Saturday, May 07, 2005

Gun cleaning & parts

I got some mail from a guy about the subject of cleaning tools, so I thought I'd put down some few words on that subject.

Taking this as though the reader hasn't done this stuff before, you will first need a cleaning rod. This can be an inexpensive takedown rod-usually with some different rod tips- from Wally-World, or one of the truly fine tools at this link. Generally, for use at home you're better off with a 1-piece rod, but a takedown is very handy to have along at the range, just in case.

If the kit you pick up doesn't have one, or you just buy the rod, get a cleaning jag and brushes, too. They'll probably have them where you get the rod, and you'll probably need both. And some good bore cleaner and/or a CLP type lubricant(cleaner-lubricant-protectant). And some patches, though you can cut up an old t-shirt for those(that's what I do). The jags can be had in plastic or brass, I prefer brass. Brushes come in nylon, brass or bronze, and stainless steel. I use either plastic or bronze; I've heard both good and bad about the stainless ones, but I don't like the idea of putting a steel brush through a bore.

If your firearm is a type that has to be cleaned from the muzzle, or if you'll be doing something that requires running a patch down from the front, get a muzzle guard; it'll keep the rod from dinging the rifling at the crown, which is a Bad Thing for accuracy.

Over time you'll need screwdrivers, and it the long run it pays to get good ones. They only cost a little more, and they'll work better & last longer. I've got one of the Chapman kits; it has a handle, and extension, a ratchet you can put on the bit or extension for extra torque, and a good selection of bits, worth every penny.

If you decide to go beyond cleaning to real work on guns, two things you'll need will be a good set of punches and a hammer. A small 4-ounce ball peen hammer will work fine, though I've got a 2-ounce I found at a flea market that's wonderfully handy. The punch set I have now is eight pieces, half bras and half steel, from 1/16" diameter up, and it cost about $4 at a hardware store. For most things I've done, they work great.

A couple of utility cleaning brushes are handy. These, like the bore brushes, can be had in nylon, brass and steel bristles; I only use the nylon or brass on firearms, but if you had some really caked-on crud on a piece, the steel might be better to get it off; it is more likely to scratch, though.

If you really get into it, you can add all sorts of stuff to this list; a pad for the tabletop, maybe a fold-up table just for cleaning("No, I'm not cleaning guns on the dining table!"),one of the Outers FoulOut cleaners I mentioned before, and so forth.

Where to get them? Midway(see the links above) and Brownells are both good places to order from. Local hardare and sporting goods stores will carry much if not all of this stuff, and there's always the gun shows. I've gone to shows specifically for some of this stuff a few times. Corrosion-X and Eezox, if you want them, you'll probably have to order, though they can sometimes be found at a show; Break Free is found all over the place. Note: Eezox is excellent for lubing a folding knife; clean the pivot area thoroughly and then use a drop or two. The carrier evaporates and leaves a dry lube behind, that doesn't pick up dust.

Next post I'll cover my general cleaning methods.


og said...

This isn't very damned manly, so I have some trouble even mentioning it, but there is no more perfect gun cleaning surface than an old ironing board. You can hinge on a couple blocks of wood with padded Vee's to hold a rifle, and wrap the top in thick cloth. You can also wire tie a piece of 2" PVC pipe to one side, with one end of the pipe capped and the other end fitted with a screw off cap, which does an excellent job of holding my $90 cleaning rod. And you can take this to the range.

Firehand said...

Manly or not, that's a damn good idea!