… the first thing you should after getting it home is to field strip, clean and lubricate it.
A few reasons:
1. You want to verify that it’s in good condition. As with any factory produced good, sometimes lemons slip out the door. And with used guns, you want to be sure that there aren’t any hidden signs of neglect or abuse.
2. New guns are frequently shipped not with lubricant but with a long-term corrosion inhibitor. For example, the blued Ruger P-90 which I used to own came from the factory slathered in an anti-corrosion grease, which was rather sticky. Others are shipped bone dry, e.g., the stainless Ruger SP-101 which I bought last week.
3. Used guns are frequently filthy with powder and metal fouling and congealed lubricant. For example, this year I bought myself a birthday present in the form of a WW2 vintage S&W Victory Model revolver. This is what it looked like inside before I cleaned it:
After a proper clean and lube the action works very smoothly. Prior to doing so, it could be charitably described as “gooey.”
4. By field stripping, cleaning and lubing a gun that’s new to you, you’ll gain familiarity with the mechanism, which will help you troubleshoot if you run into problems.
If you buy a new gun you should get a owner’s manual with it, detailing proper care. If not, locate the maker on the web and either call them for a manual (most will mail you one for free) or download a manual.
Manuals are also available from some other sites. For example, Steve’s Pages is a treasure trove of shooting related information, including a large collection of owner’s manuals in PDF format. I’ve also seen owner’s manuals on Scribd.
So, before you take a new gun to the range, take some time to learn how to properly maintain it. Doing so will help ensure that it works when you need it.