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Cleaning 1911 after a match


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Often, I'll just lube the rails between matches. If it stays wet, it seems to run fine.

About every 2-3 matches or so, I'll do the standard field strip to remove all the fouling. About twice a year or before a big match, I'll remove the firing pin and extractor (series 80). I've never removed the trigger assembly, and I've only removed the mainspring housing once to change the mainspring 😬

I know this is poor hygiene, but my stainless R1 keeps chugging along after ~4 years and an estimated 20k rounds. Still, don't be like me.

For a new pistol, I think you'll want to keep it well lubed through the break-in period to prevent excessive wear, but I'm about as far from a qualified gunsmith as you can get.

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Firing pin and extractor channel clean out in in my annual maintenance list.   Mainspring, channel and strut cleaning too.   Fire control parts (trigger, sear, safety, mag release, slide release) clean annually, visual inspection and pull weight verification.  Relube all with syn grease (I like Battle Born) or Rem Oil.

Those areas don't get NEAR as much fouling blown into them as do the slide, barrel, link, recoil spring, barrel bushing, frame.   Those are done between days of big multi-day match.  Or end of small matches.  Especially because I use conventional bullet lube, not coated slugs.  It's that lube that gets blown around much more than powder fouling (since I run WST powder).

good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe
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I rotate a Rock Island, Springfield, Colt Series 70, and a Remington R1. I've had the Colt since 1978 when I got out of the Navy, bought the R1 when I was gun room manager for Sportsman's Warehouse, and the Springfield off Gunbroker. About five years ago I got a good buy on Rock Islands, so I picked up six of them on my FFL @ $319.99 ea for my little one-man transfer business, and kept one for myself. I started Wild Bunch with the classic old target load of Bullseye and a H&G #68, and could never get it to work acceptably well in ANY of them. I switched to 4.0 WST and a 230 grain RN (uncoated), after reading about it here, and malfunctions are now extremely rare occurrences, AND felt recoil is lighter - go figure.

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To me, field stripping and cleaning includes removing the firing pin and extractor. The extractor tunnel is always dirty. I do this once a month. About twice a year I do a total tear down and clean and inspect the parts. 

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Bill Wilson of Wilson combat and builder of many fine 1911 has a you tube video on oiling of the 1911 guns. To many think that if a little is good then a lot of oil is better.

the 1911 is a great design and with proper maintenance will be around another 110 years (unless politicians get in the way)

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