Now that I'm a little older and am able to purchase a little more expensive guns I've changed the way I look at things a little. Don't get me wrong, I am not against saving a buck when ever I can, and try to when ever possible, but I have learned that when it comes to gun maintenence there's a reason why so many different types of cleaners and lubricants are available to us, and why some products are more expensive than others. The fact of the matter is, some products are simply better than others when it comes to gun maintenence.
Gun specific products are designed to take care of specific problems, while so-called "universal" cleaners and lubricants are not. I began to think about this alot after purchasing my first higher end guns. When maintaining my old SKS axle grease and WD-40 or any Teflon Spray was enough to do the trick, but using these products did teach me alot about what works with guns and what doesn't. I thought Teflon was a good thing, but after awhile I noticed that the Teflon spray lube I was using was actually causing my guns to rust. Instead of retarding moisture, the Teflon ended up retaining it. It worked just fine as a lubricant, but assuming it was a protectant (like the lable said) was a mistake. While WD-40 does a pretty good job at cleaning a gun it doesn't have the lubricant properties to protect your gun from wear, and tends to "burn off" when the gun was fired.
I noticed a big difference when I started using gun specific products. Carbon deposites came of quicker and easier when the right cleaners were used, my guns remained rust free when the right protectants were used, and the guns showed way less wear when the right lubricants were used.
It didn't make sense for me to use cheaper universal stuff on ANY of my guns anymore. The extra money spent on the right stuff was money well invested. I wasn't saving a buck by using cheaper stuff on my guns, I was causing way more wear and tear on my weapons costing me way more than I thought I was saving using cheap materials.
So what's my point? Well, it's simple. We spend our hard earned money on these weapons all the time. What's a couple dollars difference in products when a $2000.00 gun is involved? Why try and skimp on basic things like cleaners and lubricants for maintenence when you have already invested so much into the purchase of that gun? It just doesn't make any sense.
Even if some cheap product has been working for you for years, I suggest at least trying a gun specific product in it's place the next time you clean and maintain your gun. See if it makes a difference. Some may, and some may not, but IF the new product proves to be superior why not use it?
I have found that there is a whole spectrum of people who clean guns. On one end of the spectrum, people who whip the gun off with a towel and call it good, on the other end are people who break down the entire gun, every part and spends two hours in the process cleaning and luricating every part.
I am somewhere in the middle. Most pistols take me 20 minutes to clean, whereas rifles and sub guns take me closer to an hour to clean. It has always been important to me to properly mantain my guns. "Take care of the gun and the gun will take care of you".
I believe you are correct in saying, there is no ONE gun cleaner for ALL guns. Especially when you consdier high velocity guns to lower velocity guns.
Thanks for the observation.
This has always been a pet peeve of mine.
Over the years, I've had to explain to a number of people why their expensive gun was damaged or even ruined because they used some "expedient" cleaning materials or equipment.
People spend hundreds even thousands of dollars on a fine gun.
The AGONIZE on the internet about which is the "Best" lubricant.
They buy only the finest custom holsters.
They spend hours discussing which is the most deadly ammo.
The buy custom accessories, and have expensive custom gunsmiths alter the gun to be "perfect".
Then they shoot "Ivan's Discount, $2.95 per 100 rounds of cheap ammo, and shove God knows WHAT down the bore to clean it.
As for the cleaning chemicals, they'll use some awful and damaging chemical because someone at the range or on the internet told them it worked well, and is CHEAP.
To what end?
Just how much are you going to actually save, and is it worth risking an expensive gun?
People seem to have the idea that they can make something that will be as good, and SAFE for the gun as products big companies have had world-class PHD chemists spend millions of dollars developing.
You start getting the point after you've seen things like:
An early Python that looks like it had freckles in the hand polished bluing after the owner was told that vinegar was a good bore cleaner.
TWO, S&W target revolver owners who used synthetic pot scrubbers to remove fouling from the cylinder faces of their cylinders.
When the guns started to radically loose accuracy and they sent them in to S&W, S&W asked how in the world they had managed to round out the edges of the chamber ruining the cylinders.
The man who read in an old book about using mercury to remove lead from barrels.
His doctor explained just WHY you don't fool with mercury after he had some SERIOUS health problems, and his tests came back showing heavy metal poisoning.
The man who heard that you could use steel wool and a drill to clean a shotgun barrel. He heard "steel wool" and "drill".
Needless to say, he was somewhat surprised when I informed him that his hard to get, and SUPER expensive early Dirty Harry S&W .44 Magnum no longer had rifling left.
A customer who was given a recipe for making your own gun oil, which was "as good and much cheaper" than the overpriced store-bought stuff.
Unfortunately, the oil wasn't a good lubricant since it tended to evaporate, which left an additive that caused corrosion.
Imagine his surprise when I told him that that not only had his gun excessively worn from lack of lube, but that the additive had caused his gun to corrode internally.
He wasn't too happy when I asked just how MUCH money he had saved on lube, versus the price of his Browning pistol.
The gentleman with the custom-built SUPER expensive "Bean field" rifle that he'd waited 3 years to get from a top builder.
He was quite satisfied with the astounding accuracy, until it suddenly started getting to the point where he couldn't keep the rounds on a 50 foot target.
Outraged at being ripped off like this, he complained to the custom builder.
The custom builder was somewhat brutal in his explanation that you don't use drug store ammonia as a copper solvent.
The customer raging at Colt for selling him a defective stainless Officer's ACP.
The "cheap" crappy stainless Colt had started using had rusted while stored in the gun case.
I explained that you don't use steel wool to remove scratches, since the soft steel wool embeds into the stainless and rusts later, damaging the stainless.
The man with the High Standard Victor who was unaware that his friends suggestion to use an automotive store abrasive paste since it was as good a cleaner as JB Bore Paste and much cheaper wasn't quite true.
When last seen, he was looking for the friend.
I did a gun cleaning boo boo once. Had a can of Gunk Out carb cleaner, the kind with a dipping bucket and decided to dunk my blued Browning HP in it, remove, then use an old tooth brush to clean all the carbon off. Plan went well, the blueing wasn't damaged, carbon came right off, but so did the white paint of the front and rear sights. To this day my sights are sans white paint.