On Holsters, Grips, And Cleaning Stuff
By Al Pickles

    Shopping for police and police related products is really a fun event today.
    Years ago you just didn't have the selection of staples or anywhere near the variety of incidental equipment.  Unbending administrators, reminding us how lucky we were to have a job at all, required that we purchase our own uniforms, accoutrements, and side arms.  They set forth exactly what make and model handgun we were to carry which was usually a Smith & Wesson M&P (now the Model 10) or a Colt Official Police, both in .38 caliber.  Heaven forbid you should try to use some model with adjustable sights or change the grips to something that actually fit your hand.
    Ah, but times have changed for many of us although there are still a few chiefs with their heads firmly stuck...in the clouds of ignorance.  Today many of the working cops can buy a handgun that fits both the purpose and the person.  It makes our "shopping" a pleasure although not without some hazard to the unwary.  When you have a greater variety of products to chose from, it is inevitable that some junk will enter even our specialized marketplace.  It is hoped that some of the product evaluations found in Police Product News will help you to avoid the hazards.
    TSI 301: Not very long ago I saw an ad in PPN for TSI 301 One-Step Gun Care.  This is a synthetic compound (non-petroleum) that does just about everything good that you would want done to your guns.  It cleans dirt, rust, lead fouling, and carbon. It enhances the appearance of bluing and metal surfaces as well as wooden grips.  It smoothes up the action with dry lubricant and repels lint and dust.  Unfortunately, most policemen have never heard of TSI 301, and it is rarely seen on dealers' shelves due to some unusual past marketing practices.
    The fact of the matter is that I first became aware of TSI 301 in 1971 when I attended the IACP conference and was given a small 1-1/4 ounce sample bottle.  I took it home and tried it out on a few of my working guns.  The results were so impressive that I purchased a case for the department and another case for myself.  Needless to say, a case will last me almost the rest of my life, so I sort of took the stuff for granted from then on.  After all, doesn't everyone use TSI 301?  Fact is, as I said, many of you have never even heard of it.  I can't even remember seeing an ad until the one appearing in PPN.  I don't know where they have been over these past eight years, but I can say that I have not seen one speck of rust during those same ensuing years that I have been using it from my own supply.  Using properly and as directed, it really works as advertisements claim.  Sure you have to use a little elbow grease to scrub a dirty, rusty, or fouled gun since there is no way to "wish away" corrosion unless, like the brass, you have a toady or two.
    TSI 301 does have a couple of drawbacks.  You must take a religious precaution not to get any of the stuff on your ammunition, particularly in the area of the primer.  It is great for metal but death on priming compounds.  Its penetrating powers will work right between the primer and case if you spray a loaded gun.  Use care!
    A second disadvantage is that the combined compound and carrying agents melts plastic.  I have a very pretty, engraved 1860 Colt Army .44 which I had in a Styrofoam, fitted box.  After giving the old antique its quarterly wipe down, I gave it a final shot from the spray can while the Colt sat in the box.  Next time I checked, the box was eaten away but the gun was beautiful.  It makes little difference really because most of us have no guns made of plastic other than your kid's water pistol.  If you really wan to kiss rust goodbye, contact American Gas & Chemical, Inc. at 220 Pegasus Avenue, Northvale, NJ 07647, and order a can.

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