So you have a smooth, hard-hitting Rock Island Armory 1911, and you've just finished putting a couple hundred rounds down range. Now it's time to give your 1911 a good cleaning. Periodic cleanings will help keep rust away, reduce carbon build-up and remove any metal shavings that get stuck in the barrel.
Proper maintenance will prevent malfunctions and keep your barrel in great shape. Before you start cleaning, you'll want to gather the following tools first.
1. Cleaning Rod or Bore Snake
The first thing you'll need is a cleaning rod or bore snake. Either will do. The bore snake provides the benefit of more flexibility. Make sure your cleaning rod has enough length to fit through your barrel.
2. Cleaning Patches
After you apply the barrel cleaner and lubricant, you'll want some cleaning patches to run through the barrel and around the rest of the gun. You can buy patches from your nearest sporting goods store or cut out bits from an old t-shirt. Some trimming may be necessary to assure a smooth fit through the barrel.
3. Solvent and Lubricant
You have plenty of choices here. Everyone has a preference. Some prefer to use barrel solvent and separate lubricant, whereas others go for an all-in-one solution. Some popular options include Hoppe's No. 9, Balistol and Lucas Gun Oil. Some people even reach for a can of WD-40. Armscor's own gunsmiths rely on Slip 2000 products.
4. Bore Brush
You may also want to run a brush through your barrel to remove any metal fouling. A bore brush with bronze or nylon bristles will do the trick without scratching your barrel. Also, make sure the brush size matches the caliber of your gun.
5. Compressed Air
A can of compressed air can also come in handy to blow out jacketing or dirt from hard-to-reach grooves. If running a brush through your barrel makes you nervous, compressed air can serve as a suitable replacement.
6. Toothbrush and Cotton Swabs
An old toothbrush and cotton swabs are helpful when cleaning off rails and the finer areas of your gun. You can also try cotton balls and toothpicks.