Seven Steps To A Clean Gun
Cleanliness Is Key To Dependable Firearms
August 1, 2015
A lot of people think that cleaning a gun is a long, involved process that requires mountains of patches, lots of smelly chemicals, and way too much time.
I've been cleaning guns for over 50 years now, and it's true that in the old days, cleaning a gun was a lot more involved. But you can teach an old dog new tricks, and there have been some great advances in the gun industry, especially when it comes to cleaning.
Why should you clean your gun? A clean gun shoots more accurately, has fewer jams and misfires, and lasts longer. There are plenty of gun guys who will tell you that you don't need to clean your gun often, and those guys usually say that if it won't fire dirty, it's not dependable.
Well if you want to go around with a filthy gun full of lead and copper deposits and a fouled barrel, that's your choice. As for me, I clean my guns as soon as I get home from the range, and I never put a dirty gun in the safe. To do so, in my opinion, is to invite rust and pitting. Now there's something that will make your gun shoot inaccurately.
Seven Steps To Clean
So, enough about that. I'm assuming you want a clean gun, and you don't want to spend all day fussing with it. Here are seven steps that will take you just a few minutes per gun, provided you have the right equipment. My wife bought me a complete Remington Squeeg-e Universal Gun Cleaning System for Christmas and it has revolutionized my process. It makes gun cleaning unbelievably fast.
Step 1 Preparation - Grab your gun-cleaning bag and put a gun-cleaning cloth on the table. Make sure you have all your equipment. Inspect the gun and make absolutely sure it is not loaded. I know a lot of gun-savvy guys who got lax about this and ended up with a hole in the ceiling, or worse.
Step 2 Disassembly - Different guns disassemble differently. I keep my manuals in my cleaning bag, and I admit I've had to watch YouTube a few times to jog my memory. You can get by with just cleaning the barrel for a while, but eventually you're going to have to take the gun apart and give it a good cleaning. May as well make a habit of it so you get used to the assembly and disassembly process.
Step 3 Barrel - Run solvent on a patch or a brush down the barrel (always from the breech end), and then set the barrel aside to let the solvent loosen things up.
Step 4 Slide and other inside parts - Clean the slide and other parts of the gun with a spray or with solvent on a brush or cloth. You can use a brass brush on particularly dirty areas. Clean polymer parts with a nylon brush. If you have a polymer gun, make sure your solvents and lubes are compatible with polymer.
I use a soft paint brush with a drop or two of oil or lube and brush the inner parts of the gun and the trigger mechanism after cleaning.
Step 5 Finish cleaning and lubing the barrel - Run a brush through the barrel to knock the gunk loose. Here is where the Squeeg-e system pays off: If you have the Squeeg-e, run it through the barrel once to clean the solvent and dissolved nasty stuff out. That's it.
If you are using patches, you'll need to run patch after patch through until one finally comes out clean. Always insert the rod or cable through the breech end of the barrel to avoid any damage you might do at the muzzle.
Once it's clean, oil the barrel lightly with a oily patch, or put a bit of oil on the Squeeg-e and run it through.
Step 6 Lube inner parts of gun - Here is where the manual comes in handy. Each manufacturer will tell you the exact places where you need to place a tiny drop of oil. Here's the thing about oil: In small amounts, it makes things slide against each other smoothly and lets the gun work flawlessly. Too much oil, though, collects dust and debris and turns to a sticky, gritty, gummy mess that does nothing but make the gun work poorly. So lube sparingly.
Step 7 Reassembly - Reassemble the gun (again, refer to the manual or YouTube if you can't remember), then operate the slide and/or bold to make sure everything works correctly and smoothly. Avoid touching metal with your fingers after you've cleaned the gun - your fingerprints can give rust a place to start. I always use a silicone-impregnated cloth to wipe the entire outside of my guns down before I lock them in the safe.
Some Products That Help The Cleaning Process
There you have it. If you have the Remington Squeeg-e System, it takes just minutes. You don't have to buy the whole kit, but if you do you get the bag, solvent and oil, a cleaning rug to protect your table, and brushes and Squeeg-e's to fit darn-near any gun made. It's pretty awesome.
When you go to buy solvent and lube, you are faced with an enormous variety of choices. I grew up with Hoppes and I love that smell, but sometimes you need something with a bit more power to remove copper and brass build-up, etc. I've just started using Modern Spartan Systems products.
The Carbon Destroyer is strong enough even to remove Cosmoline, and it is water based. I know, that freaked me out at first, too, but the stuff is amazing. It's eco-friendly and smells pretty nice. It was originally designed to get carbon deposits off fighter jet engines and from gun ports on huge cannons. The micro-emulsion Carbon Blast technology penetrates even the tiniest crevices and cleans your guns like nothing you've ever seen.
Spartan Accuracy Oil is not affected by temperatures. Most oils thicken in the cold and thin in heat, but not this stuff. It will make your gun shoot more consistently and more accurately and reliably. As the Carbon Destroyer, it is eco-friendly. It makes gun cleaning even faster once you start using it because there will be a lot less carbon deposited in the gun.
The people at Modern Spartan Systems say that it will even restore metal surface imperfections and extend the barrel life. It's non-flammable and all of their stuff is made in the U.S.A.
If you'd like to learn more about these products, visit http://www.modernspartansystems.com. For more information about the Remington Squeeg-e System, go to www. Remington.com and search for Squeeg-e.