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S.P. Fjestad's Lethal Blogging
  S.P. Fjestad is the author of the Blue Book of Gun Values, and has been following the firearms marketplace for nearly 30 years. Fjestad is also the publisher for several other firearms-related titles and he also serves as an editor for many of them. He attends several trade shows each year including the SHOT show, NASGW show, and the Tulsa Arms Show. He also serves on the NRA publication committee and writes “What’s It Worth” in Field & Stream, and “I Have This Old Gun” in the American Rifleman magazines.

In “Lethal Blogging,” Fjestad will report on several firearm-related subjects including news from trade shows, auction results, and other interesting subjects that arise in the gun industry. Check back regularly for information that many people outside of the gun industry might never hear about!
New! June Commentary by Robert "Doc" Adelman   
Caliber of Carry, the Math by guest author Robert “Doc” Adelman   
Collecting or Accumulating by guest author Robert “Doc” Adelman   
Blue Book of Gun Values 2015 Top Ten Firearms Industry Awards - Part 1   
Blue Book of Gun Values 2015 Top Ten Firearms Industry Awards - Part 2   

New! June Commentary by Robert "Doc" Adelman
6/1/2015

The Summer months, after power washing the deck, it's the time we finally get out the iron and head to the range. If you were shooting in the cold weather through the Winter, it would now be a good time to consider carefully examining your lubrication of your guns. Different operational temperatures force a consideration of viscosity- the thickness and "clinginess" of your choice of lubricants should change in the heat of the day.

I am not going to tell anyone what brand of lube they should use, as specifics of this nature are as personally held as Ford or Chevy, Coke or Pepsi, that kind of thing. Often our currently used oils are dictated by "what Dad used", but there have been a number of distinct improvements in firearm oils over the years, and I'll leave that to your research or the advice of "experts" (who, be warned, might be selling something).

An old time, real-deal 1911 guy gave me a small bottle he made-up of STP. "Just a little bit on the rails", he said. If you're shooting the snot out of your steel 1911, this little spot of STP makes a lot of sense... during the heat of the Summer at IPSC. Would I CCW a 1911 with STP on the rails? No, but then again, I'm too old to be carrying a 2.7 pound gun on my hip. But he enforced another critical detail. You carry gun requires constant scheduled maintenance.

If you are curious as to what to consider, I use Birchwood Casey Barricade™ (formerly called "Sheath") for guns used often. I have seen excellent results with the new diamond Nano-Lube products on internals of the AR like the Bolt Carrier systems. Most shooters have their favorites, those are mine. I have a few guns sitting in an office at 10°N latitude, and with guidance of local experts, I store them using refined coconut oil. Go figure, it works.

Longer term storage, those "safe queens"? I really like a heavy slather of Break Free, but even cheaper than that is USGI "LSA" which is available by the 8 oz. bottle to a 5 gallon pail. The biggest consideration in long term storage is the character of the "gun rug" that you use. I avoid anything with foam padding (it deteriorates, holds moisture and more), stay with synthetic pouches made of ballistic nylon. (Mallwart sells such zippered bags very cheaply during the Back-to-School sale, they cal them notebook pencil pouches) The guns are sitting quietly in a safe, they didn't need padding anyway. Pelican cases and other post-nuclear holocaust style containers are best left for transporting- not storage- that foam is not your friend.

On chromemoly barreled guns in long term storage, I leave a synthetic fiber piece of cordage in the barrel and chamber, soaked in oil. Get the right diameter from the rope rack at local feed store. (Check the candy and nuts aisle while you're at it) If your a scattergun guy, have you ever consider the Tico Tool? Quick and simple, and it gets you all the post-shoot bore cleaning needed.

If you're really serious, get that brown paper stuff (Gunwrap ®) like you find in S&W blued pistols of yore. When you're putting way your toys, consider wearing lube soaked cotton gloves (keep 'em in a ziplock) so you leave no chance of corrosive fingerprints while you're "on your way out". I found great use in this method back in the day when we were dragging 60 pistols to gun shows every weekend. Fast and easy.

All the aforementioned potions and accessories are available at Brownells, but likely not at your local gun shop. They often merely sell a "package" of display rack products provided by distributors. Some old-time guys will stock their favorite 'Love Potion #9' and probably have great and well advised experience in their recommendations.

On guns with wooden grips, most experts recommend removing the grips for long-term, wrapping them in sandwich baggies, then rubber banding them together to avoid warping. Some folks use slim aluminum plates between the halves, but still isolated from the wood grips by the plastic baggie. This grip removal also makes periodic frame lubrication much simpler- so many collectibles are spoiled from getting a 100% grade when grips are removed and rust is found. This is unfortunately common in blued high-end collectible firearms.<

The Summer months also present natural atmospheric conditions that combine with our air conditioned homes. There's a lot of gun safes in basements and this can be really problematic. Fluctuations in temperature create humidity and this is not what you want. Warm and dry is the mantra. Those little heater bars in your safe are smart, a 4o watt light bulb will also work well. If you're buying a safe, route that extension cord in advance of installation and while you're at it, lift the safe off the floor and isolate it from the concrete with simple plastic Visquine sheeting or Corroplast.

This is a great time of year to get into that safe and re-lubricate your heap of steel. Be proactive.

No matter how you decide to carry your gat during the summer months, no matter if you ordered your $137 custom Kydex holster with a "sweat shied", this tool is going to be exposed to your body sweat as well as atmospheric humidity. (possibly also a taste of your little Punkin's blue raspberry Squishy from the local Stop-n-Rob) Schedule a regular strip-down and lubrication of your carry gun. I go through mine every weekend... it's amazing how much lint enters the interior of a firearm. (consider your navel)

Don't neglect the magazine or the cartridges. The mag can be a huge collector of dust and lint. Lubricating the contact points of the follower to the mag wall is well advised. I squirt a drop of oil on my hands and roll the cartridges around as I reload them in my carry gun. I have seen many "failure to feed" guns that had cartridges that were 'green in the magazine' replete with fingerprints etched into the casings.

We have often heard admonitions in regards to "use oil sparingly", and there's a lot to consider there as it, in and of itself attracts dirt, but in a lifetime of shooting, I've seen way more critical failures caused by dry metal.

Stay oily, my friends.

Doc.

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