Where did you learn your cleaning methods?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Uncle Nubbs, Apr 18, 2015.

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  1. Uncle Nubbs

    Uncle Nubbs Member

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    I've recently started using a high temperature bearing grease as a lubricant. It started with my newly acquired Garand and I liked the butter-slick results so much I greased the lugs and channels on my SMLE. Same result. Moved on to one of my 1911s and darn it if it just doesn't feel so slick. Just a little dab where I see any wear and it's just fine.

    It got me thinking. I learned how to clean a rifle when I was about 10 years old. I distinctly remember sitting down with old WWII navy vet Uncle Raymond who showed me how to use a cleaning kit on my little .22 Marlin bequeathed to me by my beloved and recently departed grandfather. I can remember how he showed me to hold a little clean patch in the open breach so I could look at the bore. He showed me how to clean using a little Hoppes kit and I've stuck with No. 9 pretty much ever since. Partly for nostalgic reasons as well as a certain respect for what he, my grandpa, and other old guys would have done.

    I've introduced CLP and other products like bore snakes and such over the years but still fundamentally use that old method taught by old Uncle Raymond thirty years ago on that kitchen table back in Lisbon Ohio.

    So what say you? Any fond memories? I'm kind of feeling nostalgic today but would also enjoy hearing about your own cleaning tips, tricks and discoveries you've found over the years.
     
  2. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Boot camp. And when you were done that sucker was clean.
     
  3. Officers'Wife

    Officers'Wife Member

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    I was taught by my Dad (then cruel and evil guardian) when I was about 12. He tuaght me the value of Q-tips and rubbing alcohol. At the time I didn't understand the deep affection masked by his gruffness.
     
  4. 230RN
    • Contributing Member

    230RN I keep pushing that pendulum back.

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    At me sainted mither's knee.

    Seriously, just picked it up from what I read in gun magazines and gun books --well before the internet was invented by algore. There was a long period where I had no "mentors" to learn from.
     
  5. cammogunner

    cammogunner Member

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    i learned by looking on youtube and talking with the people in sporting goods stores.when i learned to clean a gun i was 12 i was so scared about hurting my new gun by takeing the bolt out i had to tell mom how to do it so i wouldnt have to lol its pretty funny now but it sucked..good thread though
     
  6. MilsurpShooter

    MilsurpShooter Member

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    Right here on THR. I didn't get into shooting until I was 18-19. Didn't have anyone around to show me so had to rely on internet searches, which ended up bringing me to THR. You guys have been stuck with me ever since :neener:
     
  7. alexander45

    alexander45 Member

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    By doing, guns need cleaning buy gun cleaner take apart and clean until it doesn't need cleaning any more
     
  8. moxie

    moxie Member

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    Ten years old at sailing camp on the Cape from a counselor named Frank. Great guy. Hoppes #9 and some generic oil. Worked great. I still do it essentially the same way he taught me. Air Force training was not much different except for using mil solvent. Plus LSA for the M16 and mil gun oil for the Smith.

    Frank taught me: "Never let the sun set on a dirty gun." Still works for me. My guns have never let me down.
     
  9. BobWright

    BobWright Member

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    With my first .22 rifle, a Marlin 39A which I still have, came a J.C. Higgens cleaning kit in a blue steel box. And on the bottle of Hoppe's No. 9 were the instructions on cleaning. Later my methods were further refined by ROTC instructors in high school, then by US Army drill sergeants. Then my own method sort of evolved over the many years.

    (And, yes, we had smokeless powder cartridges when I was in the Army.)


    Bob Wright
     
  10. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    My Dad gave me my initial cleaning lessons shortly after he gave me my first shooting lessons ... I was ~7-8 years old (Eisenhower was the president). I still have that boltaction, single shot .22 rifle (J.C.Higgins Model 103.181, no serial number).

    Since then I have been learning things along the way and improving both my understanding & process(es).
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2015
  11. BobWright

    BobWright Member

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    In my cleaning kit there is a glass bottle, maybe 1/4 full, of J.C. Higgins Gun Oil. From my original kit, can't bring myself to use it up.

    Bob Wright
     
  12. Uncle Nubbs

    Uncle Nubbs Member

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    I'll bet it was. Thank you for your service.
     
  13. Uncle Nubbs

    Uncle Nubbs Member

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    I'm guessing you never will. I'm pretty sure my 22 cleaning kit is the same one I had when I learned in the OP. I can't recall buying any other. I still have that Marlin in the safe. It'll be my boy's when he's old enough.
     
  14. Double_J

    Double_J Member

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    1991 boy scout summer camp for me. We each learned how to assemble the kit, clean, lube and store the rifle before we got the merit badge signed off. Lots of memories of hoppes no. 9 and gun oil.
     
  15. Uncle Nubbs

    Uncle Nubbs Member

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    Something about the smell of no. 9. I rubbed some on my hands once before work just to see if anyone would notice.
     
  16. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    That's me too. While I did get shooting experience from my dad and grandpa, they didn't let me handle their guns for cleaning. If they taught me about it, I sure don't remember it.

    My best resource I used as a young adult, and still have, is "Beginner's Guide to Guns" by Clair F. Rees. I bought it at a Half Price Books a few decades ago for $6.98. They penciled the price on their books back then, perhaps they still do.
     
  17. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    My Vietnam vet electrician dad whose motto was "Do it right the first time" and used Hoppes #9 solvent and gun oil using old tooth brush.

    Then the US Army to clean my rifle whenever I had a chance using Breakfree CLP and double-ended nylon brush.

    Then my bullseye match shooting mentor who emphasized cleanliness is next to godliness using Hoppes #9 and various other solvents/lubricants.

    Then USPSA match shooters (local and regional) who emphasized reliable operations to 1000-2000+ rounds between cleaning using Hoppes #9 and Breakfree CLP along with Gun scrubber/brake cleaner to expedite cleaning.

    Now I tell new shooters to use Hoppes #9 and Breakfree CLP or any available motor oil as lubricant and double-ended nylon brush.
     
  18. 9mm+

    9mm+ Member

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    Trial and error over the years. I think that cleaning is a very personal thing; some go about it with religious fervor and others have a "meh" attitude. It also depends on the firearm in question. My SKS and AK get a quick once-over while my Ruger MkIII gets a good scrubbing so that it feeds well.
     
  19. ku4hx

    ku4hx Member

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    Way back when, the thing to do was buy an Outers cleaning kit in one of those red metal boxes. I have the five of them still: handgun, 30 cal rifle, .22 rifle, shotgun and universal. They were bought on the advice of a local high-powered rifle competitor who was my mentor at the tender age of 12.

    The kits all had instructions, which I read, and when I could I did research on oils, greases and such. I continue to do the research for new products and techniques but generally the "old ways" have served me very well.

    The way I see it, guns are like your teeth: keep them clean, well maintained, checked often and they'll last you a lifetime ... if not longer.
     
  20. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd member

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    Three stages:

    1. The conventional wisdom method of adult sport shooters when I was a kid. Usually morphed versions of "The only real way..." left over form their military experiences.

    2. Basic Training. 'nuff said.

    3. The pandering, excessively protective methods used on our M-21 and M-24 Sniper systems.

    These days, I'm an example of all three as priorities and resources allow - which is to say, I'm a newer version of the fellas I learned from in stage one.

    Couple nods to modernity though that they would no-doubt scoff at... I love using a parts washer, utrasonic cleaner and brake cleaner - the decidedly anti-Algore stuff.... EXCELSIOR!

    Todd.
     
  21. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Learned from Dad how to clean rifles (he owned no handguns) when he thought me old enough (probably about eight or nine) ...

    Then later on I really learned how to clean guns under the wonderful tutelage of a USMC staff sergeant and a corporal ...

    So I still have great affection for the wonderful odor of Hoppes #9 and Break-Free CLP combined, though now I also use many of the newer products available.
     
  22. g.willikers

    g.willikers Member

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    From cleaning car and motorcycle parts.
    If you really want a clean shootin' iron, try a parts cleaning machine.
    Now, that's clean.
    Just remember to use the small parts basket, or you will be cleaning out the cleaning machine, too.
     
  23. grubbylabs

    grubbylabs Member

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    You mean you have to clean these things?:D


    Pretty much self taught......
     
  24. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    It was a long time ago, but I'm certain it was from reading the owner's manual that came with the firearm.
     
  25. jcwit

    jcwit member

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    I can't remember what or how I learned at the ages of 6 thru 8 yrs old.
     
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