Daily Function Check

Confirming the firing status of your snub before slipping it into a pocket or holster is an invaluable habit to develop. So, too, is that of conducting a daily function check. A quick daily function check will confirm that all of the snub’s critical parts are clean, important screws are tight, and that the snub’s timing and lock-up is correct. The following basic function check checklist was suggested by Michael LaRocca of LaRocca’s Gun Works of Worcester, Massachusetts:

1.   Unloaded – Triple check that the revolver is clear and unloaded.

2.   Screws – Confirm that all exposed screws are tight. Locate the cylinder release lever. If the snub contains a cylinder release screw (not all snubs do) confirm that the cylinder release screw is snug. If your snub includes a yoke screw (not all snubs do) confirm that the yoke screw is snug.  Make a quick check of any other exposed screws. Also, consider obtaining one or more dedicated screwdrivers of the correct sizes and types to avoid damaging the screws. Be aware that typical hardware-store screwdrivers do not have the proper blade shape/profile (even when the width is correct) for use on firearms.

3.   Ejector Rod – Swing out the cylinder and confirm that the ejector rod is tight.  Remember that some revolver models tighten clockwise while others tighten counter-clockwise.  Know in which direction your snub’s ejector rod tightens before you check it.

4.   Star Ejector – Confirm that the underside of the star ejector is clean.

5.   Charge Holes – Confirm that each and every one of the cylinder’s charge holes are clean. A dedicated bore light can be an aid here.

6.   Barrel – Confirm that the barrel is clean and free of any 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.

7.   Cylinder – Close the unloaded cylinder and then confirm that the cylinder will rotate in its proper direction without binding.

8    Lock-up and End Shake – While the snub is still unloaded, dry fire the snub and confirm that the cylinder is locking up properly. The cylinder stop (located on the flat bottom of the window of the frame directly under the cylinder) should lock into the cylinder stop notches at or just prior to the instant that the hammer releases. After dry firing to confirm proper lock-up, keep the trigger pulled to the rear while the hammer is down. Pinch the cylinder between your thumb and index finger and try to move the cylinder. It is normal to notice some very slight movement of the cylinder “side-to-side” in the window of the frame, but there should be no movement of the cylinder forward to the muzzle or rearward towards the recoil shield.

9.   Ammo – Before reloading the snub confirm that the ammo is new or like new (refer to section on reliable ammunition for more).

Always remember to conduct the daily function check while the snub is unloaded, and to always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Consider obtaining a dedicated, safe back stop sheet such as a Safe Aim ballistic pad, or an armor panel from a handgun-rated piece of body armor.