Have Your Firearm Fully Mission Capable at All Times

The Concept

The Military and the National Guard especially have many events that they are always ramping up for. It is always, “well this needs to be ready by this date.” So when an event comes up that isn’t planned for? Maybe for instance, the civil unrest in Minneapolis where night vision, pro masks, vehicles, and weapons need to be ready and able to be operated at a moments notice. Grab and go.

I always run my own PMAGS instead of unit issued because I can ensure that they function correctly.

Most Recent Proof

Like all things, there are positives, negatives, and things that can easily be improved on. Weapon readiness within various military entities is one of them. When the phone calls went out for Soldiers to show up, get issued thier gear, and roll out to MPLS, there wasn’t time to then conduct maintenance on weapons. Those weapons were meant to be grabbed by each Soldier and ready to be employed. They should be ready with ZERO notice needed.

Which brings me to my area of improvement, ENSURING THAT ALL WEAPONS AND OPTICS IN THE VAULT ACTUALLY WORK.

There should be no reason that Soldiers are being handed weapons without slings, magazines that don’t feed ammunition properly, or CCO’s that aren’t functional. These are all issues that should be at readiness at all times and weapons that aren’t ready should be in the process of being fixed and readied.

The Mil Side

A rear sight aperture that flips up during firing. This is a standard deficiency we see with Ma-Tech rear sights. However, if nobody brings it to repairers attention it wont be fixed.

Every year in the State of Minnesota every weapon in the state is gauged and serviced by small arms repairmen. Those with faults are then written up and tagged to be brought to the higher shop to work on. If that supply NCO doesn’t take it upon themself to create a work order and bring the weapons in, they don’t get fixed. There have been times where I have visited a unit and there are still weapons that were tagged a year ago. Those weapons are now weapons that can’t be used by Soldiers that need to react.

[Editor’s Note: The oldest tag I found was 3 years. It was illegible and the entire rifle had to inspected and taken again. The likelihood that in an immediate need situation the tag would be ripped off and the weapon issued is high, very high.]

In certain Army manuals it states that weapons should be mission ready at all times when going back into the vault, this is why.

The Civilian Side

This relates to civilians too. Your weapon that has been sitting in your closet after your most recent range trip 2 months ago that had gassing issues causing multiple malfunctions? That does you no good when someone comes into your home that isn’t your Grandma just paying you a visit. If there is a fault with your rifle, handgun, or shotgun, it is not home defense ready.

[Editor’s Note: Let me expand on that a little. If you do not have functionally clean and lubricated firearm, it is not home defense ready. This includes tested defense appropriate ammunition.]

Optics

There is no reason that anyone should be holding a weapon that doesn’t have a zero that the operator can trust. Keep your guns zero’ed. A gun that you have no idea where it will impact is useless and dangerous.

A weapon returned to a vault with a CCO backwards.

Inspect your equipment and actually fix it. This goes for vehicles, electronics, etc. ALL EQUIPMENT.

If your personal firearm doesn’t have a verified zero it is of no value to you for defense. If a weapon is fired, there will be questions asked. One of those questions may very well be did this weapon have a confirmed zero and when, especially if it is fired and something is damaged or someone is hurt who should not have been. An unzero’ed weapon is a liability. Non-working and unready equipment are both physical and legal liabilities.

Steph Martz
Steph is a current full time Small Arms Repairman for the Minnesota Army National Guard with 8 years of experience of weapons maintenance and employment under her belt. She has taken multiple armorer and weapons proficiency classes to include FN, Knights Armament, and Small Arms Weapons Expert course. She also writes for American Gunsmith and AR Build Junkie.