how often should i field strip and clean the pistol? is using a clean rag and oil sufficient? can i use too much oil?
It also depends on the gun, to a point. When I carried a 1911, I cleaned it after almost every range trip, due to reliability concerns with the old design. I switched to Glock, only clean them about twice a year, and they work fine. I clean my little KelTec pocket guns more frequently.
I clean my 1911's every thousand rounds or so, whether they need it or not. Detail strip every year or so, if I remember.
I only shoot jacketed bullets now. When I shot lead, I had to clean the barrel fairly frequently with a Lewis Lead Remover. Big chunks came out. Cheaper in the long run to just shoot jacketed.
I have been using RIG grease on the rails, instead of oil. Oil runs out the bottom and only lubricates my holsters and clothing. Grease stays in the gun. Of course, many of my guns are finished with NP3 and/or Roguard, and would run fine dry.
Friend of mine was complaining about his Springfield recently, kept malfunctioning. He swore Springfields were junk. Met him at the range, observed the problem. He had never lubricated it; dry as a bone. Couple of drops of Break-Free, and it was fine.
I clean all my guns after every range trip. A clean gun will always work, dirty...who knows. Won't stake my life on a maybe.
Having said that, it's a good idea to get the proper tools. A bore brush & patches or a bore snake to clean the barrel, some good oil or grease (your local gunshop can point out what you need), and some good cleaner. Everyone likes different cleaners. I have 2 that I like. I use Break-Free CLP and just spray everything down and watch the crud run off. It lubricates at the same time. Then I wipe everything down with some rags and q-tips in the tight spots. Then when I'm satisfied I like to put a few drops of oil on the slide, in the hammer mechanism, and down in the trigger area. Then I work it in real good by racking the slide a few times, pulling the trigger a bit and playing with the hammer. Then i wipe her down and I'm set. The other cleaner I like is from Birchwood Casey and it's called Gun Scrubber. I use the synthetic safe formula because I have some polymer pistols that I am wary of getting soaked with strong solvents. This stuff dries up almost instantly, and it cleans really good. Spray it on liberally and get into the cracks and tight spots real good. It'll run all the gunk right off, then just wipe the rest off. Some people don't use Oil after using Break-Free CLP, but I like to anyway because I typically wipe all the CLP off the parts. If you use gun scrubber you have to use oil or grease because it's not a lubricant. There is such a thing as too much oil. Use only a bit. Usually your manual (if you have one) will explain how much to apply and where. Hk for instance uses the wet or dry explination. Parts that should be wet should have enough oil so that your finger will be wet if you run it across the surface. If it says dry then your finger should not have any oil on it after touching the surface (but it should still be lubricated). That may not make sense, but basically you should only use a super thin coating on those areas. A good rule of thumb is to put oil on any part of the gun that has a spring or any sort of metal to metal contact such as the slide rails, the barrel where it fits into the slide etc.
Again, there's really no wrong way just be sure you make it a habbit every so often.
Last edited by Dredd; 02-21-2008 at 08:01 PM. Reason: I can't spell
I break them down and clean them every 500 rounds. I boresnake the barrel and wipe down with a clp cloth after every range trip.
I clean mine after every shooting session which comes out to 2-3 times a month. I probably don't need to clean that often but I just don't feel right storing it dirty. I basically do the same process that Dredd does, spray down the parts with Break Free CLP, let sit for a while, wipe down with dry patches and add lube to the areas that cause metal friction.
I clean mine after every outing also...
a clean gun is a happy gun
and a happy gun will SAVE YOUR LIFE !!
EASY ON THE OIL !
I also clean mine after every range session. If I haven't had time to go to the range in a whiile and it's my carry weapn I'll clean it about once a month also.
I field strip and clean after each use.