Last week a crazy idiot attacked a theatre full of innocent law abiding people who were simply doing something they had every right to be doing in a place they had every right to be. He killed two and injured several others before he killed himself when confronted by police.
Why is this in the Gunsmith Corner? Because that was my hometown, my Police Department, and even the theatre that my wife I went to when we went to the movies. Interesting that even in a very gun friendly state like Louisiana the theatre was a firearms free zone.
The most important lesson that I ever learned working as a Lafayette Police officer and especially as a Robbery/ Homicide investigator for them is this:
We, the law abiding good people have no control over when, where, how, or why the bad guys will attack. We cannot count on law enforcement to protect us because they cannot be everywhere. The only thing that we can do to protect ourselves and our loved ones is to be always prepared to fight back.
I could go on about this, but this is the Gunsmith Corner so let’s get back on track. When discussing concealed carry, one of the most common questions is “What is the best gun for concealed carry?” The answer to this is simply “The one that YOU WILL carry.” This can be based on body configuration, clothing style, normal activity and of course rules or laws governing it.
First and most important is to make sure that the gun you carry is reliable. It must work under very bad circumstances. Find a make/model that you will carry, then shoot it and make sure it works all of the time. Be careful to avoid guns that are too small to actually function or to be gripped properly. Often we see very small pistols supplied with extended length magazines to make the grip functional. I would rather have the pistol frame longer than extend the magazine if overall length becomes the same.
Even though these pistols are small, we still need to use the sights. Maybe especially since they are so small. Solid fixed sights without sharp edges are functional yet still allow for concealed carry without snags, rips to clothing or scratches to the skin. If grip stocks are changeable consider material that will withstand sweat. The texture should help maintain grip but not snag, rip clothing or scratch skin. The screws need to remain tight to prevent the stocks from moving or even coming off. A small rubber o ring under the screws will prevent them from backing out yet still remain removable. The material used to construct the pistol should be able to resist the sweat and wear brought on by concealed carry. It may be polymer, stainless steel or blue steel, but make sure that it is protected by finish and rust preventative.
Although these pistols may not actually be shot very much, they NEED regular maintenance. The sweat, dead skin, lint and dust they accumulate is tremendous. Remember when we lubricate a carry/duty weapon, we use as little oil as necessary to prevent contaminating our ammunition. This means that regular inspection, cleaning and lubricating are necessary. As taught here at Gunsite, we need to do a chamber check and mag check every time we gear back up.
Ammunition should be rotated on a regular basis. This may be yearly or even semiyearly, but take those duty rounds to the range, shoot them to ensure function and “exercise” those magazines. Modern magazine springs do take an initial set, but usually stop after that. They do well staying loaded for long periods of time, but still need to move sometimes. Get that pistol to a qualified gunsmith once a year for its annual check up. This would entail a detail clean/inspection, possible changing of springs and function test.
No matter what we do as part of our normal lives, I believe that our firearms training, equipment and mental preparation are the most important things. Most other parts of life can be planned, or even fixed if something goes wrong. When the time comes that you are with a loved one doing something that you have every right to do in a place that you have every right to be and the wolf shows up, don’t be caught unprepared!!!
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Paulden, AZ 86334