There are a lot of things to consider when you own a firearm, one of the first things to understand is that it is part of a system. This system is designed to make sure that you and your firearm are reliable and operate 100% of the time when it is needed. We will discuss some of things you will need to properly maintain, operate and carry your weapon.
1. CleaningKit - This should consist of the following items to properly maintain your firearm. Most kits contain all required items.
Lubricants (Oil and Grease)
Cleaning Rod w/Bronze Brush (for your caliber)
Bore Snake (for your caliber)
Plastic or Bronze Picks
2. Holster - Every pistol should have an appropriate sized holster to be carried in whenever it is not in a case.
Kydex: Molded to a specific make/model. Great for Concealed Carry due to its retention and thin profile. Available for IWB and OWB carry.
Leather: More comfortable than Kydex. Some are model specific and some are generically sized. Favored when owner may be more concerned with effecting the finish of the gun. These are slightly thicker than Kydex. Available for IWB and OWB.
3. Ammunition - Be sure to purchase enough ammunition to practice with your firearm. But do NOT forget to purchase higher quality ammo to use for self-defense. See "What ammo should I buy?" Blog.
4. Eye and Ear Protection - Although you can rent these on the range you are better off purchasing high quality ear muffs or plugs and shooting glasses.
Highly Recommended Items:
1. Range Bag - A good quality range bag that contains everything you need when you go practice. Items I carry include ammo, eye/ear protection, basic tools, sharpie, soft matt/gun pouch, disposable ear plugs and a IFAK w/tourniquet.
2. IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) - You are using a firearm - have a basic IFAK w/Trauma Pads and a Tourniquet with you!
3. Tourniquet - These are inexpensive, small, easy to use and SAFE! Recommend the C.A.T. model.
4. Tools - Basic Tools like a multi-bit screwdriver w/flat head, phillips and hex bits.
5. Flashlight - This is worthy of it's own blog. But a Weapon Mounted Light or a Tactical handheld flashlight is essential!
6. Hard Case - The case your gun came in is "ok" - but a proper heavy duty, lockable case can be used to safely transport or store your weapon. It should be foamed lined and seal out moisture.
7. Gun Lock - If you have children or people in your home that do not know how to safely handle a weapon consider using a safe and reliable gun lock for any gun not being used. Most likely one was included with your gun.
8. Quick Action Gun Safe - If you are concerned with safety but plan on using the gun to defend your home the firearm must be QUICKLY available. A gun lock is not advisable but easy access gun safes are a better alternative.
9. Ammo Box - Ammo not in the weapon and not needing to be available should be kept in a purpose built ammo. box. Military surplus ammo boxes are ideal.
10. Gun Belt - if you will be carrying a firearm regularly, consider buying a proper gun belt that will provide better support for your holster. They are available in all styles from tactical, casual to dressy.
Your "Kit" will change over time as you figure out what works and what does not. Look at what other people are doing and using. The goal of all this is to (A) Keep your gun clean and reliable and (B) Safely Carry and Store your weapon.
Blogs with specific product recommendations will be available soon!