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Old May 30, 2013, 05:15 AM   #1
Josh17
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A "truck" gun in hot SUMMER weather?

Edit-- Although I found some answers after detailed searching, still wonder how a POLYMER handgun either a semiauto or revolver would do if made into a truck gun and left for months in the summer heat, 24/7?? (out of direct sunlight)

Semiauto such as a GLOCK
or
Revolver such as RUGER LCR or S&W Bodyguard

Would a part polymer based handgun be affected ANY differently than an all steel handgun would? Or is the "melting point" of polymer just way too high, that no "summer heat in the USA" would ever negatively affect a handgun left sitting in the heat for long periods of time even if polymer?

Of course every few months they'd probably get some breakfree CLP for some lube, but besides that, it'd just be a truck gun that sits in the glove box of the car, or somewhere like that.

Last edited by Josh17; June 1, 2013 at 08:15 AM.
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Old May 30, 2013, 05:33 AM   #2
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Quote:
I've also heard of people claim that they left rounds in the car and they started to "melt". It sounds like BS to me, but I figured I'd ask anyways just to be sure.
Lead melts at 621.5 F. At that temperature, all the door panels would have pooled on the floor.

There's a Ruger LCP in the door pocket of my car in central Louisiana. It's been there a couple of years in the heat of our summers, and it absolutely hasn't melted.
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Old May 30, 2013, 08:43 AM   #3
Rifleman1776
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I carried 'truck guns' in a rack just below the rear window of my old, unheated/unAC truck for 23 years. The only thing that ever melted was me.
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Old May 30, 2013, 10:36 AM   #4
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I also like the thought of a truck and/or boat gun. I always carry a firearm when I am in any of my numerous modes of transportation. There has never been a issue with the heat or other elements with reasonable care (don't forget to keep them clean and serviced).

The biggest concern is security. I make sure I remove the firearm anytime I am away from the vehicle for any significant period of time like overnight. Althought I lock my vehicles, they can still be broken into. Some might say just have an inexpensive firearm you do not care about being stolen. WRONG! There is no such thing since I am not worried about the value. I am worried about what happens once it is stolen or played with. Most of us would have trouble sleeping knowing we enabled some bad person to committ a crime with it or if a young under age person were injured or killed with a gun we did not properly secure.

Lets all keep the above as our foremost thought on a truck gun.
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Old June 1, 2013, 08:09 AM   #5
Josh17
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You know, actually, I do wonder: how do part POLYMER revolvers/pistols do if they are a "truck gun" left in the summer heat, all summer, 24/7? (out of DIRECT sun-light).

Such as:
1.) A GLOCK
2.) A RUGER LCR REVOLVER or S&W BODYGUARD (both part polymer revolvers)

Thoughts? Will a polymer based handgun hold up just as well in the really hot summer heat as a stainless steel handgun would? Any difference?

BTW: I do understand your point lamarw. If I did decide a truck gun wasn't a bad idea, I'd probably get one of those "safes" that are bolted down in your car. It'd be covered so out of site, but if ever broken in, from what I hear some of these 300+ dollar safes literally would take someone HOURS to break into.... and where I live, parked on the street in a super nice area, I don't think anyone would be able to do that without either my neighbors noticing, someone driving by noticing, or myself noticing...Some of these car safes are literally 20+ layers of steel, making it pretty safe to keep it in your car!! but I do get your point

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Old June 1, 2013, 08:49 AM   #6
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It's a dry kind of heat

I'd never leave a gun in the truck, but I know some do. But there's lots of more sensitive things in cars and trucks (radios, computers, GPS etc) and they don't seem to suffer.

Temp of the armrest inside my van. Windows heavily tinted and cracked open an inch to allow some ventilation...




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Old June 1, 2013, 09:43 AM   #7
BillM
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I melt plastic for a living---primarily extrusion. I've messed with
the pieces left over after a G17 grip frame reduction, and they
appear to be a nylon of some sort.

Typical castable nylon properties:

Continuous use temperature 200°F +

Softening temperature 300°F +

Melt temperature 400°F +

So----Nope, the heat in a truck won't hurt it. If it is in direct
sunlight it would probably affect it after long exposure, most polymers
eventually show some signs of UV degradation.
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Old June 2, 2013, 02:54 PM   #8
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I've carried an MP5 with all its plastic parts in the trunk of a squad car in the heat of August in Texas for 12-15 hours a day. No problems.

Same with Glocks.

There's an AR sitting straight up in my enclosed squad car up to 10-18 hours a day. It's not only battling the heat but the visible sunlight. Nothing. Sometimes it will sear your fingerprints a little when you grab it.

Hard armor vest with 120 extra 5.56 rounds. Nope. They all still go bang.

Its way hotter inside a Humvee all over the Middle East and there are Glocks, Berettas, M4's and a bunch of other partially plastic guns plodding along without a problem.

I have killed off some .22 ammo stored loose in an ammo can in the trunk of my car and garage here in Texas. It seems the wax lube can melt and deactivate the primer. Out of a couple thousand rounds, after about 15 years in a garage, I found them. Some were a little stuck together. Maybe one dud in every 100 rounds.
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Old June 3, 2013, 11:14 AM   #9
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Heat won't adversely affect your gun.

Note though that any gun becomes instantly "hot" if stolen from truck...
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Old June 3, 2013, 05:33 PM   #10
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My car sits outside in the TX heat all day every day, and I have yet to find any of the plastic interior pieces melted (or even deformed).
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Old June 3, 2013, 07:30 PM   #11
kozak6
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You ever touch the seatbelt buckle on a hot summer day?

If you need to use your gun, it might be too hot to handle.
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Old June 3, 2013, 08:28 PM   #12
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I'd worry far more about 150+ degree ammo than plastic/whatever. Heat greatly accelerates propellant breakdown, which can lead to duds/squibs/overpressure situations, and heat also makes things react faster, so even good ammo will have higher peak pressures than typical. Combine powder that's degraded into something that reacts faster, heat bumping the kinetics of the reaction up some more, a dash of bullet set-back in a chamber that doesn't fully support the case-head and WHAMMO!

Quote:
My car sits outside in the TX heat all day every day, and I have yet to find any of the plastic interior pieces melted (or even deformed).
How many summers? My late-model Dodge is already getting a tad of "frosting" on the black plastic trim pieces, and everyone's tires get nuked over the summer months. The materials are a ton better than the days of cracked vinyl seats/dashboards, but it's still a material made of light hydrocarbons we're talking about.

FWIW, there was that story of the lady in California who's Civic melted/curled up after several days in a public lot (which happened to be a focal point for sunlight reflecting off a beautifully curvy building with those energy-efficient shiny windows at 4:00pm) I believe temps were clocked there in the upper 100's--better put on the

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Old June 4, 2013, 12:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Or is the "melting point" of polymer just way too high, that no "summer heat in the USA" would ever negatively affect a handgun left sitting in the heat for long periods of time even if polymer?
This. BillM's post is consistent with the research I've done on the polymers typically used in firearms.
Quote:
You know, actually, I do wonder: how do part POLYMER revolvers/pistols do if they are a "truck gun" left in the summer heat, all summer, 24/7?
They get hot in the summer, they get cold in the winter. They keep working.

Any ammunition should probably be rotated out and used at the range after a couple of seasonal cycles.

A good rule of thumb for polymer firearms. If you can pick them up by the polymer frame without blistering your hand they are not only undamaged, they are also safe to use. At the point where you must don gloves to use them because touching the frame causes injury, it's probably a good idea to let them cool down before trying to shoot them.

Direct UV (outside--not through glass) will break down polymers, but manufacturers are aware of this and the good ones will choose the type of polymer and the specific formulation to minimize this and will also include additives to protect against UV damage. Glass is a UV filter and blocks a lot of UV, so leaving a gun in the car where the sunlight could hit it wouldn't be an issue. Leaving it out on the patio could cause degradation over time.

As I recall, Glock's testing of their particular polymer formulation showed that the frame, if exposed to 100 years of continuous sunlight, would show a 1% mechanical degradation.

Quote:
How many summers?
I never garage my cars. I had one Honda that sat for 14 years in the TX weather year round. When I sold it, the plastic interior was in perfect condition inside with the exception of places where it had been physically damaged or worn from use. No damage at all visible from the sun or heat.
Quote:
My late-model Dodge...
Frankly, it depends heavily on what kind of a premium the manufacturer puts on longevity. A friend of mine had a car from a different manufacturer than mine and his dash cracked after only a few years under the same conditions as mine.
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Old June 4, 2013, 08:11 AM   #14
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How many summers? My late-model Dodge is already getting a tad of "frosting" on the black plastic trim pieces, and everyone's tires get nuked over the summer months.
2005 Exploder is my daily driver. I really have neglected it more than any vehicle I have owned as far as wax, amorall. and just overall detailing. It has held up amazingly well. Tinted windows help with UV light breaking down plastic on the top of the door panels, etc.

I don't think most people will leave their gun sitting on the dash or somewhere in direct sunlight.
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Old June 4, 2013, 09:23 AM   #15
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Sun damage to vehicles here in AZ is common. However, guns left in a vehicle in summer time are dangerous to the owner - hot steel burns.
No, it won't melt, even though internal temps in a sealed vehicle in summer can soar past 170 degrees, (PLEASE stop leaving your dogs locked in your cars while going to the store!!!!), I have never had any firearm, polymer or steel, fail in any way related to heat. No ammunition stored in the gun has "cooked off" or been degraded, but I always made it a point to replace carry ammo that had been stored in a hot place about every 6 months. Personal choice, no other reason.
I do not advocate a "trunk gun", darn hard to get to in a sudden dangerous place, LA style riot, etc.), and guns left permanently in cars are always subject to theft, but carrying a long gun on trips out of town isn't such a bad idea, in my not so humble opinion.
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Old June 5, 2013, 10:30 AM   #16
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One gunpowder stability test is to put gunpowder in a 150 F oven and see if it fumes red nitric acid gas in less than 30 days. If it does, the gunpowder is unstable and scrapped.


Storage in hot conditions, like constant 150 F car interiors, will age and deteriorate ammunition to an unusable condition in months. And I mean unusable in the sense it will blow up your gun. I would recommend replenishing ammunition at the end of the year.
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Old June 16, 2013, 10:34 PM   #17
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Seriously? You really think Glock or SA or whoever would make a firearm that would melt in a car ? Really ? Do you see any warnings that say "WARNING -THIS FIREARM MAY MELT IF LEFT IN VEHICLE IN HOT WEATHER FOR EXTENDED PERIODS" ? Or how about " LONG PERIODS OF RAPID FIRE MAY MELT THIS WEAPON - ONLY USE IN COOL ENVIRONMENTS" ? Cmon
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Old June 16, 2013, 10:54 PM   #18
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Ammunition doesn't seem to degrade too badly in the Middle East.
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Old June 16, 2013, 11:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
Ammunition doesn't seem to degrade too badly in the Middle East.
That is because the military uses mil-spec powders designed to not be as temperature sensitive. Most powders will see a velocity change of about 1 fps for each degree of temperature change. Most loads are developed at around 70 degrees.

Ammo that is fired when it is 170 degrees, which is not out of the question for ammo inside a vehicle in hot climates, could easily be 100 fps faster than designed, and be overpressure. At -30 it could be 100 fps slower, and make sight adjustments incorrect.

There are some powders which would only see 20-25 fps velocity change at the same temperatures extremes. Those are the ones used by the military. The ones I prefer to use as well.

I don't see any possible damage to a gun. Some steel guns might be too hot to hold. It is possible the ammo could be degraded over time, or even dangerous if fired while it is hot.
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Old June 16, 2013, 11:46 PM   #20
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Just my opinion, of course, but I think there is a lot bigger problem with leaving a gun in your car than the thing melting or the powder degrading. That's risking having the darn thing stolen. Lose the gun, that's tough. Lose the gun and someone uses it to kill someone, um, that's really tough. And I think if you leave a gun in a car you're partially responsible if something horrible like that happens.


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Old June 17, 2013, 03:44 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by SgtLumpy
Lose the gun, that's tough. Lose the gun and someone uses it to kill someone, um, that's really tough.
Agree wholeheartedly. Even worse, if your gun is really tucked away it might be weeks before you even know it's missing.

It probably won't be a pleasant experience if your gun is found at a crime scene and you traipse into the police station a few days later to report it stolen.

But more on topic - No, your polymer framed firearm will not melt if you leave it in th vehicle.
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Old June 17, 2013, 10:35 AM   #22
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Does anyone ever feel a little when they post in a thread and then find what they posted was already posted in the very same thread?

Don't feel to because it happens all the time. People tend to post in a thread without reading the entire thread first.
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Old June 17, 2013, 11:04 AM   #23
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Does anyone ever feel a little [embarassed] when they post in a thread and then find what they posted was already posted in the very same thread?
No, not me.


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Old June 17, 2013, 11:29 AM   #24
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a little off topic

I had a Daisey BB gun in the window rack of my truck when I was in high school one summer. The combination of heat on road vibration caused the barrel to warp and bend downward by about 2" at the end. Granted it was a thin steel barrel with a really thin metal shroud and plastic covering. Had to cut the barrel down to about 1" from the for-end to get it shoot even remotely straight again.
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Old June 17, 2013, 11:29 AM   #25
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I can only assume that polymer firearm frames are made of much better plastics than the rather flimsy trim pieces found in some cars these days. Since the trim doesn't melt, I wouldn't expect the firearm to either.
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