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Maintaining your concealed weapons

Whether your assignment is plain clothes or uniform, most law enforcement officers find themselves carrying a concealed firearm at some time or another. 

As a firearm instructor I have noticed:

1.)    Officers notoriously undertrain in the use of the weapon they carry concealed
2.)    These weapons — when inspected — are routinely found to be dangerously dirty

Many people, who have duties that call for the carrying of their weapons concealed, too often consider themselves too busy to take the time to train with their weapon. They often have acquired a proficiency with their weapon in the past which gives them so much confidence they feel firearms training unnecessary and redundant. 

They do not seem to realize that that expertise with a firearm is not only a perishable skill, but firing and reloading from a concealed rig is a new skillset. 

In addition to the training issue, while armoring these weapons in the past, a common observation I’ve made about the weapons that are constantly carried concealed under clothing. These weapons are too often dangerously dirty.

The first issue is, many of those that find time to train with this weapon do not take the time to clean the weapon before returning to duty. They simply reload the weapon and holster the dirty weapon. This dirty condition is made even more dangerous by the large lint balls that inhabit the inner workings of concealed weapons.

Any weapon that is regularly carried under clothing will slowly, but surely gather lint as they rub the clothing they are concealed under. That lint will gradually work its way into the weapon itself. I had the opportunity to work on many of these weapons and after performing a disassembly on these weapons I found lint balls so large that it looked like they had been coughed up by a feral cat.

To remedy these situations I would recommend that any weapon, which is carried concealed:

1.)    Should be disassembled, inspected, cleaned and lubricated by an armorer at least once each year
2.)    Should be cleaned and lubricated every time it is fired
3.)    Should be trained with at least once a month by the officer carrying the weapon

Additionally, you might want to consider attending an armorer’s course for the weapon you carry. You may have to attend on your own time and on your own dime. Here you will learn how to armorer-clean and properly lubricate the weapon you carry. You will find the training affordable and invaluable.

I hope these words get you thinking about that weapon you carry concealed, because even though that concealed weapon is out of sight it should never be out of mind.

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