For some reason people, in general, prefer ‘hardware’ solutions instead of ‘software’ solutions. They need the latest and greatest gizmo or gadget to protect themselves instead of making sure they have the skills they need. Going hand in hand with this is the fact that few people actually test out this type of gear. If you decide that new equipment is a solution for you (or a partial solution to go along with training), you should probably make sure your gear works.
Testing your gear
If you rely on your equipment working when you need it to, shouldn’t you put it to the test? How else will you know whether it will be the solution or the problem?
An example of testing your equipment is taking your new carry gun to the range. One of the stupidest things you could do is to carry a gun that you haven’t fired. Firing at least 500 – 1000 rounds through a new gun is good practice. Until you have some rounds through the gun, you can’t expect 100% reliability.
Make sure it functions
Any piece of equipment you plan on using needs to be checked for function. Make sure that new holster holds your pistol properly and allows you to draw. Check your new tactical sling to be sure you can adjust it as advertised, and make sure that gun you just bought actually works.
Make sure it is durable enough
I see shooters bring essentially brand new firearms to classes all the time. What most people don’t realize is that in most classes you end up shooting a lot of rounds over the course of a class. Can your rifle or pistol handle firing that many rounds without maintenance?
A lot of classes are outdoors – can your gun handle the real environment that it is going to be in? Rain or sand and dust can definitely affect how long a firearm will function reliably without maintenance. Sure, a class is a better place than real life to find out where this limit is, but wouldn’t you rather be able to enjoy the class and spend your time learning instead of struggling with your gear?
Make sure you can operate it
The other big test that needs to be done is testing yourself with the equipment. Does it work for you? Does the gun fit you properly? Can you reach your magazine carriers to perform a reload under pressure?
I would certainly prefer to figure out that I can’t operate some part of my equipment at a time when I can afford to. Finding out that you can’t operate your equipment while paying a premium for instruction would be a frustrating and wasteful experience, and it is also completely avoidable.
Make sure your gear works. Put it to the test, and not just a short test, but a rigorous test. If your equipment won’t do the job, or it breaks or malfunctions, you want to find that out before that issue will cost you your life. Test your gear as well as you can, because if the real test ever comes you won’t get a redo.
What do you do to test your gear?
If you liked this post, check out http://www.IndestructibleTraining.com, Nick Savery’s blog discussing integrating training across a variety of systems and platforms for the purposes of self-defense.