Clean that Cannon, Claudette

dirty pistol

I mentioned in the last piece the jeweler whose daily carry pistol was so dirty it wouldn’t fire. So, let’s talk about cleaning. (Nooooooo!)

A firearm is a tool, a relatively simple machine, that should be maintained so as not to inhibit adequate function. I know of a police officer who doesn’t clean: he just keeps adding lube. (I had trouble breathing when he said that.)

The photo is of a Ruger LCP that I pocket carry around the house. It isn’t a stretch to see where the lint could continue to build up and mix with the lube, gumming up the action.

I recently bought a used revolver online. I asked the seller about function. He replied that everything worked as it should. I found that the cylinder was actually very hard to turn. When I got it home, I stripped the cylinder and found years-worth of dirt inside.

Adequate cleaning can be accomplished with a simple kit of basic equipment. A cleaning rod, correctly-sized jag tip, bronze brush, and patches, an old toothbrush, and an appropriate cleaner and lubricant.

You can get a long flexible device (e.g., Bore Snake) for the barrel and you can get a combination cleaner & lube. I’m not a fan of either. I like to see that parts are clean and then lube. With the “snake”, I can’t see that I’ve gotten the barrel clean, as the ones I’ve seen are dark-colored.

I admit to being somewhat obsessive and mildly compulsive, so typically clean after I shoot (unless I’ll be shooting that gun again in a couple of days). I prefer to store guns in a clean state, so I don’t have to deal with the build-up and thickening of dirt and oil and stuff. Or worse: RUST! That aforementioned had rust on the internal action. I’m guessing that the revolver had gotten wet and the owner never cleaned (or looked) inside.

A helpful tip to reduce gumming is to not overdo it with the lubricant. If lube is dripping out of the action, you probably used too much. I like to treat the contact and pivot points and I also use a patch to put a very light coat inside the barrel.

That’s it for today. Again, I’m open to topics, so leave them in the comments section.

“Happiness is a clean gun.” (Apologies to John Lennon.)