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Cleaning of High End Pistols

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Keeping a 1911 platform clean is pretty easy if you keep it wet and clean it frequently enough. My first gun is a Sig 1911 and they have a pretty decent video on cleaning, but I've found that I don't need to do half the amount of work as in the video. Most of the deposits just wipe away since they seem to be suspended in the oil, and my barrel seems to stay pretty darn clean shooting 1k-2k rounds per month. One thing I got from the Sig video is 'use enough oil to leave finger prints when you touch a part, but not so much that it runs', which particularly applies to the barrel, lugs, slide rails, etc.

So, I use a cleaning cloth, a handful of cotton swabs, and some Hoppe's #9 (NOT Elite, which is low viscosity) although I got some 30wt non-detergent motor oil to try. I have a $12 portable cleaning kit that I use on the barrel if I feel like I need it - usually I just pass a clean rag or patch through it to get loose particles, then a lightly oiled patch to keep it lubed and protected (all metal needs to be protected from rust, even stainless).

I like cleaning my guns, and it has helped me get familiar with how they assemble and work. After a few months of cleanings I've become comfortable and confident enough to diagnose and make repairs or modifications, which I find to be quite rewarding. My Sig hasn't needed repairs, but I left the mods to a gunsmith while I started learning on a less expensive gun. I've done a bunch of de-burring, a trigger job, and a barrel throat adjustment, and now my 'cheap gun' runs perfectly and has an amazing trigger. It's really fun to shoot and feels great when people handle it for the first time and say 'wow, nice trigger!' :)

Edited by StraightSh00ter

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Ok, I have to ask. Am I getting trolled by the folks suggesting motor oil?

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Ok, I have to ask. Am I getting trolled by the folks suggesting motor oil?

Nope, a friend borrowed an gun once and returned it smoother than I'd ever felt it, I asked what he used and he replied "Mobil One ;)"

I use Mobil One Synthetic ATF when I actually clean my guns, otherwise I wipe off the soot, apply a little Slide Glide to the rails and go.

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Would all these great advice apply to lead ammo? I only have cheap guns and would like to shoot cheat ammo as well. :devil:

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I do a complete strip down and clean once a year. Between deep cleanings I blast out the frame w carb cleaner, and then a few squirts of rem oil. The barrel and slide get carb cleaner and wiped out. Patches down the barrel. Then I use a small dab of grease on the rails and some mobile one on everything else. The only reason I use the rem oil is to protect the deep stuff in the frame.

Carb cleaner is very useful for gettin down into the trigger and sear/disconnecter parts without dissassembly.

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So I'll add some mobil 1 to my cleaning items and the carb cleaner. I'm not convinced I could reassemble the trigger and sear/disconnector once I took them apart.

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I tried the slide glide and it certainly has a role but not sure it would be right for your pistols. I stick to ATF for cleaning and Mobil 1 for lube - wet is right for these guns - not sloppy wet just seeping a bit.

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I would be very careful with carb cleaners around plastic parts.

Brake cleaners are usually a little safer but still should be tested

around plastic parts and fiber optic rods.

And most brands have different chemicals in them.

Just because one was safe doesn't mean another one will be.

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Microfiber cloths are great. They will remove good bit of gunk and seem to work better than paper towels. I use one to wipe down parts prior to using solvents. They are cheap and readily available.

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Ive been about 3000 rounds probably more since my last cleaning and finally getting some jams/malfunctions but Could be the 7lb recoil spring with the dirtyness that is causing it along with shooting minor pf out of a major built gun.

Also another vote for Mobil 1.

9 lb recoil spring and major PF ammo and I would push off the cleaning even longer.

some clean more than others. Im one of the others. little cleaning as long as it is still functioning.

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Ok, I have to ask. Am I getting trolled by the folks suggesting motor oil?

There's a lot of serious information out there about why products like synthetic motor oil and automatic transmission fluids are great for cleaning and running firearms. Except, more people buy into marketing hype and insist on purchasing dollar-per-ounce products.

"Only the best for my gun" is a commonly cited rationale.

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Ok, I have to ask. Am I getting trolled by the folks suggesting motor oil?

No, it works great and cheap. If you ask most of the high volume shooters that are serious about competing they would probably say just use motor oil or what ever you have and spend your time dry firing.

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I shot a rainy match over the weekend, so I figured it was a good time to at least look at cleaning the gun.

I shoot a custom revolver, so it walks a line between "it's a revolver, just pull the trigger" and "it's a finiky race gun"! Took the side panel off last night and realized I probably hadn't done that in four thousand rounds. You couldn't have guessed it'd been over 400. I sprayed some oil(CLP) in it, wiped it off and called it good. I expect it to run another 4000 rounds! If i get bored later in the week, I may run a patch down the barrel, just to see how the plated bullets are holding up...

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Ok, I have to ask. Am I getting trolled by the folks suggesting motor oil?

Nope.

Mobil 1 20/50 in the winter 10/30 in the summer.

Any of the grease types (slide glide) are a no go on tight guns in the winter, at least in my experience.

Someone here had a great explanation about the extreme performance capability of synthetic motor oil and incredible R&D / testing hi end motor oils go thru. Made sense to me.

On the cold weather performance, I tried slide glide light at about 30 degrees, gun wouldn't run.

Read the book " A frozen hell"

It is about the winter war in 1939 between Finland and Russia. The Finns learned to cut their gun oil 50/50 with kerosene. Their guns ran, the Russians didn't.

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My wife says if I showered as often as I clean my guns, I would be squeaky clean. :D

I do enjoy cleaning and lubing my guns. At my age it is a zen moment for me. One with the world and all that. For the past 8 years, I have been using Mil-Comm cleaner, oil, and grease. All my pistols and revolvers run like butter.

My Colt 1911's and my S&W revolvers get cleaned every 1,000 rounds. My Baby Brownings get cleaned after every shoot no matter how many rounds I put through them.

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I you don't want to use carburetor cleaner, try acetone, it is safe on polimer and can buy it at Home Depot. Evaporates quickly leaving a dry residue that can be brushed off.

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So I'll add some mobil 1 to my cleaning items and the carb cleaner. I'm not convinced I could reassemble the trigger and sear/disconnector once I took them apart.

Watch a few youtube videos on 1911's and you will have it back together easy. I have a 1911 techmat thing (mousepad with a 1911 diagram) in case I have a brain fart...

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Otis 3 gun kit, shooters choice products, trying slide glide when I run out of shooters choice grease, its a little thin when hot, but slippery than well you know. Get a very small bottle with a needle oiler.

Edited by MyWifeShootsBetter

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