Friday, April 08, 2011

Common sense gun maintenance

If you store your firearms and an emergency on-hand cache of ammo in a gun safe, remember that the material used in the fireproofing holds a small amount of moisture and is also slightly corrosive. You need to do two things on a regular basis. Open that motherfucker up whenever possible and let it air out and keep something inside to absorb that moisture whether it be a plug in module or good ol' silica.
Myself, I keep my safe open whenever I'm home. I always keep a pistol handy but my shorty and my 308 stay in the safe during the day - the shorty goes to bed with me along with my dog and an LED flashlight.
But I'm getting off subject here.
What I use is a mini-dehumidifier (Model 365) made by Remington and I believe it ran me about 35 bucks at my local gunshop. It measures about 6"x6"x1" and has silica beads that change color when they've absorbed moisture. When they turn pussy pink, I plug the unit into a socket for about 12 hours and it dries them out and back into the safe it goes.
Okay. Just because I have that in there doesn't mean that I forget about checking for corrosion on guns (I bet Derek cringes every time I refer to a firearm as a gun) that I don't handle regularly. At least once a month, haul the motherfuckers out, inspect them inside and out under a bright light and maintain them. If you start to see signs of corrosion, knock that shit off with some ultra fine steel wool, give the weapons a good cleaning and oil them down. More about oiling them in a bit.
If you've got gun wrap on your hunting/tactical weapons to camouflage them or to provide a sure grip, unwrap them and check them. That shit will hold moisture and fuck up that barrel and receiver for sure. Wrap only costs about 12 bucks a roll, figure that into your monthly budget. You should be changing that anytime the seasons or your shooting location changes anyways.
As a side note, I know a guy that went bear hunting up in Alaska and he got rained on every fucking day. On the advice of his guide he wrapped the gun, then sprayed the wrap with WD-40. When he got home 2 weeks later he unwrapped it and there wasn't a speck of rust on it.
Personally, I wouldn't do that because of the odor, but that's just me. If you've read my coyote hunting posts you know how I am about wind and scent.

Ammo - keep your home cache in ziplocks or food-saver bags. I keep my reloaded hunting ammo in bags of 12 and grab-and-run shit in bags of 50. If you reload you need to take an extra step and I'll explain why and then give you a solution.
Every time you punch those primers out you enlarge that primer hole just a bit. What you should do to keep moisture from seeping in and killing the primer is to take some of your sweeties' clear nail polish and carefully apply a very thin coat around the edges of your primer. Do not - I repeat - do not cover your primer with it as this may cause a misfire when your firing pin fails to penetrate the polish and bounces off your primer.
Rotate your home-cache ammo occasionally just to be safe.

Now let's talk about your automatic handgun.
Field strip that motherfucker down at least once a week and clean it. Even if you haven't shot it, at least take it down and inspect it, wipe it down and re-oil it. I carry a Colt Officers' Model in 45 ACP (God Bless John Moses Browning) and my weekly routine is to strip it, wipe it down and lightly oil it. I apply a film of oil and gently wipe it off. Before I reassemble it, I put one drop of oil on each rail on the frame, then I put it back together and cycle the slide a half dozen times. Then I strip the slide off again, wipe the oil off and put 'er back together. I don't want too much fucking oil on my weapon because I live in a dusty climate and oil attracts dust which gums the fuck out of it. One of the main reasons for Colts jamming (in my experience) is lack of lubrication. The friction causes the metal to gall and that causes burrs and slows down the action. Lube your fucking slide, folks. An added benefit is that after thousands of rounds, you'll still have a tight frame-slide mate. Yes, you can wear out an automatic..... Lubrication slows that down.
Okay. Every 500 hundred rounds, strip your auto down as far as you can and inspect every fucking piece of it. Seriously, I take my Colt down completely - trigger assembly included - and check everything, paying particular attention to the firing pin, sear, disconnector and recoil spring plug. And yeah, I use a magnifying glass when I do it. I do not want a cracked firing pin in my lifesaver, nor do I want my plug to give way and cause my springs to go flying downrange.
Thoroughly clean every part. Apply a light film of oil to every thing except the mating surfaces of your sear and disconnector.
This is a labor of love, godammit, and it may save your fucking life. Not only that, but it will make you understand your weapon so much better.
Replace all your springs occasionally. They do fatigue. If you have a Chinese made weapon or magazine, replace the springs immediately. The quality of Chinese steel is outragiously good but their springs fucking suck.
And speaking of springs and magazines, how many of you maintain your weapons but ignore your magazines? An automatic handgun ain't worth a fuck if it fails to feed because of a broken magazine spring that you failed to notice, right?
When you clean your weapon, unload your magazine and disassemble it. Depress your follower, stick a nail through one of the holes in your magazine, shake the follower out being very careful with it, and pull the nail out. Then snatch the spring off of the floor before your dog grabs the motherfucker and runs off with it.
Clean it with solvent, give it a light coat of oil and reassemble it. Inspect your ammo, wipe it off with a clean, dry rag (no oil) and reload it.
Go down and buy a couple of extra magazines. When you change your fire alarm batteries and reset your clocks, change your magazines out. Give the motherfuckers a break and they'll last you a lifetime and you can always depend on them.
Okay. Hope this helps.
Fuck Obama.


drjim said...

Good advice!
The last time my son and I went out, I took the wife's S&W TRR8 357 Mag with us, as he'd never shot it. The next day when I was cleaning it, I noticed some little specks of RUST on the trigger and hammer.
I fucking FREAKED!
I was always taught rust was a sign of neglect, and I used to consider myself a pretty good "Keeper of The Shootin' Irons".
Now I inspect ALL my guns monthly, including any I've recently been to range with and cleaned. Even though I already cleaned them I *might* have missed something.
And the loudest thing you'll ever her is a "click" instead of a "BANG"!
And it might be the LAST thing you hear.

wirecutter said...

Hey, it was your post a couple of weeks back concerning your rust that inspired the beginning of this post. I just started rambling from there.
Thanks, Brother.

Just John said...

Can't echo this enough. I'm in charge of an armory in my current job, and you wouldn't believe the sludge that builds up in the most obscure places on every piece in the joint.

Clean, clean, and then clean some more.

I only cringe a little bit when I think about my guns in storage in The States. I coated them well with CLP, but they're probably begging for a good scrubbing. You can never clean too much, but you have to remember to lubricate as well...Does that sound nasty or what?

wirecutter said...

Gun Menopause?
That seems to be the story of my life regarding lack of lubrication.....
Hey, you brought it up.

Anonymous said...

A little note on springs....

1911 recoil springs are generally good for 1k rounds.

Mag springs and main springs should be replaced annually. Use wolff springs.

Use the correct lb rating for your springs.

Keep a new recoil, firing pin and mag spring on hand. Compare against used springs for length. If the used are shorter - replace them.

Unless you are VERY familiar with tweaking 1911s - leave the sear (flat) spring alone.

I generally get about 70,000 rds out of my 1911 top ends before its time to rebuild.

Rule #1: Don't buy junk. Go to Brownell's.

enimensgurl said...

Fukkin Bullshit!~!~! The most common cause for failures in combat armament is-OVERCLEANING!!!The military doesn't SHOOT weapons into disrepair, they CLEAN them into disrepair!!!! Parkerization, phosphate coating,etc scrubbed off to get that "INSPECTION" look from NCO's that don't have a clue what they are actually doing to weapons. The best bet is to keep your DICKSKINNERS Away from total disassembly, just use solvent and then oil.

wirecutter said...

So you didn't notice that I said "Even if you haven't shot it, at least take it down and inspect it, wipe it down and re-oil it."

And I also said "Use ultra fine steel wool" to knock the rust off. I never even mentioned scrubbing anywhere in that post.

Sorry, but I've got over 10,000 rounds through my Colt and I'm pretty sure I know what I'm talking about.
Crud, dust and dog hair does get into places that field stripping doesn't see.

I stand by my post.

wirecutter said...

Anon, thanks for the add-on. I do have spare springs and pins on hand and all my gun parts come from or Kings' Gun Works via Brownells.

drjim said...

I don't use steel wool much anymore. Those little whiskers that break off will get into places that you don't want, and will rust really fast because they're so tiny.
I use ScotchBrite now days.

Anonymous said...

enimen - you are an idiot. The thickness of phosphate is insignificant to the operation of a firearm. All military firearms are built purposefully with generous tolerances. They are not bench rest guns. Wearing off a half a thou of plating is meaningless. The parts which contact each other do that almost immediately any way. I wonder, do you think the appearance of the outside of a receiver, barrel, or magazine has any relevance to function?

Whether it is there or it is not - it is not going to cause a malfunction.

'Parkerization, phosphate coating,etc'

You dumb fuck, parking and phosphate are the same process - the same thing.

As a military weapons parts inspector, I feel I have just a bit of knowledge on the subject.

You, obviously have none. Stick to impressing the little girls at the mall. You are in over your head.

I guess you never heard the old adage: "tis better for one to think you are a douchebag than to open your mouth and confirm it.

You, my friend, sound like a loser the armed forces have shit out and have an ax to grind with men better than yourself.

Just sayin.

wirecutter said...

Damn, that was brutal.

Anonymous said...

True, but sometimes you have to club them like baby seals.

These are the progeny of the MTV generation. May God have mercy on us all.

dhanna59 said...

Geez, from all that traffic,, it sounds like a frustrated Small Arms Repair instructor from ABERDEEN PROVING GROUNDS, MD who never got to deploy but was the first one to buy out of pocket the digital ACU. Anonymous just freaked and showed his ass. Needless disassembly to get CRUD out of the CORNERS is stupid and reduces tolerance guides. Hey ANONYMOUS, you so frikkin smart on weapons whyn don't you work for RED JACKET?

wirecutter said...

Now now, boys and girls, play nice.
No more comments needed on this post, please. Everybody got their point across.

Anonymous said...

Have carried a revolver in an ankle holster. That is a DIRTY way to carry a weapon.
Took my revolver to the range and it would NOT fire. Sock lint and other crud had fouled the sear & firing pin.
Range let me use their sonic cleaner on the revolver. I have to clean it at least twice a week when carrying it.
My 1911 (face Ogden and bow) rides in a belt holster and doesn't get cleaned but every week or two.

ENIMEMEN said...

Hey ANONYMOUS, I bet you carried your little penis in a holster too! And you got fuzzy-wuzzy's on it. Did you roll 'em around into a little ball, then eat 'em? You SNARK little shit, publish your name and I will come and finish your Oxygen theft once and for all. Or, ordinary people will just ignore you....Or club you like retarded kid....