Daily we have the opportunity to witness firearms malfunctions on the range. Many shooters from all experience levels, ages and genders, seem to miss some important and preventative maintenance practices. Even the raw basics seem to be neglected.
Most people would not treat their car like they treat their firearm. If you do not change your oil, or even wash and wax your car, you will eventually have a malfunction.
What kind of malfunction? Simple. Your engine can seize or your paint will fade or peel, and the dirty car will lose its appeal to others and have a negative impact on resale value.
Your firearm is virtually the same. If you do not do proper maintenance, it will rust or discolor the finish. Incorrect or no maintenance will result in premature wear and malfunctions.
We're going to cove some very basic maintenance points that will keep most firearms operating the way they should and help maintain their investment value.
1.Wipe your firearm down.
The entire exterior should be wiped with a silicone cloth. This will remove powder residue, fingerprints and prevent buildup of grime from future uses. Silicone also offers some corrosion prevention.
You can purchase a silicone cloth for less than $10.00 and they can be used as long as they feel moist. Silicone cloths normally discolor and turn black with use. This is a sign that they are working! Keep one in your range bag and in a sealed plastic bag to prevent drying out.
2.Use some oil.
Some oil is the key phrase! You will need to determine the correct amount. Start with all contact points. The slide rails should be oiled or even use a light grease.
The barrel and bushing on all automatics, the magazine followers, magazine release, slide release. the revolver ejector lever, the revolver cylinder and yoke are all critical contact points requiring oil or some sort of lubrication.
Each firearm may have their own unique lubrication points. Review the owner's manual, internet or ask a P2K Staff Member for assistance with the needs of your specific firearm.
3.Bore brush, chemicals and patches.
Yes it's getting a little more complicated! Cleaning chemicals could be their own topic and we're just covering the basics. Through experience, we have found some cleaners that work on some applications better than others. Every cleaning product is better than the competitors and if you don't believe us just ask the manufacturer.
The easiest is the cleaner, lubricant and preservative. (Commonly called CLP) These all in one chemicals are used by law enforcement and military in a variety of conditions and environments.
Apply your selected chemical to a correct size cleaning patch and run it down the barrel bore. Keep the direction the same as the bullet travels if you can.
Patches are available pre cut or you can cut your own. The most common mistake is not changing the patch enough. One patch will not yield a good cleaning. Do not use them sparingly! After you run the wet patch down your bore you are ready to brush.
The correct caliber bore brush will remove debris and contaminants from your barrel and rifling.
It is best to move the brush in the same direction as the bullet and should only travel in one direction. This may not be possible on some firearms, but do your best.
There are different brush types for different uses. Bronze is great for general maintenance, stainless is best for removing barrel corrosion, plastic is gentle and great for all around cleaning. Plastic is also great for copper solvents and other chemical make ups.
After a good brushing, use another wet patch to remove debris that has been loosened from brushing. You may need to brush again depending on the amount of powder residue and other dirt and debris. Basically, wash, rinse and repeat.
Use a dry patch to clean the bore. If the patch is discolored, use another patch until it looks the same as it did before used on the firearm.
Once you have met your cleaning goal, use a moist patch to lube the barrel and protect it from corrosion.
Finally, you can wipe the entire exterior of your firearm again with a silicone cloth.
If your firearm looks good, just like your car, it will hold its value better and longer! We recommend that you dissemble and deep clean your firearm after extensive use or semi annually as you see fit. Manufactures recommend disassembly and cleaning after each use. We agree that this would be ideal, but we understand practicality. You be the judge of your investment and the ease and enjoyment of use without malfunctions.