Cleaning and Oiling Too Much?


December 9, 2008, 11:33 AM
Tell me if I'm using too much solvent and oil...I have a feeling I am. When I clean my 1911, I strip it down and solvent EVERYTHING! I take a little nylon brush and dip it in solvent and brush everything thorough inside every little crack and crevice. But when I'm done, I take a rag and wipe all the excess solvent off of everything. It still usually leaves a moist film, but I figure it can't hurt. Then I take a very little bit of oil and put it on the areas that see movement. I put it on places where the bluing has rubbed off as an indication that the particular places sees plently of friction. I put it all back together and wipe any excess off with a rag again. Looks like it's dry as a bone. So why does it look like it's oozing solvent and oil after it gets hot from a good shooting at the range? A majority of the moisture comes out between the slide and the frame the sides. But you also see moisture signs on the sides of the trigger and around the slide release as well. Am I getting too carried away?

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December 9, 2008, 12:02 PM
I ONLY use solvent in the chamber and bore. The purpose of solvent is to dissolve gunpowder residue, lead, and copper fouling. Several wet brushes, followed by several dry patches.

I then clean every surface I can reach with a toothbrush, and a rag wrapped around a toothbrush. If there is persistent fouling, I spray the toothbrush with Gunscrubber to get it out. I use an air jet to blow out the difficult to reach nooks. When I'm done cleaning, everything except some very difficult to reach nooks are bone dry.

I then use CLP on very few pieces. the front and back of the rails on both sides get one drop each, and then I dab most of it off. I get my fingers moist, and put it on the slide stop. I put a small drop on the connector to the barrel link, wipe most of it off. Cock the hammer, put a drop in where it meets the frame, wipe most of it off.I get the barrel lugs wet, and wipe them off. I put a drop on my pinky, and rub around the inside of the bushing where the barrel moves. That's it. Sometimes when I strip it further, like once a year, I'll lube things like the mag release.

December 10, 2008, 01:16 PM
i see no harm (except possibly to the grips) in solvent to everything. however, i would suggest that you you use compressed air to get all of it out afterwards. be sparing on the amount of grease and or oil you use. it will attract and hold burnt powder. which besides creating possible jams, can actually accellerate the wear on the gun. by all means, lube it, just be carefull how much. i use a q tip to apply lube. a drop on the end, ans wipe away. all you need is a light film.

December 10, 2008, 01:21 PM
Tightly fitted 1911's run on oil.

Oil is good!
Solvent is good!

When I was shooting competition, we would hose down a dirty Match gun with spray-lube in the middle of a match to keep it running.

Sounds to me you are doing everything right.

Just keep the excess off the wood grips, and out of your leather holsters.


December 10, 2008, 02:48 PM
I suppose I might add, I live in a very dry climate. If I lived somewhere much more humid, I would probably lube more freely. I really don't need to worry about rust here. When I spent a year living by the sea in CA, everything I owned rusted and molded at a MUCH higher rate.

The Bushmaster
December 10, 2008, 03:31 PM
I might be guilty of not cleaning my guns enough. I only completely clean my guns once a year if they are lucky. I do field strip my autos and remove the cylinder of my revolvers and clean the barrels and chambers. Then lube/oil the visual moving parts ever time I get back from the range (in my back yard). Other then that...They are on their own...:D

December 11, 2008, 02:11 AM
Nothing you are doing is wrong and your gun will run a good long time with treatment like that.

However, if you are details stripping it and doing this each time, it's more than you really need. If you are just field stripping it and cleaning the accessible parts, that's fine.

Your oil is coming out later because it's heating up and migrating. You might want to try a thicker lubricant with less migration. Grease and ATF work better at this than machine oil and most generic "gun oils." This is not to say they are inadequate and can't be relied upon, but rapid migration is a factor. Here's a good primer on lubes by a firearms expert (below). Remember, there is nothing terribly unique about firearms that they require their own class of lubricants. Engineers and chemists have devised lubricants to work in similar and harsher conditions than apply in an average civilian firearm.

The major challenge I find, after decades of trying different things and observing, is to find the balance between a lubricant that is in place where it needs to work (sliding and bearing surfaces), and doesn't ooze (migrate) over time. The other trick is to not over-lubricate and create a sticky ooze that attracts lint, poweder, etc., and creates a nice abrasive slurry over time. Most used guns I see suffer from too much lubrication, not too little.

Link to a useful site:

December 11, 2008, 08:25 AM
My Para manual tells you how to lube the gun. and it has pictures too. check your manual. but you seem fine, like someone said get the solvent out

December 11, 2008, 09:02 AM
Frequency and detail are no problems at all, really good in fact. But don't over-do the amount of grease/lube. Just enough is perfect, a whole lot is not better.

December 11, 2008, 09:57 AM
Alright thanks for the info fellas. I always figured it was better to err on the side of caution and use too much. Whenever I clean it, I usually just field strip it. I do that after every trip to the range. I probably only thoroughly take everything apart and clean it about once a year or after a particular heavy day of shooting.

I guess I must be in a really humid area because I constantly have to worry about rust. I can't touch something that's blued without having to go back with a rag and spray some Rem Oil and wipe my prints off. Even if I forget I've touched something and don't wipe it, I can come back next week and see little dots of rust coming it. I show people my guns and keep a rag handy for them to wipe their hands on because of the film I keep on all my stuff. Then I spray the gun down and wipe it again. It's a real hassle.

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