Glock's are hugely popular for civilian shooters, competition shooters, and law enforcement alike. With an incredible reputation of being low-maintenance, reliable, and dang near bullet proof, the Glock's are a common choice for every day carry and personal defense weapons. Even with how tough Glock's are, they too need to be cleaned and cared for from time to time—read on to learn how to disassemble, clean, and care for your Glock!
How Often Should I Clean My Glock?
This is a question I get a lot, and one that has a different answer for everyone. There is no right or wrong time to clean your gun, as it all depends on how much you shoot. Some people will clean their gun after/before every range day or hunting trip. I tend to stick to every 500 rounds or so, which is about every other range trip, as well as before every hunting trip just to be safe. Some people find it methodical to clean guns, so if you find yourself enjoying it, clean often! There’s no downside to cleaning a gun often, except for maybe the cost spent in cleaning materials.
Cleaning a Glock:
Step 1- Gather Your Cleaning Materials
Everyone is different when it comes to choosing their cleaning materials, but the following is always found in my cleaning kit:
- Solvent (M-PRO 7 is tried and true, and my go to choice)
- An old rag or washcloth
- Q-tips and toothpicks
- An old toothbrush
- Barrel Snake (make sure it’s designed for the caliber barrel you are cleaning)
- Lube (I have been fond of ‘Frog Lube’ here lately)
Always make sure the chamber is empty before working on any firearm. Safety First.
Step 2- Unload the Pistol and Make Sure it’s Safe
Undoubtedly the most important step in this process, this should really be Step 1. Point your gun in a safe direction, drop the mag, and cycle the action while visibly inspecting there is nothing loaded in the chamber, and it is ready to disassemble safely.
Step 3- Disassemble the Glock
You are now ready to disassemble the Glock, so you will need to dry fire (see Step 2 to do this safely) the weapon, as Glock's can only be taken apart once the firing pin is in the forward position.
Now that the gun is ready to be broken down; separate the pistol into its 4 main components-- these being the slide, barrel, recoil spring assembly, and receiver. For routine maintenance, no further take down will be needed past this, and you are now ready to clean your gun.
A Glock that has been field stripped. Slide, barrel, recoil spring, frame, and magazine.
Step 4- Clean the Barrel
Steps 4-7 can be done in any order you prefer, but I always like to start with the barrel.
- Grab your cleaning rod or barrel snake, and wet it with the solvent of your choice. Now, work this solvent soaked tool through your barrel to break down any carbon build up. A back and forth motion, as well as rotating the tool tends to work best. Once done scrubbing, follow through the barrel with a small cleaning rag/patch and see how much residue is left. I like to repeat this step until I can push a clean patch through the barrel and pick up little to no carbon residue.
- Since the inside of the barrel is now clean, let’s focus on the outside. This is where I will grab my toothbrush, soak it in solvent, and start scrubbing. Make sure to pay close attention to the feed ramp, as well as any areas where metal forms an angle, as these are hot spots for carbon build up. Sometimes at this step I will get really picky and grab a toothpick to clean hard to read angles!
- When the inside and outside of the barrel are cleaned to your standards, dry it off and set it aside for later reassembly.
Step 5- Clean the Slide
- Hold the slide vertically, and use your solvent soaked tooth brush to scrub and clean off any build up or debris from the inside and outside of the slide. When doing this, try to be careful about getting chemicals into the firing pin channel, as this could later cause problems in reliability.
- Again, Q-tips and toothpicks are handy here to reach the difficult spots on the slide. Make sure to get into all the difficult areas here.
- Repeat the prior steps until you can run a clean rag/patch across the inside and outside of the slide without picking up any residue!
- Once satisfied, set the finished slide by the barrel for later.
Step 6- Clean the Recoil Spring Assembly
The recoil spring assembly is just a fancy term for the spring and rod that were taken out earlier. Generally the easiest part to clean, the assembly does not take much time or effort.
- Spray the assembly with a generous amount of solvent and begin to scrub with your toothbrush
- Dry and clean after a 30-45 seconds of scrubbing
- Put aside for reassembly
Step 7- Clean the Receiver
As part of routine maintenance, the receiver does not need much attention regularly. I usually avoid using solvent here, and simply take a dry toothbrush and scrub down the receiver. DO pay close attention to the extractor, trigger bar, and connector; if you choose to use solvent make sure to wipe off any excess at the end.
Step 8- Component Check
Since your gun is taken apart, now is obviously a great time to inspect your firearms wear parts and make sure everything is still functioning as designed. Some parts to keep a close eye on are as follows:
- Barrel: Always inspect your barrel for any kinds of cracks, bulges, or deformations. These can not only be costly, but potentially dangerous later on.
- Extractor: Found on the breech face of the slide, make sure the extractor isn’t chipped, broken, or distorted.
- Ejector: Located on the rear left of the receiver, again make sure it isn’t chipped, broken, or distorted.
- Firing Pin: Really only necessary if you have put a lot of rounds through your gun, or have a reason to believe the firing pin may be damaged, checking the firing pin has a few steps to it.
- Holding the slide with the interior facing skyward, gently pull the firing pin lug rearward and bring it forward slowly until it stops. Do not release the pin suddenly, as you want to avoid the pin snapping forward
- Now press on the firing pin safety button (found on the slides interior) this should move the pin through the firing pin hole on the breech face
- Shake the slide roughly from front to back, if you do not hear the firing pin moving freely inside the channel, there is a good chance that the channel is clogged with lube, carbon, or other debris. You will need to see a gun smith to have this issue resolved.
Lubrication, not cleanliness, is the biggest factor in weapon reliability.
Step 9- Glock Lubrication Points
I was raised under the principle that you can never use too much lube. Whatever extra lube is on the gun, will simply be shot off later. Everyone is different however, so grab your chosen brand of lube (I enjoy Frog Lube) and lubricate the below areas:
- Slide: Take your lubricant and spray or swab it onto both rail cut outs. I will usually lube the area until it is almost ready to drip, but it’s your gun and your maintenance, so find what you prefer and stick to it. Apply oil in the same fashion to the part of the slide that comes in contact with the barrel.
- Barrel: Coat the entire exterior of the barrel in a thin layer of lube, I also like to apply a thin layer to the feed ramp. (Note: Contrary to what my father jokingly told me when I was a child, lubing the inside of the barrel will NOT make the bullets go faster!!)
- Receiver: I typically don’t apply a lot of lube to the frame, I will again lube where the rails are, but I may only apply a drop or so of lube into the trigger assembly. Again, find what you prefer and what works well for you.
Step 10- Reassemble the Glock
To reassemble your Glock, simply reverse the disassembly steps that you (hopefully successfully) completed earlier. Upon completion, cycle your action and make sure everything is working smoothly without any unfamiliar noises or catches. Try some dry firing and make sure the trigger feels right, and then crack open a cold one (or 3) after a job well done!
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