What is involved in firearm maintenance? Keeping your firearm clean is the biggest thing, really. There's a reason that soldiers are made to learn how to disassemble and clean their weapons: a clean gun is a happy gun. You should also make sure that the appropriate parts are lubricated.
Also, every time you disassemble your gun, do a visual check for damage - cracks, galling (friction marks), or just anything that looks different from before. If you suspect trouble, investigate the problem further before firing the gun again. Barring problems, you generally don't need to replace any parts unless they break or otherwise cease to function properly.
There is one important exception to this policy: the springs. Springs are vital to the function of any gun. Worn springs can cause many problems with a firearm. I'll talk about a few springs that are especially critical.
In semi-autos, there is the recoil spring. This spring brings the slide or bolt back into battery after the firing of each round. A worn recoil spring can cause problems with feeding or returning to battery. Recoil springs should be replaced fairly often: every 5000 rounds is probably OK, but I change mine out sooner than that (maybe every 3000), because new springs are cheap insurance.
The magazine springs are also extremely important to the proper functioning of a semi-auto firearm. I have heard several accounts of people who thought they had a worn-out gun (because of malfunctioning), who later found out that they only needed new magazine springs. Many, many problems with the functioning of semi-autos can be traced to the magazines.
Also is the oft-forgotten extractor spring. Most modern gun designs utilize external extractors that depend on strong extractor springs for proper function. Worn extractor springs (or damaged extractors themselves) can cause failures to extract/eject.
If you are looking for a place to buy new gun springs, I suggest Wolff. Many feel that they are the best in the business.
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