Ever wonder if gun magazines clean firearms before testing? My take.


August 8, 2007, 01:34 PM
After reading magazines like Gun Tests and Guns & Ammo, etc.,etc. I've been wondering recently if the testers actually take the time to break down the weapon and give it a throurough cleaning prior to testing. My guess is that they don't. Now I know that the point is to see how well the weapon functions out of the box, but for me, out of the box does not mean packed in factory oil. For me out of the box means, once fired and not lubricated. After shooting seriously & extensively for several decades, one comes to a solid conclusion, the conclusion is simple, many of the feeding malfunction and similar issues can be resolved by novice shooters with proper lubrication and maintenance. I wouldn't think of taking a 1911 out of the box NIB and not doing a thourough break down, lubrication, etc,etc. (and I am not even talking about polishing the feedramp and other things that more advanced shooters do), I am just talking about basic lubrication. This applies to both semis and revolvers, Yes, revolvers are more reliable, but cleaning the cylinder, the chamber area, the ejector rod, etc,etc, will contribute to better overall reliability and longevity. So my question is this, how can a magazine like Gun Tests gives Brand X a (c-) grade because of feeding and extraction problems and not tell me if its been cleaned prior to shooting. I buy the same brand x, give it a breakdown and lube, take it to the range and not have a single malfunction, nonewithstanding lemons which are possible, when a dozen other students tell me that they have cleaned it and fired it , and zero malfunction, my question is, how can a test be taken seriously if a firearm is taken right out of the box and not broken down/cleaned. I don't get it, my grandfather taught me this at the age of 12. This is as basic as breathing. You buy a new gun, you break it down and clean it, you come back from the range or from the hunt, you clean it. Especially with semi automatics, how can you just take a brand new gun packed in factory grease and not clean it. Maybe the gun mags do clean them and not tell us, if thats the case, it should be mentioned in the article. Any thoughts?

If you enjoyed reading about "Ever wonder if gun magazines clean firearms before testing? My take." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
August 8, 2007, 01:55 PM
Do you think the gun magazines get their guns "out of the box" and off the shelf at random? I think they get specially selected, test-fired samples from sales reps.

August 8, 2007, 02:01 PM
If they get them from the sales reps, then the sales reps are not picking the good ones.

August 8, 2007, 02:01 PM
I could have sworn I have seen Gun Tests mention cleaning and lubrication before. They get most of their guns off the shelf, but I have heard they haven't on a few occasions.

Bazooka Joe71
August 8, 2007, 02:07 PM
how can a magazine like Gun Tests gives Brand X a (c-) grade because of feeding and extraction problems and not tell me if its been cleaned prior to shooting.

Probably because brand X didn't buy a $250k advertisment in their magazine 3 pages later.

lee n. field
August 8, 2007, 02:09 PM
For me out of the box means, once fired and not lubricated.

If I read "out of the box" I think "unmodified", not uncleaned or unlubed.

August 8, 2007, 02:11 PM
If I am looking for a reliabilty test. I want the gun to be unlubed and dirty b/c if it functions under those circumstances it will function cleaned and lubed. Too many guns are only tested under perfect conditions which don't exist to a guy walking in the rain, a cop walking the beat, or especially a marine in the field. I won't carry a gun that will malfunction if it gets pocket lint on it or I drop on the dirty ground. The firearms test by gun mags are sent to them with the intended purpose of being tested and the gun manufacturers know this. This is why I rarely if ever read negative reports on guns test fired by guns and ammo. Guns and Ammo is just advertising for the company that send them their guns.

August 8, 2007, 02:15 PM
You have a point but I expect my guns to work in less than ideal conditions too. The P-95 I just got didn't get cleaned. I checked the bore to make sure there were no obstructions and went to work with it. I just cleaned it today after 1200 rounds without any issues at all.
It borders on abuse but I won't do that now that I have made my point. And I know that it will work when it is filthy dirty, which is more than can be said for the guys who clean their guns after every box of ammo.

August 8, 2007, 02:15 PM
FWIW, I fired my Taurus 24/7 after just wiping off the outside of the gun. Had no problems with it, and it wasn't "packed" in oil, grease, etc etc. I was a n00b and didn't know any better.

August 8, 2007, 02:18 PM
FWIW, Gun Tests does not accept advertising.

August 8, 2007, 02:32 PM
Interesting feedback guys!. All valid points. , especially about the need for torture tests. Ideal circumstances don't always exist, I agree with that especially with firarms used out in the field. I will admit to being a bit obsessive about lubrication and maintenance. It has served me well. ,but having said that, wouldn't it be a better service to the firearms community if the tests were done two tiered. One tier with a torture test, unlubricated, and one with optimum cleaning, for me ; and I think for most folks, that would be a more comprehensive and objective way to test. Any feedback on that?

August 8, 2007, 03:09 PM
I always strip 'em down and clean them.... Lord knows where that thing's been....

I figure I'll dirty the gun up myself before long anyway....

One time I didn't bother - I skipped the chamber & bore - my NIB and only partially cleaned XD-9 SC did an FTE. Some too-soft reloads.... Couldn't move the slide once the extractor grabbed the round a second time.

When I finally got it open there were scratches on the case. When cleaned after shooting I found steel filings & cutting residue in the chamber area....

I bought an "Old Stock" NIB Kimber from my dealer some time back. Filthy.... I don't think it'd been fired other than the usual "test casing" drill, but....

Then there was the used CS45. Mummified grease and dust bunnies big enough to raise. Probably safe to fire, but the impression wouldn't have been pleasant.

I prefer to clean 'em up, and then get them dirty my way :D ....


August 8, 2007, 03:18 PM
If I am looking for a reliabilty test. I want the gun to be unlubed and dirty b/c if it functions under those circumstances it will function cleaned and lubed.Two problems with that:

1) Many times the oils and greases on NIB guns are a protectant from rust and corrosion. The manufacturer does not know how long that gun will sit on a shelf before getting sold, or what kind of humidity conditions it will be. These oils should be removed and replaced before firing. Ever touch the lube on a new gun and feel that it's kind of sticky?

2) These days guns need to be worn in a bit before they are ready for use. When wearing in any mechanical device, it needs to be well lubed.

August 8, 2007, 03:24 PM
I have a slight acquaintance with one very busy gun writer. On more than one occasion, he has stopped off at a dealer to take delivery of a rifle from the manufacturer, hopped on a plane to a hunt, and killed game with the first shot fired.

Most manufacturers send out very nice, thoroughly tested examples to writers. In some cases they go a little beyond that. My uncle owns a Smith 696 that was purchased "used" after having been a demo at one of the S&W Seminars. It has about the slickest trigger of any Smith I've ever shot, and that's saying a lot, since all of mine go to Cylinder & Slide for trigger jobs.

August 8, 2007, 04:28 PM
I remember some writer explaining (because he got a lot of gripes from readers) that before he tests a new firearm he strips and cleans it thoroughly and then lubes and reassembles it. Before I read that I did not know that even NIB firearms need to be stripped, cleaned, and lubed before firing. I bet a lot of other people didn't know that as well.

I know from experience with my Ruger 22/45 that taking a gun NIB and firing it without cleaning can result in constant jams. The first time I fired the pistol it jammed a lot. About 25% of the time it would not feed an entire magazine without jamming once or twice. The next time I used the pistol it had been cleaned so it worked much better.

Had I known that new guns also need to be cleaned before use I wouldn't have wondered what the heck was wrong with my brand new pistol.

August 8, 2007, 04:32 PM
You hit the nail on the head. Alot of folks blame the gun, when its lack of lubrication and/or cleaning. Like I said, 90% of the problems go away with a thourough cleaning/lube. Hey, its simple, moving parts need lubrication. Simple.

XD Fan
August 8, 2007, 04:42 PM
I have read a couple of writers that will mention cleaning a NIB and describe their observations as they cleaned it.

August 8, 2007, 04:42 PM
Every gun I've ever reviewed for a magazine article, I've stripped and lubed before shooting.

Also, I've never just done one range session for a review. I try to use them a bunch. I'm not on staff anywhere, and normally don't have any deadlines to meet.

I've got a few right now that I'm supposed to write up, but the editor that asked me to do the articles would prefer I be thorough, rather than quick.

And some magazines get samples, others you buy the gun yourself. It depends. Though you can recognize the sleazy, liars that get the free stuff really quick. They're the ones that talk about how every gun they get is the most awesomest thing ever, with no problems at all, and it is "combat accurate". These guys have basements full of free stuff that they've got.

Some writers have more professionalism that that, and they're honest. SWAT won't let any writers keep anything that we're given for testing unless we pay for it out of our own pocket.

XD Fan
August 8, 2007, 04:44 PM
Oops! Sorry for the double post.

August 8, 2007, 06:31 PM
I think a quality firearm should work reliably dry or lubed and that any oil would just be to prevent wear.

August 8, 2007, 06:35 PM
Try applying the same logic to a car or any other mechanical device. It just doesn't work.

Machines have certain modest requirements to run reliably, a couple drops of oil on slide rails and internals every now and again doesn't strike me as making something a "wuss gun."

August 8, 2007, 10:08 PM
I can see that there are way more reasons to clean a new gun, but to be honest I probably only do that half the time. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I have noticed no ill effects from not cleaning a new gun before firing.
Who knows, maybe I've been lucky, but I don't sweat it. I'll bet taking it to the range before cleaning happens a lot more often than some admit to.

One I definitely cleaned befor shooting was an ORM Colt Govt. It was purchased new and then the owner left it in its case for 4-5 years. When I bought it, that Colt had dried packing grease all over it! Got a hell of a deal on that 45 and it is a great shooter. Made sure to clean that one before the range trip.

August 8, 2007, 11:36 PM
I think it's a good idea to clean and lube a new firearm out of the box. It's also a good opportunity to inspect the pistol for any problems and perform a functions check.

August 9, 2007, 08:15 AM
According to gunwriters of the previous generation, Elmer Keith accused Jack O'Connor of shooting most of his groups over the sights of his Olympia - typewriter! I believe Charles Askins, Jr. suspected O'Connor of the same.

August 9, 2007, 08:30 AM
Ever wonder if gun magazines clean firearms before testing?

No. Never occured to me that they would or woldn't.

If you enjoyed reading about "Ever wonder if gun magazines clean firearms before testing? My take." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!