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How often do you clean your guns?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Hatterasguy, Mar 1, 2010.

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  1. Hatterasguy

    Hatterasguy Member

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    IMHO a lot of wear on weapons is caused by over cleaning. The act of shooting a gun doesn't produce dirt, just carbon which won't hurt anything. Now if your running around in the mud like the army does, disregard this, I'm talking more about range guns that never really get dirty.

    This is how I clean my Sig rifle when I'm done at the range, usualy I shoot 200-300 rounds. Wipe the bolt and carrier down with a rag thats been sprayed with CLP, put a few drops on the rails, work action and call it good.

    My friend runs a copper bore brush down the barrel of his AR every time he shoots it, but I think that does more harm than good. I only do that on my rifles ever 1k rounds or so. Their simply isn't that much fouling, I don't notice an accuracy change.

    So this is my SOP for all my rifles:
    1. Every range trip the action gets wiped down and oiled.
    2. Every 1k-2k rounds I field strip them, clean everything, and use a brass brush on the barrel and chamber.

    What do you guys do?
     
  2. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I very much agree.
     
  3. bds

    bds Member

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    Sorry if you wanted rifling cleaning only. This is for pistol - all pistols get field stripped and chamber/barrel rifling checked before each shooting session. All slide rails and barrel contact points get a drop of Break-free.

    When I am shooting lead, I take a mini cleaning kit to the range/shooting (Hoppes #9, bore brush, patch/paper towel, lube) and inspect chamber/rifling around 200-300 rounds and clean/lube as necessary.

    When I am shooting jacketed/plated, I found I can shoot 1000-3000 rounds without needing to clean the chamber/barrel rifling in my Glocks.

    As to cleaning the entire gun, Glocks get complete strip down cleaning once a year. The rest of the pistols get complete strip down as needed (1-3 times a year).

    I find with most polymer pistols, that they only really need chamber/barrel and slide/side rail cleaning.

    Also, I found how dirty your gun gets depends on your powder/charge. So far, my W231/HP38 loads have been the cleanest (or least dirtiest) burning.
     
  4. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    I pretty much do as you do. I clean 'em when they need it. I'll field strip them, run a patch through the bore, (almost never a brush), and pretty much just the wipe down the rest. A drop or two of oil here and there.

    The ONLY time I have ever stripped a gun down totally is when dealing with com-bloc milsurps to get the cosmoline out.
     
  5. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    This subject seems to get a good going over from time to time but........
    Anything I fire gets cleaned! Period, end of statement...........:)
     
  6. wishin

    wishin Member

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    After every shooting session. I've yet to wear one out, by shooting or cleaning.
     
  7. twice barrel

    twice barrel Member

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    Unless I'm just too tired or sick; mine get cleaned just as soon as I get home. That's only because our club doesn't really have a good place to set and clean when folks are shooting. Otherwise I'd bring my stuff and clean them before leaving.

    TB
     
  8. RugerBob

    RugerBob Member

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    Pertty much agree with whats been said. Also pull some of mine out of storage twice a year for a swabbing and genral wipe down. Some of my rifles and handguns may not see the range but every 3 years or so. During the warm weather I usually hit the range 2-4 times a month. If its been fired, its never over 24 hours before its cleaned.
     
  9. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    I shoot a fair amount of pistol ammo for competition practice. If I cleaned after every range session I'd get little else done!

    I usually clean them once a month or so. Probably something between 500 rds in the off season to 750 rds the rest of the year. That works for revolvers, xD, 1911 -- all shooting lead.

    Rifles or shotguns get cleaned if they look especially dirty, but mostly because I know they're going back in the safe to sit for a while and I want to make sure they're wiped down for long term storage.

    Some surplus and military style rifles get cleaned VERY thoroughly, right away, every time because they eat corrosive ammo.

    When I was shooting rifle matches in college, our Anchutzes got cleaned ocne a season, if we were crazy non-traditionalists. The traditionalists didn't clean.

    -Sam
     
  10. Zach S

    Zach S Member

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    5" 1911s: Somewhere between 1500 and 2000 rounds, I'll detail strip and clean, inspect, and replace recoil spring. Sometime around the halfway point (750 - 1000 rounds), I pull the slide off and do a quick wipedown.

    3.5/4" 1911s: Detail strip, clean, inspect, new spring between 500 and 750 rounds, wipedown halfway.

    Shotgun: I dont recall cleaning it beyond pulling a boresnake through it...

    Everything else that isn't a rimfire: every case or time change.

    Rimfires: when they quit working. Bores almost never. They only one I pay attention to is my rimfire AR. It has a KKF bbl that has a .223 chamber, and at one point it got so dirty that the chamber adapter got stuck in the bbl... So I take it out every brick, wipe off the adapter, and hit the chamber with a nylon brush.

    All the ammo I shoot is new, although when it was cheap and plentiful I shot recent surplus, so I dont worry about corrosive ammo. If they are exposed to sand and mud they get cleaned, and if rained on they get cleaned, mainly to combat rust.

    Safe queens get wiped down every now and then to keep the rust away. I use the term safe queens loosely as all of my guns are "rack grade," safe queens are simply the ones I dont shoot often because of lack of interest, time or money.
     
  11. Blind Bat

    Blind Bat Member

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    I'm with the majority of you guys. I keep a boresnake in my range bag. After a shooting session I run the boresnake through the barrel a few times. I do a full cleaning around ever 1k round or every 1-2 months but that's mainly for a good oiling. I only shoot CMJs and JHPs so fouling is pretty light. I like knowing that my guns will work in less than ideal conditions.

    I think the 'clean after every trip to the range' practice evolved from the use of corrosive ammo. Can you imagine if we washed, waxed and changed the oil in our cars after every trip to the supermarket?
     
  12. herkyguy

    herkyguy Member

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    Every time I shoot, I clean. But I don't go crazy. Shotgun and semi-auto rifle don't get broken down every time. Maybe every 3rd time. Semi-auto pistols get broken down every time. This is partly because I carry and want to ensure everything is functioning correctly after a range session. revolver gets broken down maybe every 6th time, other than that just wiped down the barrel and chambers. one HUGE factor for me is the humidity in florida. I clean partly just to keep everything with a nice coat of oil/lubricant on it to prevent rust.
     
  13. frankiestoys

    frankiestoys Member

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    I clean them after every visit to the range, i don't break them down everytime but they all get a good wipe down and a few patches run through the bores. My ss revolvers get the most attention, hate that dam carbon.
     
  14. Jonah71

    Jonah71 Member

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    My guess is that all my guns are gonna last longer than I do anyway......so I clean them after every use. They also get reloaded after cleaning. Just a habit that I've had since I was given my first firearm 48 years ago. If I wear them out, so be it. Is it neccessary? I don't know.
     
  15. OregonJohnny

    OregonJohnny Member

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    I only get to shoot about once a month. So when I go, I go big, and take along at least 10-12 handguns, and shoot through hundreds of rounds with each gun, some with lead reloads. So I get home and clean all guns that got fired within 48 hours or so of shooting. No detailed stripping, just cylinders, bores, slides, magazines, etc.

    When I was a teenager, and shooting my Remington 870 3 times/week during the summer, I'd go years, literally years, without cleaning it. It seemed to work better when dirty. ;)
     
  16. essayons21

    essayons21 Member

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    I generally only clean them thoroughly when they are going to be put away for awhile, or if they get really nasty.

    After I'm done shooting at the range, I'll squirt some breakfree down the barrel followed by CLP, then a boresnake if I've got it, then wipe the gun down with an oily rag.

    My hands are so sweaty, and I live in a humid environment, so if I don't wipe the guns down before putting them away I often find rust forming even the next day.
     
  17. GunsAreGood

    GunsAreGood Member

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    I breakdown and clean after every range session or coming back from a hunting trip. The only thing I see wrong with this is if you run a brush through the bore to much and pull it back through you will (over time) ruin the crown of your barrel which in turn will ruin accuracy.
     
  18. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

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    Every couple thousand rounds, or before a big match, whichever comes first.
     
  19. Jonah71

    Jonah71 Member

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    I don't and in most cases can't do detailed cleaning. Although I get to shoot more often, but probably fewer rounds, I follow the same plan.
     
  20. Jonah71

    Jonah71 Member

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    I'm begining to see that it isn't neccessary to be so compulsive about cleaning my shotgun.
     
  21. boatme99

    boatme99 Member

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    I'm lucky. I live out in the hinterland and shoot my pistols a lot.
    Usually 200-300 rounds a week per pistol, weather permitting (cold!). I used to clean after every session, now I'll clean them once a month. Still no wire brush needed, just a couple of patches and a wipe down.
     
  22. rha600

    rha600 Member

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    isn't gun powder corrosive? Or has that changed?

    also, carbon build up is a real problem so just because firing the gun doesn't produce dirt doesn't mean the gun isn't dirty or that it ins't going to stop funtioning properly.

    As for cleanign the gun wearing it out....I'm pretty fast with a bore brush, but I don't think i'm THAT fast yet. :D

    edit: oh, and i clean my guns after every trip to the range. but I'm typically shooting 100+ rounds from whatever gun I took with me. With the exception of my S&W500. If I take something to only shoot a couple rounds from it I won't both but 95% of the time they get a good cleaning after each trip.
     
  23. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Corrosive ammo is so because of salts left behind by the compounds in the primers. New production commercial ammo is not corrosive. About half of the eastern bloc stuff you can buy now is corrosive, but most of those commercial manufacturers (e.g.: Wolf) have moved to non-corrosive. Almost all old surplus ammo is corrosive, and the older the more likely it is to be so.

    I think most folks understood that guns dirty from firing are actually carbon fouled, not literally full of dirt. You can eventually stop most any gun from functioning if it sees enough carbon fouling. But the required quantity is usually a lot higher than folks think. I have done this with a few of my handguns (shot without cleaning until failure from gunk) and it takes well over 1,000 rds, in most cases. Even when my 1911 finally stopped returning to battery due to carbon build-up, a quick dousing with CLP (without even disassembling) got it running again. So, how necessary is regular cleaning? Probably not as much as you might think.

    Now, I still do it fairly requently, as a sooty gun gets black gunk all over my hands and clothes, and I do like to take the opportunity to check for parts wear and corrosion.

    The established concerns about wearing out a gun by cleaning it aren't from bore brushing the rifling away, but from damaging the muzzle crown and critical last inch of rifling by repeatedly scraping a steel cleaning rod (especially a screw-together, segmented cleaning rod) against it.

    It mostly is visible when you guage the muzzles on surplus military rifles (especially Garands) that were cleaned from the muzzle by guys who were taught to do so vigorously, quickly, and religiously. Far more bores were worn out by old steel GI cleaning rods than by too many rounds sent downrange.

    -Sam
     
  24. rha600

    rha600 Member

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    got ya.

    I said that about the carbon build up in response to the OP statement below...

    "The act of shooting a gun doesn't produce dirt, just carbon which won't hurt anything. "


    my cleaning rods (on my pistols) are plastic and with the exception of my S&W22a I clean them from the chamber forward. Most of the time, and 100% of the time on my rifles, I use a boresnake so I'm not worried about damaging the rifling with a clenaing rod. :)
     
  25. shockwave

    shockwave Member

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    This is my policy also. Cleaning supplies are cheap and I like my weapons in perfect working order. I find that cleaning them is a very enjoyable activity.
     
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