Mauser Bolt Action Rifles : Tennessee Gun Parts or Hoosier Gun Works

M1919s: GunThings.com

Berettas, Brownings, Remingtons, and Winchesters: Midwest Gun Works

Rugers: Omega Man Enterprises or direct from Ruger.

M1911s: Wilson Combat, Chip McCormick, Clark Custom, or Ed Brown

Glocks: Glockmeister or Top Glock

Makarovs: Akron Armory

For more obscure or hard-to-find parts, there is always Gun Parts Corp. (They are the world’s biggest gun parts seller, although their prices tend to be high for some models.) For gunsmithing tools and supplies (such as bluing salts, fiberglass bedding kits, etc.) as well as a wide assortment of magazines and customizing parts, I also highly recommend Brownell’s. BTW, the only parts dealer that I avoid like the plague is Sarco of Stirling, New Jersey.  (“Be afraid, be very afraid!”)

If any SurvivalBlog readers with real world experience on spare parts histories would care to chime in, I will be happy to post their recommendations about which spares to keep on hand for individual makes and models.

OBTW, if you patronize any of these firms, please tells them that you saw them mentioned on SurvivalBlog. (Some of these firms are SurvivalBlog advertisers–and the rest should be!)