Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pocket Lint

So MBtGE reports from a range trip...

He pocket carries a Kel Tec .380. When he pocket carries. And he's been carrying it about a bit more than usual the past 6 months. He's done nothing with it besides carry it. No cleaning, no care.

He carries it in Condition 3, since it is loose in his pocket and has no safety catch, so the DA trigger doesn't go off in some extreme pants conditions. It's not ideal for defense, but better than nothing. So, in an emergency, he has to rack the slide to fire. In other words, fully loaded magazine, no round chambered, 'hammer' down (this third item is irrelevant with this model).

He simulated this at the range. Took it out of his pocket, racked it, and took aim. Click.

There was enough lint and debris to keep the round from going fully into battery. The slide had to be pushed to fully seat the cartridge. Then it fired normally. Subsequent rounds also cycled and fired normally.

But, in an emergency, you want that first round to kinda, ya know, work.

Someone, I forget who, suggested a change of the First Rule: All Guns Are Always Loaded. This change is: Know The Condition Of Your Weapon At All Times. Of course you would know if it was loaded or not if knew the condition at all time. You would also know where it was. ( and who last had it if not you and you no longer are in control of it). If it was ready to fire. If the safety was engaged at that time. How many rounds it had left in it. If it was properly lubricated. If parts were worn and how critical that was. And if it might be gummed up with debris. If you carry a gun, inspect it regularly under controlled conditions.

Or not.

But it is a good data point to think about if you pocket carry a semi-auto. Keep on that gun to ensure reliable function. The time to figure out you have to blow on it and jiggle the slide a little bit because of pocket crumbs is NOT when you need it.

{oh and Clark Bros has that S&W 640 I want for $719. Probably has a trigger lock...}


Anonymous said...

Might be worthwhile to consider a pocket holster too (e.g. Desantis Nemesis). That could help guard the trigger from things getting in it, plus it can help reduce pocket lint and other assorted crud from getting into it.

Anonymous said...

With a halfway decent pocket holster, you don't have to carry in "condition 3". Frankly, with the long trigger pull on the P3AT I don't see a need to carry in any condition but "phasers set to kill" (well, it is a .380 so... Set to "vigorously annoy") unless you have the habit of putting other stuff in your gun pocket.

And yes, the life of a pocket gun is a hard one. But a monthly check and blow out/cleaning takes two minutes and needs to be done on semis as will as wheel-guns. I know my P3AT gets a fudge ton of lint and crud even while sitting in a fairly enclosed holster.

Jay G said...

I've noticed with my P3AT that I often have to "help" it go into battery on the first round.

It's a $250 pistol. Compromises are made.

Have him spend the $20 on a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster and carry it loaded. Problem solved...

Crucis said...

I tried the Desantis holster for my J-frame and found that it wouldn't stay in my pocket when I drew. The Bianchi pocket holster, very similar to the Desantis, stays in my pocket.

I've never carried a semi-auto as a pocket holster but the issues shouldn't be much different from a wheelgun.