I know, real men don’t read manuals. I do. Granted, it’ usually as a last resort, but I am not afraid to read a manual when I’m stumped. It can answer all kinds of questions.

The other day a friend and I were test-shooting a new Turkish semiauto I had just received. It was a model I had never shot before and I was completely unfamiliar with it.

It wouldn’t cycle. We tried heavier loads. It still wouldn’t cycle. We took it apart and looked at the gas system. It all looked fine to me.

“Maybe we need to run it wet,” I said, and sprayed the magazine tube with oil.


Finally we opened the manual and looked at the exploded drawing. There was a picture of an O-ring (Part 41) on the magazine tube. I looked at the gun. No O-ring.* I opened up the box containing shims and choke tubes and the like and there was the missing ring. I put it on the gun per the manual and the gun cycled perfectly after that.

Manuals for almost any gun can be found in printable versions online, and manufacturers will usually send you one free of charge for any current or discontinued model. Get your gun’s manual and keep it handy. It may not be the manly thing to do, but it’s the smart thing.

*O-rings get a bad rap. Remington reps tell me the metal rings on an 1100 are more likely to break than the O-rings are. Replacing them with sturdier hardware store O-rings only keeps the gun from fully closing into battery.