How much cleaning is really necessary?

Stripping and cleaning a shootin’ iron is a real pain.
Many years ago, I discovered a little secret.
It’s not necessary to strip them down like I had previously thought to get them really clean.
All is takes is a thorough spray down with automotive brake cleaner, the kind that quickly evaporates, and lube with a thin oil ( I prefer auto transmission fluid).
Plastic frames can discolor using the brake cleaner.
Just wipe those down with a lubed rag.
Using one of those plastic nozzles that come with most lubes, it’s easy to get into all the nooks and crannies like past the hammer, or striker, down around the trigger and through the mag well and such,
Just do a simple field strip, separating the slide from the frame and most things will be accessible.
Takes a fraction of the time as the hard way of doing it.
Just a thought.


I like my mud trucks and guns to look used and filthy

thinks to self (or is that a lazy not wanting to clean excuse)

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bright and shiney after every session and maybe a quick spray of lub on moving parts mid way. Gone are the days of diesel and 30w motor oil but with using surplus corrosive ammo I have started using the diesel on the pistols after the hot water bath.

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So I’ll expand it to Frog Lube or good old fashioned oil?

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I used to meticulously clean after every range session. Now, after multiple tours to the sandbox, I only clean enough to get the larger chunks of crud out, wipe down inside and out with lube, and hit the barrels with a couple of passes of CLP soaked patched followed by a couple of passes of a dry patch to get out the excess oil. About once a year (usually right after the New Year) I do a complete strip and scrub and then start the process all over again. Only exception to that is my MK12mod0 build that I shoot competition with. Once I start seeing degradation in accuracy than I scrub the barrel well for excess fouling followed by a box or so of range ammo to “foul” the bore again to get back to my baseline accuracy.

Oil and grease wise I use Geisseles’s offering now and my end of year scrub involves Sweets 7.62 for the barrels.

Over time and experiences while deployed, I realized shooters generally over clean their weapons and some (like the Garand and M1A/M14) can suffer some detrimental consequences from constant break down and “cleaning” when done too often.


I generally field strip and clean / lube after every session unless I’ve shot a bunch of guns on a desert trip with friends and family. Then it’s usually in a longer session a day or so later. Kinda relaxing actually.

I had pretty good results with frog lube for awhile. I found it didn’t save all that much time and I’m seldom in a rush when cleaning. I was told it can act up a bit and get gunky in cold weather. Not a concern of mine here in So. ca.
Gave it up and went back old school for no real good reason. Actually prefer the smell of CLP and Rem Oil over FrogLube.

I always find it funny how particular/defensive people get about what type of lube they use to clean their guns. CLP has always worked for me, and I see no reason to change.

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I wasn’t referring to anyone here. Sometimes I get to the range and meet people that swear to using 20 year old vudu snake blood to lubricate their firearms, and I find it funny. CLP, RemOil, Froglube, LSA, it’s all good. It’s all branding.

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Inox fan here

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If anyone is interested:
I just cleaned my G19 after a year and change. I shoot it ALOT. My .22lrs get cleaned only when the accuracy starts to fall off. My FTR rifle gets cleaned after my lot of 150 rounds has been shot (by clean I mean 1 dry patch, 1 wet patch then 1 dry patch. I do this 3x then call it good. Bolt gets wiped down and greased and that’s it. ) .

If you are using the proper equipment and cleaning properly, you are not going to do any damage. Its when someone smashes a 4 pc SS rod into the bore without a guide that issues will start.

For lube I switched to grease (EWG). Never looked back. I still use balistol and CLP for springs and stuff, but the grease has been great.

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Depends on the firearm.
The spectrum here runs from an AK that needs nothing - to a S&W/Walther made, M+P .22 that needs cleaning every 2-300 rounds. Yep-even with different brands of .22.
I do tend to take different ones thru the week then clean 'em all at once on a crappy weather day.
Something new gets run w/o cleaning once broken in to see how long it will run before an issue.

When I was a kid that used my old man’s guns back in the day, he instilled into me that I will clean his guns thoroughly after each use. If I didn’t, there was hell to be paid.

After a few knocks up against the head and a lesson learned, you can say it stuck with me ever sinse.

My wife is a different story. I let her clean her own guns for many different reasons.

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We clean ours after 2 or 3 times at the range. Hubby took a Glock specific class and that’s how we clean them.

I think it all depends on the climate you live in and the abuse or use you put them through.

If things get tossed onto the ground a bit it is a good idea to get debris out often. Sand is abrasive.

If you live in a humid environment it is a good idea to get shooting residues out often. It attracts moisture.

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Working at a shop I have gotten really used to having a sonic tank
I got a small one for the shop at home as well

The old school way depending on how many rounds I shoot depends on the depth of cleaning
And for years I have only used Lucas white lithium