Premade kits are usually some marketer’s idea of nirvana.
Usually, however, they’re wrong.
Here’s what you can do to develop a kit and workflow that cleans and lubricates any handgun you may own.
The number one concern with any handgun should be reliability.
So what has that to do with cleaning?
To have a firearm that continues to operate reliably, it’s important that nothing clogs up the mechanisms. What happens when you shoot your firearm is that you get copper traces, lead, and gunpowder inside the gun and barrel. Additionally, if not lubricated, you end up with metal on metal friction vs. lubricated metal on metal. In either event, you compromise the functioning of your firearm and can allow a misfunctioning or an unreliable handgun.
That is the last thing you want, ever.
So, why not just buy a kit
You can, and there are some relatively nice kits available. As with any “pre-made” solution, you end up with gear you don’t need and only have to buy other products you do need.
Why go through that?
Just buy exactly what you need and be done with it.
What products do I need?
I use just four pieces of gear. Each for a specific reason and the combined kit will run around $31. Additionally, it will probably last for years and years and will clean virtually all of your handguns and even long guns.
So here’s the kit.
Now, not just any cleaning patches. I have used and tested a number of different patches. The main requirement for cleaning patches is that they don’t leave lint all over the place. I want to clean the handgun, not leave pieces of cotton all around the gun. To do that just replaces one trace problem – lead, copper, and gunpowder, with another, cotton threads.
Use the Birchwood Casey Gun Cleaning Patches. These are inexpensive but constructed specifically to clean without leaving cotton traces – they truly are “lint free”.
Brass Cleaning Gun Pick
I know, it sounds odd.
But the Pro-Shot Brass Gun Pick cleaning tool is a miracle tool. Simply wrap one of the cleaning patches around either end of the pick, and easily clean those hard to reach places. This is especially helpful when trying to clean out the slide groves.
Super inexpensive and made of brass so as not to scratch your handgun. Again, it will last forever.
Cleaner and Lubricant fluid
Okay, okay, everyone has their favorite cleaning fluid but Break Free cleaner, lubricant and preservative really works – well and easily. I’ve also heard rumors that this is the cleaner/lubricant that Glock recommends (take that with a grain of salt).
Again, inexpensive and long-lasting, this is the fluid I use all the time to clean and lubricate my handguns. It just works really well.
If you’ve seen some of the gun cleaning kits, most will come with rods that have pieces to attach and run cotton patches through the bore and other pieces with different sizes that will run brass brushes through your bore.
What a time waster.
Do it all in one quick pass.
I use and recommend the Funanasun 2-pack Bore Cleaner Snake cleaning kit.
Here’s a little insight, some bore snakes are sold for each and every caliber, however, the Funanasun is sold by matching caliber groups. In other words, the snake for a .22 also works with the .223 and .556. Similiarly, the .38, .357, .380 and 9mm all use the same snake. Instead of one in each specific caliber just get two to cover almost all the calibers you need. Additionally, they offer another snake that covers yet another set of calibers.
Listen, for a great price you can cover multiple calibers with the two included snake cleaners. One, for example, covers everything from .22, .223, 5.56 and the other for .38, .357, .380 and .9mm. It’s also extremely easy to use. Just put a few drops of the cleaning fluid either in the barrel or on the cleaning patch of the snake, drop the copper piece of the cable through the barrel (in the direction of the ammo) and pull through a few times. You can even wash it. The barrel will be brushed with the build in copper brush and wiped with the remaining part of the snake.
What could be easier?
What about lubing the Glock
You should lube your Glock, but remember two things:
- Never over lube it! If you do, the oil will itself collect gunpowder and refuse.
- Lube three areas only:
- The barrel, especially the front 1/3 or so (you can see the natural wear marks above) – just run a patch with a small amount of lube around the barrel. Ensure you clean the rear of the barrel and the notch (left red arrow above) – also, make sure the notch is lubed. These are simply friction points between the barrel, the frame, and mechanism of the handgun.
- The rail grooves on the slide – simply put a drop on each side and let it run down. Wipe off the excess. Again, this is a metal on metal friction point.
- Where the trigger bar and the connector meet – see the image below. This is the third friction point.
That’s it. Some people just use the same Breakfree while others use another lube like Lucas, M-Pro 7 or Hoppe’s. Take your pick.
What could be simpler? Four items to clean almost any handgun or rifle. Essentially, you wipe down the inside of the handgun with a cleaning patch that has a few drops of the fluid. You use the brass gun pick to get the hard to reach spots and you finish up with the cleaning snake which is passed through the gun’s barrel or bore a few times.
And, three points to lube – the front 1/3 of the barrel, the rail grooves, and where the trigger bar and the connector meet.
That’s it, it’s really that easy.
Wipe down with a rag and you’re done.
Here’s a link to Amazon’s lists that feature all four of the products for your purchase.
Keep your firearms clean, your life may depend on it.
Always be prepared, be well.