Sunday, January 05, 2014

Check your gear!

Taking a break in my gun room with the dogs tonight, I decided to check over some of my gear, just for the heck of it. In so doing, I happened to spy some Ruger Mini-14 magazines that I'd bought a year or so back, just as the big panic was setting in. (Got them at pre-panic prices, too...thanks Brownells!) These magazines, Ruger original equipment, were still in the factory packaging. And a close look at them through the clear plastic revealed that they were RUSTING inside that sealed factory packaging. Four of the six has small surface rust spots on them even though they'd never been out of the plastic.

Needless to say, all six were unwrapped. The rust spots were removed with steel wool and oil and the mags were wiped down with a handy RIG rag before being re-packaged, this time in a six-mag carrier that will be marked "Mini-14 only" to keep it from being mixed in with similar carriers containing AR mags and picked up by mistake in a non-training event should one occur. (Why couldn't Bill Ruger use AR mags...grumble, grumble...)

Moral of the story: Just because your survival gear is brand new and still in the packaging, that doesn't mean that you can forego checking it regularly just like the rest of your gear. Remember, if it's sitting, it's probably rusting or rotting. Check it and fix that stuff. And have you checked the batteries in your weapon lights lately? One of the Surefire-equipped long guns in my gun safe had batteries so flat that I'd be lucky to be able to find other batteries with it much less light up a room with it. So now as of tonight, the gun safe has a label inside the door listing the dates that batteries are changed and lights are tested.

It's little things, but come the bad times, it's those little things that just might get you.


  1. Great words here ML! You cannot take anything for granted. It is a constant task.

  2. Hey Murphy,

    Have you ever thought of making a kit for Murphy and Belle, stuff that they can carry? either for them or to lighten the load for you?

    Off the wall question since my mind is running on caffeine and trying to wind down to sleep.

  3. @ MrG: You mean like in those dog backpacks that they sell at Petco and on-line? Yep. They can at least lug their own supplies. Fortunately they are already at my retreat location.

  4. Batteries always get me. You don't use lights all that often. Or at least I don't. And then the batteries are dead.

  5. Yep, that has happened to me too. Just because it comes from the factory in a bag (or wrapper) doesn’t mean it’s ready for long term storage.

  6. Anonymous9:26 AM

    Great post! We should check the status of our gear often.
    Thanks for the reminder.

    Scritch the dogs for me.