I carry every day and my guns get filthy. It’s amazing how much lint and gunk can build up on them, and It’s a non-stop job to keep them clean and lubricated. As a result, I’ve gotten into the habit of cleaning and inspecting them monthly (and sometimes more frequently, if conditions require).
December was a really busy month, and I didn’t get around to my cleaning until the afternoon of the 31st. As it turned out, it wasn’t a moment too soon.
I’d already inspected, cleaned, function-checked, and loaded my snub before I turned my attention to my autopistol. Aside from the coating of crud, everything looked in order and it didn’t take long to clean and lube it. After reassembling the gun, I racked the slide a few times to distribute the oil on the barrel hood, muzzle, and rails, in preparation for a function check of the gun–Rack, Rack, “Hey, WHAT THE HECK?”
The slide had shot off the gun, onto the bench in front of me. A quick inspection showed that the spring which tensions the disassembly lever had finally broken, allowing the uncaptured slide to literally “go off the rails.”
The gun was dead in the water.
A couple thoughts entered my head at the same time:
- Gee, I’m glad I inspect and check this thing regularly!
- You dummy, you should have changed out that spring when you updated the trigger spring last time!
- Oh crud, I’ve been carrying a single shot gun this whole time, and I didn’t know it!
With this experience in mind, I thought I’d take a minute to issue a RevolverGuy Public Service Announcement, and remind you that now is a good time to think about going through your safety gear and giving it a once-over. Here’s a starter list to get you going:
- Clean and inspect your carry guns. Fix any discrepancies you find;
- Replace your duty ammo with fresh cartridges;
- Inspect and clean your holster, ammo pouches, and gun belt;
- Give your pocketknife a good sharpening;
- Change the batteries in your flashlights (your pocket light, and the ones in your house);
- Inspect the fire extinguishers in your car and home;
- Change the batteries in your smoke and monoxide detectors.
I’m sure you can come up with more, once you get rolling. Tire pressures, wiper blades, emergency food supplies . . . the list can be endless.
So, get a good start on 2020 and make sure your safety gear is in order. I think we all want to avoid the “loudest sound in a gunfight,” eh?