Cleaning firearms with water.

This is a discussion on Cleaning firearms with water. within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I feel there is a time and place to use water when cleaning some firearm parts. I know gun owners who would say never. I ...

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Thread: Cleaning firearms with water.

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Thanis's Avatar
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    Cleaning firearms with water.

    I feel there is a time and place to use water when cleaning some firearm parts. I know gun owners who would say never.

    I want to qualify what I'm talking about. For example, when I clean my Glock (if I have fired it since the last cleaning) I clean the barrel (once removed from the frame and upper) with Hoppe's 9 solvent patches. Let it sit a few minutes. Then I use a brush and water to clean the barrel then towel dry. Lastly, heavy oil and wipe down.

    Thoughts, opinions, etc?
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    Distinguished Member Array TerriLi's Avatar
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    If you fire corrosive ammo in your weapon I would recommend using water, and a very mild soap. If not firing corrosive I wouldn't recommend it.
    I know not what this "overkill" means.

    Honing the knives, Cleaning the longguns, Stocking up ammo.

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    Array buckeye .45's Avatar
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    I use soap and water on a blackpowder pistol and it works well. Also soap and water or winder on old milsurp carbines (the cheamber and barrel), after shooting corrosive ammo.

    But after being in both Hawaii and Parris Island in rainy parts of the year, that is the only times, and with firearms becoming rusted very easily from being too wet.
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    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
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    Senior Member Array Exodus's Avatar
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    The finish on the dust cover of my SP-22 is slightly textured and it is near impossible to wipe clean. I hit it with a little Hoppes #9 and a brush, and then rinse it off with water. Cleans right up. It is made out of aluminum though, so rust isn't a factor.
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    Member Array BlackJack's Avatar
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    Black Powder is the only thing I have ever used water on - warm water and liquid soap.

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I never use water to clean a gun
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    VIP Member Array semperfi.45's Avatar
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    I was initiated into soap and water cleaning in the Marine Corps, you just can't wipe down a machine gun and get it clean. My Glock's get a complete breakdown and then I use Wisk and hot water. Fully dry and then lube with CLP. The revolver gets a traditional Hoppes cleaning.
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    A buddy of mine swears by this for an occasional "deep cleaning". I've watched him do it.

    1. Field strips the gun (Do not use any wooden parts in this process)and cleans the bore using Hoppe's, patches, etc.

    2. Turns his shower on "hot water only"

    3. Closes the shower door, and stands on a chair outside of the shower.

    4. Reaches over the shower door, and holds his gun parts in the stream of hot water. He holds a piece of heavy cord tied to the gun because of the hot water.

    5. Rotates the part in the stream of hot water. May be a 2-3 minute immersion.

    6. Removes gun parts and holds them in a towel (metal is too hot to handle). He sort of rotates them and shakes them around to clear any remaining water that may have collected in some nook or cranny inside the gun. What few drops I saw were caught by the towel and any remaining moisture sort of evaporated quickly.

    7. The gun was left clean and dry and hot.

    8. He inspected gun, lubed and reassembled.

    9. Endured wrath of wife for messing around in the bathroom and wasting hot water.
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    Array shooterX's Avatar
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    Never tried it.

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    Senior Member Array Mardet65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by semperfi.45 View Post
    I was initiated into soap and water cleaning in the Marine Corps, you just can't wipe down a machine gun and get it clean. .
    Same here. In boot camp we completely stripped our M-14 rifles and washed them in a bucket of hot, soapy water. However, I wouldn't recommed it for cleaning a pistol. So, I'm not saying you can't do it, just that I wouldn't personally.
    "Kimbers are the guns you show your friends, Glocks are the guns you show your enemies."

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    I've taken lots of M60 parts in the shower with me many times. A handgun? Don't see the necessity, but as long as you dry it off quickly and completely I don't see an issue with it either.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    Member Array rainmaker's Avatar
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    Like some others here, I use hot, soapy water for blackpowder. For a poly or stainless gun, water may be no problem. However, I'd be careful about springs (especially small plunger springs) since they would be carbon/spring steel.
    Steve

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    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    Do you guys completely strip the Glocks down when washing with soap and water? I can see doing it with a carbine but not with a pistol.

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    Heck one officer on my old department used take his stainless duty revolver,remove the grips, and stick it in the dishwasher.
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    Some people do have a difficult time with traditional solvent based cleaning preparations.

    I have seen Colt 1911s cleaned with soap & water.

    Completely disassemble the firearm including the mainspring housing.

    Use hot soapy water. A grease cutting dish-washing liquid is best.

    Use a bronze or Stainless bore brush for the barrel bore.

    A stiff toothbrush for the general scrubbing and cotton swabs for places like inside the firing pin, extractor, and frame holes.

    Then...IMPORTANT - Have a pot of boiling water ready.
    Put all of the parts in a basket made from a square of brass window screen. You can use wire at the 4 corners to make a dipping basket.

    Bounce all of the parts up and down in the boiling water which gives them a final rinse and gets the metal hot. NOT hot enough to (in any way) affect the hardness or temper.

    QUICKLY shake off the hot parts and set them down on a few towels. They will remain hot enough to dry themselves.

    You SHOULD go into the mainspring housing hole and the firing pin and extractor holes with some clean dry Q-Tips just to make sure there is not any excess of remaining water in those holes.

    Also if you are concerned about scratches then do the slide and frame by themselves and don't dump them into the screen with the other parts.

    While the parts are dry but still warm oil them as this type of cleaning strips off all traces of old lubrication.

    When I used to do firearm plating we used to use near boiling OAKITE for the initial degreasing which was basically a kick-ass strong alkaline degreaser (like LYE) followed up by a thorough rinse in boiling water.

    That would get rid of all traces of the old lubrication right away so that it would not end up on the buffing wheels and eventually migrate over into the plating tank area where it would be a serious contaminant.

    Naturally, we did not re-oil those parts after we degreased them since they were do be refinished.

    In order to prevent the loose, dry, degreased parts from rusting if we could not get to them right away - the loose parts would into Tupperware type lidded containers with Rust Blox tabs (available at Brownell's)

    These days though if anybody just wanted to do a great job cleaning their firearm but, did not want to use strong, smelly, gun solvents I would just suggest that they use latex gloves and Break-Free or WeaponShield which are not stinky and do not have a high solvent content.

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