tifosi77 wrote:As I near decision time on what pistol I buy, I find the comments about the care and feeding of your weapon to be very useful. [hint]Tips on choosing eye and hearing protection would also be welcome.[/hint] I also want to reiterate that I plan I getting a shotgun roughly on the same timescale as the pistol, and it will be the shotgun that will serve as the primary home defense weapon. I've just been focusing on the handguns in this thread, 1) because the thread title sort of precludes the notion of shotguns, and 2) my decision on which shotgun to buy is considerably more easy than the decision as to which pistol to buy. (Weatherby PA-459, in case you were wondering.)
Which leads me to what I fear might be an incredibly simplistic question; is it possible to clean a firearm too much? Not so much in the diminishing returns sense of the word, but more in the "you're-harming-the-weapon" sense of the word.
In addition to the above, I absolutely plan on taking as many proficiency classes as my budget will allow, and at least 300-500 rounds per month live fire practice. (Which isn't a whole lot, I know, but that's what I realistically think I can work with schedule-wise.) But what are some things that I can do in a dry-fire environment to improve both as a shooter and more generally as a gun owner?
Also, what sort of add-ons would you recommend for home defense weapons? I'm thinking of things like changes to sights, lights, lasers, red dots (for the shotgun), etc.
Spend the money and get a good set of electronic ear muffs, they are worth every penny. Pretty much any pair of wrap around safety glasses will be good for eye protection.
As for a shotgun, I am not familiar with the weatherby, but the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 are the two gold standards for pump home defense, get with an 18.5" barrel. I personally have a tuned up SAIGA 12 that I keep loaded with buckshot and slugs alternating.
As long as you do it properly there is no harm in cleaning your gun often, but you can easily over lube it and gunk it up, so make sure you get all the old lube off before putting new on. Some people clean the gun every time they shoot it, some clean it occasional and some rarely clean them. I clean my pistols about every 300 - 500 rounds, my shotguns get cleaned like every 4 months and my rifles usually get cleaned before I put them back into the safe. Word of caution, if you are shooting old surplus ammo clean the guns immediately after shooting because some of that ammo has corrosive primers that will eat the metal of your gun in very short order. The Russians used to piss down the barrel of their guns to rinse away the corrosive salts that the primers left.
As for classes, they are all pretty good. 300 to 500 rounds a month is a lot more than most people shoot. Once you get proficient with the normal two hand stance practice other things like shooting off hand, one handed and etc. Go to the range with a specific goal in mind. Just remember the basics sight alignment, sight picture and trigger control. Always remember to focus on the front sight, that is the biggest challenge for new shooters.
As for accessories, I am not a big fan of anything other than a flashlight for home defense. I am of the keep it as simple as possible. The less things to fumble with the better. All those buttons an switches tend to get in the way and are confusing in a high stress environment. unless you train with those things A LOT and use them in tactical situations they are more of a hindrance.
The best accessory I recommend is a UpLula magazine loader. That thing is awesome and really saves your thumbs. Best 25 bucks I spent.
A good training drill at home is make sure the gun is unloaded and NO live ammo in the room. Put a spent shell caseing on your slide and practice pulling the trigger and not allowing the shell casing to fall. You can graduate to smaller objects like balancing a coin and not letting that fall. If you buy snap caps you can also practice malfunction drills, Tap Rack and Assess should be second nature. Then you can practice holster draws and quick reloads as well. If you are going to CCW then getting the gun out of the holster safely and quickly is a skill you are going to need. you want that skill to become muscle memory so you don't even think about it.