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i dont mind putting in the time to keep this firearm in optimal shape but i was just curious to hear from beretta owners and such how often i should give a total cleaning and how long such an ordeal should take(disassembly cleaning libricating and reassembly).

also I think i read that with a gas operated semi that you should "break in" the action with large loads so that later it can handle smaller loads more efficiently?
 

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Some new Urikas need a break-in, some shoot light loads OK from the very beginning. If it needs break-in or if you want to be certain it will function OK the first time you shoot it, disassemble and clean it first, and lubricate with a little bit of light lubricant like Breakfree CLP. Use a heavy target load or equivalent to start with. You don't need a real heavy field load to break it in, just a 1 1/8 oz 3 dram equivalent should be heavy enough. A box or two of those, and it should be ready for light 1 oz loads or even lighter.

Some people like to keep their guns as clean as the silverware they eat with, but it is a matter of personal preference. I don't see any real need for that. I shoot a lot but don't clean the gun very often. How often depends on what kind of ammo - some is dirty and will foul up the gun quickly, some is clean and will go thousands of rounds between cleanings.

Cleaning gets quicker as you gain experience, and as the trigger group loosens up a little and gets easier to remove. I can do everything except disassemble the gas valve and clean the ports, in 10 minutes. But I'm not trying to get it spotless.

At each cleaning, remove the bolt and bolt slide, remove the trigger group, spray everything with a solvent (I use brake parts cleaner, but keep that off the wood - Gunscrubber is safer but costs a little more). Wipe down the mag tube, operating rod, etc. Dont forget to spray inside the receiver.

The two hardest parts to clean are the piston and the shaft it slides on. If carbon deposits are heavy, I use a dull utility knife to scrape inside the top or the piston and on the heaviest deposits on the shaft. A wire brush (small welder's bronze brush) works OK on the side of the piston. Plastic pot cleaner, also sold as synthetic sandpaper, helps clean the shaft. Don't try to get either of them spotless - that's a waste of time.

How often you need to clean the gas ports depends on what kind of ammo you use. If you shoot Federals, clean them every few hundred shots, if you shoot Rios.... well, I have yet to see any gas ports that needed cleaning after thousands of shots.

After cleaning, spray everything lightly (I prefer Breakfree CLP, but oil will do) and wipe off any drips. I spray the trigger group until it is soaked to make sure I get all the little moving parts, then wipe off all the excess. the trigger group and the inside of the receiver should not be dripping when you put it back together, because you don't want oil running onto the wood.

Remove the choke tube and flush the treads in the barrel with spray solvent. With Rio or similar clean ammo, my barrels never need any bore cleaning - there are no deposits after 10,000 rounds. Others may leave plastic or lead deposits that need to be scrubbed out with a bronze brush and solvent.
 

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Seamus O'Caiside said:
I shoot a lot but don't clean the gun very often.
To clarify, are you saying the gun stays in it's case between trips to the club most of the time? I must be one of the "clean as silverware" type of guys. At the very least, I clean the bore and wipe off the exterior every time and not every 10,000 shells. I shoot Rios as well and would gladly spend less effort on cleaning my 391.
 

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Yes, it stays in the case except when I am shooting it (which is quite often) or cleaning it (which is not). I have never had any rust on it (but I am more careful in wet weather).

You clean the bore every time? What do you clean out of it? There is nothing in mine but a very little bit of loose ash, and that doesn't do any harm because it is not corrosive. Every shot pushes the old ash out and leaves some new ash. Nothing accumulates.

Frequent cleaning can't hurt, but it won't do any good either, unless you:
1. live in a very damp environment,
2. shoot around salt water, or
3. use very dirty ammo.

I'm shutting down now to go away for Christmas - can't post again until Wednesday.

Merry Christmas!
 

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I am pretty anal about cleaning my 391. Typically, I always clean the bore, piston, shaft, chokes, and wipe off the exterior with a lightly oiled cloth. I've backed off from cleaning the trigger group, bolt assembly, and inside of the receiver to about once a month. Twice a year, I will take apart the exhaust valve assembly and even run an oiled patch between every bracket between the barrel and rib.

I think I will scale down my cleaning a bit and see what happens.
 

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I shoot it until it gets sticky, hit it with Breakfree, finish the day and maybe clean it before I go out again. I find I spend less time cleaning my 391 than an over under. I shoot 3/4 ounce loads and have no reliability problems. You can clean them when you want to or when you have to. I'm in the second category. And that's with the antique mobil choked first models. These new fangled pistons that eat carbon :lol: should go a couple years without cleaning.
Dave
 

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At the start and end of our "summer" shooting season ( roughly May 1 through September 1) , I give my two 391's a reasonably thorough external clean-up ... and brush out the bore & choke tubes. I tend to run them somewhat "dry" ... just the remnants of G96 remaining after general cleaning. Same for the DT-10. With the two semis, they get a disassembly & more thorough cleaning at around the 5,000 round level, or if I happen to notice a build-up of carbon & crud. I use Top Gun's "Wads-Out" (which I think is a variation of the Frankford Arsenal/ Ed's Red) formula. I do notice a build-up of plastic in the choke tubes ( which comes out easy enough with the Wads-Out ), particularly with the tighter chokes. For stuborn cleaning I use a cut piece of non-abrasive synthetic pad mounted on a mandrel on a Foredom tool.
"OOOO" steel wool soaked in Hoppe's No. 9 is also a useful cleaner for stubborn spots. As a general solvent of choice I like Toluol (available at Home Depot and like outlets) and as a lube/protectant, I prefer G96 over BreakFree. I find it somewhat greasy and subject to attract dirt & grime.

Just my 2 cents worth.
 

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I clean the piston shaft with a small wad of 0000 steel wool soaked with solvent. I have been trying to find a wire brush with the bristles coming straight out like an artists brush for cleaning inside the piston as I can not reach that area with other wire brushes shaped like a toothbrush. I found a new product by Birchwood Casey ( Item # 41108 AB-3). It is a pack of three brushes, two stainless steel and one nylon, that appear to be great for getting into confined spaces like the piston. Probably great for areas inside the receiver as well.
 

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Doc, I went to Greentop and bought one of those brush sets after you told me about it. I haven't used it yet, but I'm sure it will come in handy for a lot of things.
 

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When I was shooting alot (600-700 rounds per week), and got over cleaning it every time I shot, I settled into a sort of routine. Once per week I'd take it apart, clean the op rod, magazine tube, bolt assembly, gas piston, mop out the barrel and wipe out the receiver. Once per month I'd clean the gas valve, wash out the trigger group with Bralkeen and run a 1/8" drill bit through the gas ports. Once per year I'd clean the magazine & spring. I suppose I changed the recoil spring 3-4 times per year, usually at the start of spring, summer, etc. I know 2 Master Class shooters who profess to "never" cleaning their 391.
The real advantage to getting a regular cleaning schedule is that you can catch a problem before it cuts a shooting session short with a breakdown.
Regards, George
 
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