Gun Cleaning

Firearms Ownership is a long and proud American Tradition.
Before you shoot your new firearm for the first time, it’s a good idea to clean it and learn the mechanical functions before you load it. Cleaning guns is also a long and proud tradition. If you plan on shooting a lot, you will be cleaning your gun a lot as well. But don’t worry, this process is simple and enjoyable.

Work in a well lit, and ventilated area that’s safe for gun cleaning. A easy way to prep your gun cleaning area, is to cover your desk, table, or bench with a plastic trash bag. Spread the bag out flat, and then cover the plastic with newspaper or paper towels, or a reusable cloth that you don’t mind getting dirty and stained… like a Washington Redskins T-Shirt.

Make sure the gun is unloaded and clear. Check twice. Take all the ammunition, and make sure it’s well away from the firearm. Check to make sure the gun is unloaded two or three more times. It’s okay to be OCD about this. We recommend putting all the ammunition in another room or secured in your gun safe, a locked drawer, or other designated spot where you wont easily dip into while you are handling your firearm. Check to make sure the gun is unloaded one more time.

Safety Glasses and Protective Gloves are a good idea. Solvents and Lubricants can cause skin irritation. Especially in your eyes.

Now we can Field Strip the gun. This is the basic break down to the gun’s basic components. For a semi auto pistol, the parts are generally the Barrel, Slide, Frame, Recoil Spring and Guide Rod, and of course, the Magazine. Double Action Revolvers, all you have to do is open the cylinder. Single Action Revolvers, pull the cylinder pin and remove the cylinder from the frame.

We like to start with the barrel. The the barrel is going to be the dirtiest, as this is where the combustion happens. Because of this, it’s going to take the most work. Some propellants will leave residues and chemical compounds that can be toxic to humans and can be corrosive to the barrel. Firing residues can also hold moisture which can degrade barrel life and accuracy, so we want to get them out as soon as we can.

Apply solvent to your bore brush or bore-snake at the bristle end. Run it through the bore five or six times with a bore brush, or once or twice with a bore-snake. Always go from Breach to Muzzle. This will break up the fouling in the bore. But we’re not through with it yet.
Quite note: Never dip the bore brush or snake into the solvent bottle. Doing so will contaminate the solvent. Instead, drip or spray the solvent on to the brush or snake. I do this over rags made from cut up political campaign or pop-music shirts.

Wet the bore again with your solvent of choice and let it sit a moment to allow the chemicals time to do some work for you.

After a couple minutes of soaking, give that bore another good scrub with the brush or snake. If using a rod type cleaning kit, switch the brush off for a patch holder and mop out the bore. This is the great thing about a Bore Snake… It does the mopping every time you pull it through. We recommend getting one for every caliber you own a gun in.

Once the barrel is clean and shines like a glass in a dish soap commercial, use a patch to apply a nice light coat of gun oil through the bore to help protect it from moisture.

If you are cleaning a revolver, repeat the above steps through each chamber in your cylinder.

Use a nylon brush with some solvent to scrub the components of your gun. The frame, the slide, and your magazines. If you have removable grips, it’s a good idea to carefully take them off to clean under them. You don’t want dirty solvents and oils to pool up under there. Check all the nooks and crannies for any buildup of gunk. This is like cleaning behind your ears. No short cuts! You want to practice good Gun Hygiene!
For semi-autos pistols make sure you clean the length of the frame rails, matched by the slide rails and under the extractor. For revolvers, make sure you scrub around the forcing cone, the face of the cylinder and the cylinder ratchet and ejector star. With a Single Action Revolver, make sure you clean that ejector rod!

Now that it’s all scrubbed clean, run a cloth over everything and wipe it all down nice and dry. Take a moment to inspect all the cleaned parts. Take time to appreciate the craftsmanship and details. And make sure all the parts look like they are in good working condition.

Your firearm is really a little machine, and all machines run better lubricated. Lubricants are critical to reliable function. Using a good lubricant that’s recommended for your firearm, apply a light coating over all the components. Not too much though, as excess oils can attract contaminants, such as dust and unsolicited advice.

Once all the components are lubed, reassemble your firearm, and give it a good function check it to make sure that the gun is operating as advertised and the safeties and trigger are all good to go. After you cycle the action a few times, it’s normal for some lubricant to seep out. Just wipe it off.
Give the firearm another good wipe down to remove all your oily finger prints and appreciate your having participated in a cherished American Tradition.   Now, all that work done, secure your firearm, clean up any mess, and don’t forget to wash your filthy filthy hands.

In defense of the obsolete.

Working in a gun store again, I get to hear all the old rundowns and complaints about the “Obsolete Old Man’s Guns”.  Maybe they are guns for the Older and Wiser crowd, but one thing they are not, is obsolete.  Windows 3.11 is obsolete.  A 1911 is going stronger than ever.1911ThreadedEnhanced_3QRight_BlkBushing
The 1911 has seen continuous use by the US Military ever since it was first adopted.  Sure, it was replaced in the Mid 80’s by the Beretta, but many units chose to keep their 1911’s in service.  Typically special operations type units.  These are guys who had the option to pretty much get whatever they wanted, and they chose to stick with what has been working.  For example, Marine MARSOC just bought a whole mess of Colt 1911’s… which replaced a whole mess of Springfields, which had replaced a whole bunch of Colts. Now, forgive me, but either MARSOC is staffed by overly sentimental geriatric clowns, or the 1911 is still a fine sidearm.  Given the fact that MARSOC follows an operational tempo that makes Call of Duty seem boring… I’m guessing those guys pretty much define “High Speed, Low Drag”.  Having met many MARSOC Operator, and worked with them on various things… Let me tell you… MARSOC knows their trade.  If a 1911 is so obsolete, I don’t think they would be using them.  On a side note, they also use Glock 19’s for when they are rolling incognito and have to carry concealed.  But that’s another subject.
Competitive shooters are still running a lot of 1911’s as well.  Guy’s who’s paychecks demand that they shoot as well as possible.  They are using those old obsolete 1911’s.   I don’t know about you, but every competition I’ve ever been in, hiccups in accuracy and reliability could pretty much cost you the match.Springfield-M1911A1-GI-45-Explodedv11
Here’s the thing. The 1911 requires a bit more knowledge, and a bit more TLC than other more recent designs.  But too many guys Harsh on the 1911 for the same “problems” that they give passes on the AR-15 for.  You just gotta know your gun. Know how to take care of it. Know what ammo shoots best in it.   The 1911 is complicated some people will say.  No, it really isn’t.  It’s a very simple machine and easy to understand if you will stop holding your breath and pouting that it isn’t a Glock.   Pay attention and learn… and show some respect.  The design is over a hundred years old and remains a top choice for handguns.
For the serious 1911 Operator the rituals of maintenance are part of the satisfaction of running it.  For them, the 1911 breakdown is like a Japanese Tea Ceremony.  It brings them peace and joy, and a belter understanding every time.  The Glock Operator is a crass barbarian in comparison.ruger-gp100-factory-3-inch-adjustable-sight
Revolvers are also far from obsolescence.  .357 Magnum remains the Gold Standard of defensive handgun cartridges.  .45 Colt is no slouch either.  .44 Specials, .44 Mags, always a crowd pleaser and few can shrug off catching one of those.  Loaded Light or Hot… Heavy slugs well aimed, no, that’s not obsolete.  Never will be… until we have a 40 watt Phased Plasma option.
Revolvers offer reliability with uncompromised accuracy and power.  If you call that obsolete, I’m calling you a fool.
The only thing truly obsolete is ignorance.  Yet in this Age of Internet, misinformation is at your fingertips and Urban Legends become forces of nature.  Opinions and facts feud like Hatfields and McCoys.
There is also the fact that like older cars, these Old Guy Guns are just better looking.  The visual appeal is biological… 1911’s, Revolvers… There are no new guns is as Sexy.   Maybe this is where the older and wiser comes in.  We take the time to appreciate the finer things.
Of course, all things considered, I guess Beretta 92’s and SIG 220/226/228/229 guns are Old Guy Guns as well.


No… they are not Obsolete.  They are Classics.  Classics never go out of style for good reasons.  It’s why they are Classics.