Cleaning guns and this pew life we live go together like peanut butter and jelly. For some they might see cleaning your gun as a dreaded chore to be endured. For most gun lovers, cleaning a gun is just about the same as spending some quality time with your best dog. The great thing about cleaning a 1911 that you build from scratch is that this is a dog you watched being born and can’t imagine life without it. This is your 1911, there are many like it but this one is yours. So as we all know, you have to treat a quality weapon with a little TLC if you expect it to perform when it matters most. Now let’s cover the process to be sure the gun you birthed doesn’t wind up in the junk heap a few years later.
Don’t Forget the Basics
If you are looking to build your 1911 then we are pretty sure you are a little beyond a novice when it comes to gun maintenance. That being said, just to avoid the far to common inexplicable tragedy let us remind you of this crucial first step. Unload the friggen gun people! Sorry for the harsh use of “friggen” but nothing upsets the author of this article more than to see someone injured because the gun owner couldn’t remember to check the chamber. That’s right, take the magazine out but don’t forget to visually check the chamber.
This assumes that when you will be cleaning your 1911 that you will have already constructed it to its completed form. We suppose you can spend time cleaning the bare 80% 1911 frames you see above and if stroking idle metal is your thing then have at it. Because according to the ATF, that’s all an 80% frame is until you complete the milling process. It is only after you put a few rounds down range does the real need to clean the weapon arise. If you want to know more about how the ATF classifies these parts just click the link here.
Know the Gun and Take Your Time
We are not going to get into a debate of “best way” to clean your gun as you get every old wives tale from the time your grandpappy wiped mud out of the slide and got himself three Krauts in WW1 to the time a Marine swears just dip it in the salty ocean waters of the Pacific. The simple truth is that to properly clean your 1911 you need to know it frontwards and backwards. You need to know if you are cleaning steel or aluminum and you need to know about all the little nooks and crannies the novice would miss.
Just take a look at the 1911 parts kit above you get a since as to just how many nooks and crannies there are in a gun. Don’t get caught up by fancy expensive cleaning products as they are all mostly the same. Find the proper oil and properly lube that bad boy when you are done and you will be good to go for the next round of pew. The great thing about cleaning a weapon that you build is that you actually do know it backwards and forward. So take your time and treat it right. Read the manual if you must, but take care of this dog and this dog will take care of you when the time is right.DISCLAIMER: If you are new to the world of DIY gun building, you likely have a lot of questions and rightfully so. It’s an area that has a lot of questions that, without the correct answers, could have some serious implications. At 80 Lowers, we are by no means providing this content on our website to serve as legal advice or legal counsel. We encourage each and every builder to perform their own research around their respective State laws as well as educating themselves on the Federal laws. When performing your own research, please be sure that you are getting your information from a reliable source.