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Old August 9, 2014, 01:54 PM   #1
Kirkpatrick
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unloaded gun, okay for slide locked open?

I know there is an old thread that sort of addressed this issue, but my situation is a little different. I am asking if it is okay to long term store pistols in safes with the slide back.

I'm not talking about magazines or my SD guns that are loaded and chambered. I'm talking about my guns that are for the range.

All of my guns are locked down in various safes and mounts. The bedroom SD pistol is in the safe with other guns that I don't need to have ready at a moments notice. (There is a long reason my SD gun is in my main pistol safe.) By keeping the others unloaded and with the slides back, I know I will grab the loaded, chambered and ready pistol, not the unloaded .22lr.

Is the unacceptably detrimental to the other pistols?

Thanks.
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Old August 9, 2014, 02:04 PM   #2
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It will wear your recoil spring, increasing the likelihood of jamming and frame battering.

Just take the slide off completely, or put a big trigger lock on it, or put it in a cloth bag. There are many other solutions to identifying the unloaded gun than what you're suggesting.
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Old August 9, 2014, 02:07 PM   #3
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I don't even understand the question's terms; what is a "range gun"?
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Old August 9, 2014, 02:10 PM   #4
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Buy some bright orange or red zip ties. Stick in the breach and close slide leaving the locking tab of the tie exposed. If you buy the larger/longer ones they will protrude from the muzzle and chamber/breach indicating the weapon is clear...
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Old August 9, 2014, 02:12 PM   #5
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See above (what I'd recommend if I understood ).
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Old August 9, 2014, 03:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
It will wear your recoil spring,
Like having magazine springs compressed by leaving them loaded?

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Old August 9, 2014, 04:05 PM   #7
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The zip ties are a good idea, but if you want a larger, easier to feel indication of an unloaded gun, chamber flags aren't all that expensive. Depending of course on how many you need.
http://ads.midwayusa.com/product/187...ProductFinding
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Old August 9, 2014, 04:07 PM   #8
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Thanks, will do. Quick, easy, simple and gets the job done.

Oh buy the way, if you are wondering how much the springs in you machines are being stress, its the force of Hooke's law, times the metal fatigue solution.

F=xK x da/dN=C( Δ K)^m (where x is the distance of the stretch or compression of the spring, and K is the constant of the particular spring's "springiness") x the metal fatigue solution of the particular material of the spring (that last part involves a little math. Yay not too valuable physics degree).

Thanks again.
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Old August 9, 2014, 04:21 PM   #9
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Just leave the loaded gun in its holster, and always keep it in the same spot in the safe. Easy to find, and you know its loaded.

Better yet, just leave it in your pants next to the bed, that way, you have everything right where you need it.
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Old August 9, 2014, 04:22 PM   #10
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This idea sounds like a Rube Goldberg to me. But perhaps I'm simply not seeing it from the same perspective that you do. That's certainly a possibility.

But I'm at least a little confused why you share a formula with the backing of a physics degree -- what did you think the forum would have to offer with regards to "detrimental" that you couldn't already determine?

Are you asking if there's possible harm to the pistols other than possible wear to the recoil spring?
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Old August 9, 2014, 04:27 PM   #11
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If it truly is simply about opening a box and being sure you grab the one single CORRECT handgun and none of the others, I'd think you could solve that with a simple piece of white paper placed over all the handguns except the one you might need to use in a moment's notice.

Or a clean, white hand towel or rag or handkerchief or anything that obstructs the immediate grabbing of x-number of handguns.

Personally, I can't see how this would be a problem for the typical person to open and select the right one, simply by having the ONE right gun in a familiar spot. But if you are really concerned with how the brain processes these decisions in a heated moment quickly, you'd have to admit that a towel draped over all the WRONG guns would be faster for the mind to process than looking at an array of handguns and selecting the only one that has it's slide in full battery.
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Old August 9, 2014, 04:28 PM   #12
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Springs don't "wear" due to being compressed and left at rest. They fatigue as a result of long-term repetitive compression and extension over the course of MANY cycles.
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Old August 9, 2014, 04:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheapshooter
Like having magazine springs compressed by leaving them loaded?
Exactly like having SOME hi-cap magazine springs compressed by leaving them loaded for long periods. Wolff Springs recommends downloading a round or two for long-term storage for some hi-cap mags (or equally compressed sub-compact) mags springs. Wolff talks about a spirng's elastic limits (the point beyond which the spring loses the ability to function properly.)

A 1911 7-round mag, when fully loaded, isn't close to being fully compressed, and that spring is not close to it's elastic limit. Those mags can be kept loaded for 70+ years without a problem.

An 18+ round high-cap mag spring, when the mag is fully loaded, is probably at or near it's "elastic" limit. And that spring is NOT at rest -- it's working, trying to push 18 or more rounds up against the feed lips of the mag. That's work, and work isn't free. The 7-round 1911 mag spring is also working, but it's got a lot more reserve power, and the work isn't as hard on the spring.

With regard to recoil springs and slides locked back: a year or two ago, one participant here spoke of working in a National Guard Armory where the sergeant in charge stored all of their unit Berettas with the slides locked back. Some time later, all of those recoil springs had to be replaced -- they had all failed at about the same time -- not what you'd expect. It's an anecdotal story, to be sure, but fully consistent with what some of the experts participating here (including one metallurgist) have told us, over the years.

If you believe that ONLY cycling degrades a spring, then you need to talk to the makers of sub-compact guns, where the recoil springs have recommended cycle lives in the hundreds of rounds, rather than the thousands of rounds recommended for the same company's full-size guns. (The maker of the Rohrbagh R9, for example, suggests replacing that gun's recoil spring after about 250 rounds. I'm sure they'll last longer, but the gun maker wants to assure good function.)

When a smaller spring has to do the same work as a larger spring, or the same spring has to do more work than usual, something has to give.

Not all springs will degrade significantly when cycled thousands of times. Not all springs will fail when left "fully loaded" or "locked back" -- but not all guns use springs in the same manner.

With regard to question about locking back the slide: nothing is really gained by locking that slide back. It makes more sense to have the gun ready to go, slide closed, round chambered -- safety ON, if you have one, or finger OUTSIDE the trigger guard if you don't.

Last edited by Walt Sherrill; August 9, 2014 at 05:02 PM.
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Old August 9, 2014, 05:07 PM   #14
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Buy yourself a little ''pen light'' to keep near your bed. Am I the only one that keeps some sort of flashlite handy?
I keep one gun loaded in the safe. I keep it in the same spot at all times. I can reach in with my eyes closed and grab it every time. {of course I always keep one in my night stand also.....
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Old August 9, 2014, 05:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Springs don't "wear" due to being compressed and left at rest. They fatigue as a result of long-term repetitive compression and extension over the course of MANY cycles.
This is not true.

It is true ONLY if you don't reach the elastic limit of the spring travel. If you compress a spring into the range of plastic deformation you will change the structure of the spring metal.

This is an issue with magazines that are pushing the limits for space or have springs of poor composition. Which is why I don't buy 17 round mags designed for 15 round magwells.


For recoil springs this isn't academic. Someone just posted the other day about an Army armorer that stored the M9s with slide locked back, and the springs wore out quickly.
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Old August 9, 2014, 05:52 PM   #16
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A cheap easy substitute for chamber flags is a piece of trimmer string.
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Old August 11, 2014, 03:12 AM   #17
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Personally i wouldn't do it.
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Old August 11, 2014, 08:39 AM   #18
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They will get dirtier that way, with the innards exposed.
And easier for the lube to evaporate.
Mine are stored closed, in battery.
Keeping the SD pistol in a consistently separate place in the safe works, too.
Maybe hung on the inside of the door, instead of on shelves or racks, with the others.
Not sure about keeping it in a holster, though.
It makes it easy to find, but might hinder using it in a hurry.
Long term storage in a holster can cause finish damage, too.
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Last edited by g.willikers; August 11, 2014 at 08:49 AM.
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Old August 11, 2014, 09:18 AM   #19
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Keep them in my safe and just let me know when you wanna use them. Problem solved
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Old August 11, 2014, 09:37 AM   #20
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While springs today are better than ever in the past, it is still a poor idea to store them compressed, if there is any other acceptable solution.

When circumstances permit all springs should be relaxed as much as the design allows for. This is storage. Long term, short term, and permanent storage are different things.

Permanent storage is the gun coated with preservative, and capable of sitting for decades or more safely. A fair amount of work is required to return the gun to a ready condition.

Long term storage is the gun well lubed and protected, can be left for months, maybe years safely. A small amount of work is needed to ready the gun (dry patch down the bore, etc.)

Short term or "ready" storage is the gun cleaned and lubed and ready to run, simply stored for a few days or weeks.

Situational conditions determine which is used, and when.

Safes store things. Things you don't need instantly. It takes some time to open a safe, and although its a short time, if there is something you are going to need as fast as you can get hands on it, putting it in a safe is a poor idea.

Perhaps one of the small fast open handguns storage cases/safes (not the general storage safe) would be a better solution in your situation?
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Old August 11, 2014, 04:41 PM   #21
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I agree with 44 AMP, If its in the Safe, You don't have it.
Get something like in these links and mount it under the nightstand, behind the bed or under.. Somewhere close.

http://www.deansafe.com/gun-gv-1000d...FScV7Aod72IAwA

http://www.globalindustrial.com/p/st...g&gclsrc=aw.ds
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Old August 11, 2014, 10:37 PM   #22
Derbel McDillet
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Just take the slide off the pistol.
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Old August 14, 2014, 10:34 PM   #23
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I have a backup SD handgun in the safe with other guns. It is not loaded with slide closed. It is set weak side down. The 15 round mag to the left of the pistol only has 13 rounds and lays strong side down. Pistol is easy to see and can easily be held with strong hand while support hand grabs the magazine. Other pistols in the safe are in gun cases/rags or far enough from this gun.
In short, this backup pistol/magazine is separated enough from other pistols that it can easily be accessed without moving/checking other guns/magazines.

leaving pistol in slide lock open long term may or may not weaken the spring but why take the chance when not required.

Last edited by pilpens; August 15, 2014 at 07:20 AM.
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Old August 14, 2014, 10:59 PM   #24
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I keep one gun out and available for use if the need arises. This idea of keeping slides open on other guns in a safe sounds a bit bizarre to me. Even if I were to keep all my guns in a safe, I would always know which one I kept loaded. YMMV
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