Saturday, January 16, 2016

Firearms Lint Buildup - Tis The Season

Do you pocket carry a personal protection handgun? I usually do not, in fact I normally advise against it. There are just too many things that can go wrong while carrying in a pocket that I prefer to stick with carrying in a strong side hip holster. Yet, there are times when I do not have a choice and if I want to carry it has to be in my pocket. Lately, I have found myself in this situation more often than I like.

One of the things I don't like about pocket carry, especially in cooler sweater wearing weather, is the potential for lint to build up in your pocket and to accumulate in the workings of your firearm carried in that pocket. It simply amazes me how much lint can and does sometimes build up within a few days to a week - certainly more than enough to cause a partial or full barrel obstruction or to pack in behind the trigger or in some other mechanism of your pistol.

With that in mind, if you pocket carry, I recommend checking your pistol for accumulated lint at least every few days. I also recommend checking your pocket for lint (remember lint can build up in your pockets not only from sweaters worn in cold months but also from your clothes dryer) on a daily basis and that includes a check of the pocket in which you are going to carry before you put the pistol into it the first time.

If you don't think lint could be a problem, just take a look at these lint magnets that I found in an online image search:


You may want to make sure your gun is lint free even if you holster carry because lint also can build up in a holstered gun. The sweaters, fleeces, lined jackets we wear in the colder months all contribute to this potential gun failure causing problem. Another thing to be careful to avoid is over lubrication of your firearms. Oil is great at catching and holding onto lint, thus gumming up the works.

A can of compressed air, like you use on a computer to clean it, can help get the lint out of the internal workings of a firearm (if the gun is over-oiled the compressed will not work sa well). Compressed air cleanings are not enough though and I recommend at least weekly regular checks for lint, a good thorough cleaning of each firearm at least monthly, and a detail strip at least once each cold season. That is the minimum I suggest for keeping your guns lint free although you can, and in some cases definitely should, check for lint on a more frequent basis depending on your circumstances. That will all go a long way to prevent any lint related failures in your firearms.

All the best,
Glenn B

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