Monday, March 19, 2012

The Importance of Proper Maintenance

Often times we grab our pocket pistol, rack a round in the chamber, stuff it in our pocket and off we go about our daily routine.  This ritual repeats itself almost every day, and for many of us with little thought about just how hostile of an environment our pockets really are.

What?  Our pockets are a hostile environment?  Yup, they sure are and I can prove it.

Click to enlarge image
We have all picked lint out of our pockets on laundry day.  It's usually balled up in some remote corner of our jeans and easily grabbed by the index finger and thumb.  But did you know that lint bunny can also accumulate inside of your firearm in places you would never suspect?  Take a look at the picture to the right.  That's what the inside of my Kahr P380 looked like after 6 months of daily carry without any maintenance.

I performed this test to see what would happen and boy, was I surprised when I cracked the little Kahr open.   While I was conducting this test the Kahr wasn't my primary defensive arm, thank goodness!  I was carrying another pistol that was properly maintained.

Externally the pistol seemed to function just fine.  I could load and unload it without any indication of the crud that lurked inside of my little companion.  There's a very real possibility that my Kahr would have failed me at the moment of truth given the amount of gook that had invaded my otherwise trustworthy little side-kick.

Just think how many of us walk around with firearms in our holsters or in our pockets and can't remember the last time we performed basic maintenance.  I've read reports of officers drawing their duty pistols and attempting to fire only to find their service weapon was hopelessly inoperable due to neglect.

If you're going to carry a firearm for personal protection, treat that weapon as if your life depends on it working - because it just might.  Clean your weapon regularly.  I also recommend you fire your defensive arms regularly using the ammo you normally carry in the weapon.  This will assure you of proper function of the complete system should you ever have to call on it to protect yourself, family or loved ones from harm.


  1. Very true! Great topic and often overlooked by many.

  2. Thanks for the tip. I never would have thought to clean my gun without shooting it. I took down my M&P that I carry. Not too much lint, but it needed a cleaning. Time to schedule that every week or two.

    Thanks again!

  3. Did you use a pocket holster? I do, and nothing gets inside the gun, just a little bit on the top of it, dust-lint in no significant quantity. I would be alarmed to not have a holster and allow this sort of thing; enough lint blobs (and those possibly oily and sorta congealed) in the barrel could produce a kaboom due to obstruction. Hopefully you checked that before you tried it out!

    I strongly recommend a once a month practice session with any carry piece, followed by a cleaning and re-lube. That should keep the shooter in practice well enough and the gun in top condition.