PART ONE: How To REALLY Clean A Glock Pistol
I think it safe to say - very safe to say! - that I always have the cleanest guns and bores on the line, everywhere I shoot. Awhile ago, one of our local, ‘commando-types’ heard me brag about this, walked up to me, and held out his hand for my pistol. (At the time a scrupulously clean G-21.) I smiled, lifted it out of the holster, dropped the magazine, pulled the slide back, looked at the chamber, and pointed the muzzle downrange. Then I pulled the trigger, double-racked the slide, and locked it open before finally handing the pistol to him.
(Because he and I, both, know that I carry in C-3, I didn’t really have to go through the entire clearing process as scrupulously as I did; but, because gun safety is gun safety, I paid him the added courtesy of fastidiously clearing the weapon right in front of him - Which is ALWAYS the right thing to do, anyway.)
After handing him my G-21 I knew I was in for it! Out comes his pocket light; and he starts looking down the barrel and spinning the pistol round and round as he squinted and stared. After about half a minute (The correct amount of time to carefully examine a bore for cleanliness.) he handed my pistol back to me with the begrudging comment, ‘Very nice!’ Because he knows that I shoot a lot I took this as an especial compliment to my gun cleaning skills. (If he’d been really smart he’d have used a sheet of Kleenex around the mag well and breech face, too - but, hey!)
Here’s a few things you can do to make cleaning any pistol barrel as easy as it’s ever going to be.
(1) Stop screwing around with ammonia-based cleaners like Hoppe’s #9 on your Glock, and begin using odorless, NICKEL-SAFE, gun cleaning products like: Ballistol (Which Glock polymer frames absolutely love!), Break-Free ‘CLP’, Flitz Metal Polish, or some such non-ammonia bore cleaner in order to clean your pistols. (There are a lot of other really excellent gun cleaning products out there!)
Contrary to what some internet, ‘gun experts’ think, Flitz Metal Polish will IN NO WAY harm your pistol’s bore or, at least, not within the next 20 or 30 years of regular use. I’ve got pistol barrels around here that have been in frequent use for more than 10 years and have had 1,000’s of plated and lead bullets through them. The bores? To the naked eye they still look new; and accuracy remains excellent - Better, in fact, than me!
(2) Do NOT use jag or slotted tips on any centerfire pistol barrel. Use only quality (cotton) patches, and be sure to wrap them tightly around your brush head, too. Nylon brush heads, like the one that comes with every new Glock, are OK to use; but, for a really dirty bore, nothing works better than a Hoppe’s phosphor-bronze brush head. As for Hoppe’s, ‘Tynex’? I like Tynex brushes much better than ordinary nylon.
(3) Before I start, ‘serious cleaning’ I’ll swab out the bore and, then, wipe off the entire exterior of the pistol with a cheap and gentle solution of pharmacy mineral oil and isopropyl alcohol that I mix up for my own use at a ratio of 2 to 14: Two ounces of 70% isopropyl alcohol to 14 ounces of mineral oil. (In my experience Glock polymer frames LOVE this mixture; and, you’d be surprised just how much really expensive Ballistol this practice ends up saving me throughout the year! My best guess? Almost two pints, and a good $25.00!)
(4) I always use a brush head and mineral oil patch to make a few initial, ‘wet passes’ BEFORE I start any serious cleaning. (This clears the, ‘heavy crud’ out of the bore prior to scrubbing.) On a really dirty barrel I’ll do the initial cleaning with a phosphor-bronze brush; otherwise, I’ll use either a Tynex or nylon brush - They’re fine for most bore cleaning chores.
Once I’m able to accurately assimilate the length of the required brush stroke into my arm’s reflex pattern, I put away the mineral oil, take out the serious cleaning chemicals, and begin to scrub really fast! While cleaning I apply extra pressure to the brush at the: north, east, south, and west points on the barrel’s interior wall. Often while doing this, I’ll also slowly index the entire barrel through the four cardinal points, as well.
(5) The first serious cleaning patches are coated with some sort of bore cleaner. Generally, and if I want to start cleaning immediately, I use Flitz metal polishing paste. If time isn’t important I’ll use a liquid bore cleaner like Ballistol or Break-Free; and, then, allow the barrel to sit, usually overnight, before I start any serious cleaning. While cleaning I alternate between wet and dry patches; and I keep this up until the dry patches begin to come out either only slightly gray, or - if I’m on a real cleaning, ‘kick’ - a clean bright white. THAT is a frigg ‘in clean barrel!
(CONTINUED IN PART TWO)