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Is it ok to store a handgun with the action (slide) open?

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by lordhamster, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. lordhamster

    lordhamster Loaded Pockets

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    Please excuse the dumb question if it has been asked before but I wasn't able to find any threads on subject.

    I just bought my first pistol (Glock 19) and am about to buy my first Shotgun (Mossberg 500) both for home defense and for some fun at the range. My Glock came with the kind of gun lock where you feed the metal chain thing through the open action of the gun (slide locked back) and down through the magazine well. It seems that the only way the Glock gun lock can work is with the gun locked in the open position.

    On the Mossberg Shotgun, the Loc-Box gun rack/lock they sell also is inserted into the action of the gun.

    My question is: Is it good for the springs and what not for the gun to be stored for long periods with the slide locked in the open position? What is the preferred way to store the weapon when it is unloaded?
     
  2. revs
    • In Omnia Paratus

    revs Loaded Pockets

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    Don't lock the action open. Let it close on the lock. Or, go down to your local sporting goods store and look for a trigger lock. The shotgun should be able to be left open since it is a pump.
     
  3. lordhamster

    lordhamster Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks! Thats what I figured.
     
  4. vermeire

    vermeire Loaded Pockets

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    Any particular reason you say not to leave the action open? The only negative I can see is that it would make a lousy home defense weapon if stored that way. OP, that would be my main consideration when it came to storing your new pistol is having it ready if it is needed.
     
  5. Synaptic Misfire
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    Synaptic Misfire Loaded Pockets

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    I assume you mean is it bad for the springs, no. Springs do not deteriorate due to constant loading, it is the constant loading/unloading or cycling of the action that wears the springs.

    My question is if they are for home defense why use a lock?
     
  6. HOMELAND SECURITY HAM

    HOMELAND SECURITY HAM Loaded Pockets

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    ALthough some springs are higher quality than others, I am my police departments armorer. I am glock certified and trained in S&W and Colt.

    NO !!!! DO NOT STORE ANY SEMI AUTO WITH THE SLIDE BACK PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You should not also keep all of your magazines left fully loaded. Springs can and do take a set and they also weaken, negative pressure on magazine feed lips is also not good.

    Do not listen to anybody that tells you contray information. There are some magazine manufactures that use high silica content in there springs (like Wilson, top notch stuff), however the firearms manufactuers that use these magazines and springs also do not recomend long term full compression.

    They also recomend magazine rotation keeping only 1/3 of your magazines full and changing (rotating) them freguently. My agency got a memo from Bushmaster advising that they recomend monthly rotation of their 30 round magazines.

    Look at professional shooters magazines floor plates they are numbered for a reason. I see lots of guns and problems that they have. If your gun is for self defense, you want it to work when you need it. Even police guns fully with loaded magazines are excercised during repeated re qualifications, and unfortunately, there is a failure rate of some of these magazines as well. By the way, properly tuned magazines should drop freely from your gun when it is empty and the mag release is pressed.
     
  7. lordhamster

    lordhamster Loaded Pockets

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    My intention is that while I'm home getting ready for bed I'd keep the weapons unlocked, however if we have guests (especially with kids) I'd lock them.

    The reason I was curious about leaving the slide open is because if there was no ill effect to the springs, I'd probably keep the pistol on the nightstand at night with the Magazine inserted and the slide locked back. If I hear a noise I could very quickly grab the pistol and hit the slide release and be ready to fire, whereas If I simply have the magazine in and the slide closed, then I'd need to rack the slide to load the first round into the chamber.

    I know most people recommend keeping a round chambered, but I really feel safer having the chamber empty until I'm ready to use it.

    Thanks everyone for all the help and the discussion, especially the bit about rotating magazines, etc! That really helps. I plan on going to the range at least once a week (I really enjoy shooting), but as a first time firearms owner these little tips are very valuable.
     
  8. jehan60188

    jehan60188 Loaded Pockets

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    if you really want to feel safe, take the magazine out
    or, load the magazine when you're ready to use it
    or, better yet, keep your bullets and cases separate, and then make the bullets as needed :D
    do you get my point? every additional step you take between "storage" and "ready" that may add a layer of safety to prevent ND (there's no such thing as accidental discharge, only negligent discharge!) is that much more time for the boogey man to hurt you. glocks are ridiculously safe- you stand a better chance against whatever adversary you may face by keeping the firearm as ready as possible. Also, practice trigger discipline. Get snap caps, and do things like tying your shoes, showering, making pasta with the gun in your hand and your finger off the trigger. it may seem ridiculous, but your "default" mode when holding a gun should be finger-along-the-frame, so that you can do it in your sleep (or in that dazed-confusion that you may be in when awoken from sleep)

    as far as keeping visiting kids away from your guns- I suggest keeping your firearms in a gun safe. put them in there first thing in the morning, and take them out before you go to bed. It's a whole extra 2 minutes per day, and extremely effective at keeping unwanted hands off your guns.
    another choice is to conceal carry the glock. this may be a bad idea if you're having guests AND cocktails (unless you abstain from drinking), but it'll definitely keep kids' hands off your guns

    I prefer the remington 870 over the mossberg, but that's a matter of personal choice, really.
    I can't tell you enough how great a glock is though! They are super-simple to maintain, and shoot great out of the box! You're in for years of great service with it
     
  9. solocanoe

    solocanoe Empty Pockets

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    the more you practice, the more you carry, the more comfortable you will be.

    Glocks rule. All you have to do is get comfortable with it. They are made to be carried ready to go, safely.

    whatever you decide initially, try stuff out and be open to change
    ....Congrats on taking steps to prepare yourself and protect your family! O0
     
  10. lordhamster

    lordhamster Loaded Pockets

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    :) I knew someone would say that. Of course we can go to extremes in both directions. I prefer to not keep a round chambered in case I forget to lock my safe one morning and my soon to be toddler decides to find the gun and play with it. He won't have the strength to rack it, so not chambering a round adds an slight level of safety at a minor cost of time.

    I've been shooting quite a bit at the range for the last two years all on rented guns. I've taken the NRA safety courses a few times and am going to take the CCW course as well. Perhaps at some point once I feel more comfortable I'll change my mind and chamber a round.



    First thing I bought was a nightstand gun safe. At night I've been unlocking it and in the morning when I get up I re-lock it. Excellent point about adult guests being potentially as dumb/dangerous as kids.

    So far I friggin' love the glock 19. I love the simplicity and the relatively small size (in case I decide to do CCW). So far its been so easy to use and I've not had any issues yet with about 600 rounds through the gun not a single jam.

    I'm excited to put the Mossy through it's paces. I've not had a chance yet.
     
  11. tpd223

    tpd223 Empty Pockets

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    Not trying to start a flame war, but almost every single item in this post is incorrect (Except; numbering one's magazines is in fact a good idea).

    As has been stated, quality springs wear due to being cycled, not due to simple within design specs compression.

    I have fired ammo from service pistol magazines left loaded for almost 20 years, without any issues. I know personally of ammo fired from WWII era 1911 magazines over 50 years after the fact, again without issues. I have fired personally own GI AR mags that have been kept constantly loaded for over ten years.

    Springs are not a muscle, they can not "rest", they can not be exercised, heal, or get better by being relaxed. Once they are shot they are shot, period, throw them away and get new springs.


    As for Condition 3 for the home defense pistol, in your case it may make sense. I don't have any tricycle motors running around the house anymore (my kids are almost old enough for their own CCW permits), but when I did I had the same worries.
    Get into a ritual, don't vary it, and make sure the locker is locked when unattended. Currently the Condition 3 choice will work, but before you know it your kid will be strong enough to pick up the pistol and rack it against a hard surface by leaning into it.
     
  12. SF1

    SF1 Banned

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    I agree, I have had magazines loades for years with no problems. Springs are made to be compressed. Don't worry about it.
     
  13. SF1

    SF1 Banned

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    I keep a magazine in, but do not chamber a round. Adds a little extra safety
     
  14. SF1

    SF1 Banned

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    Mistake
     
  15. HOMELAND SECURITY HAM

    HOMELAND SECURITY HAM Loaded Pockets

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    Hi again,

    I stand by my post and all the info in it. The information in it is generac not an exact rule. However relialibility is in the numbers, the manufactures recomendations, some of the armorers courses and professional training I have recieved, and what I have personaly observed.

    Your statement "quality springs wear due to being cycled, not due to simple within design specs compression" has nothing to do with max compression for extended time.

    A tachometer on a car may say the redline is 6000 rpm, however, you dont want to leave it there all day and not expect permature wear or failure.

    People have found old cars in garages and fields that have been sitting for 20 years or longer, put a battery on it, and it fired up, stale fuel and all.

    People also have done this to cars that have been siting for five years and found them seized up (locked up) tight and completely unserviceable.

    I reciently took a box of old military .45 ACP ammo marked WCC 52 (Winchester Cartridge Company, manufactured in 1952) on the headstamp. When a friend of mine asked me if I would risk my life on them, I commented on its continued proper storage. I commented on the fact that the brass was still shiny, that its 230 GR FMJ copper bullet was untarnished, the fact that this vintage was the begining of non corosive ammo, the fact that all this military ammo had sealed (red) primer pockets and that these bullets are also sealed to the brass with pitch. I stated that I would risk my life on them and he said I was crazy.

    First I bet him $20.00 that all fifty would perform flawlessly. When he agreed, I made it more interesting, I had an old fish tank hanging around I grabbed a coffie pot and began filling it with water (he asked me what I thought I was doing) I submerged the whole box and told him I would prove it in a month.

    ONE MONTH LATER EVERY ROUND FIRED!

    If I had fresh ammo available of course I would load fresh prior to ammo manufactured in 1952. Of course new stuff can be duds also.

    My point is that manufactures, armorers and experienced gunsmiths, will not recomend any firearm to be stored with the slide left back for extended periods of time. Weather a good , weak or defective spring, this is not proper, nor safe storage of a firearm. When looking for a recomendation for reliability if stored in this fassion any competent, qualified person would NEVER make this kind of storage recomendation!

    For every example you can show of normal functioning of an improperly stored or poorly cared for firearm, expierenced professionals have many stories of failures. It is neglent to make any other recomendation other than the one I have made, espicially for a self defense firearm.

    Cliff
     
  16. Bullzaye

    Bullzaye Loaded Pockets

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    I have to agree that storing a pistol with the slide locked back is a horrid idea.

    . While I don't necessarily believe that magazine springs "take a set" while being loaded for long periods of time, I also prefer to err on the side of caution. Personally, any magazines that I am loading that will be sitting for some length of time (days,weeks, months, etc.) I prefer to "download" by at least a round or two. Specifically, I load magazines with a 15 round capacity with 13 rounds, 8 round capacity with 7 rounds, 30 round capacity with ~25 rounds. Again, this is for magazines that will be sitting for a while. If I am intending to use it within a day or so, I'll load it to capacity (actually, I still load AR magazines with 29.) In this way, springs are not at "full" compression, and are a bit more "relaxed". I have no proof that this is meaningful, or that it actually helps...but it makes me feel better!

    I also have witnessed many magazines loaded during WWII being fired, and having fed without problem. My Father's captured P-38 & Radom were both left fully loaded for 50-odd years, and both ran through all mags flawlessly. All those mags still work perfectly,with the original springs, even after all that time being loaded.

    But,in the case of the recoil springs...leaving the slide locked open for long periods of time is putting maximum compression on those springs, and could very well result in a loss of power, which could potentially lead to feeding issues. I'd suggest finding a way of safely storing your defense gun that doesn't potentially encourage malfunctions. Additionally, if you're asking the difference between having the slide locked open with a cable lock through the magazine well, as opposed to having the slide eased forward onto the cable lock...neither option is going to allow you to bring that gun into action in any kind of timely manner. Therefore, why risk leaving the slide locked back?

    Another option for storing the Glock more safely might be this : Saf-T-Block. I believe they make them in both aluminum, and polymer. I've used them occasionally to store a Glock in my vehicle, when I didn't care to unload it. It sits behind the trigger, blocking it. They make it in left and right-handed versions. All it takes is a firm push with your trigger finger to pop it out (it does go flying, and could be lost in a real incident "out in the world", but at that point...do we really care?), and a small combo or key lock can be fitted into it for better security. Not a perfect solution, but another option.

    Good luck!

    Tim
     
  17. HOMELAND SECURITY HAM

    HOMELAND SECURITY HAM Loaded Pockets

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    Common sence is always safety first. The Saf-T-Block is one good option. However not as easy for rapid deployment in the dark

    I personly have a Gst Bock installed on my Glock mod 27, all it takes is a handcuff key to bring a glock in or out of a state of readiness.

    If there is a possibility of safety being an issue, with the Gost Block, a handcuff key worn around the neck will give you a state of readiness 24/7
     
  18. amacman
    • In Omnia Paratus

    amacman Loaded Pockets

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    Why not switch to one of these http://www.gunvault.com/


    Keep the gun fully loaded and ready to go AND away from the toddlers.
     
  19. Bullzaye

    Bullzaye Loaded Pockets

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    I believe the OP already mentioned (see reply #9) that he had something very much like that (if that not exact item) on or near his nightstand but that he was asking about making the gun safer at those times when it was out of the "safe".

    Tim
     
  20. amacman
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    amacman Loaded Pockets

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    I guess I'm wondering why it is out of the safe then. It sounds like he is leaving it out of the safe for an extended period. Not just while coming on/off his person. My belief is that if the home is not 100% clear of kids/house guests..etc. then the gun should never be where anyone but me has access to it.