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Cleaning, Lubrication, and Preventive Maintenance of Firearms

1. Be sure the pistol, shotgun, or rifle removed from the work area.

has been safely unloaded and

all ammunition is


Clean,lubricate, and preserve the weapon and its magazines each time it is fired or exposed to adverse environmental conditions.

3. Inspect, troubleshoot,

per{om any routine maintenance on a regular schedule.


4. Perform a "Function Check" to determine its operational 5. Review the HCSO Standard Operating
replacement of unserviceable weapons.

Procedures on maintenance, repair, or

6. Review liability 7.

issues related to improper maintenance, unauthorized repair, or unauthorized modifications to the weapon.

Use the correct tools, lubricants, and bore solvents in the recommended manner. eyeglasses or goggles to be wom during

8. Most manufacturers recommend protective

weapons cleaning,

Cleaning Equipment Needed

1. Bore Cleaning R.od: Brass, aluminum, or coated metal

are the most desirable. The

cleaning rod should be inserted from the breech or chamber end when possible. It should be long enough to pass completely through the barrel.

2. Bore Brush:

Brass or bronze bore brushes are recommended for the cleaning of the

bore only. Do not use the bore brushes for anything else as they will be completely ruined. The Bore brush should be the coffect diameter for your barrel. Do not reverse direction while the brush is actually in the bore. Push the brush slowly all the way through the barrel before reversing direction. The U.S. Marine Corps recommend 20 passes in the bore with a good quality copper/ bore solvent. This will usually take care of the vast majority of bore cleaning chores.

3. Slotted

Patch Holder/ Jag: The holder or jag is needed to push cloth patches down the

4. Cloth Patches:

The cloth patches, of the correct diameter, are used to evenly distribute solvents or lubricants through the bore. It also pushes out the soft fouling from the bore. The patch should be made of a soft absorbent material such as pure cotton.


Bore Solvent: Select a firearms bore solvent that dissolves copper fouling. It should state on the container that contents is a copper solvent. Make sure all solvent is removed before applying the lubricant, as the solvent will reduce the effectiveness of the lubricant and may attack the primer and render the cartridge useless. This is a common cause for a malfunction. Hoppes #9 Copper Solvent, Sweet's 7.62, Shooter's Choice, and Kleen Bore brands are excellent products that are used by civilian and military competitors.


Lubricants: It is recommended that only weapons grade lubricants be used on firearms. The lubricant provides a molecular barrier between metal parts to reduce friction and prevent solidification of firing residue. It keeps the residue soft to prevent malfunctions and stoppages. It also keeps a barrier between the weapon's surface and the environment- to stop rust or corrosion. The firearm is properly lubricated when ths operator can visually and physically verify the presence of the lube. Excessive lubrication is recognized when it moves on the weapon under the influence of gravity. Manufacturer's directions should be adheared to closely. Most weapons manufacturers do not recommend "dry lubes" because this type of lube only adds to the solidification of the firing residue. Excellent choices include Breakfree, Firepower FP-10, L.S.A. (military issue), and Militec-1. Militec-l is being issued to our military currently. WD40,and similar spray lubes, are generally not suggested as a lube because it is a poor lube for weapons and acts as a thin penetrant and may attack the primer
and/or the powder charge.

Generalized Cleaning and Lubrication Procedures For Revolvers and Auto-Pistols

L Barrel: Moisten the bore brush with a good quality copper solvent and pass at least 20 times in a reciprocating fashion, starting from the breech end. With a revolyer, the operator has to enter from the muzzle end being careful not to damage the crown (end of the muzzle). Emphasis should be placed on the cartridge seat, feeding ramp, and chamber areas. On the revolver, the area of concem is the ejectors or the "star" and where it recesses into the cylinder. Using the jag, affix a clean dry patch and pass it through the barrel several times to remove the residue. This procedure may have to be repeated until the patch comes out clean and dry. Lubricate the interior and exterior surfaces of the barrel with a patch. Finally, pass a clean patch down the barrel once to remove any excess lubricant. Excessive lube in the barrel may cause an obstruction and/or attack the primer.

Frame: Use a nylon brush with solvent to dissolve and remove firing residue from in and on the frame. Pay close attention to the magazine well, frame rails, and all crevises. On the revolver, may attention to the cylinder hinge and firing pin recesses. Wipe the residue off with a cloth or clean patch. Apply the lubricant to a clean patch and wipe all exposed metallic surfaces. Give emphasis to lube the frame rails and surfaces that interlock with the banel. On the revolver, lube the cylinder release latch. Wipe the exterior of the frame to remove excess lubricant.


Recoil Spring and Guide: Residue is removed using the nylon brush and bore solvent. Both items are then wiped clean and then lightly lubricated.


with the nylon brush and bore solvent. Give special attention must be given to the slide rails, the locking surfaces, the breech face, extractor, and the safety related parts. The slide is then wiped dry with cloth to remove the wet residue. Lightly lube the slide with a good quality weapons grade lubricate as discussed earlier, Any excessive lube should be removed. One drop of lube should be placed on each slide rail.

Slide: Clean the interior and exterior


Magazines: The magazine should be disassembled and cleaned using the nylon brush and bore solvent. Pay close attention to the inside of the feeding lips and follower. Using a dry patch or cloth, wipe these surfaces to remove the wet firing residue. Very lightly lube all metal parts of the magazine including the spring. Wipe any excessive lube off with a dry cloth. Some manufacturers wam against oiling any intemal part of the magazine because it can attract dirt or debris. Read your owner's manual for suggestions. Glock plastic magazine bodies do not requirc lube at all. Likewise, for a revolver, clean and very lightly lube the speed loaders.

Note: The military and some manufacturers suggest field stripping the weapon into its major components and soaking them in a solvent for deep cleaning. Watch for fire hazards, but mineral spirits and a small amount of lubricant will dissolve most firing residue. Make sure all solvent is wiped off, blown off with an air hose, or given the
opportunity to air dry.
Weapon Inspection After Cleaning and Before Actual Use


Check sights to make sure they are properly configured and positioned. Check the barrel to make sure it and the chamber are clean and not fouled. Check the feed ramp to make sure it is clean and not damages. Check for barrel pitting and rusting. Check the barrel crown/ muzzle for damage or excessive wear. Check the recoil spring and the guide for straightness and for equal separation of individual coils or breakage. Check for protruding pins from the slide or frame.


5. 6.


Check for cracks, excessive wear, or stress marks on the entire weapon.


all screws, in place and tight.

l0' check the grips or stocks for proper fit

Function Check

and for damage.

past the breech face. L2' Check the extractor: Make sure there are no stress cracks and/or fractures. Do not load the weapon through the ejection port. This practice will damage or break the extractor in a short period of time. Dummy rounds should be used to check for malfunctions. 13. After gaining experience with the functions and the ,,feel,, of your weapon, anything strange or usual should be reported to the annorer immediately.

Make sure all ammunition is removed from the surrounding areas. Safety is paramount! 2. The f'unction- check is perfotmed to verify the proper working order of all mechanical features of an unloaded weapon. 3. Insert an unloaded magazine into the weapon to ensure interlock with the magazine catch. The automatic lock-back is verified by pulling the slide complerely ro the rear. The slide should lock back. 4. The magazine catch is depressed and the magazine should fall free under its own weight' (Older Glock magazines were designed to come out only a few inches and then manually pulled out by hand.) 5. The slide catch lever is depressed and the slide should travel rapidly forward without any problems. Some m_anufactures suggest pulling the shdl shghtly to the rear and then releasing the slide to go forwiid. 6' on weapons with exterior hammers: exeft moderate finger pressure against the cocked hammer. The hammer should remain in the.ork.d porition. ihis verifies the internal engagements are corect. 7 ' On weapons.with a de-cocking leverslide or frame mounted- push in the correct direction and observe the hammer as it moves forward to its rest position, Glock and other brands do not have a de_cocking lever. 8' Exterior safeties on some brands such as U&f, Smith and Wesson, and Berreta have safety levers that function as a safety and/or de-cocking lever. Check the safeties for malfunctions and/or breakages. Dirt and excessive lube on these parts are usually the culprits if they malfunction. I' Cocking and releasing the hammer should be accomplished with one full compression of the trigger, l0' Disconnector check: Move the slide back about r/t" andattempt to pull the trigger on the unloaded weapon. The hammer, or the firing pin on a Glock, should noigo forward. 1l ' Firing Pin Check: on weapons with hammers, cock the hammer back until it locks back. Push the firing pin forward using a small screwdriver or ballpoint pin. The firing pin should not protrude past the bieech face. Remove the slide from the frame and press the firing pin blocking mechanism (looks like a circle cut in half) down while pushing the firing pin forward. The firing pin should now protrude


Ammunition Inspection

the following: Inspect your HCSO-approved duty or practice ammunition' Check for

2. Deformed/ inverted bullet' 3. Bullet dePth and tightness. 4. Defective jacket or core. 5. Crimp imPerfection, 6. Damaged to the cartridge case.
8. g.


Overall length'

'1. Extraction groove imperfection'

Rim imPerfection. Primer imperfection: crushed or inverted.
10. Corrosion.

Duty ammunition should be replaced at each annual qualification. Constant loading and unloading the same cartridge in your weapon may cause the bullet to become loose especially and may create a malfunction. Rotate your ammunition regularly' This is the true wiih magazinefed weapons. Some firearms producers recommend taking barrel out of the weapon- if possible- and test chambering each round of dujY drop ammunition to verify ptop"ifit. Invert the barrel and the cartridge should freely

Ammunition should be kept clean and dry at all times. Never lube or oil the ammunition' Replace any or all ammunition that has come in contact with solvents or spray lubricants. Solvents and spray oils can penetrate the seal around the primer and bullet, contaminating the primer and/or the propellant charge'
The vast majority of weapons malfunctions stem from improper cleaning and improper lubrication. The secondary problem is unsatisfactory ammunition'