I read a post from Stephen this morning about losing springs and retainers while working on his Para. A search with his Surefire found the spring and that got me to thinking about my Surefire 6P and when the last time was that I had replaced the batteries . . . I couldn’t remember. Not a good sign. So, I spun my chair around, pulled open the top right desk drawer and slipped in two new 123As into the flashlight. And that got me to thinking about the maintenance of our defensive tools other than the weapons we carry. Honestly, it’s obvious I don’t pay enough attention. Some thoughts . . .
Carry Weapons: I carry either a Glock 17 or a Springfield 1911 “Loaded” as my daily carry weapon. I shoot each frequently – at least every other week. And, I will tear them down and clean them after a range trip – so I am confident I am “paying attention” to them.
Carry Holster: I carry in a Blackhawk IWB leather holster. You would think maintenance wouldn’t come into play here but I have noticed that the screw that attaches the belt loop to the holster comes loose a couple times a month. Much of this has to due to the dozens of draws per day – so I’m probably more aware. But, that said – I rely on the holster being in the same place at the same angle each and every time I draw. So I take the time to tighten the screw as needed.
Knives: I’ve done a post in the past on the care and feeding of knives, but just a quick reminder. They like to be clean and sharp – keep them that way.
Flashlights: Probably one of the easiest items in a person EDC kit, or purse, or car, or backpack to overlook. Unfortunately, if I reach for my flashlight I typically “need” it to work. A set of 123As in a Surefire 6P Defender provides up to 2 hours of continual light. Given that I typically use it a couple times a week for something – I consume my “2 hours” in bits and pieces. Tonight, should I have actually needed to use my 6P for a prolonged length of time, especially should a defensive situation have come up – it would have “run out of gas”. If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your batteries – do it . . . now!
Holographic Sights: I use an Eotech 517 on my AR. I like it because it uses standard AA batteries and I always have a pack in my gun bag. They are, however, one of those things people mighty easily forget. If you are going into a situation where your sight MUST work, pack along a couple sets of spares . . . and a good set of flip-up sights as well, just in case!
GPS: Again, another easy thing to forget until you’re 4 days into a 7 day trek or paddle. ALWAYS put new batteries in when leaving, and ALWAYS carry spares – they’ll save your butt some day!
Watches: I wear a Casio Pathfinder 2000T as my daily watch. Yep, I’m a geek – no doubt. But the easy access to a compass and barometer has saved my butt a couple of times when a fast moving storm was moving in or I simply needed a quick verification of my current heading. I also like this model because its batteries are charged by solar cells around the face of the watch. It insures that when I head out for a trek or paddle, I need not worry if I have fresh batteries or not. If your watch needs a battery – use the “smoke detector reminder” of the fall time change and replace the batteries in your watch at the same time as you replace the batteries in your home’s smoke detectors. (You do that . . . . right?)
It’s the little things that can bite you in the ass and send your day to hell in a heartbeat. While it’s easy to remember maintenance on the “big things” – handguns, rifles, shotguns – “little” things can easily be forgotten – flashlights, sights, watches, GPSs, knives.
Take a few moments, write down an inventory and then, tonight when the day is done – do a little maintenance.