How Do I Clean and Maintain My New Gun? What Else Do I Need?
I don't know whether the manual that came with your new gun contains all of the information that you'll need...but I bet that it does.
All guns require the exact same cleaning and maintenance supplies. Brand-name is not important, as long as the stuff has a good reputation. I have always had good service from KG-brand chemicals, Hoppe's #9, Birchwood-Casey, and, currently, Ballistol. Others are just as good. This is not something to obsess over.
You will need either a really good cleaning rod, or a BoreSnake, or both. (I use both.) Maybe a rod will come with your gun. I suggest that a steel cleaning rod is better than an aluminum one.
You will need some sort of patch-holding tip for your cleaning rod, and at least one bronze-bristle bore brush.
You will need an old toothbrush. Also, a brass-bristled, toothbrush-looking brush is another good thing to have.
You will need hundreds—nay, thousands—of cotton patches of the correct size.
You will need a spray-can of "gun scrubber," a small tube of high-quality gun-lubricating (not preserving) grease, and a lot of high-quality gun oil.
The very first thing you must do to a brand-new gun is to remove all traces of the sticky preservative grease with which it was coated at the factory.
This is a very useful job in more ways than you think: You will learn to detail-strip your gun, while you're cleaning the grease off of it. Then you will learn how to put it back together again. Follow the manual's instructions to the letter. If something goes wrong, read the manual again, this time more carefully.
Places where there are sliding or rotating metal-to-metal contacts get at least a little oil. Many people prefer lubricating grease here. I go either way, depending upon my mood that day.
Everything else that's metal gets a light coating of oil, which is almost immediately wiped off. Your gun should not feel oily, nor should any part drip oil. (Your kit should now include a soft cotton cloth that feels a little oily. Use this cloth to wipe the gun down, after every time you've handled it.)
Get snap caps. Use them for dry-fire practice. Daily. (Ten minutes a day is enough.)
When you dry-fire practice, take every bit of ammunition out of the gun. Check the chamber and the magazine well. Check the chamber again. Now take all of the ammunition out of the room in which you'll be practicing.
Come back and check the gun's chamber once again.
Now you can load-up with snap caps for practice.
Dry-fire practice is supposed to help you learn how to press (not squeeze) the trigger, while maintaining a proper sight picture and complete concentration.
Use a blank portion of interior wall to do this. Do not use a photo of your mother-in-law, or the TV.
Even aiming at a blank wall, you will see whether or not your sights waver excessively, as you press the trigger. Work toward eliminating most of the waver. (You can't get rid of all of it, so don't try.)
You will need at least two extra magazines for your new gun (for a total of at least three).
These serve as backups for when your most-used magazine finally dies, and as reloads for serious social occasions. (When you are armed, you should carry at least one reload magazine.)
Soon, you will also need a good holster, an excellent belt, and a reload-magazine pouch. (The Fobus is not "a good holster." Sorry, Fobus.)
Someone else observed, recently, that the quality of the belt is more important than the quality of the holster. He was correct.
You should expect to spend almost half of the cost of your pistol—at the very least one third of it—on a belt/holster/magazine-pouch set.
Then, to break in the new, tight holster properly, you should make about 100 presentations ("draws") from it, each one including a good sight picture and a very good trigger press.
Now you are well on your way toward mastery of the pistol.
Let us know how you're doing.
Great write up. Thanks.
I might add that there is likely a good YouTube video for nearly any gun you can imagine that will clearly demonstrate field and detail stripping and cleaning your particular firearm.
It's been a great resource to get familiar with guns that I'm considering for purchase and has been very helpful in my final choice.
Very informative thanks for sharing..............JJ
yeah great write up-good to see ya back
I'd like to put in a plug for safe cleaning. Even 'natural' or 'organic' solvents can cause harm, remember, poison ivy is both natural and organic. Wrap-around safety glasses are usually not necessary, but something should be in front of the eyes. Gloves will keep chemicals off skin and out of internal organs. 'Chemical' rated Nitrile, lined latex or vinyl gloves should provide adequate protection. That's my view, and I'm sticking with it.
This 'wuss' also wears a seat belt, hard hat and ear plugs, just in case something happens during the night.
A great concise primer for the newly armed. Due the number of new gun owners, I'd like to see a lot more of the basic safety, etiquette and maintenance information provided to promote responsible ownership.
Apply a drop or two of oil onto the friction surfaces of the bolt locking lugs to reduce wear. This should help keep the bolt lock-up nice and tight.
I am new to guns and just bought a FNS-9...I have not fired it yet but I purchased a product called Froglube developed by one of our SEALS...it is and all natural product and I figured if it is good enough for our top military people it should be good enough for a pistol newbie....after doing the application it was really noticeable that the metal portions had a completely different feel and color to them....the Froglube actually penetrates the pores of the metal...right now I am glad that it was the first product I used...take care...Frank
Been using FL for some time now. Although other products work just as well... I like the smell. But sometimes I do miss the smell of some #9... Lol
Yup! It's called Love Potion Number 9 for a reason around here!
Originally Posted by nbk13nw
Originally Posted by acepilot
It's not rocket science. Hoppes #9 and some lube is handy. Main thing is if auto, follow manual instructions for assembly/disassembly. With today's smokeless powders, you don't have to clean as often.
Fecking awesome overview, Steve...*Thank You!* for compiling it and transmitting it.
Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1
I just wanna add that I cut a piece of Chamois...A piece of skin cloth that they use to wipe the water off cars....about 6" X 6" and wash it completely and then hang out to dry. I love Break free CLP but a person can use any oil they think is awesome and I drip some oil on the chamois until it is absorbed. This makes a very soft and absorbent wiping cloth that has a very miniscule amount of penetrating and preserving oil in it but will not scratch nor leave the gun feeling oily or saturated.
Every time I handle the gun, I finish with a wipe down of the oil impregnated chamois and then set it aside. One can even field strip the gun and just wipe it down. As the chamois gets dry I add a few drops of oil to keep it moist and store it in a glass jar with a lid to keep dust and air out. Never had a spec of rust using this method even on knife blades hanging in the basement for over 6 years. Just wipe 'em down and admire them from time to time.
I've never really thought of cleaning a firearm as being dangerous. But then again, I know what I'm doing and have done it countless times.
I don't feel the need to wear protective glasses or gloves. That's not to say that I'm promoting carelessness, but just saying that I take precautions when necessary.
I just wanted to pose a different view and make it known that you can clean a firearm w/o the need to feel that you are taking your life into your own hands.
A basic gun cleaning kit, Hoppes #9, and RemOil. Good to go.
I'd have to agree to *some* degree as safer is always better *BuT* I have to add that I have been cleaning revolvers and pistols with #9, clean patches made of paper towels or soft cloth, and a lube like BreakFree, RemOil for like 40 years (without safety glasses and Nitrile Gloves...) and I'm not unhealthy.
Originally Posted by Mik3e
It's not brain surgery but it's important. Clean the powder residue and re lube friction surfaces and the outside of the gun after every session. Wipe her down and clean the bore with a clean patch lubed with oil and follow with clean patches until it's not dirty anymore.
Bore brushes and soaks and all that might be cool every year depending on how many rounds we pound thru the guns but getting overly anal about it might make it less likely to get done after a range session. I have guns in my collection that have had thousands of round thru them and look like new and I have not had to wear glasses nor worry about solvents invading my internal organs thru my skin.
Sincerely, I'm not trying to be combative but it's not dangerous to clean a weapon without safety glasses and protective gloves. The important thing is that is gets done soon after shooting and that we develop a routine of maintenance and preservation while being safe about unloading the gun and developing handling safety just like maintaining a chain saw or other mechanical device (like a car.....motor oil is toxic as are exhaust fumes and cleaners..) that needs to perform on demand.
My 2 cents.
Steve M1911A1. Possibly you are a saint. God will bless you for taking this much time to explain the basics to a neophyte.
My wife, Jean, would agree with you. Other people? I'm not so sure.
Originally Posted by northstar19
The reality is that I know a lot about "practical" shooting, and I like to teach.
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