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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've seen several concealed carry posters here in the past say they finish their cleaning regimen by firing one magazine. If you do this, what is the reason for doing so, rather than just holstering the cleaned pistol unfired?

Thanks.

JPC
 

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Just to be as certain as possible that the gun is functioning properly after reassembly.
 

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What hjk said.

I learned that the hard way. I went to a state IDPA match with a gun that I cleaned in the motel the night before. On the very first stage the gun malfunctioned. I have never carried or competed with a perfectly clean pistol since.
 

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OTOH, when you've just gone to the trouble to clean a pistol, it seems counterproductive to foul it up again by shooting it, and then sticking it in your holster, perhaps not to be shot or cleaned again for weeks or months. (I know, I know, nobody here does that, we all shoot at least once a week.)

Granted, one magazine (or as little as one "fouling" round) doesn't gunk up a pistol very much, and particularly if that pistol is reliably shot frequently (say, weekly) and then cleaned, it wouldn't much matter.
Nonetheless, firing residues are left inside the barrel, frame and slide by even one fired round, and may eventually cause corrosion if not removed.

My own experience has NEVER been as described above, that is, I've NEVER had a "clean" gun malfunction, so I'm not concerned about shooting a just-cleaned gun in order to prove that it still will shoot, that is, not so long as it's a pistol that I have long experience with. (I wouldn't "trust" a new gun for carry, clean or not, till I'd thoroughly tested it.)

More important might be the concept of shooting a "fouling" round, so as to stabilize POI, based on the frequently-recognised tendency of many guns to put their first round (out of a clean barrel) in a slightly different place than subsequent rounds.

For rifles, this is often important.
IMNSHO, it's not AS important with handguns, where the shooting distances are typically shorter.

Best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies, folks

I figured that was the reason. Like you, Sawbones, I've never had any of my pistols malfunction after cleaning, however, anecdotal evidence has never been very convincing to me as argument. Eljay's experience is different. . .what to do with that?

My suspicion is guns usually do work after cleaning, but then I don't shoot much, and Eljay probably shoots more, a lot more than I do if he does IDPA. Since my guns are only for home defense or concealed carry, I think I'll start this practice of firing after cleaning. I shoot about 5 times a year, on average.

I hope I never need to use a concealed weapon and it's very likely I never will. If I do, it's also very likely it won't malfunction. However, given the reason for carrying, I don't evaluate the risk probabilistically. . .the effect of a malfunction in a defensive situation is simply unacceptable.

I'm thinking if one is very fastidious you can run a bore snake through the barrel after that one mag without disassembly and probably wipe off most residue from the ejection port. How corrosive is firing residue from current ammo, by the way? I thought it was fairly innocuous in modern guns. Especially mine with an alloy frame and stainless slide.
 

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1. Just because it hasn't happened to you, doesn't mean it never will.
2. Firing a full magazine of modern, non-corrossive ammo and then not cleaning will in no way hurt the gun in the short or long run.
3. It is a good idea to verify function if the gun will be relied upon for any serious purpose.

I do this with both rifles and pistols. With the rifles, I do it to stabilize POI and ensure function. For handguns it is simply a function check. I don't freak out if I can't fire a few shots, since I am confident that I can re-assemble the gun correctly. If you are anal about a clean gun, you could do the pencil test, which should let you know if the first round will go bang.

I know that the LRRP's in Vietnam would clean their guns and the fire some ammo through them before they went out (no takedown after the ammo has been fired). I am sure there are other instances of this practice. It would be a real bitch to realize you have the cotter key in front of the firing pin instead of behind it when you need the gun!
 

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Lou Awerbuck is all for this practice of firing for function after cleaning. I asked his this specific question. Couple of anal SWAT guys scratched their heads and said, "Well, then I would have to clean it again!"

:D

It depends on whether you want to be absolutely sure it will function (which for a HD or SD gun you need) or if you are anal about your weapon being clean (which is just fine for a range or safe queen weapon).
 

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I have had three guns fail after cleaning--an M1A, a Rem 1100 and a Ruger MkI .22. I NEVER carry a just cleaned, nonfired weapon on duty, concealed or to a match. I learned my lesson--3 times!!
 

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Of course, apart from the question of whether you SHOULD is the question of how you CAN shoot a few rounds after cleaning.

I leave the range, take my guns home, and clean them at home. I couldn't bring all the cleaning materials I use to the range, nor would I want to, nor would I be welcomed to clean them thoroughly there. There's no place to do it

The range is about 35 miles from my house.
I live in the city.

Do you guys who shoot function-test rounds after cleaning all live next door to a range, or out in the country, or do you just do all your gun-cleaning right at the range?

I suppose that if this is an issue, you could clean the gun, then not carry it again till you function-tested it at the range the following week, or you could delay cleaning the gun till the night before you expected to go to the range.

Actually, I've had a number of guns malfunction in the middle of training, when dirty, but I've never had one malfunction when first used after cleaning.
Do you guys who worry about this feel that there's a chance you've reassembled your gun improperly? I'm not clear on the concern over clean, lubricated guns being more malfunction-prone than dirty guns.
 

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Doesn't anyone remember how to function check?
 

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SAWBONES said:


Do you guys who shoot function-test rounds after cleaning all live next door to a range, or out in the country, or do you just do all your gun-cleaning right at the range?

I live in the country, I even have a small (10yd.) range in my barn.
And my local club is only 10 minutes away, so test firing for me can be as simple as opening the patio door.

Your situation makes things a little more difficult.
 

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I admit that I clean a gun and put it back together without firing for the same reason as SAWBONES, just too far to the range.

But then, I have never put a pistol back together with some vital part missing or installed wrong. But I have seen and heard of it happening enough to say that I support the idea of test firing after any disassembly/reassembly or any change of parts, ammo, or magazine.

Jim
 

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Doesn't anyone remember how to function check?

I'm with AZ Husker on this one. This is what I do. As long as there are no extra parts laying around and the function checks out, I'm satisfied.
 

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One reason not to test fire a carry gun after cleaning is if you were involved in a situation where someone acused you of brandishing your gun or maybe even firing a shot at them. Even the most inexperienced LEO could look at your gun and see that it has not been fired.

Jim
 

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I live 15 miles from the range, but i'm not about to clean my gun then take it to the range to shoot up a magazine.
I function check the gun half dozon times and call it good. Not once has a cleaned gun ever failed to go bang, that I've owned.

On the other hand IF I did live out in the country and could just open the patio door for a quick check...yeah, I'd do it.
 

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johncollins said,

"I hope I never need to use a concealed weapon and it's very likely I never will. If I do, it's also very likely it won't malfunction. However, given the reason for carrying, I don't evaluate the risk probabilistically . . .the effect of a malfunction in a defensive situation is simply unacceptable."

The word probabilistically has 17 letters... It's a very big word and I dont have a clue what it means...

Johncolliins, if you are going to use that type of language would you please include a definition for those of us who run on an 8 letter per word maximum? :D
 
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