Cleaning and Care Question

This is a discussion on Cleaning and Care Question within the MP Reference forums, part of the Smith & Wesson MP Forum category; Hi guys, new to the board and a new gun owner as well. I recently purchased the M&P in .40 caliber and love it. I ...


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Old October 9th, 2011, 01:38 PM   #1
 
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Hi guys, new to the board and a new gun owner as well. I recently purchased the M&P in .40 caliber and love it. I have a lot of experience in firearms as I used to be a security police officer in the USAF. I have fired just about every type of gun you can think of and carried a Beretta 9MM for daily duty. With all the experience I have, I do have a question though. As I am now the owner of the gun, when cleaning and putting it away for storage back in its factory case, do you suggest I apply a very thin layer of lube/oil to the outside of the slide? In the AF we never did, but they were Uncle Sam's guns so we really didn't care what they looked like as long as they were clean and fired when we needed them to. I want to take really good care of the weapon and am not sure if that step is necessary to help prevent rust or if I should be OK just wiping the outside of the slide down with a microfiber cloth really well before re-assembling after thoroughly cleaning the weapon. Sorry if its a stupid question, I just want to be sure I am not doing anything that will harm the gun and/or cause rust.



Thanks guys!

D.



Edit: Removed inappropriate phrase, replaced it with the word "care".
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Old October 9th, 2011, 01:52 PM   #2
 
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Welcome to the forum and congrats on buying the M&P 40. Trouble with asking a question like that is, everyone has a different opinion on how a gun should be cleaned and stored. The good news is unless someone says soak it in seawater just about any method works.



Of course, mine is the best technique; after the usual solvent cleaning I will coat all exposed surfaces with light coat of Weapon Shield (or your protectant of choice). I then wipe the surfaces down with a soft, clean cloth. You don't want the surfaces shiny and dripping, just a micro-thin coating of protectant.



Be sure to lube with grease or lube the 6 slide and barrel locations detailed in the manual.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 05:38 PM   #3
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I'm retired USAF, also. When I put my weapons away, I wipe them down with a thin coat of silicone. A lot depends on your weapons environment. Do you live in a dry arid region? Then probably less of a problem, than if you lived in something more akin to a rain forest. Is it naturally damp and moldy around your area, moderate, or dry? Anyway, just wiping tthem down with some silicone spray will cover you about anywhere. Don't buy the ridicoulsly expensive "wipes". You can go to Wal-Mart, in the automotive section, and buy a large can for about 3 bucks. My Safariland holster is lined, and requires the inside silicone be sprayed occasionally, so I just use the same stuff for both. I guess the bottom line is, no matter what the ambient conditions are, and where and how your weapons are stored, it doesn't hurt to err on the safe side, and wipe 'em down with a little silicone, or some other protectant of your choosing.





P.S., just for clarification, our unit (not SP's) cared for, respected and turned our weapons in to the armory properly cared for, meticuously cleaned. Not ragging on you, but I wanted the general public to know that not everyone in the Air Force were as sloppy and had such a "care less" attitude about our weapons, and in reality, the taxpayer's weapons. We were constantly deployed, and counted on our weapons fo actually be funtcional.



J.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 07:52 PM   #4
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The few times a year that my M&P pistols get cleaned, the last step is always a wipe with an oily rag (in most cases a silicone cloth.



There are a number of younger members who frequent this forum. Please respect them by avoiding the use of inappropriate language.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 08:05 PM   #5
 
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Originally Posted by jbylake View Post
I'm retired USAF, also. When I put my weapons away, I wipe them down with a thin coat of silicone. A lot depends on your weapons environment. Do you live in a dry arid region? Then probably less of a problem, than if you lived in something more akin to a rain forest. Is it naturally damp and moldy around your area, moderate, or dry? Anyway, just wiping tthem down with some silicone spray will cover you about anywhere. Don't buy the ridicoulsly expensive "wipes". You can go to Wal-Mart, in the automotive section, and buy a large can for about 3 bucks. My Safariland holster is lined, and requires the inside silicone be sprayed occasionally, so I just use the same stuff for both. I guess the bottom line is, no matter what the ambient conditions are, and where and how your weapons are stored, it doesn't hurt to err on the safe side, and wipe 'em down with a little silicone, or some other protectant of your choosing.





P.S., just for clarification, our unit (not SP's) cared for, respected and turned our weapons in to the armory properly cared for, meticuously cleaned. Not ragging on you, but I wanted the general public to know that not everyone in the Air Force were as sloppy and had such a "care less" attitude about our weapons, and in reality, the taxpayer's weapons. We were constantly deployed, and counted on our weapons fo actually be funtcional.



J.


Perhaps you misunderstood my statement. We thoroughly cleaned and inspected our weapons, typically once a week on average and obviously kept them in the best shape and fully functional at all times as our lives depended on them. What I meant was, if we happened to scratch the slide or put a nick in the finish somehow or something similar that in no way affected the performance of the weapon it was not of great concern. With this being my own personal gun, I am concerned with keeping it not only cleaned and fully functional, but don't want it all scratched and dinged up as the AF issue M9's were. To insinuate that I, or other members of my squadron were "sloppy" or had a "care less attitude" in the care, maintenance and cleaning of our primary duty weapons is frankly uncalled for, out of line and unappreciated.



As far as my original question, thank you all for your replies.
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Old October 10th, 2011, 01:58 AM   #6
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soak it in seawater . Jk sorry I couldn't resist. Id lighty coat the slide if storing for a while though you probably don't have to especially on the m&p or glock but its something I've always done as my dad always did but that's just my opinion
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Old October 10th, 2011, 03:05 PM   #7
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In the AF we never did, but they were Uncle Sam's guns so we really didn't care what they looked like as long as they were clean and fired when we needed them to..



Thanks guys!

D.



Edit: Removed inappropriate phrase, replaced it with the word "care".


Just quoting you......



J.
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Old October 10th, 2011, 03:33 PM   #8
 
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I still swear by Eezox. I use it on my 9c but it doesn't get put away as I carry it everyday. I also use it on my Rem 700 and my Sig 226 both of which get stored all the time. Niether of them has any rust or other issues from lack of use. For me it's just a very lite coting of Eezox. Let it dry, give it a lite wipe off in case I got it a little thick in a few spots and put it away.
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Old October 10th, 2011, 03:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DST1975 View Post
With all the experience I have, I do have a question though. As I am now the owner of the gun, when cleaning and putting it away for storage back in its factory case, do you suggest I apply a very thin layer of lube/oil to the outside of the slide?



Thanks guys!

D.


As for the factory case, I also kept and use the wax paper that was wrapped around the gun that came with it. Figured it came that way for "long term" storage ??? I keep one in the case with extra mags and ammo for a get and go. The others are loose in the safe and a couple are hidden. They all still get a look/see wipe down every few weeks.
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Old October 11th, 2011, 08:25 PM   #10
 
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I have to comment along with the Air Force guy. I've been Soldiering for 23 years. Up until very recently, most weapons issued to the unit were always crappy exterior, but fully functional. While we maintained our rough looking assortment of weapons, they had always been stored dry...except a light oil swab through the barrels.



In rainy weather with minimal grit/dust in the air, it's a good idea to get an oiled up shaving brush and run it over the entire weapon...except parts to be gripped or manipulated to reduce chance of rusting.



Slight pitting spots of rust can be deterred by touching them up with a sharpened #2 lead pencil. Lead has a chemical reaction with the rust and virtually eliminates it, much like battery post cleaner on acid for your automobiles.



Dry areas, user determined. If it's looking discolored then sure put a light coat on. If it's a dusty environment leave it dry, but keep it clean...you'll only collect more dust that sticks on the oil that you applied.



In a box, in a house, under a bed...I wouldn't even worry about it. Just the little bit of lubrication used when cleaning and maintaining should be enough when you wipe it down after finishing...



I have a buddy who is so obsessive that he actually cleans his pistol after every range. The M&Ps that I've owned go a couple thousand rounds, even dirty, without a hiccup...at least that's been my experience. My first three thousand rounds with any pistol are fired completely dry...no lubrication at all. If it doesn't function through that period, it gets traded in immediately following. Some may argue that I am damaging the firearm, who knows? Shoots the same every time and remains perfectly reliable.



Berettas(92FS) like oil and happily display that when they get sluggish or fail to cycle at all. They too will run close to 2000 rounds before that happens. I was just shy of that mark, but really enjoy that particular pistol so I kept it and passed it to my son...for both of us to enjoy.
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Old October 12th, 2011, 05:03 AM   #11
 
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I have to comment along with the Air Force guy. I've been Soldiering for 23 years. Up until very recently, most weapons issued to the unit were always crappy exterior, but fully functional. While we maintained our rough looking assortment of weapons, they had always been stored dry...except a light oil swab through the barrels. In rainy weather with minimal grit/dust in the air, it's a good idea to get an oiled up shaving brush and run it over the entire weapon...except parts to be gripped or manipulated to reduce chance of rusting.Slight pitting spots of rust can be deterred by touching them up with a sharpened #2 lead pencil. Lead has a chemical reaction with the rust and virtually eliminates it, much like battery post cleaner on acid for your automobiles.Dry areas, user determined. If it's looking discolored then sure put a light coat on. If it's a dusty environment leave it dry, but keep it clean...you'll only collect more dust that sticks on the oil that you applied. In a box, in a house, under a bed...I wouldn't even worry about it. Just the little bit of lubrication used when cleaning and maintaining should be enough when you wipe it down after finishing... I have a buddy who is so obsessive that he actually cleans his pistol after every range. The M&Ps that I've owned go a couple thousand rounds, even dirty, without a hiccup...at least that's been my experience. My first three thousand rounds with any pistol are fired completely dry...no lubrication at all. If it doesn't function through that period, it gets traded in immediately following. Some may argue that I am damaging the firearm, who knows? Shoots the same every time and remains perfectly reliable. Berettas(92FS) like oil and happily display that when they get sluggish or fail to cycle at all. They too will run close to 2000 rounds before that happens. I was just shy of that mark, but really enjoy that particular pistol so I kept it and passed it to my son...for both of us to enjoy.


Wow, good call on the #2 pencil. I did not know about that trick, thank you!
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Old October 12th, 2011, 01:45 PM   #12
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[quote name='ricksva' timestamp='1318393556' post='311646']



Slight pitting spots of rust can be deterred by touching them up with a sharpened #2 lead pencil. Lead has a chemical reaction with the rust and virtually eliminates it, much like battery post cleaner on acid for your automobiles.



Do you mean graphite has a chemical reaction with rust? I don't think they've made pencil's from lead for several decades, at least.



I don't have any pitted firearms, but if I run across one, i'll try the pencil thing to see if it works for me. Or do you mean lead, like in a lead bullet or wheel weight?



J.
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Old October 12th, 2011, 08:20 PM   #13
 
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Slight pitting spots of rust can be deterred by touching them up with a sharpened #2 lead pencil. Lead has a chemical reaction with the rust and virtually eliminates it, much like battery post cleaner on acid for your automobiles.



Do you mean graphite has a chemical reaction with rust? I don't think they've made pencil's from lead for several decades, at least.



I don't have any pitted firearms, but if I run across one, i'll try the pencil thing to see if it works for me. Or do you mean lead, like in a lead bullet or wheel weight?



J.






Sounds gay, but if you go to staples or office depot, ask a sales person to show you a decent fine point mechanical pencil. You can still purchase the refills in a tube for it. The guy assured me it's #2 lead. Who knows for sure? I do know that what I use does work. It's not covering it up, but rather actually gets rid of the rust magically through it's reaction with the rust compounds. You can go over the affected spot and clean it later and actually see that it's gone. Pretty old school idea learned many years ago...probably after I had an all night drinking binge waking up to an NCO chewing my ass about the rust and offering this golden nugget of advice.



I've been around weaponry all of my adult life and tinkered with it since my mature youth. Often I read posts about cleaning/maintaining firearms here on this site. My rule of thumb would be that if you are a competitor of any capacity, cleaning and properly lubricating is cheap insurance for a decent run. For profesionals(Soldiers, Police, etc.) discretion dictates. We don't clean daily if the environmental conditions/threat level doesn't dictate the need. Graphite lubrication is excellent for dusty areas. Oil based lubricants suck in those conditions. Oil in wet areas, water crossings, snow seasons is ideal. Plinkers don't need to really be overly concerned with cleaning unless they are bored or compulsive. Their first gun will usually be immaculate...just like the day they bought it. Hell, if only a few hundred rounds were fired, annually would probably suffice if it's not a home defense pistol/rifle/shotgun. Dust bunnies from under the bed will have little effect on the outcome of the projectile. I've tried to cause malfunctions with dryer lint packed into every crevice. I achieved a failure to extract only cause I jammed as much as humanly possible in the extractor pawl. Cleaning is a good habit to develop...even though I may not practice it.



I however fire my pistols no lube and very dirty on a regular basis to kind of determine what the effects are and try to cause a malfunction before even considering it as a protective measure for me or my family. If it won't function in the most extreme conditions of filth, it's not fit to bank a life on it or to even have in the house. I make one exception to that due to the Beretta...it's just a sexy pistol in my opinion. Nice to shoot, feels good, all metal...only downside it it's addiction to lubrication around the lock lug pivot area. Cheap magazines are also problem areas for it...won't lock the slide back when empty, but in real life events, you'll dump the magazine before you have to worry about racking a fresh round.



All in all, some folks on this site would probably think I'm full of crap with some of my opinions or that I abuse my pistols. They are tools and I keep only the ones that perform in "real" work conditions. None the less I base what I type on what I do or have done...not something I once read about on the web or saw someone else do on youtube. I teach my troops the proper way, by the book standards, how to deal with weaponry. If they feel inclined to do what I do, they are welcome to indulge. With my M4, I know it's good to go hot anytime it's required...even the cleanest of weaponry can fail, so I do not encourage anyone to carry dirty on purpose or from laziness.



Cleaning materials vary. All that's really needed is an old sock(for wiping), a bore brush, paper towel(for swabbing if you're too cheap to buy pads...like me), and a tooth brush, motor oil works fine in normal temperatures for lubrication. Cleaning solvents are a plus if you have it. Not a fan of carbureter cleaner or brake cleaner for firearms. Plastic has adverse reactions to solvents of that nature. If used, try it on a non funcional plastic part and watch for melting or tacky feel. If that happens, toss the solvent in the trash can and write off the 4 bucks that was paid for it off to lesson learned.



I ramble on and on when I post and hopefully someone gets something good from it. A part thats often over looked is the magazine. some folks just wipe the outside, but seldom disassemble them to clean it properly. Give the spring a good tug and stretch it out if money's tight...it'll go several hundred rounds more before it sags...then they'll really need replaced or just get a new QUALITY magazine. Cheap magazines in good weapons peeve me to no end. 1911's are sensitive to weak magazine springs and struggle with the last round if used alot. 1911's are great pistols, but they are far from Glock/M&P ease of functionality for the common user. They have their quirks, but they are awesome. I would venture to say that the high performance custom 1911's probably function way better than a standard issue military outfit.



That's all I have to throw in the mix tonight.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 10:08 AM   #14
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Slight pitting spots of rust can be deterred by touching them up with a sharpened #2 lead pencil. Lead has a chemical reaction with the rust and virtually eliminates it, much like battery post cleaner on acid for your automobiles.



Do you mean graphite has a chemical reaction with rust? I don't think they've made pencil's from lead for several decades, at least.



I don't have any pitted firearms, but if I run across one, i'll try the pencil thing to see if it works for me. Or do you mean lead, like in a lead bullet or wheel weight?



J.






Sounds gay, but if you go to staples or office depot, ask a sales person to show you a decent fine point mechanical pencil. You can still purchase the refills in a tube for it. The guy assured me it's #2 lead. Who knows for sure? .
I do, and now so can you. Lead, as in the element in the periodic table, also known by symbol Pb, is the heavy metal that we use as wheel wieghts, bullets, and many other industrial compounds.



Pencil lead is graphite/carbon. #2 lead refers to the hardness of the graphite in a pencil. H for harder graphites in pencils, B for softer compounds and darker colors.



If the nitwit in the office store was trying to convince you that graphite pencil's, known as lead pencil's, which haven't been used for centuries actually contained the element Pb or Lead, he was delusional, stupid, or perhap's technically partially right, #2 lead for a pencil is #2 lead, although it actually does not contain lead.



Here is some research you can do yourself:



http://www.officemus...cil_history.htm



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pencil



http://www.pencils.com/unleaded-pencil



I don't see how graphite would cause any chemical reaction with the metal on your weapon, but might be a good dry lubricant.



Maybe a soft compound lead pencil might temporarily cover a scratch.



The only reason that I even responded to this is that although most people on this forum already have a favorite routine/cleaner/lubricant/cleaning frequency, there are some on here that are relatively new to shooting and have some legit questions on how to clean, or what is the best cleaner/lubrication or cleaning frequency for their weapon. I could not stand by and let them think, if that they didn't really know, that because of a moron at a paper supply store thinks pencil lead and the metal element known as lead have anything in common, that the use of use of pencil lead will do anything for their weapon other than temporarily cover a mark or scratch, and that the use of real lead, as we know it on the periodic chart, is best used for firearms, is the core of copper jacketed bullets, lead bullets, and molding your own lead bullets.



Nest time you go to the office supply store, you can educate your clerk.





J.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 06:28 AM   #15
 
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A question related to cleaning. I cleaned my MP9 for the first time last night after purchasing and after I finished I found lint from the gun cloths I bought from the store. No matter what I do to clean them off it doesn't come off. After cleaning and lubrication what should I use to to wipe off the various cleaning solutions so lint does not get on them?
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