It’s autumn in Maine and there is no better time to be in the Northeast. The colors are exploding, the air is dry, and if you listen carefully, you can hear the constant spritzing of Scent-A-Way in the woods.

To spend some time away from this keyboard, I headed to the range yesterday. The goal (you ALWAYS need goals at the range) was to get away from the SBR that I normally use and spend some time behind my beater: a Windham Weaponry SRC with a Burris XTR 1-4. I intended to practice shooting groups from kneeling and sitting positions, as those are my weakest. I had two targets setup (notice the theme here?), a TacStrike base with a standard IPSC target stapled to uprights, and a 1/4 size IPSC steel target also from TacStrike. Both were set at 100 yards. I would alternate 5 shot groups from one to the other, the paper for precision, the steel for speed. If I missed a shot on the steel, I would head downrange, mark my shots on the paper, and start over again.

When the drills were over and I was satisfied, I figured I would work a few timed drills with my pistol on the steel at 20 yards. I shoot a fullsized M&P 9mm, APEX DCAEK  kit, 10-8 sights (fiber front), fitted with a Surefire X300u with DG switch. I probably have close to 8K rounds through this gun since putting in the trigger kit, and it has been flawless (well, except for the person running it).

I was just working the pistol from the holster and sending 1 shot at the steel, trying to keep my times somewhere in the 1.0 s range. Finished a mag, and then on the first round of the second mag, the trigger didn’t reset. Tap rack. Nothing. Drop the mag, rack a few times, lock the slide and look inside. Hey look, it’s a trigger spring hanging down attached to nothing! Sh*t. I had left my M&P9c in my INCOG holster (my daily carry in colder weather)  back in my truck, and was thinking that if this had some sort of real defensive situation (rifle down, transition to handgun, handgun down, transition to footwear), I would be ass-out.

So I ended my range session, and I know that these things happen. It’s a mechanical device. Mechanical devices fail. We’re always touting “two is one, one is none” when it comes to equipment. Bt when it comes to small parts that fail, like this trigger spring, what is the reasonable expectation? How often are you checking the condition of your deep internals on your weapons?

I knew that I had some extra springs back at the shop, and that fixing the gun wasn’t going to be an issue, but that’s not usually a part that you carry around with you. You can fix a sling, or a belt, or even improvise a pistol grip on a rifle if need be, but what about the internals? I’ve seen some guys travel with mobile tool racks and parts bins and it always seemed like a little bit of overkill if you’re not a mobile gunsmith.

I’d be interested to hear what folks think, and what they carry as their emergency parts kit.

I’d be interested to hear what folks think, and what they carry as their emergency parts kit.

(see what I did there?)

Stay safe.