Gun Cleaning Revisited

Discussion in 'How to' started by VolGrad, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. VolGrad

    VolGrad Tactical Statistician


    I know there has been some discussion about gun cleaning previously on this forum. I did a search and read a couple of threads, but they mostly discussed Break-Free CLP.

    My collection mostly contains Hoppe's products I can find at Academy Sports or Wal-Mart, although I occasionally experiment with products others have recommended.
    I have quite a collection of the following;
    - No. 9 Solvent
    - Lubricating Oil with Weatherguard
    - Foaming Bore Cleaner
    - MOLY Oil
    - BoreSnakes for each Caliber

    I clean after nearly every range session. The only time I don't clean immediately afterward is if I know I will be going to the range again within a few days (one week max).

    My cleaning routine has basically been as follows;
    - Field strip & wipe all parts down with a clean cloth. I usually use plain old white undershirts or, more recently, a box of plain white cotton rags from Lowe's (like painters use).
    - Use a can of compressed air to "blow out" any dust and/or debris from all parts.
    - Dip a brass/nylon brush in No. 9 and scrub the inside of the barrel thoroughly.
    - Use No. 9 soaked patches to further scrub the barrel, followed by dry patches until they come out clean.
    - Run a BoreSnake through the barrel a few times, this time applying a couple of drops of MOLY Oil.
    - Use an old toothbrush dipped in No. 9 to clean anything I can get to.
    - Use No. 9 soaked patches to wipe down all metal parts (including magazines). On the Glocks I usually wipe down the area near the end of the barrel where the crud builds up too. [I am thinking of switching to small sponges for this step.]
    - Wipe off excess solvent with a clean cloth.
    - Apply a very small amount of MOLY Oil where the slide moves along the frame & on any other moving parts.
    - Reassemble and work the slide several times, including dry firing, to further distribute the lube.
    - Wipe off excess lube with a clean cloth.

    I just purchased the Foaming Bore Cleaner and have not used it yet. I probably have 3 bottles of the Lubricating Oil with Weatherguard but haven't used it yet either. I will likely only use the Foaming Bore Cleaner occasionally, after a long range session or maybe for once per year deep cleaning. I think I might start applying Lubricating Oil with Weatherguard after wiping down all surfaces with the No. 9 Solvent.

    Now, here are my questions.
    1. Does this sound like an adequate cleaning? I am not really comfortable disassembling my pistols any further at this time.
    2. Should MOLY Oil or Lube be applied anywhere else?
    3. Are there any of these products I should eliminate from the process? Are there any products I should add to the process?
    4. I hear people saying they use Break-Free CLP for everything. I have also heard people say they use No. 9 for everything. What gives? Am I better of with different products for different uses or just using one product for everything? Which to choose?

    FYI Hoppe's has a basic Guide to Gun Care.pdf available for viewing and/or downloading on their website. It has some good information, but is really just a marketing tool.
  2. Bulldawg182

    Bulldawg182 Active Member

    Once again, you've read my mind. I also have never seen "CLP" in any of the gun stores I frequent although "Breakfree" is available everywhere. Are they one and the same? I too am a "Hopps Head". I use good ole #9 to clean my weapons too but use a self concocted gun oil I picked up from one of the guys at Bullseye in Cumming.

    The one most important step in cleaning the barrel is to be sure to run a #9 soaked patch through the barrel BEFORE using a steel or equivalent brush to prevent damaging the barrel. I run a soaked patch thru, then brush, then multiple damp patches. Then repeat brush followed by several patches till brush/patch sequence yields no residue.

    You'll be amazed at how much powder/gunk hides out in the rifled grooves. I sometimes repeat that process 5 or 6 times before it comes clean.

  3. Adam5

    Adam5 Atlanta Overwatch

    I pretty much do the same thing, with the exception of the above step, which I don't do.

    On hammer fired guns, I use Remington gun oil with a needle tip, to put a slight drop of oil on the point that the hammer pivots. On steel framed guns, I do the same on the triggers pivot point. I can't help but think this helps things move smoothly.

    Every once a while, I'll use a lead or copper removing solvent in the bores to make sure that there is on fouling building up.

    Also, if using corrosive ammo, my Mosin comes to mind, I'll spray everything down with ammonia based glass cleaner to neutralize any corrosive residue as soon as I get finished firing.
  4. GunNut

    GunNut New Member

    My process is more or less the same, however, I use eezox ( now. I used to use breakfree clp, never remember having a problem finding it. I like eezox a little better, doesn't seem to ooze and leave such an oily surface as breakfree.
  5. Adam5

    Adam5 Atlanta Overwatch

    That's why I don't use CLP. I didn't like the oily surface left behind. The one thing that I like CLP for was when reassembling the bolt carrier group of my AR after cleaning. I would give all the BCG parts a light coat of CLP to keep things moving smoothly.
  6. Jmark

    Jmark Active Member

    One thing I would stress is buy good rods. Not the crap they sell at Walmart. I finally took the plunge and bought a couple of Tipton Carbon Fiber cleaning rods and they have made cleaning so much easier. That and they should last a lifetime if taken care of.
  7. M249

    M249 New Member

    Breakfree is CLP just like Motrin is Ibubrofen and I use it because it's what I'm used to using and it works. CLP was made so that GIs would have a easy, one-bottle solution to clean, lubricate, and protect their weapons, so I'd wager you can find more effective products that don't "do it all"--you'll just have more bottles than I do.
  8. Bulldawg182

    Bulldawg182 Active Member

    Thanks, you've resolved a long term question of mine! :lol:
  9. VolGrad

    VolGrad Tactical Statistician

    Thanks, all good info. As far as rods go - I use the plastic rods which come with my Glocks for all my pistols. I don't have anything yet for my Shotgun. Cleaning will be a whole different animal with it I fear.

    I will tweak my process some to add a solvent run prior to running the BoreSnake through the barrel. I will also MOLY oil a few extra parts on my Sigs.

    I don't like any greasy/oily residue. My wife laughs at me all the time about it. If something gets too greasy/oily in the kitchen, I would just as soon throw it away than have to touch it and clean it. My worst fear is spilling/breaking a bottle of olive oil. It seems like we use it almost daily for something or another. I think I would have to move. LOL.

    I guess what confuses me still is the difference in the MOLY Oil and the Lubricating Oil with Weatherguard. The MOLY Oil I have is in one of those needle tip bottles, so I use it to oil moving parts. I guess I will use the Lubricating Oil with Weatherguard to wipe down surfaces.
  10. Adam5

    Adam5 Atlanta Overwatch

    The needle tip comes in handy when you just want the slightest drop on an exact spot.
  11. Bulldawg182

    Bulldawg182 Active Member

    Yes, and on a Glock.......that's the "G" spot.
  12. Claire

    Claire New Member

    For my rem 11-87 shotgun - I've been using noxon metal cleaner

    for this area

    works better than any gun cleaner
    I had stuff stuck on there from yrs ago & the noxon took it off in minutes
  13. pyromaster

    pyromaster Member

    For my shotgun, I got a Kleen Bore one piece rod. I had a multi piece which I carry but now have a one piece for my AR and handguns too. Also for the shotgun, Ken taught us a trick of cramming toilet paper in the end and pushing that through the barrell before cleaning it. Amazing how much stuff that got out.

    As for CLP, the WalMart on Lawrenceville HWY seems to always have some.

    As for lube, I now use Lithium grease. Here's what James Yeager had to say about that:


    People tend to OVER lubricate their handguns and UNDER lubricate their rifles.

    * NEVER put lube in a magazine or in a firing pin channel.

    * ALWAYS lube handguns EXACTLY as the manufacturer recommends.

    * ARs do NOT need to be “dripping†to run. In fact it could be harmful.

    Oil is adequate (although we don’t recommend it) for the range but for offensive or defensive weapons we use and recommend a high temperature lithium based grease. We use grease on all of our weapons. You can buy the fancy ones in the syringe or just go to AutoZone and buy the tub of high temperature lithium wheel bearing grease at a much better value. We also recommend grease for weapons that go unused for long periods. Oil will drip off, dry up or soak in over time. A THIN coat of grease will be there indefinitely.

    In our High Risk Civilian Contractor courses we abuse rifles, primarily ARs, with rigorous drills. Several times a day, each day of class, the students will do drills where they expend 6-8 mags quickly. As you know this gets the guns red hot. Each student shoots about 4k rifle rounds and 1k pistol rounds in this 5 day course. As a class they will expend on average from 50k-65k rounds. This amount of volume combined with the rapid paced drills that have the students shooting 200+ rounds in a single string of fire allow us to really see what works and what doesn’t. The students that turned their noses up at the wheel bearing grease on Monday are reaching for it on Tuesday. We have found NO lubricant, at any price, which meets or exceeds high temperature lithium wheel bearing grease for keeping Fighting Rifles in the fight.

    There are no "magic" lubes. High temperature lithium wheel bearing grease and motor oil works as good as anything and is cheap. I have bad news for the guys that buy “special†gun lubes in little bottles and syringes – there are no special refineries for gun lubricants. There are no guys in white lab coats designing lubes just for guns. Every lube on the market has one thing in common – they weren’t designed for guns. If motor oil and wheel bearing grease will keep a car from detonating driving 80mph do you REALLY thing they won't lubricate your gun? I know it goes against most folk’s delicate sensibilities to put automotive lubricants on their guns because you can get a lifetime supply for $5 but trust me on this one. More than once my car's dipstick has become a field expedient lubrication point because no other lube was available. I know this all sounds barbaric and Juncivilized but it does work…and I am uncivilized.

    Three tests to see if your gun lubrication method works:

    Test #1 - Lube your gun properly with your lubricant of choice. Take a training class where 750+ rounds are fired in the course of the day. If your gun needs to be relubricated before the training day your lubricant isn’t as good as the $5 a gallon high temperature lithium wheel bearing grease.

    Test #2 - After the class concludes you should properly clean and lubricate your gun. Put it away or carry it for a month and then take it out and look at it. If it is dry because the lube leaked out or dried up you need a new lubricant. You can find the oil in the bottom of your holster and grease at AutoZone.

    Test #3 - Look at your AR (assuming it is lubricated) right now and if it has oil on the outside around all of the pin holes you need a new lubricant. Yours is so thin it has seeped out and it not protecting your gun anymore. You can find the oil in the bottom of your safe or in your rifle case and grease at AutoZone.
  14. Fallschirmjäger

    Fallschirmjäger I watch the watchers

    I'll put in a good word for Eezox, it's never resulted in any problems with any firearms (altho there's a lack of evidence as I don't run my guns hard, truth to be told). As a plus, it is outstanding as a rust perventative. I've had to leave firearms in storage while I've been in deployments. And we're speaking of - - - unheated storage sheds, friend's garages, Georgia humidity without relief, with the longest being a 5-year period for one particular firearm and they were as free of rust as the day they were put away.
  15. dwalker

    dwalker New Member

    I've never put oil inside the barrel before running the brush thru it but that makes sense, thanks for the tip.

    What are you opinions on cleaning the slide?
  16. Breadfan63

    Breadfan63 New Member

    I've seen CLP at the Mansell Wal Mart. I'm pretty sure David's gun room has it too. I just use it to lube where the trigger meets the connector on the glock. I'll typically use Hoppes 9 to clean the barrel and I'll put a patch with a drop or two of CLP down the barrel for lube. CLP anywhere that needs lubing other than that as well.

    I've recently started using Tetra grease on the slides and it makes them SMOOTH. Racking the slide on my Glock with tetra vs my bud's without is like night and day.

    I'm a little anal when it comes to cleaning my guns. The 686 gets Flitz'ed every time I shoot it unless I already have plans to shoot it again in the next few days. I'll typically polish it with a dremel and flitz once a month to really make it look sharp.
  17. Macktee

    Macktee New Member

    Waaaaaaay back in the old days, when I was defending freedom, democracy and The American Way, while wearing Army Green, we used rather primitive methods to clean our trusty old (And I do mean old. Most were older than we troops!!!) Garand M-1s.

    We used boiling water and GI soap followed by Army issue gun oil.

    Those brown bricks of compressed lye they claimed to be soap was pretty nasty stuff and hard on the hands, but it would clean damn near anything off damn near anything else!

    1.) Put a GI can of water on one of those gasoline fired field stoves. Add soap. Bring it to a rolling boil. (That last part took remarkably little time as those gasoline-fired heaters really put out the BTUs!)

    2.) Field strip the weapons.

    3.) Dump metal parts, everything but the stocks, into the can.

    4.) Wait about 10 minutes, fish them out and rinse them off.

    4a.) Attempt to find the serial-numbered parts from your rifle. This usually took more time than all the other steps combined!

    5.) Wipe down with gun oil.

    5a.) Wipe off most of the oil with clean cloths.

    6.) Reassemble rifles.

    7.) Run a couple of wet patches thru the barrel, followed by a couple of dry ones.

    8.) Proudly present your weapon at the next day's inspection.

    Primitive? Yeah.

    Effective? Oh Yeah!!!

    Speaking of inspection...

    For that spit-shined effect on your boots, nothing beats Five-Day Deodorant Pads.

    For that super-shiny look to your brass... First, throw away the junk the Army issued you. You'll never be able to use that can of Brasso your dad gave you before you left home because you'll never get the damn varnish off of your brass! So, throw away the Brasso and buy yourself some of that never-needs-polishing gold plated "brass" from the PX.

    If I understand correctly, the current Army issue boots are brown suede and never need shining and there is no brass anywhere on the uniform. Man!!! Whatever do those guys and gals do with all their extra free time?

  18. RepeatDefender

    RepeatDefender New Member

    Militec-1 for lube. Awesome stuff. They'll even send you a free sample. :D
  19. VolGrad

    VolGrad Tactical Statistician

    I misspoke. I just got back from Academy Sports. They do have Break-Free CLP. I didn't get it based on some of what I read here.

    EDIT: I misspoke again. I was cleaning my 2 home invaders the other night and found a brand new bottle of CLP I must have purchased and forgotten. I haven't tried it.
  20. S&W 40

    S&W 40 Active Member

    One point I have not seen addressed is for firestriked firearms is disassembling the firing pin. The first time I did mine I was a bit leery but with some good advice from others on this board it was easy. You would be amazed at the amount of brass chips that will get in there and cause a FTF. Might not be needed every cleaning but after a few hundred or so rounds it won’t hurt.

    I do not have a link but Ram provided a link for the Glocks in a post and many are similar. Just remember how it came apart and those little springs can go flying.