How To Minimize Wear And Tear On Your CCW And Holster
When practicing at the range, train like you intend to fight. Modern firearms are built to take a beating and keep operating. That said, your slide release isn’t a door jam. That recoil spring is keeping your pistol ready to spring back into action the second it’s pulled back into position. So, take it easy on your slide release by not storing your firearm with your upper receiver locked back.
Regularly rotate rounds through your magazines. Don’t keep a loaded magazine in a closet for years before firing. Will it work? Yes. But it’s not good to keep a spring in a tense position because springs have a life expectancy. Rotate rounds and conduct regularly scheduled maintenance on your magazines as well as your firearm.
Lubricate the right parts. Your owner’s manual for your pistol or revolver will come with specifications for what parts need to be lubricated. Any time metal touches metal, that’s a likely place some amount of lubricant should be placed. Never over lubricate. A thin layer of good, reliable gun lubricant should do just fine.
Conduct regular routine maintenance on all your firearms but especially your everyday carry firearm. If you trust your life to a pistol or revolver, take good care of it. Unload it and disassemble it to the manufacturer’s specifications. Clean it with non-abrasive cloth and brush and ensure the barrel is always free of dirt or grime. Will a modern pistol or revolver operate just fine with a little carbon on the inside of the barrel? Yes. But if you’re interested in keeping it for a long time, you should treat it right.
What About The Holster?
Your everyday carry holster should protect your trigger guard, offer high retention of the firearm, and mesh well into your waistband. For simpler IWB holsters that rely on only one belt clip (usually made out of thermal injection molded plastic or similar), take it easy on the clasps. They shouldn’t be snapping and breaking but anything, over enough time, will be prone to wear and tear. So when you take your holster out of your belt line, be gentle.
Load your firearm into your holster and then load the holster into your waistband. This saves you from jamming your pistol into your waistband and reduces the wear and tear on the backpad of the holster. In an actual scenario, you’ll likely not do this – and that’s fine. It’s mostly a cost savings measure inbetween those moments when you critically need to draw and re-holster your firearm.
Be honest with your holster. If a part of it is failing to either keep high enough retention or you notice a cracking in the polymer, replace that part immediately. Anything that’s used every day will show signs of wear and tear. And that’s good – it means you’re carrying every day. All the same, try to take it easy on the equipment that you depend upon.
If it’s been an especially hot day and your holster is soaked from perspiration, take it out and let it air dry. This will help it regain its form and last a bit longer. Else, get a holster with a neoprene backing so that it’s already designed to handle sweat.
James England is a former United States Marine Signals Intelligence Operator and defense contractor with over two tours spread over the Al Anbar province and two more operating across Helmand and Baghdis. He is presently a writer focused on Western foreign policy and maintains an avid interest in firearms. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, he presently resides in New Hampshire – the “Live Free or Die” state. He is finishing up his first novel, “American Hubris”, which is set to hit shelves in Fall of 2015.