Cleaning a Single Action: How long shld it take? - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-30-2017, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Default Cleaning a Single Action: How long shld it take?

Hey Guys,

I have been shooting guns my entire life, but I've never enjoyed shooting revolvers very much. Why? Because I absolutely hate cleaning guns, and even after shooting just one box of 50 rounds, it seems as if any revolver I ever shoot needs a thorough cleaning, especially if I am shooting target loads, such as semi-wadcutters.

I swear, I can shoot a box of ammo in about 30 minutes, and then I have to go home and spend at least 45 minutes to an hour cleaning the revolver. Six chambers, plus the barrel, plus all of the nooks and crannies of the frame. Dozens of patches to be fit, lots of swabbing with stinkie Hoppes and often lead cleaner, scrubbing with a bronze brush, wiping with clean patches till they're not the least bit black, wiping with oiled patches. And, cleaning out that area around the forcing cone is always a real pain.

Geez, by the end of all of that, I feel like I never want to shoot a revolver again. I often go a year between shooting, just because the cleaning process is such a downer.

On the other hand, maybe I am just plain doing something wrong?

How often do you clean your piece? How "clean" do you get it? How much time does it take you?

If I could get the whole thing down to about 15 minutes somehow, I would probably shoot a lot more.

(I've heard of black powder pistol shooters just putting their entire revolver in the dishwasher, with excellent results. But, I would doubt that this would be good for a high quality, blued, smokeless piece.):-)

Thanks for all advice.

Mannyrock
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-30-2017, 04:14 PM
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It's not black powder. I wouldn't bother cleaning it every time you shoot a box of ammo. Heck, shoot all you want, and clean it once a month.

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-30-2017, 05:36 PM
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Yup as Casull said you're doing it wrong. Why the heck ya feel ya need to clean it every time ya shoot it? About once ever 500 to 1000 rounds is plenty of cleaning for a revolver. Just wipe it down with an oily rag to remove any oils and sweat from your hands and store it until the next time ya shoot.



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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-30-2017, 06:41 PM
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You are working at this waayyy too hard.
I wipe a gun down after EVERY time I handle it, shot or not. I found years ago that I tend to leave corrosive fingerprints.....
If I will be shooting a gun again within a month I put away wiped off into a hard case the foamy liner periodically lightly treated with silicone spray. My cases are never left open!, even in the house and especially in the field/range. I dont want any grit or moisture getting inside.
Maybe once a year they get a pretty good cleaning; I dont shoot as much as I used to.
If Im trying new cast bullets I will inspect the bore for any signs of leading. Maybe 6-10 strokes of a fairly tight brass brush and a couple of sloppy with Ed's Red patches and done. Same with cylinder chambers.
The gun usually sits on my cleaning stand a day. It gets wiped and dries out and I can decide if I want to do more (usually dont), wipe again and put away.
In decades I have not had any issues.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-01-2017, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe one of my problems is that probably 90% of the time, I am shooting factory, non-jacketed, semi-wad cutters. The powder and lead deposits from shooting these seem to leave the gun absolutely filthy. I know that my hands are filthy after shooting just one box.

I guess I should try just shooting factory semi-jacketed soft points, 158 grain. More expensive, but with less cleaning chores for me probably alot more fun.

But so far, I notice that nobody has told me how many minutes it takes for them to give a single action a good cleaning. 45 minutes of time to 1 hour just seems like alot of time to me.

I can thoroughly clean a shotgun after 100 rounds in about 15 minutes. I can thoroughly clean a rifle after two boxes in about 20 minutes.

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-01-2017, 04:39 PM
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Doubt it ever takes me more than 20 minutes for the job and that would be after shooting maybe 1000 or more rounds since last cleaning. But then I don't own any guns that lead with the ammo I use. From my experience if it is leading then either the bullets don't fit the throats/barrel properly or the lube on them is just plain not doing the job.

For the cylinder after taking it out (SA or DA either) I used Hoppe's #9 on a Q-Tip in each chamber and around the end and flutes. I then wipe it and then use a couple of Q-Tips in each chamber to dry them. I again use Q-Tips to clean up the frame where fouled. I'll normally run a couple of soaked patches down the barrel on a properly fitting jag followed by a couple of dry patches, oil/lube it properly and am done. Unless I'm moving slowly that shouldn't take much more than 10 minutes.

I really just don't try to make it look like it did when it came out of the box for such routine cleaning and I also pretty much never do it for less than 500-1000 rounds fired and have gone far longer. You are just overthinking this.



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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-01-2017, 05:35 PM
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OCD personality sure adds to a guys workload.

Like GB said. Shoot it and wipe it down with a oily rag. It's not your dinner plate.

If lead builds up just shoot a few jacketed loads to clean it out. Wipe it down with a oily rag.

But as OCD as you seem to be you probably will keep scrubbing it down till there's no rifling left in the bore. You do know more guns are wore out by over cleaning than by shooting. 🤠

Byron

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-01-2017, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Nope, I am not an OCD guy. Actually, most folks would tell you that I am a disorganized slob. I really really have to plan and focus to do anything in an efficient, organized fashion.

But, I was taught that when cleaning any firearm, you have to keep running clean patches through the gun until they come out clean. And, when I do this with revolvers, they seem to keep picking up gray and flecks of black (maybe grease), for a long long time.

One thing I found that helps, is to put a light coat of Rig on the face of the cylinder just before I shoot. When I do this, the burned powder and leading just wipes off when an oily cloth.

Mannyrock
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-01-2017, 07:12 PM
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You will drive yourself crazy, and do the guns no good, by 'cleaning' that much.
Typically 10-15min. for a smokeless powder revolver for me, and as I said, decades with no ill effects. Sure, I could spend more time, and get 'em all dirty again next time out.......this thread reminds me of the rich guy who was asked,"How much money is enough?", and he answered,"Just a little bit more.". How clean is enough?
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-01-2017, 07:19 PM
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I got tired just reading about it.

"Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife that you hunt and for the forest and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoor experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person." Fred Bear

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