Friday, June 10, 2016

Let's see if this 2006 vintage L.W. Seecamp .380 functions or fails after being in my pants pocket for over a year without cleaning or lube

(This natural, rough-side-out, horsehide holster shows the effects of residing in the dark, moist, grungy recesses of my pants pocket for nearly every day of each year since the holster was purchased.)

I last cleaned this LWS .380 on May 9, 2015 and switched the carry ammo to 85-grain Winchester Silvertips (per the LWS recommended ammo list), getting away from my favorite .380 load of all time, Federal's erstwhile 90-grain 380BP.  So, not only did I go for over a year carrying a dry, pocket-grunged pistol, I was carrying ammo that I had never before tried in that pistol.

I look at things this way; most any of those last-ditch, itsy bitsy semi-auto pocket pistols on the market will darn near always go BANG on the first trigger pull;  they have a very high probability of firing at least once.  That is a WIN in my book;  it is equal to nothing less than carrying a single shot derringer of equal size to the little semi-auto; any subsequent BANGs from those little semi-autos are simply a bonus.   I like to think of pistols of this genre as akin to being single-shot derringers that have the POTENTIAL to keep on giving.  Higher quality pistols that receive good maintenance should result in us getting a higher likelihood of more than one BANG.   In this here realtime example of a gun-dude with poor-maintenance habits, what is in my favor are the facts that this LWS .380 is a top-notch design made from top-notch materials by top notch artisans; in Ludwig and Larry Seecamp we trust.  Anyhoo, the range will be the final arbiter; let's see how this shakes out.

(BTW, I love these mini-targets)
SCENARIO: OMG!  I'm cornered.  A well armed BOOGEYMAN is five-yards away and is going to end me for certain and for sure!  OMG!  OMG!  THERE IS NO CHOICE BUT FOR ME TO DEFEND!   Purty little pistol, please don't fail me now!

Well lookee there.  I pulled the trigger six times and that poor old neglected pistol fired and cycled correctly each time.  Why did I not pull the trigger one last time and fire the seventh and final round?  I'll explain below.

I ejected the final, unfired round from the chamber and this is what it looked like.

I mentioned earlier that I had never tried Silvertips before in this Seecamp.  I wanted to see how this final hollow-point handled the feed cycle;  it looked pretty much as I expected.    I have seen this happen with different ammo brands and calibers and in different pistol brands and models.  Over the years I have seen it happen VERY often with Silvertips.  Hell, sometimes I find them bashed up like that while still in the magazine; recoil causes that.  It does make me wonder if I should switch back to my old time favorite load, 380BP;  I have ~1,350 rounds left on the raft but I also favor them for my Cheetah and my PPK; those cartridges will not last forever and Federal does not seem likely to resurrect that product. 

 Normal .380 Silvertip fresh out of the box.

 Normal Silvertip on the left, the one I ejected from the Seecamp on the right.

Setback can cause high pressure.  I cannot tell for sure if the bullet was set back into the case.  The mouth of the hollow point bullet of the ejected round was mashed at an angle; my guess is that there was at least a little setback.  

If I recall correctly, the Federal .380BP hollowpoint never suffered near this much disfigurement in the LWS .380.  This all calls for some pondering ...

In closing out this episode, my L.W. Seecamp .380 received a thorough cleaning and some quality lubricant.  Six fresh rounds of Silvertips are in the magazine and there is a fresh round in the chamber;  I'm good to go for another year ... maybe two.  Oh hell yeah ... I'll get around to cleaning it again... sooner or later.


Pumice said...

I hope that it wasn't the same pants pocket for the entire year or that the pistol did not go through the wash.

Grace and peace.

James Zachary said...

... you mean I am supposed to change my pants too?

... had these on since Obama was first sworn in ...

... kinda 'splains the holster grunge, don't it?

Doug Rink said...

Just one mag's worth of recoil bent up a bullet that much? That's freaky.