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M.C.
09-19-2011, 7:09 AM
Has anyone ever heard of cleaning a gun too much?

I wouldn't think you could over-clean a gun, but a buddy of mine told me this the other day.

As long as your rifle isn't perpetually sitting in a vat of CLP, you're ok. Am I way off on this?

P.Charm
09-19-2011, 7:12 AM
never heard of such a thing; what was the reasoning?

Bhobbs
09-19-2011, 7:15 AM
Over cleaning can cause issues if you are doing it wrong. You can destroy the crown of the barrel and ruin what ever accuracy potential your rifle had for example.

P.Charm
09-19-2011, 7:43 AM
Over cleaning can cause issues if you are doing it wrong. You can destroy the crown of the barrel and ruin what ever accuracy potential your rifle had for example.

wouldn't that be handling issue, not a cleaning issue.

for example, I never clean my rifle >10,000 rounds but carry it twirl it like a baton, throw it off my roof to show how 'tough' it is.

my point is, over cleaning isn't going to cause destruction of the crown, would it?

CK_32
09-19-2011, 8:20 AM
Nope never heard such a thing.

Josh3239
09-19-2011, 8:20 AM
From what I hear (I don't ship till January) the M16s in basic training aren't all beaten to hell because they have been in service for a few decades. It is Privates who are drastically overcleaning to avoid getting in trouble. Now a steel cleaning rod with a steel brush isn't wearing the barrel as much as a metal bullet traveling down the bore a few thousand FPS, but doing it a crap load of times is going to eventually cause wear. Being too aggressive with cleaning can destroy or atleast wear down to a certain degree protective finishes. Additionally, the people who use "cleaning tools" like a pick scare me. Though there are exceptions, my thought process is if it takes more than 30 minutes and you are using anything more than lube and/or cleaner, cleaning rod and/or boresnake, q-tip, tooth brush, and a rag/patches/etc you are probably over cleaning.

M.C.
09-19-2011, 8:21 AM
never heard of such a thing; what was the reasoning?

Chemicals messing with the action or something like that. Like I said, it didn't make sense to me; not like we are cleaning with hydrochloric acid :D

Josh3239
09-19-2011, 8:25 AM
Chemicals messing with the action or something like that. Like I said, it didn't make sense to me; not like we are cleaning with hydrochloric acid :D

There are chemicals that can harm protective finishes and the plastics that are becomes more and more popular on guns. Things like furniture or magazines for example.

coyotebait
09-19-2011, 8:30 AM
Supposedly, if you clean a 22 barrel, removing the lead hurts accuracy. I've never seen it to be true but that's the rumor.

someR1
09-19-2011, 9:11 AM
I doubt you can "overclean". It would take a LONG time to "ruin" the barrel or other parts from "too much" chemical damage. If you clean it for 12 hours every day for your entire life, you might cause damage :rolleyes:

Josh3239
09-19-2011, 9:59 AM
:facepalm: No one is suggesting you will kill a barrel by cleaning it in one session or even a few. Improper methods can hurt it worse than shooting. Overcleaning will decrease the life of it. Do you think that running a steel rod with a steel wire brush down the barrel will cause zero wear? Obviously it will, just not the wear that amounts to something like 20,000 rounds. How long do you think protective finishes that only resist carbon and corrosion can resist chemical cleaners?

It is just ironic that people spend hours cleaning with chemical cleaners, pointy tools, and expensive gimmicky "tools" to get carbon out and then pat themselves on the back when all that cleaning ends up doing more damage than the presence of a little carbon. In fact, can anyone prove to me the presence of a little carbon will harm your rifle?

I doubt you can "overclean". It would take a LONG time to "ruin" the barrel or other parts from "too much" chemical damage. If you clean it for 12 hours every day for your entire life, you might cause damage :rolleyes:

m03
09-19-2011, 11:21 AM
I'd be wary of advice from that particular buddy ;)

diego-ted
09-19-2011, 11:25 AM
A very experienced, well respected member will not even run a nylon brush down his bore, let alone a bronze or brass one. Nothing but patches!!

diego

jetspeedz
09-19-2011, 11:27 AM
Never heard of such a thing, I clean my guns everytime i come back from the range, some might consider that over cleaning but I like my guns clean and use friendly chemicals and cleaning products that do not generally strip or take off coatings. cheers

palakaboy
09-19-2011, 12:00 PM
I once spent 72 hours trying to get my m4 spotless for our drill sergeants. Josh 3239- watch out for this- it may be an indicator that they have nothing left to cover, depending on what your MOS is you might end up with a pretty new M4 (we were issued brand new ones in oct 09 in fort knox)or a stupid old silver colored m16. point is, once it's clean- just look busy to kill some time. No amount of cleaning is gonna save you from a jam from the reloads used during quals- you might wanna brush up on speed reloads in the prone and kneeling position.

I don't think that over cleaning is possible, but cleaning rifles the wrong way is extremely possible.
We were never able to get those things spotless, and we had CLP stuck on our fingers for a while.

FLIGHT762
09-19-2011, 12:05 PM
Cleaning from the muzzle end with a steel rod can and does wear/damage the crown. That is why you see Mosins and Garands that are counterbored.

Over cleaning the barrel improperly even from the action end can cause erosion on the crown.

L/R shooters with expensive barrels are careful not to drag the back through the bore when cleaning. Over cleaning and improper cleaning will damage the crown. Sometimes, they will cut 2" off the barrel and re-crown it to get rid of the eroded area.

M.C.
09-19-2011, 12:32 PM
I'm not saying I am compelled to clean my rifle every week. I do clean after each trip to the range, but I don't ever anticipate damaging my rifle because I clean after shooting.

Nor am I saying a little carbon is going to ruin the rifle. A little carbon adds character :D

This bring said... the advise from my buddy will most definitely be taken with a grain of salt.

adamsreeftank
09-19-2011, 1:02 PM
Depending on what type of cleaning tools you use, and how you use them, you may cause some wear and tear on your gun, and over time it may have an effect.

Some people say only use a coated rod since a steel rod may cause wear in your barrel. Others say never use a coated rod since it can get impregnated with particles that will cause more wear than a steel rod.

Some people use bronze brushes. Others only use Nylon. Others don't use any.

One of the only things almost everyone agrees on is that the screw-together sectional cleaning rods can cause wear if used from the muzzle without a crown protector.

MrPlink
09-19-2011, 1:12 PM
Unless we are talking match grade precision rifles for competition and you only fire off a couple hundred rounds at the range and feel compelled to clean your rifle in and out you are over-doing it. Even for a "more sensitive" design, like an AR.
You can definitely over clean. Brushes in your bore (chamber is a bit different) after every range trip is not likely to destroy your bore immediately, but its def not a good practice, and above all else not needed.

if you have an incredibly dirty bore that has been sitting arround forever with super heavy carbon build up, that won't come out with solvent and patches, then by all means pull out a brush.

mdimeo
09-19-2011, 9:50 PM
Supposedly, if you clean a 22 barrel, removing the lead hurts accuracy. I've never seen it to be true but that's the rumor.

Most .22LR has waxy coatings, which builds up in the barrel over a number of shots until it reaches an equilibrium level, after which the accuracy settles down. Cleaning it isn't going to hurt the barrel, but it's not going to shoot the same until you've put enough rounds downrange.

You'll notice the same effect when you switch brands. Your first impression will be "this stuff sucks!", then it'll settle down. Then you'll go back to the old brand and it'll suck too, and you'll think you're losing your mind.

Then someone explains what's happening (the above), and it all makes sense. :)

I don't clean my .22 barrels, but I'm not a group size fetishist.

Reductio
09-19-2011, 10:01 PM
In a slightly different sense than the posts above, it's completely possible to over-clean. Example: My glock and shotgun are pretty dirty right now. I don't clean them after range trips as they are my HD weapons. I don't want to ever be in that situation and find out I somehow put the trigger group in wrong, or jammed something up or whatever. HD weapons are cleaned right before the range, shot a bunch to make sure they're still functional, then brought back home and loaded condition 3 and ready to go.

captbilly
09-19-2011, 10:26 PM
wouldn't that be handling issue, not a cleaning issue.

for example, I never clean my rifle >10,000 rounds but carry it twirl it like a baton, throw it off my roof to show how 'tough' it is.

my point is, over cleaning isn't going to cause destruction of the crown, would it?

To be clear, it really isn't so much overcleaning, as it is improper cleaning, but you definitely can ruin a barrel (crown or throat, even rifling) by excessively rough or careless cleaning. You should not reverse the direction or the barrel brush when passing the crown. You shouldn't leave copper cleaner in the barrel. You should always use a bore guide. If you are careful then it is hard to imagine actually damaging the crown, but if you are going to be careless then you would be better off just leaving the barrelmallone

luckystrike
09-20-2011, 12:17 AM
I'd take one of those "stupid grey colored M16s" over an M4. No such thing as over cleaning, wearing off the crown from "cleaning" would be leaning more towards abuse.

darkest2000
09-20-2011, 1:02 AM
only if you're doing it wrong.

MrPlink
09-20-2011, 3:10 AM
wish I had the pic still, my buddy had a M9 in A-stan that looked like it was chrome because of "over cleaning"

palakaboy
09-20-2011, 10:17 AM
I'd take one of those "stupid grey colored M16s" over an M4. No such thing as over cleaning, wearing off the crown from "cleaning" would be leaning more towards abuse.

i didn't say it was stupid grey.

i said it was stupid old. like REALLY old. they weren't even really grey anymore. more of silver- the plastic parts were grayish.

the m16's were there for the non-combat mos trainees. But I wouldn't have minded working with those through basic, they forgot to issue us rail covers- which sucked during pushups as drill sergeants like to step on the rifles that were on our hands.


anywho. they never properly taught us how to clean those damn rifles, they expected those who knew what they were doing to teach the others. yet we all passed quals.

stag6.8
09-20-2011, 12:41 PM
Has anyone ever heard of cleaning a gun too much?

I wouldn't think you could over-clean a gun, but a buddy of mine told me this the other day.

As long as your rifle isn't perpetually sitting in a vat of CLP, you're ok. Am I way off on this?

Theres no such thing as over cleaning a rifle as long as youre doing it correctly(Im glad youre taking the time to take good care of your rifle to clean it...btw). The issue that I`ve seen that I feel needs to be adressed is....lubing the rifle when youre done cleaning it(keep it wet). Ive been to the range several times and witnessed this..people shooting with a DRY rifle...Their rifle jams and they have no clue whats wrong with it...they ask me for help...we break apart and inspect the rifle and its dead dry.....we lube it...put it back together and it runs great. Make sure you oil it as much as you clean it.

M.C.
09-20-2011, 12:58 PM
Theres no such thing as over cleaning a rifle as long as youre doing it correctly(Im glad youre taking the time to take good care of your rifle to clean it...btw). The issue that I`ve seen that I feel needs to be adressed is....lubing the rifle when youre done cleaning it(keep it wet). Ive been to the range several times and witnessed this..people shooting with a DRY rifle...Their rifle jams and they have no clue whats wrong with it...they ask me for help...we break apart and inspect the rifle and its dead dry.....we lube it...put it back together and it runs great. Make sure you oil it as much as you clean it.

That's for sure. I never have a lube problem.

greent
09-20-2011, 4:49 PM
In a slightly different sense than the posts above, it's completely possible to over-clean. Example: My glock and shotgun are pretty dirty right now. I don't clean them after range trips as they are my HD weapons. I don't want to ever be in that situation and find out I somehow put the trigger group in wrong, or jammed something up or whatever. HD weapons are cleaned right before the range, shot a bunch to make sure they're still functional, then brought back home and loaded condition 3 and ready to go.

Thats actually a pretty good idea I never thought about doing. Except I'm pretty much sure my glock is always going to work, unless I deep clean it by taking it apart all the way.

stag6.8
09-20-2011, 5:05 PM
That's for sure. I never have a lube problem.

Since were on the topic of cleaning rifles....occasionally...but not all the time break apart and inspect/clean/lite oil your magazines (I hope youre do this also btw). there just as important as the rifle...youd be surprised at how many people dont do this...if the magazine doesnt feed properly...its going to cause problems... even though your rifle is clean and oiled.

23 Blast
09-21-2011, 6:22 AM
If you're using abrasive brushes and improper techniques, then yeah - it is possible to "overclean" a gun, in the same way that someone using scrubbing brushes and dishwashing detergent to wash their car every day are "overcleaning" their car.

I'm from the school of "clean enough" - in that I can tolerate a little carbon buildup or not getting completely white patches through the bore. As long as the bore is "reasonably" clean, the action clean and oiled, and the gun passes a function test, it's GTG as far as I'm concerned.

But then, I never had an angry DI breathing fire at me because the Q-tip he stuck in my rifle came back with some carbon on it.

UBFRAGD
09-21-2011, 6:50 PM
Do you think that running a steel rod with a steel wire brush down the barrel will cause zero wear?

A SS rod, run through a bore guide, will never contact the rifle. Also do not completely agree with your steel brush statement. All my brushes are bronze and the chamber brushes are nylon. Do you want to have a metallurgical argument? I would bet good money that bronze brushes have little to no effect on modern barrels. If someone offered me a steel brush, I would thankfully decline to accept.

The other thing to think about, is that when you are shooting, there is a massive temperature increase that does not occur when cleaning. Big difference.

The quick answer to the OP is yeah, if you're a mechanical clod, do not understand metal, do not completely understand how your rifle works, do not understand what parts are wearing while shooting, do not understand the chemical/metal interaction of the cleaning products you are using, then yes, run a bore-snake and good luck.

Think about other mechanical objects subject to abuse. A race motorcycles' engine. Top teams tear down the engine after every race. There isn't one person involved in that race team that would ever ask the question, hey, are we doing too much maintanence? Are you kidding?

Here's my typical AR clean session. Yes it might seem like some effort to some of you slackers, but I usually hit what I'm aiming at and my rifles always go bang. Disassemble, hose everything with lots of WD-40. Disassemble bolt, scrape carbon, check for wear, hose with WD-40, reassemble. Hose charging handle wipe clean. Hose gas tube with more WD-40, run pipe cleaner, hose again. Put upper in rifle vise, hose chamber, use chamber brush, toothbrush. Run a dry patch or ten to dry chamber, insert bore guide. Mop soaked in bore cleaner, lots of it. Bronze brush, five or six times back and forth, more blore cleaner. Then tons of patches. Now take everything over to the air compressor. Nothing cleans a trigger group like 150psi. Blast the gas tube on the upper and the inlet on the BCG. Blast the heck out of the bolt seating area. I don't run a filter-drier on my air compressor so now everything should be considered "wet". Back to the bench, paper towels. I use a light coat of RemOil on the trigger group and BCG and wipe again. Back to the barrel, I run dry patches and alcohol-soaked patches until they exit clean. Now it's time to visually inspect the barrel in bright light. Follow the grooving, is it even as it twists? Is the barrel mirror-smooth? Reassemble AR and give it a light coating of RemOil or similar. Use microfiber cloth at this point. That's a well-spent and enjoyable 45 minutes. I let it sit for a day or two, another wipe down for cosmetic purposes, and then clean the optics. Next, lube points. Then, right before I go shooting, whether a day or a month has passed, I'll run a patch or ten down the barrel in case any oils migrated. Works for me.

Tinfoil_Hat
09-21-2011, 7:31 PM
For me, I M-Pro 7 the BCG and let it soak while i work on other parts. While that's going on, I take out my buffer and spring, give it a little wipe down then look in my trigger assembly to check for any gunk. I'll quickly wipe that stuff down, remove particles with a q-tip and apply a small amount of lube to the necessaries and put tube/spring back in place.

For the upper, M-Pro 7 a cloth and wipe the inside of the chamber down. I don't go crazy. I just get most of the junk out and then q-tip the nooks and crannies the best I can. I pipe clean the gas tube just to clear out any build up then I run a bore snake 2-3 times and then confirm with a few patches. (Used to do the dozens of patches thing but I find that the bore snake really cuts down on the amount of patches I use. Now I use maybe 3-4?) A little bit of gray is okay for me.

After that I just work on the BCG, wipe it down, lube it, then do the same for the charging handle, put it all back together and I'm gtg. Whole process takes about 20 minutes or less and my rifle fires like a champ every time. I clean after every 300-ish rounds.

C9X19
09-21-2011, 8:43 PM
Simply put, over maintenance kills guns. Drifting pins out constantly to detail strip guns WILL wear them out prematurely. Same goes for using cleaning rods and such. I suppose if you're some precision rifle shooter it's required to clean the barrel but I haven't used a proper bore brush nor gun cleaning solvent in years. This is for both my pistols and rifles. Keep your guns lubed with a quality product and they'll keep running. The notion of white glove inspection guns is moronic.