Firearms especially those of higher caliber should be cleaned after each use or at least wiped of any finger prints, oils or moisture after each use if there is an interval between storage and cleaning. Moisture is extremely corrosive on the precision metals used in modern firearms. As and added benefit clean firearms are more accurate and will jam infrequently. Today we will clean my Glock 23, a .40 caliber, medium size handgun; due to its aggressive styling this firearm is considered by some to be a tactical weapon. Below you will find an abbreviated 9-step process to cleaning a Glock Handgun.
1. Gather the Materials
- Hoppe’s No. 9 Solvent
- Hoppe’s Gun Cleaner
- Hoppe’s Gun Oil
- Clean Patches
- Cleaning Rod
Note that I prefer to lay down an old shop towel this protects the surface underneath the firearm. The solvents used in this process should not be allowed to touch plastics, wood or carpeted surfaces. In addition I have used Hoppe’s products, there are other fine chemicals available for cleaning firearms; I prefer Hoppe’s as it works well and is a good American company.
The Glock is relatively simple to disassemble; first remove the clip, then check that the handgun is unloaded by pulling back the slide, next point in safe direction and pull the trigger, finally pull back on the slide slightly and push down on the slide release (button must be depressed on both sides). Noe move the slide down its track to the front of the gun. Remember to use enough pressure while never forcing anything.
I like to begin here with a clean patch dipped in the No. 9 solvent and attached to the cleaning rod. The rod with patch is gently twisted down the barrel from the breach end, never insert rod and patch down the front. Run the solvent laden patch up and down the barrel, you may need to switch out if it becomes too dirty. Next run a clean patch in a similar manner, repeat this step until the patch comes out clean. Finally take a drop of gun oil on a clean patch and rub any soot off the external portion of the barrel.
With this component you should use a clean patch with gun oil and a Q-tip with a drop of gun oil. Remove all the soot out from the underside using a patch and then the Q-tip in the technical areas. Use a light coating of oil to cover the top of the slide as well. If the slide is exceptionally dirty I spray gun cleaner on the underside before using the oil. Finally using a Q-tip with a dab of gun oil to clean around the hammer well.
This component of the handgun will be treated similar to the slide for cleaning purposes. Use the gun oil on a patch and Q-tip; clean the soot and brass filings from the surfaces, leave a light film of oil.
To address this part simply use the gun oil on a patch and spiral up the spring removing the soot along the way.
Using the gun oil on a patch clean the outside and the surface where bullets eject. Some people may disassemble the clip to clean completely. This is not necessary except in situations where the gun is very dirty.
Start by slipping the barrel upright into the slide and then re-securing the spring. The apparatus will only go together the correct way. Now secure the slide to the chassis in the exact opposite manner of how you removed it. In short gently push the butt end of the slide over the front of the chassis and pull back to cock the gun. I reiterate do not force anything.
At this point I like to use my Wally’s gun cloth to wipe fingerprints and excess oil off of the handgun. Then I secure it safely in a locking case and store it at my bedside. This insures that I have a fully functioning handgun in case of home invasion.
Remember to always consult your firearm owner’s manual before attempting to clean. Further note that it is extremely important to verify that a firearm is unloaded and pointed in a safe direction while cleaning. Finally in regards to possessing and using a firearm in self-defense always understand the laws in your local jurisdiction. Firearms should be locked and safely stored when not in use.