Carrying Junk?


Band aids and chewing gum fixes don’t cut it when it comes to fixing
busted or worn carry gear. Just say no, as they say.

The expression “oldie but goodie” fits great when you are talking about a Stradivarius violin or mint-condition ’57 Chevy. I’ve even tried to use it when my wife is trying to put my favorite Red Sox t-shirt in her ragbag. I know it has more holes than the US/Mexican border fence, but in my mind it’s still a classic.

Let’s apply the oldie/goodie to guns and gear. Just how long our stuff will last, or its service life, all depends on how hard the gear is used and how well it’s maintained. As an example, my Les Bear Thunder Ranch Special 1911 has been used so much it’s already been rebuilt once by Les. By comparison, I have another similar pistol with a fraction of the rounds through it and it’s safe to say. It won’t need a rebuild any time soon. Even though one is a daily carry gun and the other a not-as-often gun, I still maintain both to keep them in top-working order.

When my dad passed away, I had the notion I was going to carry his Series 70 Colt. I sent the gun to Jason Burton from Heirloom Precision for some attention. Jason called me an hour after the gun arrived and hit me the bad news. The gun was catastrophically cracked, and there was no way to fix it. No matter how much I wanted to carry Pop’s gun, it wasn’t going to happen — instead it would spend its life as a safe queen. My point is, our gear, even if well maintained, isn’t going to last forever, so plan accordingly.

Bossman Roy dug into his “box of horrors” and found this holster,
actually carried by a detective. Roy relieved him of it and gifted him
a new rig. “Nobody’s going to believe ­­— me unless I show ’em,” he said.

Oops …

I recently received an e-mail about a gun which “went off in a holster” when the guy sat down in his car. The claim was an accidental discharge and not a negligent one. I won’t debate that, but I will suggest the discharge could have been prevented.

The photos provided showed a very worn belt holster. We’re talking, “should have been tossed a long time ago” worn. A portion of the leather had become so soft and flexible it had found its way inside the triggerguard. Combine this with the sitting motion and the gun discharged when the bit of leather sorta’ “pulled” the trigger — luckily without serious injury. I hate to think how things could have turned out if the guy had been carrying appendix style. We’re talking a big ouch then.

We’re responsible for the condition of our own gear, so don’t be a cheapskate with the stuff you may have to bet your life on. My rule of thumb is never buy generic belts, holsters or toilet paper. Also, inspect your equipment, regardless of what it’s made of. If something is worn out, get it repaired or go buy a new one. If you have a favorite of something, buy a second or third to keep on-hand. One is none, right? And just because it’s made out of miracle polymers, doesn’t mean it’s indestructible.

Hiding under the crud and worn bits is a Hoyt rig from the early 1980s.
The fact the retention strap is missing didn’t seem to faze the cop
who had been carrying it. Yikes …

One More Thing

I know, I know, it’s your favorite holster, and you had your big shootout wearing it, but when the snaps bust, the thread rots and that thud you hear is your roscoe bouncing on the floor at Wal-Mart (embarrassing, eh?), trash the rig, or at least retire it into a shadowbox so you can point at it while you tell the exciting story. No … really.