Question of the Day: How Do You Clean Your Guns?

BoreSmith

Reading through the press release at ammoland.com for a new triangular-shaped cleaning patch [after the jump], I was horrified to encounter this little anecdote from Eric Feldman. “Something I learned in gunsmithing school,” BoreSmith’s Director Of Operations’ recalls, “was that people cause more damage to their firearms by improper and over cleaning than by actually shooting.” Oh great. As if I don’t have enough anxiety about cleaning my guns, from using too much lube to not using enough lube, to not getting it done with a BoreSnake and more. So, how do you clean your guns, what products do you use and how often do you use them? . . .

How a Physicist & a Gunsmith Teamed up to Bring You the Future of Firearms Cleaning
Rigel Products
Rigel Products

Gardena, CA -(Ammoland.com)- Shane Smith, BoreSmiths Chief Operating Officer returned home after a day at the range and broke out his gun cleaning kit. He located the proper bore brush, patches, and spear jag to perform a proper barrel clean on his .223 caliber rifle.

Shane brushed his bore until he felt like all carbon deposits and fowling had been broken up and switched to his spear jag and properly sized square patch. What happened next is something that has happened to most of us but few will never admit. The patch made it about half way through the barrel and then came to an abrupt stop. Shane pushed harder on the rod with no movement. He had to take out a rubber mallet and tap the handle. Luckily, the patch started moving and Shane was saved from the embarrassing trip to the gunsmith to remove the stuck cleaning gear.

BoreSmith
BoreSmith

Shane made the decision to examine what had happened and come up with a solution. What he eventually realized is that the traditional square or round patch is very inconsistent when it is pushed through a barrel. The patch will fold up on itself an odd amount of times and there is a very fine balance between a patch being tight enough to clean properly and too tight where the possibility of excess rod flexing and stuck patches exists. It was with this realization that Shane decided that a newly shaped cleaning patch was the answer. One that was repeatable and consistent every time it was used. BoreSmiths patented Triangle Shape was born.

“I can’t begin to guess the amount of stuck cleaning tools I have had to remove from barrels as an Army armorer,” says Eric Feldman, BoreSmiths Director Of Operations. “I have had to use some pretty creative ways to get patches out.”

BoreSmith
BoreSmith

Eric ran his companies arms room for about four years before leaving the Army and attending the Pennsylvania Gunsmith School where he graduated with a Master Gunsmithing Diploma.

“Something I learned in gunsmithing school was that people cause more damage to their firearms by improper and over cleaning than by actually shooting. I began to think back to all of the rifles in my arms room and how some began to show a decrease in accuracy faster than others. I now attribute this to improper cleaning being performed by the soldiers. Getting a patch stuck in a barrel can be a worst-case scenario. If the patch and jag are too tight, the rod can excessively flex wearing away at the throat, rifling, and crown area.”

BoreSmith JagBrush
BoreSmith JagBrush

BoreSmiths Triangle Patch can be used with a standard jag with better results than a square or round patch, but it works best with the company’s patented JagBrush. The JagBrush is a bore brush that has two different diameters. The smaller bristles in the front allow a patch to wrap around it while leaving the longer bristles exposed in the rear. Using the products this way creates a dual action system that allows the user to get their firearms cleaner faster but more importantly is not cause the accuracy decreasing damage that other products on the market can cause. Shane was selling both products out of the gun store where Eric was working as a gunsmith. It was there they met and began to talk about bringing the cleaning tools to a larger market.

“We truly believe that we are producing the gun cleaning products that everyone should be using,” says Shane. “Our goal is to get cleaning tools in the hands of firearms users that protects their investments and at a price they are used to paying. We will always strive to make premium gun cleaning products.”

For more information or to make an order, visit www.RigelProducts.com.

About Rigel Products

Rigel Products is dedicated to bring you the most technologically advanced gun cleaning products. Our products can help you get your guns “Cleaner Faster.”

comments

  1. avatar preston says:

    brass brush, nylon brush, gasoline, motor oil. don’t clean that often

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Tell me you’re kidding!?

      1. avatar Gunr says:

        He probably uses a cut down and reshaped toilet scrubbing brush!

      2. avatar Hello World says:

        Motor oil does make sense for lubing metallic parts, cause you know, it does EXACTLY that for engines. Yeesh.

        1. avatar DrewN says:

          All my older relatives used ATF on their guns, but I’m not sure what type. Seeded to work just fine.

        2. avatar Chrispy says:

          I thought we wanted to keep ATF out of our guns… (sarcasm)

    2. avatar John hope says:

      So I notice a couple of people making cracks on the way this guy cleans his gun. When in reality this is probably one of the best and most efficient ways to clean it. Gasoline and other natural gases make great cleaning solutions and do just as good of not better of a job than over the counter cleaning solutions. And yes. Motor oil is a great lubricant. Up until a few decades ago that was pretty much a comment way to keep guns oiled. Oil. Imagine that. In fact most modern motor oils are designed to keep lubrication under the harshest of conditions and fouling. The fact anyone made a snide comment regarding this shows your absolute ignorance on what is effective in cleaning metals. In fa the the prime way to clean gun parts that are heavily caked with carbon or lead deposits is to soak the parts in kerosene. Again, a gas.

      1. avatar pcrh says:

        The guys at Dan Wesson told me to clean my gun with oil and a nylon brush.

  2. avatar Hello World says:

    What kind of question is this? I clean my guns loaded of course. That way, if I shoot somebody I can just say I was cleaning it and it was an accident.

    1. avatar Jeff in CO says:

      And then it got lost in a boating accident . . . 🙄 😀

      1. avatar notalima says:

        The ever-increasing trend of firearms loss due to boating accidents is worrisome. There should be a law, banning water, or boats, or both. Both, because the children.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Maybe so, but every year or two, I sell all my guns at gun shows, then purchase others which look the same, at a later gun show. Generally, if I ever needed to produce them, most likely it would be while I didn’t actually own any. Though I must admit, I have had difficulties with leaky boats before, as well.

        2. avatar fishydude says:

          A friend lost several in a canoeing mishap. 🙂

        3. avatar Chrispy says:

          You work on the law, I’ll work on SCUBA certification!

        4. avatar The Mountain That Rides says:

          All my guns fell into a vat of sulfuric acid. No idea how that happened.

      2. avatar Geoff PR says:

        Having worked in a heavy chem plant that made many vats of concentrated H2SO4, your guns will be found in the bottom of the vat whenever they get around to draining them, all clean and shiny.

        The wood furniture will be history.

  3. avatar Chrispy says:

    Brass rod, toothbrush, cheap patches, Outers oil because it’s what I got for free… I don’t clean on a schedule, just when I need something to do

  4. avatar Larry says:

    After every use. I use BreakFree CLP for cleaning and lube, and a bore snake on the chamber/barrel. CLP and paper towels/qtips on the rest of the gun. Once in a great while will I use a chamber brush.

    This and the rest of the gun cleaning/lube are so much BS. People get hooked on these magical lubes and spend tons of money on this crap, when the could have been buying more ammo.

    1. avatar notalima says:

      Same, just replace paper towels with microfiber cloths. Great use for them after I am done with them on the cars.

    2. avatar Dan A says:

      Same here. Boresnake, CLP, nylon brush, paper towels, <5 minutes of valuable free time wasted. Last time I cleaned my 22/45 I ran it under hot water with the action open and sprayed it down with CLP. Seemed to work.

      1. avatar Tim says:

        Boresnake, old toothbrushes, cloth patches, old underwear, Frog Lube, and a pick set to work on carbon build up.

  5. avatar jake from detroit says:

    isopropyl alcohol and white lithium grease.

    I keep some ballistol in my range bag to blast into the actions of DI guns if they start to hang up.

  6. avatar Chris_From_NY says:

    Most of my shooting lately has been with shotguns, those get cleaned with a little synthetic motor oil and half of a folded paper towel pushed down the barrel with a rod. I polished all my smoothbore and almost never see anything other than powder residue that wipes clean easily.

  7. avatar Red in Texas says:

    Depends on how many rounds I put through it. Sometimes just a single pass with a BoreSnake, and some oil on the end. Other times, I break out the “tackle box”, and really go to town. Start with MPro7, followed by Sweets 7.62, followed by denatured alcohol, and oil the bore.

  8. avatar PeterK says:

    Carefully. Too often, haha. After every trip so far. :p Not that I get to go too often.

  9. avatar Vhyrus says:

    Stick + piece of old sock. if I’m feeling generous I’ll even use lube.

    1. avatar Evan says:

      You are talking about your guns right?

  10. avatar Josh says:

    I use bore snakes for the barrel and a couple of brushes, polymer picks and cut up old t-shirts for everything else. I use breakfree CLP to clean and lube, and I only clean them after shooting. My guns are stored in a stable environment with little humidity so I don’t worry about them rusting.

  11. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    Regular wire bore brushs, some patches and good old Hoppes.
    Then wipe them down and I use synthetic bearing grease on the rails and a dab of grease here and there.
    Maybe every 500 rounds or so.
    Then a complete strip and clean every 1000 rounds or so for my 1911s that is.
    For my Sigs. Every range trip if its 50 rounds or 500 rounds a full cleaning and then greasing.
    Most of my 9 carry guns are single action 1911s of one size or another,
    I have just bought because Ive never had or owned a full service sized striker fired gun.
    A Canik TP9 SA. I bought it from reviews read here and elsewhere.
    From what Ive read no need real need to clean them just shoot it and shoot it some more.
    Time will tell. 1000 rounds so far and just have wiped it down with a rag.
    Im torture testing it because I can. I am curious about how long a full sized $350 service gun can go ignored. Its a gun I never intend to carry so what the heck……

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Jay, being in Florida (as I am) the humidity can sneak up in unexpected ways. I found that out with a Mossburg 500 folder stored in my air-conditioned home. It did a number on the bore.

  12. avatar Frank Masotti says:

    Break Free (CLP) cotton swabs and bore brush, with q-tips to get into the smaller places.

  13. avatar John G. says:

    There’s enough drama there for a good novel or movie. Thanks, I guess.

  14. avatar SteveInCO says:

    I hate cleaning rifles. A billion passes with brush and patch and the patches still come out filthy. I’ve basically tried everything, and none of the whoop te do cleaning solvents work any better than Hoppes #9.

    It’s to the point where now I hardly ever shoot them because trying to clean them is an ordeal.

    1. avatar AllAmeican says:

      Your good man, just don’t worry about them being so clean. Seriously, most guns really don’t need to be all that clean. You don’t need to clean them after every trip even. I’d say every few trips wipe them down a fair amount, lube them up, take care of any rust, and you’ll be good to go. I have a mossberg I haven’t cleaned once. I bought it in 2009 and still runs just fine. I spray lube on it occasionally but other than that I never clean it.

    2. avatar Accur81 says:

      Hoppes #9 is legit.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Yeah, as long as all you wish to remove is powder residue, it is not a copper solvent. I use (surprise) Hoppe’s copper solvent after cleaning out the powder residue with #9, let it sit a while sometimes recoating, then wipe it out with cotton swab and don’t even care if some is left behind, because at least I removed some.

        1. avatar Grindstone says:

          #9 is a copper solvent, just a very, very mild one. I’ve cleaned out decades of copper from an old Mosin using just #9. You can tell it works because the patches come out blue or green. I plugged the muzzle and filled up the barrel to the chamber and let it sit overnight. Emptied it the next day and cleaned the barrel like normal. No more blue/green patches.

    3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      SteveInCo,

      I will assume that your firearms were new when you acquired them (meaning they should NOT have had any major accumulation of gunk) and you are not shooting soft lead bullets. Starting with a dry barrel, try running a brass brush back and forth a few times dry. Let that remove most of the gunk. Then soak a patch in solvent (like Hoppes #9) and run that down the barrel. Let it sit for 15 minutes to let the solvent work in and break-up any stuff. Then run your brass brush back and forth a few times to really break-up any remaining gunk. Next, run solvent patches down your barrel until they come out basically clean. Finally, run a dry patch down the barrel to remove as much solvent as possible and run an oiled patch down the barrel to prevent rust.

      There is a key element to my technique above: use spear jags and patches that are sized specifically for your caliber.

  15. avatar mark_anthony_78 says:

    Crap! You’re supposed to clean them?

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      You can clean the bore by shooting a bullet through it, right?

      1. avatar PeterW says:

        I can see light at the end of the barrel. That means it’s clean! And I’m staring down a gun barrel!

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          Muzzle end? 🙂

  16. avatar neiowa says:

    Never met a Company armorer who GOD if an M16s were accurate. All accounted, pass function test, and clean/overclean and move along.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Tens of thousands missing after those processes.

  17. avatar Ralph says:

    I clean mine in the bathtub with my rubber duckies. And I use Hoppes. On the guns, not the duckies.

    1. avatar notalima says:

      Smell the man.

      Wear the scent.

      Hoppe’s #9.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Hoppes — It’s Refreshing! (TM)

        1. avatar Gunr says:

          Good for hemorrhoids also!

        2. avatar Grindstone says:

          I use Hoppe’s #9 to clean wounds.

      2. avatar Geoff PR says:

        “Smell the man.

        Wear the scent.

        Hoppe’s #9.”

        Show a little compassion, notalima.

        Ralph’s cats have to smell Ralph…

    2. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

      Do the duckies feel ignored?

    3. avatar ropingdown says:

      I’m not surprised that your duckies prefer you bring rubber, but shocked that they don’t mind the gun cleaning bit.

    4. avatar John hope says:

      I broke my leg once and poured hoppes 9 on it. The bone actually healed within minutes. Amazing

  18. avatar Noah says:

    First, I would NEVER use a brass brush through my precision rifles. A proper jag and cleaning patch is key.

    Second, using Wipe-Out decreases cleaning tremendously. Spray it in the barrel, set for 24 hours (or use Accelerator for those under a time crunch), clean with cleaning patch. I usually use only 2-3 patches and it’s completely gone of any carbon, copper, or lead fowling.

    For pistols: Breakthrough Clean and FireClean. Jag and brass brush for my barrels if needed. Pistols are cleaned every 1-2K for polymer. Steel (1911, CZ, Sig) every 500 rounds with a detailed breakdown every 3-5K.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Is there supposed to be some problem with a brass/bronze brush scratching a tool steel barrel?

      1. avatar Evan says:

        It won’t scratch up regular steel but the

      2. avatar John hope says:

        To answer your question. No. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using brass brushes bon precision or match grade barrels. None whatsoever. not sure who told him that. Jags and patches only take off surface carbon and fouling. You should be using a brass brush and a coat of oil occasionally to keep the barrel in optimum condition and to defend against future pitting. This is why brass brushes were invented in the first place. To give a detailed and thorough cleaning and to get deep embedded fouling Out of the rifling of barrels. Jags simply don’t do that Well enough. Jags are great for quick cleaning. I’ll bet a steak dinner the guy who said he never ever uses brass brushes has some pitting going on already in his bore. my theory is he believes everything he hears

  19. avatar Gman says:

    We shoot weekly. We clean immediately afterwards. This article seems to center on the barrel cleaning, so…
    2 person integrity clearing of weapons. Ammo stored away from cleaning station.
    Disassemble firearm. Toothbrush exterior of barrel with Hoppes No. 9. Clearing all residual carbon at both the breech and muzzle. Wipe clean with cloth diaper. Wet square cotton patch folded in half inserted into tang tip. Wet inside of barrel with patch. Install brass tip. 10 strokes. Install same wet cotton patch. 10 strokes. Install ram with single open patch. Ram, fairly hard to do, repeat. Visually inspect barrel bore and rifling. Repeat if necessary. Install oiled mop. 10 strokes. Install ram with single open patch. Ram, fairly hard to do, repeat. Visually inspect barrel bore and rifling. Oil exterior of barrel. Wipe with clean cloth diaper.

    1. avatar John hope says:

      Probably the most sensible response on here. Always good to see someone who actually isn’t scared to give his guns a detailed cleaning on a regular basis. super clean guns tend to function well all the time and have the least amount of issues. The neglect some on here put into cleaning their firearms is sad. Un kept guns turn into shitty guns over time. Nothing makes me sicker to see someone who owns firearms and doesn’t know how or just neglect taking good care of them. Dumb practice. Detailed cleanings are time consuming. But we’ll worth it to ensure your gun functions and performs when it needs to. Cleaning a gun after every use is not overrated.

  20. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Disassemble the pistols, shoot foaming bore cleaner all over everything, wait till the wife is gone, load everything in the dishwasher, press “start”. Grab a bite to eat.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      You’re killing me, Tom, boogers all over the keyboard.

    2. avatar John L. says:

      We’re in the process of moving and in the process we’re updating the kitchen appliances.

      I asked my wife if she would mind if I used the old dishwasher in my new workroom. She said no problem but then a friend’s dishwasher broke so she gave it to her instead.

      I will be reminding her of this the next time she asks me to clean her 1911 for her after Ladies Night at the range…

  21. avatar Tex300BLK says:

    On bolt actions I run a handful of wet patches with Montana XTreme then let sit for 10-15 mins then a few passes with a nylon brush. Repeat this till patches stop being obviously blue, then dry patches until until I get the solvent out, shine a bore light and check to make sure most of the obvious copper fouling is out, then oil with clp. Bolt gets wiped down with a wet patch of clp and then dried with an old Hanes undershirt (i usually just grab the one out of the drawer with most holes in the armpits).

    I do the same for the bore of my ARs and then fill the action up with foaming clp and scrub with a toothbrush and wipe out with the tactical undershirt.

    I still haven’t found a good system for my pistols, I either put too much oil on them and spend the next week wiping the seepage off, or I don’t and spend the next week trying to drip oil onto the slide rails and working it into the action.

  22. avatar AllAmeican says:

    The military way: Over clean the ever living sh*t out of everything to the point where you render the weapon useless. Scrape off any coatings or paint as hard and as fast as you can with wire brush and tons of CLP. While your at it bash the weapon into the cement floor of the company area as many times as you can to F up any optics/lasers and get them unzeroed. Also be sure to pile the weapons up in a hap hazard mess so they are bash and scrape together. Be prepared to do 5 hours of pushups if you miss any of these steps. Repeat after any weapon is used.

  23. avatar Mike says:

    I use Froglube for the clean/lube, aluminum cleaning rod, nylon brushes, and 12 ga patches. This works quite well for all my firearms (9mm, .223, 7.62, etc). I don’t use a metal brush on anything (not even bronze).

  24. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

    I clean when I need to. For rifles that I don’t shoot often, like the M1, I swab out the barrel and wipe down everything else. For pistols that I shoot more often I’ll swab the barrel and wipe it down every 500 rounds or so. Detailed disassembly isn’t necessary for the most part, but if I do it will happen very irregularly. For .22LR I hardly ever do more than wipe them down. I have a browning .22 lever action that hasn’t been thoroughly cleaned in at least 10 years and it shoots fine. Of course, ammo selection has a lot to do with it. Some .22 is crappy dirty.

  25. avatar The Mountain That Rides says:

    I bought a GLOCK and an AK so I wouldn’t have to clean them.

    1. avatar notalima says:

      In Soviet Russia AK cleans you.

  26. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

    Clean every gun after I shoot it. Don’t use bore brushes a lot at all. From what I’ve heard, that’s where the issues can arise. (Some people think they have to bore brush every time). And I’ve definitely never wrapped a patch around a bore brush (as it picture above). Not terribly concerned I’m doing something wrong, as I’ve had no issues with ‘over-cleaning’ or under-cleaning in 30 years of doing so. Sounds a little alarmist frankly.

  27. avatar Tsn4 says:

    Bore Snake, Hoppes #9, a toothbrush, Q tips and an old rag.

    1. avatar 357M28 says:

      If you add RemOil and sometimes Flitz polish….I would think we are related.

  28. avatar Mike H says:

    I gave up on patches for bore cleaning after I discovered the pull through silicone bore squeegees.

    1. avatar Gopher says:

      Same here. Bore snake for the rifles and Remington Squeeg-E for the pistols (it’s a PITA to get the Squeeg-E down a rifle barrel). Hoppes No 9 with both. Never bothered with a copper cleaner (not yet, anyway).

  29. avatar Paul says:

    I’m supposed to clean them? Huh?

    More seriously–couple of scrubs with a brush, get a patch, push it through. Lightly oil. Done. I only clean every few range trips though

  30. avatar Higgs says:

    OK lets reverse this.

    How about an article on how to clean you firearms in a way that won’t damage them.

    Notice I did not say correct way ( I am sure there are numerous ways for most firearms that would work) … instead a way that should be safe to use on a firearm to get it mostly clean.

    1. avatar Jeff in CO says:

      Such a silly idea! 😛 Why would anyone want something like that?!?!?!

  31. avatar Skyler says:

    I tried wet wipes a couple times to get all the mud and crud out after field ops. I don’t recommend it. Tends to rust really fast! 🙁

    I would like wet wipes saturated with CLP, though. Maybe I should market that . . .

    1. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

      Too late. http://w w w.midwayusa.com/product/482644/break-free-clp-rust-preventative-and-lubricant-gun-wipes-package-of-20?cm_vc=ProductFinding

      1. avatar Skyler says:

        That’s bad for my business model, but good for gun cleaners!

  32. avatar Roscoe says:

    Clean after each shoot; though not always immediately after, but always before the next shoot of the weapon in question.

    I always wipe down the exterior of a gun with a silicon rag after each shoot before leaving the range. No acidic hand oils left on the weapon (learned that lesson the hard way).

    I use all brush types, appropriate sized patches, and assorted crevice picks as needed.

    Follow up with snakes.

    More patches and oil on all gun surfaces – light to medium oil inner surfaces for final cleaning (depends on how long gun will sit).

    Very light oil on exterior surfaces.

    Thorough silicon rag rub down on all exterior surfaces prior to putting the weapon away.

    Other than carry guns, I do not handle the weapons bare handed after silicon rub. I keep designated nylon/synthetic leather thin black work gloves handy just for handling my weapons. Even with carry guns I tend to use the gloves – they form fit well and I always have plenty on hand – figuratively and literally.

    I store each pistol or carbine in the original case, or in a Bore Stores silicon treated soft case. All the rifles and the handguns I use most go in the bore stores cases. Shottys aren’t covered.

    I use MPro7 products (including copper cleaner) for all cleaning and oiling, always ending with a light coat of the pure oil (not the cleaner/oil) on exposed interior/exterior surfaces.

    I’ve cleaned and handled my firearms this way for years. No issues.

    Mags receive a quick rub with cleaner oil, then a silicon rag. I have 10 plus mags for each mag fed firearm and they get stored in labeled sealed freezer bags between uses. I always pre-load my mags, before shooting and since I keep so many, they tend not to get very dirty.
    My mags also don’t mingle with dirt on the ground. If they did, I’d use high pressure air to clean them in and out after wiping off any surface carbon or dirt.

    Also, when breaking in a new firearm, I bore snake barrel 2 or 3 times with cleaner/oil between first 10 rounds of initial break in. Don’t know if it matters or not; I just do it ’cause it makes sense to do so.

    It takes me about 25 to 45 minutes for basic break down and cleaning of each gun depending on how heavily used.

  33. avatar zeksteve says:

    My better guns I clean after every use.

    Unless it is a service rifle it doesn’t need cleaned that often just as needed like excessive carbon build up starting to affect loading or extraction or mechanical binding.

    With that said you’ll kill the resale value and will cause more wear and tear.

    My higher end weapons just need a spray of bore cleaner let it soak in for 10 min and then a rinse off with water and a quick drying with a rag. Then a simple rem oil spritz and wipe down. This high end grease that I use I forgot its name but its white and comes in a syringe. It appears to have some real staying power and will need it only after several cleanings

    1. avatar foo dog says:

      Sounds like white lithium grease. One long time ex Marine instructor and LEO trainer of thousands swears by it for hand guns, if applied lightly.

  34. avatar Grindstone says:

    Can I get 1000 of them for $6? Because that’s how much I got mine for.

    I don’t shoot nearly as often as people whose job it is to shoot, so over-cleaning is not going to happen for me. Also, I use cleaning rods that don’t damage steel. Carbon fiber is the best. I just clean after every range trip or so, which may be a monthly or weekly thing, depending.

  35. avatar MamaLiberty says:

    http://www.warrencustomoutdoor.com/pl-eezox.html

    Best cleaner and rust inhibitor. I don’t clean deeply very often, but do use the eezox and bore snake, run a few patches through and wipe down the exterior. Very seldom use a wire brush, unless I see serious deposits in the barrel after initial pass of patches. Have never had any patches hang up as described here.

    Dry lube and rust protection does not attract or hold dust or sand, thus reduces wear over time.

    I make my own patches out of worn out underwear and jersey bed sheets, so will try cutting some into triangles to see if they are better than squares.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “http://www.warrencustomoutdoor.com/pl-eezox.html

      Best cleaner and rust inhibitor.”

      Preach it, MammaLiberty.

      Eezox is is good stuff. When the carrier evaporates away the Eezox dries to a ‘dry’ film. It won’t attract dirt and crud.

      I’ve been loving Eezox for over 20 years.

  36. avatar Davis Thompson says:

    JP Enterprises bore guide for the AR 15s. J Dewey rods, patches, jags. Fireclean.

  37. avatar Anonymous says:

    I don’t shoot as often as I like – so I clean them and preserve them after every firing.

    I don’t like bore snakes because of muzzle wear so I use brass rods, bronze brushes and cotton patches. I use kg12 copper solvent – works amazing. It has some cyanide in it – so I wear gloves and clean where there is plenty of ventilation. I prefer to use more solvent and less brushing which is why I use the kg12. It’s best to go slow and take your time. I know I should use a bore guide but I dont. Don’t know that it would help that much considering how slow I go. Never reverse directions while inside the barrel with your brush. Push it all the way through.

    When I’m done and I’m putting them in storage for over 6mo I grease the bore with caseys gun grease. Swab it really good to ensure the grease works into the rifling grooves. I then attach a tag going around the bolt, the, charging handle, or whatever cycles the action and around the trigger guard to indicate the bore has been greased. Of course with my guns I check the bore before I fire them anyways.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Boresnakes are the best thing going for revolvers!

    2. avatar Roscoe says:

      I always pull the bore snake through the breech to exit the muzzle.

      Whatever method, always try to run the cleaning element through the breach and out the muzzle – one way.
      Snakes are particularly good when you can’t easily disassemble the barrel from the receiver.

  38. avatar joatmon says:

    Hoppes #9, mop, toothbrush, square patches (never got one stuck) and q tips.
    Polish and dry with microfiber cloth.
    CLP for lube.

  39. avatar Hello World says:

    With a nail file. Wait, we’re talking about the “cleaning” of a serial number, right?

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      A Dremel tool with a stone bit is a better choice for deep-cleaning those serial numbers.

      Grinding or filing numbers stamped into metal will not completely ‘clean’ them.

      Completely drilling thorough the metal of each character is the only way to permanently ‘clean’ them…

  40. avatar Ted says:

    Whatever spray gun cleaner without lube is on sale (tetra gun, remington, break free powder blast…etc).

    Run through barrel once or twice with a boresnake.

    Take apart bolt/action spray down and wipe with paper towels and q-tips.

    Treat all parts with militec – a little goes a super long way.

    Put away in gun safe with rechargeable desiccants – to help prevent rust.

    I only do this after shooting. Never as a preventative maintenance routine.

  41. avatar John L. says:

    I suspect “damaged by cleaning” translates to “took it too far apart and then forced it back together…”

  42. avatar mark says:

    “Shane brushed his bore until he felt like all carbon deposits and fowling had been broken up”

    “fowling,” eh? Am I the only one who wondered how the birds got in the bore, what kind of birds these were, and what the hell they were doing in there? Sounds nasty, any way you, er, slice them birds.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      No, you’re not the only one who is wondering how duck feathers got into a rifle bore.

  43. avatar HawHaw says:

    Guns? Who has Guns? Don’t you know they kill people?

  44. avatar Gordon Wagner says:

    Wipe any non-Tupperware pistols down at the range with a Rem cloth while they’re warm. Get home, brass brush down bore with bore cleaner, same w cylinders on the wheel guns, follow that with as many patches soaked in CLP as necessary until the patches are clean. Then another patch soaked in Ballistol. Then a toothbrush sprayed with Ballistol until every crevice is spotless, followed by polishing with a cotton bandana. Then rub some more with another cotton bandana before returning items to the gun safe. At least with masturbation you know when to stop rubbing.

  45. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    CLP & Rem oil. I’ve gotten everything to run great by being OCD too LOL…

  46. avatar SteveH says:

    It’s good to know that everybody is happy with what they’ve been doing. It’s even better to know that there are people trying to think of better ways to do things. I don’t know whether this is in fact a better way but it seems interesting and I’m going to give it a try. If it works better than what I’ve been using, I’ll keep using it. Meanwhile, thanks to TTAG for letting me know about this and all sorts of other interesting stuff.

  47. avatar Gunr says:

    I make my patches out of worn out T shirts. Once I tried cleaning a rifle while my wife was still wearing hers. Really pissed her off!
    Had the thing half way down the barrel before I realized she was still wearing it!

  48. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I have no idea how often to clean firearms. If I only shoot a few rounds through a firearm once a year, then I tend to clean it shortly (within days) after shooting them. If I shoot my everyday carry handgun, I usually clean it within a few days.

    Here is how I clean my firearms:

    (1) Starting with a dry barrel (and cylinder on a revolver), I run a brass brush for that caliber back and forth a few times to remove most contaminates.

    (2) Then I soak a patch in Hoppes #9 and run that down the barrel with a spear jag (and through the chambers of a cylinder if applicable). The spear jag and patch are both sized for that caliber. Give the solvent about 15 minutes to really do its job.

    (3) Run your brass brush back and forth a few times to finish breaking-up any contaminates.

    (4) Soak patches in solvent and run them through your barrel (and cylinder) until clean.

    (5) Run a dry patch through your barrel (and cylinder) to remove excess clean solvent.

    (6) Run an oiled patch through your barrel (and cylinder) to neutralize any remaining solvent residue and prevent rust.

    (7) Clean other parts of your firearm (receiver) with cloth scraps, cotton swabs, brushes, etc. as necessary and follow with a dry and then oiled cloth.

    Note: you can replace steps (4) and (5) with barrel squeegies sized for your caliber. That means you only need two patches for each cleaning. Given the crazy expense of cleaning patches this is a big deal for people who clean their firearms often.

  49. avatar Todd S says:

    I often use the tears of liberals. When those aren’t available (as if that would ever occur) I use Froglube. Unless it’s my AK, then I use the creek behind my house 😉

  50. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

    “Patches?, We don’t need no stinkin’ patches….”

    oops, wrong flick…

  51. avatar TheSleeperHasAwakened says:

    Some CLP, Patches, and a Bore Snake.

    1. Whip down the bolt or slide with a patch soaked in CLP
    2. Run a patch soaked in CLP through the barrel
    3. Run a bore snake through the barrel 3-4 times
    4. Whip everything down with a clean patch
    5. Reassemble.

    I completely agree that people cause more damage to their firearms by improper and over cleaning than by actually shooting.

    Less is more when it comes to cleaning firearms.

  52. avatar Texsylvanian says:

    AR-15

    Disassembly: remove upper. Remove BCG and charging handle. Remove silencer. Remove buffer and buffer spring.

    Prep work: Using a swab on a cleaning rod, I apply kroil to the bore. I then apply it with Q tips to the bolt tail, firing pin and flash hider/silencer mount as well as the firing pin housing behind the bolt cavity in the BCG.

    (At this point I clean my Glock or do something else so the kroil can soak and do its work for about 15 minutes)

    Internal Cleaning: I scrub the bolt tail, firing pin, firing pin housing and flash hider lightly with a bronze brush to remove heavy carbon deposits. I then use a microfiber cloth and Q tips to remove all traces of solvent. I run a bronze brush down the bore ONCE, then proceed to run dry patches until I have removed all kroil from the bore. The bore is never perfectly clean but honestly I’m not really convinced that a perfectly clean bore gives me an advantage over a mostly clean one.

    I apply slip 2000 EWL liberally to all BCG, charging handle and internal upper receiver areas to include the receiver extension. I then use a nylon brush to quickly scrub all areas and then wipe them clean with a different microfiber towel. For the receiver extension I use Q tips.

    Exterior: I use a shaving brush to dust off the exterior of the rifle. Sometimes as I fire the silencer it shoots a little excess oil, grease and carbon out from between the upper and lower. This I just remove with the cloth. In the rare event that I have mud or something like that then that gets removed with a nylon brush before I do anything.

    Optic: Lens pen for glass, cloth for the rest.

    Finish Work and Re-lubrication: I run one final patch down the bore soaked in slip 2000 EWL then follow that with a bore snake. I GENEROUSLY lubricate all moving parts and shiny surfaces of the bolt carrier group and inside of the upper with slip2000 grease, then reassemble the upper.

    I do this about every 200-500 rounds, depending on how motivated I am. Some times I push it a little. No biggie. I’m don’t think my cleaning regimen is all that destructive to the rifle. I’m pretty selective about where and how I apply the bronze brush. I don’t scrape at all.

  53. avatar PerplexedPistolero says:

    Disassemble if needs be (mostly applies to the semi-auto pistols). Run wet patch with bore gel down the barrel, let sit for 15 minutes. Run brass brush 2-3 times, then dry patches down the barrel until they come out clean. Run single wet patch with oil (not CLP) down barrel, then dry patches down the barrel until they come out dry. Nylon toothbrush for fouling on slides and whatnot, brass toothbrush for cylinder face and around the forcing cone. Light oil on frame rails and slide for semi autos. Wipe down stainless guns with a lightly oiled rag then follow with silicone rag. Cerakoted and nitroned guns get the silicone. Function check with snap caps. Do it after each outing, but not necessarily that day unless I’ve been doing something foolish like shooting in a sudden rain because I was having too much fun to stop. Takes 45 to 70 minutes per, but I think I overdo it sometimes. But it has gotten me free beers to clean others’ guns. And the opportunity to fondle other lovely firearms.

    If anyone knows a better way to clean revolver barrels than pulling a patch through breach to muzzle with a cable, let me know, it’s frustrating.

  54. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

    I have tried many, but I now exclusively use liquid Ballistol in a “wash bottle” on all parts of the firearm. Only other chemical I use a on regular basis is Hoppes #9 for the bore.

  55. avatar Adam says:

    I clean after every range trip so I just use patches and a nylon brush. I use Milcomm products. I lube with grease where I can reach and oil where i cant.

  56. avatar B says:

    Bore snake and CLP for my pistols. I a bore snake, nylon brushes and a cool little folding carbon scraper tool for my AR. Slip 2000 on any rails, CLP on any pins and they are good to go. I don’t need my guns sparkly, I want them ready to go.

  57. avatar Brian says:

    This is a dumb advertisement.

    Brass, bronze, and aluminum cannot scratch the hardened steel of the inside of a barrel. Impossible. That’s what my cleaning tools are made of – and that’s why. Even the rifle rod is plastic coated steel. Just keep steel off steel.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      a) barrel steel isn’t hardened. It’s maybe, oh, Rc 28 to 35 at most, unless the bore has been chrome plated or nitrided.
      b) yes, you can damage a crown with brass/bronze bristle brushes, and you can damage most any bore by trying to reverse a bronze/brass brush in the bore. Never try to reverse a brush in the bore. Go all the way through before turning around.
      c) yes, you can damage a bore with a plastic-coated rod. All you need to do is get some grit embedded into the plastic of the rod and you’ve got an abrasive rod in your bore.

      1. avatar 80 D says:

        Great. Now I have to clean my plastic rods of grit. Thanks a lot DG!

      2. avatar Brian says:

        Incorrect. Find some real values for both for a true comparison. How do you think that giving an unsupported number for one metal proves your point? We use brass brushes all the time BECAUSE they don’t scratch steel.

        1. avatar Jeff in CO says:

          The main reason I am taking Dyspeptic Gunsmith seriously is due to his other posts. He is a skilled craftsman, and even diagnosed correctly the issues with the test Cabot 1911 that TTAG’s tested. He’s provided a lot of tips and 1911 advice that you can’t “just Google.”

  58. avatar Greg says:

    I clean my firearms with CLP and use the cleaning supplies that come in a mil issue M16 cleaning kit.
    When done I wipe everything down with a light coat of CLP.

    Works for the military and it works fine for me.

  59. avatar AW1Ed says:

    I like the 3rd World AK cleaning technique: either a knotted bootlace soaked in used motor oil, or nothing.

    I don’t own a 3rd World AK.

  60. avatar Dustin says:

    My AKs; I don’t clean them. Ever. Even the ones with 20,000 rounds through them. Call the AK any name you want, what you can’t call it is wrong.

  61. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    I never clean my AKs. I give me ARs a bolt wipe down every few hundred rounds. They don’t have any problems functioning.

  62. avatar DaveM says:

    What ever method you choose, that’s your choice.
    When I think they are clean I use an air compressor to blow out left overs, if it looks clean, lube.
    Pay attention to blow back if using the compressor

  63. avatar S.CROCK says:

    This is terrible and Im too lazy but I have not bought a Mosin Nagant because I don’t want to clean it. Dirt cheep gun and ammo is what it has going for it. I would get one but if I have to spend a while cleaning the cosmo off then clean it immediately to get the corrosive ammo off, too much work.

  64. avatar deki says:

    raspberry vinegar for cleaning and lemon infused extra virgin olive oil for lubrication.
    ooops, sorry, just got off another forum, for cooking…

    anyways what I meant to say is :
    WD-40 for cleaning, and tranny fluid for lubrication. That’s it.
    No need to make a rocket science out of cleaning and lubricating moving parts.

    p.s. are you really supposed to clean 22LR weapons ?

    1. avatar Aaron says:

      WD-40 gets gummy over time. It sucks for cleaning guns. If let it evaporate without wiping it all off, you might pay for it later.

      Trust me. I gummed up more than one gun by cleaning with WD-40 and then putting them into storage.

  65. avatar Obiwan1 says:

    I always use a rubber coated cleaning rod no matter what and always run the rod from the barrel breach out the muzzle crown. I remove the brush from the rod and pull the rod back through put the brush back on and repeat about 5 times. Hoppes#9 Then patch it the same way.Hopps#9 til the patches come clean. Most accuracy degradation comes from rubbing an uncoated cleaning rod against the muzzle crown and driving the brush by the crown.
    Rifles 300 to 400 rounds and handguns 200 to 300 rounds.

    1. avatar Obiwan1 says:

      Also I use a rod with a ball bearing handle so the brush rotates with the rifiling as I’m pushing it through. J Dewey makes nice ones.

      1. avatar Todd S. says:

        I love my Dewey rods. I wouldn’t buy one, but I won a set in a contest.

  66. avatar GuyFromV says:

    Love the Froglube, wonderful stuff. It’s great for carbon blades too. Also for chapped lips, dry hands and old leather. Kind of like Palmolive for weapons.

  67. avatar Aaron says:

    Guns don’t need to be “drill sergeant inspection clean”.

    Hoppes #9 and CLP.

  68. avatar mike says:

    Do you wash your car every single time you take it out for a drive? How about change the oil every time you drive? That’s exactly analogous to what some people do with their guns. It’s so unnecessary… the lone exception is your carry gun.

    My belief is that the more knowledge and experience you accumulate from all the years of shooting, the LESS often you actually clean your guns. You’ll actually know when it’s a good time for a deep cleaning.

    1. avatar mlloyd says:

      I’m really big on preventative maintenance. While I clean and maintain my vehicle better than 99.9% of the people out there, I also clean my daily carry about once a week. It only takes a few moments of time and insures that what you take care of will surely take care of you when needed.

  69. avatar UpChuck.Liberals says:

    Oh crap, I’ve been doing this all wrong. I use…ready for this…electronics contact cleaner on the moving trigger parts, followed up by a little bit of of Mobil 1 or a light spritz of Tri-Flo. A run through the barrel with a patch and Hoppes, maybe a brush then again with the patch and Hoppes, then one more patch then a light patch of oil. But then I don’t run that much through most of them except for my old Remington .22 target rifle, that poor thing has been to hell and back, thank the Lord I can get the parts I need for it still.

  70. avatar cknarf says:

    Remove bolt. Piss down barrel. Is true way to clean Mosin Nagant.

    1. avatar MD Matt says:

      Oddly, the ammonia found in Uren will break up the corrosive salts found in a lot of surplus 7.62 ammo.
      It aint an oil bath, but you could do worse.

    2. avatar Gman says:

      For the corrosive primer ammo in my Mosins, I have fabricated a barrel flush kit. It consists of a small fish pump, filter, hoses, and two rubber stoppers. I fill the kit with piss (Ammonia solution) plug both ends of the barrel and let the pump run for about 5 minutes. After that clean as usual.

    3. avatar Todd S. says:

      I use soapy water in my Mosin. Put the end of the barrel on a towel, pour the water through. Wipe once or twice with Froglube and it’s all good.

  71. avatar Doc03911 says:

    Nylon brushes, bore snake with nylon brush inside and TW-25b.

  72. avatar Gman says:

    An interesting anecdote about brain dead gun cleaning. I was recently at a rifle sighting in range with a group of friends. One of the guys, Nate, was very proud he had built his own AR and wanted everyone to try it. He setup on the bench and was sighting in at 50 yards to adjust his sights. Trigger pulled and nada. Just a snap and whips of grey smoke from the chamber. He cycled the bolt and ejected the round. We observed that the rim of the round was coated in an oily substance and the primer had no strike signs. 5 more attempts with two different bullet types all same result. I told him the only way that could happen is if the firing pin was in hydraulic lock. Everybody laughed at me. Later, back at my house, we removed and disassembled the BCG and guess what? Yep, the firing pin cavity was completely filled with oil. That’s when he said that the last time he cleaned his gun, when he was done wiping it down, he sprayed it with CLP on the exterior. Yep, with the breach end up that’ll do it alright. All that CLP when right down the firing pin cavity and stayed there. This is why I never use sprays. I stick to the old fashioned methods of tried and true gun cleaning. And in the case of free floating firing pins, a little shake and rattle goes a long way.

  73. avatar Jimmyjames says:

    Yep. I was brought up and taught the wrong way to clean a gun. Brushes and Hoppes #9. I ruined a Ruger MKII 22 pistol bbl that way. With modern chemicals and cleaning hardware, there is really no need to use a brush and that is a big step in the right direction. Also, IMHO, forget a boresnake unless it is a last resort. They have brushes imbedded in them and after the first pass thru a dirty bbl, they have carbon and copper embedded in them. On match/custom rifles with SS bbls, I use MPro7 cleaner (it appears to be detergent based and appears to work on carbon fouling only), wet patches and dry patches only after every 15 to 20 shots unless I’m shooting a match with 40 to 60 shots for record with no time to clean between strings. I use Dewey coated rods and their brass and aluminum jags with ProShot patches. If I notice a degradation in accuracy or I notice copper in the grooves, I use WipeOut PatchOut foaming bore cleaner. Again, no brushes. Blue steel bbls (which tend to get coppered up faster) get the more aggressive Shooters Choice bore cleaner, wet patches and dry patches only, no brushes. The MPro 7 cleaner recommendation comes from the armory at Ft. Bragg and a top custom bbl manufacturer. Good enuff for me and it works.

  74. avatar foo dog says:

    This is a good article.
    There is so much misinformation out there on cleaning that you can confuse the heck out of yourself.
    I’ve done more damage buying and using cheap stuff bought at the store, unknowingly, until gunsmith or informed user of the firearm inspects and gives advice, after.

    What works on handguns doesnt work on shotguns, and what works on shotguns doesnt work on rifles.
    Here is what works for me, after finding out the hard way:

    1. read your manual cover to cover, twice.
    2. go to website of manufacturer and call customer service for gunsmith, ask their advice. Stop.
    3. Clean per 1 and 2 every time after you shoot. It gets easier and faster the more you practice,
    and you will start to understand when you can skip or go lightly, if time is short.

    Would you trust your life to a gun that jams, after all that money and work to learn how to use it?
    Or a hunt that you spent $$$thousands on gun, ammo, and trip expenses to lose the shot for a dirty gun?

    3. If you want to find lots of different opinions, talk to a very experienced shooter(s) of your particular model- or go online to the websites and forums devoted to that model or maker.

  75. avatar Paul says:

    After shooting surplus in my Mosin. remove stock. Lots of hot soapy water down the barrel using a funnel I made for this use. then some kind of lube. Lithium grease or mobil 1 synthetic oil.

    Other guns. Take apart and use Carburetor cleaner to blast out any carbon gunk. Then q-tips, patches, old rags. then mobil 1 synthectic oil for lube or lithium grease

  76. avatar joe-in-NC says:

    CLP then boresnake on rifles, brush then patch on pistols after a good spray of non-chlorinated brake cleaner

  77. avatar LC says:

    Synthetic motor oil, a bore snake, and wheel bearing grease for cleaning tactical stuff. For my nicer guns, ive used a pull through cable and patches from time to time, although not too much.

    No need to spend money on name brand “uber” cleaners and lubricants. Some stuff is really nice (like SLIP2000 and mpro), although, besides making cleaning a little bit more refined, ive never found a use for it. Ive also never found the super lubes, even SLIP, to be measurably better than automotive grade stuff either as far as reliability or corrosion resistance goes.

  78. Lately I have found myself shooting more and cleaning less. I’m nearing 500 rounds without cleaning. I might make a point to go 1,000 before cleaning it. No failures so far.

    1. I don’t always clean my guns. But when I do…I use Hoppe’s #9.

      Any lube is lube. No lube is no lube.

  79. avatar Casey Osborn says:

    My 1911, Sig P290RS, AR15 & AR10 get cleaned every 500 rounds or so. I tear them down and use good ol Hoppes #9. After cleaning I dry them off and grease all the moveable parts and contact points with shooters choice all weather high-tech grease. After they’ve been reassembled I use Hoppes #9 lubricatinggun oil field wipes to give the outside a once over and shine and then wipe the excess off with a soft terry cloth. My hunting guns, a Benelli M2 Filed and a Browning Abolt 30-06 get the same cleaning after hunting season. When I sight in my 30-06 before hunting season I do not clean after the sight in. I know this is a bit anal but I love my guns and they all perform flawlessly.

  80. avatar Meagan says:

    I have read a few different tips that others have put up as well. I have to say thank you all for sharing. People are different and combining some of these might be the way I do it!

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