5 Tips for Proper Handgun Maintenance from Frontier Justice’s Firearm Experts
Owning a handgun is your right as an American citizen. Handguns are incredibly useful self defense tools, and they provide both safety and confidence for millions of citizens around the country.
The last thing you want as a handgun owner is for your gun to fail. A malfunctioning handgun is a liability rather than an asset in a defensive situation. That’s why handgun maintenance is an incredibly important responsibility for all handgun owners.
As supporters of our Second Amendment rights, Frontier Justice is committed to educating the public about all aspects of firearm ownership, including proper handgun maintenance. We want everyone to feel safe and secure with their self-defense choices, so we’ve put together these 5 helpful tips to follow for maintaining your handgun.
Handgun Maintenance Tip #1: Learn to breakdown your firearm
There’s no better way to learn about your firearm than seeing how it works from the inside. By field stripping your firearm before cleaning, you can see how all the parts work together to make your firearm effective.
Knowing the anatomy of your specific firearm lets you diagnose any issues that may come through operation. If you have a malfunction at the shooting range, you can triage your tool right then and there to see what the issue is and how to fix it.
Follow the firearm safety rules
Before field stripping and cleaning your firearm, always keep in mind the four fundamental firearm safety rules:
- Always assume the firearm is loaded
- Always point the firearm in a safe direction
- Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire
- Always know what you’re shooting at and what’s beyond your target
Of course, when using the Frontier Justice indoor shooting ranges, our firearms experts are always happy to help diagnose your issues. However, we’re not always going to be there when your firearm malfunctions. Taking the time to familiarize yourself with the inner workings of your handgun grants you independence, and it makes you a more competent overall firearm owner.
Every firearm is a little different as well, even ones from the same manufacturer. Here are a few different guides on how to break down popular handguns from our firearms experts:
- How to take apart a Glock handgun
- How to take apart a Sig Sauer P365
- How to take apart a Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0
Handgun Maintenance Tip #2: Thoroughly clean and lubricate often
Over time, there are multiple factors that can affect your firearm’s function, whether it has been resting safely in a case or if you carry your firearm daily. Debris can get into the nooks and crannies, its oil can rub or wear off, and even sweat and lint from carrying your firearm can cause issues.
Think about your cell phone when you take it out of its case, and all of the junk, dust, and grit that it collects. That same debris collects in your firearm, so it’s important to clean it regularly.
How regularly you clean your firearm is up to you. It’s not necessary to clean it every day, or every week in fact, depending on how much you use it. If you’re regularly visiting a shooting range, you’re likely putting a couple hundred rounds through your firearm each month. Typically, it’s good practice to clean your firearm after each shooting range visit. Not necessarily because it needs that much cleaning, but because it’s beneficial for learning and a great way to familiarize yourself with your firearm.
Invest in quality cleaning products
Anything worth doing is worth doing it right. This certainly is true for handgun cleaning. Buying cheap or poor quality oils or lubricants may be cost saving in the short term, but they may not be the best option for ensuring your firearm is functioning when you need it.
We carry many great handgun cleaning products, both online and in our three Frontier Justice store locations. We have everything you need for a thorough cleaning, from cleaning kits and lubricants to specialty cleaning tools.
Related: Our best handgun cleaning products
Handgun Maintenance Tip #3: Improve your own skills
A properly cleaned, lubricated, and assembled firearm is a great tool. But just like any other tool, it’s most effective in the hands of a skilled user. By practicing your skills at a shooting range, or even through dry fire training at home, you’re taking the time to verify the condition of your firearm while building your own shooting skills.
Range shooting is more than just setting up targets, pointing, and shooting. Training and target practice can consist of many activities, like shooting at static targets or moving targets and running specific drills.
Some of the specific drills you can run at an indoor shooting range new include:
- Dot torture drills: This is a target system and drill that helps shooters practice multiple pistol skills while using only one target. We set the target up with one dot on the top of the frame, then three rows of three targets cascading downward. Shooters can practice different drills on each of the 10 target dots, do multiple dots at once, or attempt to clear the entire target with one magazine.
- Failure to stop drill: This drill is a simple, yet effective way to prepare for personal protection. In the failure drill, a shooter will place two shots in the center mass of the target, then a third shot to the top of the target. Because of its simplicity, we can greatly adjust this drill on the range. With our programmable target systems, a shooter can practice with moving targets, which provide a limited presentation and require the shooter to fire both rapidly and accurately.
While practicing at the shooting range, make sure you’re also paying attention to the firearm. Learn how it feels when it functions properly, the sound it makes, and the way the trigger engages. If any of that feels off, take the time to triage your handgun and see if there’s an issue with its assembly or if it needs any extra cleaning.
Take a class
Taking a firearms training course from Frontier Justice is a great way to build your skills. We even offer handgun-specific courses, built to teach newcomers the basics of maintaining and operating their handgun. These courses include:
- Pistol Skills I: This class teaches students the basic fundamentals of how to handle a handgun safely and how to practice at the range. We use official teaching guidelines from the National Rifle Association and teach new firearm enthusiasts how to properly operate both a revolver and a semi-automatic pistol.
- Women’s Pistol Skills I: Just like the overall Pistol Skills I class, this course teaches the basic fundamentals of how to handle a firearm safely and how to practice at the range. We gear the curriculum specifically towards women who are interested in firearms ownership. Our experienced instructors teach proper operation of revolvers and semi-automatic pistols in a safe and judgement-free environment.
- Private Lessons: In our private lessons, we can tailor our instruction specifically to your needs and make sure you know everything necessary for proper cleaning, maintenance, operation, and storage of your firearm.
Practice at home
Dry fire training is a great way to hone your handgun skills at home. Dry fire, by definition, is simply using your firearm without live ammunition to train.
Dry fire can actually be more helpful training than live fire. When done safely and correctly, dry fire can help you build the fundamental skills that you often cannot practice at the range. Whether it’s practice with drawing your firearm or working on your trigger pull and sight movement, dry firing will effectively tell you where you need to continue working to improve yourself.
We also carry Snap Caps in our stores and online for your home training needs. Snap Caps are a type of dry fire training ammo that allows you to continuously practice with dry firing, without harming the internals of your firearm. These bright red dummy rounds make it clear they are not live ammunition to prevent any accidents from occurring. For new shooters, these rounds can help with learning even the most basic of firearms handling, such as chambering a round out of the magazine.
Handgun Maintenance Tip #4: Keep your range bag stocked with essentials
We refer to the Boy Scouts Code when it comes to your range bag: Always be prepared. You never know when something might malfunction while shooting at the range, so you need to be prepared for every scenario. Here’s a quick checklist of essentials to keep in your range bag for easy handgun maintenance:
- Ear protection for two
- Eye protection for two
- Medical kits
- Cleaning kits
- Lubricants and solutions
Handgun Maintenance Tip #5: Visit Frontier Justice for all your handgun maintenance needs
We have everything you could possibly need to keep your handgun in pristine condition. Whether you’re looking for a specialty cleaning tool, need firearm storage solutions, or seeking further guidance on how to maintain your handgun, Frontier Justice has you covered.
Learn more about what makes Frontier Justice different by reaching out to us, signing up for our membership club, scheduling a firearms class, or simply stopping by and checking out our store, boutique, and indoor shooting range for yourself!