How often do you clean your firearm?

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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from .177 pellet rifles to 12ga shot guns; bore snakes, God’s gift to the faithful!
</laughs out loud
somebody has Got to be making millions!

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Every time I shoot anything it is a completely disassembled put in the ultrasonic cleaner, then a fresh coat of frog lube. White glove cleaning.

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Here’s why you should check you mags as well.

That hollow point was full of lint. Probably wouldn’t have opened. This was the second round in the magazine. The first was fine.

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@45IPAC Thanks for the pic and the demonstration of the necessity to clean the mags, too. I think I learned something valuable from you just now.

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Not only clean the magazines. You also should check your carry ammo from time to time.
Here is a great video from my favorite YouTube Channel which explains why:

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While cartridge gauges may be expensive, they may have very good consequences down the road. Especially if we’re not on the calendar to rotate ammo and do so faithfully.
Good YouTube by Carry Trainer

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@Jerzy @CHRIS4 Thanks for the great YouTube training video, Jerzy. I had wondered about that very thing, the “wear and tear” on our carry ammo, if there was any. Now I know there is and will shoot up my carry ammo every couple of months. I’ve also heard it’s a good idea to shoot what you carry so you can feel any difference between the carry and the training ammo, and so you get a feel for your carry ammo, are comfortable with it. Makes sense to me. Thanks for your comments, Chris4. My calendar should have a lot more on it than it does… I usually just play it by ear, so to speak.

You guys are great and thanks so much for sharing!

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@Nancy. You are very welcome.
We are all here to help each other. We teach here and we learn here.
I’m sure one day I will learn something from you :point_up_2:

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For me it’s just a failsafe. I’m as lazy and foolish as the next person. If not for my calendar’s gawd-awful
nagging I wouldn’t get much done at all!

oh, and by ear? It’s all Jazz!

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