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I'm taking a look at the receiver of my stainless classic and I'd _really_ like to take a bunch of cleaner to the whole thing. Its pretty filthy.

What's the proper technique for cleaning the mag-well, slide, disconnector and trigger assembly? I'm not interested in taking the gun farther apart than a standard field strip. Is it safe to just take a big 'ol swab loaded with Hoppes and clean every exposed surface out? What about post-cleaning oil - light but thorough?

Finally, how about the firing-ping housing? It gets a little cruddy with powder and I'd love to squish a pad around the firing-pin hole to clean it out. Bad idea?
 

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I spray mine with Birchwood/Casey's Gun Scubber. With its extension tube you can clean all the nooks and crannies with out disassembly. Push the firing pin with a punch and remove the firing pin block to clean inside the firing pin tube. Wear safety glasses as the spring may fly out.
I then spray everthing with Birchwood/Casey's
"Sheath"
 

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Why not take it apart and clean it? The instructions are widely available (m1911.org, and lots of other places). I feel that it gives me a new appreciation for the engineering genius of Mr. Browning and also has helped me understand how the darn thing works! Just be sure to take a good look at how the sear, disconnector and hammer parts are in relation to each other BEFORE you take them out of the gun. After cleaning and re-assembling everything you should check the function of the safeties (this information is also widely available) before taking the gun out to shoot. This all may seem daunting but IMHO it's worth the trouble to see and appreciate just how fine a machine the 1911 really is.
 

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I don't clean my pistols very often but after about 800-1,000 rounds I take the entire pistol apart and throw everything except the grip and barrel into a big jar containing mineral spirit. I throw the barrel into a small jar containing one of the barrel cleaners and leave it all alone for few hours (or even few days when I get lazy). I then attack every part with an old toothbrush, pipe cleaners and Q-tip. I clean the barrel with a bronz or brass brush. After everything has been brushed clean I spray everything with carburator cleaner to remove all the cleaners and let it air out for few minutes. Then I put everything back together using Rem oil for all the small internal parts that need lube. Finally I use Break-Free CLP to lube the rails and barrel hood. This usually takes about 30 minutes to disassemble, 1 hour to scrub the parts and barrel and 1 hour to reassemble and lube 3 or 4 pistols. Its actually not that much work when cleaning 3 or 4 pistols at a time.
 

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I clean mine every time I shoot it. I use any good Nitro (powder) solvent and a old toothbrush. DON'T USE COPPER SOLVENTS. If you fail to remove it, it can damage the metal of the gun. The only thing I use copper solvents on is the bore. Powder solvents are easy on the metal and actually have a lubricant ability if it's left on. Either way, when I'm satisfied that I've scrubbed enough, I take the Gun Scrubber and spray away all the debris and left over (air hose works great for this too if you have one). Then I lightly oil everything.

------------------
God Bless America!!

Danny
NRA, NAHC, Buckmasters
 

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I know this will make some of you cringe, but it works. Berryman's Brake Cleaner. I wouldn't reccomend getting it on wood grips, but other than that this is practically the same stuff as gun scrubber except not nearly as expensive. You will have to oil the gun liberally as the brake cleaner cuts ALL of the oil out. I've been doing this for a couple of years now on my Colt MKIV Series 80 Gov't, STI Edge and Kimber Custom Royal with no ill effects and it is much faster and more thorough than cleaning by hand.
 

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If you can justify the expense, an ultrasonic cleaner is very efficient and thorough. Field strip first. After the US treatment rinse thoroughly, bake in small oven (about $35) to dry, and lube.

ljlc
 

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a can of gun scrubber is great and does a great job of cleaning out the action without taking it apart....but from time to time you just gotta break down and take the whole thing apart do do a thurough cleaning. I normally do ming about every 1000 rounds or earlier if it really needs it. I'm with atilla though you really do learn a new appreciation for brownings genius when taking a 1911 apart one of his masterpieces. As a military man I am a huge fan of the 1911 and also brownings 50 cal. machin guns. they are perfect guns engineered by a man way ahead of his time this is why both of these weapons have been serving military and law enforcement faithfully for decades upon decades with virtually no change in design and they still are more effective then anything a modern day computer can develop. Learn your gun ...how it operates, how its cleaned, pamper it and it will take care of you.
 

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I may be a little strange, but I enjoy taking my guns apart and putting them back together again about as much as shooting.

I spent a happy hour or so today replacing every moving part in the (Kimber) gun (everything except the frame, grips, slide, hammer, grip safety, and barrel) with Colt parts (I keep a complete set, at least one of everything) to make sure the Kimber was standard spec. It is. I didn't shoot it in that configuration, but did all the standard tests, and everything worked. Then I put it back to all Kimber again.

Next time I shoot (tomorrow probably) I'm going to try the gun with a regular short guide rod and a normal plug. If I don't lose any perceptable accuracy I'd love to throw that wrench, long rod, and special plug in the river. Actually I would keep them in case I ever want to sell or trade the gun.
 

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Pro's Cleaning Recipe for Success

This always seems to be a controversial topic. Until recently my cleaning ritural took me approx 30-45 minutes per gun. I'd remove the grips and field strip the gun about every 500 rounds or so. I usually use carbeurator cleaner (gun scrubber at one tenth the cost) and cleaned the slide and frame. Clean out the slide and frame rail with a q-tip and the locking lugs on the slide. Anyway you get the point. It was a long and laborous process. Then I'd use Remington grease with teflon on the slide and frame rails and the bushing. The gun always worked flawlessly (Kimber, need I say more) but was a bitch to clean.

Recently a gunsmith friend told me I needed to pull my head out of my ass and take better care of my guns. After a few choice words I asked hime to explain. His response was that it should only take 15 minutes to thoroughly clean my gun if I do it right and use the right products and throw away all my latest and greatest cleaners and what have you. Before I give you the recipe, think about the question.


What has a high-friction fit, close tolerances, and generates a lot of heat?

1. After removing the grips and field stripping the pistol, spray the slide and frame with WD-40 and wipe clean.
This cleans the components, draws any moisture out, gets in the metal poors to prevent rust, and lubricates.

2. Apply S.A.E. 30 wt. motor oil to the slide and frame rails and the inside of the bushing.
Used for the high friction areas will prevent galling. Will not dry out and leave carbon deposits like break free and most gun oils. These deposits cause wear on the gun.

3. Reassemble and wipe down with a gray gun cloth (silicone cloth rag)
 

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Kayser,

I'm like you, in that I don't completely disassemble my 1911s unless absolutely necessary. However, I will periodically give the frame a really good scrubbing. Here's how I do it.

First, field strip the pistol and remove the grips. Not only will this protect the grips, but it will allow you a little better access to the mag well. Then take the gun outside. Get a toothbrush and a bottle of Hoppe's No. 9. Use the original Hoppe's, not one of the new kinds with amonia in it. Use the larger bottle that has a mouth large enough to dunk the tooth brush in it. Get the brush sopping wet with Hoppe's and scrub the hell out of it, inside and outside, repeatedly dunking the brush in hoppe's.

When you think you've got everything loosened up, cloe up the Hoppe's and get a spray can of brake cleaner. You can use a product like Gun Scrubber, but brake cleaner works well and it's cheaper. Make sure you're in a well-ventilated area when using this. Douch the frame down with the brake cleaner, washing all of the dirty Hoppe's off of it. Then wipe down the frame really good and let the inside dry good.

You can then use compressed air to blow it dry, if you have a compressor. I have a compressor, but I'm aware that the compressed air has a little moisture content. So I use those cans of dry compressed air you can get at photo shops. It's more expensive, but it doesn't take much. (That stuff also is great for cleaning out computer keyboards).

After it's dry, you must lubricate it. Keep in mind that the brake cleaner will remove ALL previous lubrication. I use a very thin oil to lube the hard to get places. Rem Oil works good for this. Don't over do it, and wipe up any excess. Then lube the gun in your regular fashion.

Regarding the firing pin housing: Every time I clean my 1911s, I consider field stripping to include that area. I remove the firing pin stop, firing pin, firing pin spring, and extractor. I clean those parts, then I clean out the firing pin tunnel and the extractor tunnel with wooden Q-tips, first moistened with Hoppe's, and then dry ones. Finally, I run a dry pipe cleaner all the way trhough the firing pin hole. When finished, the firing pin tunnel and the extractor tunnel should be completely dry. Removing and sleaning these area also gives you the chance to inspect your firing pin spring. You should compare the spring to a new one. (you DO keep a couple of new firing pin springs on hand, don't you?) If the spring in use is appreciably shorter than the new one, replace it. I use the extra-strength springs from Wolff in order to further minimize the possibility of a "dropped gun" AD. If you have a 1911 with a firing pin block (Colt Series 80 or a Para-Ordinance), you don't need the extra strength firing pin.

Good luck with your 1911. Great guns!

Bob
 
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