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Old December 14, 2018, 04:03 PM   #1
MikeGoob
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How big an issue is lint in the barrel?

I clean my guns after using them, but somehow the barrels get fuzzy with lint pretty easily anyway.

How big a deal is lint in a barrel? Could it compromise a weapon in an emergency?
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Old December 14, 2018, 04:10 PM   #2
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It's highly unlikely that a little lint could somehow affect a gun's operation. I wouldn't worry about it.

Think about it: if a small amount of lint could cause a malfunction, then there would be several bold-face type warnings about removing all lint from the inner workings of your gun in every owner's manual. But there are no such warnings in any of the manuals I have.

And every YT video concerning any procedure where you had to disassemble, clean, or do any maintenance to your gun would also include a warning about lint, but they do not.

Besides, if this were a problem, someone by now would've engineered a gun that eliminated this problem decades ago.
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Old December 14, 2018, 04:14 PM   #3
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Makes sense. It doesn't help my holster is open at the end, letting in more lint constantly lol
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Old December 14, 2018, 04:50 PM   #4
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I have a couple open-ended holsters as well, so I know what you mean, Mike. At this point, I don't concern myself with the little bit of lint/dust that I know gets into the muzzle of my gun when I use those holsters. But when I did, I just ran a dry boresnake through the barrel at the end of the day a couple times and let it go at that.
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Old December 14, 2018, 04:53 PM   #5
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Canned air

If you don't have an air compressor the canned air duster are handy as a pocket on a shirt.
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Old December 14, 2018, 06:46 PM   #6
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Lint won't cause any problems.
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Old December 14, 2018, 10:27 PM   #7
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Just clean the lint out the end of each day as a precaution if it is a concern to you.
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Old December 14, 2018, 11:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by MikeGoob View Post
I clean my guns after using them, but somehow the barrels get fuzzy with lint pretty easily anyway.

How big a deal is lint in a barrel? Could it compromise a weapon in an emergency?
lint in the barrel isnt a big deal, but lint in a pocket pistol and in a spare mag carried in a pocket can be.
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Old December 14, 2018, 11:53 PM   #9
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Lint in the barrel isn't much of a concern. My guess is that the gases escaping past the bullet will blow it out before the bullet even contacts it.

However, pieces of lint in a magazine could be an issue, and lint in some other parts of the gun could potentially cause issues.

I often carry a spare magazine in one pocket and I make sure that it's free of lint before I put the magazine in.

Hah. Typed this and then walked off to do some other stuff before posting it. Looks like Koda94 and I were thinking the same thing...
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Old December 15, 2018, 12:29 AM   #10
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I often carry a spare magazine in one pocket and I make sure that it's free of lint before I put the magazine in.
I'm not certain what the timeframe is, but pocket lint will work its way deep inside the mag and all over each round and is not noticeable externally. Ive seen it render a mag useless, first time I discovered the issue...
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Old December 15, 2018, 03:55 AM   #11
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I actually did a video dunking my P-10C in a bucket full of dryer lint, dog and cat hair. Worked just fine. That was my "realistic torture test".
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Old December 15, 2018, 06:05 AM   #12
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A little lint is fine. Sand on the other hand is a no.
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Old December 15, 2018, 11:38 AM   #13
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if heavy lead fouling isn't enough to disable a handgun, a bit of lint can't. i doubt that even a cleaning patch left in the bore would cause serious issues if it's the typical lightweight fabric.

heavy lint in the works is unacceptable. heavy oil can trap it and keep it, then dust and grit will get involved and eventually you may wind up with gunk, not just a bit of lint. something can block the firing pin or drag the mechanism enough that the primer won't go off. there are a few places where dirt can cause problems for a very finicky system.

but look around that pistol and the mechanics, do you see any parts that are so tightly machined that a bit of dust or even sand could keep it from functioning? not really possible on the big, heavy paperweights. drop the slide on your pistol and consider whether a bit of crud could stop it, look at your magazine, how badly would you have to foul it to make it fail? You can run a glock over the gauntlet and still be able to fire it sometimes. I would suggest that many, maybe most quality guns could go for a year in between deep cleaning. Blow out the mechanism and lightly oil it, look through the bore and make sure that you see rifling. clean any gunk that you see anywhere, lightly oil.

Our firearms are better than ever in the entire history of mankind. so is the ammunition. By getting quality machinery and ammo you can almost guarantee that you won't have failures unless you treat them like the tire iron you keep in your trunk.
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Old December 15, 2018, 01:21 PM   #14
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Lint is more of an issue when it gets inside the firearm. Sucks up oil and lube. Unless it's solid in the barrel forming an obstruction(result of not cleaning), it won't bother anything.
Canned air is expensive stuff. Your vacuum cleaner will do the same thing. Most can suck or blow, but either will do.
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Old December 15, 2018, 03:08 PM   #15
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I actually did a video dunking my P-10C in a bucket full of dryer lint, dog and cat hair. Worked just fine.
I would expect it to under those conditions. For it to have any effect, it's going to have to work its way into the "guts" of the gun or magazine and build up. I don't see lint being a problem in the same way sand is where even brief exposure to sand can cause issues. Exposure to lint needs to be longer so it can build up in the areas where it can potentially cause problems.
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Old December 15, 2018, 06:36 PM   #16
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we have lots of testing for standard problems, but what about the unusual? for example, a shotgun kept in a dusty cement factory. spilled house paint in the works, drywall mud, peanut butter, just other sorts of sticky, gummy, abrasive or other things that could interfere with functioning. could you disable a gun with a smear of caulk or tar inside it? caulking the barrel from chamber to about a half inch from the muzzle? it may never happen to anyone outside of a war zone, but what could you do to spike a glock in extreme need?

oh, yes, steal the barrel.

there is one event that took place and rendered a glock 17 completely unshootable. it fell out of a guy's pants into the tank of an outhouse. so far as i know that gun never fired another round,
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Old December 15, 2018, 09:02 PM   #17
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Doesn't or didn't the military put condoms over the muzzle of rifles to keep rain out? Or is that a tall tale? So if a bullet will push through a condom with no problems, I'm sure it will push out a little lint in the bore.
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Old December 16, 2018, 12:15 AM   #18
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I think that it is a wive's tale. The very idea of a military unit going into a fire zone with a thousand condoms and scotch tape is kind of ludicrous.

I've heard of many different things done for this. Some people have suggested a spot of electrical tape. I have heard of people putting a balloon on. My dad used to put saran wrap on his, just fold it over. I used scotch tape one year when it was raining and snowing. It doesn't take a whole lot to keep the barrel dry from the general dampness, all you need to do is make sure that the thing doesn't pull off. You will have a rather large volume of air forced down the bore at 3,000 fps or so when that first shot is fired, and there will obviously be at least a bit of blow-by. If you just stick a spot of tape on, that tape will be halfway across the county before the bullet reaches the muzzle. I'm not sure that I want to see a bright orange balloon explode in front of me when I fire that first shot, and I can assure you, I'm not going hunting with a trojan on.
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Old December 16, 2018, 01:51 AM   #19
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Quote:
I actually did a video dunking my P-10C in a bucket full of dryer lint, dog and cat hair. Worked just fine.
I would expect it to under those conditions. For it to have any effect, it's going to have to work its way into the "guts" of the gun or magazine and build up. I don't see lint being a problem in the same way sand is where even brief exposure to sand can cause issues. Exposure to lint needs to be longer so it can build up in the areas where it can potentially cause problems.
I didn't feel like leaving my sidearm buried in a sock drawer for ten years, so I upped the amount of lint by a factor of ten or twenty vert what I've ever found in my sock drawer. I also pointed out several times in the two videos I actually did, (the second one was much better), that it was a completely non scientific tongue in cheek "torture test". However, I'm sure the people that watch it will tell me how bad of a job I did and how many people I put in mortal danger with my irresponsible behaviors. However, I had fun. Burned cat hair, on the other hand, stinks.
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Old December 16, 2018, 03:13 AM   #20
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I didn't feel like leaving my sidearm buried in a sock drawer for ten years...
The point is that simply immersing a gun into a bucket of lint doesn't replicate the action of a magazine in a pocket where the lint is worked around and into the magazine by the motion of the magazine and the person wearing the clothes.

Sand is different. If you dunk a gun in a bucket of sand, it's going to have an immediate effect because of the way the sand infiltrates the action under its own weight and the abrasive nature of the particles which can affect nearly any part of the gun. Putting the same gun in a bucket of lint should have virtually no effect at all because there's nothing pushing the lint into the internal works of the gun where it can actually become an issue.

Putting the gun into a container of lint and shaking it around for several hours would work the lint into the action the same way that putting a magazine into a "fuzzy" pocket and walking around for awhile would.

Based on experience, I can say that lint will disable a magazine if enough of it works inside where it can jam things up. At least one other poster on this thread has had a similar experience. I'm just trying to explain why the test you performed didn't replicate real-world conditions and why the results are misleading.
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Old December 16, 2018, 07:47 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by briandg;6675952
there is one event that took place and rendered a glock 17 completely unshootable. [B
it fell out of a guy's pants into the tank of an outhouse[/B]. so far as i know that gun never fired another round,
Probably because nobody had the cajones to stick their hand in there and fish it out..ewww..BUT I'm guessing that if they did..a takeapart and clean would make it happy again...
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Old December 16, 2018, 09:08 AM   #22
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There would have also been the problem of one being hung upside down from the roof of the outhouse, crammed through the seat, and suspended in the tank while holding one's breath for as long as it took to locate the thing just by feel.

One of the people who learned about this offered the advice that a heavy magnet could have been dropped into the potty cellar and rummaged around for a little, thus capturing and recovering it.

That's just plain silly. Everyone knows that glocks are plastic guns, that they can't show up on x ray devices, that they are non magnetic, and will melt if you spill nail polish remover on them.

What was that? That's all nonsense? Ooops. My bad.
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Old December 16, 2018, 09:12 AM   #23
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Another suggestion for keeping a bore clean and dry. Sponge ear plugs can be pressed down to bore size for anything bigger than a .22 and stuffed down the barrel if you wanted something a little longer lasting than tape and a bit more sensible than a condom. Once again, the first poof of air as the bullet moves down the bore should blast it out of the way before it exits the bore.
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Old December 16, 2018, 12:28 PM   #24
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There would have also been the problem of one being hung upside down from the roof of the outhouse, crammed through the seat, and suspended in the tank while holding one's breath for as long as it took to locate the thing just by feel.

One of the people who learned about this offered the advice that a heavy magnet could have been dropped into the potty cellar and rummaged around for a little, thus capturing and recovering it.

That's just plain silly. Everyone knows that glocks are plastic guns, that they can't show up on x ray devices, that they are non magnetic, and will melt if you spill nail polish remover on them.

What was that? That's all nonsense? Ooops. My bad
That is why RETENTION is so important when it comes to ANYTHING, not just firearms. Years ago, I would have cheap Velcro and stitching cases on my belt where I would keep utility cutters, penlights and other accoutrements related to my work. I lost a beater phone this way. I had just finished manhandling an overloaded hand truck filled with sacks of rice, tossed the dolly back onto my truck, got inside and drove almost 3 miles before I realized that a pouch on my belt containing the phone was gone.

Yep, pouch and phone and all. It must have been bumped and jostled by me shoving and manipulating the hand truck down the sidewalk into the restaurant basement. The cheap loop on the back just could not take it anymore and the whole thing was swept away. It was just a beater phone with only text/talk function and it was no big hassle to get it replaced. Only inconvenience was that I could not get in contact with my dispatcher for the next 3 hours and the truck had no GPS tracker, so back at the depot they were wondering what the hell happened to me.

I learned my lesson though and started investing in utility/tactical pants and jackets with LOTS of pockets. No more cheapo pouches and holsters. If I had lost my handgun in this fashion I would have been VERY pissed. I use a shoulder holster for concealed carrying. Got one for my 1911 and Remington 1858. They are not retention holsters but have secure thumb-release locking loops. As someone who does a lot of physical work, having items loosely dangling from my belt does not sound reassuring in any way or fashion.

As for lint getting on guns, I deal with that on a constant basis. My EDC knives also tend to attract lint and random dust, even inside non-shedding utility clothing. My solution? A basic field strip and wipe down with a rag soaked in Birchwood Casey SHEATH every couple of days. It doesn't take more than a few minutes, and a swab of the bore with a long handled Q-tip keeps everything running smoothly.
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Old January 6, 2019, 09:59 PM   #25
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I carry a gun on my ankle and it gets cruddy after a while. a quick wipe down on the outside and a dry brush down the barrel every month is what it gets as a minimum. I shoot it "cold" when qualifying, as in no prep or anything. I need to know it will work when I need it to under the conditions its carried.
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