The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 8, 2014, 08:08 AM   #1
Freeloader Reloader
Member
 
Join Date: May 12, 2014
Location: New Orleans, LA area
Posts: 51
Cocked or not cocked?

I keep three of my four handguns in my house. My two main target guns (Ruger GP100 and 9mm Browning HiPower) are locked in a gun safe, unloaded. I do keep two loaded magazines in the soft case with the HiPower though). My EDC (Ruger LC9s) is always on my side...where it's supposed to be. When I retire for the night, I place it on top of my computer cabinet, out of reach and completely out of sight. I have no children in the house at night and there is no way that they would know it's there or be able to reach it if there were. I keep this gun in the same condition I carry it...loaded magazine, round in the chamber, thumb safety engaged. I sleep in the same room that my guns are located...and I am a light sleeper. All of this background leads up to my simple question:
Does it do any harm to a semi-auto handgun to keep it in a ready condition such as I described for an extended period of time? I'm not talking about the safety aspect, though it's always a concern, but strictly from the standpoint of potential damage or unnecessary wear on the gun itself. Sort of like the "Loaded mag or empty mag" question that always floats around.
Also, my doors are not the strongest in the land and I live in a rural area. That being said, I worry about home invasions especially when I read about them in the paper. Then add to that the terrorists that seem to be headline news more and more...and don't forget the Zombies either. Luckily, we don't have the laws that require legal citizens to have their guns locked in a separate location as the ammo. If the need ever did arise where my family was being threatened, it is ridiculous to think that you could go to the gun safe, unlock it, take out the gun and remove the lock from it, then run to another room, unlock your ammo, load your magazine and then....and only then...encounter the threat...if it is still in the vicinity.
__________________
Rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it!
Freeloader Reloader is offline  
Old November 8, 2014, 08:31 AM   #2
4thPoint
Junior member
 
Join Date: August 28, 2012
Posts: 240
I would likely do as you have, keep it 'cocked and locked'. Nighttime, being awakened to an emergency with a foggy head and reduced coordination is no time to try and remember that 'nighttime-ready' is different from 'daytime-ready' condition.
If you have no children in the room at night, then it doesn't matter if it's out of reach of children, I might put it on the nightstand if it were me.
4thPoint is offline  
Old November 8, 2014, 10:05 AM   #3
boondocker385
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 6, 2013
Posts: 640
For what it's worth....I have a Glock 21 that hasn't seen a day in the last 10 years where it wasn't loaded....no mag problems.

I do have some mags that have broken/weak springs, but that seems to happen on the ones that are usef. Somewhere there is a thread on magazine life, my take away from it was mags that are used wear out faster....and used meaning loaded and unloaded.
__________________
No second place finishes in a gun fight.
boondocker385 is offline  
Old November 8, 2014, 02:41 PM   #4
DaleA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 12, 2002
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 4,416
IMhO I think you're fine.

But why take my word for it, take your gun out every month and shoot it, see if there's a problem. What's that? You already do? Well then problem solved.

BTW I totally agree with your description of keeping ammo and guns locked up separately. To me it seems obvious it is yet another 'common sense' idea for people that don't like guns to make owning a gun more difficult.
DaleA is offline  
Old November 8, 2014, 03:15 PM   #5
T. O'Heir
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 11,477
Aside from you really needing a bit of counselling for the paranoia, springs do not lose temper from being compressed. A mag in with no chambered round is better. Especially with a BHP(ain't no such thing as a target BHP.).
"...have no children in the house at night..." You put 'em out with the cat? snicker.
__________________
Spelling and grammar count!
T. O'Heir is offline  
Old November 8, 2014, 03:38 PM   #6
Bartholomew Roberts
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 12, 2000
Location: Texas and Oklahoma area
Posts: 8,172
I've got a Hi-Power that has spent more time in Condition 1 over the past 14 years than any other state. So roughly 7-8 years in Condition 1 at a minimum. It runs just fine.
Bartholomew Roberts is offline  
Old November 8, 2014, 04:55 PM   #7
easyliven88
Member
 
Join Date: June 7, 2013
Location: Macomb County Michigan
Posts: 78
I was wondering the same thing. I just read an article on this subject as I was keeping my Ruger P89 slide locked in the rear position with a loaded mag in my drawer at night. A police officer wrote on a thread that the recoil spring would be fine if you regularly went to the range to "exercise it". The mag spring on the other hand is another issue, he wrote that they will "wear out" over time if fully compressed. So he said to rotate the loaded mag every week, using a marker, number you mags so you can keep track of which is next in line...
__________________
There can be only one....and thats me
easyliven88 is offline  
Old November 8, 2014, 09:27 PM   #8
SaveAmerica
Member
 
Join Date: October 2, 2009
Posts: 20
A gun won't shoot if it's not loaded. I went to striker fired pistols for HD because they are ready to fire and no cocking the hammer is necessary. In a HD situation there is not time to find the firearm, put in a magazine, and chamber a round.

I keep my Walther PPQs and Glocks loaded and ready to fire. The SA and DA/SA pistols stay mostly in the safe.

I practice about twice a month with carbines and pistols.
SaveAmerica is offline  
Old November 9, 2014, 06:34 AM   #9
DT Guy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 4, 2001
Posts: 846
Quote:
T. O'Heir Wrote: Aside from you really needing a bit of counselling for the paranoia, springs do not lose temper from being compressed. A mag in with no chambered round is better. Especially with a BHP(ain't no such thing as a target BHP.).
"...have no children in the house at night..." You put 'em out with the cat? snicker.
In what way is 'a mag in with no chambered round' somehow 'better'? Don't you want a defensive arm loaded?

And as far as a 'target' BHP, yes, there is; it's called the "GP Competition"



Larry
__________________
He who fights and runs away had better run pretty damn fast.

Government, Anarchy and Chaos
DT Guy is offline  
Old November 9, 2014, 08:01 AM   #10
larryh1108
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2008
Location: NC
Posts: 815
Quote:
A mag in with no chambered round is better.
Better in what way?

I'd be willing to bet that most issues with chambering a round are when you put the first round in an empty chamber. In a tense situation you can short stroke the slide, ride the slide or any number of operator errors that will jam the gun. Also, chambering a round makes that distinctive sound that could alert someone to your location and that you are armed.

I can't think of a single reason to not have a round in the chamber of a HD gun with no children around, especially with a mag already inserted. If nothing else you can top off the magazine after chambering the round to have 1 additional round available.
__________________
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
larryh1108 is offline  
Old November 9, 2014, 08:52 AM   #11
std7mag
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 23, 2013
Location: Central Taxylvania..
Posts: 2,691
I only have 2 guns that have ammo in them, when in the house.

1) Springfield Champion. 1911, 4" barrel. 45ACP. There is no round in the chamber, but loaded magazine is in the gun.

2) Mossberg 500 pump, 12 ga. Again, no round in the chamber, but magazine is loaded.

As for any damage to the springs, I have witnessed none yet. Both guns feed reliably. And I figure I can afford to pop for $2 for a spring if need be for the shotgun. As for the Champion, I have 4 magazines.
std7mag is offline  
Old November 9, 2014, 10:20 AM   #12
kraigwy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 11,054
In cleaning out my shop I found a couple of 1911 magazines that were fully loaded. I don't know when they were loaded. I know its been over 20 years because they've been here since I retired over 20 years ago. Don't know how long before that.

They are USGI issued mags from my National Guard shooting days, (I retired from the NG in 1992 so that would be a good estimate of time).

The magizines still work flawlessly. (the ammo did too). I don't know about glocks and such but steel guns, like my Colt & USGI 1911s and my Smith 52 don't care how long the hammer is cocked.

There are times I use to carry the 1911s, and they were always kept and carried locked and cocked. Didn't hurt them. They have the original springs. They still work.

I don't know where the idea came from where its better to keep the mags loaded and empty chamber being better on the mags. That doesn't make since at all.

Anyway if loaded mags and cocked hammers bother you (they don't me), get a revolver. Revolvers are at rest when they are kept ready.

Not just handguns, I found the same with my rifles. My M1A & ARs are mostly USGI, some have been loaded a long time without problems.

My hunting rifles, (bolt guns) sometimes are kept with the mag well loaded but I don't chamber a round in my hunting rifles until I'm ready to shoot. Even while actually hunting. But that is for safety reasons, not because I'm concerned about follower springs.
__________________
Kraig Stuart
CPT USAR Ret
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
kraigwy is offline  
Old November 9, 2014, 10:26 AM   #13
g.willikers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2008
Posts: 10,447
Of course, all these spring questions can be moot when a revolver is the HD handgun choice.
But to stay on course, springs that are properly made last a very long time, whether they are kept in a compressed state or cycled.
I have mags, with the original springs, that are decades old and work just fine.
Some have been loaded most of that time, without much use, and others have had thousands of rounds through them.
Probably tens of thousands.
They are the ones that have proven themselves, though, and the reason they are still here.
If you have suspicious ones, don't bother diagnosing, just replace them at the first sign of trouble and worry less.
__________________
Walt Kelly, alias Pogo, sez:
“Don't take life so serious, son, it ain't nohow permanent.”
g.willikers is offline  
Old November 9, 2014, 02:57 PM   #14
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 20,326
I have seen many times information from professionals who know springs, that modern springs, properly made, are not damaged from how long they are properly compressed or relaxed. Damage comes from overcompressing the spring, and wear (gradual loss of spring tension) comes from the number of compression/relaxation cycles the spring goes through.

I have heard of a case where a 1911A1 was found fully loaded cocked and locked, and had been in that state since WWII. Reportedly it functioned normally.

I have personal experience with a Colt Govt model stored over 10 years chamber empty, hammer down, magazine loaded in a dresser drawer. That gun did not run right, because of the gumming up of the lubrication. I picked it up, dropped the mag (loaded), checked the chamber (empty) and when I released the slide, it moved slowly forward, and stopped with the action about half way open. Cleaned, re-lubed and reassembled, that gun runs normally.

Technically storing a gun with the action open should have no effect on the spring (again, modern gun, modern springs). I wouldn't store them that way, #1 because I live in a dusty place, and #2, even if it shouldn't matter why risk it?

Storing a gun cocked can be a bad thing with old(er) guns. In my Grandfather's day, it was considered to be one of the stupider things to do. Now, 100 years later, most folks still don't think its the best idea.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old November 9, 2014, 03:27 PM   #15
somerled
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 11, 2005
Location: eastern Kansas
Posts: 603
I have three semi-autos, a 1911, a Browning Hi-Power, and a Kahr PM45. I keep the 1911 and Browning loaded with safeties engaged. I've had the Browning since 2005, and it still works 100 percent.

I'll change recoil springs in semi-autos between 1,000 to 3,000 rounds. I'll rotate out magazines. I'll let them rest for a month after they've been fully loaded for two months. That's most likely unnecessary, but it's a habit.

Any equipment will fail at some point. It's good to have back-up stuff. I live in rural area too, and I keep a shotgun and rifle within reach. Good lights, strong doors, a couple of loyal dogs, no concealment or cover left for the trolls, perimeter alarms ... the handgun is a very small part of a security plan.
somerled is offline  
Old November 9, 2014, 03:31 PM   #16
Bill DeShivs
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 7, 2006
Posts: 10,063
I make a lot of springs. Whether that makes me an "expert" is in doubt. I also have guns that have been constantly loaded for 35 years that work just fine.
I also rebuild antique switchblade knives-a lot of them. So I deal with thousands of springs yearly.
I can say this:
Springs aren't alive and they don't need exercise or rest.
I have seen many 150 year old springs that work as well as the day they were
made.
Revolver springs are still under much tension when the gun is at rest.
I see VERY few springs that have lost tension. "Real" springs break, rather than get weak.
A properly made spring does not weaken from use-unless that use flexes the spring beyond it's elastic limit.
"Real" springs are made froim high carbon steel-properly heat treated. Some "high tech" manufacturers use work-hardened stainless for springs. I have little experience with these, other than to say that this material is a joke for springs.
Having worked on many, many guns over the years- I have never seen one with a "worn out" spring. Rust can ruin a spring, cycling (in the extreme) can break a spring, extreme heat (400 degrees plus) can weaken a spring, flexing past a spring's elastic limit can ruin a spring-as well as stretching a spring.
__________________
Bill DeShivs, Master Cutler
www.billdeshivs.com

Last edited by Bill DeShivs; November 9, 2014 at 03:36 PM.
Bill DeShivs is online now  
Old November 9, 2014, 03:36 PM   #17
Pond, James Pond
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 12, 2011
Location: Top of the Baltic stack
Posts: 5,833
I can't comment on the actual question in the OP for lack of experience and I doubt conjecture is of use but allow me to say this:

The gun you have for carry is good for exactly that: carry. It is compact and small.

Personally, in your situation, I would have the GP100 on the nightstand, loaded. It can shoot well, packs a punch and negates all the concerns in the OP. A loaded revolver has never strained any part of its construction!!
__________________
When the right to effective self-defence is denied, that right to self-defence which remains is essentially symbolic.
Freedom: Please enjoy responsibly.
Karma. Another word for revolver: because what goes around, comes around!
Pond, James Pond is offline  
Old November 11, 2014, 09:04 AM   #18
Pyzon
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 17, 2009
Posts: 295
Quote:
Aside from you really needing a bit of counselling for the paranoia
What if you are right, the OP is paranoid ?

What if he is right, and ill intentions gain access to his home ?

I hope your were trying to be humorous in that.
Pyzon is offline  
Old November 11, 2014, 01:22 PM   #19
jimbob86
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 4, 2007
Location: All the way to NEBRASKA
Posts: 8,510
I would not worry about the springs wearing out ...... I have 1911's that have been loaded, cocked and locked pretty much 99.9% of the time since I bought them ...... years ago. They work just fine.

As for "paranoia"? I don't see any issue with having hardware and a plan ...... though I might invest a little bit in hardening/upgrading the doors the doors if they worry you at all..... simply using longer and heavier screws to secure the door jamb, hinges and lock plates to the frame of the house is simple enough to do, costs very little and makes kicking in the door MUCH harder ....... adding a steel plate to the backside to the jamb behind the deadbolt is also pretty simple and will help even more ......
__________________
TheGolden Rule of Tool Use: "If you don't know what you are doing, DON'T."

http://nefirearm.com/
jimbob86 is offline  
Old November 11, 2014, 01:33 PM   #20
manta49
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 15, 2011
Location: N Ireland. UK.
Posts: 1,805
Quote:
What if you are right, the OP is paranoid ?

What if he is right, and ill intentions gain access to his home ?

I hope your were trying to be humorous in that
It's smart to take sensible precautions, but I don't rely on the what if school of thought. What if I get hit by an asteroid etc. All springs weaken over a period of time unless they have invented a material to make them i have not heard of. How long that would take to affect the performance of a firearm I don't know. I would think making it as difficult as possible to stop unwelcome people gaining access into your house would be a good idea, as well as thinking what to do if they are in the house.
manta49 is offline  
Old November 11, 2014, 01:49 PM   #21
jimbob86
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 4, 2007
Location: All the way to NEBRASKA
Posts: 8,510
Quote:
I don't rely on the what if school of thought.
Quote:
I would think making it as difficult as possible to stop unwelcome people gaining access into your house would be a good idea, as well as thinking what to do if they are in the house.
Today 02:22 PM
....wait, what????

...... you don't "what if" .......

...... but ....... you think "thinking what to do if they are in the house" would be a good idea ......

You lost me there somewhere ......
__________________
TheGolden Rule of Tool Use: "If you don't know what you are doing, DON'T."

http://nefirearm.com/
jimbob86 is offline  
Old November 11, 2014, 01:55 PM   #22
Mobuck
Junior member
 
Join Date: February 2, 2010
Posts: 6,847
"I was keeping my Ruger P89 slide locked in the rear position with a loaded mag"
I question the logic there. Load the darned thing, drop the hammer, and put it close enough to reach. I see no reason to alert the intruder as to my position. Having a round chambered in an idle pistol is neither a crime nor a safety hazard.
Mobuck is offline  
Old November 11, 2014, 02:01 PM   #23
old-dog
Member
 
Join Date: September 1, 2014
Posts: 20
Been keeping my guns cocked for over 40 years. Although I do not own a gun longer than 11 years old, I never experienced any problems. In fact, even my safe kept guns are loaded and cocked. I like to treat each gun knowing it is loaded rather than like it is loaded. Ask yourself if you treat a gun you believe is unloaded the same as knowing for sure it is loaded, all the time. Someone is having all those AD's.
old-dog is offline  
Old November 11, 2014, 02:34 PM   #24
Sevens
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 11,429
Quote:
I do keep two loaded magazines in the soft case with the HiPower though.
This right here is not a good idea.

Soft cases, depending on their physical make-up, can be a problem. Especially the common low-cost zippered gun cases with an interior of soft foam. These are hygroscopic. These inherently attract moisture when they can and zippering a handgun up inside them for long term is NOT a good idea.

For transport? Sure. For a day? If you need to.
To be stored in your safe for many days... or weeks... or even months at a time?
This is giving your Hi-Power a chance to develop rust.

If the case has no chance to draw any moisture and it's in a dry environment, maybe no harm. But if you get in to the habit of storing the handgun in this manner, maybe after one range trip... it gets zippered up in to a case that was used that day in some very humid environment. OR if you were outdoors and got an unexpected downpour, the inside of that case may very well be a WET environment.

Locking the pistol up in that same case & left over time will have bad results.
__________________
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
Sevens is offline  
Old November 11, 2014, 02:36 PM   #25
briandg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 4, 2010
Posts: 5,447
This is the reason I believe in DA revolvers for home defense.

As far as cocked and locked, I think it's dangerous to have a loaded, chambered round, safety off, hammer drawn back, ready to fire, when you jump up from a deep sleep because of a crashing noise.

If you are in a state of even mild disorientation, a three pound trigger pull is chancy. Cocking a revolver and walking through the house with it is dangerous as well. Trip in the dark? Bad situation if your finger is in the trigger guard.

Just my thoughts. a handgun for night time defense is safest if you have a heavy and long trigger pull, and when you have a safe trigger pull, of course, keep the thing loaded, chamber ready, and safety off, because a DA revolver pull or a long pull on a striker fired handgun are very unlikely to cause accidental shooting.

Hope this is useful to you. I know it's not exactly what you were asking to hear. Myself, I use a pair of DA revolvers, a .357 lever carbine, a coach gun, and now, a glock as home defense weapons. All of them are pretty safe from accidental discharge. the two long guns require further actions to use. I keep the rifle loaded, chambered, but hammer down. Cocking it is needed. The coach gun is empty but shells are on the stock. I don't keep them where I sleep, so there isn't much chance that I'll stumble to the closet and shoot one of my cats.

BTW, the times that I have been awakened by a crash were usually tree limbs. Once it was a kid who drove down my street at 80+ mph and literally destroyed everything in his path and killed himself when he ran into a stone wall at the end of a cul de sac.

I sure as hell didn't need to be wandering around with a cocked revolver, right?
briandg is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10873 seconds with 10 queries