In the past, I have written a few different articles about how to maintain your firearm as well as your equipment. I have been traveling around various states these last few weeks and have been carrying in the South Carolina heat. During my time down there, I realized just how much you can sweat when the summer heat is in full effect. This amount of heat can cause you to sweat an impressive amount which ultimately finds its way into your holster and onto your gun. Over time, the sweat will find any piece of uncoated metal as well as start to work the coating away. It’s important to maintain your summer carry gun so let’s take a look at a few different options to consider.
A Regular Cleaning Schedule
Probably the number one way to effectively keep your guns and gear in the best shape possible. In past articles, I have talked about how important it is to schedule cleanings for your firearm on a regular basis. Oftentimes, I say every 2-3 months is a good idea just to get all the lint and debris out of the gun to ensure it stays nice and clean. For the hotter summer months though, I would say you need to considerably shorten that cleaning schedule. Depending on how hot and humid is your area, it may not be a bad idea to clean your firearm every 3-4 weeks to ensure it’s properly oiled and free of surface rust.
Now, this doesn’t have to be a full breakdown and disassembly to clean the handgun even though that’s never a bad option. This quick cleaning of the outside is rather simple and painless but does wonders to keep your finish clean over time. Certain firearms will come standard with better coatings than others. If any of you have owned a Remington 870, you know exactly what it’s like to have an awful finish on your firearm. The newest generation of Glock is a great example of a tough finish that doesn’t show signs of wear even after those long hot days. Doing some research on finishes before purchasing can make a big difference if you live in the southern states of the US. If you have a badly worn slide, there are tons of aftermarket shops that specialize in Cerkaote and DLC finishes.
Places To Look For Surface Rust
One of the most common spots I have seen little pockets of surface rust pop up would be around the front and rear sights. These areas will typically get glossed over with oil since they sometimes aren’t always the most obvious place to check for surface rust or debris. Certain firearms like Glock won’t have this issue as quickly since they come standard with the polymer sights but it’s still important to check around the sight cuts in the slide to keep it clean. This is typically not an issue for newer firearms, but over time with wear the finish becomes less consistent which weakens its overall protection. I have had a few different handguns which started to develop surface rust over time on the sights because it’s a high spot that receives more wear than other sections of the firearm.
Just like sights, firearm controls can be another high area where there can potentially be a higher rate of wear than other parts of the firearm. My SIG P226 is a great example of what years’ worth of carrying will do to the higher portions of firearms. This extended wear and tear is exactly what you need to look for when checking for surface rust or any type of decay. It’s a natural cycle of wearing handguns over time and dealing with the result of using your firearms.
Maintaining your carry handgun will treat you well if you look for high-risk spots and regularly maintain your firearm. One spot that surprised me with surface rust one time is the backside of the trigger. The back section of the trigger can be ignored fairly easily but can develop some amount of surface rust so it’s always important to double check your rear trigger area as well.
Cleaning your carry handgun can seem like a burden and is frankly very easy to completely forget about. Despite being easy to ignore and not create a consistent schedule, it’s important to try and maintain your firearm on a regular basis especially during the summer months. At a minimum, you should be cleaning and lubricating your handgun every 2-3 months. In the hotter summer months, It’s important to clean the outside of your firearm at least once a month if not more depending on your weather and temperature.
Let me know what you guys do to maintain your carry firearms and what your schedule typically looks like. Is it after every time you shoot or is it after a specific amount of time? Be sure to leave your method of maintaining your firearm in the comments below. If you have questions about carrying concealed or just firearm-related questions in general, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeperator. Stay safe out there.