By Kellene Bishop
No one can underestimate the importance of cleaning their firearms. However, I discovered the importance of this hard way—nearly the same way I realized that I was actually supposed to change the oil in my car as a 19-year-old. So, I thought I’d share a little bit of information with our readers on the cleaning of firearms—particularly how I clean my Glocks the lazy woman’s way—it’s my dirty little secret of cleaning guns.
The ONLY rule related to cleaning your firearms is to do so with safety in mind! Far too many foolish accidents have occurred because folks got careless in their safety checks prior to cleaning their guns. You should always check the chamber/magazine well for cartridges, in front of the primer pin, and down the barrel—looking down from the action port—not from the front of the barrel. All three of these checks should be visible by opening the action. You should NEVER look down the barrel of a gun—and if you do happen to, I hope you’re a quick shot. This is a necessary three-point check that I ALWAYS do prior to handling a firearm in the classroom. I do my three-point check, hand the firearm to my assistant who also does a three-point check, and then when they return the firearm to me I do the three-point check again—WITHOUT exception. The more famous occurrence of firearms instructor shooting himself in the leg while teaching elementary school kids about guns certainly NEVER would have happened if he had done the three-point check.
Other than the safety rule, there really aren’t any other hard and fast rules on cleaning guns. The bottom line is you’ve got to consult your owner’s manual. For example, you can actually gum up an AR 15 or an M 16 if you clean it too often. Also, if you clean firearms that have softer metal, such as the older Kimber 1911 models, then you will do some “wearing” damage as well. Some firearms should be cleaned after every couple of uses, some rifles should be cleaned after 20-50 rounds during the breaking in period. It really just depends on the type of gun it is. So please, please reference your owner’s manual.
Let me appeal to your womanly side of “yuck” for a moment to illustrate the importance of cleaning guns.
1) Just as you have to have your oil changed, you must clean your firearms in order for them to operate properly.
2) For the same reasons as you would never try to make whipped cream in your Kitchen Aid mixer that hasn’t been cleaned after making a batch of chocolate chip cookies, your gun must be kept clean.
3) Just as you would never rely on a dirty diaper to last you 4 hours, you should never entrust your life to a dirty gun. (Guys, I hope those of you who are reading this know that)
4) For the same reasons why you have to clean the hair out of the drain trap, you must clean your firearm.
OK. I think we’ve sufficiently covered that.
The oils, gases, and powder build-up in the action portion of the gun and down the barrel can even back up into the magazine well and prevent proper cycling of your cartridges. Couple that with the oils from your hands as well as the dust and dirt around, and you’ve got the makings of a useless tool when you need it most for self-defense. A dirty gun is useless. All firearms should definitely be cleaned prior to putting them in long-term storage.
One of my favorite cleaning kits is the Otis cleaning kits. I only say that because I KNOW that some of you will inevitably ask my preference.
OK. Glock alert. Here’s yet another reason why I love my Glocks. I believe that if you give a lazy man an easy job, they will always find an easier way to do it. And that is indeed the case when it comes to cleaning my Glocks. Are you ready for my dirty little secret of cleaning guns? I put them in the dishwasher!
Yup, you read that right. I put them in, all by themselves, with no soap or detergent of any kind. I let them run through a complete cycle and then oil them up afterwards while I’m watching Desperate Housewives or The Closer. Now you know my “dirty little secret” when it comes to cleaning guns.
CAUTION: The dishwasher method is NOT appropriate for any other firearms that I know of. So don’t attempt it.
Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved. You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.
Filed under: firearm education, firearms / guns, humor, women and guns Tagged: | clean your gun, cleaning firearm, cleaning guns, cop shot himself in the leg youtube, dirty little secret, glock, glocks in the dishwasher, gun safety, otis cleaning kits, preventative maintenance