Sunday, March 8, 2015

Commentary - Cleaning My Glock Is A Lot Like Changing A Diaper


Grandpa here played host to our three granddaughters this past weekend – Miss A (8 going on 17), Miss E (6 and fully in charge of the crew) and Miss L (2 and swinging for the fence every day). While the two oldest are fully self-sufficient, Miss L still requires a bit more supervision . . . and assistance with “personal hygiene”. One such area is that of the diaper change. Grandma Susie was off to a Dressage clinic so such duties were left to the guy in the mirror . . . namely yours truly. Now that said, I am fully trained and experienced is dealing with this particular “biologic weapon system”. I received training in the military as a one-time NCB warfare officer, spent time is a Disaster Preparedness slot, was vetted in “combat” changing the cloth diaper of Miss E’s mom “back in the day” as well as her Uncle Mike’s new-fangled disposables. And, I’ve kept my skills current over the past nearly 8 years with occasional trips to the “weapons range” with her older sisters. I am a fully trained and prepared “defensive diaper changer”.

This weekend, as I was changing Miss L it occurred to me that changing her diaper had a great deal in common with cleaning my carry weapon – a Glock 17. So, for a change of pace on posts – I thought I’d share my thoughts on the similarities.

20150307_081236 (Medium)

A full diaper . . . and a Glock 17 are both deadly weapons.

I carry my 9mm G17 as a defensive weapon capable of delivering lethal force if needed. I know its capability – and I train to use it effectively and properly a number of times each month.

The full diaper of a two year old child, may well approach a lethal level. Though a gas and biologic threat – the attack of a truly potent “load” can mount on both your olfactory senses and your visual senses can be near overwhelming. The thing that typically takes the inexperienced off guard is the ability for such a cute critter to deliver such a deadly “round”. It can be, quite literally, breathtaking!!

Field stripping is required.

For the Glock I confirm the weapon is empty – no magazine or round in the chamber. I make sure the trigger has been pressed, move the slide back 1/8”, pull the little release tabs down and move the slide forward until it separates from the lower receiver. I remove the recoil spring and barrel . . . and that’s as far down as I take it for a quick cleaning.

Cleaning a 2 year old after a fully purposeful “discharge” is a bit different . . . and similar. First, this particular weapon system is ALWAYS LOADED! Keep that in mind. Just because you heard the discharge and picked up on the olfactory cues . . . there is NO GUARANTEE THAT THE MAGAZINE – OR CHAMBER – IS EMPTY. I have, on occasion, received direct fire while changing a diaper – you must always be on guard for this. If their face turns red and the abdominal muscles begin to contract, it simply is not going to end well.

That said, removing the diaper also requires pulling back on two tabs and extracting the diaper and contents for removal.

Clean away excess GSR . . . or poo . . .

It is always best to brush away excess GSR prior to applying your specific treatment for cleaning the barrel, spring and slide. I keep a couple old tooth brushes in my cleaning kit to brush off the excess GSR before I get serious about cleaning the assembly.

The same is true during the diaper change. Once the tabs have been released and the front panel pulled slightly back . . . I will use it as an initial cleaning tool to remove as much of the “residue” I can from this particular biologic weapon. Remember, the more you remove, the easer the cleaning will go.

That said, it becomes clear at this particular point that there is a MAJOR difference between the two different weapon’s systems that is rather dramatic. With the Glock the round is expended out the barrel and travels down range to impact the threat. The particles left behind is truly simply residue.

The contents you behold when you pull back the front panel of the diaper IS THE WHOLE FRICKIN’ ROUND!!! And while you are not an intended target . . . you can easily become collateral damage! You must stay focused. One more reminder . . . THE WEAPON MAY NOT BE “UNLOADED” . . . remain vigilant for the signs of a “follow up shot” during the diaper change.

Both require a good cleaning . . .

I’ve recently moved towards denatured alcohol as a cleaning agent for the Glock. It does a good job of removing GSR, seems to have less odor associated with it and leaves nothing behind when I’m done. As a “lubricant” I’ve started using Fireclean on just my Glock for now. This is a new product whose purpose is to treat the metal so less GSR sticks to it during the discharge of the weapon leaving less to clean off during these sessions. So far so good . . . I like how the product is working. Once the cleaning is done I reassemble the Glock 17, do a couple function checks, reload it and return it to my IWB carry holster. I am good to go!

20150307_140704 (Medium)

The same thing happens during a diaper change. The liberal use of diaper wipes insures the “weapon” is clean and that all “residue” has been removed. Depending on the condition of the surface area after cleaning, some type of protective application may be required. This is one of the most toxic areas known to man – and exposure to “expended rounds” may well cause tissue damage requiring some further treatment. If no damage exists – simply reassemble the area with a clean diaper and you’re good to go. Should the area be damaged, use the “mommie approved” meds – apply them as instructed and then reassemble the area with your clean diaper.

Purposeful discharges . . .

Just one more reminder . . . in the firearms community purposeful discharges off the range means that your life has severely slid off the rails. You have been physically attacked and that your last resort has been the employment of your defensive weapon to protect yourself, your family or someone in your charge. It is very serious crap!!

The lovely little bundle I call Miss L is all about “purposeful discharges”. And, when with Grandpa I can guaran – damn – tee ya she has a round in the chamber, a couple in the mag and will “fire at will”! In fact, she’s not hesitant to walk up to me and proudly state . . . “I stinky!!!”

So there ya have it . . .

Cleaning my Glock is a lot like changing a diaper . . .


  1. Yeah, but they are pretty much a 'nuclear' option at that age and earlier... BTDT, took the collateral hits more than once! :-D

  2. Yeah, but they are pretty much a 'nuclear' option at that age and earlier... BTDT, took the collateral hits more than once! :-D