There’s a time and place for soft-sided holsters, and a time to choose a rigid one. Although rigid holsters generally cost more, acceptable ones can be found for less than $45. That’s cheap prevention of a disabling injury.
2. Revolvers that aren’t maintained.
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Virtually every presentation geared toward new shooters touts revolvers as an easy, user-friendly choice. Yet they are by far the most problem-riddled firearms that show up in my classes. Why? Lack of maintenance. Most users pull out or borrow a revolver, or ammunition, that’s been in storage and neglected for years. Then it’s a surprise when the cylinder won’t rotate, or won’t open, or when bits of hot shrapnel are spewed back to the shooter’s face (one reason you MUST wear glasses when shooting).
Revolvers, like any firearm, require occasional maintenance. Lint and dust can build up around the extractor. Repeated firing can change the barrel-to-cylinder gap, or cause excessive side-to-side travel when the cylinder is closed, among other problems. Any of these can cause a revolver to malfunction. Attention to cleaning and lubrication, even when in storage, can go a long way to prevent frustrating or unsafe experiences with your revolver.
3. Handgun sights that aren’t up to snuff.
Whether they’re an aftermarket add-on or factory-made, a loose, broken, or fallen-off sight can ruin your plans for practice. Regularly check your front and rear sights. Ensure they’re not cracked or broken, missing parts like the day-glow or tritium insert, or loose.
There are many advantages to high-visibility sights, especially for that all-important front sight. Many aftermarket front sights are elongated to accommodate light-collecting tubes or other features. Especially with those designs, but with all models, there will at some point be leverage exacted on those sights, usually during re-holstering. Knowing this may affect what sights you select to replace the stock ones.
Many times, it won’t be immediately obvious that there’s a problem with the sights. Often the first sign is when shot patterns on target begin to be uncharacteristically inaccurate and random, especially for experienced shooters. Choosing sights made of steel instead of plastic can increase the odds that your sights will remain solid over time. Installing sights according to manufacturer’s instructions, particularly those that screw in, is not to be overlooked. It’s tempting, but can be disastrous, to over-tighten screws, for example. Follow instructions, and be vigilant about inspecting sights at the beginning and end of your practice time.
It’s Not About the Money
Usually with firearm equipment, the least expensive choice of product delivers the most disappointing results. However, it’s almost never true that the priciest choice is superior, either. Choosing reputable guns and gear is important, but the biggest advantage is gained by paying attention to the condition and maintenance of equipment. The only investment needed is a little time.
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