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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's the best/time efficient way to clean a pistol.

I have used them for years but rarely shot more that 6 times a year. Taking an hour +/- to clean it and the mags only a few times a year wasn't any big deal. Now that I am shooting a couple times a month :lol: and shooting multiple pistols each time, the old slow cleaning process is becoming an issue.

Current process:

A) field strip
B) swab barrel with powder cleaner, then clean cotton
C) swab with mild copper solvent, let sit while clean other parts
D) clean the action and slide with powder solvent using small brush, wipe with cotton rag
E) apply light oil to moving parts and wipe with cotton rag
F) finish barrel (bore cleaner, cotton patch, etc. until patch is clean)
G) clean mags inside and out
H ) lightly grease slide rails and trigger (leave only light film so as not to pick up dust, etc. during concealed carry)
I) reload mags
J) apply light coat of FP-10 on exposed metal parts and wipe off
K) reassemble pistol
 

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marlin336 said:
What's the best/time efficient way to clean a pistol.

I have used for years but rarely shot more that 6 times a year. Taking an hour +/- to clean it and the mags only a few times a year wasn't any big deal. Now that I am shooting a couple times a month :lol: and shooting multiple pistols each time, the old slow cleaning process is becoming an issue.

Current process:

A) field strip
B) swab barrel with powder cleaner, then clean cotton
C) swab with mild copper solvent, let sit while clean other parts
D) clean the action and slide with powder solvent using small brush, wipe with cotton rag
E) apply light oil to moving parts and wipe with cotton rag
F) finish barrel (bore cleaner, cotton patch, etc. until patch is clean)
G) clean mags inside and out
H ) lightly grease slide rails and trigger (leave only light film so as not to pick up dust, etc. during concealed carry)
I) reload mags
J) apply light coat of FP-10 on exposed metal parts and wipe off
K) reassemble pistol
1) Eliminate multiple processes by using CLP, a single substance that will eliminate multiple steps.

2) Copper solvent isn't necessary evey time you clean a gun, use it once or twice a year.

3) cleaning the mags every time is unnecessay. Again, once or twice a year.

If you're cleaning more than one gun at a time, don't do them one at a time. Get one field stripped, get some CLP down the bore and let it sit there doing its job while you move to field stripping the next, and so on. Once they're all stripped and the CLP has had a chance to sit in the bore for a bit start brushing them all out. get everything cleaned then start reassembly.

Should save you some time.
 

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Sonic

Marlin336,

When I took my NRA Basic Pistol Course we covered cleaning.
My instructor believe it or not said that a lot of gunsmiths are starting to use sonic jewelry cleaners.
All you have to do is fill the sonic cleaner up with what ever kind of cleaning agent you like, probably Hoppe's No.9.
Take off the grips and field strip the gun and just drop it in the sonic cleaner, let the gun in the cleaner until it is clean, anywhere from half a hour up to 2 hours or more all depending on how dirty the gun is. If you get a large sonic cleaner you can clean as many guns that you can fit in it all at the same time. You can find cheap little sonic cleaners at wal-mart for around $20 dollars, or you can get a professional one that really gets down to business by ordering a catalog from Rio Grande. Their web site is, www.riogrande.com
 
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You have to be careful with sonic cleaners because if I remember correctly they also use an element of heat as well and vibration. I am not sure about a jewelry cleaner but my department has the industrial one built for cleaning rifles, shotguns and pistols. It looks like a super sized fry daddy. I have seen many pistols, shotguns and rifles that have had either the finish removed or succomed to rusting after cleaning becasue of these. I would advise against their use and won't allow the range staff to put mine in the tank when my duty weapon has it's yearly maintenance. I would reccmend a spray gun cleaner as well as a soft bristle brush, copper brush, cleaning patches, solvent and good old fashioned elbow grease!
 
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Pistols don't need to be cleaned every time if you are just going to shoot them again inside the month. Wipe down the exterior with an oil rag to preserve the finish and put a drop of CLP or Militec-1 on the rails/cylinder pin and put it up till next time.

This assumes you are shooting modern non-corrosive ammunition.
 

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I clean my pistols after every session, even if only one round was fired.
"Never, ever let set the Sun,
Upon a fired, dirty gun."
Oh yeah, pistol cleaning tips:
A good bronze bristle brush.
A good jag.
A good slotted tip with attached-
SHUTTUP, FLYER!
Yessir! Right away, sir.
Allllrighty, then!!!
Flyer
 

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Because of the tight tolerances of my P-11/P-40's and the problems I have had with slow trigger reset I strip them down and give them a thorough cleaning after every trip to the range. Just a little buildup around the trigger transfer bar will slow it up. Powder residue has an incredible ability to get into every small area of a pistol. Break Free CLP for me, bore brushes, patches, Q-tips, and a couple of paper towels to set the parts on. Finish off with a small dabs of grease for the slide.

Regards, Keys 8)
 

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Re:

imashooter2 said:
Pistols don't need to be cleaned every time if you are just going to shoot them again inside the month. Wipe down the exterior with an oil rag to preserve the finish and put a drop of CLP or Militec-1 on the rails/cylinder pin and put it up till next time.

This assumes you are shooting modern non-corrosive ammunition.
Militec is money, ask for a free sample.
 

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Why? Why do I always clean my guns?
Um... well, I value them highly, and want to keep them in the best possible condition...
I like them to shoot as accurately as possible...
I don't want to have to worry about rust if I don't have a chance to handle them for extended periods...
And, possibly most important, I want them to go "bang" EVERY SINGLE TIME.
Flyer
 
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And none of those reasons require you to clean every time "even if only one round was fired", except "I value them highly, and want to keep them in the best possible condition... " and that isn't a need, it's a want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
After I have fired 75-100 rounds through my P3AT it is too dirty to function reliably. The smaller pistols are more sensitive to powder buildup, etc. It still goes bang but the slide action is noticeably slower than when it is clean. In addition, I don't want to walk around with a dirty pistol in my pocket. I also don't want there to be a question if there is a situation where a gun is fired and it wasn't mine. "No officer I didn't fire my pistol. It is normally like this."

So for me it is a must to clean it after every range trip. That is just becoming to frequent :lol: to do it my old slow way.
 

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There is no place in my house for a dirty gun. They are all properly cleaned after a trip to the range.

imashooter2
And none of those reasons require you to clean every time "even if only one round was fired", except "I value them highly, and want to keep them in the best possible condition... " and that isn't a need, it's a want.
Cleaning your guns isn't a want, it is a need. I need my guns to stay in top shape, and I need them to go bang every time, therefore the guns need to be cleaned every time they are fired.

I have several guns that are much older than I am that are in better shape then many lightly used guns I have seen. Why? Because they were my father's or grandfather's guns, and they kept them clean too.

I also regularly change the oil in my car. Not because I want to, but because I need my car to keep running.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re:

imashooter2 said:
Clearly the requirements for a carry piece are different than for firearms in general.
No disrespect intended. I carry all my pistols at one time or another in any given week so they all have to be ready.
 

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There is always a small group of people who have less respect for their weapons than others. Cleaning is unnecessary, bore break ins are a waste of time, Wolf ammo is the greatest thing since sliced bread... and brake cleaner is the solvent of choice. The underlying motivation is laziness and cheapness. Even when they DO clean theit weapons, they probably do a less than thorough job. These aren't the people you want advice from.
 
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Re:

rctxag said:
There is no place in my house for a dirty gun. They are all properly cleaned after a trip to the range.

imashooter2
And none of those reasons require you to clean every time "even if only one round was fired", except "I value them highly, and want to keep them in the best possible condition... " and that isn't a need, it's a want.
Cleaning your guns isn't a want, it is a need. I need my guns to stay in top shape, and I need them to go bang every time, therefore the guns need to be cleaned every time they are fired.

I have several guns that are much older than I am that are in better shape then many lightly used guns I have seen. Why? Because they were my father's or grandfather's guns, and they kept them clean too.

I also regularly change the oil in my car. Not because I want to, but because I need my car to keep running.
I see. Do you change the oil every time you start the car, even if it is just a trip to the corner store? Why not?
 
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Re:

Midiman said:
There is always a small group of people who have less respect for their weapons than others. Cleaning is unnecessary, bore break ins are a waste of time, Wolf ammo is the greatest thing since sliced bread... and brake cleaner is the solvent of choice. The underlying motivation is laziness and cheapness. Even when they DO clean theit weapons, they probably do a less than thorough job. These aren't the people you want advice from.
What are your qualifications for dispensing firearms advice?
 
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