Written by Greg Ellifritz
Here’s the short version of the article: the environment wins.
A few years ago, I had serious stomach surgery and couldn’t carry my normal carry guns during my recovery. I had seven incisions in my belly and the biggest one was directly behind my normally appendix carry G-19. There were others that were really irritated by any type of belt. For a couple weeks, I was stuck with pocket carrying my S&W 351C revolver until I healed enough to carry a “real” gun. I had been carrying the 351 for about a week when I went to shoot it in a practice session.
The cylinder wouldn’t open.
This is a revolver. They never malfunction, right? Wrong. The cylinder wouldn’t open until I put a generous amount of oil on it.
Everything else seemed to be working fine. I removed the cylinder and found this:
The cylinder crane was completely coated with rust. That’s why the cylinder wouldn’t open up.
You see, before my surgery this gun was my “yard gun.” It’s the gun I slip into the waistband of my gym shorts when I do yard work outside. It constantly gets sweaty. I wipe down the exterior whenever I carry it, so no rust was forming anywhere I could see it. The sweat was ending up on the cylinder crane and was turning it to rust instead.
I hadn’t shot the gun for almost nine months. When yard work season was finished, I put the gun in the safe and didn’t take it out until spring.
This is what I get for not fully checking my carry guns.
It reminds me of one other time I didn’t check my gun despite being exposed to bad weather. I was hiking for a week in the desert southwest. I generally carry two guns when I’m far away from civilization. At the time I was carrying a Glock 26 and a Ruger LCP. I carried the Glock in a Wilderness Tactical Safepacker holster attached to my pack waist belt as my primary. I left my Ruger inside the tent for a week.
The week I was camping had some horrible dust storms. Since I was regularly carrying the Glock, I wiped it down on a daily basis. I never thought to check the .380 as it was safely stowed in the tent.
At the end of the week when I was packing up, this is what I found:
The light coating of oil on the gun attracted every bit of dust in the state of Nevada! There’s no way that gun would function if I had to rely on it for self defense.
Learn from my mistakes. Check out your carry guns anytime they are exposed to the sweat or bad weather. If you don’t do your part, the environment will win.