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 Post subject: How Often Do You Clean Your Shotgun?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:58 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 9:17 am
Posts: 29
How often do you thoroughly clean your shotgun? I'm not talking about running a snake through it, but a full cleaning with solvent.
What is your proceedure, type of solvent. Do you use a nylon, bronze, or stainless brush.

I used to clean mine every week. I now clean every other week. Hoppes #9, Bronze brush.

Andy


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 Post subject: Re: How Often Do You Clean Your Shotgun?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:16 am 
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Andy,

Your question is unanswerable due to many factors. For instance, during waterfowling season, I clean all the shotguns that I take in the field every day. I let the gun warm up and then remove the barrel clean it and then wipe the gun down with CLP. Same with any gun that I take afield. My A5s that I regularly shoot may go to a qualified gunsmith as often as every 5 years or once in 50 years, as in one case, for a complete disassembly and cleaning.

Aside from regularly used hunting guns, storage is the key. With over 300 guns, it is impossable to clean them once a week. Therefore, I have them stored in a walk in gun valt/room. It is humidity and temperature controlled. Most of this family collection is seldom used. These guns were cleaned before storage or after each use and they get a complete inspection and a coat of RenWax each year. For 35 years this system has served us well.

I like to shoot these family guns and when I do use them, I wipe them down with CLP and check the gun carefully before I place back into "storage". Many of these guns like the big double rifles are not fired for years but most made the trip back to England before my Dad died and were serviced by their makers. I could never afford this and it was a wonderful gift from my father and uncles.

In general, I'd advise you that your guns should by broken down to basic parts and wiped clean and dried after each use. Some guns may need a full stripping every few times they are used. Some of the gas operated semi-autos come to mind, here. All guns that shoot black powder, need to be properly cleaned after each use. If you live in a humid area, especially if near the sea, guns may require an everyday wipe down. A gun safe with a good dehumidifier will cut your time spent greatly. Remember moisture, temperature change, dirt and insects are the gun's enemy. Put a barrier between the gun and them and they will last generations.

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 Post subject: Re: How Often Do You Clean Your Shotgun?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:49 am 
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I would have to say "maybe" once a year. If all a gun gets is a quick trip to the range on a nice day for maybe 50 or a hundred shots, if it's an auto I'll clean the gas system, if it's a pump or SxS I'll wipe it off real good. If we went duck hunting in the rain and/or spray then it get's a complete cleaning. The one SxS I have left does not go out in inclement weather.
When not in use the guns are kept in an environment controlled safe.

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 Post subject: Re: How Often Do You Clean Your Shotgun?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:41 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:39 am
Posts: 486
Location: Atlanta
Andy,

I enjoy cleaning my guns so my response is probably not the norm.

The break action guns get cleaned after every use. Hoppes #9 on a patch and a bronze bore brush for the barrels followed by Remoil on a patch through the barrels. They are mirror bright when I finish. The receiver gets a good wipe down with Remoil and I dig into all the recesses with the oiled patch. I DO NOT take the actions apart. All the break action guns go back to the manufacturer annually for a cleaning and tune up. I find a bore snake makes the barrels look clean, but are far from that. A bore snake is a good 1st step to remove the superficial gunk.

The auto loaders (Beretta 391s) also get cleaned after every use. Same barrel routine. The gas piston and piston rod get a good cleaning to remove the gunk build up. Scotch pad with Remoil works great. The receiver gets a wipe down with Remoil as well. About every 5th use, I pull the trigger group out and clean it well. The Break Free spray cleaner works well and doesn't stink up the basement. I also pull the gas spring assembly out and clean the gas ports. All parts get a light spray of Remoil before reassembly.

I do know people who have not cleaned their auto loaders in years and they shoot fine until .....

Guns that don't get used often come out of the safe and get a Remoil rub down avery 3 months.

People who buy my guns all say they look just like new.

Good shooting!

Doug


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 Post subject: Re: How Often Do You Clean Your Shotgun?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:22 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:25 am
Posts: 117
Location: Central Fla.
I break mine down and clean it each and every time it`s used. It`s an Ithaca M-37, so it`s as easy as 1-2-3.
Seems like everybody has a different take on the "care and feeding "
of their weapon and that`s fine but for me it`s break down, clean and
re-assemble. I`ve got plenty of time. :)

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 Post subject: Re: How Often Do You Clean Your Shotgun?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:34 am 
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Every 2200-2500 rounds, there was a time that was once a week. I clean the barrel maybe twice a year but it's also a fixed choke, cleaning it is more to inspect than something it really needs. Scotchbrite wrapped around a brush and drill, it'll be a mirror in 20 seconds.

I used to clean it before any competition, I don't bother with that anymore either. Just a few shots o CLP in critical areas and let 'r run.

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 Post subject: Re: How Often Do You Clean Your Shotgun?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:49 am 
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I have 3 autos that I clean; a 391, a Browning Gold and a Benelli Supersport.

All get a thorough wipe-down and several passes with the bore snake each time they are shot.

All get the full treatment, including pulling the stock and cleaning the recoil spring assembly an time they get wet.

Otherwise the Benelli is super easy to clean. Just spray and wipe the inside of the receiver and bolt assembly.

Every 500 - 1000 rounds I pull the bolt and trigger assemblies on the Beretta and Browning, spray them with Breakfree, spray them with air, then wipe them down. I use a cloth, patch and Qtip to wipe away excess fluid and visible dirt.

The 391 gets its piston soaked in Slip 2000 and then thoroughly cleaned about 2-4 times per year. I also use a 1/8" drill bit to hand clean the gas ports (Browning too).

I thoroughly clean the Browning's piston and mag tube after every use. I find that this gun will function flawlessly if the piston moves freely on the tube.

I also store the gas autos muzzle down to minimize lube/fluid dripping into the recoil spring tube. When this gets dirty the action retards and you start having failures to feed.

Two good resources for auto cleaning:

http://www.briley.com/articles/autoloader.html and

http://www.briley.com/articles/autoloader.html

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 Post subject: Re: How Often Do You Clean Your Shotgun?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:32 pm 
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I only own some doubleguns and a couple Benellis. Don't go with a Nitro solvent every time, but do clean and use G-96 or RemOil. Every fourth or fifth time, I use Nitro solvent. I'm also a fan of chucking a rod & brush into a cordless drill for the bores. Decreases time and cuts elbow grease way down.

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 Post subject: Re: How Often Do You Clean Your Shotgun?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 1:07 pm
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Every time I shoot them - regarless whether they're semi-autos, pump guns or O/U's .

Dropping the trigger out of a pump gun or semi-auto is not a big deal / so I just do it as part of my routine cleaning.

On an O/U - I will remove the stock twice a year / or anytime I shoot the gun in the rain - dry out the springs, firing pins, etc.

To me - it just isn't that big a deal. I use a brass Tornado brush / Shooter's choice solvent / for lube on actions I use Rig Spray oil / on choke tubes I use Break Free for lube.

I use cotton pipe cleaners - to clean the barrel ports ( all my 12, 20ga guns are ported )..


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 Post subject: Re: How Often Do You Clean Your Shotgun?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:46 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 9:53 pm
Posts: 47
When it stops working properly, which it seems in my case is not very often. GM


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 Post subject: Re: How Often Do You Clean Your Shotgun?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:33 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 2:38 am
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Location: San Jose, CA
Once to twice a week.

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 Post subject: Re: How Often Do You Clean Your Shotgun?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:23 pm 
Shooting Instructor
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 8:11 am
Posts: 3925
Location: Manhattan Kansas
Eddav72:

I happen to know first hand that the guy that wrote that piece you cite from the Briley web pages lost seven targets at a shoot with his Beretta 391 when the carrier went south. :lol:

I wipe every gun down after it has warmed up in the house. I take a soft cloth and wipe out the crud from the action and wipe the outside of the gun with an oily cloth and run a Tico tool through the bire and chamber. I do a full cleaning if a gun gets wet or is usedin a sandy or salty environment. I clean all of my guns right after they get wet or about every 1000 rounds. That is easy to remember when you are reloading as you clean the gun after opening a box of primers.

Here are four things to remember about keeping an autoloader working that I learned from some of the best gunsmiths in the country.

1. Listen to your gun; it will tell you that it needs a full strip down cleaning by the sound of the action.
2. A small drop of oil in the right place is better than spraying it on a region.
3. Watch for wear and broken parts when you clean.
4. Change the springs after 6 to 10,000 rounds.

Also ....... Thanks Eddav72, for the kind words about the article. I had a lot of fun talking to high volume shooters and gunsmiths as I wrote it.

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 Post subject: Re: How Often Do You Clean Your Shotgun?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:27 pm 
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There are some guns that I would never "drop the trigger group out of". The Browning BPS and A5 come to mind. My gunsmith gets BPS receivers in boxes quite often. Many double guns, especially some European guns should not be disasembled buy most owners. Take apart a Charles Lancaster Seff Opener and be sure to bring your wallet when your gunsmith has to put it back togeather for you.

Above, I mentioned a complete cleaning of an A5. It was my Grandfather's 1927 gun. It had never been to a gunsmith and still functioned fine but about ten years back, I had my smith completely clean it. Nothing much was replaced but there was a little pile of grass seeds, paper from paper shells (!) and gunk inside the works. Guess it was worth it. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: How Often Do You Clean Your Shotgun?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:37 pm 
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Spencer,

Thanks for taking the time to write the Briley article. I share it with everybody who asks me about maintaining their autoloader.

7 targets? Damn! I pulled the safety out of my 391 after losing one! :D

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 Post subject: Re: How Often Do You Clean Your Shotgun?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:42 pm 
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I had 14 malfunctions due to the failure to feed. I got the shot off on several of them but my concentration was gone. I now use my 390 trigger in my 391. I am still waiting to get the trigger back from Beretta.

Iam glad that you found it useful. I have had good feed back on that piece. The Briley, Browning and Beretta gunsmiths liked it.

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 Post subject: Re: How Often Do You Clean Your Shotgun?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:24 pm 
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Location: The great state of Idaho
It is my hobby to shoot my guns and keep them in brand new condition. I do this by cleaning them fully from stem to stern after every time I shoot them. To me they are way to expensive to just get thrown back in the cabinet without some tender loving care.

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 Post subject: Re: How Often Do You Clean Your Shotgun?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:55 pm
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Location: Harrisburg, IL
Cleaning the guns after every use is just another part of the sport that the whole family enjoys doing together. Just like reloading, it's a time where we can sit and just talk about whatever comes to mind. When you have teenagers, any chance to talk, no matter how casual, is a good thing!

Yes, after every trip to the range we sit and clean, or we wait until the next day.

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 Post subject: Re: How Often Do You Clean Your Shotgun?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:44 pm 
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I make it a habit to clean my guns often even if they haven't been shot. It's a rewarding feeling when you remove the barrel from the receiver and look down it and the inside looks like a hall of mirrors. Eye candy! 8)

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