Maintenance on your pistol

A firearm is a machine and like any other machine it requires maintenance to keep it in good working order. Hopefully you change the oil in your vehicle and periodically replace key parts that wear out after a certain amount of use- tires and brakes are good examples.

You have good cleaning habits for your pistol, you clean the bore after every outing, what else do you need to worry about? The answer depends on two things:

  1. what is the intended purpose for this firearm?
  2. how much do you use the firearm?

If you're wondering about a range toy or a safe queen you probably don't have to think much more about this. In the unlikely event there is a failure it won't be a big deal- the most likely thing to fail is the recoil spring, sometimes referred to as the mainspring. If it weakens the pistol may not fully return to battery after the weapon cycles. To remedy this you can simply tap the slide into battery with the back of your hand and go about your business.

If the intended purpose for the pistol is self defense then you need to consider additional maintenance such as replacing the recoil spring. Glock Gen4 models are a popular option for standard capacity pistols, which I recommend for home defense. Glock recommends changing the mainspring every 2500-5000 rounds.

Can a typical Glock run for 6000 rounds without a spring change? Sure they do. Plenty of Glock owners will tell you that they have never changed springs and have fired 10,000 rounds without a malfunction. 3000-5000 rounds is a top flight maintenance standard – what you can expect for police or military duty weapons. I recommend you follow this sort of schedule for your home defense and/or carry gun. You should also be advised that running a Glock with a weakened mainspring can lead to damage to other parts of the pistol.

At a pace of firing about 100 rounds per week and assume 5000 rounds is a safe interval that puts you at about one spring change per year. If you fire about 50 rounds per week that's a spring change every 2 years, and so on. Check with your firearm's manufacturer on maintenance recommendations- and follow them for your EDC.


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