Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Check Your Gear!

So, yesterday I'm gathering up my stuff for a trip to the range (Mondays are easy when you take the day off to burn a vacation day...), and I grab my go-to Ruger LCR and a speed strip when I saw this:

Now, that just don't look right, does it? Here's the side view:

Apparently at some point I either dropped the strip on something or dropped something on the strip. In any case, that first cartridge is pretty well smooshtified - while it will actually go into the chamber, that edge makes me nervous as to how smoothly the loading would be. Into the range box with you, Nessie! I'll accelerate my carry ammo rotation slightly faster than usual to make sure that this particular group goes downrange sooner than planned.

It drove home rather graphically the point that you should be checking your EDC gear religiously. I will admit to being a little lax on this, especially with a revolver and speed strips - there's no magazine spring to worry about fatiguing; no set-back to worry about after dry-firing practice and unloading/loading. Check out the knife you carry, make sure the blade is sharp and deploys smoothly. Make sure the flashlight has fresh batteries. Check your holster for signs of excessive wear - it happens, even with the best out there.

 The best gear will wear, get damaged, or even break over time. Frequent checks for function help keep your gear fresh in your mind, how it functions, and allows for periodic spot-checks for quality control. Better to find out on your way to the range that your ammo isn't up to snuff than in a life-or-death situation; by the same token, better to sharpen your EDC knife a little more than needed so that when you really need to cut open that new box from Amazon it's up to the task.

A little maintenance goes a long way, and let's face it, your gear is worth it!

That is all.


Anonymous said...

Love my speed strips, but the ammo does take a beating. I usually carry mine in my jeans' watch pocket to protect them somewhat. Besides who carries a pocket watch nowadays?
FYI, Tuff strips makes a 5 shot variety for the typical snubby.
Scott B.

DJ said...

Glad you caught the problem before you needed that ammo, Jay. While I've never had that happen to cartridges in a Speed Strip, I have experienced dents in the sides of the cases, which can potentially interfere with chambering.

I've also damaged a round by dropping a speedloader from a height of about 4 feet onto the carpet. The aluminum star at the rear of the loader dented and gouged the rim of one round quite severely; luckily, I was handling the loader to take it to the range, and discovered the problem less than an hour later, when I couldn't get the cylinder to close on the damaged cartridge.

Check that carry ammo regularly, folks!