Recently a friend of mine wanted to show me his new pocket semi-auto. When he took it out of his ankle holster, we both realized that the front sight was missing and my friend had no idea when he had lost it. The missing front sight was an embarrassment to him and it would have been worse than that if he had discovered the loss while trying to deal with a violent attack. He had been in the habit of just taking the holster and gun off at night without ever taking the gun out of the holster. I hope that was a habit that he changed.
Years ago, I formed the habit of keeping an old t-shirt, covered with light gun oil, on my nightstand. In the evening I take my carry gun out and wipe it off with that oily rag before setting it down. Not only is that a way to maintain a good gun, but it also gives me an opportunity to examine the gun. By the same token, when I dress in the morning, I examine the gun before holstering it.
Depending upon what part of the country a person lives in, and the humidity that they have to deal with, it is also an excellent idea to give the gun a good cleaning and check up on a regular basis, whether it has been shot or not. Where I live, dust is the culprit that needs to be dealt with on a regular basis. In short, the gun you bet your life on needs to be clean and properly lubricated at all times and a smart person does whatever it takes to maintain that.
At the same time, it is an excellent idea to examine the defensive holster. Do the screws on that Kydex rig need to be tightened? Has that leather holster become stretched and loose and in need of replacement; and what kind of shape is the stitching in?
In the same vein, I have gotten into the practice of examining every defensive cartridge that I load into my gun and the reload that I carry. I am looking for damaged bullets and damaged cases. I also check the primers to see if any are seated improperly or seated upside down. While I carry the best defensive ammo that money can buy, I’ve seen all of those problems with factory ammunition over the years—it doesn’t happen very often, but it does happen.
In short, the serious defensive shooter sets up a regular schedule of checking out his gear. If something is doubtful, replace it or throw it away. A fight for your life is no place to try to rely on cheap stuff or to find out about poorly maintained equipment.