Heat effect on firearms

Heat effect on firearms

This is a discussion on Heat effect on firearms within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Just wanted to know if there are any possible issues one should be concerned with about the effect of heat on handguns which are kept ...

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    New Member Array 458winmag's Avatar
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    Heat effect on firearms

    Just wanted to know if there are any possible issues one should be concerned with about the effect of heat on handguns which are kept for long periods of time in passenger compartments of vehicles during the extreme summer temperatures. Steel vs polymer considerations? I've seen concerns recommending ammo be rotated, but just wanted to be sure about the guns themselves.

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    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 458winmag View Post
    Just wanted to know if there are any possible issues one should be concerned with about the effect of heat on handguns which are kept for long periods of time in passenger compartments of vehicles during the extreme summer temperatures. Steel vs polymer considerations? I've seen concerns recommending ammo be rotated, but just wanted to be sure about the guns themselves.
    I have seen poly pistols melt when left in ovens...... How hot is your car?
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    I suppose that if your gun has baked for weeks in your truck in the summer sun in Arizona, you might want to oil it.

    But that's about it.
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    VIP Member Array LimaCharlie's Avatar
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    I have no idea since I have never left a gun in my vehicles.
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    VIP Member Array maxwell97's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry about it. If guns and ammo can hold up in the deserts of Iraq, they should be okay in the car. Be careful with diet sodas, though, I guess they can produce formaldehyde.
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    Not a problem out here in AZ, where car interior air temps can exceed 130F. Light lubricants tend to evaporate or migrate to low spots, but I've had no problems with steel, aluminum or plastic guns regularly exposed to that heat.
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    Senior Member Array Grizzly2's Avatar
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    When I was young and first out on my own, I left my Ithica 37 in a case in my trunk for maybe a few weeks. It doesn't take much humidity to work on the bluing and luckily I caught it before it got too bad. I'd be more worried about break ins than the gun being damaged. I can't think of anything on a gun that is glued together or epoxied under tension that heat might cause to come apart like a bow. Some of the wood grips we have today are resin filled but I've never heard of them being effected. I suppose it is possible that heat and cold could cause them to expand and contract a little.

    Heat and cold can effect the power of the gun powder, but I don't think we have to worry too much about our "long range zero" in our handguns.
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    VIP Member Array OldChap's Avatar
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    My experience concerning leaving guns in hot cars for any appreciable length of time is that there wonít be enough heat to matter. Not because the heat couldnít have an effect, but because the gun will get stolen before it has a chance to get hot.

    It really is a bad, bad idea.
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    Some people arent allowed to carry, buy are allowed to leave a firearm locked away in their verhicle while at work. 100+ degrees outside is even hotter inside, so I can understand why the OP is concerned.

    I have never seen any pictures posted or heard of anyone mention they had a problem. The car should not get hot enough to reach the melting point of polymer. The head gasket cover, water pump, and other components on my car is actual made out of glass filled polymer. I'm sure that the temperature near the engine is much hotter than it will be inside your car especially in the summer.

    If it's a concern of yours and if it helps you sleep better, buy a steel frame pistol or a modular pistol like the Beretta APX, APX Carry, Sig P365, or P320...

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    Member Array Holster's Avatar
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    Ever felt how hot a barrel gets when you shoot a box through it? Don't worry about it. Unless it is 300+ degrees in your car I wouldn't give it a second thought. Never had a problem. I have had to leave guns in the car parked at the airport for a week in the middle of summer. The only thing I would recommend in a case like that, is don't immediately put it IWB as soon as you return to the car.

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    Member Array APX-9M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holster View Post
    Ever felt how hot a barrel gets when you shoot a box through it? Don't worry about it. Unless it is 300+ degrees in your car I wouldn't give it a second thought. Never had a problem. I have had to leave guns in the car parked at the airport for a week in the middle of summer. The only thing I would recommend in a case like that, is don't immediately put it IWB as soon as you return to the car.
    I do know that the melt temp of polypropylene is lower than regular polymer. A lot of the budget guns and Glocks might use polypro for the recoil assembly. Even still, I've never heard of anyone having an issue.

    I worked as an injection molding tech for several years about a decade ago, and leaving not getting the barrel down to temp when changing over from polymer to polypro would result in toxic gas from the burning plastic and a write up.... I believe polypro melted in the 250 degree range.

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    Senior Member Array retired badge 1's Avatar
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    I would be more concerned with ammunition subjected to long-term exposure to high temperatures. Smokeless powders can degrade under such conditions with unpredictable results on ignition. Primers may be affected.

    Good quality firearms should not suffer any adverse effects unless the metal parts are heated to a point of overcoming heat treatment processes (which usually requires approaching the liquidous form, highly unlikely without a major heat source applied). Of course, today's "plastic fantastic" models may deviate based upon the specific materials used in their construction.

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    Distinguished Member Array KILTED COWBOY's Avatar
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    I donít worry about heat as much as humidity.
    Humidity is the real damage caused. Rust never sleeps.

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    I've heard of Chili Cook offs, but never a Pistol in a hot car.

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    Member Array Holster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by APX-9M View Post
    I do know that the melt temp of polypropylene is lower than regular polymer. A lot of the budget guns and Glocks might use polypro for the recoil assembly. Even still, I've never heard of anyone having an issue.

    I worked as an injection molding tech for several years about a decade ago, and leaving not getting the barrel down to temp when changing over from polymer to polypro would result in toxic gas from the burning plastic and a write up.... I believe polypro melted in the 250 degree range.
    If my Shield melts in my car, I'll eat the gun, chewing, not shooting, perhaps with a bit of BBQ sauce. If the gun's frame melted, then I am sure my dash will be a puddle as well.

    Regular polypro melts at 179C, or 354.2F. Even so, I do not doubt their formulation may have a slightly higher melting point, but not necessarily, nor would it be needed.

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