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Do you shoot clean guns better?

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by coolluke01, Oct 4, 2012.

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  1. coolluke01

    coolluke01 Member

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    I know this is subjective, but...

    I've been thinking back to the times I shot good this last year. There are many factors to look at but it seems to me that the more time I spend with my gun the better I do. This is not limited to cleaning but also time shooting. Well duh! right! While this may not be news for most of you, it has been very noticeable for me recently.

    I think I may detail strip my Glock between competitions. 1st more hands on with the firearm, 2nd psychological benefit from knowing my gun is perfectly clean and that it will work the best it can.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. 56hawk

    56hawk Member

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    I usually just clean my gun before competitions. I like to practice dirty just to see when and how it will jam. Have noticed that when it gets really dirty it will start cycling slower which messes up my times. Otherwise it doesn't make any difference.
     
  3. Esoxchaser

    Esoxchaser Member

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    My rimfires group best when they are a little dirty. After shooting I will often clean the action but leave the barrel alone.
     
  4. Hoser

    Hoser Moderator

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    I only clean them when the quit working or feel sluggish. Often times the sluggish feel is cured with more oil.

    If I do clean them, I make sure I have a chance to get back to the range before I carry them or use them in a match.

    One of my pistols, a STI Tactical in 9x19 has over 75K rounds through it. I have cleaned it 2 maybe 3 times. One of them right before a rebarrel.

    22 rimfires are a different animal. I clean them often.
     
  5. Jeff H

    Jeff H Member

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    Interesting point of view. I don't clean my guns all that often, but more than you do. Since I shoot lead, lube and powder fouling gets pretty bad after 500 rounds or so and it is time to clean them. The barrel doesn't need it, but usually gets cleaned with the rest of the gun.
     
  6. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    I do wipe downs and reoil fairly often, but don't do a thorough cleaning very often at all.
    IF I do a thorough cleaning, I want to shoot the pistol "before" match day, to get it a little 'fouled'. Just want to bring it back to the 'normal' condition, and make sure it runs.
     
  7. coolluke01

    coolluke01 Member

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    I do make sure they operate by shooting them in my back yard a few times.

    I used to clean them only 1-2 times a year. But the psychology of a clean gun is getting in my head lately.
     
  8. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    I'm completely nuts. I always clean my guns before I put them in the good safe. If I can't clean them that day they are locked away elsewhere until the following day.

    Do they shoot better clean? I doubt it, and I doubt they last longer - but it's what my dad taught us. But clean and dry and lubed and back in the clean safe, just makes everything age better.
     
  9. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    HOSER, how often do you clean your mags?
     
  10. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    I usually shoot my pistols dirty too...usually dirty enough to get sluggish before I'll wipe them out a bit.

    The only thing I'll run down a barrel is a dry patch or swab. Since I'm shooting jacketed and clean burning ammo, I'm not too worried about clogging the rifling.

    When I competed with a revolver, I would brush out the cylinder every 300 rounds...only because I was shooting .38spl wadcutters in a .357mag chamber
     
  11. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    I shoot a lot of cast lead ammo in my pistols, and I need to clean them roughly every six months or so (which works out to about 5K-7.5K rounds) to pick out the chunks of spooge caused by the bullet lube. I can usually assemble a tarball the size of a marble from the pistol cleanings by that time; the guns still function but (especially with the DA/SA and striker fired pistols) things like the trigger return are usually getting pretty sluggish. Interestingly, my non-scientific observation has been that my 1911's seem to tolerate running spoogy-dirty longer than my other semiautos.

    My mags get gunked up fast, and the followers can get pretty sticky. Having said that - since I tend to rotate through a half-dozen or better mags per outing, I can get by with cleaning them no more frequently than the pistols.
     
  12. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    This works for me as well.
     
  13. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    The act of cleaning them is not really "time spent with the gun that will make you a better shooter" (dryfire and otherwise handling the assembled gun is)

    There are several "tenants of cleaning" I tend to adhere to, in no particular order:

    1) I definitely want to know how far I can go before the gun starts getting intermittent functional issues. 500-600 rounds with the Glock and M&P I've been shooting for the last three years or so. So that is the "ceiling" where I will always clean them.

    2) I always go to a big match with a clean gun. Not necessarily "detail stripped" clean, but just normal clean is fine.

    3) Other than a big match I will ususally clean the gun I am shooting, as mentioned, every 500-600 rounds or at the end of the weekend, whichever comes first. Usually the end of the weekend comes first and I clean it every 300-500.

    4) In terms of detail strip and really fully clean it out I've done that anywhere between 3k and 9k depending on when I think it is dirty and whether I've broken a part. If I'm going to replace a small part for whatever reason, I will always detail clean it while it is apart anyway. As a rule I try to avoid detail strip/parts replacement right before a big match, just to be sure everything is working right, but I've been backed into a corner on this issue before and luckily never had a problem yet.

    In general I do like the way the slide cycles better when the gun is clean. It just goes a little quicker which is always nice.
     
  14. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    I'll add that I clean out the mags just as often as the gun, if not more... I will often open up a mag to dump out grit in the middle of a match. If the mags aren't working the gun isn't working.
     
  15. 45_auto

    45_auto Member

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    I think you ought to detail strip your car down to each individual piece and clean it also so you'll have the psychological benefit of knowing that your car is perfectly clean and you'll have the best chance of making it there without breaking down. What good is a clean gun if you miss the match because you're sitting on the side of the road? :)

    I personally fall more in line with the "clean it when it needs it" crowd. If I'm using a gun a good bit (several thousand rounds a month) it might get cleaned once a month. Most of my guns have NEVER been detailed stripped (a hosing out with brake cleaner works wonders), I see no need to go to that level unless there's a problem or I'm doing action work (trigger improvement, etc) on the gun.
     
  16. Striker

    Striker Member

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    All of my first shots are from clean guns.

    Comes from 35 years of following the adage of "take care of your equipment first, your feet second, and then yourself" being pounded into my skull.

    As Always, YMMV.
     
  17. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    I'm not that meticulous on cleaning my competition gun. Basically, every 4-5 matches I'll break it down and do a basic cleaning - mostly just scraping the gunk out from the extractor hook and running a brush down the barrel.

    Other than that I don't mess with the gun much. The night before a match I'll typically take out my mags and push down the follower on each one. If it goes down smoothly I consider it good to go. If it feels gritty I'll pop the spring out of the mag and clean everything. Generally this has worked fine for me. I haven't had any reliability issues with the gun.
     
  18. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I generally detail clean before a large match but shoot them for function before I ever make it to the match.
     
  19. waktasz

    waktasz Member

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    4 drops of lube and a bore snake is as clean as my Glocks get.
     
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