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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
but I just realized I've never cleaned a revolver, before! All the times I've ever shot them, they've belonged to friends or relatives. I honestly don't know where to begin...

Should I take the grip panels off? Should I take the sideplate off? Should I just scrub out the bore and the chambers, and hit the extractor rod and star with some solvent and oil? Should I pay any special attention to any particular areas? Do I need to do an especially deep cleaning, since the gun has been sitting, unfired, since 1978? I mean, it's got to need fresh lube in there after twenty-seven years, right?

What do I oil, and what do I leave dry? Do I run the bore brush through the forcing cone, or through the muzzle? If through the muzzle, then how? The frame seems to be sort of in the way... How do I take the cylinder off? Do I NEED to take the cylinder off?

When I'm cleaning my automatics, I tend to get a bit wild on them, and even handle them a teensy bit roughly, (read: scrub like the devil) but a revolver seems like it's a bit more refined, and should be treated as such, especially a S&W.

Please help me out, here. I want to treat this thing right.
 

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Hello. I normally don't remove the stocks unless I've sweated while holding the gun. Then I wipe off the frame after removing these grips. The sideplate doesn't need to come off unless the gun's been dropped in water or shot heavily for years. There is a trick to doing this and unless you're really needing to get inside, I wouldn't.

Scrub the barrel as you would your automatic albeit from the muzzle end. Be sure not to get the cleaning rod against the edges of the bore at the muzzle. Scrub the individual chambers and dry completely. Clean off the cylinder face with solvent before drying out the revolver chambers. I dry the cylinder face before even trying to dry the chambers and I use an old toothbrush with solvent to do this and clean the extractor star, outside and underneath, but dry completely afterward. Scrub around the forcing cone and the frame. A tiny drop of oil on the hand is usually applied as well as on the cylinder stop, not much, just a drop. I clean out the notches on the cylinder as well. Wipe off the face of the hammer and remove all solvent from the gun. I then use a lightly oiled rag to wipe off the exterior surfaces.

Best.
 

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Hi there chubbypidgeon,

Well, don't be embarrassed, because I ran into a similiar dilemma about a month or so ago when I wanted to clean my S&W 642-2 5-shot J-frame. I hadn't owned or cleaned a revolver in years and the manufacturers instructions were a little "sketchy". I had also been warned not to use cleaning spray on the anodized clear coat on the alloy frame, because the cleaning spray would remove the protective clear coat.

I had actually forgotten where to lube it and wanted to clean the action without having to remove the sideplate, which should never be done unless something inside needs to be fixed.

Mr. Camp is "dead on" in his instructions. Lubing the revolver in the places Mr. Camp mentioned will allow the lubricant to reach the areas of the action on the inside revolver with "dry firing" or shooting. You may find some crud oozing from the trigger cut out in the frame or from around the side plate edges. This is pretty normal if it is an older revolver.

I also clean the face of the cylinder charge holes with flitz and a rag to remove the subborn powder residue.

I also use "Q-Tips" to clean the really tight places, i.e. the area above the forcing cone and under the top strap.

Also, I use the OTIS gun cleaning kit that allows me to use cable, brushes and patches to clean from the forcing cone to the muzzle.

I enjoy cleaning and keeping my firearms clean, but sometimes I get a little "revolver challanged", because I shoot semi-auto's more frequently.

Chris
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, Mr. Camp!

I'm glad to see that I don't have to do quite as much takedown as I do for an autoloader. I can handle some extra bore brushing on the chambers in exchange for that bit of comfort.

Carolinaman, I think I'll try that Q-Tip trick, too. I try to be careful to get at least a little solvent on all the metal surfaces of any gun, just to be sure it's really clean, and I was wondering how I could easily get into the area beneath the rear sight, and above the forcing cone.
 

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Chubby, nice article on cleaning autos and revolvers (about 3/4 down) from the folks at Cylinder & Slide.
There are various options and techniques, this is worth the read. Enjoy...........


Regards,
 

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First, like Stephen said, Do Not Remove the side plates. It's not needed, and you could screw something up. Here's my routine. I give it a quick wipe-down with an oily rag at the range before bagging it. When I start to clean it, the first thing I do is run a patch loaded with Hoppe's through the barrel -- from the muzzle, and watch that crown! I let the barrel soak in the Hoppe's, while I take another patch with Hoppe's and wipe down the cylinder (front, sides, and rear), the plunger and star, and inside the frame, making sure I get the forcing cone clean. With a brass brush and more Hoppe's, I clean the inside of the cylinder chambers and the barrel. Run a dry patch through to see if they are clean. If not, repeat. Then a quick bore-snaking, with some CLP on the after-brush part of the snake, to remove any residual grime and give a very light oiling to the inside of the barrel and chambers. Wipe down all over with a lightly oiled rag, and put away. It does not take long at all.
 
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