From time to time we hear conversations or read on the web of someone beating the ever living crap out of their rifle to see how much it can take or to prove it can take a lot. Well, if you’ve got spares or the money to replace your platform, first, congratulations, and second, that’s your call. However, if you’re like those of us who aren’t independently wealthy, a different method of caring for your rifle is in order.
“Take Care of Your Rifle!”
Let’s say you’ve spent all you could possibly afford on a platform after doing all the research you could and didn’t try to do it with cheap aftermarket parts or kits, whatever it is (this is NOT a debate on which platform is best). Simply because you bought the best available in your price range, you can reasonably presume ‘torture testing’ has already been done by the manufacturer, especially if you’ve gone above and beyond to replace certain ‘stock’ components with worthwhile upgrades such as the ‘Fail Zero’ BCG or other offerings from companies like Bravo Company USA, Fulton Armory, Noveske, and so on.
Now admittedly, some folks aren’t a fan of upgrades and like to run their guns ‘stock’, and that’s fine because stock platforms from the manufacturers that like to ‘exceed’ .milspec have been put through unbelievably difficult tests for the specific purpose of ‘proofing’ their offerings. These tests include the higher end optics, furniture, magazine, and accessory companies out there.
This means you don’t have to, and should now make it a practice to provide good care in and out of the field for your chosen rifle.
The basic rule is this: If there’s only one warm, dry spot and either you or your rifle can fit into to it, but not both, the rifle gets the nod. Always. Letting your rifle drop or fall because you failed to properly secure it while doing something should make you very upset at yourself. If someone in your team isn’t taking good care of their rifle (which your life my be dependent upon), you should be providing them with the personal motivation necessary to change their thinking and subsequent behavior.
That’s the kind of care your rifle requires. Regular cleaning, inspection of parts for wear, lubrication as needed seasonally, and especially, no abuse.
Sure, it’s a tool, just like all the other tools we have for SHTF/WROL situations. A master craftsman always takes care of his tools. Always. He’ll use them for the purpose they were intended, just as NPT members should. Normal use for a NPT could be doing a security patrol during nasty weather and our for an extended period with our rifles being wet and muddy because of the terrain. We might not have the chance to clean it for days at a time. That’s normal use. However, when we get the chance, we break out the cleaning kit and take care of it.
That’s the smart thing to do. That is what prevents piss poor rifle performance.
Oh…almost forgot. It’s time to winterize your platform.