Jan 21, 2010

Brown, Parkerizing

First and foremost, congratulations to Senator-Elect Scott Brown (MA-R). I hope he remembers this campaign and how he earned his seat. However, as Lissa says, "[W]hile Scott Brown seems very likable and intelligent, he’s still a politician."

One of the instructors I've worked with in the Appleseed Program has pointed out - at every shoot - that what every politician wants, more than anything else in the world ... is to be re-elected. When your "job" is to legislate, and you've a job interview every 2/4/6 years, the way to keep your job is to keep your employers (the voting public) happy. The way to do that is to LISTEN TO THEM. Not pork-barrel spending, not make-work jobs programs, not putting the KY by the office door for the lobbyists.

But there's a second half to that. It's not just the politicians. If they're going to listen to you, you have to SAY SOMETHING. Anything! Make your voice heard, and not just in November. Every single politician I know of has a web site, and those all have either an e-mail address or a comment form readily available. Those are good, and will likely be read by a staffer and a notation will be made somewhere. Mailing a letter costs $0.44 and will fall into the same bin as an email. Phone calls are cheap and quick.

Right here is a list of all 100 senators with their office address and phone number. It's a simple call. "Hi, my name is ZerCool, and I'm a constituent of $SENATOR. I'm calling to let you know that I oppose/support bill number ____." A staffer will take your name, address, and phone number, and someday you may or may not get a form-letter response... but if you're not talking, they sure as hell aren't listening. Even if you didn't vote for 'em, they're still your designated representative. Use that fact. They work for you. Don't ever let them forget it.

(A list of representatives is at www.house.gov with appropriate contact info.)

OK, off politics and back to the guns!

As mentioned a couple entries ago, MrsZ and I went to the range and re-familiarized her with most of the pistols, including the 1911. It was malfunctioning on nearly every shot - failing to go all the way into battery. Ejected fine, picked up and fed the next round fine, but the slide would stop about 1/4" from being closed. This is, as I'm sure you can imagine, a Bad Thing. It won't fire out of battery, but having to push the slide closed each shot isn't something to inspire confidence.

Last night I took the time to field-strip and scrub it, and found just what I'd expected - waxy build-up on the slide rails and internals. This has happened before, but never to this extent. It's a by-product of the cast-lead loads I use, which are lubricated with a wax mixture. The wax heats up and vaporizes when the gun is fired, and condenses all over the internals. The rails, feed ramp, extractor, slide, firing pin channel, slide-lock pin, etc, all had varying levels of coating, but it was everywhere. Some very careful (and tedious) work with q-tips, Hoppes 9, and rags removed it all, and the gun now seems to be fine - a range trip sometime soon will verify.

This happened once over the summer during an IDPA match, and was caused by the same thing - wax buildup. It wasn't as pronounced during the match because (A) it was summer and therefore hot, and (B) during a match, so the gun was being run rapidly and therefore hot - and those factor combined to keep the wax thin and less sticky. Now that it's winter, a bit of wax or over-zealous greasing will gum up the works right quick. Re-lubed with Remington dri-lube (teflon based) on the rails and in the appropriate internals and hopefully that helps.

I also noticed a little bit of very light freckling on the slide. Now, my 1911 is parkerized - a manganese phosphate coating which is rough-textured and rust-resistant. Not rust-proof, as clearly evidenced by my 870, but pretty durable. Unfortunately, I had left my 1911 sitting in a foam-lined vault for a bit too long, and it made some trips in and out of the truck and house in all kinds of weather. A bit of moisture must have been retained in the foam, and some freckling/discoloration started. I nabbed it in time (rub the snot out of it with a terry washcloth), but it's something to be aware of.



GunGeek said...

As I understand it, you've got to keep a coat of oil on parkerized finishes in order to maintain their rust preventing properties.

The foam can wick the oil away, leaving the metal more vulnerable.

elmo iscariot said...

Similar to what GunGeek said, have you seen Xavier's process for impregnating parkerized finishes with oil?

He uses vaseline, an oven, and half a day to simulate years of storage in cosmoline, dramatically improving the park's performance.

ZerCool said...

Elmo, I hadn't seen that before. I may well have to try that - before the IDPA season gets going, since my 1911 is my IDPA gun.

elmo iscariot said...

Just be sure to plan ahead:

Once cooled, and totally impregnated with grease, the Parkerizing leeched grease for a month afterwards. Honestly, it was pretty nasty. I was halfway expecting that, which is why I used clean, clear Vaseline instead of black moly grease.

Sounds like a bad thing in the middle of a competition.