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Old 10-10-2011, 02:07 AM   #681
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When to clean depends on several factors IMHO. Some of those factors are:
1. type of firearm: 22, centerfire, smokeless powder, BP, or smooth bore vs rifled
2. type of ammo:smokeless, corrosive or not, black powder, and age of ammo
conditions of where being shot:dirt range outdoors, indoor range, hunting, or battlefield
3. time to clean: will you need to be at the ready or is it down time
4. weather conditions: this is often over looked but rain means clean ASAP as does high humidity & dusty shooting area is a clean ASAP situation as well

There way too many factors that can determine WHEN to clean, way too many to post in one reply.

How to clean is a varied and when to clean. IF doing a quick clean make sure you cover areas that will corrode or rust before you can get to a complete cleaning. Corrosive ammo I usually clean the chamber and barrel before I put the firearm up to transport from where I am shooting. I like to use RemOil and PB Blaster for a quick spray down for corrosive ammo and after all shooting till I can do a complete cleaning. 22 rimfires I usually do not clean very ofet at all UNLESS it is a target firearm that I use in compition which then I clean every chance I get. Cenetrfire smokeless i will clean throughly once home with a good bore cleaner such as military issue or a good off the shelf brand. I cleasn the outside metal surfaces really well with RemOil, Otters, and a host of good off the shelf cleaners. Now should I allow one to begin to rust up, I then through;ly clean it wil a degreaser first, then use Flitz cleaner/polish, and folow up with a good gun oil. I also use flitz for a barrel that has dull bore. On all my military guns I use amiltary issue bore cleaner BUT one must watch it carefully to not get it on wood being it will ruin the finish.

Now one type of firearm I clean throughly and after EVERY use is any one that uses black powder, whether it be cartridge or muxxle loading. I clean Black powder firearms with very hot water and SOAP. I have also used a mixture of equal parts rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and murphy's oil soap to a great degree of success. Once I clean the BP firearm I then oil ALL metal on it paying very special attention to the bore. There are many great oils to use but one of the oldest and best IMHO is Virgen Olive Oil which some call sweet oil. It was used for several centuries on black powder arms through out the world.

Bottom line is cleaning is a matter of what you shoot, what ammo you shoot, what conditions you shoot in, and mostly how well you clean. IF you clean a firearm the right way and throughly the first time, it makes it easier to clean the second time IMHO.
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Old 10-10-2011, 02:09 AM   #682
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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.
Every time a gun is fired,its cleaned.
If its kept in storage,its cleaned about every 3-4 months.
If its carried or handled regularly,its cleaned once a month at least.

How do I clean them?
Well if I'm shooting them,they get a quick spray of something at the range down the bore and in the action.
Then I take 'em down,clean 'em up with solvents,and oil them appropriately.
I also like to use light grease on the moving parts like the slide rails of semiauto pistols and the bolts and stuff.

If they're getting stored,they get a coat of motor oil wiped all over the metal.

Sometimes,corrosive ammo gets used.
Then I break the gun down so that the action is separate from the stock,or for a pistol,I remove the barrel- then I pour boiling water down the barrel and over the action,when appropriate.
The heat of the water causes the metal to be hot and usually the water just evaporates and leaves the gun dry.
It also washes out the corrosive salts,thus preventing any rust from developing "in secret" lol.
Then I just clean them like usual.

"You assist an evil system most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. An evil system never deserves such allegiance. Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil. A good person will resist an evil system with his or her whole soul."
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:46 AM   #683
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Never said preventative maintenance was hype. I said cleaning your gun after every trip is NOT a requirement and could cause tight tolerances to be lost.
I've only been shooting for 45 years, so what do I know? Never had a gun break except for a good reason. I have one 1911 that has to have at least 50,000 rounds through it or more and I would be happy to take out with your clean gun and see which shoots better at 50 yards.
I shooting with it has been with cast 200gn L-SWC and "dirty" powder.
I read a LOT of opinions, but no proof. My proof is ALL my guns still shoot as well or better than when I got them and they are infrequently cleaned.
I have several .22 target pistols that have yet to have anything down the bore but bullets. If I do my part, they stay under 1" all day with loads they like.
I brush off the breech and feed ramp occasionally.
If my guns are functioning 100%, not showing any signs of wear. and have not lost accuracy, what good will cleaning them do? After 45 years, I'm not changing a winning formula, nor do I expect any one else.
My point was there are a LOT of things you learn in the military that make no sense. Just like sending newbies into Nam with brand new M16s and NO cleaning kits. IF your life depends on a direct impingement gun, you NEED to keep the bolt and such clean. You are not into target shooting, you are into living while in battle and what works perfect for a civilian at peace has no bearing on someone firing full auto or burst while in combat.
My AR bolt is kept clean.
You'll be shooting a "shot-out" barrel in no time, but the loss of accuracy will not be noted. However, as a civilian, I will notice the loss and will not be burning out any barrels any time soon.
Machinists: How many times do you tear down and clean your lathe? I know some that have been running just fine since the '30s. However, if you did tear them sown daily and clean and oil them, how soon would you lose the tight tolerances? Do you disassemble and clean your gages and gauges every day?
PS: I worked in the lubrication field and can tell you that it makes a LOT more sense to change your filters frequently than to change you oil. Oil can be good, depending on blow-by gasses and heat for 20-50k, but the filter will lose efficiency after about 2500 miles. I ran the tests that determined lubrication and repair times for fleets of cars, trucks, ships, and planes, including PGE power plants in Needles and elsewhere. We got samples in about every 6 mos from the one-cylinder oil pump that had been running since the late '30s. Quailty oil and frequent filter changes had that old one lunger still running when I left in the late '70s.
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:10 PM   #684
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Default Quest on Gun Cleaning

How long does it take you to completely field strip and clean a AR rifile from head to doe that has had 500 rounds go through it? I mean a good solid cleaning to get back to "factory shape"??
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:23 PM   #685
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Default Cleaning gas powered semi auto rifles.

I just read griffudd's post and realized I hadn't put my 2 cents worth in about gas powered semi auto rifles. I was shown how to clean an SLR (L1A1) in 1973.

I have acquired a WASR AK 47 and two St G58s.

I use the same technique on both of the gas piston systems:
Don't oil the gas tube, just brush it out very well.
Get some 'Strike Anywhere' matches, spit on the end of your piston (big flat end) and rub hard with the match head. It doesn't take long to get the carbon off and return the piston head to original shine. The spit stops the match from flaring and makes a nice sulphur paste to remove gunk. I guess you can use tapwater, but it isn't as much fun.

The match head will fit in the pressure grooves around the piston head, clean it all fellas!
For the guys with FALs (St G58, L1A1 etc.), the match head will also fit in the gas plug, just work it back and forth. When you're finished and it is bright and shiny, rinse it in cold water.
This 'spit and shine' works on ANY piston from ANY gas powered fifle.

Last edited by mudflat; 10-10-2011 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:42 PM   #686
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Originally Posted by noylj View Post
There are reasons why the military insists on cleaning a gun.
1) They still "remember" black powder and corrosive primers
2) They love to have you strip-and-reassemble
3) They didn't pay for the guns and they don't care if they wear out or get damaged from frequent disassembly
4) Just like they love to have you fill sand bags and move them around.
Call Baer or Wilson and see how often they recommend you clean or disassembly one of their guns (or better, try to determine how often they do it to their personal guns).
Rust is the big factor. Wipe off hand prints and store in low humidity.
PS: apparently the Berettas are just too complicated for the recruits, so they Army wants to replace them with simpler DAO guns, something with a LONG trigger pull.
I have to say that I find fault with your logic about frequent disassembly.
I have a Colt Government Model series 70 MKlV that I bought in 1978 I had it combat Modified by a Smith in So Calif named James Boland I have shot it every weekend since 1978 it has logged 1,000's of rounds and I have field striped it and cleaned it it time it has been shot I have done an arms room strip down to the bare frame & inspection ( As I was taught in US Army Arms room course taken in 1973 at Ft Lewis WA) twice a year since 1978 and I have not worn it out by doing these action. If done correctly you won't wear out a well made firearm.
As for the disassemble of the Beretta look at the youth of today!

Fast is fine but accuracy is final. You must learn to be slow in a hurry!
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:44 PM   #687
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Originally Posted by mudflat View Post
Get some 'Strike Anywhere' matches, spit on the end of your piston (big flat end) and rub hard with the match head. It doesn't take long to get the carbon off and return the piston head to original shine. The spit stops the match from flaring and makes a nice sulphur paste to remove gunk. I guess you can use tapwater, but it isn't as much fun.

The match head will fit in the pressure grooves around the piston head, clean it all fellas!
For the guys with FALs (St G58, L1A1 etc.), the match head will also fit in the gas plug, just work it back and forth. When you're finished and it is bright and shiny, rinse it in cold water.
This 'spit and shine' works on ANY piston from ANY gas powered fifle.
SLiP2000™ - Carbon Killer

This works much better and easier.
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Old 10-10-2011, 02:14 PM   #688
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Old Time Gun Cleaning

What I am about to describe is my method for a good and thorough gun cleaning. It applies to all firearm types easily with a little creativity. I say my method because I use it but it is as old as firearms themselves…HOT water and soap. It is still “the” way to clean black powder firearms and kill the effects of corrosive primers and/or percussion caps.

Step 1: Remove any stocks and/or grips etcetera and field strip the piece.

Step 1A (optional): If the piece is covered in grease/Cosmoline or is simply exceptionally filthy you may want to hose it down heavily with a cheap solvent, I find WD-40 great for this. Allow to soak overnight if need be.

Step 2: With the tap water as HOT as you can stand it, fill the sink (or a plastic pan in the sink) with some HOT water and a shot of liquid dish soap like Dawn, Palmolive, et al. Set the gun in there to soak a minute or so.

WARNING: Do not use dishwasher soap or laundry soap!

Step 3: Using a bore brush/swab, acid and toothbrushes, and Q-tips, give the piece a good scrubbing. I put a few drops of soap on the brush and scrub it, out of the water, the “gunk” just melts off, and then I continue to scrub is under the soapy water.

Step 4: Once satisfied with the cleanliness of the pistol, rinse the pieces thoroughly under HOT water and towel dry immediately.

Step 5: Get those parts completely dry – I use the oven. Preheat it to say 225 degrees. Place the all the parts on a towel on a cookie sheet and pop it in for 15 minutes or so. This will evaporate any residual water in those hard to reach areas. No, this minor heat does not affect the firearm whatsoever. I use a lower temperature for polymer frame pistols and let is set in their longer.

Optional method: If you have a compressor or canned air, use it to blow the residual water out from ALL the nooks and crannies.

Step 6: Lube properly, wipe all pieces with a silicone treated cloth, and reassemble.

Unless you do something drastically wrong, I guarantee that it will not rust and you will never have a cleaner pistol and it is easy as pie.

On another forum several issues were brought up...I will clarify...

- Not to use comp-air because it contains water.
- The WD-40 will end all life on earth bugaboo.
- Oh and petroleum based products will gunk/mud up your black powder guns.

My reply as follows...
[blockquote]There is only H20 in some airlines, especially on very humid days. I have a dryer/filter-oiler on mine Hell, I have a set mounted on my roll-around with QD fittings. I would plug the shops air into them and use my own fittings and lines on the out side. Kept things clean and no one could use my air tools, as my fittings were different from the shops.

No compressor should be without one on the 3 in 1 regulator, oiler-lubricator, oil & water separator units and they are inexpensive...

Gun Cleaning Input - DIY Projects

As far as petroleum-based products on black powder arms are concerned, personally I never heard of that condition occurring nor have I had a problem with them. I used nothing but real black powder in my 1860 Colt Army and cleaned it as stated above as soon as I was done sweat.

Oh, just in case someone brings up the WD-40 bugaboo, I have done a preemptive strike...1) it does not hurt primers and 2) it will not "ruin" your firearm people. Both are old wives tales... Box O' Truth #39 - Oil Vs. Primers and Weapon Cleaning (WD-40)

Any “wonder product” will gunk up your guns and turn to mud/tar is it is misused, namely overused.

However, I am not here to argue my way versus yours…I presented “A” way, the rest is up to you…[/blockquote]
...and this in reply to WD-40 is a bad lube...
[blockquote]...and I really didn't say lube with WD-40...I don't. I'll use it cause it's usually cheap...

My lubes are, depending upon application, Motor Oil (Mobil1-1 15W-50), ATF (Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF), and Bearing Grease (Mobil 1 Synthetic Grease)...

Gun Cleaning Input - DIY Projects

One container of each, bought on sale, cheap, very effective, and the'll last a lifetime...[/blockquote]

FYI, I just cleaned a nice lil Kahr Arms P9 this way and she's slicker than snot...

Generally I clean my firearms when i am through using them, assuming they will not be shot again for awhile.

Carry pistols are cleaned as soon as I am done with a training session and checked at least once a week.

...then there's that old .22 that many gunners have. We grab it and shoot it and it gets cleaned when it starts having "issues" or once in a blue moon, which ever comes first.
Take Care and Stay Safe,

"REMEMBER – What works for you may not, necessarily, work for me. Keep an open mind!"
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:45 PM   #689
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Proper cleaning of a bolt gun, any bolt gun (plinker, hunting, competition), is basically the same with just a couple mild changes.

I try to always clean my bolt-guns before I leave the range, just merely out of habit. As I usually have my bench all set up to hold said rifle already, it’s just easier. I keep a cleaning rod in rifle case and products in my range box.

Assuming the rifle is broken in and you didn’t just pay $8K for a custom built competition Benchrest Rifle, the following is a simple & effective measure for keeping your rifle in great condition after a day at the range.

I always pull the bolt and disassemble on the bench. With the Model 70 I have on my .308, this can be broken down without any special tools. A simple wipe down with a couple of patches and some light oil is usually all it takes. I do make it a point to use a Q-tip on the firing pin hole in the bolt face. It’s a key element at the point of the initial explosion of primer punch to gunpowder going off. Rarely, if ever, do I find anything significant in this area after a typical range day, but I do it anyways, it takes only a second. Reassemble with a light cloth wipe down of gun oil.

With the bolt out of the weapon & it stacked in the bench rest / steady rest already, I make it a point to always use a chamber protector called a “Bore Guide”. More rifles have been messed up by people trying to jam a stiff brush down the barrel without a bore guide than by shooting the rifles in the first place. It’s a key element in any precision rifle because the bore guide literally places a solid barrier between the precision cut chamber your cartridge sits in, & the damage that can be done to it by your cleaning.

J. Dewey Mfg is the company that I use exclusively for Cleaning Rods & Bore Guides. They aren’t cheap, but they last forever & their stuff is very good, all American quality.

Slide the Bore Guide into the back of the action, through the loading area, and into the meat of the barrel cuts called the chamber. The Bore Guide is ordered by size of the cartridge that you are using, thus a .17HMR Bore Guide would not work so well on your .30-06. The Bore Guide has a short neck on it, this will insert into the chamber that was cut for the cartridge and allow the resulting brush, patch, and rod to pass through without making contact, or doing damage.

From the back of the weapon take your cleaning rod, appropriate size brush dipped in cleaning solvent of choice (Hoppe’s or Sweets or Butch’s Bore Shine) and run full length strokes from end to end. Done properly you will see crud come out the end of the barrel and also leak back into the Bore Guide. Don’t worry about this, you are cleaning the Lands and Grooves of the barrel itself, this is good.

You may wish to stop at some point and wipe off the barrel & inside the chamber, this is your prerogative, I usually wait until the end.

Once you can pass the brush through without seeing a ton of crap in the solvent, it’s time to switch to patches.

Your cleaning rod should come with a small, pointed end, screw in brass unit called a “Jag”. This holds the patches in place when you run them through the barrel. We NEVER recommend passing a patch through the barrel more than just once. From chamber to muzzle, and then pull off the patch, pull the rod and jag back through, reapply with new patch & repeat. The goal is to get crap out of the barrel, not drag it back and forth from location to location. As such we never use the short stroke method, but push the entire rod all the way through the barrel. Once the patch comes out the barrel looking as good as it went in, you have a good clean barrel.

At this point I remove the Bore Guide, using rubber gloves and some smaller patches with a light coating of Hoppe’s I work in, around and through the chamber, internal mag (as needed) and definitely along the running rails that the bolt slides on. Once I have this cleaned, I switch to a light oil applicant and repeat application to the same areas I just went over.

Decision time:

A) If you have a “tactical rifle” or you are going hunting immediately following a range site in, you can replace the bolt and fire 1 to 3 “Cold Zero” or “Dirty” rounds. This is a touchy subject and opinions are VAST as to whether this should be done or not. Having done both methods I only do this on a rifle if I know I will be using it again in a very short period of time. What this does is add the very lightest amount of ‘use” to the chamber and barrel so your first shot out of the weapon is similar in impact as one fired from a “dirty” or fielded weapon. This topic is very heated so perform or discuss at your own risk.

B) Replace the Bore Guide and run one (1) lightly oiled patch through the barrel just to add a level of protection against corrosion. Pull the Bore Guide, wipe down the running rails with a light coat of oil on the bolt, reassemble, re-case and stow away for another day.

Hope this helps –

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Old 10-10-2011, 07:04 PM   #690
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Default cleaning

I'm not very picky about cleaning my guns. Many times, I'll shoot a gun 10 to 200 times and then simply put it back in the safe, where it might sit for one month to 5 years or so. I always use dri-rods in my safes. I NEVER use ANY corrosive ammo. With my AR and AK-type rifles, I use a method taught to me by a marine armorer. This is the method that he used in the field for every rifle that was being cleaned.

Simply break down everything, spray all metal parts with a non-chlorinated brake cleaner, and let it soak, scrubbing at the chamber areas of the AR's, and any other area that looks dirty. After scrubbing, simply spray more brake cleaner to rinse off leftover crud, dry off a little (the leftover brake cleaner will evaporate fairly quick), lube thoroughly with CLP, and re-assemble. These guys were relying on these rifles for their very lives, and the brake cleaner method, along with close inspection of all parts, never failed them. Of course, in those conditions, they cleaned every rifle at least every night.

With my pistols, I like to use a Bore-Snake, along with small brushes and toothpicks using CLP to clean every nook and cranny that I can reach. I only field strip the pistols - I never fully dis-assemble them. This has served me well for years. The only exception that I make is when cleaning stainless semi-autos - with them I like to use a very light grease or a lube containing teflon on the rails and slides to avoid any chance of galling, along with CLP on other moving parts.

Using these methods, I've NEVER had a gun rust, pit or fail, no matter if they were blued, parkerized, Tenifer, or Melonite.

Last edited by billy396; 10-10-2011 at 07:12 PM. Reason: addition
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