Author Topic: How Do I Clean and Maintain My New Gun? What Else Do I Need?  (Read 3558 times)

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M1911A1

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How Do I Clean and Maintain My New Gun? What Else Do I Need?
« on: November 20, 2012, 12:45:18 AM »
I don't know whether the manual that came with your new gun contains all of the information that you'll need...but I bet that it does.

1. Cleaning Equipment
• All guns require the exact same cleaning and maintenance supplies. Brand-name is not important, as long as the stuff has a good reputation. I have always had good service from KG-brand chemicals, Hoppe's #9, Birchwood-Casey, and, currently, Ballistol. Others are just as good. This is not something to obsess over.
• You will need either a really good cleaning rod, or a BoreSnake, or both. (I use both.) Maybe a rod will come with your gun. I suggest that a steel cleaning rod is better than an aluminum one. You will need some sort of patch-holding tip for your cleaning rod, and at least one bronze-bristle bore brush.
• You will need an old toothbrush. Also, a brass-bristled, toothbrush-looking brush is another good thing to have.
• You will need hundreds—nay, thousands—of cotton patches of the correct size.
• You will need a spray-can of "gun scrubber," a small tube of high-quality gun-lubricating (not preserving) grease, and a lot of high-quality gun oil.

2. Care and Servicing
• The very first thing you must do to a brand-new gun is to remove all traces of the sticky preservative grease with which it was coated at the factory. This is a very useful job in more ways than you think: You will learn to detail-strip your gun, while you're cleaning the grease off of it. Then you will learn how to put it back together again. Follow the manual's instructions to the letter. If something goes wrong, read the manual again, this time more carefully.
• Places where there are sliding or rotating metal-to-metal contacts get at least a little oil. Many people prefer lubricating grease here. I go either way, depending upon my mood that day. Everything else that's metal gets a light coating of oil, which is almost immediately wiped off. Your gun should not feel oily, nor should any part drip oil. (Your kit should now include a soft cotton cloth that feels a little oily. Use this cloth to wipe the gun down, after every time you've handled it.)

3. Practice
• Get snap caps. Use them for dry-fire practice. Daily. (Ten minutes a day is enough.)
• When you dry-fire practice, take every bit of ammunition out of the gun. Check the chamber and the magazine well. Check the chamber again. Now take all of the ammunition out of the room in which you'll be practicing.

• Come back and check the gun's chamber once again.

• Now you can load-up with snap caps for practice.

• Dry-fire practice is supposed to help you learn how to press (not squeeze) the trigger, while maintaining a proper sight picture and complete concentration. Use a blank portion of interior wall to do this. Do not use a photo of your mother-in-law, or the TV.

• Even aiming at a blank wall, you will see whether or not your sights waver excessively, as you press the trigger. Work toward eliminating most of the waver. (You can't get rid of all of it, so don't try.)

4. Other Stuff You Need
• You will need at least two extra magazines for your new gun (for a total of at least three). These serve as backups for when your most-used magazine finally dies, and as reloads for serious social occasions. (When you are armed, you should carry at least one reload magazine.)
Soon, you will also need a good holster, an excellent belt, and a reload-magazine pouch. (The Fobus is not "a good holster." Sorry, Fobus.)
Someone else observed, recently, that the quality of the belt is more important than the quality of the holster. He was correct.
You should expect to spend almost half of the cost of your pistol—at the very least one third of it—on a belt/holster/magazine-pouch set.
• Then, to break in the new, tight holster properly, you should make about 100 presentations ("draws") from it, each one including a good sight picture and a very good trigger press.


Now you are well on your way toward mastery of the pistol. Let us know how you're doing.
Steve,
retired leathersmith and practical shooter


"Qui desiderat pacem, præparet bellum."

oldranger53

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Re: How Do I Clean and Maintain My New Gun? What Else Do I Need?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2012, 08:15:44 AM »
Good points here!
A clean gun is a happy gun.
If you are not afraid to eat off any of the surfaces, then it's probably clean enough, for now.
Every time you fire it, CLEAN IT afterwards.  You'll never be sorry if you do, but you will be sorry if you don't.

Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight, and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be.  One hundred percent and then some.

flyover

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Re: How Do I Clean and Maintain My New Gun? What Else Do I Need?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2012, 04:30:07 PM »
For those who have a revolver, a couple of speed loaders for the make and model of revolver and a case to carry them in. Or if you choose to use speed strips make sure they are sized for the correct cartridge.

oldranger53

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Re: How Do I Clean and Maintain My New Gun? What Else Do I Need?
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2012, 09:19:23 AM »
For those who have a revolver, a couple of speed loaders for the make and model of revolver and a case to carry them in. Or if you choose to use speed strips make sure they are sized for the correct cartridge.


A word about using speed loaders, if I may.
I find it very useful to practice loading the revolvers around here with our speed loaders, when not actually shooting.  Like "dry firing", dry LOADING improves spatial orientation and dexterity with the gun, ammo, and loader operations.
Using "live" ammo will give the weight and space problems found in real-life situations.
BE CAREFUL with live ammo!  And, don't get so excited that you mindlessly squeeze off a round into your bed frame, bathroom wall, or TV set!  Sounds funny, I know, but I'm sure that kind of thing happens when familiarization times become somewhat "real."


One of our three revolvers has an issue with the speed loader rubbing against the pistol grip.  It doesn't rub enough to prevent proper operation of the speed loader, but it does "touch" and because of that, it draws my attention to it rather than merely getting the rounds lined up with the holes and the twisting of the knob to release the rounds.  It causes a brief distraction - and we all know what THAT can mean.
Therefore, I practice with that particular revolver more than the others, as far as using speed loaders with it.


Every little thing counts.


AND DON'T BLINK WHEN YOU PULL THE TRIGGER DURING LIVE FIRE!  KEEP BOTH EYES OPEN!
Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight, and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be.  One hundred percent and then some.

Taurian

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Re: How Do I Clean and Maintain My New Gun? What Else Do I Need?
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2012, 10:21:44 AM »
I would like to add one thing - a means to organize your "support items" for your favorite firearm.

Most of us have used everything from ammo cans to very nice toolboxes with drawers to organize cleaning supplies, tools, brushes, lubricants and cleaners. While I do have a central toolbox for most for most items, I rely on a carry system to keep things portable. Each carry system is specific to the caliber of weapon.

For several years I have used the "Tactical Hipster"; a Fox product that is sold through The Sportsman's Guide" (http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/military-style-tactical-hipster.aspx?a=561506).

As an example, my Mosin Nagant support bag is outfitted with stripper clips, a spare bolt assembly (in a zip-lock baggy), spare trigger group (in a zip-lock baggy), two bore snakes in .30 caliber), a caliber-specific cleaning kit and patches, a leatherman-style tool, spare ear plugs (military issue), a spray can of Ballistol, a small container of Rem Oil, small binoculars (for peering downrange when I need to) in a separate side pouch, and a sealed plastic bottle of Windex Original with Ammonia (Mosin Nagant shooters will understand).

My SKS also has a dedicated bag, as does the 20 and 12 gauge shotguns. Pistol and rifle caliber bags have also been prepared with whatever I feel necessary to support the caliber of firearm.

Not only do these bags hold all the necessary components for me to support whatever firearm I am taking to the range on a given day; they are also ready should I need them in a hurry - as they all carry enough ammunition to provide range or other requirements.

While there is redundancy with some of the components contained in each bag (for example, each bag has its own dedicated set of bore snakes), I feel that having a support bag ready to go at any time rules.
What most 21st Century Americans simply do not grasp is that the Constitution and Bill of Rights were not written to to give rights to the citizens of our then-new nation, but was instead written to tightly constrain the federal government.

Taurian

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Re: How Do I Clean and Maintain My New Gun? What Else Do I Need?
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2012, 11:00:13 AM »
A second word about speed loaders.

If you practice using speed loaders, please use aluminum snap-caps in lieu of live ammunition. While live ammunition may more ideally simulate what you will experience in the field, use of the aluminum snap caps allow you to load and pull the trigger, which (to me) is of more importance as you may be called upon to do this under actual conditions.

When I do carry a revolver (normally a SP101), I carry two HKS speed loaders that straddle the belt and are held in by speed loader carriers that are designed for this style of speed loader. The HKS speed loaders are "twist-to-load", as compared to the Safariland Comp style speed loaders that are "push-to-load". However, I do favor the Safariland Comp II over the HKS, as it allow you to 'feel" the cylinder with your fingers, helping to align the loader with the cylinder, as the rounds are inserted into the cylinder; a slight push continues loading the rounds.

The Safariland speed loaders should be carried in a pouch when on the person. I keep several of these loaded up in my handgun safe for the GP100 (the house gun), as I trained with them extensively when I was an LEO carrying a S&W 686 and I am most comfortable with them over the HKS.

Aftermarket grips may be necessary in order for the speed loader (of any style) to clear the frame/grip of the revolver. Most aftermarket grips are cut for the use of speed loaders.

Small frame, 5-shot revolvers are, for the most part, not as friendly when using a speed loader as compared to the larger counterparts with six (or) seven chambers to fill.

I know that I am leaving something out. Oh, yeah! A couple of speed strips loaded with your favorite defensive ammo can be easily carried in a pocket. While slower to use, they can lessen the print of carrying additional ammunition over a speed loader. Another plus is that they allow you to perform a partial reload.

My second to last thought about speed loaders is to keep you eye on the threat while unloading and loading. While you may be drawn to looking at the loader during the loading process, it is imperative that you keep the threat as your focus. With practice, using the speed loader will become second nature to you.

The last though of mine on the subject is once you have loaded with a speed loader - let the darn thing drop to the ground! I have actually seen LEO's (and security personnel), when training with the revolver, attempt to put the speed loader back in the pouch so that they would not lose it. Personally, I would rather replace a speed loader than lose my life worrying about it.
What most 21st Century Americans simply do not grasp is that the Constitution and Bill of Rights were not written to to give rights to the citizens of our then-new nation, but was instead written to tightly constrain the federal government.

M1911A1

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Re: How Do I Clean and Maintain My New Gun? What Else Do I Need?
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2012, 03:05:09 PM »
1. Practicing Reloading:
As Taurian points out, use snap-caps when you practice doing reloads, in either revolver speedloader or semi-auto magazine. This is not exclusively for safety during the reload.
Every reload should be ended with a "first reloaded shot." This drills the complete process into you, without halts or hesitation. The reload is not complete without the first-shot follow-through, and the practice sequence, dry or live, is: Fire your last shot. Reload. Fire the first shot.
The only safe way to fire this first reloaded shot at home is with snap-caps in the gun.

2. Bad Holsters:
Our horse-loving friend, commonground, suggests that it is insufficient to merely call out the Fobus as an inappropriate holster choice. There are many others, including the Blackhawk SERPA in plastic, and several ill-thought-out leather and hybrid designs.
Indeed, there are so many bad ones that "naming names" would take all week and too much space. The best way to find which holsters are inadequate would be to read users' reviews, or to ask questions in forums like this one.
However, should someone here like to put in the effort, such a list, with reasons for each negative comment, would be welcome on this board.
Steve,
retired leathersmith and practical shooter


"Qui desiderat pacem, præparet bellum."

commonground

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Re: How Do I Clean and Maintain My New Gun? What Else Do I Need?
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2012, 03:22:19 PM »
+1    Yeh, What he said.   ;D
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CR Williams

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Re: How Do I Clean and Maintain My New Gun? What Else Do I Need?
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2012, 06:02:46 AM »
YOU HAVE TO CLEAN THEM??????

Mumbling to self: "What next, lubrication...?"

(Get's tap on shoulder, hears voice.) "He said that too."

YOU HAVE TO LUBRICATE THEM??????

mumblegrumbleMUMBLEMUMBLEgrumble...
Shikan haramitsu dai ko myo.

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