These are unique times when entire communities are asked to social distance, staying 6 feet away from one another or even stay at home except for essential activities. Many of us are having withdrawals because we cannot go to the range for some trigger therapy. But there are many things that you can do at home while adhering to the social distancing guidelines.
You can dry fire practice with your handgun. Please make sure that all the ammunition is another room away from where you plan to dry fire. Check, re-check and check again to make sure that your handgun is unloaded. Even after you have taken all these safety precautions, only point your handgun in a safe direction and then practice skills like trigger press, reloads or drawing from the holster. Many competitive shooters rely on dry firing as a form of practice when they can’t get to the range. This activity also saves on ammunition.
Take everything out of your range back! Who knows, you might even find some hand sanitizer in there. Dust everything off. Shake out the bag. It’s amazing how much dirt can collect in the seams and such. Then when you begin to put stuff back in, assess how much you’ll really need and check for expiration dates on items like wipes and sunscreen. Make a note of what needs to be replaced or replenished.
Clean all of them. Clean the long guns, handguns, and shotguns. Clean the ones you use all the time and the ones in the safe that you never use. Function check them (ammo in another room). Clean all your magazines while you have the cleaning supplies out.
While you have all your guns out for cleaning, it is a great time to take stock of what you have. Make a list of make, model and serial number or any other pertinent information. Some people also store this information with a picture. This will come in handy if you need to file an insurance claim. Take an inventory of your gear as well.
While you might not be able to buy a firearm online at this time because some Federal Firearms License (FFL) holders are not working, you might be able to purchase holsters and other gear, accessories for your guns, range accessories or even ammunition online. Keep moving – Take this time of staying home to exercise and keep moving. Being in great physical shape improves shooting ability. Not all workout programs require a gym. Many trainers are offering online classes or videos to help keep people in shape. Or you can go “old school” and do exercises that only require your body, like jumping jacks, sit-ups or push-ups. If your kids are out of school at this time, join them in PE class. You don’t have to go all out, just do something to keep your fitness level up. Exercise also boosts your immune system.
There are a multitude of books that are helpful whether you are a new gun owner or not. Books like The Dry Fire Primer by Annette Evans, Taking Your First Shot by Lynne Finch and Shoot: Your Guide to Shooting and Competition by Julie Golob will take your mind off current events while you learn something about shooting as well. Include the Kids – Since many of the kids are home from school, it’s a real good time to teach them about firearms and the rules of firearms safety. If they are old enough, let them help you clean the guns or assist you with the inventory. Julie Golob also has a book, Toys, Tools, Guns & Rules to help parents teach their young children about firearms and safety.
Did you find yourself scrambling for toilet paper with the masses? Perhaps now is a good time for your family to sit down and make a Family Preparedness Plan. Talk about supplies and provisions that you might need in a crisis and a plan for beginning to have those items on hand when they become available again. You can also talk about scenarios that may involve your whole family and ways for the kids to be aware and safe.
Don’t forget to take care of you. In addition to all the hand-washing and social distancing, take time for you. Turn off the TV for a while. Read a book for the pleasure of reading a book. Take up a new hobby. Go for a walk, even if it is only around your yard. No, this is not directly related to handguns, but you’ll need your sanity for when things are back to normal and you can get back to the range!!!