Consider this post to be a PSA (Public Service Announcement) about cleaning your guns:
This last weekend I finally got motivated and decided to do some gun cleaning and maintenance. I started off with my AR 15 platforms and as things went along, my mountain of work escalated. Let me explain a bit more in detail.
In field stripping all our AR 15’s, I found that there was an extreme amount of build up of carbon especially on the BCG. It was so nasty that even after scrubbing for about 15 minutes, I really was getting nowhere. In the end I was so annoyed that I disassembled the BCG and just tossed them into my ultrasonic cleaner. It took two 30 minute soaks with heat to get the carbon to finally release its hold. I also found that I had to soak the receiver and chamber in Hoppes 9 for about an hour to get the gunk to release from there as well. The caked on carbon had to have been from the reloads I got from someone. These reloads were not as accurate as I prefer and I noticed more sludge on the cases after they were fired, so I will just blame that for now. The real story is that these things were dirtier than I have ever seen an AR 15 or M 16 get, even after shooting blanks. Really, it was horrible.
Once these were cleaned up and looking less embarrassing I moved along to other firearms. Interesting enough, my S&W 629 .44 Mag was also quite dirty. That took a long while to get cleaned up and all the residue off the cylinders.
As time went along and more and more hours were dedicated to this project, I finally pulled out my new Mosin Nagant build and decided to clean up the barrel and action to make it all pretty. I took 600 grit emory cloth and used it to get rid of all the rust, dings and smooth out the worst of the machine marks. Once everything was cleaned up and smoothed over I blued the barrel, action and bolt assembly. It really made the whole thing look pretty good. Although I didn’t take pictures, you will see some later on when I got to the hills to shoot again. The rifle went from “meh” to “ahh.”
Another firearm that I took some time with was my Ruger Single Six. The first and last time I took this old pistol out I noticed that it was shaving copper and lead off the bullets when fired. It actually was doing it on all sided of the forcing cone so I spent quite a bit of time scrubbing years and years of neglect away. The first couple rounds with the Hoppes left several paper towels just soaked in black goo. It was quite disgusting to see how badly this pistol had been treated over the years. When I finally got done I had been forced to rotate 3 different cleaning brushes through my ultrasonic to clean them back up for use. Sometime in the near future I will be sending this back to Ruger to get a spa treatment, outfitted with a transfer bar and get the second cylinder so I have both the mag and lr as options.
I even took the time to rip the VZ25 BRNO 8 mm I acquired all the way down to parade rest and remove all the years of neglect from it. At that time I also replaced the magazine spring and found out that I will need to replace the top section of wood on the stock. It seems to be burned around the receiver and is very dried out and crumbling up to the band.
The overall process for my firearms took almost 7 hours of straight scrubbing and cleaning. It was very nice to get everything back up and into a respectable level of maintenance.
Seeing as how I billed this as a public service announcement, I will add a couple of important things that you should be aware of and not take for granted like I tend to:
- Used guns NEVER come clean.
- Used military guns come dirtier yet and you have to get the grime of war off them, it seems.
- Fine emory cloth and gun blue is your friend in removing surface rust here in the land of slugs and mold.
- Don’t be a lazy ass like me. Do your gun maintenance a little at a time rather than needing a full day to complete it.
Good luck everyone. I will probably do another round of cleaning in a month or two just to make sure I got everything properly cleaned and maintained. Consider this part of your own Spring Cleaning regiment.