How often do you clean your firearm?

Youtube has been incredibly helpful for me for fixing/cleaning firearms, lawnmowers, dishwashers, and dryers. I’ve seen repair men using Youtube when they’ve worked on my furnace before. So instead of opting for the expensive service call, I see if I can find a video and fix it myself. I’ve had a lot of success with that. (I did need a new furnace :frowning: )

Glad it was so helpful, @Nancy! Welcome back!

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Immediately after the range or as needed. I’m a former Marine, weapons cleaning is second nature :+1:t2:

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@Zee, @Dawn Thanks for the welcome back. It’s good to be back and chatting again. I did invite my sister to join us on these forums, but I don’t know if she’ll join us now or not. I think it’s great to read the posts, even if you don’t feel like posting yourself. The postings give me a good feel for the subjects and I feel a comraderie with everyone on who posts on these forums. It’s also fun sharing pictures and ideas with each other. So I talked it up with my sister and hope she’ll join us. She really enjoyed shooting (it was her first experience with handguns and she did quite well) with me and I hope she’ll trust me with my recommendation that she join us here. I’ll keep reminding her, of course! As for YouTube, I love it! I hope whoever developed that idea is very rich now --s/he deserves it!

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There are a lot of people who come in to read the conversations but don’t comment, @Nancy, and I’m happy they’re here too! The amount of knowledge and advice being shared is great! I hope they feel comfortable enough to post if they have questions. :slight_smile:

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I clean mine after each range trip even if it was just a few rounds fired. I also clean them if they sit for longer than a few months without being shot.

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Well I have to disclose here, I have seen this topic since it was new. I know better I was trained different as an Army Infantry Lieutenant, but the gun store I go to has a young gunsmith on the staff and the business needs business volume so I pay the young fellow to clean my guns when I’m done inside the range, by the time I finish my refreshment he is done and happy to be of service to me and I am happy to have further justified him being there doing what he seems to love doing so everyone comes out a winner.

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@Robert8 I think that’s great that you have the young fellow clean your guns for you! I’d do the same if my range offered the service. The guys at my favorite gun shop are all gunsmiths and would be happy to clean my guns, but they charge $15/gun to clean. I plan to let them do it for me at least once per year, as then I can be sure my guns will get a deep cleaning, but I need to clean my own guns weekly or after range visits. I just can’t afford it more often, plus I think it’s important for me to get to know my guns. Cleaning them helps me familiarize myself with them and feel like they’re a part of me. Sound silly? Maybe, but it’s true for me.

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@Nancy Hi Nancy, I do this partially as an insurance policy of sorts. I really like the convenience of knowing that if the store goes under and has to close then guess what happens then, we’ll that fancyass range goes away, buying guns and ammunition goes away because the store has closed. Can I buy guns and ammunition other places? Sure can but I don’t want to. I’m 69 now 70 in December and when you get older you like convenience. I don’t like driving much anymore, only when I have to. I’m not so much into guns anymore, I know more about guns than many people and honestly guns at my age are sort of boring. I don’t have lots of guns like I once did, I have two guns. I love younger people who are excited about guns and defending themselves, but it’s just not who I am anymore. I get excited about learning more about cooking, I get excited for my wife and family. Life is not so serious as people make it. I lived a lot, done a lot, but if my gun goes bang when I pull the trigger that’s what matters to me. Don’t feel bad because you are doing exactly what you like and by the way having fun learning things I knew 50+ years ago. I’m happy for you and stay excited about your guns and things you like. I see you are inquisitive asking gun questions all the time, I see you are interested and want to learn and talk about things. I’m really happy and excited for you Nancy.

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You should seriously consider Melonite or a similar process.

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I’m not all that far behind you and I hope I never get to the point that I find them boring. If all else fails I just read up more on the history of firearms.

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I’m agree Charles, some times there’s other things in life other than guns is what I was trying to be communicating. That was my thought.

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Thought’s on gun cleaning and old wives tails.

First let’s step through a little history. We shall begin in 1914 and WW1. The military in general can be said to have a procedure for everything and everything must be followed IAW (In Accordance With) pick a publication, regulation, rule, note, letter etc. WW1 was the FIRST time the U.S. had a mass mobilization of people into the military since the “modern” era of firearms. At that time the vast majority of primers and propellants were HIGHLY corrosive if left to their own devices on raw steel. To that end it was highly desired that the residue from these cartridges be removed as expeditiously as possible before real damage could occur. So our beloved military decreed that THOU SHALT: Following any firing of a weapon for practice, training or actual combat proceed to clean said firearm to the point where no residual propellant or residue shall remain and two consecutive days there after. (Or words to that effect)

OK, that works in the trenches. However, always remember that 80 -90% of the military does not see combat but are held to the same rules. So now we have an entire generation of “soldiers” that are indoctrinated to scrub their guns within an inch of their lives. Why? They have no idea but “It’s what I did in the Army/Marines etc”. The other issue was HOW they cleaned their guns, pistols in general were cleaned from the back or the front with no particular problem. Rifles on the other hand were generally cleaned from the FRONT. So there are millions of military happily sawing away with a steel cleaning rod to get the last bit of powder and copper out of the bores of their 1903’s. In the process they end up wearing a groove in the “crown” of the muzzle. Not good for accuracy but the bore was up to the Sergeant’s specifications.

End of the war the world is happy and all those Soldiers, Sailors and Marines go back to where they came from with this permanently ingrained in their heads and begin to teach their children the same. The military is contracted as happens following a war and in between that and the next they don’t have a lot to do. Enterprising Sergeant’s and NCO’s have to figure out SOMETHING to do to keep the troops occupied. The answer, fire 20/50/100 rounds and spend 6 hours cleaning said rifle/pistol or machine gun. Repeat as needed to take up time and “maintain proficiency”.

Somewhere between WW1 and WW2 they invented a new mouse trap, smokeless powder. The by product was that the priming compound and powder itself was no longer “corrosive”. That said there was still a whole lot of ammo from WW1 in stock that had to be gone through and then there were all those old Sergeant’s who carried the idea forward. Enter the M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, Thompson SMG and M14 all of which HAD to be cleaned from the FRONT. Again we have happy military sawing on the muzzles of their weapons with steel rods because the Sergeant’s told them to (primarily to keep them occupied) Again another generation of people indoctrinated.

In 1960 something the M-16 was introduced and heralded as “a gun that never needed to be cleaned”, yeah that worked well in Yuma, Arizona and Crane, Indiana but in the jungles of Vietnam it got a lot of people killed. So the Sergeant’s said “I told you so” and back to hours of cleaning we went, and another generation was indoctrinated. To further the point of cleaning from the front, the sectional rods contained in the butt stock would only reach the upper receiver from the front. So more happy military sawing away at a barrel, another generation down.

Fast forward to me and in 1985 I was indoctrinated to the nearly 100 year old concept of “clean after shooting: EVERYTIME” Which I kept up faithfully until Desert Storm in 1990. A well oiled well cleaned rifle or pistol (yes we still had the 1911 back then) tuned into a one round wonder due to the fine dust that was EVERYWHERE and got into EVERYTHING. Thanks to a forward thinking Gunny Sergeant I learned about running the M-16A2 “Dry” with only the smallest amounts of lubrication and “graphite powder” for locks. After 100 hours of pretty much continuous contact and gun fights without a jam, I was sold. That said it was purely a situational event.

Move ahead a few more years and I had gotten into long range precision rifle, primarily where the first round was the most important. I was attending a training event and ran across a friend from when I was on the Navy rifle team who also happened to be a SEAL “DEVGRU” sniper. As we were yukking it up at the end of day I was preparing to “clean my rifle” He stopped dead and looked at me. “What are you doing? I just watched you hit a 4” target at 730 yards, why are you going to screw up your bore? I had no good answer. Over dinner and drinks he went a long way down the conversation of “seasoning” a rifle bore. I hit my cold bore shot the next morning which is something that had always eluded me.

I took his advice to heart but decided to conduct my own experiment with 3 rifles I was shooting pretty consistently at the time. A Winchester M-70 bolt gun in .308, an AR-10 also in .308 and a Remington 513T in .22. I scrubbed them up (from the REAR) to the point where a Marine DI would have been proud and began to test. The .22 took 215 rounds to get consistent precision accuracy, the bolt gun took 75 rounds, the gas gun took 85 rounds. The gas gun lasted 930 rounds before accuracy fell off, the bolt gun took 1065 rounds and I haven’t found out what the .22’s level is but I’m north of 3000 rounds now. The only cleaning is of the bolt and bolt face and a dry swab of the chamber with some light lube on the bolt and moving bits.

In general I apply the same thought process to pistols now. Clean the breach face and extractor, wipe down the feed ramp and mebby drag a dry bore snake down the pipe if there is visible un-burnt powder. Lube the rails and back in the holster it goes, most times not even that.

I would venture to say without hesitation that more damage is inflicted in the process of “cleaning” a gun than is inflicted in “Shooting” the gun.

So ends the history lesson and the root cause of a wives tail that follows us today.

Cheers,

Craig6

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That was AWESOME @Craig6 thank you!

My hubby is not a big gun cleaner, he’s generally in the “if it ain’t broke, don’t clean it” camp.
I’m going to talk this over with him and get his thoughts on it.

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I like his camp! :smiley:
I won’t discuss how many rounds went through my gun between cleanings this last time. I did clean it this weekend and it was dirty. :confused: But now it’s all nice and clean.

Time to go to the range and make it dirty again!

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@Craig6 - that was long, but great reading for me. To be honest, I don’t know what to think about it now. What you wrote it’s true… but you just took the best part of shooting from me :grin:
I don’t know why, but I love to clean my firearms. I really enjoy to disassemble them, clean, check, lube and reassemble… it’s part of my life now. (perhaps I should be a gunsmith :joy:)

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do what you love :smiley:
and yeah, that gunsmithing thing is pretty enticing… it’s just the having to be an FFL part that keeps me from jumping into it.

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@Jerzy you are sick man but the cure sadly is to shoot more!!! :rofl::rofl:

Yeah it’s kind of long as I was re-reading it. It’s 100 years of history in a page or three about why we do what we do without even thinking about it or wondering Why?

Cheers,

Craig6

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@Zee Interested in what your Hubby has to say if you can get him to sit still long enough to read my prose. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Cheers,

Craig6

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Here’s his comment @Craig6
“Let me read it a couple more times but I think he has a good grasp of the cleaning saga…lol
Nowadays I just clean up the obvious junk, lube what’s needed, and run a bore snake from the breach a couple of times.”

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@Craig6, you are absolutely right :joy: sick, but still no crazy :crazy_face:
However I’m taking your advice seriously now because my new CZ is hard to disassemble so I will just drop some oil on wearing points from the back.

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