Zen and the Art of Pistol Maintenance

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Most people do not find cleaning fun at all and think of it as a chore. I am not one of those people.Cleaning a gun can actually be a very calming experience. All of the repetitive scrubbing and maintenance is quite relaxing, if you let it be.

Keeping your gun clean will help keep you safe, and really is fun (I promise).

Safety First

Before cleaning a handgun, it is vital to spend some valuable time going over the owner’s manual.

Do you own one of these classic 1911 pistols, or a newer tactical shotgun? Either way, read the manual.

Firearms, big or small, nor or old, all entail some level of disassembly for cleaning. You need to know the design of your pistol before cleaning it to understand the points on the pistol in which oil will need to be applied.

Knowing about your gun will help you to evade damaging it or leaving vital portions of the gun unoiled.

The utmost important thing to remember before beginning the process of cleaning a gun is to make sure it is unloaded.

Cleaning Powder Residue

Cleaning the barrel of a pistol is done in two sections. The inside of a dirty bore is filled with powder fouling.

The following are some of the supplies you will need to clean the powder residue of a dirty bore.

  • Cotton patches of the proper caliber. Do not try to clean with the wrong caliber patches just because that is what you already have.
  • Powder solvent.
  • Phosphor-bronze brushes.
  • Two respectable one-piece rods. One rod is for brushes and the other, with a pointed or jag tip, is for patches. Do not use a slot tip under any circumstances. Dirty patches get no more than one trip through the bore.
  • Firearm scrubber, for washing off your phosphor-bronze brushes.
  • A roll of paper towels for keeping your cleaning rod from getting built up. Keeping the rod clean will stop it from scraping your barrel.
  • A bore guide to help you keep the cleaning rod centered in the barrel.

To start the process, wet a cleaning patch with solvent. Only wet it to where it is damp, not dripping.

Run the damp patch through the barrel three times and relax. Then you should attach a bristle brush onto your other cleaning rod. Submerge this into the bottle of solvent.

Do not pollute the solvent with a dirty cleaning rod. Only put a clean rod in the mixture each time. Give the brush several strokes each way.

Your rod will now be coated with the grimy solvent. Rub the filth off with a paper towel. Then clean up your bronze brush with a scrubber and let it dry.

The powder fouling has been seared on under a great deal of compression and multiple thousands of degrees of heat. To get the powder fouling out, begin stroking damp patches through the bore.

Continue until they come out unsoiled. If you put through more than a few patches and they still come out filthy, then you need to re-brush.

When the patches do come out spotless, lay a dry one through and you are finished cleaning the powder deposit.

Cleaning Copper from the Bore

Next is to clean the copper residue. Any copper residue will take away the precision of your barrel. The copper can even destroy your barrel in some cases.

Numerous bullet makers claim that their shells have a lesser amount of foul residue because they are copper blends, or because they are unpolluted copper.

The truth is, if you were to look down your barrel in a decently well-lit area from the nose end, you would undoubtedly be able to see copper.

Looking at the grooves with a borescope, you can likely see copper all the way back to the hindmost edge of the rifling.

Leaving copper in a steel bore while in a moist setting will eventually cause it to pit the steel. The pitting will positively take away your barrel’s capacity to shoot correctly.

It means nothing when you look down a bore with the bare eye, and it looks as if it is shiny and clean. There are two ways to distinguish the copper in the bore.

The first way to detect the copper is to run a patch with an ammonia-based copper destroyer through the bore. These could include Sweet’s 7.62 or Barnes CR-10.

If the patch comes out of the bore with blue or green tints, then you definitely have got copper in your barrel.

Slightly less harsh chemicals such as Hoppe’s Bench Rest or Shooter’s Choice can be used if you let them sit for an hour before running the patch through.

A different way of spotting the copper is to get a Hawkeye Borescope. The Hawkeye Borescope is priced at around as much as a respectable riflescope.

How To Clear Copper From Your Bore

If you have copper in your bore, and you always will, the question is how do you clear it out? There are three steps to clean the copper out.

Step One

The first is to, let the bore soak in Shooter’s Choice or Hoppe’s Benchrest with the beak angled a little bit downward.

Then, wait until a green, thick liquid substance gathers at the snout. Place something you do not care about under the muzzle because the copper will stain.

Step Two

Next, push another damp patch through, reiterating as required. This, the first method works most of the time, and it is not hard on the body; however, is generally a slow process.

This procedure can take days to complete and is not 100% proven. The second method you can try is to use some of the ammonia-based copper killers.

Make sure you are in a ventilated area for this process and do not leave them in the bore for any longer than the directions say. These substances can easily pit your barrel.

Step Three

Make sure and put copper destroyers on a bronze brush because bronze is a copper compound, and the ammonia will destroy it.

This process is not sure to work either. The third method of removing the copper is to use the J-B Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound.

This is a combination of grease and polishing rouge. This third technique entails a lot of strength; however, it basically always works. It performs best when collectively used with a powerful oil.

To have the J-B Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound work, first run a patch damp with oil through the bore. Then, attach an old brass bristle brush on your cleaning rod and cover the brush with a patch.

Use a patch that is the proper thickness and will create a tight fit in the bore. Coat the patch in the J-B Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound and slowly push the patch forward until it starts to come out of the barrel, but not all the way.

You need to do the stroking process of moving the patch back and forth around 25 times. When you are done, the patch should be black and have streaks on it.

Then, you need to get all of the J-B Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound out with powder solvent and leave the bore wet for a few hours.

When all of the cleaning compound is wiped out of the bore, run one oily patch through and then run one dry patch through.

In Conclusion

Today’s handguns must be properly maintained, regularly cleaned and oiled in order to remain reliable.

A basic gun maintenance kit includes a solvent to help get rid of powder residue, lubricant or a powerful oil, a Phosphor-bronze brush, cleaning rods, paper towels, a bore guide, a bore light, a borescope, an ammonia-based copper destroyer, a patch holder and patches.

With the right tools in hand, you can relax and get to work.

Remember — there is no exact way to clean a gun, and that is why it is always a fun and interesting task!

In : Prepping

About the author

Learn More About Being a Survivalist. My name is Jack and my blog is a great way to get new and useful tips on how to get your house ready for anything, whether its a terrible storm or a really long power outage.

1 Comment

  1. Dmitrii Kustov

    Hi there. Can you recommend articles about which handgun to get for fun and to have at my house in case of zombi apocalypse? 😀

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