Author Topic: "Extended Carry" test  (Read 2662 times)

Offline FJC

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"Extended Carry" test
« on: December 22, 2004, 06:55:18 PM »
Ok, not a scientific test, but a little test that increased my confidence in my R9s, nonetheless...

On November 10th, I loaded my R9s with 7 rounds of Speer Gold Dot 115gr.  I also loaded a spare magazine with six rounds of the same ammo.  I've since carried it on a daily basis, with only a few days where it didn't leave my safe.  On the days carried it was in a pocket holster, and often went from holster to glove box, where it spent hours and hours in sub-freezing temperatures.

I never unloaded it.  I never wiped it down or blew out any pocket lint or dust.  I never even ejected the magazine.

Today, after hours in the cold, I popped it into my pocket and drove 20 minutes or so to the indoor range.  I set a target at 7 yards, and rapid-fired (well, sorta - fastest that my range allows) all 7 rounds into the center with no failures of any kind.  Now, certainly it should perform like this, but I have other small pistols that have failed this test - many seem to run into issues if a round is kept chambered for more than two weeks or so.  In such cases the first round will fire, but fail to fully eject, as if it were somewhat stuck in the chamber.  I've run into this issue with my Kel-Tec P-3AT (when I carried that pistol, I got into the habit of being sure to cycle the round out of the chamber every Sunday evening, which resolved the issue for me - these were the only failures I ever had with this pistol, by the way).

I then ejected the magazine and inserted the second one, which had spent the entire time in my glove box.  Those six rounds fired flawlessly as well.

As I said, by no means is this some sort of special conclusive test - but it means something to me that this pistol can be carried for over a month without any special babying and still reliably fire all the rounds carried (and those in a spare magazine) without failure.

--Frank C. (FJC)

Offline TW

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"Extended Carry" test
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2004, 12:20:09 AM »
>>That's a good idea.  My R9 has likewised been treated as yours.  Think I'll give it a "test run" next time I'm at the range...will report back when I do...TW<<

Offline chameleon

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Re: "Extended Carry" test
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2004, 07:35:28 AM »
A test none the less.
I too make a conscious effort to clean my guns that sit in my pocket for extended time. I feel it is important.
I also cycle the ammo,and magazines.
Your thinking, and proceedures I would tend to agree with.
Yes, this is done to my small pocket pistols, not so much the Kimber or the Sig.

Offline BillinPittsburgh

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Re: "Extended Carry" test
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2004, 11:39:46 AM »
Hi FJC,

At the risk of hijacking the thread, I have to say that I'd be very concerned about any pistol that can't pass this test, and would like to ask you for more details about your P3AT and any other pistol with which you have experienced a problem.

What kind of ammo were you using?  

Did you have any problems before carrying it for 2 weeks?  

How often do you clean the lint out of the hammer and firing pin area?

What kind of lubricant are you using, where are you putting it, and how much are you using?

What is your general cleaning procedure?

Did your pistol potentially get wet, possibly by your getting caught in the rain?

Did you attempt a second hammer strike on any of the failures to fire?

I am 100% certain that any ammo I have used in my P-32 would pass the test, but I find that lint has to be cleaned out of the hammer/firing pin area weekly.  That part of the gun seems to be perfectly designed to attract and collect lint.

I recently had a problem with my North American Arms Guardian .380, where 1-year old ammo failed to fire ont eh first primer strike a little more than 50% of the time.  All rounds fired on the second pull of the trigger, and the same ammo functioned perfectly when first purchased.  I have had action work done on the gun, but the ammo was still 100% reliable after the action work, which did not involve cutting any springs.  The gun has been sent back to the manufacturer for installation of a heavier hammer spring.

I am now a believer in cycling ammo every 6 months, but 2 weeks?!  This issue has to be explored further.

Getting back to the original topic, the freezing temperatures were also a reasonably good test of whatever lubricant you are using.  Are you using the Superlube that most here seem to like, or something else?
Gentleness can only be expected from the strong.  Ancient Chinese proverb.

Offline FJC

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Re: "Extended Carry" test
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2004, 12:10:31 PM »
Just to be clear, the problems I've encountered (both with a P-3AT and in the past - once - with a Colt Pony) have NOT been failures to fire - they've been extraction/ejection problems.    The one time I experienced it with the Pony, it was with a Winchester Silvertip.  The round fired, but the expended case failed to extract, and was left in the chamber.   The next round from the mag was jammed up against it.

As for the P-3AT, I've had this happen on two occassions.  In both cases the pistol had been loaded for at least 3-4 weeks without cycling (and by cycling, I don't mean complete replacement of the ammo - I just mean the chambered round being removed and replaced).  Both times the round in the chamber fired fine, but the empty case failed to be fully extracted/ejected, and ended up jamming the pistol, sitting within the ejection port horizontally (as it were extracted, but not forcefully enough to fully eject it).

In neither case had the pistol gotten wet - and both happened during the summer, so cold wasn't an issue.

These are the ONLY two failures I ever had with that pistol, and I never had them again once I started ejecting/chambering a new round on a weekly basis.  

It could be any number of things - the round could be somehow corroding and "sticking" to the chamber walls.  I suspected something like this, as my carry round in the P-3AT is Fiocchi FMJ, which has a brass case (not nickled).  However, the failed rounds didn't look tarnished or corroded in any way.

It could be that after sitting for a period of time, the lube was congealing and making the slide move slower on the first round, and that "exercising" it weekly resolved it.  I find that unlikely, though, as I don't tend to overlube, and on the P-3AT I used only FP-10 oil.  Slide action seemed very smooth.

Pocket lint has not been much of an issue - I blow the pistols off and find very little.  Note that it's not my practice to carry a pistol for months at a time without preventative maintenance - but I did want to run this test to make sure if I did go a few weeks without babying it, that it would still be something I could rely on.

Just to be clear - I'm not slamming the P-3AT in any way.  With proper treatment, I trust it will fire every time I need it to.  I've replaced it with an R9s because I like the higher quality (which of course the R9 has, with its significantly higher price) and the more powerful caliber.  

« Last Edit: December 23, 2004, 12:17:37 PM by FJC »
--Frank C. (FJC)

Offline BillinPittsburgh

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Re: "Extended Carry" test
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2004, 12:38:36 PM »
Thanks for the added information, FJC.

I understand the problems you are having - different from the one I had, but with potentially related causes.  I also didn't interpret your post as slamming anything, nor do I have any interest in defending the P3AT if you had in fact slammed it.

I also doubt you did anything wrong.  I've extensively maintained my own guns only to have things happen that end up being a lesson for me regarding something else I should have checked.

I just think the problems you had are a cause for concern and hoped to identify the cause.

Corrosion to the point that function of the gun is impaired will take years under ordinary conditions.  Minor discoloration of the cases is not much cause for concern.

The two problems I have read about with lubricants are freezing in cold weather and collecting sand in places like Iraq.

It really looks to me like something happened to the ammo.  Maybe it was before you purchased it - I recently purchased a box of .32 ammo and, upon getting the ammo home, I noticed that at some point the box had gotten wet and the ammo cases were discolored.  Whatever it is, your ammo wasn't lasting anything near as long as it should have in the gun, and that causes me concern.
Gentleness can only be expected from the strong.  Ancient Chinese proverb.

Offline R9SCarry

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Re: "Extended Carry" test
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2004, 06:56:09 PM »
Useful test Frank.... even if relatively simple in nature.  Good to hear.
Chris - R9S
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