Carry guns are for shooting.
Thank you, Captain Obvious. A truly mind-shattering observation you made there. Or so one would think. Too often this is not to be the case, so please allow me to elaborate.
I frequent various gun-related Facebook pages and have noticed something strange. There are far too many “pretty” guns. And by “pretty” I mean shiny with no discernible scratch marks. No worn grips or worn bluing. Now, don’t get me wrong: a brand new gun will be pretty. The problem is that once you read the posts, you discover that the pistol in question is actually two years old and is carried daily.
So that leaves only one probable alternative – the firearm owners don’t shoot their carry guns.
The handgun they trust with their save lives…doesn’t get shot. Perhaps it gets a weekly clean. But is certainly doesn’t get range time. I recently had a Facebook debate with a guy who say he only shoots his sport gun, but carries a different setup. He considers himself prepared for a fight, but with a gun he doesn’t shoot, and a carry setup he never trains with.
Now, don’t get me wrong: in some instances money might be tight, and shooting is expensive. But guess what? Dry firing is for free! Practising reloads is for free!
Often a handgun will be pimped-out like a 70s pornstar – Surefire WML. Stippling. A fancy cerakote job. Special sights. Trigger kit. All lovingly folded in a R3000 imported holster. R20 000 later you have a concourse-winning gun that you can’t drive.
I suppose the race car analogy is semi-appropriate. All show, an no go. The gun has not been tested, so you don’t know how it will perform because you never run it hard. Will that trigger kit work when the pistol is full of fine dust and sand? Can you establish a proper grip when it’s covered with blood and mud?
I know an IDPA shooter. He carries a Glock 17 Gen 3 for work. He shoots an older Gen 2 or a CZ 75 in club shoots, but carries a Glock 19 as his EDC. It is an older generation Glock, but basically unfired. In all my time knowing him, I have never seen him shoot his carry gun. I asked him about it once, and he responded with “it’s my baby, I don’t shoot it”.
The worst I’ve seen is a pistol cerakoted in a way to make it look worn and used. The owner should have bought ammo with that money. But what do I know?
Perhaps I’m being too clinical about this, but a carry gun is a tool. And it is a tool you should be highly proficient with. 2AM in your driveway on a cold and dark Tuesday morning is not the time to learn your gun doesn’t work and your sights are off.
Work your damn gun.
The magwell should be scuffed from all the reloads you practiced. The slide finish should be ruined from holster wear. The grip must be a little white and faded from all the dead skin and sweat. Your gun should be gross and scare small children.
Don’t show me your airsofters-wet-dream-pimped-out-piece unless it’s a range toy or a collectors item. I respect a gun that spent its price tag again with hard use and cheap ammo. The gritty trigger from the sand stuck in the mechanism, the bare metal on the slide, and worn-down grips. A gun develops character from hard use.
Your carry gun should not be a reflection of yourself – it must be an extension. Now go out there and shoot your gun!
Written by Rouen Heiberg.
Rouen is a rough-and-tumble kind of fellow from the dank depths of the Garden Route. He haunts the lands around George, and does his part in running a shooting club down there. He does unarmed combatives, firearms training, and causes trouble on the Internet.