Talk about embarrassing. There is nothing worse than having your gear malfunction in front of people you respect. During a recent qualification shoot for the police department, one of the new magazines I bought fell out of my pistol after every shot. The third time it fell out, I relegated that magazine to the “don’t use” pile, grabbed a new one and continued training. Despite the embarrassment, I’m glad it happened where it did.
But this little incident drove home a point I have not shared with you for a while: Test your gear. Test every piece of gear before you bet your life on it.
I am so happy this magazine dropped out on the range instead of while I was on duty. The range is the place to have failures like this. Typically, I like to say that a gun is not proven reliable until it fires 200 rounds of my chosen self-defense ammo consecutively without a malfunction. That is an arbitrary standard with no scientific basis behind it, but I like it. I figure if the gun works fine for 200 shots without a malfunction, I can count on it.
No matter what gear you choose, rig it up exactly as you would carry it on the street and test it on the range. Does the holster feel comfortable? Is that new magazine release really accessible? Are your new sights mounted correctly? You can’t know unless you test it. So make sure you test it.
See If It Breaks
If you can be a bit more brutal than normal during testing, go ahead and do that. You will be amazed at the punishment your EDC gear takes as you walk around during the day. Try to mimic that during your testing. You want your kit to stand up. Do not buy a gun and a holster and carry without testing. That’s a simple rule to follow.
About Kevin Michalowski
Executive Editor of Concealed Carry Magazine Kevin Michalowski is a USCCA and NRA Certified Trainer. He has attended training as both instructor and student in multiple disciplines, including pistol, rifle, shotgun, empty-hand defense and rapid response to the active shooter. Kevin is also a fully certified part-time law enforcement officer in rural Wisconsin.