Whether guns kill or don’t kill is a controversial topic. What isn’t debatable, however, is that gun owners need to properly care for and maintain their firearms. It’s part of being a responsible gun owner.
Unfortunately, some people don’t seem to understand that. They assume that it’s okay to hide a gun in the house and not take it out unless for emergencies. They don’t think that the buildup of rust and dust in the gun will jeopardize their safety, as well as that of the people around them.
To those people, here are a few reminders on the importance of gun care and maintenance:
Maintaining Gun Accuracy
Copper fouling can accumulate in guns. These will decrease the velocity of a bullet leaving the barrel, thereby reducing the gun’s accuracy. A rifle loaded with .22 LR ammo that’s supposed to shoot over a distance of two hundred yards will maybe hit only half that range.
For hunters, that’s not an ideal situation when hunting game on open plains. Regular maintenance is vital in avoiding that scenario.
Accidents Can and Will Happen
A gun is like a double-edged sword. It can hurt the target and the one holding the gun, especially if the latter is a novice and if the gun isn’t properly maintained. Guns can jam, and firing a jammed gun can make the obstruction in the barrel, the bullet, and any gun part explode and potentially injure the person holding it.
One such accident was the death of Brandon Lee, the son of Bruce Lee. During the filming of The Crow in 1993, a gun that was used in the movie was subjected to a test fire weeks before recording one of Brandon’s scenes.
A dummy round got jammed in the barrel of the gun. No one noticed it until the actual recording, where the gun, this time filled with blank ammo (nonlethal bullets with cardboard tips), was aimed and fired at Brandon. The dummy round got ejected from the barrel by the blank and went into Brandon’s abdomen, which eventually killed him through blood loss.
Extending the Gun’s Longevity
A number of gun enthusiasts own and use guns that were manufactured as far back as World War I—almost a hundred years ago. Most guns made in that era wouldn’t be serviceable today if they weren’t well cared for and maintained properly.
Some of those antique guns will fetch a high price in the market today because of their rarity, and the fact that they can still be used further inflates their value.
Getting Familiar with How the Gun Operates
Some people, needing some form of personal protection, own a gun without ever knowing how to properly handle it. When they do need to use their gun, their lack of training can be just as dangerous as if they’ve pointed the gun at their own heads.
To avoid getting a hole in the skull, filling it with knowledge on proper gun handling and maintenance is necessary. One way to do that is through gun maintenance.
Maintaining a firearm involves disassembling its components and reassembling them after cleaning. This procedure lets a gun owner (especially a beginner) get more acquainted with the operation of their weapon. Different gun types will have different firing mechanisms and know how those work may become important in case of an emergency.
Instilling Discipline and Responsibility
Owning a gun is a big responsibility. It is certainly one that needs good discipline. Doing regular gun maintenance can drill that trait into one’s mindset as it’s not always done for leisure; it’s carried out because it is necessary.
Completing a task despite knowing that it may not always be fun is a sign of maturity. Keep that habit up, and it’ll eventually become a discipline.
As a bonus, maintaining a gun will be easier every time it’s done as one gets more proficient and used to doing it. But even then, discipline will still be a crucial determining factor. Otherwise, a sloppy gun owner may forget to unload the cartridge during a routine cleaning, and that may result in an accident.
For some people, cleaning and maintaining guns can be a therapeutic activity. Seeing the gun shine after half an hour of wiping lessens the stress. Gun maintenance isn’t even a complicated activity.
Guns are tools. Just like any tool, guns need regular maintenance in order to function properly and not jeopardize the safety of its owner. Stay safe, and keep your gun properly maintained.