Spring Cleaning

Straightening up the house also means straightening up your personal defense gear.

posted on March 30, 2022
Ed Head talks about spring cleaning your guns

While you might not believe it due to the wild weather is some parts, Spring has sprung and it’s time to shrug off winter and get back to shooting by preparing ourselves and our shooting gear.

Has it been a while since you were at the range? Now is a good time to plan for defensive-skills practice by doing some dry practice. Work on a smooth draw from concealment, sight picture, trigger press and follow through. Once at the range, continue this practice with live ammunition, shooting up and replacing the defensive ammo you’ve been carrying all winter.

Need drills to practice? Search ShootingIllustrated.com for my Skills Check columns and try a few of them.

While you’re at it, do you keep other defensive firearms at home, perhaps a shotgun or carbine? Get in some practice with them as well, also shooting up and replacing their ammunition.

After shooting comes spring cleaning. Clean, lubricate and inspect these guns and be on the lookout for things like loose sights, screws or sight mounts. 

Now I know the folks who make your electro-optics guarantee the batteries will last for a bazillion hours, but I think it’s a good idea to change those batteries once a year even if they seem to be working fine. Changing the batteries is cheap insurance and prevents one of those embarrassing or deadly moments that come up when the optics quit.

If you’re like me, you have flashlights scattered about the house and in your vehicles along with the one (or two) you carry day and night. I was embarrassed to find my carry flashlight had died just the other night. Fortunately, I had another at hand and the situation wasn’t critical, but lesson learned. Don’t wait for your lights to die: Change the batteries or recharge them. And, don’t forget your weaponlights, they need attention as well.

When was the last time you checked your outside security features like lights, cameras, and alarms? Some may require new batteries, recharging, or cleaning. Do you keep emergency gear in your vehicles? Now is the time to check it. I once spent a year looking for a first aid kit I stashed in my truck, forgetting all about an under floor storage compartment. Another lesson learned; make sure you can quickly find your gear, check it, and replace any worn or missing items.

Just like your smoke alarms, your personal defensive firearms and equipment need some attention if they’re to serve you well in an emergency so get in the habit of doing a little spring cleaning.


Xs Sights Kimber K6
Xs Sights Kimber K6

First Look: XS Sights R3D Sights for the Kimber K6

A new sighting option for your Kimber revolver.

Gauging Your Progress

Becoming a better shot means tracking your results.

Review: Glock 22 Gen 5

Don't call it a comeback, it's been here for years. 

First Look: Liemke Luchs-1 and Luchs-2 Thermal Optics

German optics plus the latest electronics team up to make a first-rate thermal scope.

Property Crime: Shifting the Power Back to the Homeowner

Good home security is like an onion (or a parfait): It has layers.


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.