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With all the disasters and other calamities that seen to occur from katrina to the tsunami it got me thinking.

If a storm or other calamity hit an area, in the aftermath because I know a cleaning kit would probably be the last thing on my mind when grabbing stuff to leave the house what else could be used to maintain ones weapons in the absence of an official gun cleaning supplies ?

I figure motor oil could be used as lube on the rails or to wipe the gun down to prevent rust but what other chemicals could be used ... for example to clean said weapon if in a pinch ?

Also besides an AK which we know would function with no problems dirty what about maintaining a weapon like a AR which requires that it be kept clean ? Also what about handguns anyone know of any handguns that like an ak can be shot and shot and shot with minimal cleaning ?
 

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I have read of people cleaning guns in a pinch with kerosene, diesel fuel, and soap and water, followed by lubricant if possible. I have never tried it myself.

As far as "AK-type" pistols go, Glocks have a tremendous reputation for putting up with lots of abuse and little cleaning and still working. Certainly they can be gunked up enough to stop working, but they seem more fool proof (or as my German counterparts used to say, "soldier proof") about cleaning than some pistols. At the last shooting course I went to, the instructor was also the Glock armorer for his police department -- he had seen a Glock that had quit functioning solely due to crud (trigger would not move), but the problem there was too much oil in the wrong places, combined with lots of carrying around and no shooting and cleaning.

There was a gunwriter in the 90s who made a test to see how long he could go without cleaning his Glock. He wore out some springs, and wore the sights off the slide, but the last time I remember reading him (forgot his name, this was in late 90s) he had gone thru several tens of thousands of rounds.

Stuffing an emergency cleaning kit in whatever you are likely to bug out with in a disaster would be a good idea. I have a small ziploc bag with a Boresnake, a small bottle of powder solvent, a small bottle of oil, a toothbrush with the handle shortened (so it will fit in the bag), and a few of those pre-oiled wipes (I think the brand is "Gunsaver" or something like that). It I keep it in my range bag in case I forget my superduper tacklebox cleaning kit with all the jags and brushes and borescopes and dental picks and patches and...and... :)

elb
 
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The Army did a study on this a few years ago after disasters training 3rd world troops using cooking oil. The criteria was the same as yours.. What works best but can be found anywhere... +1 auto transmission fluid (which happens to be main ingredient of Ed's red) as a cleaner, motor oil for lube and protection. +2 cleaner was diesel fuel.... Dont use WD 40.. as lube or protection. It is actually a decent cleaner but it also is very good marketing, Long run it causes rust. It will disolve rust but eventually evaporates leaving bare clean metal which rusts, so you buy more WD 40 cleans it right up then it rusts, buy more.. etc etc. It is a useful product for spraying down a rained on gun to displace the water (That's what the WD stands for) the cleaning and lubing when you get home.
 
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Kerosene or lighter fluid works well to ungum your weapon and will eventually just evaporate away. Motor oil is fine for lube, but watch your viscosity! If you use the thick stuff that's formulated for summer driving you're going to gunk up your weapon if it's cold outside. Also, if you use a motor oil that's too runny when your gun heats up from firing all of your lube is just going to run out. Shreds of cloth can be pushed down the barrel with a stick or a metal coat hanger. It's not rocket science. Just make sure that you find some way to keep the action from gumming up with crud and you'll be fine. ~Pistolero
 

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Howdy sir,

Interesting question, and viable for a lot of folks as we get closer to hurricane season again. My best suggestion has already been offered to you. I experienced Andrew up close and personal. While that one may well be the exception rather than the rule, it taught me a lot of valuable leasons. I kept a go bag in my vehicles, that included among other things, cleaning kits I had made up with all the fundalmentals packed in zip lock bags and taped shut. I also included spare mags and ammo, sealed inside zip lock bags and taped.

I also included several spare flashlights, bulbs, and extra batteries, a decent first aid kit, and some MREs and water containers. The various containers were placed inside a sturdy cardboard box to keep them together and limit the space needed in my vehicle trunks.

While I don't need my "go bags" in southern AZ - at least for hurricanes - I have become so accustomed to them, they are still in my trunk. I have added a few items that are more practical for my location - like a small pick and shovel, just in case I get stuck out in the desert. But if you do not already have some type of "go bag" made up, I would suggest folks give that some serious thought. It could make a real difference.

A well stocked "go bag" will really not take up much space in your vehicle and will always be there if you get into the habit of maintaining it in place. With an event like Andrew I learned if I did not have it already, I should not count on finding anything I needed for a good period of time. Shucks I nearly cried when some Metro-Dade officers handed me my first two cups of hot coffee 5 days later - and they had to work some serious magic to make the coffee.


On WD-40, I have never used it for gun maintenance. The only thing I will caution anyone about its use is something that LEOs were made aware of in the early 70s. Apparently many LEOs did find it easy to remove their duty weapon and spray it down with WD-40 before placing it in their nightstand. Some did this religiously according to one report I remember reading.

The LEO who wrote the article was a die hard sprayer himself. Then he got into an on-duty shooting with his duty revolver, and discovered none of his chambered rounds would fire. He had to do a quick reload before he could fire any rounds. It was subsequently determined that spraying his loaded revolver with the WD-40 had deactivated his primers.

I have no idea if they have changed the formula since the early 70s or not. But I wanted to offer the comment in case it was helpful to anyone.

twoguns
 
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twoguns has a good point, not not just for WD40. You should not spray any loaded gun with either a solvent or a lubricant. If it penetrates teh shell casing it can adversly effect teh primer and/or powder causing a misfire or worse yet, leaving the fired round still in the bbl.

Once saw a box or ammo that needed to be disposed ov because a can of oil was spilled on it and not cleanned up. Result was VERY unreliable ammo.
 

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WD40 is an excellent choice in my opinion, so is Silicon spray. Both will disolved/eliminate/cut through grease, grime, dirt, mud, rust, etc. Both can lubricate and protect. Silicon does not have the problem that WD40 has with evaporating over time and attracting dust, but it's a little more difficult to find.

WD40, and motor oil would work just fine in a pinch.

-Rob
 

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Back in my days in the Australian Army (L1A1 SLR, ETC.) we carried a pull through and a piece of flannelette in our JG's pocket. Motor oil worked well as a cleaner and lubricant as vehicles were almost always accessible. This will work for any weapon you're likely to have or use.
 

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The old, WWII-vintage M-1 rifle manuals prescribe motor oil. I've heard of cooking oils being used as lubricants in the 3rd world. Hot soapy water works good on rifle bores, provided they are dried thoroughly and followed up with water displacing lubricants as discussed up post.
A pull through or something like that can be put with your emergency stuff, or even the firearm itself.
As for AK reliable hanguns....Double-action revolver.
 

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Hy folks,

I am reading your post with lot of interest.

Here for cleaning guns we still have Hoppes 9, but this can change.

I wondered if if I have the gun disassembled, and with no bullets in it, I might use WD 40.

In most guns there are some places where dirt and burned pulver is collected, and sometimes very difficult to remove, even using a teeth-brush. I has many times tempted to use WD 40 and spry this dirt out.

In the forum there are lots of posts that tells WD 40 is one of the worst things you can do to your gun.
 

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Howdy Mr. iagbarrb,

I don't think I would say WD-40 is one of the worst things you can use to clean the internals of your weapons with. I just think there are better products that I prefer to use instead to do the same task. When I have a weapon disassembled and wanted to remove a lot of build up, I like to use Birchwood Casey Gun Scrubber. If I run out of it, I can buy a can of brake cleaner at the local auto parts store, which will work nearly as well. I just prefer the Gun Scrubber since it was designed to clean weapons with.

But either the Gun Scrubber or break cleaner will remove all of your lubricant too, so make sure you lubricate the parts during reassembly.

Others will have different opinions and will offer them, which is what you are asking for. Hope this helps a little anyway. Btw, have you been able to shoot your new pistol yet?

twoguns
 

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Hello beakersloco,

Back to the orginal question of what improvised chemicals/materials that one would use to clean a firearm in a pinch.

Here's what I would use (and have):

1. A-1 Kerosene.

2. Automatic Transmission Oil.

3. Old tooth brush.

4. Rags.

I've actually made up Ed's Red from equal parts of Kerosene, Acetone, ATF and Mineral Spirits. The stuff smells absolutely nasty, but it will cut most gunk without a problem.

Brake cleaner makes an excellent "Gun Scrubber" and is recommended by Bill Wilson and Others on the 1911.

Chris
 

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Thanks for the tips.

Brake cleaner, Kerosene, automatic transmision oil, are things I can find here.

I went to the armory today. Pistol is not ready. Maybe tomorrow.

I will report it as sonn as I have it. They have told me tomorrow at 11:30 am (I do not know if I have to believe it or not). Anyway, I will be at the store tomorrow.
 
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