cleaning 1911


September 6, 2008, 06:18 PM
what would be the proper way to clean a 1911?, what kind of oil? can anyone walk me thru? please, thank u

If you enjoyed reading about "cleaning 1911" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
September 6, 2008, 08:16 PM

you can take a look at the videos on that link. I think that is part 2, part 1 is on the same page on the right.

September 6, 2008, 08:56 PM
I would help to know if you have a full length guide rod or a normal length (GI) guide rod since there is a little difference. If you don't know, post the exact type of 1911 (Manufacturer and model). There are videos which are helpful.

As far as the oil, you will get a LOT of different advise. Any quality gun oil should do the job. I like to use BreakFree CLP (cleaner, lubricant, preservative).

September 6, 2008, 09:28 PM
for lube i use wilson combat gun grease.

for copper solvent i use shooters choice, if i have been shooting lead then i use shooters choice lead remover.

i have three levels of cleaning on a 1911.

level 1
basic field strip
wipe down the outside and inside and relube.

level 2
basic field strip
wipe down gun inside and out all parts, with a shop rag. if i can get to it with the shop rag it gets wipped down. i clean out barrel with patch, brush etc, clean the ramp and throat on barrel. scrub the inside of the slide, slide rails, breach face, clean magzine well, with a mag well brush. and of course relube.

at the 2000rd mark.
level 3
i do all the above, plus i remove the firing pin stop, firing pin, and spring,wipe them all down and scrub with solvent as well as the extractor, gets a good scrubing, the inside of the firing pin and extractor channels get cleanned out. my mags get cleaned and then the gun is relubed.

September 6, 2008, 10:51 PM
it is a para ordnance p14.45 steel

September 7, 2008, 01:47 AM
There are a few things to remember. I have seen a couple of these videos on youtube that are DREADFULLY WRONG. (I didn't check the one posted above.)

I use Hoppe's #9 on the barrel, but I don't get it on any other part of the pistol. JUST the separated barrel. I'll use Gunscrubber aerosol on most of the moving parts, but I usually spray it onto a toothbrush and use that to clean, rather than spray a lot into the gun itself. I DON'T use carb or brake cleaner, they're way too harsh. (I use them to de-cosmo a yugo SKS, not on a 1911.) The reason I like gunscrubber is it evaporates clean.

The idea is, that you want to get it as clean as possible SEPARATELY from the lube, two different processes. When it's clean and dry, THEN you apply lube. The army tries to use one product to Clean, Lubricate, and Protect. It does an ok job of cleaning, and a better job of lubricating. I will use CLP as a lubricant on my personal guns, but I want something stronger to clean. Some guys use 5w30 synthetic oil, since it has much cleaner properties than regular motor oil. DO NOT USE WD-40. MINIMAL lubrication is needed. Apply one drop on the front and rear of both rails, then dab about half of it off. Put a drop on the tip of your pinky, to get it damp, rub that on the inside of the bushing, where it makes contact with the barrel. Do the same on the locking lugs, either on the barrel or inside the slide, all of the lugs, around their full cut. Apply just enough on the axle of the swing link for it to seep in when you flick it back and forth. With your damp fingers, moisten the pin of the slide stop that the link rotates around. Cock the hammer. Use something like a q-tip to apply less than a drop, but more than your wet pinky would put down in where the hammer is exposed when it's cocked. Work it back and forth several times. Re-assemble and work the slide several times. There will be excess on the frame at the front and back of the rails. Wipe off all visible excess. (When you have done this several times, you will learn where to look for it.)

Some other places, like the safeties, the spring housing for the slide stop safety, mag release, etc, I only lube when I detail strip and lube. Most of the time you want to leave them alone. Like possum said above, there are different more detailed maintenence intervals. If you feel like you want to detail strip and really get thorough, get a book and a CD-rom armorer's course. But most people really don't want or need to get that involved.

September 7, 2008, 01:53 AM
nolo: Not to be insensitive or maybe you've already considered this....did you read the manual?

September 7, 2008, 06:37 AM
I'm wondering if there might be a sticky about how to clean your gun posted.

There is a lot of redundancy here for a subject that is covered in every owner's manual for every gun.

The Lone Haranguer
September 7, 2008, 07:52 AM
nolo: Not to be insensitive or maybe you've already considered this....did you read the manual?

A lot of manuals actually don't give much cleaning or lubrication information. They tell you how to field strip it, but lack specifics about what kind of lube to use or the lube points on the gun. I had a SIG 1911 that came packaged with a small packet of TW25B grease but no mention of where to apply it. (BTW, this or similar light weapons greases are good to use, particularly on slide rails.) I had a good idea of where the friction/contact points are, but not everyone will.

September 7, 2008, 06:10 PM
It's not a 1911, but I just bought a FEG Browning clone and it was "sticky" all over. I bought some "Break Free CLP" at Wally World for $3 and the stuff worked great. It stripped off the old cosmoline that was in the trigger well, dissolved the powder that was in the chamber area, and with some steel wool, removed the rust off the barrel (which appears to be common on the FEG guns)... and I mean to a bright finish. It didn't take off any of the bluing, or do anything except what it advertised... removed dirt and grit, and dissolved the rust... and I used it liberally (to the point of running out of the ports and cracks in the gun).

I stripped the gun, and cleaned out everything with a Q-tip that I could take apart without a drift pin punch, and the gun runs like new. I was a bit irritated that the trigger was rough when I bought it, but the Break Free cleaned off everything in the trigger well, along the guides, and literally made the gun look like it just came from the machine shop. I even pushed the firing pin out and wiped it off.

I know there are some specialty made gun lube greases out there, but this worked well, and with a Wal Mart on every corner, it's easy to get the supplies. I'd use grease if I was storing the guns for any length of time, however.


A couple of drops of Outer's gun oil, and the pistol ran like new.

September 7, 2008, 08:59 PM
yes, i did went to the manual, it show me how to field strip it. still i don't think that i be putting the gun apart myself at this moment, I don't feel up tp the task, maybe one day, does the cleaning kits that walmart sell are good? everyone thank you for helping me out on this one.

September 7, 2008, 09:12 PM
The cleaning kits at Walmart are fine so long as it is a brass cleaning rod with bronze or polymer bore brushes.

September 8, 2008, 03:39 AM
Here's a link to a site that shows how to "field strip" a 1911, which is what is usually done to clean them. It permits thoroughly cleaning the barrel, the slide, the feed ramp, and the extractor.

"Detail stripping" is a whole different thing. Some people never do this, and others may do it annually (depending on how much they shoot the pistol.)

At any rate, field stripping a 1911 is relatively simple. It is one of the easiest pistol designs to disassemble to this level, for cleaning. Follow the pictures and you won't have any trouble.

(And congratulations for getting a 1911...)

September 8, 2008, 08:17 PM
dmazur: thanks alot, but my gun came with a tool to take it apart, those the make any different?

September 8, 2008, 11:24 PM
A little bit, yes. Yours probably has the full-length guide rod, which means you will have to use that tool, or the hard edge of a magazine, or SOMETHING to depress the plunger far enough to rotate the bushing clockwise. WHEN YOU DO, you will need to be cautious to hold the plunger in while you move the tool away from it, while at the same time putting your thumb over it and gently letting it out of the front of the slide.

You WILL screw this up a few times. You WILL lose your grip and have a pockmark or two in the ceiling. This is a good time to remember that the gun should be pointed in a safe direction, (straight up,) and not at, say, YOUR EYE. You might also seriously consider taking that plunger and guide rod, putting them in the factory box until you want to sell the gun, thereby having all original factory parts, and getting a G.I style rod and plunger instead, which depresses easily with your thumb, requires no tools, and makes absolutely no discernible difference in how the gun shoots. Costs you about $25.

Your call, what the heck do I know.

September 9, 2008, 06:42 PM
where can I get this G.I style rod and plunger for? this rod will work with any 1911?

September 9, 2008, 06:53 PM
I got mine at impact. ( Of course, I live close enough to pick it up in person.

Not sure where you live, so it's tough to refer you to a store. If you have a store that sells general gun parts, call and ask if they have the parts to convert a 1911 full-length guide rod to G.I. style, they'll know exactly what you're talking about. If they're a good store, they'll tell you to bring it in and help you strip it, and re-assemble it with the new parts.

Go to, and look at their parts. Order their free 1911 catalog, it will take a few weeks. Since you have a wide-frame para, not all of it will apply to your gun. Look at a book or two about the history and usage of the 1911. There's a LONG story behind the one you have now. (Amazon has plenty of books too.) If you order something from them, in their checkout window they will ask if you want to donate to the NRA. Give them a couple of bucks. Midway USA is another gunsmithing and parts warehouse with a strong reputation, but I have never ordered anything from them.

The guide-rod switch is personal preference, but most of us seem to prefer the G.I. style, it's just easier to deal with.

Mad Magyar
September 9, 2008, 06:57 PM
With all that good advice: How about a PIC of that Para .45? We all like to see other's pistols....:)

September 9, 2008, 07:15 PM
it may sound stupid jejeje, how to upload pic? I'll like to share the pic with u guys

September 9, 2008, 07:17 PM
possum has some good advise. I use a different lube and bore cleaner, but nothing wrong with his choices.

September 9, 2008, 08:37 PM
There is a more than complete coverage of this in "THR Library" (see upper corner of screen for this.)

Under FAQ's, look for "Image Matters - Photography Tutorial"

As a very brief overview, you create an account with Photobucket ( or similar image hosting service, then reference a link to whichever photo you want to share when you click on the "Insert Image" toolbar button in the forum "Reply" window.

Digital photography itself, image resolution, image editing, etc. are all covered in the tutorial.

Some folks are very, very good at this. Others (like myself) figure it's good if you can get it to work at all. :)

September 9, 2008, 09:51 PM
I've had good results with 3 in 1 oil, but got a great tip on the USCCA site -- Dexron III Automatic Transmission Fluid is about the most slippery stuff you can use--and it'll hold up to heavy use.


September 14, 2008, 12:00 PM
thank u for helping, but i have another question now, when i was taking the gun apart with the tool that came with-useless- the recoil spring plug and the recoil spring broke this plastic tool -look like a wrech- and when up into the sky, I read the intruction manual and all the coment, the gun was not pointed at my face thank god, so i when and look for this 2 pieces, when i was putting the gun back together my recoil spring guide is short, it doesn't came out whenever u ran out of bullets u know?? is this normal or I mess up anything?? does the guide rod is made by 2 pieces? maybe when the spring when into the shy it took the other part??

September 14, 2008, 12:53 PM
I downloaded the manual for the Para P14.45.

It shows a full-length guide rod, and the pictures show using the factory tool to depress the recoil spring plug and then rotate the bushing. If you try to rotate it in the wrong direction, it typically won't move far enough for disassembly.

While the guide rod could be a two-piece, the exploded parts diagram shows it as a single piece part.

It is only supposed to "stick out" below the slide when the slide is locked back. It is normally hidden, and slightly shorter than the recoil spring plug by perhaps 3/16". (Think of it this way. If it wasn't shorter than the plug, how could you press the plug in to disassemble it? There are 2-piece styles which use an allen wrench for disassembly of the "front" half. They can be flush with the recoil spring plug. With this type, you remove the front half, then depress the plug and rotate the bushing. However, it appears Para uses a 1-piece.)

You don't need the plastic tool. I have Colt 1911's that I added FLGR's to, and I never got a tool. With practice (and not pointing the spring at your head), you can use the hard edge of a magazine to compress the assembly, hold it, and rotate the bushing into place. I hold the magazine "flat and centered" as it's easier for me to control it that way. I've read that others have used the magazine "lip" at the bottom. Lots of different techniques possible. Or you can buy a replacement tool from Para, or Brownells or another supplier. The high-end ones are probably aluminum and harder to break. :)

September 14, 2008, 03:21 PM
should I be worry?

September 14, 2008, 06:06 PM
If you look at your guide rod, and it looks like the exploded parts diagram in your owner's manual, I wouldn't be worried. You found the spring and the recoil spring plug, correct?

If you look at your guide rod, and it looks like it is 1/2 the length of the guide rod in the exploded parts diagram, someone substituted a 2-piece rod and the other half is somewhere. Maybe in the ceiling? ( :) )

If you got it from a dealer, new in box, it is very unlikely the guide rod is different than as manufactured. If you are not the original owner, the guide rod may not match the diagram. (1911 owners seem to like to "play" with the internals in the never-ending quest for perfection...)

If the end of the remaining part of the guide rod has a hole, and the hole has threads (down inside, they may be recessed), you have evidence of a 2-piece guide rod. If the end is squared-off, no hole, and appears to be the length shown in the parts diagram, it's a 1-piece.

Hard to tell without photos...sorry I can't be of more help.

If you enjoyed reading about "cleaning 1911" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!