By Miguel C. Gil
There is an alarming practice being peddled by self-styled tactical instructors of subjecting one’s carry pistol to varying degrees of “torture.” The dubious wisdom behind this practice is that your gun is a mere “tool” not unlike a shovel or an axe—that should be worked to the brink of failure during range sessions. The same thinking, therefore, considers shooters who seek to protect their guns from bumps and scratches as amateurish or even somewhat effeminate!
The macho gunfighter supposedly should not care if his gun is slammed hard against a wall, buried under a ton of mud or ran over by a jeep! After all, these are all part of a macho man’s daily grind! You should run your gun hard in order to simulate the hundreds of shootouts you are likely to get involved in, it would seem. “Don’t baby your gun,” we are often told by these “experts.”
This thinking is further encouraged by gun manufacturers who often device elaborate product “torture tests” as part of their advertising campaigns. Guns being dropped from aircraft, submerged in salt water for extended periods and shot tens of thousands of times without cleaning, are not unheard of. A well-made gun will supposedly keep working after being subjected to such trials.
Of course, by their very nature, firearms will be subjected to enormous stresses during normal cycling. Each round fired creates a mini explosion that begins in the chamber and reverberates throughout every part of the gun. There is no doubt that any gun, when shot beyond its expected service life, will eventually shoot itself to destruction.
But why hasten the process by subjecting your gun to avoidable wear and tear? Remember, if you ever find yourself under attack by society’s evil elements, your survival and that of your loved ones may very well depend on your firearm. So, it is incumbent upon you to take the necessary pains to ensure that your gun will function reliably at all times!
Need proof that your gun can go the distance? Buy a gun from a reputable maker—because they have already done all the torture tests for you! But avoid subjecting your personal defensive firearm to beatings that are more suggestive of a clumsy shooter rather than a skilled gunfighter! The only wear and tear to which you should deliberately subject your firearm is the one brought about by regular practice at the range!
Real combat veterans will often recount stories about the pains they took to protect their service weapons from harsh elements. They would rather that the skins on their backs be soaked and muddied rather than to let their weapons be subjected to the same conditions. Why? Because they know that, in a critical moment, a faulty gun is practically a death sentence!
We must always bear in mind that there is only one law that cannot be amended or repealed—Murphy’s Law! And Murphy’s Law states that if anything can go wrong, IT WILL! So, by all means, take good care of your weapons, and all your other equipment, to minimize the possibility of a malfunction during the worst possible time! You should absolutely baby your gun!