Have you ever been shooting a stage… and have something go wrong? Whether it was a minor malfunction, or a “death jam”? Did it cost you to zero the stage? Lose competitive placement in a level II match or better? I honestly can’t say that I have. But one of the most common excuses you hear when this happens is what? Equipment related or Ammo related. Failure to feed/extracts, gun won’t go into battery, light primer strikes, red dot stops working, or flat out… something broke!
At the end of 2018 during a club match, I was shooting a stage, and something didn’t feel quite right. I didn’t feel comfortable, so I stopped myself, and took a zero for the stage. Fortunately, I was still able to take my division over 7 other open shooters. When I got home, we took my gun apart, and found that the trigger bow had split at the weld where the trigger screw attached to the bow. It was found to be something that was common in this generation and model trigger, so it was warrantied and replaced.
Now, things happen. We all know that. But preventative maintenance is exactly that. Maintaining your equipment will “prevent” malfunctions and failures. Doing a once over on your equipment before a match should be a part of your “match prep”. Cleaning, lubing, battery checks, etc. Doing all of this allows you to inspect your firearm, and you should be looking for cracks, deviations, spring tension, and anything that would seem out of ordinary.
You should also be inspecting your press from time to time. Making sure your dies are all tight, and checking to make sure nothing walked, and your ammo is still within your specs. This includes bullet length, crimp, powder drop, and primer seating.
Don’t let your equipment/ammo be the reason for less of a match performance. Regardless of what went wrong, keeping your equipment running 100% is a part of the game, and like Dom said; “It doesn’t matter if you win by an inch or a mile… winning is winning.”
See you on the range!