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  #1  
Old 02-04-2006, 10:12 PM
lowflyinrabbit lowflyinrabbit is offline
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How do you clean your 1911?




Waiting for my first 1911 to come in this week and I'm just wondering how you guys like to clean your babies.
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2006, 11:50 PM
Powderman Powderman is offline
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After experimenting with a lot of 1911's over the years, I have settled on a three step maintenance program.

If the pistol is not fired, I will wipe it down once a week and punch the bore, first with two clean patches and one slightly oiled patch.

When I do fire, I field-strip. The grips are removed, and the whole lower goes into a Dunk-Kit, available from Cylinder and Slide. I tie a pipe cleaner to the mag well, and suspend it upside down in the solution.

The slide assembly gets fully disassembled; I pay special attention to the extractor tunnel and the extractor, as they seem to attract loads of carbon based goo. After cleaning the top end, I swish the lower receiver in the solution a few times, pull it out and let it drip-dry for an hour. A quick wipe down and re-lubrication is all that's needed, then it's back to the holster or the safe.

After roughly 500 rounds, I do a complete disassembly. Everything goes into the Dunk-Kit, and I do a detailed cleaning and lube.

An added tip: I was told by the guy who built my match pistols how to lube a 1911 properly. Here it is:

A light coat of oil on the outside of the barrel.
One small drop of oil in each of the barrel lug recesses.
One drop of oil on the "cradle", or frame bridge that supports the barrel.
One drop on the disconnector.
Two drops of oil inside each slide rail.
When assembled, cock the hammer. One drop of oil goes down the rounded radius of the hammer, to lube the sear and hammer hooks.

Works fine for me! By the way, I use Kano Microil, available from:

www.kanolaboratories.com

Good price, and an excellent lube for semi-auto handguns.
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  #3  
Old 02-05-2006, 08:14 PM
Excalibur Excalibur is offline
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Never used a dunk tank and doubt I ever will. Usually field strip if it has been just a copule hundred rounds but after a full range session I detail strip, clean all parts thoroughly with MPro7 and lube with FP10. I sue Brain Enos Slide Guide on the rails--it is unbelievably smooth.
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  #4  
Old 02-05-2006, 08:49 PM
Phoenix_III Phoenix_III is offline
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Powerman takes great care of his match pistols.

Most people will do just basic field maintenance, most of these weapons are toleranced to be dirty and work, i.e. combat weapons. However, having a combat or duty weapon that is thoroughly cleaned and maintained ain't too shabby either. =)
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  #5  
Old 02-05-2006, 09:58 PM
lowflyinrabbit lowflyinrabbit is offline
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How do you guys feel about putting a very light coat of oil inside the bore? I've heard a lot of different opinions on this.
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  #6  
Old 02-05-2006, 10:08 PM
Ineedacatscan Ineedacatscan is offline
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I do a very short spray of hoppes down the bore and run a patch though the bore. After shooting the grime wipes right off . Seems like a nice insurance policy against scrubbing.

I use gunbutter for the lube points. Works wonderfully.

Last edited by Ineedacatscan; 02-05-2006 at 11:57 PM.
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  #7  
Old 02-06-2006, 08:22 AM
Chargar Chargar is offline
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I see no need to detail strip the pistol as a part of regular cleaning. I field strip the pistol and...

1) clean the barrel with a good bore solvent..I use Ed's Red
2) With an old toothbrush, I clean the breach face, under the extractor,
feed ramp, rails (frame and slide) top of frame, lug recesses in the slide,
barrel lugs, and bushing. I use Ed's Red on the toothbrush for all of this
3) I use pipe cleaners to clean and dry the rails, slide and frame
4) wipe all excesses Ed's Red
5) Relube with Starrett Tool and Instrument oil. I put a couple of drops in
each rail, a thin coat on the barrel, a drop on the disconnector, a drop
on the bottom of the slide where the disconnector rides, and a drop
between from of the hammer and frame.

A 1911 will go many thousands of rounds with this level of maintainence. More firearms have been damaged by folks with a clean fetish than by normal use.

If my pistol get's wet or full of dirt and grit, I will take it down all the way to the frame, but this is not necessary to do as a result of normal firing.

This method has served me well for 40 years with several dozen 1911 pistols.
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  #8  
Old 02-06-2006, 08:28 AM
Chargar Chargar is offline
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I see no need to detail strip the pistol as a part of regular cleaning. I field strip the pistol and...

1) clean the barrel with a good bore solvent..I use Ed's Red
2) With an old toothbrush, I clean the breach face, under the extractor,
feed ramp, rails (frame and slide) top of frame, lug recesses in the slide,
barrel lugs, and bushing. I use Ed's Red on the toothbrush for all of this
3) I use pipe cleaners to clean and dry the rails, slide and frame
4) wipe all excesses Ed's Red
5) Relube with Starrett Tool and Instrument oil. I put a couple of drops in
each rail, a thin coat on the barrel, a drop on the disconnector, a drop
on the bottom of the slide where the disconnector rides, and a drop
between from of the hammer and frame.

A 1911 will go many thousands of rounds with this level of maintainence. More firearms have been damaged by folks with a clean fetish than by normal use.

If my pistol get's wet or full of dirt and grit, I will take it down all the way to the frame, but this is not necessary to do as a result of normal firing.

This method has served me well for 40 years with several dozen 1911 pistols.
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  #9  
Old 02-06-2006, 08:45 AM
mr white mr white is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowflyinrabbit
How do you guys feel about putting a very light coat of oil inside the bore? I've heard a lot of different opinions on this.
This would be a good thing do. However, run a dry patch through before shooting to avoid pressure build up in the barrel. A high end 1911 maker told me this years ago.
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  #10  
Old 02-06-2006, 10:01 AM
Tempest Tempest is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowflyinrabbit
How do you guys feel about putting a very light coat of oil inside the bore? I've heard a lot of different opinions on this.
I always wet patch my bore after cleaning. Helps prevent rust, and can make cleaning the next time easier (depending on the oil). Don't worry about the pressure thing. I have shot my AR more than once with a recently wet patched bore without any problems. A 5.56 round will develop much more pressure than any 1911 will.

As far as cleaning, use a good cleaner (Mpro7 or MC25) and a good oil (I like Eezox, but FP-10 is very good) and you will be set.
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  #11  
Old 02-06-2006, 10:24 AM
ken_mays ken_mays is online now
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My 1911 cleaning is pretty basic.

First thing I do is detail strip. I leave the grips on for routine cleaning.

Then, I use a bronze brush with some Blue Wonder bore cleaner. About 10 passes with the brush then I set it aside to work.

I use patches and FP-10 to wipe down the slide & frame. Depending on how filthy the gun is, I may have to use a toothbrush to clean the breechface. I make sure to dry the breechface as best I can -- you don't want any oil there.

Wipe down the outside of the magazines with FP-10.

Then the barrel gets patches pushed through it until all fouling is gone, then I'll run through a patch with a little FP-10 on it, followed by a dry patch to soak up the excess. I do this because the bore cleaner removes all traces of oil, and I feel better once the bore is re-oiled. Then I clean the rest of the barrel, making sure to get the crown clean.

I reassemble the gun, placing a drop of FP-10 on the following surfaces:

Upper lugs
Lower lugs / link
Frame rails
Barrel bushing

I cycle the gun several times to distribute the lube, then use a rag to go over the gun to dry it off.

This process leaves a light coat of oil on all interior surfaces, a medium coat of oil on the slide rails & barrel lugs, and a very thin coat of oil in the bore and on the outside of the gun.
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  #12  
Old 02-06-2006, 11:14 AM
Ol` Joe Ol` Joe is offline
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I always wet patch my bore after cleaning. Helps prevent rust, and can make cleaning the next time easier (depending on the oil). Don't worry about the pressure thing. I have shot my AR more than once with a recently wet patched bore without any problems. A 5.56 round will develop much more pressure than any 1911 will.
I`m not a expert or pro but I have heard of barrels "ringing" from too much oil on other sites from it. Oil doesn`t compress agead of the bullet and can act as a solid in your bore. You are right the 223 does develope ~ 5 times the psi of a 45acp, more reason you don`t want a bore obstruction of any kind, and liquids of any type can be obstructions. The damage isn`t always readily noticable or a blown gun. A light coat of oil hurts nothing, but one should IMO make a habit of dry patching a wet bore before shooting if at all possible. I wet patch then run a dry patch every time I clean. This leaves some protection from rust but the bore is far from oily.

BTW, I once heard from a "smith" that the major cause of barrel ringing "HE" found was caused by people takeing their rifles out in the cold hunting, and then bringing them inside a warm place for lunch. (car, cabin, ect) They go back out and the little bit of moisture that condensed in the barrel freezes and when they shoot at that buck, pressures spike. Some times the bolts will lock up hinting at the event. I don`t know if it`s true but I have no reason to doubt him.............
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  #13  
Old 02-06-2006, 11:42 AM
farnorth farnorth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chargar
I see no need to detail strip the pistol as a part of regular cleaning. I field strip the pistol and...

1) clean the barrel with a good bore solvent..I use Ed's Red
2) With an old toothbrush, I clean the breach face, under the extractor,
feed ramp, rails (frame and slide) top of frame, lug recesses in the slide,
barrel lugs, and bushing. I use Ed's Red on the toothbrush for all of this
3) I use pipe cleaners to clean and dry the rails, slide and frame
4) wipe all excesses Ed's Red
5) Relube with Starrett Tool and Instrument oil. I put a couple of drops in
each rail, a thin coat on the barrel, a drop on the disconnector, a drop
on the bottom of the slide where the disconnector rides, and a drop
between from of the hammer and frame.

A 1911 will go many thousands of rounds with this level of maintainence. More firearms have been damaged by folks with a clean fetish than by normal use.

If my pistol get's wet or full of dirt and grit, I will take it down all the way to the frame, but this is not necessary to do as a result of normal firing.

This method has served me well for 40 years with several dozen 1911 pistols.

I have heard before but fail to understand how "More firearms have been damaged by folks with a clean fetish than by normal use." What exactly am I missing in this statement. Thanks, Greg
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  #14  
Old 02-06-2006, 01:10 PM
Tempest Tempest is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol` Joe
I`m not a expert or pro but I have heard of barrels "ringing" from too much oil on other sites from it. Oil doesn`t compress agead of the bullet and can act as a solid in your bore. You are right the 223 does develope ~ 5 times the psi of a 45acp, more reason you don`t want a bore obstruction of any kind, and liquids of any type can be obstructions. The damage isn`t always readily noticable or a blown gun. A light coat of oil hurts nothing, but one should IMO make a habit of dry patching a wet bore before shooting if at all possible. I wet patch then run a dry patch every time I clean. This leaves some protection from rust but the bore is far from oily.

BTW, I once heard from a "smith" that the major cause of barrel ringing "HE" found was caused by people takeing their rifles out in the cold hunting, and then bringing them inside a warm place for lunch. (car, cabin, ect) They go back out and the little bit of moisture that condensed in the barrel freezes and when they shoot at that buck, pressures spike. Some times the bolts will lock up hinting at the event. I don`t know if it`s true but I have no reason to doubt him.............
The freezing water in bore theory I will buy. But, a healthy coating of low temp oil on all metal surfaces should reduce or prevent water from sticking to metal in the first place. This is the basis of how oil prevents rust. I will qualify though that I live in a dessert and guns freezing up is not a problem here. I would recommend a muzzle cover in both situations though.

If one were to simply dump or spray a bunch of oil down the bore to the point where droplets form, I could definitely see a problem. However, even in this condition, the air in front of the bullet has a good chance at clearing most it out of the way first. Even if there is significant oil remaining, it may spread out or flatten under the bullet. This has nothing to do with compression. Oil will not compress in a closed system (as in hydraulics), but it will flatten to several millionths of an inch if it has somewhere to go. This is why it is able to get into the micro cracks in the surface of metals.

Wet patching does not leave droplets, but instead a very thin, even layer of oil on all parts of the metal. I highly doubt that the layer is even .0001".

Also, remember that even after your first shot there will be significant deposits of carbon/copper/lead left in your barrel. These deposits get worse and worse as more rounds are fired. These types of deposits will not readily flatten or move out of way and will stay in your bore (that's why we have to clean in the first place!) continually reducing effective bore diameter.

I have pulled chunks of lead out of my .44 Mag that were half the size of my thumbnail and thick enough that they stayed together after I pulled them off the brush. I closely inspected the bore after it was clean...no problems.

So in short, I think oil in the bore is an over rated problem.
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  #15  
Old 02-06-2006, 01:41 PM
ken_mays ken_mays is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farnorth
I have heard before but fail to understand how "More firearms have been damaged by folks with a clean fetish than by normal use." What exactly am I missing in this statement. Thanks, Greg
Overzealous and incautious use of a cleaning rod can damage the muzzle. This is probably the most commonly seen damage due to improper and frequent cleaning.

Though I personally feel that far more firearms are damaged due to neglect than are damaged by cleaning.
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  #16  
Old 02-06-2006, 01:53 PM
Chargar Chargar is offline
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Greg..I am certain you don't injury your firearms by what you do..so there is nothing personel in this.

Many years ago (in the mid-50's) I read an article in Gun's Digest entitled "Love Those Guns, But Not to Death". It stated that very few firearms are truly "worn out", firearms come to their death through neglect or over cleaning. The subsequent years have proved to me the truth of that assertion. I have seen all sort of firearms that have been damaged in one way or another by folks with screwdrivers, punches and cleaning rods.

If you have ever taken a look at a batch of old Garands that were issued to barracks bound troops and see how they have been scrubbed and scrubbed getting ready to stand weapons inspection you will see what I mean. In the days when a speck of lint or dust could get you "stuck" for a dirty weapons, the poor rifles were cleaned to death.

Many long years ago, I was deep into Bullseye pistol shooting. With a high dollar 1911 that had been over the bench of Bob Chow or Jim Clark, you had to be more careful with cleaning. Those close fitting parts could size up with enough grit costing you a leg of the match.

However, I am still going to stick by my guns (pardon the metaphor) about there being no need to detail strip the average 1911 as a part of normal cleaning.

I see all kinds of people with the pistols and they just love to get at them with screwdrivers, punches and rods, often without reason and more often without skill. I try to discourage pistol abuse whenever possible. There might be some subsequent owner who would appreciate it.

Handle enough firearms and look with a careful eye and you will soon see firearms showing the effects of "over-care".

Take care and keep em in the X-Ring
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  #17  
Old 02-06-2006, 02:01 PM
Chargar Chargar is offline
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Ol' Joe...I don't buy the oil in the barrel ringing thingie. You can fire a 1911 or any other firearms under water with no ill effect. Effective range is somewhat limited, but other than the bath, no damage is done to the firearms.

Before stainless steel barrel, it was common practice in Africa and other humid places to keep a light coat of oil in the barrel. This oil can throw the first round a mite off point of aim but that is a small matter most of the time.

I do buy the ice in the barrel causing problems as ice is a solid, like stuck bullet, mud wasp nest and a host of others solid barrel obstructions that has caused problems in the past. But a liquid, even a viscous one like oil..I don't buy it.
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  #18  
Old 02-06-2006, 02:23 PM
Primer Pocket Primer Pocket is offline
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I'm sure that most people will hate to hear this, but I try to clean my 1911 as little as possible. Right out of the box I think that the guns need to be complete dissassembled and all parts should get a light coat of oil and the bore brushed or scrubbed clean. After that if I am not going to carry the gun or shoot a match I clean them when they get to the point of not wanting to operate correctly or becoming slughish. As for the barrel I don't clean them hardly at all. I will run a dry patch through them every now and then, but only scrub the lead out every 2-3000 rounds. My guns seem to shoot better groups with leaded barrels compared to clean ones. When I must clean I field strip and blast away with brake cleaner. Re-oil and go again for a 1000 rounds or more. I truly believe more guns get messed up by people cleaning them than any thing else.
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Old 02-06-2006, 02:37 PM
BillD BillD is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Primer Pocket
I'm sure that most people will hate to hear this, but I try to clean my 1911 as little as possible. Right out of the box I think that the guns need to be complete dissassembled and all parts should get a light coat of oil and the bore brushed or scrubbed clean. After that if I am not going to carry the gun or shoot a match I clean them when they get to the point of not wanting to operate correctly or becoming slughish. As for the barrel I don't clean them hardly at all. I will run a dry patch through them every now and then, but only scrub the lead out every 2-3000 rounds. My guns seem to shoot better groups with leaded barrels compared to clean ones. When I must clean I field strip and blast away with brake cleaner. Re-oil and go again for a 1000 rounds or more. I truly believe more guns get messed up by people cleaning them than any thing else.
Agreed.
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Old 02-06-2006, 08:29 PM
farnorth farnorth is offline
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Cleaning

Chargar: No offence taken, it's tough to get my panties in a wad . I didn't understand how cleaning could damage a firearm (or a cars engine.....), but yes, doing it wrong will and does cause much damage to both. There is a BIG difference in doing it right and doing it wrong. I have a three tier shelf in the shop and an extra large ( five drawer & the top) tackle box dedicated to cleaning utensils and supplies. Even went so far as to acquire the Hawkeye borescope system to really know what's going on in a barrel and when it's really clean. I'm not a chemist or scientist, but I know when you have dissimilar metals, powder fouling and moisture you effectivly have a battery in your barrel. This is why at a minimum I clean the barrel after each shooting session. I do agree that a detail strip and cleaning is not necessary after each firing, but if done correctly wouldn't cause any harm. I guess what it boils down to is with the right tools and a little care, cleaning can be fun (Doesn't that sound like one of those black and white films we used to watch in school?).
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Old 02-06-2006, 08:31 PM
farnorth farnorth is offline
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Cleaning

Chargar: No offence taken, it's tough to get my panties in a wad . I didn't understand how cleaning could damage a firearm (or a cars engine.....), but yes, doing it wrong will and does cause much damage to both. There is a BIG difference in doing it right and doing it wrong. I have a three tier shelf in the shop and an extra large ( five drawer & the top) tackle box dedicated to cleaning utensils and supplies. Even went so far as to acquire the Hawkeye borescope system to really know what's going on in a barrel and when it's really clean. I'm not a chemist or scientist, but I know when you have dissimilar metals, powder fouling and moisture you effectivly have a battery in your barrel. This is why at a minimum I clean the barrel after each shooting session. I do agree that a detail strip and cleaning is not necessary after each firing, but if done correctly wouldn't cause any harm. I guess what it boils down to is with the right tools and a little care, cleaning can be fun (Doesn't that sound like one of those black and white films we used to watch in school?). Greg

sorry bout the double post
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Last edited by farnorth; 02-06-2006 at 08:36 PM.
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  #22  
Old 02-07-2006, 08:58 AM
mr white mr white is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farnorth
Chargar: No offence taken, it's tough to get my panties in a wad . I didn't understand how cleaning could damage a firearm (or a cars engine.....), but yes, doing it wrong will and does cause much damage to both. There is a BIG difference in doing it right and doing it wrong. I have a three tier shelf in the shop and an extra large ( five drawer & the top) tackle box dedicated to cleaning utensils and supplies. Even went so far as to acquire the Hawkeye borescope system to really know what's going on in a barrel and when it's really clean. I'm not a chemist or scientist, but I know when you have dissimilar metals, powder fouling and moisture you effectivly have a battery in your barrel. This is why at a minimum I clean the barrel after each shooting session. I do agree that a detail strip and cleaning is not necessary after each firing, but if done correctly wouldn't cause any harm. I guess what it boils down to is with the right tools and a little care, cleaning can be fun (Doesn't that sound like one of those black and white films we used to watch in school?). Greg

sorry bout the double post

Nothing wrong with cleaning after each use and this exersise will only extend the life of your pistol not shorten it. Dirt is abrasive. Why would anyone want that?

Barrel cleaning is another subject. I like to clean my Kart barrel the best I can and with out turning this process into an extended one. Sometimes I leave a little debris but as the Barrel breaks in it seems with this barrel it take's less time and patches to clean.

Shooting FMJ only, I am down to about 5 patches for approx. 90% clean after shooting about 300 rounds.

Only fresh phosBronz brushes and hoppes #9 is needed for this amount of clean. And only run the cleaning rods from the chamber end. (as most of you already know)

Care should be taken not to crash or bounce the rod on the barrel's crown. As the rod exits the crown end of the barrel I catch the rod between my thumb and finger.

When finished I soak the pistol in Breakfree and before shooting wipe down and check the barrel and dry patch it to remove excess CLP only if needed.

Excess CLP will run out of the barrel/pistol over time and a small amount of evaporation of the carrier fluid will occour. But CLP is good stuff and leaves behind a dry slippery protective film.
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  #23  
Old 02-07-2006, 10:46 AM
Scot in Vegas Scot in Vegas is offline
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I notice most of you only use oil. I have both Wilson grease and oil. Is it better to just use oil and no grease?
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  #24  
Old 02-07-2006, 12:50 PM
ken_mays ken_mays is online now
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A decent oil is all you really need for the 1911. There's nothing wrong with grease, though, other than its performance in low temperatures. I know plenty of folks who grease the slide rails and I have done it a time or two myself, but it isn't strictly necessary.
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  #25  
Old 02-07-2006, 03:55 PM
mitchp420 mitchp420 is offline
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cleaning

i prefer to do a quick field strip, blow off all the junk with brake clean run a few patches down the barrel and re lube and wipe down every where the brake clean touched or got close to i prefer break free clp. but for the frame rails and the slide i prefer mobil aw-2 industrial grease it turns the action into silk even in the cold
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