There is nothing more frustrating than grinding to halt because your gear fell apart, especially in a training class. How many of us have been on the ground trying to find that itty-bitty part in the sea of brass.
Over the years I have seen plenty of gear related problems. In a recent Concealed Carry class we had a holster come apart, literally. We had some other gear issues requiring attention and luckily we caught most of them before they became real problems. In a separate incident I had a front sight come loose. I’m glad it was the sight and not my shooting. The damn thing was listing and I finally asked myself is it me or is my sight post leaning. It is virtually impossible to work with equipment that doesn’t have some type of fastener. It doesn’t matter how tight or the proper torque was applied or done per the manual. They require periodic maintenance.
The Basic Tools
One of the best tools I’ve ever brought was this small screwdriver. It had the various spare bits stored in the body making it super convenient for a range bag. I love this tool, it has done me right over the years. No matter how small your range bag, there’s always room for one of these or similar. In addition, a small tube of thread locker will help ensure you don’t have to repeat the process any time soon. While there are tons of tools you could have, these are the minimum in my opinion.
When it comes to your holsters and magazine carriers I suggest once a month you check all the hardware. Some will go so far as to recommend using thread locker on all of your hardware. For some gear it is required and for others you might abstain. Learn what causes the hardware to come loose first. If you do apply a thread locker on your concealed carry gear, go with the lightest bond. You don’t want permanency, you want security. If you are attending a high intensity class with lots of drawstoke repetitions then at the end of the day do yourself a favor and check. If they are loose then hopefully you avoided a mishap. If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve lost hardware you could be in a tight spot. Most folks will have spare guns, extra magazines, but how many carry more than one holster. It may not be practical, but getting extra hardware is a simple solution.
Big Picture Logistics
There is a saying, amateurs argue tactics and professionals argue logistics. Many times in classes students find themselves in a pickle with their gear. If you have one of these niche guns you may be S.O.L. I’ve found most classes students go out of their way to help one another. It’s hard to help though when you are so far out on the fringe. I carry spare equipment and gear to every class and have loaned them out on more than one occasion. More than once I couldn’t help the student because our gear didn’t match.
Preparation can go a long way as can spare parts and hardware. Put some thought into periodic and mandatory maintenance routines.