A lot of folks have a gun for home defense purposes only, and choose not to carry concealed. Many of these folks leave these guns in their safes for months at a time and frequently ask me how often they should unload their pistol and “give it a rest?”
Then there are people who do carry concealed all of the time but as soon as they get home they transfer the loaded gun to a safe, and the gun stays loaded all of the time. These people also often ask when they should unload their magazines and guns.
Luckily, the answer is simple.
If you’re carrying a modern firearm you don’t have to worry about unloading it or “giving it a rest.” When I was a police officer and with the Agency, I knew guys who would leave their guns loaded for years at a time.
If you’re carrying a Glock, Smith & Wesson, Beretta, Springfield, Ruger, and any other modern pistol then you don’t have to worry about being gentle with these guns. (If you buy a cheap $100 gun then you get what you pay for and I would never trust my life with one of these.)
But here’s the thing…
Even though you don’t ever have to worry about unloading your gun, I still hope you’re getting out to the range with it. Even if it’s one of the many guns stored throughout your home (like I have) you should still take it to the range at least every six months.
Obviously, you want to keep familiar with the manipulation of the gun and you want to ensure nothing has happened to it while being stored. A long time ago, I had a gun in storage that I didn’t use for defensive purposes and it wasn’t loaded.
But when I took it out it had some rust on it. I took care of the rust and it functions fine, but if I was using this gun for home defense purposes I wouldn’t have been happy to find a rusty gun that I may have to bet my life on.
So even though it’s not necessary to unload your gun, you should still inspect your gun and take it out shooting monthly if you can, but at least every six months. You don’t have to do this for every gun you own, but you should do this with any gun around your house that you use for defensive purposes. In other words, if you have a loaded gun in your house then it should be one you keep an eye on and regularly inspect.