Can you over clean your gun? Wear it out?

Discussion in 'Semi-Auto Handguns' started by cbw, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. cbw

    cbw New Member

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    While at the indoor range today, after running another 100 rounds through the Springfield EMP 40 (this time no issues, no stovepipes). I was talking to the range owner about going home and tearing her down and cleaning her and he said why? I responded that I was raised that you clean every time after you shoot and cleaning a pistol mandates tear down. He said that was old school and that all you need to do is spray some "Slicker" (new lube introduced at this years SHOT show) work the slide a few times, which he did while I watched, maybe run a Bore Snake and your good to go. I said No-Way, you have to take it apart to get the nasty out, the response was that you would wear a gun out by constantly unnecessarily taking it apart. (SGT Miller counting out you here!) I went home and took it apart and yes the internals still needed to be brushed with Hoppes #9 to remove the powder residue. After running the Bore Snake through the barrel (these are freaking magic-they also say no need to tear down, yeah your barrel will be clean butt..) Anyway what do you all do? Maybe I'm just old school. The range owner does shoot every day so I understand why he may not do a tear down, just run a snake, slick it and fire another 500 rounds through it. But I cannot afford to shoot that often, I'll probably at the range in about a month, and this is one of my at the ready weapons. Lets here what you do and can you wear a gun out by taking it apart to clean it....:confused:
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2008
  2. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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    You aren't going to wear a gun out by dis-assembling and cleaning it. I completely clean and inspect my guns after every shooting session, without exception. Your guns really need to be cleaned and properly lubed if you expect them to be trouble-free and last a life-time.
     

  3. DuckA

    DuckA New Member

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    If that was the case then all of the M-16's used at basic training posts would fall apart when you picked them up. They get cleaned after every range day and sometimes just for good measure. Those rifles are OLD too. They've been cleaned by hundreds, maybe thousands, of privates over their lifespans.
     
  4. SGT-MILLER

    SGT-MILLER New Member

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    Here's a question that will answer your question.

    Would you trust your life to a dirty weapon?
     
  5. bgeddes

    bgeddes New Member

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    My past weekend may offer some insight to your query.

    I was the assistant to a great shooter (my father-in-law) at a Benchrest match. He's very mature and can use the help moving gear.

    The folks at this match all shoot custom built weapons. From actions to stocks to the handloaded rounds, everything is one off.

    That said, they clean the bejesus out of everything. Between rounds, they scrub and clean and lube, then dry and shoot, and it all starts all over again. The only thing that may be a factor is the fact that the barrels are especially built for competition and may hold up better to the abuse of constant cleaning?

    The folks at this match were shooting pieces worth thousands of dollars. Every detail is a concern to them.
     
  6. BigO01

    BigO01 New Member

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    For something like a semiauto pistol you've only fired a few hundred rounds through I wouldn't get fanatical and detail strip it .

    For my pistols after a range trip I usually field strip , hose them down with GunScrubber wipe off the surfaces clean with a soft cloth to remove residue , run a clean patch down the barrel a few times , spray with Breakfree and reassemble .

    After about three trips I will scrub the frame , slide and inside of the barrel with a brush for a few seconds . If just sitting in safe I pull them out about once every six months for spot cleaning and about every two months to shoot with some Breakfree and work the actions .
     
  7. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    There are gas guns out there that will function better with a little bit of carbon in the gas system, but your average pistol will function much better when sparkling clean. Regardless of what sort of garbage this guy is trying to sell or was fed at SHOT, he's wrong.

    Don't you shoot well enough to notice a loss in accuracy, or shoot enough to notice the loss of crispness in the action? What sort of pieces are they that you can do this and not notice?
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2008
  8. Ram Rod

    Ram Rod New Member

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    Overclean....wear it out? That's sort of a silly notion don't you think?
     
  9. BigO01

    BigO01 New Member

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    It doesn't sound like you're familar with what a high quality product GunScrubber is Matt , the weapons ARE clean doing this .

    Now when I shoot many 200 Gr LSWC I will hit the inside of the barrel while still wet with a brush for a few minutes .

    Loss of accuracy and crispness , no why should there be ?

    Despite shooting many Lead SWC's my barrels have no buildup at all in them but then when I do use a brush I always use one that is oversized for all calibers to get into the lands and groves .

    As far as how well I shoot , I rarely shoot paper anymore and instead opt for 4 inch DX Iron swingers on my target stand and empty 20 oz soda bottles on a hill out to 25 yards , I don't have a problem regularly hitting them and that is good enough for me .


    The guns are Charles Daly 1911's and a Taurus 40 S&W , but it takes a bit more time to clean the revolvers I own .

    I did the same basic thing with a Colt 1911 I owned years ago and never saw a loss of accuracy or reliability as the gun never malfunctioned despite thousands of rounds of mixed loads factory and handloads .
     
  10. iVTEC

    iVTEC New Member

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    I have always been hounded to get break my gun down, and clean it after every shoot, but I'm new to the game...
     
  11. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    I've never used Gun Scrubber, but after your testimony, I'll be buying a can. Hoppe's and a metal brush isn't eating the copper out of my barrel very well and if the Gun Scrubber clears lead like you say, it's got to be good stuff.
     
  12. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I do not think you can "over clean" a gun. You could "under lube" it, but not over clean. If you ran an oversize brass/bronze brush through the bore a few hundred thousand times it MIGHT cause some wear. I think your shoulder would wear out first.

    Gun scrubber is good. If you are getting lead or copper residue left in the barrel w/Hoppes #9, try Shooters Choice bore solvent. It cleans out both as well as plastic wad fouling from shotgun barrels. It is the only bore solvent I use.

    Don't forget to clean the magazines after every use. Mags are often times neglected and the most delicate part of a self loading pistol. Kleen Bore makes a good mag brush for single stack pistols, double stack pistols and AR/AK mags. Three brushes at $5 each would be enough for anyone's inventory of guns.
     
  13. cbw

    cbw New Member

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    Ramrod,

    I thought so, but this guy tends to know his $%^t, so I brought the question to the forum. I will do complete tear downs use hoppes, gun scrubber, bore snakes, break free, and slicker. Is this over kill maybe, but I plan on my weapons working every time I ask them to. That's why I asked SGT Miller for input as I know that the servicemen clean their weapon all the time.
    Case in point one article talked about bringing a spare gun with you to the range as some individuals had be approached by others after they were empty. I had my Beretta 25 with me in the gun bag. After shooting the 40, and having the range to myself, I took it out and figured I might as well fire some rounds through it as it had not been cleaned or fired in over two years. It was kept in a case and still looked clean, but the bullets would not come out of the magazine. After removing a stubborn stovepipe and field stripping the gun I was able to get the mag out. The little suckers had found a home and would not slide up-down or pop out. I got them worked out, used some of the break free that was running off the slides of the 40 and lubed everything up. Put er back together and she fired like new. When I got home to clean there was a considerable amount nasty that came out of the mag, after some hoppes, patches, and slicker it really slides nice now. Unfortunately this cost me some range time as you pay by the hour and I played fiddle $%^& for about 10 minutes with this little beauty.
     
  14. SGT-MILLER

    SGT-MILLER New Member

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    I've cleaned my M4 rifle and M9 pistol hundreds upon hundreds of times. They are just fine. My accuracy is still good, and the parts show no signs of wear from cleaning.

    Continue to do what you are doing. You are right for cleaning your weapon and you have a good routine in place. Don't chage it. Keep your pistol clean, and it'll run good for you. Don't worry about that guy. He may be smart, but that is one area he needs a little refresher education in.

    Like I said before in an earlier post. If it comes down to using your weapon to defend your life or your loved one's life, would you rather it be clean and oiled or dirty?
     
  15. BigO01

    BigO01 New Member

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    Guys I ran into a similar discussion a few years back on a board and if you've noticed the original Hoppe's #9 isn't doing as good a jobs as bygone days it isn't your imagination .

    Seems with all the EPA stuff they changed the formula a long time ago because some of the ingredients were carcinogens .

    Another good cleaner is Hoppe's Elite , it is a water based cleaner without the smell you and I like but the wives seem to hate in their house but it isn't cheap running about $5 for a little spray bottle at Walmart if they have it .

    If you're so inclined to buy a big bottle "$28 at MidwayUSA" as I did a few years ago here is a tip I stumbled on to after I knocked the bottle over and broke the top .

    Find a household product with a foaming spray head and put it on the bottle and when you start to clean your auto pistol first fill up the barrel with Elite "Foam" and let it sit while you clean the frame and slide etc . then hit the barrel a few times with a brush then a patch it should come clean fast .
     
  16. Jay

    Jay New Member

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    Rather than keep trying out different saddles on this horse, I ask the folks who own a good sized part of the barn.

    I sent this e-mail to Smith and Wesson.......

    I received this reply... from pgazda@smith-wesson.com

    I don't agree, but I'm old........
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2008
  17. Dcomf

    Dcomf New Member

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    When I shot High Power in the late 80's and early 90's it was with an old H&R M14. I was under the impression that cleaning it thoroughly after every match or practice was the way to go. It would get stripped down with the action removed from the stock, op rod and bolt removed. After an Old-Shooter heard this he set me on the straight and narrow. Only remove the stock if it is absolutely needed. Run a saturated patch or 2 through the barrel just to say you did. If your accuracy didn't suffer then there would be no need to do the full barrel cleaning.
     
  18. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    Like I said earlier, some gas guns are different.
     
  19. DuckA

    DuckA New Member

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    Maybe I have a touch of ocd, but thinking about just running a bore snake down the barrel and calling it good after a range trip makes me twitch.
     
  20. cbw

    cbw New Member

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    I can't believe what Smith & Wesson said but I'm older too. I think I'll keep doing what I'm doing. There has been some great advice and lots of opinions on this topic. I think I'll research the corrosive properties of gunpowder, copper and lead and submit it as an article. That is as long as complete plagiarism is alright.