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Old September 30, 2012, 10:35 PM   #1
Join Date: September 11, 2012
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Suggestion on cleaning

Hi all,

This weekend I got my first gun. SIG Sauer P229 Enhanced Elite, 9mm. So sweet... After shooting 150 ammo, I need to worry about cleaning..

I know these are dum questions, but it was my first time to clean firearms, so really need help.

1. I used Hoppe's No. 9 Solvents. After wiping the slide and barrel with Hoppe's No. 9 Solvents, I saw that everywhere I cleaned became very oily, so I tried to wipe out the oil, but I just can't. Is it supposed to be served as lubricate oil? Or should I still apply some grease or oil on top of it?

2 Also, I have noticed that Hoppe's No. 9 Solvents are toxic. Could you recommend something non-toxic?

3. I watch many youtube video about how to clean firearms. Those people seems only wipe the barrel and slide using cotton pads with one or two pass. Then threw the cotton pads away. The cotton pads were actually not quite dirty. Am I supposed to throw away the cotton pads that soon. I really shouldn't keep using it until they become very dirty?
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Old September 30, 2012, 11:55 PM   #2
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I use remmington bore oil? its in a 7oz bottle and removes lead build up.

As far as cleaning goes? I use tooth pic's/q-tips to get into the extractor and other areas I can't get with patches etc/or use a tooth pic to push the patch into area I can't get into.

Clean gun till no more blackness is on the patch, should be 0-5% dirty when done.

I don't use Hoppe's No. 9 unless I am shooting mosin nagant, because the ammo is corrosive. Smells like crap, thats why you should save that for corrosive stuff.

Get yourself some cotton white shirts, cut them into 8x8 or so and use those to wipe down your guns. I just spray my cleaning rag with some rem oil and wipe the surface after daily carry.

Most important to remove dirt from extractor, I use plastic teeth pic? you find it by dental floss. I cram a patch into the extractor and use the teeth pic to grid it and remove dirt/powered.

Anytime you handle a gun you should wipe it from oil/prints because it can cause spotting/bluing removal over time.
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Old October 1, 2012, 12:11 AM   #3
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1. A cleaning solvent may provide some very limited lubrication, but not enough to bank on. When the gun is clean, wipe the surfaces dry of solvent and apply a good gun oil per the manufacturer's instructions.

2. MPro-7 and Hoppes Elite are very good cleaners that are non-toxic and that have very little smell. After some experimentation, I use them for most of my gun cleaning needs.

3. I do a lot of my cleaning with paper towels--the blue "shop" paper towels make good cleaning rags and can be torn to size and used for patches too. You'll need paper towels that are fairly tough and you'll have to be careful getting a patch started to keep it from tearing.
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Old October 1, 2012, 12:14 AM   #4
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One special note for SIG PXXX series handguns is the use of grease on the rails. The slide is made of steel and the frame is aluminum, so excessive wear is possible. I use a product called Brian Enos Slid-Glide designed for this specific purpose. Just use enough to coat the rails and guides and be sure to remove any excess.
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Old October 1, 2012, 04:51 AM   #5
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Gunzilla is a barrel cleaner that is low odor and made from non-toxic materials. For a non-toxic cleaner / lube FrogLube is about as non-toxic as can be found.

I've tested Gunzilla against my long time cleaner Shooter's Choice with Kroil added (benchrest favorite among a number of shooters) - Gunzilla works as well at cleaning fouling from the barrel.

For removing leading, try Kroil and let it sit in the barrel for a couple of hours, in most cases the lead will push out with a copper brush, as the Kroil gets between the lead and barrel steel. For really bad leading, use a copper Chore Boy scrubber wrapped around the brush. Unroll the scrubber and roll some of it around the brush.

For copper - KG12 is no odor and works better than Hoppe's.

I use SLiP 2000 Extreme Weapons Grease (EWG) and Extreme Weapons Lube (EWL) as they are totally synthetic and have no odor.

The benefit to the SLiP lubricants is the wide operational temperature range. The EWG doesn't get stiff at low temperatures and impede slide function. You also use a miminal amount of lube - I take a Q-Tip and lightly wipe the rails with the grease. You should barely see the lubrication on the rails - it should be nor more than a thin coating that you have to turn the slide at an angle to a light to see.

Last edited by buckhorn_cortez; October 1, 2012 at 04:57 AM.
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Old October 1, 2012, 10:21 AM   #6
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I was about to post a LOOOOOONG response with my A-Z list including product suggestions.....but I will say this: defer to Hickok45's videos about Glock cleaning. I agree 100% and used his techniques to a T. Clean it dry, Ballistol, light oil on rails and barrel.

Before I knew what I was doing I used to way over-do the oil on all surfaces of the pistol including receiver. Most pistols prefer to run on the dry side.
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Old October 1, 2012, 11:37 AM   #7
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I don't use Hoppe's No. 9 unless I am shooting mosin nagant, because the ammo is corrosive. Smells like crap, thats why you should save that for corrosive stuff.
Hoppe's smells like crap?!


There are a lot of good solvents out there. Hoppe's and Shooter's Choice are a couple of my favorites. Clean according to the directions and put a light cost of oil on everything afterward.

For just a general cleaning I often just use Breakfree CLP for a dual purpose solvent and oil. Then every once in a while I'll scrub the bore with solvent to remove copper or lead fouling. But with what I shoot I don't get a lot of that.
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Old October 1, 2012, 12:33 PM   #8
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First of all, don't worry about cleaning. There is nothing in modern ammunition that will leave residue that is harmful to a firearm. The exception is with cast or swaged lead bullets which may cause some bore leading.

As for cleaning, clean the bore and chambers, wipe down the exterior and lightly oil. Do discard patches or oily rags, or else store them in a steel container to prevent spontaneous combustion.

As to solvents, I use Hoppe's No. 9, and have done so for over sixty years, see no reason to change now. As a final touch, I oild the gun rather heavily, then wipe it down with those blue paper shop towels from AutoZone or Home Depot.

The oil I use is a home brew of 50/50 (more or less) of automotive motor oil an Three-In-One machine oil. This has worked for me for many years, and hopefully, many years to come.

Bob Wright
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Old October 1, 2012, 01:16 PM   #9
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I'm in the ...clean it after every range trip camp yes, I'd clean it too...

Nothing wrong with Hoppes #9 ....or most any other solvents...there are lots of them out there ....but even the ones that don't smell a lot are still toxic..but you need something to get the copper fouling out of the barrel - take the carbon off the frame and barrel, etc..../ nothing wrong with using Hoppes #9 / although I primarily use Shooter's Choice products.

I prefer CLP Break Free a primary lube ...especially in any 9mm / I think grease is too heavy on the rails...

In general ....I spray or drip solvents into barrel / let it sit for a minute or so ...then run a bore brush thru barrel ...and then a couple of patches thru untill its clean...then a final patch with some oil...

drop some solvent on a patch ...or a Q tip -- or both - and clean the frame / inside of slide ...etc...( 3 or 4 patches and half a dozen Q tips will clean a gun for me ) ...Q tips - with a little solvent --- work a lot better on the breech face around the extractor...or inside the rail channels..or down into the crevices of the frame..

every other time - I take the grips off too --- and clean the area inside the mag well and under the grips.

lube outside of barrel / lube rails inside slide and area where barrel goes into slide.. and rails on frame...reassemble...

Last step I do spray the outside of the gun with WD-40 ....and then wipe the whole gun down with a good kitchen paper towel or shop towel - and put the gun back in the safe.

About every 3rd range trip ....I strip down the mags...and clean them inside as well - and the followers ...( no lube on the mags )...but wipe them clean.

Some Sigs are stainless frames and some are alloy frames...but in a 9mm --- I still only use Break Free to lube the rails.

Dispose of all patches ...and Q tips used ..../ I do leave an old terry cloth towel on my bench top - where I disassemble and clean all of my guns...when it gets nasty after 6 months or so ...I throw it out / use another towel ...( garage sale bath towels ) are cheap....

Lots of good DVD's out there on how to strip a Sig down to a bare frame ..if you like doing that sort of thing.....and personally, I do that about every 6 months on guns that I fire a lot ...once a year on guns I don't shoot that much ....clean, lube everything ...grease the hammer strut spring areas..and just in general, check for parts wearing..or anything that doesn't look right.

If you have a buddy that is more familiar with this stuff ...solicit their advice...

and just wash your hands good ..after you're done.../ while I might drink a soda ( in a can ) if I'm cleaning 3 or 4 guns on my bench ....I wouldn't want to be eating / or touch food with my hands while I was cleaning..

Last edited by BigJimP; October 1, 2012 at 01:49 PM.
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Old October 1, 2012, 01:32 PM   #10
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A little oily residue from the solvent is normal unless you use some kind of degreaser. It is not necessary but I use carb cleaner when doing a deep cleaning ( not very often and DON"T get on plastic) You should use a good oil to wipe it down after cleaning w/ the solvent. Don't worry about the toxicity unless you plan on drinking it or become a gunsmith and clean dozens of guns a day.
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Old October 1, 2012, 05:27 PM   #11
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Hoppe's #9 is not a lubricant, though it does leave a little oily feeling film left over after cleaning. You need a dry clean rag to wipe most of it off.

There are several non-toxic cleaners... even lubricants. (though not many "gun" lubricants that qualify as non-toxic)... KG-1 and MPro are very good non-toxic cleaners.

If you are cleaning a very dirty bore/barrel, there is no need to run the patch through only once and throw it away, a couple passes is fine. You do need to use a clean patch to verify cleanliness and then a clean patch to coat the bore with a little oil to protect it. (keep in mind to change the patch regularly... if you keep using a dirty patch, you may think the barrel is still dirty when it is not)

I wrote a cleaning how to, it may help. Here is the link.
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Old October 1, 2012, 05:45 PM   #12
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Saw where a guy recommends Mobil 1. Doesn't burn off from excessive heat. Maybe I'll try some
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Old October 1, 2012, 08:28 PM   #13
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It works pretty well... problem is it has additives that are toxic and absorb through the skin.
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Old October 1, 2012, 09:02 PM   #14
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I love the smell of Hoppe's in the smells like victory, and doubles as after shave...
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Old October 1, 2012, 09:13 PM   #15
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Also, I have noticed that Hoppe's No. 9 Solvents are toxic. Could you recommend something non-toxic?
In the last 25-30 years, our society has become ludicrously paranoid. These days, everything stronger than lemonade has a warning label.

I am 55 years old and have been using toxic solvents for my entire life. When I was a kid, our home was heated by heating oil, something close to kerosene. I used that to clean parts of motorcycles, lawn mowers, bicycles, etc...and later, cars, because that was what was available. Never thought a bit about being arms-deep in a bucket of that stuff.

When I served in the Navy, I would take fuel samples all day on aircraft fueled with 115/145 Avgas. I did this all day, every day for months...then I was transferred to the Powerplant shop, where I sunk my arms past the elbow into a vat of PD680 (aka Stoddard Solvent) to clean prop domes, oil filer elements and other parts...several times daily, for ~20 minutes at a time. My arms were white afterwards. Again, this was a daily deal.

I'm still alive and kicking, 35+ years later. I may drop dead any old day, but I don't spend too much time worrying about it.

I still work on cars, motorcycles and lawn equipment regularly, and I use brake cleaner, carb cleaner, and whatever else is necessary. Yes, I wear nitrile gloves, when I think of it. But if I don't, I don't stress out over it.

I have used Hoppes (and other solvents) to clean my guns as long as I have owned guns...and never worried about it. I never wear nitrile gloves...although perhaps I should.

I also handload by the thousand, and I wear nitrile gloves... when I think of it. I have my lead level checked each year when I get my physical and blood work done. So far, so good.

If you don't drink Hoppes straight, or eat lead SWCs by the dozen, I don't think that occasional exposure will do too much harm.

Just my opinion/experience. I am not a doctor or a lawyer, and YMMV.

Best regards, Rich
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Old October 1, 2012, 10:23 PM   #16
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If concerned about toxic chemicals, you can use nitrile gloves and make sure you're in a well-ventilated area when using.

I recently obtained a sample of Weapon Shield which is a CLP which does NOT contain toxic chemicals (note: BreakFree CLP has some toxicity issues). That's one reason I wanted to try it. A CLP Cleans, Lubricates, and Protects from rust and corrosion. I haven't had a chance to test it yet but Weapon Shield has a very good reputation. It has a good reputation as a lubricant (looks similar to a good 10W-30) and I've seen a couple of informal rust tests where it has held up very well. A CLP product should take care of everyday cleaning needs.
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Old October 1, 2012, 11:20 PM   #17
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I use Breakfree CLP and grease on the rails. I don't drink it so I guess it wont do me any harm. Clean after about 200 rounds(I shoot lead in everything except 9MM).
I do wipe the guns down anytime I shoot or handle them, silicon treated cloth.
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