Cleaning guns with soap and water

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Old 11-24-13, 04:07 PM
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Cleaning guns with soap and water

I have a buddy who takes his guns apart after shooting them (detail strip) and the dumps the pieces in the kitchen sink and cleans them with soap and water. Once the soap is rinsed away, he then douses the pieces with rubbing alcohol to remove the water.

This seems to work ok but sticking a gun in the sink doesn't sit right with me.

What do the rest of you think?

He does grease and oil everything when he puts it back together.
 
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Old 11-24-13, 04:37 PM
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There's absolutely no reason for what he does unless he's shooting black powder. I mean real black powder, not one of the substitutes.

The closest water should get to a modern firearm is if you are duck hunting.

Matter of fact, he's probably doing more harm than good. Detail stripping isn't required very often even with regular shooting. It's also a PITA on some guns. Does he really pull the trigger group out? Extractor, ejector, disassemble the bolt? What about wear on pins, screws, and the like? Depending on the gun, of course. Eventually, a screwdriver or punch will slip (if he needs to use them) and he'll have a nice scratch or gouge.

When I was shooting 1000 rds a weekend in my handguns, I'd clean the bore and wipe down any accessible places to remove carbon and fingerprints. Sure I'd pull the slide off my pistols and clean the wear areas and swab out the mag well...but detail strip? Never. Light lube and put 'em back together. Revolvers got a bore and cylinder cleaning and a wipe down. I doubt I ever cleaned the bores on my .22s, can mess them up. Just brush or spray out the carbon and powder residue, lube and put 'em away.

When we would shoot qualification or famfire in the Navy, even then the Gunnersmates would do as I described above for the .45s, M14s and shotguns. I know, I helped them sometimes. That was 50 or 60 people shooting 50 rds each though maybe 5-10 weapons.

His wife lets him use the sink like that?

And there's very little need for grease on a gun. Places that need it are normally sealed away from grit and dirt, so very occasionally does it need re-doing.

You'll never be able to convince him he's doing wrong of course, you know that? Closest thing I can think of is washing your car every time you drive it.
 
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Old 11-24-13, 04:43 PM
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Yes, true detail strip every time. I do about the same as you, field strip is as far as I typically go.

He lives far away from me so I don't see him much but I was out there and he mentioned something about wanting to be a gunsmith someday. We each took one gun (as we'd shot two that day) and the plan was going to be I'd watch him then attempt mine (they were both his guns, if that matters - we hadn't shot any of mine). He got hung up and couldn't figure out how to get his back together and after about an hour, we heard the garage door going up because his wife had come home. He threw everything on a towel, rolled it up and said that I was to keep our activities between the two of us.

I think his cleaning process as well as his aspirations as a smith should be re-evaluated.
 
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Old 11-24-13, 05:03 PM
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I think his cleaning process as well as his aspirations as a smith should be re-evaluated.
Ya think? Heck, I'd be a little concerned about my safety with him as a shooting partner...no offense.

I mean, you don't expect a good shooter (or race driver or whatever) to be an expert on the mechanicals, but "A man's got to know his limitations".
 
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Old 11-24-13, 06:03 PM
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I hate to say I've got a few guns (Beretta CX-4, H&K P2000) that I don't clean until they start to have problems. They are my range red headed step children that get flogged regularly. I am totally amazed at the neglect they tollerate. I'm not in a combat zone dragging them through the mud or sand but still I & guests shoot the snot out of them and I don't give them much if any attention.

My carry guns don't get shot as often but they get more cleaning than the others to remove the dust and sweat. Those I'll spray out, dry and lightly oil but even that is done every 3 or 4 months except in summer when I can literally shake the gun and salty sweat slings out so I do it more frequently.
 
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Old 12-01-13, 01:47 PM
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If he can't get a gun back together, that's not good . The cleaning process, while far too intensive imho, is not likely damaging. Some guys just like to keep their shooters "museum clean".

Is it possible that he was just showing off to a buddy? The fact that re-assembly challenged him indicates that he hadn't done it before (or at least not often). Even the most complex guns I have are pretty simple after a time or two. Also, many folks who shoot corrosive ammo will clean relevant parts with hot water and soap. Putting guns/gun parts in the sink is not a problem... leaving them to dry on the counter wound be another matter.
 
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Old 12-01-13, 02:11 PM
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In the SINK??? What ever happened to work bench and clean cloth beneath gun????


SOAP & WATER???????????...

We never even used soap and water (if it was even available) in combat nor anytime that I recall in the military!!!

Good Grief...

Maybe he needs to be introduced to an aerosol gun spray cleaner.... At least for minor cleaning between frequent usages. Once spray cleaned, a light oil on sliding parts and maybe a patch run down the bore. Ready for next usage, if used weekly.

Longer times require more detailed cleaning of course. Detailed clean if gun not going to be used for some longer times. Oh Well. To each his own.

 
 

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