Like a lot of gun owners, I get in certain “moods” where I feel like carrying one of my guns for a while, and when that mood wears off, I switch to another gun. For instance, I’ve been carrying my Glock 19 a lot lately and I’ve been neglecting my Springfield 1911.
But not anymore. Last week I decided it was time to bring out the 1911 for a bit, but before I did that I wanted to get some work done on the hammer and beavertail. I found a gunsmith in St. George, UT who could do the work and the gun will be ready to pick up this Friday.
But here’s the thing…
When I pick up my gun from the gunsmith I’m not going to immediately put it in my holster and start carrying it around. Nope. I’m going to treat it as if it was a brand new gun (because work has been done on it) and I’m going to test it out like I do each and every gun I buy.
In my opinion, it’s pretty foolish to buy a gun and start carrying it without making sure the gun works. I realize that many guns, especially Glocks, don’t need to be broken in these days and they’ll operate fine right out of the box. However, they’re still mechanical devices that can come flawed from the factory so I’m always testing mine out no matter what.
So here’s the simple test I do when I get a new gun and the one I’ll do when I get my 1911 from the gunsmith this week.
First, I simply look the gun over. I look it over for any cracks, any sharp edges or anything that would immediately scream “this gun has problems.” If I don’t see any problems then I go to the range and put about 200 rounds of full metal jacket ammo through the gun. I make sure the gun cycles properly and that there aren’t any problems. I also make sure that the sights are properly aligned and they don’t need any adjustment.
In addition, I also perform several reloads to make sure the magazines drop free and don’t stick, and that there aren’t any other problems I discover with the magazines.
If the gun works shooting the cheap ammunition then I introduce my jacketed hollow point ammo. I’ll shoot between 100-200 rounds to make sure my gun feeds this properly. I know that jacketed hollow point ammo isn’t cheap, but I really wouldn’t shoot less than 100 rounds when testing out a new gun.
After I’ve put about 400 rounds of ammunition through the gun I’ll take it home and clean it and look it over once again while the gun is apart. After I’ve done all this, then I’ll be comfortable enough to put the gun on my hip and start carrying it concealed. You may feel comfortable doing less or you may want to do more of a test, but whatever you do, don’t bet your life on a gun without first making sure it works.