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Old July 22, 2011, 03:14 PM   #1
B. Lahey
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Beach-Gun Experiment

Last year I had an experience with a sandy gun that got me to thinking about beach-carry:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...highlight=sand

At the time, I was just wondering about techniques to de-sand a pistol once home from the beach. But my thoughts eventually turned from cleaning to questioning the functionality of my handgun while in a sandy condition...

So over the last few weeks I took some pistols with me to the beach (including some spare mags in pockets just to see how they reacted), had a normal beachy day (minus swimming), and then afterward took them to the range and shot them without cleaning them first.

The results were mixed...


LCP
-Fired first round, but failed to fully extract or eject. Weird malfunction, it's never done this before, the brass was just sitting in the chamber and fell out when the slide was retracted and barrel pointed in an upward direction. Fired the rest of the mag without incident.

-Upon switching to the sandy spare mag, it again fired one round and malfunctioned, this time due to the mag follower having bound up extremly tightly due to sand. Cleaning the sandy mag was a beast, the follower was locked in place like it had been welded there, due to one or two individual grains of sand.

Colt WWI reproduction 1911
-The Colt didn't care that it was a bit sandy, it ran like a whipped greyhound.

-Spare mag (Chip Mc stainless 8rd Powermag) didn't care about the sand either. No binding, fed just fine.


I chose these two pistols because they are the ones I regularly carry. What stinks is that I much prefered the LCP for beach-carry due to its handy size and light weight. But no more. LCP mags are apparently terribly prone to bind upon introduction of the smallest amounts of sand, and the handgun (or at least mine, anyway) is just as touchy about function while sandy as the mags are. The Colt is fine, but I don't want to carry a big lunker like that to the beach. Lose-lose situation. This stinks, but I'm glad I did the test.

Guess I'm looking for a new beach-carry gun. Anyone have any suggestions for a handgun that will function reliably with a bit of sand in it, but is smaller and lighter than a full-size 1911?
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Old July 22, 2011, 03:27 PM   #2
Artie
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No beaches around here, but I would assume that sand in the weapon is not something you can easily duplicate in a test. I would also think it would be a little tough to draw a final conclusion just based on that one test. You might throw both guns back in the sand after cleaning and have totally different results the second time.

I own an LCP, but it is relatively new to me, but I've not had any issues at all with it in the 7 months or so I have owned it. I personally don't think of the 1911 as being a rock solid reliable platform either. If you ask my opinion of what I would choose to take in an inclement environment, I would have to choose one of my Glocks first. All of them are rock solid reliable, but more importantly are not really affected by the environment and are easy to strip and clean. I highly suspect most people would opt for a wheel gun though.
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Old July 22, 2011, 03:31 PM   #3
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A small .38 revolver. Maybe?
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Old July 22, 2011, 03:35 PM   #4
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Trade LCP for LCR? i.e., small .38 as Barry suggested
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Old July 22, 2011, 03:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
The Beretta 92FS/ M9 has been working pretty good in the sand for about 20 years now
Excellent point, but wouldn’t it print pretty bad in a Speedo?
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Old July 22, 2011, 03:47 PM   #6
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True enough, but even the compact 92 would be a bit tough to hide in trunks...not to mention a banana hammock
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Old July 22, 2011, 03:47 PM   #7
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Get a Sig Sauer, end of problem....
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Old July 22, 2011, 03:50 PM   #8
model18
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sw 642 personal favoriite carry piece in .38 spec.
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Old July 22, 2011, 03:56 PM   #9
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M&P pistols run in the muck. I'd get a M&P9c and call it a day.
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Old July 22, 2011, 04:22 PM   #10
Shadi Khalil
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The S&W 642 would be a good choice. It's not as small or lite weight as your LCP but it shouldn't be that tough to lug around. I carry my 637 in the waist band of my house pants (pajama pants) with a holster daily and never have any trouble.
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Old July 23, 2011, 01:59 PM   #11
B. Lahey
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I have indeed been looking for an excuse to purchase a new revolver...

But are revolvers really that much more reliable when fouled with sand? They seem to have almost as many little areas where it would cause problems as an auto...

Has anyone here fired their small revolver in a sandy condition?
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Old July 23, 2011, 02:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
But are revolvers really that much more reliable when fouled with sand? They seem to have almost as many little areas where it would cause problems as an auto...
Exactly what I was thinking ... I have seen few revolvers bind from simple dirty ammo, imagine what sand inside the mechanics would do ...
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Old July 23, 2011, 04:01 PM   #13
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Sand and revolvers don't mix. The whole revolver reliabilty claims are way overblown. I recommend the S&W Sigma .40s, they seem to work as well as 1911s do in the sand but they're 21oz, glock simple, and the .40S&W version can hold 16rnds.
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Old July 23, 2011, 10:23 PM   #14
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Anything in open carry, outside waistband and a speedo would just look awesome. Who is gonna post the first picture. Not me, thats for sure.
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Old July 24, 2011, 12:11 AM   #15
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Possibly a Sig P238? If the 1911 works, maybe the almost-1911 will as well.
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Old July 24, 2011, 12:18 AM   #16
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Wonder what the bore's look like after you "sanded" em'?
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Old July 24, 2011, 10:44 AM   #17
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If you lube with TW-25B - wipe on/wipe off - you can shake the sand out of a gun. Or blow the pocket lint off as the case may be.

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Old July 24, 2011, 11:18 AM   #18
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My NAA Pug .22 Mag is what I carry in such situations. I have a very small, palm-sized Peilcan-type case that it fits into. Its got a lanyard, so I even go swimming with it. No one has any idea whats in it. If they ask, I will always say its my mobile or a camera.

The Pug will also fit into a cup that can be carried around with a lid.
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Old July 24, 2011, 05:42 PM   #19
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I'm not in the "beachey" problem, . . . but I am in the middle of getting a new carry gun, . . . just as soon as I figure out what it will be.

I went from the full size 1911 to an XD for a while, . . . quit that.

Now I have a commander size 1911 that so far I like. Although it is only a bit smaller than the full size, . . . it is much lighter and more comfortable.

The jury is still out on it at this point, . . . but it may be something for you to try yourself. Mine is commander size but takes 8 rd mags and so far only needs a bit of work done on the throat to get it to take my JHP ammo.

May God bless,
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Old July 25, 2011, 03:11 PM   #20
B. Lahey
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At this point I'm wondering if a better solution would be a carry method that prevents sand from entering the picture in the first place...

Wonder what a draw from a sandwich baggie would involve?

Quote:
Wonder what the bore's look like after you "sanded" em'?
Just fine. The barrels weren't plugged with the stuff or anything, both were carried nose-down in holsters (1911 IWB, LCP pocket holster) so the sand tended not to work itself down that far. Maybe a few grains around the muzzle, but that's about it.
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Old July 26, 2011, 12:12 AM   #21
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I'm not a Glock fan, but I do have one for my truck gun. Google some of the torcher tests.
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Old July 26, 2011, 12:16 AM   #22
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nvm
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Old July 26, 2011, 12:41 AM   #23
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Get a Sig Sauer, end of problem....
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mhmmm......
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Old July 26, 2011, 10:43 AM   #24
cougar gt-e
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I don't think there is any gun that will give 100% reliability in sandy environments. Getting a Baretta M9A-92FS like our troops use may be real close. Adding the special sand resistant mag would be smart too!

http://www.berettausa.com/products/m...5/default.aspx
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Old July 26, 2011, 11:50 AM   #25
Carry_24/7
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Theres no reason to get a concealed self-defense pistol/revolver sandy just during a pleasure trip to the beach, unless it's not a concern. There are way too many reasonable alternatives.
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