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Thread: How do you open carry in foul weather?

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    Regular Member Chief Ten Beers's Avatar
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    How do you open carry in foul weather?

    I like to open carry as much as possible, because I do not have a ccw permit. I haven't had this problem yet, and I hope I never do, but I fear that sooner or later I will. When you open carry, and it starts to rain, do you cover your gun to protect it from the elements, or do you let your gun get all wet?

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Ten Beers View Post
    I like to open carry as much as possible, because I do not have a ccw permit. I haven't had this problem yet, and I hope I never do, but I fear that sooner or later I will. When you open carry, and it starts to rain, do you cover your gun to protect it from the elements, or do you let your gun get all wet?
    Rain will not hurt your gun, just make it safe and dry it when the day is over. The only guns that may have a problem in the rain is cap and ball, and it would have to be raining very hard to get under a proper fitting cap. It is a tad dorky but I use a umbrella to walk in the rain.
    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
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    Wet!

    For ten years I exercised vigorously on a southern coast with my H&K concealed in an ActionDirect chest-pack. I bicycled 50 Km daily in two or three hours, about 40,000 miles when I quit counting. The perspiration dripped out of the gun. I wiped it with a dry oily cloth and it now shows no ill effects.

    Now my OCW is an SA1911A1 in a SERPA on an 52" beltman gunbelt, sized to go over my winter wear.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    I don't carry my museum pieces. I carry working guns. They can get wet. When they do, they get cleaned within a few days, usually.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Regular Member Chief Ten Beers's Avatar
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    That's what I figured, but I really can't see me letting my gun get wet, but if I clean it when I get it home, it should be ok. In the winter when I carry, I put the belt on under my coat, and just keep the coat up over the handle when I'm around people, if I'm not around people, then I don't worry about it. This is the rig I usually carry for a cartridge gun, and the rig for a cap and ball.
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    Regular Member DrakeZ07's Avatar
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    Drop-leg holster/rig, and Hi-point .40. Rain, snow, ice, mud, salt, they don't phase the pistol, the holster on the other paw isn't so durable.
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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    I don't carry my museum pieces. I carry working guns. They can get wet. When they do, they get cleaned within a few days, usually.
    Yup.

    A bit of water won't prevent the gun from working. The finish is there to wear off. Meh.

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Ten Beers View Post
    I like to open carry as much as possible, because I do not have a ccw permit. I haven't had this problem yet, and I hope I never do, but I fear that sooner or later I will. When you open carry, and it starts to rain, do you cover your gun to protect it from the elements, or do you let your gun get all wet?
    I drop the pistol in a bucket of clean water to wash off the acid laden rain water, then I dip it in a bucket of gun oil, then I wipe the excess oil off and back in the holster it goes. Oily bullets go faster.

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Mineral spirits will displace the water, as long as the grips are removed. I then put the gun in the oven at 100 to 110F, for a few hours. This will dry the water without leaving rust spots from the water. Then clean and reassemble. Grips if wood get a fresh coat of linseed oil.

    Properly seated bullets water will not hurt. I have washed them pulled them apart and the powder is dry. I have never had a dunked round fail to fire. Cap and Ball is another story, if the gun gets wet I fire off the rounds clean, lube, and reload.
    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    Mineral spirits will displace the water, as long as the grips are removed.
    I consider isopropyl alcohol to be a far less noxious (and therefore superior) water displacer.

    (And I don't want anybody to even think "odorless" in response to that. Words mean things. )
    Last edited by marshaul; 01-23-2014 at 01:32 PM.

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    I consider isopropyl alcohol to be a far less noxious (and therefore superior) water displacer.

    (And I don't want anybody to even think "odorless" in response to that. Words mean things. )
    The problem with alcohol is when it is dry it leaves no film. Without a film any residual moisture in the air will cause small rust spots, even though they may not be seen. If heating the gun is done the rust spots often will be apparent as the pores of the metal open slightly with heat. When I rust blue a gun I will heat it and put it in hot old cooking oil, the pores will open absorbing some of the oil. Then dry off oil completely to use a lighter oil or Johnson's paste wax.

    The hot cooking oil can be used to dry a gun, but if not taken apart and wiped dry the oil will build a film in the internals.
    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

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    Regular Member Chief Ten Beers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrakeZ07 View Post
    Drop-leg holster/rig, and Hi-point .40. Rain, snow, ice, mud, salt, they don't phase the pistol, the holster on the other paw isn't so durable.
    I know, and to make things worse, the holsters I use for my cap and ball revolvers won't even stand up to a good oiling. Maybe that's why they are cheap to buy. The drop-leg holster isn't that expensive either, around $75.00, so that wouldn't be to bad to replace if needed, but I'm the type of guy that will try to repair before I replace. If my guns get soaked and wet, there's always Birchwood Casey and Ballistol.

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    Regular Member Chief Ten Beers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    I drop the pistol in a bucket of clean water to wash off the acid laden rain water, then I dip it in a bucket of gun oil, then I wipe the excess oil off and back in the holster it goes. Oily bullets go faster.
    Hot water from the sink does a good job too, especially with my blackpowder revolvers.

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Ten Beers View Post
    I know, and to make things worse, the holsters I use for my cap and ball revolvers won't even stand up to a good oiling. Maybe that's why they are cheap to buy. The drop-leg holster isn't that expensive either, around $75.00, so that wouldn't be to bad to replace if needed, but I'm the type of guy that will try to repair before I replace. If my guns get soaked and wet, there's always Birchwood Casey and Ballistol.
    If you don't mind the darker color you can hot wax treat your holsters, they will last forever, wear the guns less, be as tough as kydex, and almost completely water proof. Most of my holsters are treated, especially my fast draw holsters. When setting it I wrapped the gun with foil three times. The leather shrinks slightly with the treatment. The gun comes out like lighting when done. If the gun is not wrapped and fitted while cooling the gun will have kydex type retention. The gun will click into the holster just like kydex.
    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

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    Regular Member Chief Ten Beers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    Mineral spirits will displace the water, as long as the grips are removed. I then put the gun in the oven at 100 to 110F, for a few hours. This will dry the water without leaving rust spots from the water. Then clean and reassemble. Grips if wood get a fresh coat of linseed oil.

    Properly seated bullets water will not hurt. I have washed them pulled them apart and the powder is dry. I have never had a dunked round fail to fire. Cap and Ball is another story, if the gun gets wet I fire off the rounds clean, lube, and reload.
    If I know it's going to rain or snow, then I won't carry a cap and ball, unless I'm using a conversion cylinder. But, as long as the caps fit tight on the nipples, no water will seep in from there, so, a cap and ball should withstand the elements with no problem. I would be more worried about reloading a cap and ball in the rain, but I carry a spare cylinder already loaded and just speed load the cylinders.

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    Regular Member Chief Ten Beers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    If you don't mind the darker color you can hot wax treat your holsters, they will last forever, wear the guns less, be as tough as kydex, and almost completely water proof. Most of my holsters are treated, especially my fast draw holsters. When setting it I wrapped the gun with foil three times. The leather shrinks slightly with the treatment. The gun comes out like lighting when done. If the gun is not wrapped and fitted while cooling the gun will have kydex type retention. The gun will click into the holster just like kydex.
    I like the idea of hot wax, how is it done?

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Carried a 1911 in a 1917M flap holster with no flap through the monsoons of RVN. It got so wet the leather turned to something resembling oatmeal & got replaced with a canvas holster with the flap cut off. 1911 still got wet.

    Field stripped it, got it as dry as you can, then gave it a going over with an oily rag. As loose as it was not much water got into the innards unless it was taken out of the holster. (Except for that one time the stream jumped up and smacked my whole front. I DID NOT fall! Later that day I got a chance to dunk it in in kerosene and then try to get as much excess off as possible before hittingit with the oily rag.)

    After about 2 months I got to let an armorer have it for a day. 0000 steel wool and some Flitz, then an ultrasonic cleaner full of SLA and nylon brushing before a good wipedown. Declared rust free and it worked.

    Yes, I am a little bit less rough on my own stuff - but that's mostly because for some strange reason I do not go walking in the rain on purpose any more.

    stay safe.
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Ten Beers View Post
    I like the idea of hot wax, how is it done?
    Melt wax in double broiler, heat leather in oven to about 200F. Paint holster with melted wax,inside and out, put back in oven on paper towels to wick excess. Do this until leather will take no more wax, insert gun, let cool, clean excess wax off of gun after removing it. If you do not wrap the gun the holster will be tight. If you want it snug, but loose wrap it with two layers of foil. If you want speed draw, wrap it with three or four layers of foil.

    BTW for years the armor worn by soldiers was leather treated with bees wax. That is how tough it is.
    Last edited by WalkingWolf; 01-23-2014 at 02:37 PM.
    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

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    Regular Member Chief Ten Beers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Carried a 1911 in a 1917M flap holster with no flap through the monsoons of RVN. It got so wet the leather turned to something resembling oatmeal & got replaced with a canvas holster with the flap cut off. 1911 still got wet.

    Field stripped it, got it as dry as you can, then gave it a going over with an oily rag. As loose as it was not much water got into the innards unless it was taken out of the holster. (Except for that one time the stream jumped up and smacked my whole front. I DID NOT fall! Later that day I got a chance to dunk it in in kerosene and then try to get as much excess off as possible before hittingit with the oily rag.)

    After about 2 months I got to let an armorer have it for a day. 0000 steel wool and some Flitz, then an ultrasonic cleaner full of SLA and nylon brushing before a good wipedown. Declared rust free and it worked.

    Yes, I am a little bit less rough on my own stuff - but that's mostly because for some strange reason I do not go walking in the rain on purpose any more.

    stay safe.
    I never did get a side arm when I was in Nam, I just had an M-16. I really didn't need a handgun, I was a charge cutter on a 4 deuce mortar crew.

  20. #20
    Regular Member Chief Ten Beers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    Melt wax in double broiler, heat leather in oven to about 200F. Paint holster with melted wax,inside and out, put back in oven on paper towels to wick excess. Do this until leather will take no more wax, insert gun, let cool, clean excess wax off of gun after removing it. If you do not wrap the gun the holster will be tight. If you want it snug, but loose wrap it with two layers of foil. If you want speed draw, wrap it with three or four layers of foil.

    BTW for years the armor worn by soldiers was leather treated with bees wax. That is how tough it is.
    I'll give it a try with one of my cap and ball holsters and see what happens. What kind of wax do you use?

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Ten Beers View Post
    I never did get a side arm when I was in Nam, I just had an M-16. I really didn't need a handgun, I was a charge cutter on a 4 deuce mortar crew.
    I don't know exactly when the practice of arming soldiers with both rifle and pistol started. In WW2 my father had to buy his own handgun. He was only issued a rifle. When I was in I was only issued a rifle, occasionally a handgun, but then no rifle. Give me a good rifle for battle and I don't need a handgun.
    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Ten Beers View Post
    I'll give it a try with one of my cap and ball holsters and see what happens. What kind of wax do you use?
    I use canning wax, but is does have a lower melting point then bees wax. Bees wax would be best if it gets really hot where you are. Texas carriers should use bees wax instead.

    If leather has impurities you will get some of the wax rising to the surface over time, but it cleans off with alcohol, and then can be polished back up with shoe wax.
    Last edited by WalkingWolf; 01-23-2014 at 02:48 PM.
    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

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    Regular Member Chief Ten Beers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    I use canning wax, but is does have a lower melting point then bees wax. Bees wax would be best if it gets really hot where you are. Texas carriers should use bees wax instead.

    If leather has impurities you will get some of the wax rising to the surface over time, but it cleans off with alcohol, and then can be polished back up with shoe wax.
    I'm in the hills of western Kentucky, and it gets hot, but not that hot. At the dump where I take my trash, the guy in the shack sells honey, and he probably can get some bees wax. The next time I go there, I'll ask him.

  24. #24
    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    I would never carry a gun openly in inclement weather, unless it was raining, sleeting, snowing, a blizzard, hurricane, typhoon, or a tornado.

    In my time I've carried everywhere from assaults over the beach and landing craft practice, jungle warfare training, arctic warfare training, and just plain lousy weather training. I carried because I had a firearm as part of my job requirements. No firearm I've carried has ever rusted into inoperablility just because of one day's exposure to a little water, salty or not.

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    I use canning wax, but is does have a lower melting point then bees wax. Bees wax would be best if it gets really hot where you are. Texas carriers should use bees wax instead.
    Standard "Gulf Wax" has a melting temp of about 127-130F. Beeswax has a relatively low melting point range of 144 to 147 °F).

    Melting points for paraffin waxes have a range of 125 °F to 165 °F. You just need to find a paraffin wax with a higher melting point than what can be found on the grocery store shelves. Either Ebay or a candle shop should be able to supply high MP (melting point) paraffin. $2/lb for the highest grade (165MP)
    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 01-23-2014 at 04:38 PM.

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