THE IMPORTANCE OF FIREARM MAINTENANCE
- ARMA FIDELIS -
The proper cleaning and maintenance of your firearms extends far beyond just aesthetics or longevity. Any law enforcement or military officer will tell you the importance of maintaining a reliable firearm. Those in duty rely on their guns to protect and defend, and any malfunctions that occur could be the difference between life and death. FTF (Failure To Fire) and FTF (Failure To Feed) are the two biggest enemies during tactical situations, but it can have the same devastating effects for competition shooters, hunters and home defenders.
The types of residue that are left inside your gun, mainly the barrel, chamber and action, are a direct result from the firing of the bullet, regardless of the type of bullet (centerfire, rimfire or shotgun). Every time a bullet is shot, the fouling residue builds up stemming from the gun powder, wad and the bullets itself. The elements that are left behind are carbon, copper, lead and plastic, depending on the type of bullets you are using. Add to that moisture from the environment and sweat from your hands, the exterior metal parts can cause corrosive rust and eventually damage the metal.
Gun manufacturers recommend cleaning your firearms regularly, but the frequency will differ according to your usage and preference. Law enforcement and military officers will clean their firearms after every session, ensuring that any errors and malfunctions cannot be attributed to improper maintenance. Competition shooters can win or lose depending on margins as small as 1mm. A dirty gun is an inaccurate gun. During time trials, FTFs can add precious seconds to your overall time. A dirty gun is a malfunctioning gun. Hunters can be impacted by both inaccuracy and FTF, as a misfired shot will scare away the prey they have spent hours tracking. For a home defender, the stress and unpredictable nature of the situation are variables that can rattle even the most experienced handlers, but when you add in inaccuracy and malfunctions to the equation, the results could directly affect your home, your loved ones and yourself.
Probably the important aspect of gun ownership is gun safety. How does proper maintenance of your firearm relate to safety? In order to clean your gun, you have to disassemble and reassemble your gun, and along the way, learn the various parts and their functions. Although the full working knowledge of every single part is not necessary to properly maintain your gun, a moderate knowledge of the mechanisms of your gun will aid you to clear a malfunction, understand which parts require lubrication for smooth operation, and realize when parts need to be replaced such as an over-worn barrel.
With proper and frequent maintenance, your firearm can last generations. Not only should your gun be treated with the utmost respect, it’s inner mechanisms should also be maintained according to what it really is. A weapon. A faulty weapon is an unreliable and dangerous weapon, something that could be fatal at the most inopportune time. Respect your weapon and the safety of others and yourself through regular maintenance and proper operation.