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Gun cleaning - how important

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Nimbus, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. Nimbus

    Nimbus Walla Walla Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    I had a little extra time on my hands today & started cleaning some dirty handguns that were in my safe. I really don't want to expound on how long some of them had been neglected but they are all clean & lubed now. (.22 10 shot revolvers are a pia to clean!) I cleaned several revolvers & two auto's.

    Granted, I live in desert country & my guns are stored in a safe but i was amazed at how there was no noticable corrosion or rust & the guns cleaned right up & look like new.

    When in law enforcement, I shot & cleaned my Sig P226 on a regular basis. Not only because of a possible firearm inspection from my sergeant but also because I wanted a dependable weapon.

    My question is; with todays modern non-corrosive ammo just how important is regular cleaning?

    Ironically, this is my first ever post.
     
  2. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Depends on the gun.

    My target guns, BP or corrosive ammo gets cleaned right away every time.

    I have other guns that only get cleaned "when they need it". That can vary from gun to gun but some of my .22's that get shot often dont get cleaned often.

    Some people swear by cleaning every time all the time and there is nothing wrong with that most of the time. Some guns can have life reduced by frequent aggressive cleaning and of course all guns can be damaged by improper cleaning.

    I have only had one gun damaged by not cleaning it right away. I have an M1 Garand that I shot ammo that was corrosive (and I did not know) and it sat for a couple months. Full of green nasty curd when I did clean it. It still shoots well enough for plinking but will not win any matches. I kick myself every time I see it now.
     
  3. simpleguy

    simpleguy Clackamas Active Member

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    I have more than a dozen that probably could use some cleaning, but to be honest.......it depends. I was raised to clean them after every shooting, though that's a great habit, a wife and two kids later, it's not always a reality.

    I think waterfowl shotguns should be cleaned after every outing due to moisture. I have a Ruger 10-22 that hasn't been cleaned in 2-3,000 rounds. My AR has been cleaned once and it's had about 300 rounds through it since then. My pocket gun could use some cleaning since it gets lint, even though it sits in a pocket holster and my M&P that's in my BOB needs some cleaning too, but only out of guilt, it's been shot 500+ rounds without any real attention.

    I think our ammo is so good now, really I worry more about rust/moisture/fingerprints. Mind you I don't shoot corrosive, BP, or Steel cased/dirty ammo. either.
     
  4. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    NWCID hits most hit points. I will add this.
    I clean every time I shoot.
    Before you get any notions, cleaning maybe wiping the gun down with a CPL wetted cloth and running a bore snake though it a couple of times. A few drops of oil on moving parts and it is ready to go.
    On my autos if it take more then that to clean then the gun gets field stripped and real cleaning.
    I also do a detailed cleaning on all my guns when I am bored. Just because I can.
     
  5. duran21

    duran21 Lacey Active Member

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    It depends on the weapon, however if your not sure, the good starting point is once a week do a simple wipe down of the moving parts. and a little CLP on the out side for rust control. Then a good cleaning any time you fire the weapon.

    if you have a rifle that is direct gas powered, youll be doing a deep clean of the upper and lower and bolt after only 20+ rounds, but if you have a revolver, you wont have to clean it much at all.
     
  6. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    The trigger mechanism needs to be kept clean, but cleaning the barrel when shooting jacketed bullets is over rated for a pistol. All my barrels only get a stiff nylon brush through them, no solvent.

    The gun doesn't need to run 1K rounds between cleaning to prove anything, but it should be able to run a few hundred rounds between cleaning, and always be able to run the amount of ammo you'll ever carry on your person, every time without fail.
     
  7. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    You must have a lot more free time then I do. If I was to do a once a week "wipe down" of all my guns I would loose at least day/week to cleaning. I have guns that I have not touched other then to move out of the way to get to other guns in years. Of course about once a year or so they get checked for rust or other problems. If the guns need more frequent cleaning then that I think I would not own then.

    I guess nobody told me I needed to "deep clean" all my DI guns. On some I run hundreds of rounds with a silencer on (way dirtier then without) and no problems yet.........
     
  8. Old Hick

    Old Hick Oregon Active Member

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    First off, Welcome to the Forum.

    As most, I clean all weapons thoroughly after each outing, it's Easier that way.

    Being that you are an Ex'LEO, you should know the importance of a clean and Functional weapon, and always clean and inspect each weapon after range time.


    Stay Safe.
     
  9. duran21

    duran21 Lacey Active Member

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    sorry, good point- that quick wipe is for my side arm that i carry, if you have weapons stored away, just a very very light coat of CLP, and then they should be fine for months.
     
  10. sadiesassy

    sadiesassy Prescott Active Member

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    SO is there an issue with cleanign after each use - other than the obvious issue of time to take them apart and clean them?
    I was always on the thought of keep them clean.
    When I lived in Texas we worried about rust more -( Hot and humid).
     
    HarryHaller and (deleted member) like this.
  11. hermannr

    hermannr Okanogan Highlands Well-Known Member

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    sadie, Yes, I know about Texas...we went to visit our oldest daughter and husband in Houston. We live on the dry side of WA and rust is not a real problem. Came back and my Colt revolver was starting to show a bit of rust already, and we were only there two weeks.
     
  12. halmbarte

    halmbarte PDX Active Member

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    Probably more important than squeaky clean is lubricated. A wet, dirty gun will run a lot better than an dry dirty gun.

    Personally, I clean everything after it gets shot. More often for guns that are carried and not shot. Everything in the safe gets cleaned/inspected about every 3 months.

    H
     
  13. sadiesassy

    sadiesassy Prescott Active Member

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    Ah yes Houston - where you can cut the humidity with a knife.
    But even over in Porrtland - I never had much of an issue - perhaps because in was in my basement.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  14. Aero Denezol

    Aero Denezol Salem Active Member

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    I also clean after every range session, but I also wonder about the necessity for this. Assembling and disassembling metal components will ultimately destroy the tolerancing. I've started to do light cleanings instead and waiting every so often to do a detailed cleaning on most of my guns.

    My 22 in particular groups awful until it's had 10-15 rounds put through it, after which point the groups tighten up remarkably... Except for the bore, most of my guns don't appear to get very dirty at all, even after a couple of boxes, one exception being my revolver.
     
  15. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Duck hunting on salt water,shotgun needs it as soon as home.
    Wet ,damp conditions mean more cleaning than a perfect dry storage place

    Only thing I have ever had any damage to was shot guns that I may have gone over too quickly after a hunt
    Oh and some cheap 22s that were cleaned regularly
     
  16. g26

    g26 NW Washington New Member

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    I'm guessing that I could run several hundred rounds through my Glock without cleaning and it would be just fine. But as it is, I clean and inspect it after every trip to the range. If it has been more than a couple weeks since a range trip, I do another inspection to clear away any lint. I carry IWB, and lint builds up sometimes.

    It's a matter of discipline for me. I clean and inspect my guitars and other instruments every time I play them, so I don't see why that shouldn't apply to my guns too.
     
  17. mobil890

    mobil890 Vancouver Area Member

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    I look at it this way. Its like changing the oil in your car. Its not important until it doesn't work any more. Have a nice day and welcome aboard.
     
  18. Kimber Custom

    Kimber Custom Vancouver, WA Bronze Vendor Bronze Vendor

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    I remember reading a piece about Glock torture testing where some guy was trying to see how long he could go before he had malfunctions. If memory serves he got to around 10,000 rounds before he had to stop and clean it. YMMV
     
  19. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Dad had a rule: never let the sun set on a dirty gun. I try to adhere to that, but honestly don't.

    Smallbore competition shooting allowed me the honor of being shoulder-to-shoulder with an Olympic champion at one point. His first piece of advice was NEVER clean the bore of a modern target-grade .22lr using modern ammo. His advice served me well in that arena. He qualified it by saying that a sporting .22 bore might need cleaning once in awhile (due to field conditions exposures) and gave a prohibition against bronze brushes: use nylon only.

    My ongoing regimen is this: I clean any centerfire gunbore thoroughly after a usage (usually the same day of shooting, but returning from hunting, this might extend a day or two: sorry, Dad). General inspection and wiping of interior and mechanics (with CLP) are included in this operation.

    Once a year, any gun that has been shot during that year gets the full-meal-deal, field stripped and thoroughly cleaned. Guns that have rested that year get a swab of CLP in the bore, and wipe of the outside with same. Wood gets Scott's Liquid Gold, synthetics get Armor All. A rough hunting trip dictates that gun gets the full treatment as immediate as possible after the hunt.

    Preparation for a rough trip indicates a complete coating of Johnson's Paste Wax on all surfaces, firing of the gun 2-5 shots to be able to hunt with a properly fouled bore. Going to Alaska, I most normally do not polish off the Wax. Gun looks like Haedes, but CANNOT rust.

    Proper care of your guns allows them to be ready for the next usage, with no dirt-caused failures, and good storage results even over long periods. "Spare time" is not a consideration. Gun cleaning is mandatory, and so such activity is given the importance of any other important task: time reserved to do it right.

    Multiple guns have been delivered to me from an owner who claims "it just doesn't shoot like it used to". Almost without fail, a good cleaning puts the favorite back in stellar operation.
     
  20. ogre

    ogre Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I like this rule a lot. I find it particularly important when shooting my blackpowder weapons.