How Often do You Clean Your Gun?

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    1. #1
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      How Often do You Clean Your Gun?

      I'm getting some conflicting advice (and perhaps that will continue) about how, and how often to clean my gun. I am shooting economical lead 9mm from my Sig SP2022.

      The guy at the gun store, who sold me the gun, said that far more damage is done to guns cleaning them than is ever done shooting them. He warned against shoving things down the barrel and scarring the muzzle. He tells me to disasmble and clean my gun after about 1,500 rounds or so and volunteered to show me how when I get there (almost there!). The only other thing he wants me to do is wipe the gun down with a light oil (actually RIG grease) on the exterior metal parts after every time I shoot or handle the gun extensively. His parting advice was that he'd rather take a gun back on a trade in that has been fired 10,000 times rather than the gun that has been rarely fired but stripped and cleaned dozens of times.

      I hear other people saying that they strip and clean their gun after about 500 rounds or so. Still others simply spray some stuff (not sure what it is) down the barrel from the action side and simply let run out.

      Now I will ask the pro's (that's you) what you do when it comes to cleaning.

    2. #2
      Member Wyatt's Avatar
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      I have put out the Bat Signal for Baldy and TOF.

      If you're really worried about the bore then use a bore snake rather than a brush but I have not heard of a bronze bore brush causing damage to a barrel.

      I clean my guns at least every other range session. Especially if you are shooting lead, you will get build-up in the barrel. Worse things can happen with the increased pressures/heat resulting from lead fouling in a barrel than from proper cleaning from a bronze brush. Just my point/0/2.

      Having said that, there are some guys here who clean there firearms rather infrequently, but not out of fear of damage as far as I know. To each his own, I guess.
      Last edited by Wyatt; 09-07-2008 at 09:44 PM.

    3. #3
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      I like to take care of my equipment, and have a heck of alot of money invested so if i take it to the range and fire it, it gets cleaned. I suppose you could let it go for a while, but I just cannot do that. I also bass fish professionally and change the line on the reels after every trip. It just makes good sense to take good care of your equipment. You want it to work when you need it, and when it comes to your gun it could cost you your life. That is just me, but i think most folks on this forum take good care of their guns because it is the right thing to do.

    4. #4
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      Well, I clean my guns differently depending on the gun. I've not seen any damage done to a gun that was cleaned after each time it was let out to play. I know guys that will clean and re lube after shooting for just 25 rounds. I know others that wont for over 500 rounds.

      Honestly. I don't see where you can hurt it using the normal brushes. Now cleaning rods might be an issue but most of them are much softer metals that any barrel is made of so I would think you will mess them up before a barrel too. The worst I can see is getting metal stuck into the twist of the barrel. So..Go on..Clean all you want..Just be careful when you do it and all will be great

    5. #5
      Senior Member HGF Gold Member unpecador's Avatar
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      I don't consider myself a pro but I have no problem cleaning my guns after every range visit which is about 300 rounds. I take very good care of my guns and I never shove things down the barrel that would cause damage. I only shoot brass out of my handguns so I don't really have to clean them that often but I do anyways and they always get a lot of TLC during the cleaning process. Because you are shooting lead, your SIG may require more frequent cleanings to avoid extensive lead build up. Anyways, I have no intention on trading in my guns so the guy at the gun store can kiss my ass.

    6. #6
      Senior Member gmaske's Avatar
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      I clean mine when they start to show signs of being dirty. That might mean right after a shooting session with Winchester white box ammo or after a couple of range session of shooting my reloads of copper clad bullets over Bullseye powder. If I shoot any lead bullets I'll check the bore and if it looks good I won't do anything. If it shows signs of fouling I'll clean it. Last session I ran a bore snake through it and went home.

    7. #7
      TOF
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      I dont recall throwing any guns away over the past 50 years because of cleaning damage or wear. I have seen rusty filth encrusted guns that were not cleaned for years and did not work very well or not at all.

      I expect the fellow at the gun store never changes the oil in his automobile either. keep your eyes open and you will see him thumbing a ride to work one of these days.

      The guy at the gun store you speak of is an idiot.

      Read your instruction manual and if you don't have one they are available on line from Sig. Follow the manuals guide lines.

      I am not certain what rig grease is but doubt it is necessary.

      I generaly fire in excess of 100 rounds each time out and if not going shooting again within a day or two will clean my weapon. I don't have to but do because I may decide to carry it between outings and should it be needed want it to work.

      For my auto's I apply some Hoppes or similar bore cleaner to the barrel and let it sit for 30 minutes or so.

      If using lead bullets rather than copper clad check for lead build up in the bore. If significant lead is present remove it with materials sold for that function.

      I then use spray solvent from the gun section of Wallmart (Birchwood) to clean the frame and slide assemblies. An old tooth brush will serve to knock carbon deposits loose where required. There is plastic safe and for metal only solvent .

      I always check the safety mechanisms so I don't end up with a negligent discharge in the event a car runs into my gun side. I have been hit by Golf carts in years past.

      After the barrel has soaked for a spell I will use a bronze or plastic bore brush with a bit of Hoppes on a brass rod to scrub the barrel a bit.

      I then use clean patches with a brass rod to remove crud and excess liquid from the bore. Use that tooth brush on the ramp into the chamber to remove carbon.

      Wipe everything dry and clean then lube per Manufacturer instructions. If it calls for oil, Rem Oil meets the need. There are a number of oils available but keep it simple and buy some GUN oil not Penzoil 30 weight motor oil etc.

      Reassemble, test function by dry firing and operating the slide. If it can't be dry fired get a different gun.

      My final step is to use a silicone coated cloth to wipe the assembled gun down.

      You should be good to go at this point.

      If you shoot again in a day or two it will be ready. If you leave it in the safe for 3 or 4 months it will be ready when you need it.

      Mike will tell you to clean it every 6 months but that is because he is lazy, not because it hurts the gun.

      Have fun but stay safe.

    8. #8
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      *Proper* cleaning of a firearm will not cause wear. Proper cleaning, followed by proper lubing, will minimize wear. When to clean/lube is dependent on too many variables, so no general rule will apply to everyone.

      I clean my range pistols anywhere between 50 and 200 rounds, with the exception of a Para .45 that I'm experimenting with (long story -- 500 perfect rounds without a cleaning, so far...). The cc weapons get cleaned after each range session.

      I would agree w/TOF's assement of your gun store guy....

      PhilR.

    9. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by PhilR. View Post
      *Proper* cleaning of a firearm will not cause wear. Proper cleaning, followed by proper lubing, will minimize wear. When to clean/lube is dependent on too many variables, so no general rule will apply to everyone.

      I clean my range pistols anywhere between 50 and 200 rounds, with the exception of a Para .45 that I'm experimenting with (long story -- 500 perfect rounds without a cleaning, so far...). The cc weapons get cleaned after each range session.

      I would agree w/TOF's assement of your gun store guy....

      PhilR.
      Man..I've tortured me LTC and P16 to see if/when they would fail. I got to 1200 rounds with the P16 and and 1100 with the LTC. I seen that video 1000 rounds through a para and I had to see...heh. I know a lot of people that don't like Para Ord but I sure as hell don't know why after seeing how they shot with that much through them. I use the LTC as a carry piece anymore so I clean it a lot more often but those dang huns can take a lickin'

      Vanguard1987..Your Sig can take a lot of rounds without a cleaning..It's a Sig thing. But a clean gun is a happy gun. If you're careful and don't just jam anything in there you should be fine. I'm with TOF on the I've never seen a gun go bad from too much cleaning. Seen them go bad because someone cleaned one and didn't bother to lube it.

      My Sigs (226 9mm and 229 .40) start to shoot a little squirrely when they start to get "too dirty" Bullets type will have a lot to do with it too. I like a jacketed slug over a lead one. The lead gets stuck in the barrel grooves and it horrid to get out..to me anyway.

      Anyway..you clean all you wanna....Use a little common sense and be safe and your Sig will probably last you a lifetime

    10. #10
      P97
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      The gun I use most is my CCW. I handle it every day and shoot it frequently. I work outside some in the summer and it gets wet with sweat. All my guns get a boresnake run through the Barrel after every shooting session. My CCW gets field stripped once a month in the summer time and every 2-3 months in the winter. I blow it out with a air hose, and scrub it with a tooth brush and Eezox. I have used this procedure with all my guns for several years very successfully.

    11. #11
      Senior Member Mike Barham's Avatar
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      As usual in these types of threads, I will be the outcast. I clean my Glocks about every six months, whether they need it or not. They work fine, and neither has ever malfunctioned. My 17 is currently filthy, having been through a 1400 round Gunsite course and then another shooting session without a cleaning. No big deal, it still works perfectly.

      I clean my KelTecs more often, every couple months, since they are not as "tolerant" as the Glocks.

      I do think that some guns have more wear (not "damage") on them from cleaning than shooting. Many military guns suffer this.
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    12. #12
      Senior Member tekhead1219's Avatar
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      I typically will clean mine after 2 or 3 range sessions. That usually entails 200 to 300 rounds through them. Have never had a problem with the XD's, PT1911, Bersa or LCP. I would find another gun shop though if yours is advocating 1500 rounds between baths.

    13. #13
      Senior Member Mike Barham's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by tekhead1219 View Post
      I would find another gun shop though if yours is advocating 1500 rounds between baths.
      I'm very sure a SIG would easily digest 1500 rounds before it needed cleaning. Gun guys just tend to be tinkerers who like to take things apart.
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    14. #14
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      CCW gun is cleaned right after the trip to the range. Does it need it? Probably not, but I like to know that the tool that could save my life is in it's best working condition. Non-CCW guns get cleaned same day or next day. My guns are also wiped down and oiled on a regular basis, whether they have been to the range or not. My guns represent a large financial commitment to me and I make sure I do what I can to protect my investment.

    15. #15
      TOF
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      Those of us that have been living in the gun world for many years know that our tools can take a certain amount of abuse and still function acceptably. We also know that not all guns are created equaly. Each of us have developed a feel for which are tough and reliable and which are not. We may or may not be correct.

      One concern I have regarding information put forth in these threads is that young people and some older, just getting started with guns look to us for guidance. I prefer to err on the safe side both in giving advice and performing my own gun maintenance. Telling our new associates that their guns can go forever without maintenance is in my opinion just plain wrong.

      Many gun owners may not fire 1500 rounds through their pistol in a lifetime. They will not be well served by setting a 1500 round cleaning cycle. Three or four years after they fire that first box of 50 rounds then put it in the dresser drawer without cleaning and lubing it may be rusted solid especialy if you live in a humid area.

      My reccomendation for any individual new to the gun world is to clean and lube after each use per manufactures instructions. Clean and lube once a year if not fired during the year.

      Maintenance frequency can then be adjusted as you become more familiar with your new tool and activity.

      Stay safe and keep that tool in good condition.


    16. #16
      Senior Member Mike Barham's Avatar
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      It is true that I assume most guys on a shooting forum will be shooting enthusiasts who will shoot with some frequency.

      Non-enthusiasts who only shoot 50 rounds a year (or ever) are better served by revolvers.
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    17. #17
      Senior Member niadhf's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
      It is true that I assume most guys on a shooting forum will be shooting enthusiasts who will shoot with some frequency.

      Non-enthusiasts who only shoot 50 rounds a year (or ever) are better served by revolvers.
      And even the "six for sure" need cleaning. TOF's point of shoot and leave to corrode can cause more damage depending on shooting frequancy is a good one. No matter the gun.

    18. #18
      TOF
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      Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
      It is true that I assume most guys on a shooting forum will be shooting enthusiasts who will shoot with some frequency.

      Non-enthusiasts who only shoot 50 rounds a year (or ever) are better served by revolvers.
      I hear the revolver is more reliable for newbies comment quite frequently. My recent experience however is the opposite.

      I went thru quite a few steps to achieve reliability with a New GP 100 purchased last December. It was necessary to file sand and polish the Hammer path to achieve reliable primer strikes. It was necessary to adjust the cylinder to barrel clearance to enable use of Titegroup Powder. The cylinder to barrel clearance was so tight (in spec) that unburned crud remaining from Titegroup blocked it from rotation. I subsequently quit using Titegroup.

      Several of my friends and myself used revolvers in our local IPSC matches for a few months. We found that cleaning the cylinder to barrel interface between each scenario was mandatory for reliable operation. One friend, an retired FBI agent used his old S&W service revolver and couldn't make it through the 100 or so rounds without cleaning between sets.

      The 4 modern Auto's I have personally purchased in the past 3 years, 2 XD's and 2 M&P's came out of the box ready to shoot and are still ready to shoot many thousands of rounds later.

      That is my experience others may have experienced the opposite.

      Stay safe



    19. #19
      Senior Member BeefyBeefo's Avatar
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      Very interesting information, TOF. Thanks for sharing.

      As far as cleaning is concerned, I used to clean my guns immediately following my range sessions. I then became lazy and don't clean them nearly as much, and haven't cleaned them in approximately 4 months at this point. They all still perform perfectly. Having said this, when I move to Colorado (probably within a month or so), my cleaning regimen will slightly change. When I obtain my CCW, I plan to consistently clean my CCW gun, although I don't plan to carry it without atleast a few shots through it after the cleaning. I am currently traveling, and in the process of applying for multiple law enforcement positions in the Fort Collins area if anyone happens to know people in that area. Just my .02

      -Jeff-

    20. #20
      Senior Member Mike Barham's Avatar
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      Not saying revolvers serve newbies well because they are necessarily more reliable - I don't actually think that is the case when compared to a good modern auto. But DA revolvers are simpler, which helps "non-dedicated personnel" handle them safely.

      Corrosion from firing is pretty much a non-issue with modern ammo. Corrosion from human handling is a possibility, but (while unsightly) would seldom prevent a revolver from firing.
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