How can I tell if it's "dirty"
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Old 06-29-2010, 11:45 PM   #1
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Default How can I tell if it's "dirty"

I'm a new SIG Sauer P226 owner and I have probably put around 400-500 rounds through my 226. My purpose for having this gun is target shooting at the range. It's my only gun though so I could also use it for home defense should I need to. However, it's primarily for the range.

I've read online and watched YouTube videos on cleaning the gun and just general gun cleaning. Many people clean theirs every time they go to the range, some every month, some after so many rounds, etc... While I'd be more inclined to keep mine super clean if I was using this weapon for carry, I still don't want it to be a mess even though I'm not.

My issue is, I don't know what's considered "dirty". My gun is two-tone so the slide is easier to tell since it is silver/stainless steel color. The black areas just look black to me. The whole gun looks wet and greasy but it's supposed to be lubricated so I'd assume that's fine. I've found a bit of buildup and some dark streaks but again, I can't tell if that is just dirt or the gun grease. I don't want to remove the gun oil/grease prematurely or clean off the good stuff. Should I just wait until it looks dirty to me and then give it a good scrubbing and re-greasing or should I be cleaning it even when it looks fine?

As a side note, can I damage the gun in any way with cleaners? I know that I should not use a stainless steel brush because it could scratch up the gun, but is there anything else I should avoid? I figure I won't use solvent unless it's really needed but could I hurt the gun by cleaning it dry with boresnakes and stuff? Thanks.

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Old 06-30-2010, 12:28 AM   #2
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After you shoot it, it is dirty. I clean mine after every range trip. Use a regular gun cleaning kit and you'll be fine.

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Old 06-30-2010, 12:41 AM   #3
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every 2 or 3 hundred rounds or once a month in my hand guns rifles 50 to 100 rnds. could be months but we have real dry air here in WY. In damp weather very time i use them

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Old 06-30-2010, 12:52 AM   #4
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You shoot it, it's dirty.

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Old 06-30-2010, 01:17 AM   #5
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Cleaning a Sig is easy. Do it every time you return from a shooting session. If nothing else, it'll facilitate a more intimate understanding of your gun. All you need is...

bore brush/snake
paper towels/q-tips/old t-shirt
an old toothbrush
RemOil/cleaner
gun oil (the last thing I do before re-assembly is get the rails nice and slippery)

You could probably pick up a can of RemOil (cleaner, with some lubrication) and a bottle of Hoppes Oil for $8-10 total...almost anywhere that carries shooting supplies.

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Old 06-30-2010, 01:33 AM   #6
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Well I just gave it a shot. It took forever since I was exploring and cleaning for the first time, but I can see what you mean by it's pretty easy on a regular basis.

Basically, all I did was scrub the whole thing (interior, exterior wasnt dirty yet) with a soft-bristle brush/brass brush and a few drops of solvent. I did see how the buildup was coming off. I also used a Terry towel, Q-tips, and some cleaning patches to get in the crevices. I then scrubbed the entire exterior of the barrel and chamber with a brush and solvent. Lastly, I cleaned the recoil spring and spring-guide with a brush and some solvent.

After all of this was done, I went over everything with the terry towel and a few patches and removed all solvent, including inside the bore. I then applied Mil-comm TW25B (it came with the gun in a small tube) to the slide rails on both the frame and the slide, the inside of the gun bore/chamber via a " bore mop", the outside of the bore and chamber, the recoil spring guide (and a little on the spring too but this was kinda difficult), the holes where the recoil spring/barrel go, and I think that's all. I remember seeing and reading people/the manual say to not overlubricate so all parts, I simply put a tiny drop of oil on and then rubbed it in with either a patch or my finger until it was slick but not over saturated. I did have some real trouble getting the hammer and hammer area clean because I couldn't find anything that would really fit in there.

Does this sound right to you? I also used Q-tips but I have good eyes and I didn't leave much lint behind, if any.

Really, my 2 concerns are: 1. I don't want to forget to lubricate a part and cause a problem. 2. I don't want to jam up something by leaving lint or overlubricating. Are these things easy to do or would I really have to screw up to damage the gun? Thanks.

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Old 06-30-2010, 02:42 AM   #7
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If you've shot it, and haven't cleaned it since, it's dirty. Simple, on?

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Old 06-30-2010, 02:47 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by NewGunz View Post
Well I just gave it a shot. It took forever since I was exploring and cleaning for the first time, but I can see what you mean by it's pretty easy on a regular basis.

Basically, all I did was scrub the whole thing (interior, exterior wasnt dirty yet) with a soft-bristle brush/brass brush and a few drops of solvent. I did see how the buildup was coming off. I also used a Terry towel, Q-tips, and some cleaning patches to get in the crevices. I then scrubbed the entire exterior of the barrel and chamber with a brush and solvent. Lastly, I cleaned the recoil spring and spring-guide with a brush and some solvent.

After all of this was done, I went over everything with the terry towel and a few patches and removed all solvent, including inside the bore. I then applied Mil-comm TW25B (it came with the gun in a small tube) to the slide rails on both the frame and the slide, the inside of the gun bore/chamber via a " bore mop", the outside of the bore and chamber, the recoil spring guide (and a little on the spring too but this was kinda difficult), the holes where the recoil spring/barrel go, and I think that's all. I remember seeing and reading people/the manual say to not overlubricate so all parts, I simply put a tiny drop of oil on and then rubbed it in with either a patch or my finger until it was slick but not over saturated. I did have some real trouble getting the hammer and hammer area clean because I couldn't find anything that would really fit in there.

Does this sound right to you? I also used Q-tips but I have good eyes and I didn't leave much lint behind, if any.

Really, my 2 concerns are: 1. I don't want to forget to lubricate a part and cause a problem. 2. I don't want to jam up something by leaving lint or overlubricating. Are these things easy to do or would I really have to screw up to damage the gun? Thanks.
Just my opinion but a couple of things to note. Try to use the patches and a lint free type rag for wiping down, no Q-tips or cotton balls either, I use old tee shirts or tighty-whities . On a regular basis a brush and a few patches through the bore and a thorough brushing of the barrel, slide and rails should keep everything working. If you use Hoppes or Breakfree they have a solvent and lubricant so there is no need for additional oil unless it's what you prefer. Try not to get the lube down into the hammer or trigger mechanism, or any place that you cannot easily get into to clean, as the excess oil will accumulate dirt and gunk up over time.

As far as lubricating goes, wipe it down until you're satisfied it's all off, then take half of what's left off...you really do not need much and if it pools up or seeps out after you're done it's WAY too much.
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Old 06-30-2010, 03:35 AM   #9
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It's already been well expressed "if you shoot it, it's dirty". The other point to keep in mind while cleaning it's the time to inspect for wear on the moving parts. If you clean after each outing you will notice wear sooner and possibly identify a problem that is a cheap fix. If you wait it might become an expensive fix.

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Old 06-30-2010, 05:20 AM   #10
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I love using my air compressor after cleaning and before lubrication.

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