Personal Readiness with a Running Gun

By John Farnam

Rusty Gun
Personal Readiness with a Running Gun
Defense Training International, Inc
Defense Training International, Inc

Ft Collins, CO –-( Personal Readiness:

From a friend and colleague

“At our monthly pistol match last weekend, our courageous (and now unpopular) match director included an optional thirty-round course of fire, exclusively for legitimate concealed-carry pistols. The only requirement was that the gun, and ammunition, used had to be one that the participant carries regularly.

He said, ‘Let’s use what you’re carrying, right now, what you would have to rely upon to save your life… right now!’

No ‘match-guns,’ nor ‘race-guns’ were allowed.

Of the ten who participated, only three ‘carry’ guns functioned normally through thirty rounds!

The rest (all semi-autos) malfunctioned continuously, including light hits, mis-feeds, and failure to go fully into battery. These guns had all been carried in a pocket or concealed holster and were all dirty, full of lint and other debris. Some magazine springs were weak.

It was an eye-opener, especially for those whose guns would not function. To a person, they all piously swore, amid their embarrassment, that they cleaned their guns regularly, but that was obvious a self-serving lie. It was also obvious these guns were seldom, if ever, actually fired before that afternoon.”


Among those who profess to be “gun people,” there are too many “pretenders,” not enough Operators. It is painfully obvious that almost none of these Nimrods ever assiduously train with any kind of serious, carry gun.

“Matches,” as described above, are customarily conducted under quaint circumstances, with play guns and play ammunition.

With the entire world in such chaos, with our civilization becoming such a dangerous place, one would think all American gun-owners would be getting serious about real guns and real training.

Unhappily, nothing could be further from the truth! There is still scant urgency, scant sobriety, scant earnestness associated with most competitive events, and most participants themselves, as we see.

When fatal flaws are exposed, as in the foregoing, instead of honest acknowledgment and repentance, we get feeble excuses and denial.

Genuine personal readiness demands better!

“Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; ‘wisdom’ consists in not exceeding that limit.” ~ Elbert Hubbard


About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor, as well as published author, John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent and unlawful lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance, if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or inactions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit:

  • 3 thoughts on “Personal Readiness with a Running Gun

    1. One benefit lose of a a wheel gun (so long as you do not screw that retains the cylinder crane) is they are vary easy to maintain.

    2. I’m 70 now, and have developed arthritis in both my thumbs. FYI, for those who have avoided this scourge, arthritis not only hurts, but more importantly (because I can “gut it out” and work through the pain), it also reduces strength in the affected joints (which I can’t just “gut out”). This resulted in my having a LOT of trouble field-stripping my carry gun, a 1911 model (to make matters worse, it’s a ParaOrd “limited” model with very tight tolerances). Not only can I no longet hold the bushing down hard enough (yes, even with a bushing wrench), but with my aging eyes, it is getting harder to find the little SOB after it shoots off across the room somewhere! If you can’t field-strip it, you can’t really clean it.
      Being an “old school” kind of guy, I still believe that a man ought to be able to clean his own gun, so I moved to a Springfield XDm for a daily carry gun, which I CAN field-strip and clean, which means I still clean it regularly. However, this whole thing set me to wondering just how many other old guys with arthritis there are out there, who are in the same boat I was; too arthritic to clean their guns, but too macho to admit it (even to themselves). Or, for that matter, how many new shooters who aren’t sure how to field-strip and clean their carry guns because they only saw it done once at the gun shop where they bought it (if that). If you AREN’T regularly cleaning your guns (especially your carry gun), you really should figure out WHY you aren’t, and be honest with yourself. Whether it’s lack of knowledge, arthritis, or laziness, admit it to yourself, and deal with it – don’t just pretend your gun doesn’t really NEED that much cleaning, or even worse, stop practicing with it “so it won’t get dirty” (News flash – it STILL gets dirty, just being carried, or for that matter just sitting around somewhere!). You shouldn’t have to bet your life on a dirty gun, just because you can’t, or won’t, clean it yourself.
      So, here’s my recommendation for folks in that boat: don’t kid yourself. If you can’t (or just won’t) clean your carry guns regularly, then you need to find some other way – but don’t let ’em go uncleaned just because you are too lazy or embarrassed!
      I’m a member of a local indoor range with an associated gun shop and gunsmith. For a fee, they will clean your pistol or rifle for you (and they won’t even laugh or look down their noses at you!). There is also a company, at least in my town, called “Guncleaners” who are online at “” who will also clean your gun, also for a fee. I’m sure most any gunsmith would do it for you too, if you check into it. If it galls you to have to pay someone else to clean your gun, as it did me, then you’ll have to learn how, change guns, or figure out a way, to do it yourself. Or, for us old guys, you can always just rely on your “oldfart wiles” and conn someone else into it! Try getting your grandkids involved. Kids LOVE learning to clean grandpa’s guns (they even think it’s fun running around the room looking for that #[email protected]%&##!! bushing) and the only fee they charge is maybe some shooting instruction and a chance to SHOOT the guns occasionally too – so what’s the downside? It even give you a way to get even with our incompetent modern public school system – the teachers go stark raving bonkers when they overhear sixth graders talking about cleaning guns last night!
      The real message here though, is, “if you can’t, or won’t, clean your own guns (ESPECIALLY your carry guns), don’t just let them stay dirty – suck it up and find a way to have them cleaned for you.”

    3. Earlier this morning I dumped the cartridges from the spare magazine I carry in my left front pocket. I regularly, okay periodically, clean my carry pistol but never gave much thought to the spare magazine. It looked clean, the top round was shiny and bright, but everything below that one was filthy. I was stunned. I knew the pistol picked up dust and lint but never gave that second magazine any thought beyond taking it in and out of my pocket. I remember thinking, “I’m glad I don’t have to use this right now.”

    Comments are closed.