Gun MaintenanceGun SafetyShooting

How to Clean a Pistol Without Taking it Apart Safely

We acquire a pistol for a multitude of reasons. Shooting as a hobby entertains many of us while hunting in the wild is also a favorite pastime. Other people acquire a weapon for more practical reasons like protection or self-defense. Whatever your motives are for owning a gun, maintenance is an essential part of possessing one. Many are curious about how to clean a pistol without taking it apart.

The regular maintenance of a gun thorough cleaning will keep your firearm operating smoothly and prevent most of the common problems linked with poorly maintained firearms. This post will help you go through the cleaning process, and elaborate on why maintenance is so important.

There are many benefits to keeping your weapon clean. By doing so you also learn more about the mechanics of your firearm . By thoroughly cleaning a firearm internally, you will always have a well-functioning pistol that will last longer.

Cleaning a Pistol Will Help Avoid Any of These Issues

Residual Fouling Buildup

Every slug that goes thru your gun barrel produces a fouling residue. The bullet leaves behind fragments of carbon from the gunpowder, as well as tiny amounts of copper and lead. The build-up of these elements in the barrel will eventually affect your accuracy and potentially your handgun’s performance.

Rust and Corrosion

Many things can cause rust in handguns. It can begin inside, such as in the barrel, or externally, but by the time you see it on the outside, it is probably already very bad inside the handgun.

Storing it improperly and repeated outdoor use can both be causes for your handgun to corrode. These situations expose it to humidity and water in the air. Rusting ammunition could also cause the same to the inside of your barrel. Ammo has a primer that leaves salt residue when ignited, also resulting in rust.

Using excessive solvent without cleaning it out can also trigger pitting and rusting, as these chemicals are formulated to dissolve stubborn grime. Fortunately, you can prevent all of these things with regular cleaning and proper storage of your weapon. If you use corrosive ammo, it is advisable to clean it after each use.

Clean Your Pistol Without Taking It Apart

Failure to Fire

A failure to fire is a usual problem encountered with guns that do not get regular cleaning. If the weapon has excessive residue build-up, it may not fire a round of ammunition after pulling the trigger. It is a malfunction that is annoying on the shooting range, or even dangerous if you are in a self-defense situation. There is also the possibility that a live round could explode in the gun. A clean gun significantly reduces your odds of going thru a failure to fire or gun jam.

Incomplete Discharge

This happens when a round is fired but gets jammed inside the barrel of the weapon. IT occurs due to damage inside of the barrel or through residue buildup from previous rounds. Tying to fire another round in this situation can cause the gun to explode.

Failure to Feed or FTF

Oils or lubricants can get in parts it should not in a gun, especially if you excessively oil your firearm. If it sips into the parts that shift rounds from the magazine to the chamber, it may result in a failure to fire or FTF. What happens is the bullet never makes it to the chamber, even though activated. Regular cleaning will help you to avoid excessive or unnecessary lubrication. Avoiding this ensures the mechanisms are functioning as they should.

Failure to Eject or FTE

Failure to eject or FTE refers to the casing being stuck or jammed inside the barrel. It is an annoyance, but not as dangerous as the other two failures. This is also preventable with a regular cleaning routine.

How to Clean a Pistol Without Taking It Apart

Regular inspection and routinely cleaning your weapon will keep them functioning as they should and firing safely. Due to the tiny detonation in the chamber every time you fire it, sediment and residue are deposited inside of the barrel. This makes it compulsory to clean it regularly to prevent serious malfunctions.

Ideally, you should clean a gun every time you use it, such as after target range sessions when you are firing many rounds.

What You Need to Clean a Pistol Without Taking it Apart

First, before learning how to clean a pistol without taking it apart, you need to get a cleaning kit, if you do not already have one. You can buy a cleaning kit from a gun store or you could put one together with the requisite components. To begin you will need a few basic things to have in your list of cleaning supplies. A basic cleaning kit would have the following items.

  • A Torch or Flashlight (ideally head-mountable)
  • Swabs of Cotton
  • Microfiber Polishing Fabric
  • A Bore Brush
  • A Patch Holder and Patches
  • A Cleaning Rod
  • A Cleaning Nylon brush
  • A Good Cleaning Solvent
  • Gun Oil or Lubricant

If you’re a gun enthusiast, having a cleaning kit on hand is very important. Having a high quality cleaning kit will save you a lot of headaches and will ensure your pistol is in tip top shape all year round. You can find great gun cleaning kits here on Amazon.

Where to Clean Your Weapon

First, clean your gun where there is no one around, especially children. Accidents happen, and they are usually unpleasant when it comes to guns. Do not clean your gun in a room or area where there are other people.

Secondly, always clean your weapon in a well-ventilated place. Find a spot with good air circulation to clean your pistol. The solvent is toxic and can make you sick if inhaled. What’s more, the solvent and lubricant permeate an unpleasant odor if you clean your guns indoors.

Prepare the work surface by covering it with plastic bags, newspaper, or old towels. Better yet, why not go to the garage or any outside area and work on your guns on a bright, dry day to get them cleaned thoroughly.

Once you’ve found the perfect spot (preferably in your garage or workshop), you can start the gun cleaning process by moving on to the next part.

How to Prepare the Pistol For Cleaning Without Taking It Apart

It is now time to unload your gun of all ammunition. Take your time with this process. Double-check to be certain that it is fully unloaded every time you clean it. Always keep in mind that your gun may still have a round in the chamber ready to fire after you remove the magazine, so be sure to remove it.

To check the chamber, look through the barrel from back to front. Make sure that no bullet remains inside in the chamber, or jammed in the barrel. No gun is totally unloaded until you have visually confirmed this.

Clean Your Pistol Without Taking It Apart

How to Clean a Pistol Without Taking it Apart

Step 1: Clean the Barrel

Clean the barrel using the cleaning rod and patches. Infuse the bore with solvent using a cleaning rod, patch holder, and the right size cotton patches. Always work from the rear of the bore for safety. Employ the use of a muzzle guard which keeps the cleaning rod from hitting the muzzle, causing your gun to malfunction.

To effectively clean the barrel out, stick a solvent-soaked patch through the bore all the way to the other end. Remove the patch, but do not pull it back, as this will just return all the dirt you removed.

Step 2: Use the Bore Brush

Use the bore brush and patches alternately to fully clean the barrel. Take out the patch holder and attach the bore brush. Stick the bore brush back and forth through the entire length of the bore 3 or 4 times to remove stubborn grime. Afterward, put back the patch holder and drive solvent-wet cotton patches through the bore. Take them out when they exit the front.

Do this process until a patch comes out of the bore clean and with no sign of gunk. For good measure, stick a dry patch through to soak any solvent residue and look at it closely for any dirt left behind.

Step 3: Oil and Lubricate the Barrel

Now that you’ve made sure that the barrel is clean, you can start to oil or lubricate the barrel. Place the cotton mop to the cleaning rod and put a few drops of gun lubricant to the cotton mop. Drive it through the bore to leave a little coat of gun oil on the inside of the barrel.

Step 4: Clean and Oil the Action

After that, clean and oil the action with solvent. Place some solvent on the gun brush and brush all parts of the action. Be sure to wipe it dry with a clean fabric. Once dried of solvent, lubricate the moving parts of the action very modestly. This light coating keeps the parts moving smoothly and helps prevent rust. Too much lubrication gets grimy and attracts dust, so only use a light amount.

Step 5: Wipe your Pistol

Using a luster cloth, wipe the rest of the weapon. A luster cloth is usually a flannel fabric that comes pre-treated with a silicone lubricant, and this will be able to remove any remaining dirt, including acid from your body sweat. If you do not have such a fabric meant for cleaning guns, old cotton shirts can do the trick. You are nearly done with how to clean a pistol without taking it apart.

Step 6: Storage

Once you have finished the cleaning process, store your pistol unloaded in a cool and dry environment. To provide the longest life for your gun, do not store them in a place that is considerably affected by the elements. Ideally store them indoors, under temperature-regulated conditions. If you can afford it purchase trigger locks to keep your gun tamper and accident-proof.

You could also acquire hard or soft cases, but be careful, not all of them can or should be used to carry guns inside an airplane. If you need to store your guns for air travel, look up our article here on the best gun cases for air travel.

If you have a more generous budget, there are also locking gun cabinets and safes made specifically for storing firearms in a controlled and secure compartment. You can read our review on the best gun safes under 500 dollars here.

However, if you want to keep it inside your home, make sure that it’s stored in a safe and secure location. But, that location should also be accessible enough so that you can defend yourself during a home invasion. You can read our tips on how to store guns safely at home here, and read our article on home defense here.

In general, you should store your guns in a cool and dry environment that’s isolated from kids and also from dust to maximize their lifespan.

The Benefits of Regular Pistol Cleaning

Clean Your Pistol Without Taking It Apart

Proper and regular cleaning routines are relaxing and even therapeutic for many, and they help you prevent many common gun problems. These issues can affect everything from a bullet trajectory to your gun’s ability to fire at all. Instead of seeing these happen, keep your gun clean, healthy, and functioning with a simple regular cleaning routine.

Besides that, here are several benefits that you can get when you regularly clean your pistol

Familiarize Yourself with the Gun

Perhaps you are not the most gun-crazy person, and that is perfectly fine. However, you should at least be familiar with how your gun works. The best way to get familiar with your firearm and all its functioning is by cleaning it. The more you know about how your firearm operates the better you will be able to understand it when something malfunctions.

Increase Reliability of Your Weapon

Regular and proper maintenance keeps your pistol in great shape. Cleaning takes out residue and dirt from use and makes sure it can operate at its top performance. If you need your gun for security, it must get routine cleaning to make sure it will fire when needed.

Have a Longer Lasting Weapon

Firearms can last you decades, depending on how you care for them. A regular maintenance routine can considerably lengthen the life of your gun. How often you use it will dictate how frequently you should give it a thorough cleaning. Many owners clean their guns after every firing, while others do so every few months. Treat it well and it will do the same for you.

To have a durable gun all you have to do is clean it, lubricate it and store it properly. Handguns with wood grips could benefit from waxing or polishing. The more meticulous you are the fewer parts will ever need more attention.

Know the Benefits of Lubrication

One of the most vital aspects of gun maintenance and cleaning is oil and lubrication. There is a delicate line to lubricating your gun properly and not excessively. You must find the right balance between too much and too little oil. It will vary with every piece, and the more familiar you are with your weapon, the easier it will be to find that balance.

Over lubrication can easily happen with infrequent cleaning sessions. Too much oil depositing in parts of the handgun attracts particles and debris, even unburned powder and carbon fouling. If you keep oiling your weapon but rarely clean it, you could end up with the action jammed. Cleaning avoids this by allowing you to take out the dirty lubricant and replace it with new oils.

On the other hand, under lubrication is also bad for your pistol. The absence of lubricants could cause unnecessary friction in the action, causing premature wear and even internal damage.  Remember that the primary use of oil in your gun is to reduce friction and preserve the mechanisms that contact one another frequently.

Final Thoughts

As a gun owner, you should know how to use and maintain your gun. Hours in the shooting range may help you understand the characteristics of the gun. However, it will not teach you how to maintain that gun on a day-to-day basis so it’s performance will not degrade.

Hopefully, this article shines a light and is able to give you pointers on how to clean your pistol safely without taking it apart. After all, a clean and maintained pistol is sure to safe your life during emergency situations, you wouldn’t want it to jam during a tense shootout right?

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