Don't clean defensive weapons after firing???


March 27, 2003, 04:46 PM
Everytime I take my guns to the range, I clean them. I started wondering.... if I break the gun down and clean it and then reassemble it... will it work when I NEED it?

In other words, is it possible that you might not reassemble the gun properly (by accident)? Then when a BG shows up, you pull your weapon and hear a "click" instead of a boom! :uhoh:

Would it make more sense to clean your defensive weapons and THEN fire a round or two to insure the gun was reassembled properly? Has anyone here been surprised when a recently cleaned firearm failed to function the first time after the cleaning? (Yes, I do a basic "check the action" drill, but is that enough?) :scrutiny:

- Just call me paranoid! (Now where's that tinfoil hat.....??)


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March 27, 2003, 04:51 PM
Would it make more sense to clean your defensive weapons and THEN fire a round or two to insure the gun was reassembled properly? Paranoia is an acquired trait, but you're thinking right on this issue.

I do snap cap checks after cleaning including dry firing and hand cycling.

For defensive guns, live firing a few rounds after a thorough stripping and cleaning is a good idea, IMO.

March 27, 2003, 05:07 PM
The only guns I carry for defense are Glocks, and when you reasseble them you can do a function check to make sure they work right. That is all the assurance I need, well, along with my Gold Dot hollow points and night sights.

Navy joe
March 27, 2003, 05:08 PM
Certainly do, I think it is fine as long as you know the gun will work. At the end of a range session I will usually chamber the carried round by firing the gun once or twice then putting it away. I do this to get rid of the often re-chambered top rounds. Lately I'm working with 2 Glocks, while shooting one the other is hot and holstered. I end up swapping mags between the two a lot, so I prefer to begone with that round. I don't carry my mag topped off, usually down 1 or 2, so this works great. I also know it was working fine when I put it away.

I usually rotate out my carry ammo by drawing from the carried condition and emptying the gun. I've only had one gun have a failure to do right on me, I no longer carry it.

Edit: Having a certain gun is no substitute for skill or experience. Glock function check or not, I don't think I'd carry any weapon that had not been function fired. I have yet to mis-assemble a weapon, yet I still do this. The minimum I will do is a check with a primed case, that still doesn't tell me if it will feed and extract under fire.

March 27, 2003, 05:09 PM
Unless you leave a part out when reassembling the gun, it should never be a problem with a quality firearm. If you have parts left over after cleaning your gun, start over.

March 27, 2003, 06:06 PM
I wont carry a dirty gun. Dont think it would look good in certain situations, especially if I cant prove I "didnt" fire it when it looks like I did. If you clean your gun, lube it properly, and check for function when done, I'm sure you'll be fine. It works everytime you pull the trigger to test it, doesn't it?

March 27, 2003, 06:43 PM
I usually rotate out my carry ammo by drawing from the carried condition and emptying the gun. I do the same thing. I had to find a cheaper source for Hydra-Shoks.:D

But I never check a gun's function after cleaning by firing live rounds. I carry only in a clean condition.

Art Eatman
March 27, 2003, 06:53 PM
This thread started me to trying to think of any time some malfunction had resulted from "messing" with any gun of whatever sort.


I put a crankshaft thrust-bearing in backwards, once, during a race-motor rebuild, but I still finished the race before the oil pressure went away. :) But, once in a hundred motors...


El Tejon
March 27, 2003, 06:56 PM
Carry a dirty gun here. Something Uncle Ross got me doing.

I shoot, clean at the range, and then blow my old carry ammo through the weapon. YMMV.

March 27, 2003, 07:06 PM
I never clean my defensive gun...or my offensive ones either :)

I use revolvers for defense so I just make sure the flash gap isn't closed up with dirt.

The only real drawback is that on my GP-100, the ejector rod gets very sticky.

March 27, 2003, 07:38 PM
I've had this problem a couple of times.

When reassembing my 1911 I was really careful when putting the
slide release back in that it went into the little hole in the barrel link.


Next time at the range blam...blam KROANK

Have to put everything back together again and try to get it right.

I figured out when I think the slide release is going through the barrel link its just swinging it out of the way.

Its also kind of hard to tell if you got it right without test firing.

So now I boresnake my carry 1911 and wipe out any crud without dissassembly.

My target gun gets cleaned as normal.

March 27, 2003, 07:55 PM
It's also possible that you fire two test rounds and on that second round, your firing pin cracks. How would you know? Maybe, a piece of grit from the last of those two rounds would get jammed under your extractor causing a stovepipe on the next round fired. Maybe a spring would just happen to fail, right then. Maybe.....

I wouldn't want my life depending on a dirty weapon. Clean the weapon, dry it, inspect it carefully, reassemble making darn sure to use all the parts that came out of it and load it for action.

If your primary weapon is so complex that you can't keep track of all the parts when field stripping it, you might want to "simplify" dude.

Standing Wolf
March 27, 2003, 08:01 PM
This is hind-side-to logic, I realize, but if you can't put it back together, you shouldn't take it apart.

March 27, 2003, 08:46 PM
Clean weapon here. Just the thought of carrying a dirty weapon makes me cringe.

If I'm just doing a basic field strip for cleaning then having it work correctly when I'm done is the least of my worries. Now if I did a total disassembly for some reason, then yes, I'd definitely test fire.

Good Shooting

March 27, 2003, 09:28 PM
Guns get cleaned after every trip to the range. Guns that don't get carried to the range very often get cleaned just so they don't feel lonely or neglected.

Andrew Wyatt
March 27, 2003, 09:43 PM
I clean my pistols once evey six months or so, and test fire them after cleaning to make sure they still work.

i completely detail strip my guns and throughly clean every year or so or when i install new parts.

Double Naught Spy
March 27, 2003, 10:31 PM
I have never had a gun not work after cleaning and then cycling the action a couple of times to make sure everything moves properly.

Let me pose your problem a different way. Say you go and shoot and then DON'T clean your guns. How do you know the grime that has built up isn't going to cause a malfunction? For example, the residue may attract or trap moisture, promote rust, cause your gun to not be able to cycle properly. Any idea on how you will know that hasn't happened before you pull the trigger in an emergency situation? Keep in mind that just because it fired last week and you haven't cleaned it does not mean it is going to work properly now.

Okay, my point is simply that you can't predict the future and you probably have virtually zero risk of the gun not working after cleaning and a similar risk of the gun not working because you haven't cleaned it (assuming you haven't been truly abusive).

I will tell you one thing, cleaning gives you a chance to inspect parts and if you find one that has started to fail, crack, or is already broken, replacing that part is better than hoping the gun would continue to function with it in the process of failing or after it fails.

I had a barrel bushing on a 1911 fail. From the fracture surface, it had developed a stress fracture and failed over a period of time until my recoil spring and end cap shot from my gun while shooting a target. I had missed the stress fracture during cleaning and the gun failed at the range - lucky for me as it was my primary carry gun.

March 28, 2003, 12:15 AM
I guess there is a chance that something breaks or you re-assembled your gun incorrectly. But then again, you could have a bad round which would nullify everything!
As long as you have a quality weapon and have eliminated as many variables as possible, you're ok.

March 28, 2003, 12:24 AM
I always like'm a little on the dirty side. Tightens things up a bit. Always clean after any range session, then take'r out in the front yard and fire a couple 2, maybe 3 rounds through it.

Not really as a function/quality check, as that can be done during cleaning/assembly. Just to keep everything tight.

In the dirty job I have ( construction), grit gettin in the action is an issue, and a clean, freshly oiled gun will jam in a second. A slightly dirty gun will keep harmful particles from getting in key areas, like firing pin holes and slide rails.

March 28, 2003, 08:40 AM
In the dirty job I have ( construction), grit gettin in the action is an issue, and a clean, freshly oiled gun will jam in a second. A slightly dirty gun will keep harmful particles from getting in key areas, like firing pin holes and slide rails. Uh, huh? :confused: Not a flame Yankytrash, but that doesn't make any sense to me.

The only thing I can figure is you mean that firing the gun will "throw" the excess lube, thereby making it less likely to attract grit? If that's the case why not just use dry lube or blow out excess with compressed air?

March 28, 2003, 10:10 AM
Let's call it "good dirt" and "bad dirt". Good dirt is spent powder residue, maybe a little trace of lead. Bad dirt is sand, earth, bark, saw chips, etc.

A coupla' shots'll leave most of the grease/oil in there, and pack a little good dirt over top of it to tighten things up. Bad dirt will wedge itself in there and possibly make the gun fail after the round in the chamber is shot.

Blowing the oil out of there would kinda defeat the purpose of puttin it in there, wouldn't it now? It'd also leave some gaping holes for bad dirt to walk right in side-by-side.

Proof tested by myself. All the online hoopla in the world can't beat first-hand knowledge and testing. My guns don't have the luxury of much safe time (currently only 3 in rotation), and I have to do what works.

Oh, and in my not-so-humble opinion, "dry" lube is a scam. Can't prove it of course, but I know it's a scam. If it were so great, I wouldn't be greasing my heavy equipment with tubes of white lithium, I'd be usin dry lube. If it were so great, factories would be using it to lube their equipment's gears, yet they use moly grease by the 55 gallon drum. Motors would run on dry lube if it were so great, bearings wouldn't be sticky with grease if it worked, etc, etc... Somethin's up, and it smells fishy to me... ;) :D

Joe Demko
March 28, 2003, 11:00 AM
RE: Dry Lube

K-mart carries a product called "Super Lube" dry film lubricant. You'll find it in the hardware/automotive stuff. When you spray it on, the carrier (which smells like gunscrubber) evaporates and leaves behind a very thin, slightly waxy layer. While I wouldn't recommend it as an all-purpose gun lube, I have found that this stuff slicks up trigger groups rather nicely. I have also been using it to lube a couple of small pistolas that see pocket carry on a daily basis. They now don't attract nearly the lint that they did with other lubes. Haven't had any malfunctions, lube related or otherwise, with them since I started using the product, either. For heavier duty pistols that get shot a lot and carried in IWB or belt holsters, I use more conventional lubes.

March 28, 2003, 11:09 AM
Sounds like a good case of paranoia to me. YMMV

March 28, 2003, 11:23 AM
ALWAYS keep your weapons clean!

Just don't overdo the lubricating. ;)

March 28, 2003, 12:16 PM
OK, I'm following you now Yankytrash. Good points. Obviously what you are doing works for you and I'm not telling you you should change. However, you can blow out a lot of the oil and still leave enough to provide slight lubrication and corrosion resistance. I'm also sure you know that there are finishes that you can have applied to your firearm that have inherent lubrication.

Dry lube may indeed be a scam. I don't know, I've never used the stuff. Obviously grease has much better shear strength and persistance than any oil, but you can't compare the lubricity needs of heavy equipment with shooting a couple mags out of a gun. I like to use grease on the rails of my semi-autos, but that's more of a PM thing to prevent the rails from wearing over time. I wouldn't use it daily in your environment.

Now, maybe somebody can correct me here if I'm wrong here, but I usually lube my guns heavily for range sessions to make them easier to clean (wash the dirt off with the oils at the end of the day) and to decrease wear. Jams at the range are just good practice. However, for defensive readyness, I keep them fairly dry with just enough lube to prevent corrosion. A typical firearm should be easily able to shoot at least 3 or 4 mags with no lube at all. That should be all you need for defense.

March 28, 2003, 07:31 PM
Thanks for all the posts guys. I DO check my weapon as much as possible after cleaning and re-assembling it. I guess I was wondering if it would be wise to fire a round or two after every cleaning to insure everything was fine and then holster it.

I don't like carrying a "dirty" weapon anyway. I have never encountered any type of failure after cleaning. Guess I will just stick to cleaning after every range session and holstering it..



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