When the weather starts to finally become warm in the great north, it’s always time to start thinking about your carry options. Here in Michigan, you can typically carry a larger-sized pistol roughly 8-10 months out of the year, but on a rare occasion, it does actually get warm here. With the warm weather arriving, it means fewer layers and ultimately a smaller pistol to carry for most people. The change in weather is typically a great time of year to do some regularly scheduled maintenance on your firearm to make sure it’s in tip-top shape. You may still have your winter dad bod, but at least your gun and gear will be squared away. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top maintenance items for concealed carry.
The biggest thing to maintain when thinking about concealed carry is obviously your firearm. Carrying IWB or inside your pocket can get a pistol incredibly dirty over time and every 3-6 months you should be cleaning your firearm at a minimum. Now I can hear the heavy breathing guys in the comments saying people should be cleaning their firearms more than every 3-6 months and I would agree but this is the absolute minimum you should be cleaning. For various firearms, it’s important to disassemble to make sure there aren’t large lint balls or anything stuck. My SIG P365 has collected various lint and pocket trash in some of the spaces around its fire control unit. If you have a gun with a removable fire control unit, it’s always a good idea to pop the whole unit out and make sure no lint balls or anything has collected over time.
Doing a simple cleaning and oiling will not only ensure your gun functions if you ever need it but will help protect it from surface rust or degrading under the hot summer conditions against your sweaty body. I have had a few times with different firearms where surface rust has developed and it’s really not a big deal. Typically, a light brush with some oil will clean it right up. There’s no need to scrub aggressively most times and it will come right off. Applying oil and keeping it clean will prevent more surface rust in the future too. It’s important taking care of your firearm since that’s your biggest tool for self-protection, so it’s well worth taking the extra time to care for it.
When looking at replaceable parts in your firearm, the magazine is probably one of the most overlooked items on the list. Having a reliable and properly working magazine will ensure your firearm works flawlessly every time without worry. I like to look at the magazine like the tires on a car. They work great most of the time but when they wear out, it can really make everything else not work. Magazines are relatively cheap in the grand scheme of things and it’s well worth replacing. I typically rotate my magazines and when they aren’t part of my daily carry, I will put them in my range bag to use for training magazines. There’s no such thing as too many magazines when it comes to your firearm, so I will typically pick up one or two a year just to rotate out and have fresh magazines.
When it comes to batteries, I will admit I’m guilty of putting off replacing them because they are “good enough.” Batteries are even cheaper than magazines or anything else on this list. Whether you have a laser, weapon light, or any other battery-powered tool, it’s important to make sure they are properly powered. When it comes to batteries, I like to change them out once a year to make sure they are fresh and ready to go.
Typically I will plan ahead of time and replace everything on my birthday since it’s consistent and easy to remember. This may seem like a simple task almost to the point where it’s not something worthy of even worrying about. The problem with batteries is the fact they work right up to the point where they don’t anymore. Sometimes the optic or light will start to go dimmer but I’ve also had batteries just die entirely with my optic or light not working at all. Batteries are cheap and replacing them at least once a year is a good way to ensure you’ll always have power.
I’ve talked about the importance of maintaining your carry ammo in a few different articles, but this is another perfect item to look at regularly to ensure it’s 100% reliable in your firearm. Most of the time, you can find a wide variety of defense ammunition online as well as at local shops. 9mm ammunition is starting to become much easier to find than it previously was a year or two ago. Changing out your carry ammo may seem like a simple task but it’s incredibly important to ensure your firearm works every time.
Once you switch out your old carry ammo with fresh rounds, it’s never a bad idea to use your older rounds for practice to see how your firearm performs with your ammunition. I always suggest running self-defense ammunition through a carry gun before you carry it to make sure everything works correctly. The problem is I know most people won’t spend the extra money to do it, so using old ammunition is a great alternative.
There’s a common misconception that someone can just throw a gun on every day and they are all set for self-protection. What most don’t think about is the upkeep and regular maintenance that needs to happen to ensure your gun goes bang every time you need it to go off. What do you guys do as regular maintenance on your firearms? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If you have questions about carrying concealed or firearms in general, shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.