So I retired from my jobs as a paramedic in November so that I could move several states away for the next two years, so I could return to school for my graduate degree. I packed up some of my favorite handguns and moved 1,200 miles. I now own a house in Florida, and rent an apartment a few miles from the school. I am a dual resident of two states, and maintain a house in both of them. I guess I am technically a snowbird.

One of the problems that this caused relates to the way that I packed my handguns. I guns into four padded Pelican cases. There were four 1911s, a pair of Sig 229s in Stainless, and a Beretta Tomcat in one case, and a Sig Mosquito and 3 Glocks in a second, an AR-15 in the third, and a Springfield M1A in the fourth. The problem is that the Pelican case is air tight, and I packed them in hot, humid Florida, and transported those cases to the cool, dry north.

Three weeks later, after finally getting settled in, I opened the locked cases, and it felt like I had been punched in the gut. The humid air trapped in the Pelican cases had condensed, and began corroding some of the guns. In the end, only two were damaged: The AR has some surface rust on the barrel which cleaned off with some work. The sad part was one of the 229s (the .357Sig) was rusted so badly that the takedown lever, mag release, and slide stop were all rusted in place. Apparently, the 229 Stainless doesn’t use as much stainless as I thought.

I took it to the gunsmith, and the guy behind the counter told me that my gun couldn’t possibly be stainless steel, because you can’t blue stainless. I tried to explain Nitron finishes to him, but he looked at me like I was stupid and told me that there is no way to blue stainless. I then asked him why it says “stainless” right on the slide, and then told him to hand me my gun back, because he is obviously not the guy I want working on my guns. It turns out he is only a helper, and the real gunsmith actually knows what he is doing. The total repair estimate on the Sig is about $400. Rebarreling the AR will be expensive, too.

Expensive lesson.

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