How to Clean a 1911


Longevity. Reliability. Safety. These are three great reasons for cleaning your firearm. A well-functioning handgun is imperative in the world of self-defense, home defense or sports shooting. And cleaning your firearm is essential for proper maintenance. The 1911 is an extremely worthwhile pistol, and it’s one that everyone should own. Why? Because it’s reliable as hell. Taking proper and timely care of your 1911 will help it last for a long, long time. 

Here’re some quick tips on how to clean a 1911.  


1. Safety First  

First things first. Before working on any firearm, you must make sure that the magazine is empty and completely removed. You also have to make sure the chamber is empty. Safety and precaution are musts when cleaning any firearm. Don’t assume anything has been cleared. Do it yourself and verify it yourself.  


2. Grab Some Supplies  

Before you take apart your favorite piece, designate a clean work area for your workstation. You should keep all your supplies at the ready and handy in a well-lit area. Here are the essentials tools that you will need:  

  • Gun Oil is essential for lubricating your 1911. This helps with rust prevention and quick cleaning. 
  • Bore Cleaner will help you remove powder, lead and metal from the barrel.  
  • Cleaning Kits are a shooter’s best friend. Make sure to have these tools at your workstation: bore brush, cleaning rod, toothbrush, cleaning patches. A Bore Brush is going to help you clean your 1911’s barrel. You’ll want your brush to be the same size as your caliber for proper cleaning.  


3. Disassemble Your 1911  

Grab your owner’s manual so you know how to properly disassemble your 1911. By disassembling your weapon, you’ll be able to access every part. Gun parts get dirty from firing and general use. clean workstation will help us keep every part accounted for. Are you more of a visual learner? Follow along with this video as we go over the steps to clean your 1911. 


4. Clean the  Barrel  

A clean and well-working barrel is going to help you stay safe and stay accurate. A clean barrel has the greatest impact on accuracy and will protect the firearm from rust while in storage.  


5. Soak the  Slide  & Frame   


You can put your slide in mineral spirits or a dry-cleaning solvent to keep it spotless. Don’t forget all the nooks and crannies on any part of your firearm. Be sure to clean the rails thoroughly. The same goes for the frame. You can soak it as well. Be sure to also clean all internal and external portions. A toothbrush or small brush works well.  


6. Apply the Lubricant  

Keep rust away from your 1911 with scheduled lubrication. Once everything is cleaned and dry, you can lubricate the barrel. Run some lubricant through the bore to leave a light coating on the inside. Without lubrication, premature wear and tear can affect your weapon.  


7. Don’t  O ver  C lean  

Remember, you don’t want to over lubricate or under lubricate your firearm. There’s a sweet spot you want to achieve, where everything is working appropriately. Once everything is all cleaned and dried off, it’s time to put your 1911 back together. Make sure you follow the owner’s manual once again, to ensure proper assembly. 


 Take care of your gun so that it takes care of you. Scheduled inspection and cleaning will keep your firearm operating properly and accurately for years to come.  

The Definitive Gun Care Guide