Problem with Open Carry

Someone I know carries a Vz. 52 pistol OWB.  It hangs out in the open almost all of the time.  After several days of wet weather, the pistol was rusted.  Oops.  It looked horrific (sorry – no pictures).  Rust on the barrel, between the recoil spring and barrel especially, and rust on the outside where it contacted the holster.  Even some of the cartridges had rust on them from the magazines.  After taking it down, almost to the last pin and the last screw, it cleaned up very well.  Nothing serious this time. I’m sure the piece would have functioned, though metal oxides can be extremely abrasive.  It could get really bad if left in the holster for a longer time.

Be careful out there if you OC.  My pistol is almost always covered at least by a shirt and I’ve never seen signs of rust on it, so I’ve never thought much about it.  I have left a Winchester carbine in the vehicle for weeks at a time, and in very cold weather condensation can get between the metal and the gun case interior, causing rust at all the contact points.  So you have to take extra care.  The Parkerizing on the Colt seems to handle it much better, and the annodizing of course is already a hard metal oxide, but you want to be checking these things.

10 thoughts on “Problem with Open Carry

  1. For items which get damp or condensation on them regularly, try using a product called “strike hold”. It really works to keep rust from happening where incidental contact with water on blued steel might occur. It is a protectant and a dry lube. It is pricey but worth the bucks.

    I used to sell the stuff, and it really works. If I could have made any money at it, I’d still be selling it.

  2. Hot, sweaty Texas summers are why I carry a plastic pistol. I shudder to think what a steel 1911 would look like after a few months of IWB concealed carry here.

  3. If it’s less than 50 years old, it’s “Rusty.” If it’s more than that, then it’s “Patina”, and you can’t touch it, or it’ll destroy the Value. Haven’t you seen Antiques Roadshow? “Oh, if you hadn’t only cleaned it, it would be worth at least….”

  4. The best protectant I’ve found for steel is Eezox: put on a light film,let it dry, that’s it. Wears well, too. Pretty good cleaner as well, and I’m told a good lube; but I use it mainly for corrosion protection.

  5. I went the other way. My carry pistol is a stainless steel Springfield MicroCompact. Magazines are also stainless.

    Since my sweat is apparently one of the most corrosive substances know to humanity, if I were to carry a blued carbon-steel pistol it would become a single rust-blob inside of a month.

    I still have to field-strip and lube every couple of weeks since the oil appears to just vanish…I assume it evaporates off the surfaces. But since that pistol has to sit in sub-zero temperatures (I can’t carry inside my workplace), you can’t over-lube it since most gun oils get a little gluey below -20F. Once it’s on my hip and warmed up that’s not a problem, but it’s nice to know that it’s always ready.

    The worst rust I’ve ever seen was on a friend’s old Marlin 39. He’d let it get wet during a flood, and then never took it out of its case. When he pulled it out to show me, the first thing you saw was the beautiful burled walnut stock. Which was then followed by a huge blob of red, fuzzy rust that used to be a color case-hardened receiver. Made me wanna cry.

  6. …And friends? Do not store your guns in leather. It’s wonderful stuff, especially for holsters you’ll have on up close and personal, but it will hold the damp.

    It flies in the face of Tam’s rule, “Stop touching it!” (Or, “Do not handle a firearm past the bare minimum unless intending to shoot.”) Still, when it is damp out, unholstering at the end of the day and moving your personal arm to something less hydrophilic might not be a bad idea.

  7. If it’s less than 50 years old, it’s “Rusty.” If it’s more than that, then it’s “Patina”…

    Heh. Since all bluing is is pre-oxidizing the surface layer to protect the metal beneath, there’s nothing wrong with an honest, even brown patina.

    As a poor person who likes old guns and, more importantly, likes to shoot old guns, I’ll take the $300 mechanically-sound gun with the patina over the $800 LNIB piece that I’m afraid to touch, every single time. (That’s why I bought the second 1903; the first one was too pretty to shoot the snot out of it.)

    On the other hand, rebluing an old piece, unless it was clearly ruined, makes me sad. I’d rather see honest aging.

  8. Weapon (hell, any tool) maintenance is constant and dependent on the situation as to scale.

    If the climate or particular circumstance demand then “stop (unnecessarily) touching it” doesn’t apply to even nightly unholstering and function check/wipe down.

    (personal experience with sea air and a shotgun)

  9. Strange, most of the CZ-52s out there are parkerized and were stored and shipped in cosmoline. This makes the nooks and crannies impregnated with grease and making it VERY rust resistant.

    Of course anything can be worn off.

  10. This makes the nooks and crannies impregnated with grease and making it VERY rust resistant.

    …and the first thing Joe or Jane Gunowner does when they get it home is hit it with brake cleaner to thoroughly degrease it.

    I use Gunscrubber on newer guns like my M&P or 22/45, but not on older parkerized pieces or old guns with a brown patina; in that case, it’s only the grease impregnated in the surface that prevents it from rusting away before your eyes like a cannon brought up off a shipwreck.

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