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Discussion Starter #1
I'm still rather new to handgunning, and was wondering about cleaning and maintenance products.

What do you folks use for lubricants and solvents?
Do you use one for general purpose and another for slide rails or other parts?
How do you care for the finish?
How and where do you clean?
Do you use different products for revolvers and semi's?

Thanks in advance. I'm still learning, and value the input of this online community.
 

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Cleaning

Others with better qualifications may have better ideas, but I'll try: For handguns that shoot cast or swaged lead, I use a Lewis Lead remover - saves lots of time and solvent. For all handguns I also use, Wipe Away cloths, Hoppes #9 and Shooter's Choice solvent, Bronze and/or Nylon brushes - bulk packs from Brownells or Midway, and Kleenbore or other brand of steel one piece cleaning rods. I use nylon or brass jag tips. For lube I use Rem Oil, and sometimes a dab of RIG Stainless lube. I use rubber gloves when using Shooter's choice and try to keep my area well ventilated. Sometimes I use one of the spray gun scrubber products by Lyman or Birshwood Casey to blow out the works on semi autos when I don't want to disassembe (Ruger mk2)- USE GOOD ventillation or go outside. I buy bulk patches from Brownells and Midway - but since I use so many patches, I make a lot out of any clean old woven cotton fabric available. I tear it in 2 in wide strips fold the strips into 2 inch squares -rolling as I go then cut with scissors to size - do it while watching TV so I maintain a good supply. And I use a bore light. I NEVER use Stainless Steel brushes and try to avoid even bronze brushes on my 22s.

I try to clean ASAP after firing to keep the gunk from gettng hard. I carry an aluminum 3 pc rod, jags, and patches in my range box and usually run a few Hoppes 9 soaked patches at the range while the gun is warm - makes cleaning a little easier when I get home. Some times squiret with gun scrubber at this time too.

At home I run a few solvent patches thru then look down the bore. If I see lead, or if I know I have lead build up I run 1 or 2 Lewis lead remover patches through to muck it out - works good. Follow with solvent, until clean - maybe run a Wipe Away patch thru to get the last lead out. Then more solvent and finally a light coat of Rem oil. I may run Lewis patches through the cylinders of a leaded revolver for clean up then same as bore. Wipe off outer surfaces with a solvent patch where there is carbon residue then dry off and a light coat of Rem oil.

NOTE: If you plan to use the gun in REAL cold weather say less than 15 degrees F, clean out the firing and advancement mechanism with gun scrubber and leave dry - no oil or just a teeny tiny amount of cold weather oil so the it doesn't get hard and gum up the works. This is where the Rem oil is pretty good- it doesn't tend to get stiff like some oils. I think Shooters Choice makes an oil that is supposed to work to extreme cold (-40 or 50) but I've never tried it.

Well if you haven't fallen asleep yet that's how I do it. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nope. I'm definately still awake! Thanks for the great feedback!
 

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Cleaning

BigDaddy8: Dand had some good suggestions for you and I will try and answer your questions but in a different order.....

Where and when to clean: Never, ever even consider cleaning your guns on the kitchen table with your wife's favorite tablecloth underneath. It will take too long to get the schmidt out after you pull it out of your 'you know where' when your wife gets through with it, and you. Dand had a good suggestion - a quick cleaning at the range and then follow-up at home. The garage or basement is fine, just as long as the odors don't find their way into the rest of the house and you have a means to vent the area.

Lubricants and solvents: A Shooting Times article a couple of years ago compared all the current name brand lubricants to see which was best and the winner was Wolfe's Head 20/50 motor oil. Apply lightly or with fingers and don't leave enough on the metal to run and collect enough to varnish up. It works well on all my guns and doesn't leave any hideous odors. Some of the axle grease additives with the moly disulfide in it stinks like axle grease and isn't something I would think of carrying in the field or in my belt.

Solvents - Hoppe's Number 9 - works best for me. If leading is a problem, buy or cast harder bullets or keep a supply of aluminum screening mesh around to scrub the lead buildup out of your bore (works like the Lewis lead remover).

Same stuff for Semis or Revolvers.

Finish care: either a good quality auto paste wax or a good quality liquid floor wax will do. The car wax is often much tougher and will hold up to sweat. If you have a good polymer spray car wax that will work even better.

You already have a number of fine sporting arms, so I am going to assume you know what 'clean' means and don't need any pointers on cleaning your sporting arms.

Two tips - (1) no matter what the solvent or lubricant, make certain all the solvent is wiped off so it won't varnish up your 'works' and the same with the lubricant - don't leave enough to create a varnishing problem. Lubricating slide rails, sears/hammers, revolver cranes and internal parts can be easily accomplished with a Q-Tip or your fingers - watch those fingers on rails, which may be so sharp that you can cut yourself badly. When the parts are 'oil slick' to the touch without excess lubricant on them, they are properly lubricated. (2) Don't ever disassemble the ONLY gun you are shooting/carrying at the range - make certain you have another loaded and ready to go so that you are never disarmed or unarmed and alone at a range.

Hope this helps. Mikey.
 
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