It’s no secret we run our gear hard, I mean really hard. To the outer fringes of the operational capabilities. It is the only way we know and one that more should adopt.
Land of Uber Magazine
In this last carbine class we saw more equipment failures and reliability issues than we’ve seen since like the crazy days of post 9/11 and everyone and their grandmother producing AR’s. I mean we saw it all, well almost all. It was awesome to see that every shooter was fully loaded out with the uber reliable PMAGs from MAGPUL. Why would I be surprised, we are in Colorado after all, but seriously that’s all everyone had. So, everything else was suspect.
Choke on my Dust
First off we are at 8,000 feet of elevation in a very dry and aired environment, add some wind gusts and that stuff got everywhere. The landscape reminded me a lot of the High Desert of Arizona, so having spent a fair amount of time there I knew what was in store for us and the guns. The guns started choking pretty early and the normal interval of twice daily oiling was quickly changed to as needed and often. Even in these dusty conditions a wet gun will outperform a dry one. It’s not like the dust particles are seeking out only oiled guns, they target everyone and everything. When you think about the grinding of metal to metal and add dust particles, which do you think will perform better, a wet gun or a dry one. Carrying a small bottle of quality oil should be part of every serious gun fighters load out bags.
One of one is none
Several students had problems that required either replacing the whole gun or a specific part. Any training class is an investment, I strongly suggest having a complete and ready spare weapon. It really sucks when you’re in an intense shooting class and have reliability problems. The training value plummets as you spend more time dealing with your equipment. I saw that in this class way too much.
You will get what you pay for no doubt and this industry is no different. Ammunition produced a few serious problems. There is some value in having to react to unplanned events, but when they become so consistent the shooter is changing his tactics it’s getting bad. I understand that by the time you’ve gotten to the class it might be too late to change what you’ve got so consider the following. Proof the ammunition in advance of a class. How much is a good question, I’d at least look at 500 rounds. Then at least bring a couple hundred higher quality rounds for situations like zeroing, graded evolutions or competitions. Basically anything important that demands high performance from you and your gear it’s a good to go with the higher quality.
It all starts by defining your mission. Do you need a tool or a toy? If it’s something you are going to ride hard in a class make sure to put it away wet.