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I'll probably sound like a total novice idiot here, but I wanted to know what you guys use for a proper pistol cleaning. In the military we had armorers for such tasks and in the desert we used rifles, however I can't remember what kind of oils, solvents etc. brands that were used. I assume not the best...due to budgets and such. I know HOW to clean, but just wasn't sure what is best for the polymer variety. Thank you ahead of time as always.
 

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There are so many choices out there that it just comes down to personal preference. I use hoppes no.9 and remoil.

I have been thinking about making a batch of ed's red. I have heard a lot of good things about it. And it may cost more at first, but it will last you longer.

Creek
 
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Im old school when it comes to cleaners, so i also use hopppes 9 and rem oil, but they make some nice sprays that clean lube and protect all at one time, they usually also are a dry lube.

One thing i consider when choosing what to buy, can i get replacements for it easily, i.e. do i go 10 minutes to my local gun shops, or walmart, or do i have to drive 30-45 to get to a gander, academy, bass pro, or other specialty stores.
 
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Previously I used Hoppes solvent, oil, and grease. But about a year ago I switched to FrogLube and I cannot believe the difference!

After the first few cleanings with the FL, to remove all remnants of petroleum based cleaners and oils, the weapon comes clean with almost no effort. I use a heat gun to warm the parts and allow the FL to penetrate into the metal and then add a little extra to the slide rails for additional lube.

And it smells minty, so I don't get yelled at for stinking up the kitchen!
 

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Hoppes #9 and a Bore Snake.
 

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I use Break-Free CLP for cleaning, Hoppes bore snake, an assortment of plastic pics and brass brushes, and finish with a few drops of Hoppes lubricating oil.
 

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The key is that you clean your guns on a mostly regular basis. They don't have to be squeaky clean after every range trip. Most gun ranges don't clean rental guns every day. Any gun that is going to be stored for a while should be cleaned before storage. Once every one to three months is fine for a carry/range gun. Any good commercial cleaning and lubrication products will work. Heck, kerosene and motor oil will work. Try something and if you don't like it, try something else. It isn't the product, it is the attention to detail when you clean that is important.
 

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I used FrogLube for the git go....figured I had to start with something. Read lots of good reviews on the stuff and so far it seems to be doing the trick. Smells good too.
 
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Previously I used Hoppes solvent, oil, and grease. But about a year ago I switched to FrogLube and I cannot believe the difference!

After the first few cleanings with the FL, to remove all remnants of petroleum based cleaners and oils, the weapon comes clean with almost no effort. I use a heat gun to warm the parts and allow the FL to penetrate into the metal and then add a little extra to the slide rails for additional lube.

And it smells minty, so I don't get yelled at for stinking up the kitchen!
Yup that's what I use also now (still have some hoppes and rim oil for friends that might still use it).
 

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Attention to Firing Pin!

...and don't hesitate to open the firing pin channel! It can be surprising what finds its way in there. I spray mine out with non-flammable brake cleaner. Run 'em clean and dry. IMHO one of the most critical jobs in gun maintenance.

The more impeded the firing pin the less the chance that the gun goes bang!!
 

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The only part of the gun for which firearms-specific products are important is the barrel. I use the classic Hoppes #9 for every gun's bore, and also a lead solvent for my Detective Special's lead boolits.

Other than that, just about anything petroleum based will clean a gun. I used to use CLP like the Army uses, but these days I just use motor oil. Then, when it's all clean, I wipe it all down with a clean(er) cloth or even paper towel, and hit the critical spots with Remington Dry-Lube. That includes the firing pin channel. The slide rails, feed ramp, and sear area are the other spots that get particular attention with the Dry Lube. The only gun I have that I run wet is my Woodsman. It much prefers some Rem oil on the rails. But all the rest run great with Dry Lube, and it doesn't seep or accumulate lint or dust. Love it.

I do on occasion rub a pistol down with a silicone-impregnated cloth. That's a good way to give a gun's exterior some between-cleaning TLC.
 

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I am also old school using hoppes 9 and remoil.
 

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Why do I always comment, then go back and click on links posted earlier? Must be related to my habit of reading magazines backwards...

There are a few difference between what I usually do and that (very nicely illustrated) procedure in the link.

1. Make sure your gun is unloaded and at least .40 or larger, because they do a better job of stopping bad guys. Unless it's deep concealed, in which case .380 is acceptable. :D

2. Disassemble, then swab the bore with a q-tip soaked in bore solvent. Do this first, as soon as the slide is disassembled. This gets solvent into the bore as early as possible. The q-tip will take out the big chunks of powder residue and the solvent can soak into the bore. If you reach in from both ends, you can almost always reach the entire length of the bore for barrels up to 5". Dunno about longer barrels.

2. Take another oil or solvent soaked q-tip and wipe all the dirtiest spots on the slide and the frame (usually the feed ramp area is the worst part of the frame). Whichever you do first, set it aside while you wipe down the other. We'll assume the slide came first, so it soaks while you wipe down the frame.

3. Detail clean the slide. Some areas just need a wipe with a cloth - the inside of the slide that covers the barrel is a good example. The breech face often needs some attention from a toothbrush or even a wire brush or aluminum somethingorother. Get it spotless. Also make sure the extractor claw is spotless. This is particularly important to reliability. The solvent in Dry-Lube can help here. If you've brushed the extractor area out well, the blast of solvent from a can of Dry-Lube is a good finishing touch to get stuff no brush can reach. As already noted, the firing pin tube is important too; again, the Dry-Lube propellant is a good cleaner if you aren't taking the firing pin out. If you are, it's back to the q-tips. I usually go with motor oil soaked q-tips for the firing pin tube. A stripped q-tip (wrapped paper stem, not plastic) is good for cleaning the slide rail channels. Then Dry-Lube the slide rail channels.

4. Detail clean the frame. This usually is primarily a wet rag job. The feed ramp is very important, so get that spotless. Pushing the cloth through the whole magwell from top to bottom is part of frame cleaning. Make sure the frame rails are good and clean. The sear area is usually tough to get too but doesn't get too dirty, so again, a blast of Dry-Lube is a good approach for routine cleaning. The solvent cleans, and the lubricant stays behind. Make sure any levers on the frame (slide lever, safety lever, etc) are good and clean. Lube the frame rails.

5. Give the recoil spring parts and any other small parts (barrel bushing, takedown pin, etc.) a wipe down with an oil-moistened rag. Not much to this. Again, I finish with a blast from the Dry-Lube.

6. Now back to the barrel. Start with the bore brush. Give it at least 20 strokes, more if you did a lot of shooting. Then on to the patches. I like jags rather than loops. A couple of dry ones to get the worst of the crap out. Then a couple with some solvent, then a few more dry ones, then a couple with motor oil, then dry ones until they come out completely clean. Inspect visually to see how you're doing. If needed, another couple of oiled patches. Once the bore is clean, hit all the sliding surfaces of the barrel (near the muzzle and the barrel lug under the chamber) with lube (that's right, Dry-Lube!).

7. Now put it all back together and wipe down the outside.
 

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Hoppes #9 and Rem Oil.
 
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