Not all that glitters is gold.

Brewer here again. I really do hope the professor is having a good time. I was expecting him to take over today, but he and the general are still off having a good time while I slave over the keyboard. Just kidding—that doesn’t bother me a bit, but there was something that did bother me for awhile. I had to leave both my main and my backup pieces in the other reality. When I got around to mentioning this to our “handlers,” as the professor calls them, what did they do? Why, they bought me a new Beretta Px4 Storm 9mm.  Here’s a photo:

Not a great photo, but you can get a better look at it on the Beretta Web site:

This pistol is so easy to field strip and clean that I’ve done more of that lately than I used to with my older guns. If you’re new to firearms, or if you haven’t spent much time cleaning them, there’s something you might notice when you remove a pistol slide after an afternoon at the range. Look closely at the area identified in this photo:

Naah, don’t look for it in the photo, look at your own gun.  This one’s clean, and the photo’s a bit dark, anyway. Do you see little flecks that look like gold dust in the bottom of your gold pan? What? Never been panning? Never mind, then. But if you see little gold-colored glitter on the internal gun parts, don’t worry about saving them—they’re not gold.  So, what else looks kind of like gold? Right. They’re tiny chips off the brass cartridges. Mystery solved.

But why are they there? Well, they’re held in place by the gun oil, of course, but there are some serious forces at work when that cartridge is set off by the primer, that slide kicks back, the bullet leaves the barrel, and the next cartridge moves into the chamber. Wham, bam, slam! Brass is fairly soft, as far as metals go, and when the steel gun parts hit that brass, the steel wins every time. Get yourself some spray cleaning solvent from the sporting goods store and that will make the cleanup a lot easier.  Clean ‘er up every time you shoot, and be safe.

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