Monday, November 05, 2007

Domestic Dispute

This being a gun-blog (most of the time) it won't shock my readers to know that I enjoy collecting firearms and shooting them at the range, especially in the company of my expert husband. But, much to the consternation of said husband, two things have been preventing me from getting excited about acquiring new pieces and hitting the range:

  1. I hate, hate, hate cleaning firearms. Carnaby actually finds it to be kind of a relaxing zen thing, parking himself in front of the TV and cleaning away. My husband is a former soldier, so he does it in the garage without complaining, whether he likes it or not. But I hate it, to the point that I haven't gone to the range in months because I don't want to deal with the mess afterward. Part of it is that I am not mechanically inclined: I don't like taking things apart and putting them back together. But I also despise getting my hands dirty. I'm not a germophobe or anything, I just hate having goop on my hands. My husband and I have engaged in a friendly argument over who should clean the weapons: I tried the "chivalry" tactic (the man should clean them, "just because"), but he is annoyingly egalitarian in this respect and says that whoever shoots 'em cleans 'em.

  2. I enjoy mostly quick trips to the range where we spend an hour or so putting a few boxes of rounds through two or three weapons and then go home. My husband almost always wants to stay at the range for hours and hours and shoot hundreds of rounds through everything in our arsenal. I get tired after a while and end up in the clubhouse chatting with the range owners or else sitting in the car sleeping/reading until the sun goes down and hubby is done. I want him to have fun, but this is not my ideal way to spend a Saturday.
I do want to go back to the range and get excited about new purchases, so I'll pose these questions to our readers and present any answers to my dear husband for his consideration:

  1. If your wife would gladly go to the range with you if only you would: a) clean the weapons afterward, and b) keep the trip reasonably short, would you acquiesce? Perhaps some of you would say "just leave the complaining tart at home," but my husband and I really enjoy doing this together, thus the need for a resolution of some kind.

  2. If she abhorred the idea of cleaning the weapons, what would you consider reasonable compensation for you doing it all yourself? I'm looking for gun-related solutions, so, please, no comments about serving dinner naked that night, etc. :-P Or is it an unwritten law of recreational shooting that she who shoots the weapons cleans the weapons? i.e. am I being completely unreasonable?
Looking forward to your comments, and I'll post an update if we find solutions that work.

Update: Talked to my husband, and he is willing to clean the weapons and keep most of the range trips short. It seems he was just arguing the principle, i.e. what a man thinks he should have to do and what he is willing to do (for his wife) are two different things. :-)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I could get my wife to even go to the range, I'd clean everything using only my own toothbrush and the dryer lint from behind the washing machine.

Cleaning for me is a Zen thing too. Former Marine, myself, so maybe that has something to do with it. But I can understand why people hate it. My wife cannot stand the scent of Hoppes #9 so I couldn't expect her to want to clean afterwards.

11/05/2007 9:17 AM  
Blogger carnaby said...

Like, take two cars, I know you have them :)

Second, my wife's only been to the range once, was a great sport about it, and that's good enough for me. Any time she wants to go to the range, I'll take care of everything for her short of aiming and pulling the trigger.

On the other hand, if my wife was actually a gun nut, then I'd want her to at the very least know how to break down and re-assemble her own weapon, and to give it at least a quick serviceable cleaning. Whole process should take less than 30 minutes the first time, and then at most 15 minutes after it is mastered.

In the latter scenario, I'd be happy to take care of the detailed stripping and cleaning when needed. Your husband can be the armorer in the house, but you still need to know how to field service your weapons!

I also don't like getting the chemicals all over my hands. Solution: a 50 pair box of nitrile (blue or purple) gloves from the drug store. I prefer them to latex, which makes my skin feel weird.

11/05/2007 10:21 AM  
Blogger Stickwick Stapers said...


Thanks. I suspected there would be at least one comment along this line.


I do see your point. Everyone who uses guns should know how to strip and clean them (which I do). But my point is that I think it's already a lot that I am a gun-friendly wife, and it just doesn't seem unreasonable to me to ask for a couple of concessions. Afterall, I don't tell my husband that he has to wash his own clothes just because he's the one who uses them. :-)

11/05/2007 11:56 AM  
Blogger carnaby said...

Stickwick, I'm now on board with you. You clean the clothes, he cleans the guns. I think he still wins in that scenario.

11/05/2007 11:58 AM  
Blogger Russell said...

Not much more to add but

1) Yes. My wife has gone a couple of times, and I handle everything except for, as Carnaby said, aiming and firing.

2) Just coming to the range is compensation enough for me :)

Good luck!

11/06/2007 8:49 AM  
Blogger mikej said...

My wife and I are approaching our 24th anniversary, and I can count the number of times I've managed to drag her to a range on the fingers of one hand. On all those occasions, I've cleaned the weapons.

Even so, that he (or she) who shoots the weapon should also clean it came down from Mount Sinai on a stone tablet, didn't it? Well, if it didn't, it should have. A man who cleans his wife's weapon is entitled, in my humble opinion, to extraordinary compensations of a kind we don't discuss in public, not that I ever got any either.

11/06/2007 8:57 AM  
Blogger Stickwick Stapers said...

Now, now, Gringo, I said I wanted strictly gun-related suggestions. Besides, if a husband is going to expect "extraordinary compensation" for cleaning a weapon, he's going to get some unintended consequences: 1) "extraordinary compensation" will only occur when there is a range trip; 2) range trips will henceforth occur on a bi-annual (or even less frequent) basis. ;-)

11/06/2007 1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a friend who has shot his Glock for the last 5 to 7 years and never cleaned it once. I have a Ruger MKII that I decided to put through the same experiment, with the exception of hosing it down with WD-40 after each range trip. Why not get yourself something that has a reputation for reliability, and then see how long you can go before it stops working? Then you can not clean it with the guilt-free excuse: "Its for science". ;)

11/15/2007 2:55 PM  

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