How to Clean a Handgun (Page 2)

Proper cleaning is the key to keeping your guns running smoothly.

7. Finishing Up:
Now it’s time to reassemble the pistol. Once it’s all back together, cycle the action a few times to spread the lubricant evenly and to make sure everything is working correctly. If any lubricant oozes out of joints, wipe it off with a rag.

To preserve and protect the exterior finish of the gun, it needs a light coating of preservative. This is especially true of guns with a blued finish. Apply a little gun oil or metal preservative to a clean rag and wipe down the outer surfaces of the pistol. You can also purchase pre-treated cloths for this purpose. Think of it as giving your car a quick coat of wax before parking it in the garage. Place the pistol in its designated locking container, clean up the work area, and then wash up with soap and cool water.

Handgun Cleaning Products
The market currently supports an astounding array of popular and reliable gun cleaning products. The step-by-step overview described here reflects the process of cleaning a handgun using a simple kit. But simple kits are just one of the choices available. The photo gallery for this article contains some of the tools, chemicals, and cleaning systems you have to choose from. Whichever products you choose, be sure keep your guns properly cleaned. Remember, if you take care of your equipment, it will take care of you.

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24 Responses to How to Clean a Handgun (Page 2)

http://guncleaningsolvent.com wrote:
October 07, 2013

Yeah everyone has their own piece when it comes to how often to clean. While some do not clean their guns as often as they should, some others clean more than they should. Ha! bottom line it is important that you choose the best gun cleaning solvent for your gun.

Phil wrote:
August 06, 2013

As to how detailed and how often to clean you firearm someone asked? If this is a self defense weapon (all can be used for self defense), is your life or someone else's worth the approx. 30 minutes once or year to be able to depend on it. I would also recommend that if it is used for self defense and it is 'magazine fed' either box magazine or tube magazine, I would recommend relieving the spring compression at least every two weeks-I alternate my magazines every 7 days. As a LEO for one federal agency, where they did not remove the bullets from the semi-automatic service firearms magazine for 3-4 months at a time. My previous job, before the above was as an armorer, I recommend they stop this practice and down load the magazines nightly to get a very accurate count on returned ammo. Nope. A little common sense goes a long way. Invite someone new & trustworthy to go shoot with you, spread the good feeling of 10 ring shooting. Good article.

Karen wrote:
March 03, 2013

Thank you to all.

Chad wrote:
January 25, 2013

Great article and great comment feedback.

Mike wrote:
January 02, 2013

Someone posted a you-tube video stating the best and easiest way to clean a handgun is to spray it and literally soak it in Simple Green cleaner. Any comments or reaction?

joshua durante wrote:
December 08, 2012

I clean my 40 and my 22 evey 2 mouths because i dont want mines to build up and back fire on me

Loran wrote:
November 24, 2012

I clean my conceal carry pistol after every trip to the range. Not only to ensure the gun is in optimum working condition, but also because I enjoy it. There's something oddly therapeutic about disassembling and cleaning a gun.

Lilly M Boughtontrumble wrote:
June 15, 2012

I have a handgun I bought from my daughter & son-on-law. I have only did some shooting at a gun range one. Afterwards I cleaned it under my daughter & son-on-law's supervision. This done in 2001 the gun has not been fired since or cleaned. So from what I read in you article I should have been cleaning it at least once a year???

wise wrote:
June 07, 2012

I don't like the boresnakes cause they don't work as well as advertised. If I pull my boresnake through the barrel and run a patch after, the patch is dirtier when running just patches through. These are my shotguns, u don't use them for handguns, but the result would be equal. I put gun oil in my shotguns and mob them with the cotton brush, covered with a patch. This does the trick of you keep to the 'before sundown' rule. I rarely use the brass brush for my smooth bore rifles. For handguns the steel brush, followed by patches works the best. The 'clean breach to muzzle' is for fixed action rifles, so you don't bring dirt in the action, but the handgun barrel doesn't fit that description. My humble oppinion. Wise, The Netherlands.

Chip B. wrote:
March 25, 2012

Mike, nothing "wrong" with boresnakes, they are just more commonly used for rifles. I like them, but they can only get a gun as clean as they are! Once you've run it through a dirty barrel, IT needs cleaning! As long aS you're using clean snakes, you should be in good shape.

mike vaughn wrote:
February 02, 2012

No mention of bore snakes? Aren't tyhry any good?

Kevin J wrote:
January 22, 2012

I have been cleaning weapons for at least 40 years and this is a very good article. I have been in the military for 32 years. CLP sucks! When I was in Iraq, it collected any and all dust. And dust was everywhere. After the first week there I changed to graphite. I would clean my weapon with CLP, wipe it down driy and add graphite as a lube. I never had any issues since then. I would not recommend, nor do I use graphite on my personal weapons. In the combat zone you have to do what works!

Pete B wrote:
January 05, 2012

Be very wary of "all in one" products. The US Army learned the hard way that their all-in-one CLP (clean,lube,protect) was too thick for Iraq, when the fine dusty sand mixed with it and gummed up weaons at the worst possible times. I stick to the old way of RBC (rifle bore cleaner) followed by LSA (lubrication, small arms. Or, in civilian terms, Hoppe's 9 to clean, then thorough drying, then the appropriate amount of nice, thin gun oil.

Tom wrote:
December 20, 2011

one of the better articles about handgun cleaning I've run across. I always worried about it; now I won't

John wrote:
November 24, 2011

Re: EEZOX. I find it very useful on the magazines (incl springs, interior, exterior, etc) since it's a cleaner, "dry" lubricant and protectant all in one. Makes the job a little easier. The "dry" part is good so that the magazine doesn't collect dust and dirt and doesn't contaminate the cartridges. After the first time I did this the magazines seemed to go in and drop out easier. I'm not so convinced about using EEZOX for the entire pistol though. I prefer solvents (Hoppe's #9 and occasionally the one for copper fouling) and Hoope's gun oil for the body & barrel and then special gun grease for the slides. Each part has a specific function and therefore a specific cleaning protocol and lubricant. Re: lubricating the barrel interior, I run an oiled patch through and then a dry patch to soak up the excess oil. Also, I wouldn't use some of the stainless steel tools out there as it's a harder metal than the barrel and could damage it over time. Go brass, bronze or plastic. Also, glasses are absolutely critical to protect from solvent spray and springs that fly out of magazines! Don't chance it. Your eyes are way to valuable.

Pete wrote:
October 29, 2011

Would you comment on a gun lubricant called ' EEZOX '. It is supposed to CLEAN, LUBRICATE AND PROTECT. And, to be the best product on the market! I appreciate your help. PETE

PartsfreaK wrote:
August 07, 2011

The article mentions not dipping the brush into the solvent bottle as to "not foul the solvent", Since I am usually cleaning more than 1 handgun at a time I pour enough solvent into a bowl to cover the barrels and let them soak while I clean the rest of the assemblies. When Im done I pour the solvent back in the bottle and re-use it. Just dont pour the dirty stuff from the bottom of the bowl. My solvent is still good.

Don M. wrote:
July 08, 2011

Good points. My method only differs in that I don't push and pull brushes or patches back and forth. I always clean from the breach to the muzzle. Also, I leave the brush or patch tip a couple turns loose on the rod or cable. This allows the brush to follow the rifling. I clean weapons after each use, or every 6 months for those that don't get out of the safe. Concealed carry guns are checked weekly and cleaned every other week, or when ever I practice with them. On a two or 3 day match event, I only clean after the match is over.

Bill N. wrote:
July 07, 2011

I once had my carry weapon (.40 Glock)jam as I was clearing it. It was jammed with lint from riding in the holster. It gets cleaned and checked better now !!

Pete Chilton wrote:
May 29, 2011

On the cleaning issue. They way I think goes back to when i was active duty. We cleaned our weapons usually upon return from the range. And usually this was a very careful class A cleaning. It afford me the time to inspect them closely also.

Shepard Humphries wrote:
May 25, 2011

Gun cleaning is more divisive than religion or politics, 27 of us will have approximately 34 "best" ways to do it. Great article! "A dirty gun is a happy gun." :)

John P. wrote:
May 09, 2011

Very basic but very important. Thanks for the info. I have a motto I clean by. Never let the sun go down on a dirty firearm. If not possible, never let it go down twice.

Jay Davis wrote:
May 09, 2011

Nice article. Cleaning the mags are important from time to time. Also cleaning is good time to check spring compression on the action and mags. Be careful to not leave lint in the tight places. I would also put small parts in plastic containers or on white cloth so its not lost in the bag.

gun nut 53 wrote:
May 09, 2011

Another thing to remember is to NEVER use WD-40 or any other penetrating lubricant on a firearm.This stuff will penetrate the primers and cause misfires...