Is detail cleaning absolutely necessary?


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TheProf
August 13, 2009, 08:48 PM
Ok...give me the truth... is detail cleaning absolutely necessary...

I have an M9 pistol that has had about 3,000 rounds through it. And plan on shooting 1000 rounds through it per year.

A Rem. 870 shotgun that has less than 100 rounds through it. And will not fire more than 100 rounds per year through it.

Since I field strip and clean my firearms every time I use it..... (I use Hoppes #9, brush it out, wipe it clean, and then use Rem Oil)....

Do I still need to do a detail clean?

Both guns seem to run great...no malfunctions...

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David E
August 13, 2009, 09:35 PM
I'd do a detail strip every 3000 rds or so, whether it needs it or not.

Neither of those guns is too hard to detail strip, altho the Beretta needs an unusually thin bladed screwdriver to remove the grips.

That said, if you spray out the innards sufficiently with Gun Scrubber then re-lube it, you should be fine......but I'd still detail strip clean it every 3K rds myself.

.

wvshooter
August 13, 2009, 10:37 PM
Rem oil is not the best product for corrosion protection. To keep the rust off try Gunzilla or Weapon Shield. These two products also excel at keeping crud from attaching itself to the gun during shooting or while in storage.

GRIZ22
August 13, 2009, 10:47 PM
That said, if you spray out the innards sufficiently with Gun Scrubber then re-lube it, you should be fine

This is what I do and the only time there is a need to take a firearm down completely is when it's broken. I have guns I've had for over 20 years with over 20,000 rds thru them that have never been apart more than fieldstripping.

More guns are damaged by periodic detail stripping by people who think they know what they're doing than are worn out.

mljdeckard
August 13, 2009, 11:00 PM
I agree. I think it's easy to do more harm than good with detail stripping. I also think that the army (particularly training units) does damage a lot of weapons by over-stripping and cleaning them. Many guns run perfectly well for a REALLY long time without detail-stripping.

sohcgt2
August 13, 2009, 11:46 PM
Cleanliness is next to godliness. I've never heard of someones car breaking down because they overmaintained it, have you?

remingtondude58
August 14, 2009, 12:01 AM
I usually always clean mine, but I don't think it is necessary, maybe once or twice a year.

cyclopsshooter
August 14, 2009, 12:14 AM
i do it on any firearm that goes in for long term storage

musick
August 14, 2009, 12:33 AM
Cleanliness is next to godliness. I've never heard of someones car breaking down because they overmaintained it, have you?

Agreed. Thats like asking is flossing your teeth necessary. Quit being a lazy b@stard (...j/k :p) and detail clean at least every 3K rounds. Your firearm will thank you for it.

GRIZ22
August 14, 2009, 01:11 AM
Cleanliness is next to godliness. I've never heard of someones car breaking down because they overmaintained it, have you?

Maintaining it is one thing. How many people take their car apart periodically? I've got a Mustang since new with almost 200,000 miles. Only engine part replaced is the water pump and spark plugs. Will it last another 200,000 miles if I take the engine apart and clean it?

Oro
August 14, 2009, 01:15 AM
More guns are damaged by periodic detail stripping by people who think they know what they're doing than are worn out.

This is what I've observed, by far, even if it's only unsightly cosmetic damage.

If you aren't carrying it daily or leaving it on a boat, I don't think Rem Oil is a bad treatment. I'd only add that a thicker grease for clinging to slide rails and other shearing surfaces is a good idea. Nothing fancy, a cheap tub of white lithium grease from NAPA is great, and will probably last a lifetime.

TheProf
August 14, 2009, 08:19 AM
That said, if you spray out the innards sufficiently with Gun Scrubber then re-lube it, you should be fine


When you say, "re-lube" it... do you just spray the area with a spray on oil? Or do you use the "drop by drop" method? I currently use Rem-Oil...(which I may switch to other brands based on the replies above)...but I do like the spray on feature. It allows the oil to spread out to all areas of the gun. Is this good? Or bad?

Joe Demko
August 14, 2009, 08:22 AM
Take it apart if it's broken. Otherwise, field stripping is enough. I think you have to separate wanting to take the gun apart from needing to take the gun apart.

Landpimp
August 14, 2009, 10:52 AM
I dont, frankly I really dont clean mine much, and I WILL NOT carry a gun after a magor cleaning(or major tear down) untill I fire it, so I carry a dirty gun that I know goes bang.

I use an ultrasonic when need a deep clean, really dont have to take it down very far, or in the case of a revolver, just open cylinder, prop open the extracter, take grips off, hammer back and drop it in

Joe Demko
August 14, 2009, 11:28 AM
Unless you are shooting blackpowder or corrosive primers, it is a fallacy that guns must be torn apart and scrubbed completely clean every time they are fired anyway.

Car maintenance was mentioned upthread. My grandfather, professional automobile mechanic, built and raced sprint cars on the side. My dad and one of his chums used to pick up extra cash by buying used cars, fixing them up and reselling them. My best friend is into street racing and has heavily modded his car. My neighbor is into restoring old cars. You know what? None of those guys tore their cars down just as part of routine maintenance. The sprint cars and the ricers got a fair amount of tinkering, of course, in an effort to improve performance, but that isn't the same thing. Their passenger cars get oil changes, filter changes, etc. on a schedule. Tires, brake pads, and such get replaced as they wear out. Pumps and the like get replaced when they break. Cars have an awful lot more moving parts, and get used a lot more and a lot harder, than most guns ever do. Yet they don't seem to require the babying that many gun owners believe a necessity for their pet firearm.

I attribute it all to the military. They required the white glove cleaning at one time because it was necessary. They've retained it just because it gives them one more thing to scream at recruits over and keep them occupied with.

mdugan
August 15, 2009, 10:38 AM
I attribute it all to the military. They required the white glove cleaning at one time because it was necessary. They've retained it just because it gives them one more thing to scream at recruits over and keep them occupied with.

along with buffing the floors.

easyrider6042004@yahoo.ca
August 15, 2009, 11:03 AM
Is detail cleaning absolutely necessary?

Used to completely strip my 1911s after about a thousand rounds. They may not have needed the detail clean, but it was good to know that they were clean and will fire reliably next time they needed to.

I think properly designed and manufactured weapons, like the 1911, can be completely dismantled and assembled unlimited number of times without wearing it out. I didn't mean removing the riveted in parts like the front sight, ejector or plunger housing, or drifting out the rear sight.

And every time my 1911s were re-assembled, they never failed to fire next time the trigger was pulled on a loaded chamber.

Now my L-frames are a different story. I've never removed a sideplate for detail stripping. Every few thousand rounds, I'd remove the grips and dunk them in a deep container of Ed's Red for a day or two. Brush and wipe all powder residue from all mating parts i can reach and external surfaces as well. Just sprayed G96 into the innards through all the holes, gaps and spaces.

My SKSs are fully stripped after every range session due to use of corrosive ammo. Trigger assembly is just dunked in Ed' Red, brushed and given G96 spray.

Thomas Garrett
August 15, 2009, 11:04 AM
I hated buffing floors!:cuss:

rscalzo
August 15, 2009, 11:07 AM
Yes, at some point. We had a Glock used as a back up malfunction when it had an out of battery detonation. The cause was a build up of gunk in the firing pin channel due to cleanings with a ultrasonic cleaner. Does a great job but the gunk has no where to go. While the entire disassembly isn't required all that often, every so often doesn't hurt.

While I'm not totally disassembling my Sig's because I will wind up with a box of parts, the Glocks are easy enough. (Thankfully I can almost walk the Sig over to the factory and let them do it.)

Brian Williams
August 15, 2009, 11:33 AM
Nope.

kmbrman
August 15, 2009, 11:42 AM
If you have a weapon that you may have to depend on to save you or your families life , you need to periodically detail strip and clean the gun, especially on striker pistols which can have weak primer hits due to gunk in the striker channel. The firing striker can and will stick ,and no firing takes place.

The Lone Haranguer
August 15, 2009, 09:49 PM
I see little need for it unless the gun has been submerged in mud, sand or the like.

GRIZ22
August 15, 2009, 10:28 PM
The cause was a build up of gunk in the firing pin channel due to cleanings with a ultrasonic cleaner.

I've seen this happen twice with Glocks on the range before I retired. We wound up taking all the slides apart to clean it out. We found that those who used Gunscrubber or an immersion in solvent on a regular basis had little or no crap in the firing pin channel.

inSight-NEO
August 15, 2009, 10:38 PM
Im guessing it may depend on how often you fire the weapon, what ammo you are using, what climate(s)/conditions the gun is exposed to and how it is stored.

Having said this, I cant say if its "absolutely necessary," but I still prefer to do it at least once a year...twice if I fire a weapon enough. For those weapons I use for HD, absolutely. Of course, this "detail" stripping is within reason, from a practical standpoint.

Now, should you be obsessed about it? Probably not. Im sure this forum is full of guys/gals who have had weapons function just fine after many, many years of nothing more than "general" cleaning sessions. But, if you spent the money on the thing, why not do all that you can to take care of it? Plus, a good "detail" stripping helps in familiarizing yourself with the "guts" of the gun. Nothing wrong with that, IMHO.

Think about it this way: Ive seen those who seldom wax their cars, neglect routine maintenance and so forth, and those who wax them 2 to 5 times a year and keep up with all maintenance schedules. Guess which vehicles look and run the best?

Fumbler
August 15, 2009, 11:15 PM
Absolutely necessary?
No.

Good idea?
Yes.

The great majority of guns have enough room inside the actions to allow crud to move out of the way of the moving parts. Occasional wipe downs during field strips can get enough of the gunk out of most of the gun.
For range guns, that's good enough for me.

I borrowed a Taurus M85 from my boss. As a return for the favor I detail stripped and cleaned the gun. He has never detail stripped a gun and he's had no problems with this M85, few problems with other guns.
The M85 had probably 2-3000 rounds through it and is his daily carry gun.
The action was completely filled with pocket lint mixed with dried Hoppes.
It was amazing how much stuff was in there. He said he normally scrubs everything with Hoppes and doesn't lube it.
So the lesson to me was you don't have to detail strip every gun. His gun worked just fine.

But...this was his carry gun. Who feels comfortable with a carry gun being filled with gunk?
Sure, it may work now, but what if some of the gunk breaks free and falls into a crevice that jams the action?

So...the answer is no, you don't need to detail strip most guns, but it'd be a good idea to do it at least occasionally to the ones you bet your life on.

With my own guns I detail strip them at least once, and that's when I first get them.
They get detail stripped more often depending on the particular gun or the gun's purpose.

colorado_handgunner
August 15, 2009, 11:24 PM
Not if you won't be able to put it back together (like me!)

SlamFire1
August 15, 2009, 11:26 PM
Pistols have gotten complicated, starting in 1938. I just field strip this pistol, and ones like it. I looked at the detail disassembly instructions and decided that it was a bad idea.

M1911 was designed so it could be completely disassembled, but later designs got so complicated that only armorers with special tools can take the things down.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Pistols%20various/ReducedDSCN7645P-1onRedbackground.jpg

sohcgt2
August 16, 2009, 03:51 AM
Maintaining it is one thing. How many people take their car apart periodically? I've got a Mustang since new with almost 200,000 miles. Only engine part replaced is the water pump and spark plugs. Will it last another 200,000 miles if I take the engine apart and clean it?

Mine has a half million miles and no engine failure, but I clean the engine internally once a year and change the oil every 3,000 mi. An engine doesn't need to be disassembled to be cleaned. My POS truck has over 500,000 mi. and I sold my last car @ just over 700,000 miles. Cleanliness is next to Godliness and if you keep it clean and lubricated it will outlast you. My Glock G22 has many thousands of rounds with no failure of any kind. My precision .308 has many thousands of rounds and will put 5 shots in a quarter @ 100yds.

Take care of your gear and it will take care of you.

murdoc rose
August 16, 2009, 04:17 AM
I've shot guns that havent bben cleaned in decades and some that looked like it had been a lot more so no not necessary but it is advised



"They've retained it just because it gives them one more thing to scream at recruits over and keep them occupied with."

sounds about right to me

FiveStrings
August 17, 2009, 09:32 AM
After finding some decent online instructions I recently detail-stripped and cleaned the lower half of my 1911 - after 16 years and thousands of rounds. The gun was shooting fine, it just bothered me that I'd never been into the guts before. Almost a spoonful of crud came out! The trigger pull is noticeably smoother. I wouldn't recommend waiting as long as I did, but I wouldn't think it necessary to do that more than every couple of years or so.

http://www.surplusrifle.com/pistol1911/fulldisassemble/index.asp

donato
August 17, 2009, 12:18 PM
GRIZ22 has the correct answer. Only detail strip your gun if it is broken and needs to be repaired; otherwise, gunscrubber and then re-lube.

sohcgt2
August 17, 2009, 11:41 PM
I've seen this happen twice with Glocks on the range before I retired. We wound up taking all the slides apart to clean it out. We found that those who used Gunscrubber or an immersion in solvent on a regular basis had little or no crap in the firing pin channel.

And if the firing pin is removed from time to time and its bore cleaned with solvent and a pipe cleaner then it will have no crap in the channel as opposed to little to no crap. If you are too lazy to clean your firearms thats fine, I don't rely on yours to function, but to recommend that others should not clean theirs is at the very least presumptive, and if it results in a critical failure it could be life threatening.

More guns are damaged by periodic detail stripping by people who think they know what they're doing than are worn out.

I agree if you are not capable of doing the job then sub it to a professional.

This is what I do and the only time there is a need to take a firearm down completely is when it's broken. I have guns I've had for over 20 years with over 20,000 rds thru them that have never been apart more than fieldstripping.

Your good luck does not mean that periodic cleaning is not needed, it means you claim to have no failures/premature wear/breakage due to your maintenance schedule.

I stand firm on my position, Cleanliness is next to godliness. Keep it clean, Keep it lubed, and drive it like you stole it.

Joe Demko
August 18, 2009, 08:18 AM
What makes your experience more valid than his?

Mad Magyar
August 18, 2009, 08:48 AM
I attribute it all to the military. They required the white glove cleaning at one time because it was necessary. They've retained it just because it gives them one more thing to scream at recruits over and keep them occupied with.

along with buffing the floors.
and KP! (I was in the old Army before they went commercial)..:evil:
To OP, I was surprised how clean the innards were when stripped down. I say if you are bothered by not doing it; go ahead: it's an education anyway...:)

GRIZ22
August 18, 2009, 12:08 PM
Quote:
This is what I do and the only time there is a need to take a firearm down completely is when it's broken. I have guns I've had for over 20 years with over 20,000 rds thru them that have never been apart more than fieldstripping.

Your good luck does not mean that periodic cleaning is not needed, it means you claim to have no failures/premature wear/breakage due to your maintenance schedule.


Not really good luck but because of my maintenance schedule. Guns get cleaned after they are fired. Yes a clean gun is a happy gun and a happy gun will take care of you. If you are of the type that cleans their guns every 3000 rounds or when they stop working you are asking for problems anyway.

Gun dropped in the mud or immersed in water? Sure there's more cleaning to do but in either case a good cleaning with WD40 to chase out the water followed by Gunscrubber and proper lubrication does everything a detail strip will do. Removal of the side plate on a revolver and flushing out with Gunscrubber once in a while and relube is a good idea but far from detail stripping. If you flush out the innards while the gun is assembled on a regular basis and relube you won't build up crap inside.

to recommend that others should not clean theirs is at the very least presumptive, and if it results in a critical failure it could be life threatening.


I did not recommend not cleaning. If the gun is cleaned properly to start with there is no need to detail strip. I was a LE firearms instructor for nearly 30 years and as long as people did what I told them in regards to cleaning there were no failures due to lack of cleaning. I oversaw thousands of guns. revolvers, semi autos, rifles, shotguns and smgs, in that time and if they were all detail stripped on a regular basis that's all I would have had time to do.

Not luck but experience.

sohcgt2
August 18, 2009, 05:32 PM
What makes your experience more valid than his?

It is not more valid, but I'm not suggesting that the owner of a firearm should not maintain that firearm.

This is what I do and the only time there is a need to take a firearm down completely is when it's broken..... I did not recommend not cleaning. If the gun is cleaned properly to start with there is no need to detail strip.

Maybe you can see why I missunderstood you.


Gun dropped in the mud or immersed in water? Sure there's more cleaning to do but in either case a good cleaning with WD40 to chase out the water followed by Gunscrubber and proper lubrication does everything a detail strip will do.

I clean my Glocks in the dishwasher, but I would never recommend that to another person. I recommend following the instructions in the owners manual. Most owners manuals recommend against going beyond field stripped, any further disassembly should be done by a trained professional.

if they were all detail stripped on a regular basis that's all I would have had time to do.

I only have to maintain the guns I use and rely on, and that was the feeling I got from the OP since he mentioned only 2 guns. I suspect if I had to clean thousands of guns I would never even field strip, by the time I wiped them all down with oil it would be time to start over.

For the record the reason that soldiers are required to detail strip their weapons is to promote familiarity. If you take it apart and reassemble it so many times that you are able to do it in your sleep (so to speak), then you will see potential problems (a bad spring, worn extractor, etc.) before they arise.

Keep your gun as clean as you want.

Sheepdog1968
August 18, 2009, 07:00 PM
I don't think it needs it beyond what you are doing. My of my firearms cleanings take 15 minutes or less. I just use either Rem Oil wipes or Breakfree CLP most of the time (may reevaluate in the future if I run out). I had a firearm that I shot about 500 rounds through and didn't clean it or oil it for 15 years. I live on the West Coast so humidity isn't a problem. When I got around to cleaning it and then shotting it, it was just fine. I don't reccomend doing this. If you're cleaning and lubing you will be fine.

BTW, I would prefer dirty and lubed vs. clean and dry.

donato
August 18, 2009, 07:27 PM
I stand firm on my position, Cleanliness is next to godliness. Keep it clean, Keep it lubed, and drive it like you stole it.

Most all agree. It's just that you do not need to detail strip a gun to clean it in detail.

By the way, it is quicker to clean the internals of a gun with a gun scrubber than running it through a dishwasher cycle.

frankiestoys
August 18, 2009, 07:48 PM
Most of my guns are Revolvers, real easy to maintain and mine always look fresh.
My auto,s are a different story i dont break them down often but they always get a good soaking.
My long guns get a good cleaning every 500 rounds.
I just like my stuff clean.

herkyguy
August 19, 2009, 03:37 PM
+1 for antiquated military thinking.

I always had fun buffing the deck.

Joe Demko
August 20, 2009, 11:13 AM
Running guns through the dishwasher blasts them with the silicate abrasive that is one of the components of dishwasher detergent. It will be blasted into every nook and cranny of the gun. I question whether that is a good or necessary thing.
Firing residues include lead compounds. I personally try to avoid consuming lead when I have the option. Therefore, if I were going to put a gun through a dishwasher, it would not be the dishwasher I use to actually wash my dishes.
YMM, of course, V.

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