Walter Rauch is credited with noting that you have the responsibility to personally check the firing condition of your self-defense gun every time it has been either out of your hands or out of your sight for any length of time. You sleep every night then you should check the gun every morning before to leave your home. I’ve met many a shooter who has at least once gone out of the house with his handgun only to discover at the end of the day that he had failed to load it. If you make a daily condition check a regular part of your “dress for the day” routine that is less likely to happen to you.
As equally important as the daily condition check (see below) is the daily function check. This is a quick check the snub owner makes to confirm that all the important screws are tight and every critical snub part is clean.
The following basic function check was suggested by Michael LaRocca of LaRocca’s Gun Works of Worcester, Massachusetts:
1st – Triple check that the revolver is clear and unloaded.
2nd – Confirm that the cylinder release screw (if present) is tight. Note that not every snub has a cylinder release screw.
3rd – Confirm that the underside of the star ejector is clean.
4th – Confirm that the ejector rod is tight. Remember that some revolver models tighten clock-wise and others tighten counter-clock-wise. Know which direction you ejector tightens before you check it.
5th – Confirm each and every one of the cylinder’s charge holes or chambers are clean.
6th – Confirm that the barrel is clear of obstructions. Consider using either a dedicated bore light or a small piece of white paper to reflect light up from the forcing cone and down the bore.
7th – Close the unloaded snub and confirm that the cylinder is rotating without binding.
8th – Dry fire the empty snub and confirm that the cylinder is locking up properly.
9th – Confirm that the yoke screw is tight. Again, note that not every snub has a yoke screw.
10th – Confirm that all other screws are tight.
11th – Before loading confirm that the ammo is new or like new (see reliable ammunition below.)
Always remember that the daily function check with the unloaded snub comes before the daily live firing condition check.