Clean that Revolver

This is a discussion on Clean that Revolver within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I clean my revolvers after taking them to the range. I Clean the barrel and cylinders and everything I can without taking it apart. How ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array WisconsinJohns's Avatar
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    Question Clean that Revolver

    I clean my revolvers after taking them to the range. I Clean the barrel and cylinders and everything I can without taking it apart. How often do you take the crane off to clean? How often do you dissassemble? I have a SW and Ruger revolver. I do not want to mess up the guns when trying to take care of them. Any advice?

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    VIP Member Array Snub44's Avatar
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    ...I've been shooting revolvers since '64...and now I AM 64...I've had one sideplate off a S&W in all these years..to add Gun Butter on an old Jframe...I've taken maybe three cylinders off...the beauty of a revolver is it's easy to clean without disassembling...


    ...welcome to the forum...which S&W and which Ruger do you own? that's a good start towards a whole HERD of revolvers...

    ...advice? take the grips off every coupla months and clean/oil under them...even stainless will rust
    ...don't tamper with the screw on the front strap of the S&W handle...

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    For a SW, I take the sideplate off when I first purchase it. I smooth and lube. I will then only take the sideplate off if I am changing springs.

    I rarely take the yoke off my SW (or the crane off my Colt). I just add a light coat of lube after it is cleaned and when the crane is open.

    Otherwise I just clean what I can without taking it apart, usually after every shoot. You'll do your revolver no good by frequently removing and reinstalling the screws to get it apart.

    The internals of the revolver do not need much lube. I do lightly lube the firing pin, hand, and cylinder stop. If you want, ever Nth cleaning you can cock the gun, put a drop or two of oil in around the base of the hammer, and blow it in with high pressure air. Same with trigger. (Edit if you do this, you should take the grips off so the excess lube has somewhere to go!)
    -PEF, a Framer with a Steelie...
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    1. All guns are always loaded.
    2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
    3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
    4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

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    Senior Member Array Oldpsufan's Avatar
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    I clean what I can reach without using tools after each shoot.
    “A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.”
    ― Edward R. Murrow

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    Member Array WisconsinJohns's Avatar
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    I have a SW Governor and a Ruger LCR 357.
    I like them both.
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  7. #6
    VIP Member Array tdave's Avatar
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    Rarely disassemble apart from the grips. A light lube and it's a joy to behold. Revolver reliable breeds confidence in a dirty world.

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    VIP Member Array Easy8's Avatar
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    Never, if I feel there is a problem I let my local smith take care of it. I use frog lube an it seems to keep them smooth as a babys butt.
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    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WisconsinJohns View Post
    I clean my revolvers after taking them to the range. I Clean the barrel and cylinders and everything I can without taking it apart. How often do you take the crane off to clean? How often do you dissassemble? I have a SW and Ruger revolver. I do not want to mess up the guns when trying to take care of them. Any advice?
    For normal care and cleaning after use disassembly of your revolvers isn't necessary and for most people probably not advisable. Disassembly of a Ruger revolver is fairly simple, a bit more challenging for a Smith and Wesson but generally not something you need to do in the normal maintenance cleaning of either label.

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    I always remove the cylinders in order to clean them but that's just personal preference. I feel I can do the job faster and more thoroughly with the cylinder out where I can handle it more readily. I don't really like the cylinder flopping as I reposition the revolver variously during cleaning. The yoke and the inside of the frame window may be easily and thoroughly cleaned without the cylinder in place. I can more thoroughly dry everything of solvent when I'm done and apply lubricant. A good cleaning takes about 15 minutes.

    A very thin coating of RIG under the grip panels banishes rust. Just enough RIG to darken a spot on the cloth will give proper coverage. One shouldn't be able to actually see the RIG, either on the cloth or on the metal surfaces.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society

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    VIP Member Array Snub44's Avatar
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    ...does RIG dissolve rubber grips?
    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    I always remove the cylinders in order to clean them but that's just personal preference. I feel I can do the job faster and more thoroughly with the cylinder out where I can handle it more readily. I don't really like the cylinder flopping as I reposition the revolver variously during cleaning. The yoke and the inside of the frame window may be easily and thoroughly cleaned without the cylinder in place. I can more thoroughly dry everything of solvent when I'm done and apply lubricant. A good cleaning takes about 15 minutes.

    A very thin coating of RIG under the grip panels banishes rust. Just enough RIG to darken a spot on the cloth will give proper coverage. One shouldn't be able to actually see the RIG, either on the cloth or on the metal surfaces.

  12. #11
    Distinguished Member Array Once's Avatar
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    I clean them after every range day as best I can with out disassembling them.

  13. #12
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    This is best done outdoors.

    If you want to clean up your internals without doing a complete dis-assembly you can buy a large can of electrical contact cleaner/solvent/degreaser and just flood your revolver with it and let it run and spill out of every opening.

    Then shake out the revolver and let it sit for a while until all of that cleaner/degreaser solvent evaporates. It evaporates quickly.

    You can help that along by putting the revolver in the Sun for a few minutes or by warming it up with a hair blow dryer.

    This will leave your revolver internally completely devoid (AKA Bone Dry) of all old lube and crud so you will need to replace that protective lubricant coating.

    You can use Break Free CLP - BUT, you don't want to load your lock work up with heavy lube so here is what you do.

    Take 2/3 pure mineral spirits and 1/3 Break Free (approximately) and shake that up in a squeeze bottle.

    Turn your revolver every which way as you flood your revolver internally with that mixture through every opening and then shake out all of the excess.

    Dry Fire your revolver a few times and then shake it some more.

    Keep wiping off your revolver on the outside with a clean rag to remove whatever drips out.

    When the mineral spirits evaporates your revolver will be coated internally with a light film of Break Free which will also dry (somewhat slower) and enough that it will not attract dust, dirt, grime, residue, etc.

    You are done. Replace the grips.

    By The Way - you can do all of the above if your revolver takes a dip in the drink or otherwise gets soaking wet because the solvent degreaser chases out all water.
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    VIP Member Array Snub44's Avatar
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    ...no harm to rubber grips or the polymer frame like in a P97?

  15. #14
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    Your grips no matter what they are made of should be removed because you are going to flood fow up inside your grip opening also.

    Lately I have been using this one.
    WD-40® SPECIALIST® ELECTRICAL CONTACT CLEANER SPRAY,

    featuring patented Smart Straw® technology, blasts away oil, dirt, flux residue and condensation from sensitive electronics and electrical equipment with pinpoint precision. It dries quickly, leaves no residue and removes more soil than leading competitors.
    Safe to use and 50-state VOC compliant, it’s ideal for use on printed circuit boards, controls, switches, precision instruments and electric panels.


    But, usually I personally have no problem doing a complete dis-assembly of most revolvers.

    Also I should add that I do not own any Polymer framed revolvers but, mineral spirits and or Break free will not affect polymer.

    Do a test with any different brand of electrical spray contact cleaner that you buy. Pretty much all of them are safe for switches, wire insulation, circuit boards, etc so they should not harm a Polymer gun frame but do a test on a hidden spot on your revolver.

    I have flooded out a Kel-Tec P3AT with electrical contact cleaner with no absolutely problems if that helps any.

    Shooters have used GUNK brand Spray Electric Motor Cleaner on GLOCKS for quite some time now.
    Some folks have said that it leaves a slight white residue in sporadic places on the outside of the frame but, that is just dried skin oils trapped in the textured surface of the polymer...so wipe it with a bit of oil and then wipe that oil all off and it completely disappears.

    As an additional note I should add that I did not invent this. I am just passing the information along.
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  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snub44 View Post
    ...does RIG dissolve rubber grips?
    I don't know because I don't have any revolvers with rubber grips but I can't imagine that RIG would harm rubber. If I had rubber grips I'd sure be for using the coating of RIG beneath them as extra insurance against rust.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society

    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

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