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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 7/14/2008 4:26:10 PM EST
I'm learning to fully strip all of my pistols, for cleaning and for the educational experience. None have seen obscene amounts of use, since I'm a broke 24 year old, but they've been oiled and cleaned for each range session.

My question is what do I look for? In terms of barrels, how can I tell if any damage has been done (I've used some cleaning kits that I worry might have been cheap from Walmart and messed up my barrels)? Frame? Sear? Etc.?

Teach me, I'm very interested in learning. I've built an AR-15 lower, so I figure the next step is learning my 5 handguns inside and out.

-Corey
Link Posted: 7/14/2008 10:27:42 PM EST
Generically?

Hm. I'll take a crack at this.

Look for signs of scratching along sliding surfaces - frame to slide, barrel to slide, galling with stainless parts, etc., and find what caused it. Smooth even wear that removes a bit of blueing or polishes stainless steel is good and expected.

It is hard to damage a barrel by cleaning from the rear. Look at the muzzle for signs of damage to the barrel. The lands and grooves at the muzzle should be even and sharp. You especially DON"T want rounded lands/grooves on one side of the barrel and sharp on the other, a sign of poor cleaning. Not intuitively, the one piece steel rods are best as they do not imbed grit that can scour the barrel, especially compared to segmented aluminum rods. They say the polymer coated steel rods are even better than bare steel WRT to barrel damage due to cleaning.

A little dirt in the action is OK, as long as it is not corrosive and comes from firing the ammo, not dirt as in rough feild conditions. I would be more concerned with over cleaning than undercleaning. Plenty of good oil goes a long way. If you can prevent rusting and poor lube wear you are 90% there.

Don't strip the frame down to bare parts unless you have to. This will minimize stretching springs, losing parts, and reversing/rotating pins and things that have worn in and smoothed out.

My opinion, FWWIW. I am finally building or fixing more guns than I have ruined so I have a bit of experience here. Gotta learn somehow.
Link Posted: 7/15/2008 3:39:32 PM EST
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You especially DON"T want rounded lands/grooves on one side of the barrel and sharp on the other, a sign of poor cleaning.


I noticed this is the case on my Jericho 9mm/"Baby Eagle." I don't think I've cleaned things badly, but this was my first pistol and I may have made mistakes. Would the fact that it's got polygonal rifling have anything to do with this?

-Corey
Link Posted: 7/15/2008 6:52:30 PM EST

Originally Posted By SausageOfPower:

You especially DON"T want rounded lands/grooves on one side of the barrel and sharp on the other, a sign of poor cleaning.


I noticed this is the case on my Jericho 9mm/"Baby Eagle." I don't think I've cleaned things badly, but this was my first pistol and I may have made mistakes. Would the fact that it's got polygonal rifling have anything to do with this?

-Corey


I doubt it. It would take a lot to damage your barrel with a dozen or so cleanings minus intentional abuse. Unless you were sawing away at the muzzle with enough side pressure to bend a filthy cleaning rod, I would not be worried about damage to the barrel.

I was thinking more along the lines of M1 Garands that were cleaned from the muzzle with segmented rods, especially the "Blue Sky" imports from the ROK. There is a sorta instant gunshow check with a loaded round. You stick the loaded bullet/cartridge into the muzzle and see how much the bullet goes into the muzzle. Something like 1/4" of bullet showing outside the barrel and case is good. On this Blue Sky barrel, the whole bullet AND half the 30-06 case neck went into the muzzle. Pretty shocking.

Worn out by over cleaning. Gotta wonder the last time anyone ever fired that rifle for a score.

But I digress....
Link Posted: 7/16/2008 2:23:46 PM EST
Thanks, perfect answer. I always used one-piece rods, recent upgraded by going to boresnakes, and I didn't think I was abusive. I did hear that people sometimes mistake polygonal rifled barrels as being blown out, simply because they look different from standard rifling. I know the Jericho can still cut dead center, but I wanted to make sure for the hell of it.

Thanks again.

-Corey
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 1:22:32 AM EST
It's very hard to damage a barrel, even with Wal-Mart cleaning kits.I've owned and do own several. Even harder with barrel removed and cleaning it from the breach end. Just stick to cleaning brushes made of brass or what ever plastic they're made of now. Make sure you also clean the rod after each use or a couple times while you're using it. Things have a habit of sticking to your cleaning rod.
As far as damage on other parts look for significant wear on parts or even worse missing metal chunks. Also get a radocy tear down guide for each gun. They are very cheap, most can be had for under $8 if you download directly from them and some can be found in gun stores for $10.A little hint the $10 ones should include Kodak quality color pictures.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 1:49:00 PM EST

Originally Posted By SausageOfPower:

You especially DON"T want rounded lands/grooves on one side of the barrel and sharp on the other, a sign of poor cleaning.


I noticed this is the case on my Jericho 9mm/"Baby Eagle." I don't think I've cleaned things badly, but this was my first pistol and I may have made mistakes. Would the fact that it's got polygonal rifling have anything to do with this?

-Corey


Polygonal rifling has a rounded form, it is not the square form that Ballard type rifling is.
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