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Gun Cleaning Input

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Old 10-04-2011, 11:35 AM   #481
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My guns are all cleaned after firing. I use Birchwood Casey bore scrubber on a jag followed by a bronze brush and then paper jags until the bore is clean. I follow this with light gun oil and mop it through.

I take down my moderator every couple of hundred rounds and clean the baffles in nitro solvent before reassembling.

It usually takes half a dozen rounds or so before the rifle settles back to good accuracy. This means that I always go onto the range the day before I stalk.
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Old 10-04-2011, 11:46 AM   #482
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What is your criteria for cleaning your guns?

Any firearm taken to the range gets a thourough cleaning when I get home. Once a month/month and a half, I pull the guns from their cabinet or case, inspect and re-oil if needed before returning to storage. I am very careful not to apply too much oil.. Just enough to coat the steel and contact points.

How do you clean your guns?

Hoppes #9 is my choice for cleaning all of my guns and has been for years. I just love the smell of it
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Old 10-04-2011, 11:50 AM   #483
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Originally Posted by notdku View Post
The data, statistics and information from this thread will be compiled into an FAQ article. Please be as detailed but concise as you can in your response.


What is your criteria for cleaning your guns?

Do you clean based on rounds fired, time since last cleaning, condition of gun, etc.

How do you clean your guns?

What products do you use and what methods to thorough cleaning.

I'll answer your questions as specifically as possible and in the order you asked them.

1. "What is your criteria for cleaning your guns?"

If they have been fired even once since they were last cleaned.

2.Do you clean based on rounds fired, time since last cleaning, condition of gun, etc.

I base whether to clean my guns on whether or not they have had so much as one round through them since their last cleaning. Sometimes I'll clean them even if they haven't been fired since cleaned last. I do that sometimes to prevent buildup of dust on them as well as to brush on oil as a rust preventative as well as to rub linseed oil into wooden stocks to preserve the wood and prevent cracking. So sometimes even if they haven't been fired, I'll clean them anyway just as preventative maintenance.

3. "How do you clean your guns?"


4. "What products do you use and what methods to thorough cleaning?"

It depends on the weapon or firearm.
For my black powder weapons (they are not classified Federally as "firearms") if I am shooting them on my property, I clean them immediately after I am finished firing them. If I am shooting them at a range and staying overnight at a range shoot, because black powder is much more corrosive than smokeless powder, I will toothbrush and borebrush scrub them clean with water while at the range, followed by repeated patches through the bore and chambers of the cylinder until the patches come out clean, then followed by a toothbrush and bore brush scrubbing of oil and then wipe off most of the oil but leave a thin film, and not wait until I return home. But when I do return home, I clean them even more thoroughly again, just to make sure I have gotten all the corrosive black powder fouling out of them.

Whenever possible I use hot soapy water to clean my black powder weapons. If no hot water is available I'll use cold soapy water to clean them followed by a rinse with non soapy water. If no soap is available, I'll just use plain cold water. I use a toothbrush and bore brushes to clean my black powder weapons just as I do with my smokeless firearms. I do not use solvent on my black powder weapons. Just hot or cold water and soapy or non soapy water followed by drying and applying oil. I completely immerse my black powder revolvers in the water and scrub them. I do not oil the interior of the cylinder's chambers. I will spray WD40 or some other lubricant into the openings of the black powder revolver's receiver openings to ensure lubrication of all the springs and interior parts as well as to help prevent any interior corrosion from any small amounts of black powder fouling that may have found its way to the receiver's interior. Plus WD40 displaces moisture so its good to use in the interior of the revolver after dunking it in water to clean it.

A good field cleaning usually is sufficient to clean my black powder revolvers and rifle's barrel. But about every third or fourth time I shoot my black powder revolvers, I completely tear down the black powder revolver by removing all screws and all parts to give the interior of the weapon a very thorough cleaning with hot soapy water along with my usual cleaning of the exterior and bore and chambers of the cylinder. Then I will use a hairdryer to dry everything thoroughly. Then I carefully oil and sometimes even use teflon spray instead of oil since it doesn't collect fouling and gum up like oil does when mixed with black powder fouling.

On my smokeless powder firearms, I use and have used various solvents. Basically whatever is handy at the time. Just as when I was in Marine Corps boot camp being instructed by my drill instructors on cleaning my M14 rifle with mineral spirits and gun oil and a block of wood to rub off any rust that might have formed, that is how I do that today. Only sometimes I have used gasoline if I was out of mineral spirits.

I will field strip the firearm and sometimes depending on the firearm and or how much I have shot it, I will do a more thorough cleaning than just field strip it. But usually that isn't necessary and I do that seldom. The first thing I do with my rifle is field strip it. Then I fill a pan with solvent and run solvent wet brushes (first) and then solvent wet patches down the barrel repeatedly until they show no more black marks on the patches. At the same time I use a chamber brush to scrub the chamber with solvent also. I carefully scrub the entire barrel, bolt, piston and gas tube with bore brushes and solvent also. Everything that has contact with gas in a semi-auto system gets scrubbed with solvent. If cleaning a AR15 or MAS49/56 that uses a direct impingement gas tube rather than a piston, I will use long pipe cleaners with solvent to clean that small diameter gas tube. All parts including trigger assembly get dunked and scrubbed in solvent. Then I set everything aside to dry. Once dry, I dip a toothbrush in oil and scrub down every piece of metal thoroughly with oil. Sometimes I will use thin gun oil and other times I will use 30 weight motor oil. I have done my way of cleaning for decades. It hasn't mattered if I used expensive solvents and oil, or cheap mineral spirits or gas and sewing machine or motor oil. The important thing I adhered to was a thorough cleaning and a thorough oiling. Once all the metal parts both internal and external have been toothbrushed with oil, I reassemble the firearm. Then all surfaces that are bearing surfaces of any kind or slide against anything get a few extra drops of oil on them.

One of the last things I do is run dry patches through the barrel until they come out clean and oil free. Then I very very lightly put a little oil on a patch and run that down the barrel just so a little thin film of oil is in the barrel.....but not too much.
I do not oil the gas tube or gas piston because any oil in those areas would collect fouling. Keep those dry as a bone. The other last thing I do is wipe the firearm down to get an excess oil off of it. But that still leaves just a thin film of oil on the exterior of the metal as a rust inhibitor. If any rust is encountered in cleaning, to protect the finish of the metal, I use a wedge shaped block of wood and oil to rub against that rust to remove it. If the rust is in a place the block of wood cannot reach, I will use various items such as emory board, emory paper, sand paper, Jeweler's files....whatever it takes to remove the rust. Then if any finish was marred as a result of the rust or the removal of that rust, I will solvent that area with laquer thinner to remove all oil, and brush a little cold blue on it, then let that dry and rub more cold blue on until it is like I want it. Then I rinse the cold blue with water, dry the metal and rub oil into it with a toothbrush.

I clean my semi-auto pistols the same way.


Last edited by Bill_Akins; 10-04-2011 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 10-04-2011, 11:53 AM   #484
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I clean my guns whenever I want to. Sometimes just because I want to and I haven't shot 1 round through them. But that is more of an inspection of the gun as well.
If I shoot, I try to clean as soon as possible after I get home. Just the way I was brought up since I was a kid.
I use Frog Oil. I found that a couple of drops down the barrel followed by a stroke or two of a brush, then patches and thats done. I then use a patch with a few drops to clean off all the residue left by the burned powder, etc. in all the other places. Another clean patch and a few more drops rubbed over all metal parts then wiped off. For specific lube points I use Gun Butter.
Read up on Frog Oil or watch the clips on it for preventing rust. It smells like wintergreen and the stuff is non toxic to where you can ingest some and it won't hurt you. I have nothing to do with the company other then I tried the product and found that it works better then anything else I have tried, and I have tried them all.
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Old 10-04-2011, 12:01 PM   #485
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Here is how I clean mine :

Hand guns, Rifles and Shot Guns after every use :

1) Field strip
2) Clean all metal parts with spray gun cleaner
3) Run a bore brush/snake through several times
4) Run patches w/powder solvent through bore until they come out clean
5) Clean chamber,extractor and firing pin with powder solvent
6) Lightly oil all parts
7) Run a patch, lightly oiled, down barrel
8) Re-assemble and wipe all metal parts with lightly oiled rag
9) Cycle the action to check operation

Mil surplus rifles (corrosive ammo) :

1) Spray Windex down barrel before leaving the range
2) Run a patch soaked in Windex through barrel
3) See 1-9 above
4) Wipe wood parts with furniture oil

Exceptions :

22LR handguns and rifles.
These are cleaned as needed the same way as 1-9 above.

Competition 22LR hand guns :

Inspected after use, clean chamber, extractor and bolt as needed. Barrel gets cleaned before start of season + field strip and clean see 1-9 above.


Hoppes : Powder solvent,oil
Other : Mineral spirits, spray gun cleaner/anti corrosion, cotton rags,paper towels, dental tools, tooth brushes, hand tools, furniture oil
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Last edited by SR9; 10-04-2011 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 10-04-2011, 12:02 PM   #486
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474th entry in this thread, all preceding - very educational & valuable - information enables a response amounting to the 'average' of the preceding gun laundering formulae, including Break Free CLP - with the final addition of a sparse application of white lithium grease, after the standard ritual(s) of applying Hoppe's and/or Winchester gun cleaner buffing and fluffing.
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Old 10-04-2011, 12:17 PM   #487
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What is your criteria for cleaning your guns?

After each use or if stored/not fired every 3rd month.

For my concealed carry, Wipe down weekly.

How do you clean your guns?

For stored guns, a wipe down with Ed's Red and a path through the barrel. If it is a wood stock, I wipe the stock (grips) with a rag with a good furniture cleaner/wax.

After shooting, I Field strip / clean the gun using Ed's Red - with a patch and brush
through the barrel.
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Old 10-04-2011, 12:18 PM   #488
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I clean whatever guns I have fired after going to the range.

I disassemble the gun according to manufacturer recommendations (according to Army recommendations in the case of my AR-15).

I use power shot gun defouler and whatever brand of gun oil.

I remove all gun powder residue etc... then I oil them up real good. Wipe them down, and reassemble them. Then I place them in my safe until next time
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Old 10-04-2011, 12:36 PM   #489
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I clean my firearms right after each range trip. Using a bronze bore brush I use Tipton Truly Remarkable bore solvent for copper removing, followed cotton swabs on a Jag. with Break free CLP to get the solvent cleaned out.
Then I use CorrosionX on cotton swab to protect bore.
Everything inside is wiped and swabed with Break Free CLP bolts and ejectors get brushed clean using a bronze wire brush.
I use CorrosionX on all moving items.
I don't do any complete disassembly of my firearms for cleaning, I fine sometimes less taking things apart is better.
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Old 10-04-2011, 12:38 PM   #490
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Cleaning is an individual thing, Most powders are non corrosive today so if you do not clean for a few weeks not big deal. As a Master Gunsmith since 1974 I have never seen a gun so dirty from the powder that it would not fire. Two exceptions are corrosive powder such as used in the 45 ACP and dirt introduced from being dropped on the ground or any other way to contaminates the gun. Any time there is foreign matter in the gun of any kind, it needs to be cleaned. the good old Simple Green and gun oil works just fine. I always advise to keep WD40 away from guns especially ammo. Most reloaders do not seal the primers with a sealer like clear fingernail polish or other sealer. WD40 will penatrate the pocket and kill the powder pretty darn quick. So if you are using it. Keep your ammo away from it. Most other forms of gun oil are to thick to actually penatrate the bullet head or primer pocket. But good ide is never mix ammo and oils of any kind after loaded. I spend more time cleaning ammo than the gun. I have customers that almost clean the gun every darn round and to me you are just wearing it out taking it apart time and time again. After a days shooting yes clean it. If you are going to store the gun for more than a couple weeks without fireing it clean it. Use common sense and if you think should I clean the gun you most likely should.
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