Love your gun

Love your gun

In this, the month of love, be sure to love your gun too. Some loving will go a long way to ensuring your gun is in tip-top working order at a time when you might need it most.

It takes very little effort to maintain your gun. Ideally, maintenance should be done every time after you’ve fired it. And if your gun is relegated to the safe for long periods, it needs to be cleaned every few weeks.

What you need

You’ll need a set of polymer cleaning picks, a nylon gun cleaning brush set (or a toothbrush would also do the trick) and battle rope for cleaning the bore. Better yet, simply buy a good handgun cleaning kit.

In terms of consumables, get yourself a supply of cotton patches. Or save the planet by recycling an old T-shirt to do the heavy-duty cleaning. This will be used for getting the crud out of the gun’s receiver.

Cleaners and Lubricants

Don’t overdo the chemicals. Use just enough to clean, lubricate and protect. Using lubrication too liberally may cause all sorts of problems.

There are a number of non-toxic, non-staining, odourless and non-flammable cleaners on the market. If you’re stuck for choice, chief ranger Geoffrey Coetzee is the ultimate pro and he’ll definitely point you in the right direction.

The cleaning process

Step one is disassembling your gun. Most revolvers require virtually no disassembly. For other handguns, if you’re stuck and Geoffrey isn’t on hand to help, YouTube has good video resources.

Remember, only field strip your gun – always sticking to the four golden rules of gun safety. Then start by cleaning out all the old lubricant and gunk from every part of your pistol. Pay special attention to the feed ramp, spring, areas around the safety and mag release, the outside of the slide, the magazines behind the trigger, and the areas where the upper and lower frame meet. Clean until the cotton patch comes away clean.

Apply cleaner inside the bore, followed by the bore snake. Maybe also use the brass brushes to get it extra-clean. Once the bore is clean, apply a small amount of oil to a cloth patch and run it through the barrel using either the tip of your cleaning rod or a plastic pick.

For revolvers, clean the inside of the cylinders and run the bore snake through each cylinder.


Anything metal should have lubricant. So, with a precision applicator, oil the spring and any external parts, including the outside of the barrel, the spring, and the rails. Only apply enough lubricant to ensure that your firearm cycles without impedance. Too much will only give rise to grime.

You’re all set now to reassemble your firearm and check it for function.


Gun ownership requires responsibility. And part of this responsibility is to love your gun with regular maintenance.


Owning a gun requires responsibility

Owning a gun requires responsibility

With great power comes great responsibility! And that applies particularly to owning a firearm. We at Marksman’s Nest continually stress the fact that firearms are incredibly dangerous if mishandled or misused. In the light of the recent mass shootings in America, we urge every firearm owner to educate him/herself and act responsibly.


Because of spiralling crime in South Africa, access to gun ownership is imperative. Background checks and restrictions on unsafe individuals owning weapons is something most responsible gun owners support.

Know the laws

Just as a driver needs to know the local speed limits and road rules, a gun owner should be well-versed in restrictions and regulations. You’ll need to apply for the necessary licence and permits.

Take training courses and practise

To keep yourself and others safe, it’s important that you undergo thorough training when you become a gun owner. Attend at least a few beginner’s classes and then graduate to more advanced classes.

Secure storage

Apart from knowing how to handle guns, your biggest priority as a gun owner needs to be stopping other people from handling your firearms. It’s usually said that guns should be kept away from children, but it actually should be kept away from any unauthorised person. To prevent accidents and/or theft, store your gun(s) in a secure place under lock and key – child- and theft-proof.

Use a sturdy SAPS-approved safe, a heavy-duty lock, and a mechanism that can’t be picked. And secure the safe to a wall or the floor.

A good scope

Using proper optics suitable to your hunting rifle goes a long way in ensuring there aren’t any stray bullets. This way you’ll be keeping your hunting partners safe.

Safety in your vehicle

Fact is that most gun thefts take place in vehicles. Lock-boxes and vaults are the best options for your SUV or bakkie. Ensure it’s secured to the vehicle, as well as having its own lock.

Cleaning and care

Improperly cleaned or maintained firearms are extremely dangerous. Prevent accidents by learning how to clean and maintain your weapons properly. Bring your rifles to Marksman’s Nest for hands-on tutorials. However, if you’re too far from us, always choose certified instructors.


Ammo is just as dangerous. Stray cartridges are particularly dangerous when live. Ensure that you haven’t dropped any when you go hunting. In addition, always collect spent cartridges. Any plastic casings or shells that you find should come back with you. The lead content in them will poison wildlife. The plastic is also a choking hazard to creatures.


Self-defence Handgun Training

SELF-DefenCe Handgun Training “Self-defence is Nature’s eldest law.” – John Dryden The crux is: do you have what it takes to carry a handgun for self-defence and crucially, to defend yourself and your family in close quarters? Carrying or owning a handgun...
Self-defence training in the workplace

Self-defence training in the workplace

Never has it been a better time to consider self-defence training in the workplace. And we here at Marksman’s Nest Firearm Shooting Range believe that self-defence training in the workplace is all about empowerment-first safety training. Just consider the fact that empowered employees will undoubtedly perform better on the job. But importantly, this empowerment carries beyond the office, classroom or clinic.

Workplace safety issues

There are many workplace safety issues to consider. For instance, these may range from sexual harassment to active shooting events which dominate South African news articles.

Countless employees who have never been on a shooting competency course do feel continually vulnerable and anxious. In a post last year, Marksman’s Nest member Geraldine Burke said, “I work long hours and drive a 200-km round trip to work every day. The route is fraught with hijacking hotspots. Which is why I decided to put a stop to the constant fear while driving. Thanks to Geoffrey and Hein’s training and patience during the self-defence training, I’ve learnt all the aspects of the law on gun ownership, handgun maintenance, alertness and preparedness.”

A skills-first approach

Our workplace safety training follows a skills-first approach in which we teach employees how to respond to harassment and threatening scenarios. So, by providing hands-on skills to trainees, we emphasise empowerment-first in our training modules. Typically this includes: cultivating intuition; talking about the emotional, psychological and physical aspects of stressful work situations; and most importantly, the legal aspects of using a firearm in self-defence.

In our skills-first training, trainees become competent in reacting purely through muscle memory techniques. It’s by far the best way to ensure fast and effective responses. But in the case of trauma survivors, we adopt a one-on-one approach addressing the emotional, psychological and social factors to safely work with these delicate trainees.

At the end of the training, employees will be equipped with safety strategies and knowledge; boundary-setting skills; and physical self-defence skills.

Ongoing training

Some organisations with the necessary resources might consider ongoing safety training for their employees. In this instance we provide skill-specific training after the empowerment-based safety training.

In short, our goal with self-defence training in the workplace is to change employees’ mindsets to a fearless can-do approach.

Arming yourself: a woman’s perspective

Arming yourself: a woman’s perspective

Arming yourself for self-defence purposes is the stark reality of life in South Africa. Right across the country, many women now own guns and regularly participate in target shooting at shooting ranges.

Yet, even with more women engaging in shooting sports, that’s not actually why so many are purchasing guns. It’s not for fun. It’s for self-defence. According to research, women are more likely than men to cite protection over recreation as the foremost reason for owning a gun. And for many women, it’s the sole reason.

Say no to fear

Now more than ever, women are buying guns to protect themselves. One such woman is Geraldine Burke. She said, “I work long hours and drive a 200-km round trip to work every day. The route is fraught with hijacking hotspots. Which is why I decided to put a stop to the constant fear while driving.

“Thanks to Geoffrey and Hein’s training and patience during the self-defence training, I’ve learnt all the aspects of the law on gun ownership, handgun maintenance, alertness and preparedness.”

Forty years ago, self- and home-protection typically were relegated to the man in the household, but that’s no longer the case today. Arming yourself has become a priority. Today’s woman is stepping up her role to protect herself and the people around her.

Concealed Carry

According to Marksman’s Nest chief ranger Geoffrey Coetzee, with a rise in women carrying concealed, it’s important to understand your weapon and feel comfortable with it in your hand. “Therefore, it’s best to take a class or a few courses on gun handling.

“There are classes both for new gun owners and refresher courses for those who haven’t shot in a while. Classes include self-defence, carrying concealed, as well as those specifically for women.

“Our classes encompass everything you need to know about your gun, demystifying firearms for those who’ve never been around guns. We also teach trainees how to take them apart and put them back together, how clean them, how to handle them and of course, how to shoot them.

“As was the case with Geraldine, we also teach trainees about gun safety and the legalities of carrying concealed. And importantly, we have drills to get you used to pulling and drawing your firearm, building your confidence and comfort levels.”

It’s fun too

Geraldine concluded, “The courses are not only extremely informative, but also loads of fun. By learning from the pros, we all learnt to do things the right way, avoiding bad practices.

“Regardless whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro, I’ve learnt that practising regularly is key in having the ability to handle my gun effectively and consistently.” Arming yourself has indeed become a must.

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