Care Of Duty Handguns Carried Openly In Bad Weather


January 3, 2003, 10:58 AM
I imagine that uniformed LEOs get their duty handguns rained on and snowed on frequently, and don't have an opportunity to do anything about it until the end of their shifts. How are they instructed to maintain their weapons with respect to bad weather? For that matter, how about the armed forces in the field?


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Mike Irwin
January 3, 2003, 11:29 AM
US Park Police are essentially told to dry them off and clean them regularly.

But I don't think they have a formal manual of arms for dealing with inclement weather.

January 3, 2003, 01:58 PM
Duty weapons, like any other firearms, should be maintained regularly. Although I was not a Jarhead they have a saying, "Dress Blues and Tennis shoes and a thin coat of oil."

January 3, 2003, 02:01 PM
I've seen some of the DC Metro officers' glocks just full of lint, dust, and other crap in the open place next to the magazine. I hope the rest of the handgun is in better condition.

And the revolvers the armored car guys wear, I could swear some are rusted.

January 3, 2003, 02:40 PM
I would imagine that a regular coat of Gun Sheath or similar would do very well against the elements but it has to be taken care of.


January 3, 2003, 03:09 PM
Several months after Hurrican Floyd one of New Yorks Finest went to range to qualify. The Glock he was carryin gwould not function and his holster had green mold in it. Every LEO should take care of the tools of his trade because if he needs it it must be there and in working order.

Honestly, A lot of LEOS don't take care of their sidearms.:(

Shawn Dodson
January 3, 2003, 03:44 PM
I patrolled in Bremerton, WA, which sees its share of rain.

I wore a Blauer jacket, which had a slit in the side to go around my gun and holster, keeping it readily available, but also exposed to the elements.

As a reserve officer, I routinely got assigned traffic control around accidents, many of which occurred in the driving rain. Hence my duty weapon, a Beretta 96FS, would get more soaked than me. I'd trained and qualified several times in driving rain, so I knew my gun being soaking wet didn't affect its performance.

I didn't do anything about it while on duty, as chances were it would just get soaked again. But when I got home I'd field strip it, dry as much of it as I could with paper towels, and then use a blow dryer set on its highest setting to evaporate the remaining water I couldn't reach. Usually this didn't take long. I'd let it sit out in the open for several hours before inspecting it and lubing it, if necessary. Then I'd re-assemble it and put it away.

I never had a problem with that gun. I went boom everytime I pressed the trigger.

January 3, 2003, 04:57 PM
Path, you should have seen what got into the closed bottom Jay Pee holsters for the revolvers!:cuss:

My Model 10 took a beating in Coney Island one summer. I cleaned it, used fine grit sandpaper (very lightly) to remove the rust on the backstrap and oiled it. The gun ain`t pretty but it`s been places. :cool:

January 3, 2003, 05:31 PM
LEOs are just like the gereral population, there are those that take care of their equipment and those who dont. Urban born and reared LEOs generally enter their occupation with zero nowledge of firearms use or maintainance. (Not their fault, just a fact of city life) Rural Leos usually have been raised with and instructed in the care of firearms from childhood.

Most of the Troopers I worked with cleaned their weapons weekly or more often in inclement weather. (Rural Troop) There were always the exceptions who cleaned their guns yearly at Qualification time. Some of the older troopers had ammo that had been exposed to the elements so often during the past year that it had turned green and had to be tapped out of the cylinders of their revolvers. ( semi autos have since become the norm)
They just had no interest in firearms and considered their gun just another piece of equipment like their cuffs or nightstick.

Thankfully, none of them ever had to depend on their guns in a life or death situation. ASAIK

January 3, 2003, 05:51 PM
While it saddens me to say this, it's the truth. A lot of police officers don't know, and some don't even want to know, anything about the firearms they carry. Not all of us, but enough to woory me.

A lot of folks think because an officer carries a gun all day that they, somehow, know more about them than everyone else. Not so. Many of the officers at my dept understand and shoot their firearms quite well. Others just don't care. Seems to be split down the middle.

A lot of new officers seem to have fallen in with the anti crowd. They carry their gun because they have to, not because they see it as a tool that mat be used to save their or someone else's life. A couple have even said they would never use their weapon for any reason. Current laws have made it near impossible to replace these people. These are usualy the same officers that see there job as being a "soical worker" rather than a law enforcement officer.

I can't tell you how many officers I've seen that had to be "pen" qualified on the range (taking a pen and punching holes in their targets). Some are done this way because they are to weak to properly handle a gun and some because they are to afraid of the gun to use it properly. No one, except the officers who have to work with them, seems to care. Admin wants officers who have a degree, believe all problems can be solved by a "program", think all problems are because the "poor people" aren't understood, and think that enforcing the law in certain parts of town is "oppression". These officers usually work their way up the chain faster than others. IMO, they are also responsible, due to their policies, for as many officer injuries and deaths as are the "bad guys".

I guess this is just the long way around to what I'm saying. But amny officers, even though they carry guns, don't know much about them. Luckly, some of us do.

January 3, 2003, 06:00 PM
Here, general rule:
Contract Security and Armored Car guards are required to inspect and maintain each 24 hrs( after duty/before reporting in-also a checklist of what to check)
In bad climate "take best precaution(s) to protect best can).
Each 6 month revolvers are to be checked by competent gunsmith (read: not owner) -Nelps cause problems. Weapons to be inspected upon any sign of problem.

January 3, 2003, 06:01 PM
"For that matter, how about the armed forces in the field?"
50% security in each fighting position. One watches while another field strips and cleans his weapon. Never more than one crew-served weapon down at a time. At least a daily chore, sometimes more.

Dan Shapiro
January 3, 2003, 06:15 PM

My father works for one of those departments. He says the new guys that come out of the Marines are good, but a lot of "kids" are coming straight out of college with a criminal justice degree w/o any firearm experience outside of the academy. He calls them "problem children." They couldn't qualify if their life depended on it, and in a big way, it does.

One story I love was when one of the "problem children" shot up all of his practice ammo and proceeded to shoot his carry ammo down range. He then goes to the armorer and ask for new carry ammo. Well...he's told, it not so polite terms, that he needs to go to the local gun shop and buy it. (he was off duty at the time) At the next weapons inspection guess what ammo shows up in his gun....regular ball ammo :rolleyes:

January 3, 2003, 06:20 PM
What Irwin said. My personal habit when I was in uniform was to clean the gun ASAP.

January 3, 2003, 07:23 PM
"And the revolvers the armored car guys wear, I could swear some are rusted." Roadrunner, you don't know how true that is!

re1973, Where is that a Law? We have something similarly written in our company rule book, but there is zero enforcement. Sound policy if the boss backs it up.

What I do is simple: Wipe the gun down once a week (Smith 686). Thorough cleaning after every range session, usu once a month.

Getting rained on only cleans the gun for you; it's that lint you have to worry about.:D

PS=> That 686 is extremely reliable even when it looks horrible to the eye. I once went a year without cleaning or lubing her and she never failed to operate smoothly. Boy, did she look rough, but every round went off as it was supposed to.

PPS=> Cops, security, Armored...hands down the worst pistol shooters I have ever personally witness. Not all of them, to be sure, but you would think people who carried guns every day, to save their lives and the lives of others, would show some interest in knowing how to use them. Even if it means buying their own practice ammo.:banghead:

Chuck Perry
January 3, 2003, 10:32 PM
I wipe mine down with a rag and submerge it in a 5 gallon bucket of Ed's Red I mixed up. Swirl it around, wipe it down and ready to go back to work.

January 4, 2003, 03:39 PM
My department requires that each shift be inspected before hitting the street,if a weapon is found dirty or unsat , it requires a written reprimand,no if's and's or but's.

We carry the SIG's with their verison of the protective coating,just my thing but after the shift if its been real nasty weather I have my crew break them down and clean'en up before going home.

Kentucky Rifle
January 5, 2003, 02:46 PM
The frequent use of a "Rig-Rag" would be nice. I'm really a believer in Rig-Rags.


January 5, 2003, 02:54 PM

Dept. policy as set forth by respective Guard Co. , Contract Security.

As others have since noted, seems to be similar rules/policies are implemented.

January 6, 2003, 07:23 PM
TUFF-CLOTH! The Marine version works great and does not stain your clothes when worn IWB.

Ala Dan
January 7, 2003, 01:53 AM
Greeting's All;

I use a lot of TLC and "Break Free CLP". After
each day of riding in a leather holster, on pleasant
days I wipe the exterior of the weapon down with
an old silicone cloth with "Break Free CLP" added.

I field strip and thoroughly clean the weapon(s)
once a week; usually on my off day's. Degree of
cleaning vary's in accordance with the usage of
the weapon.

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

January 7, 2003, 09:15 PM
**edited to say that this doesn't really apply to sidearms**

FWIW... the guys I work with who served over in Saudi told me they had to clean their riflesconstantly. I guess the fine sand would get into everything... in fact, they purposely would re-assemble them almost completely lube-free so that excess sand wouldn't accumulate. Even so, they'd get cleaned in the morning, after any kind of patrol or guard duty (probably before it too) and at night.

January 7, 2003, 10:03 PM
Get a Glock and you don't have to worry. Weatherproof.

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