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Shotgun discussions Trap, Hunting, Defense and more. A place for enthusiasts to discuss the shotgun.

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  #1  
Old 10-21-2011, 10:45 AM
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Default Why is shotgun cleaning such a casual affair?

When you talk to people about cleaning a pistol, the whole thing often gets taken apart, and every part cleaned, oiled, and checked. Punches are often involved.

When you talk to people about cleaning a shotgun, the most common answer seems to be to clean the barrel, wipe out the chamber, spray a bit of oil (maybe) into the mechanisms, and put it away. From what I've seen, most people don't seem to ever take the bolt or trigger group apart for cleaning.

Why the difference?
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  #2  
Old 10-21-2011, 10:52 AM
Merc1138 Merc1138 is offline
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The heavier springs and manually actuating the bolt with a pump shotgun will overcome most crud that might affect operation. Additionally, there isn't any rifling(well, in a smoothbore anyway) to get fouled with crud. Unless it's extremely filthy, there just isn't much point so you can get away with being a little lazy. It also has to do with how often and where you're shooting. Does someone who puts 20 rounds of buckshot down range every year need to clean their pump shotgun in detail, not really. A hunter who gets crud in the action from being out in the woods/field/etc. probably should. Then there are people who might go through 100 rounds every weekend, those people should probably periodically clean theirs more often as well.

When you start taking about semi auto shotguns with gas or recoil systems, that's a different beast. Crud can build up in ports and wedge it's way in between the workings and cause a failure to cycle properly.
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  #3  
Old 10-21-2011, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigFatGuy View Post
When you talk to people about cleaning a pistol, the whole thing often gets taken apart, and every part cleaned, oiled, and checked. Punches are often involved.

When you talk to people about cleaning a shotgun, the most common answer seems to be to clean the barrel, wipe out the chamber, spray a bit of oil (maybe) into the mechanisms, and put it away. From what I've seen, most people don't seem to ever take the bolt or trigger group apart for cleaning.

Why the difference?
What Merc said.

Plus I will add that the size shape and frequency (number of shots) of the shells themselves make the reliability much harder to fault with less need to clean in detail those areas that are impossible to get to without a serious and difficult dissasembly.

Then add to that the fact that manufacturers in most cases did not make the guns as complicated as some of the modern handguns, and did not always add the ability to so completely break them down with ease.

The manuf. recommended cleaning regimen is simply less in most cases. So it's not necesarily laziness when we take them on thier word.

I would clean the barrel well and anything else I could reach with cleaning implements and inspect. Maybe every few thousand rounds I would think about searching further for crud if it seemed likely to be there.
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  #4  
Old 10-21-2011, 1:12 PM
CAL.BAR CAL.BAR is offline
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Since when is cleaning a pistol a "formal affair"? I have always just field stripped, cleaned the barrel and wiped it down and hit it with gunscrubber and Hoppies - quick oil on the slide and re-assemble. Total time: 15min (max)
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  #5  
Old 10-21-2011, 1:24 PM
KevinB KevinB is offline
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Cleaning any gun should be done perfectly. I can't think of a worse thing than a jam when the chips are down.


Cleaning your Beretta Auto.
This is how I clean my Beretta's
This works for any Beretta auto.

Break the gun all the way down. On Xtrema's this takes less than a minute, less than 5 min with a recoil spring in the stock models.

Put the barrel, forearm and stock off to the side for awhile.

Ok, lets get out the cleaners, gun scrub or whatever you happen to like and spray the gun down real well and get the gross of the dirt off the thing. Spray down the trigger group and set it aside for a bit.

Do the same to the gas piston assy. Set it aside also.

Now get a plastic bucket, about a gallon should do it. Fill it half way with the hottest water you can get. Add a cup of 409 and dump all the small parts in it and let sit. Throw all the chokes in also.

For all you Extrema owners, listen close. This is important. The mag tube is a major problem for not getting it clean. That tube should shine when you clean it. I use a green scratchy that you clean pots and pans with. The bolt assy and the recoil spring should be soaking now but it needs to cleaned well also.

You should have the magazine spring and tube apart also. Pick up the receiver and a good stiff brush and your spray bottle of 409. Start in scrubbing the inside with the 409 and your brush. Look closely at the back of the action and if it needs to be scraped and pick out all the crap out of the bolt rails and the back of the action. It doesn't take much crap to slow the action down so look close.

A good bottle brush makes quick work out of the magazine tube. lots of crap gets in there so get it clean.

Rinse the action with hot water and set it aside. Dry it as good as you can with a dry towel.

Pick up the barrel and lets get to it. Look close at the gas ports from the barrel to the gas piston housing. They make little stainless brushes to clean those ports. Plastic from the wads will be on the inside of the holes and needs to be cleaned off. Clean you barrel however you like. Its hard chromed and is pretty easy to get cleaned.

Start pulling your small parts out of the bucket and start in on them with a brush and 409. Rinse everything with hot water and dry as well as you can.

For the guys with the recoil spring in the stock, I use a .40cal barrel brush on a cleaning rod with a drill to clean out the tube. Treat it like a barrel and keep swabbing it out till it shows clean on a cotton swab run in the tube. I use syn wheel bearing grease to lube the spring and tube. Less is better.

Use a hot blow drier to dry all the parts. Wipe down everything with a white terrycloth towel to see if you get it clean.

You need about 4 drops of oil to oil the whole action. 1 drop will be put on the carrier hinge pin on the trigger group. The trigger should be almost dry.

Put her back together and you should be good to go. Some anti seize on the choke threads is a good idea.

I have a gathered a bunch of brushes over the years that I love. Auto parts stores and auto paint stores are a great place to look.

I got my Beretta brush kit here.


http://www.gamaliel.com/cart/home.php?cat=119

I hope this helps and if you have something that works for you I would like to hear it.

This works for any type of shotgun. Most jams and feed problems on auto's are caused by dirty guns.
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  #6  
Old 10-21-2011, 1:27 PM
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robcoe robcoe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigFatGuy View Post
When you talk to people about cleaning a pistol, the whole thing often gets taken apart, and every part cleaned, oiled, and checked. Punches are often involved.

When you talk to people about cleaning a shotgun, the most common answer seems to be to clean the barrel, wipe out the chamber, spray a bit of oil (maybe) into the mechanisms, and put it away. From what I've seen, most people don't seem to ever take the bolt or trigger group apart for cleaning.

Why the difference?
Pump shotguns have never exactly been precision instruments. if the trigger is a little gritty or the barrel is a bit dirty it's not going to make much difference.
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  #7  
Old 10-21-2011, 2:04 PM
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Databyter Databyter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinB View Post
Cleaning any gun should be done perfectly. I can't think of a worse thing than a jam when the chips are down.


Cleaning your Beretta Auto.
This is how I clean my Beretta's
This works for any Beretta auto.

Break the gun all the way down. On Xtrema's this takes less than a minute, less than 5 min with a recoil spring in the stock models.

Put the barrel, forearm and stock off to the side for awhile.

Ok, lets get out the cleaners, gun scrub or whatever you happen to like and spray the gun down real well and get the gross of the dirt off the thing. Spray down the trigger group and set it aside for a bit.

Do the same to the gas piston assy. Set it aside also.

Now get a plastic bucket, about a gallon should do it. Fill it half way with the hottest water you can get. Add a cup of 409 and dump all the small parts in it and let sit. Throw all the chokes in also.

For all you Extrema owners, listen close. This is important. The mag tube is a major problem for not getting it clean. That tube should shine when you clean it. I use a green scratchy that you clean pots and pans with. The bolt assy and the recoil spring should be soaking now but it needs to cleaned well also.

You should have the magazine spring and tube apart also. Pick up the receiver and a good stiff brush and your spray bottle of 409. Start in scrubbing the inside with the 409 and your brush. Look closely at the back of the action and if it needs to be scraped and pick out all the crap out of the bolt rails and the back of the action. It doesn't take much crap to slow the action down so look close.

A good bottle brush makes quick work out of the magazine tube. lots of crap gets in there so get it clean.

Rinse the action with hot water and set it aside. Dry it as good as you can with a dry towel.

Pick up the barrel and lets get to it. Look close at the gas ports from the barrel to the gas piston housing. They make little stainless brushes to clean those ports. Plastic from the wads will be on the inside of the holes and needs to be cleaned off. Clean you barrel however you like. Its hard chromed and is pretty easy to get cleaned.

Start pulling your small parts out of the bucket and start in on them with a brush and 409. Rinse everything with hot water and dry as well as you can.

For the guys with the recoil spring in the stock, I use a .40cal barrel brush on a cleaning rod with a drill to clean out the tube. Treat it like a barrel and keep swabbing it out till it shows clean on a cotton swab run in the tube. I use syn wheel bearing grease to lube the spring and tube. Less is better.

Use a hot blow drier to dry all the parts. Wipe down everything with a white terrycloth towel to see if you get it clean.

You need about 4 drops of oil to oil the whole action. 1 drop will be put on the carrier hinge pin on the trigger group. The trigger should be almost dry.

Put her back together and you should be good to go. Some anti seize on the choke threads is a good idea.

I have a gathered a bunch of brushes over the years that I love. Auto parts stores and auto paint stores are a great place to look.

I got my Beretta brush kit here.


http://www.gamaliel.com/cart/home.php?cat=119

I hope this helps and if you have something that works for you I would like to hear it.

This works for any type of shotgun. Most jams and feed problems on auto's are caused by dirty guns.
Thanks for reminding me why I bought a pump action.

That's alot of work, and I doubt I would do it to the extent you spelled out, so perhaps I am better off with my simple pump action, which I plan to adequatly clean and expect it to perform flawlessly, as it has in mil-spec testing with no cleaning at all.
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  #8  
Old 10-21-2011, 2:06 PM
swifty swifty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigFatGuy View Post
Why the difference?
Skill level, knowledge and tools.

Most of the guns that are "detail stripped" have very few parts. Glocks, 1911's, military Mausers, Mosin Nagants etc. have a military leaning where function is paramount which leads to simpler designs. Most of these have as many total parts as just the trigger group alone of a Remington 11-87.

"Field stripping" is much more common than detail stripping. The more complex the design, the fewer parts are actually removed for cleaning. Pay attention to what guns are actually being disassembled and compare that to simplicity or complexity.
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  #9  
Old 10-21-2011, 6:37 PM
aippi aippi is offline
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Because most people have semi-auto hand guns and they operate by blow back and that stuff blows back into the weapon. A pump shotgun does not. All the mess blows out the barrel. Unless you drop a pump or it get soaking wet there is little to do.
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  #10  
Old 10-23-2011, 9:53 AM
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I take mine down to clean the magazine tube as well as the barrel. I do the magazine tube because it is fairly open to the world. Shells going in and coming out can carry dust, debris, stuff from your pockets/pouch (if you keep shells there when you hunt), to the magazine tube and into the breach. Even just sitting and crap gets in there. Why go half measure if you are going to clean the barrel anyway. Take it down, swab it once and see what comes out. I know it will function dirty. Kalashnikov rifles are the same way, they work when filthy, but a clean weapon throughout is an advantage and peace of mind.
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