On our forum's message board someone wrote of his "new" used pistol:
I didn't take the time to strip and lube it before I went to the range.
I'm compelled to say that this is a really bad idea and I highly discourage anyone from taking their "new" gun shooting, whether new or used, before taking the time to CLEAN IT and properly LUBRICATE IT. This should be common sense but I have seen hundreds of people fail to do this. Back in my days as a commercial range officer, I went through lots of Break-free CLP out on the range to help out lost souls who brought their gun in the box or bag directly from the gun counter to the range, without any attention.
I have done this myself, and I imagine all of you have also, so it isn't like I'm above such behavior. In recent times when I buy a gun and can't wait to take it home to clean it before I hit the range, what I have done is to field strip the handgun in question and do a rudimentary cleaning (if indicated--which is almost always the case) and do a solid job of lubricating. Only then do I shoot it.
Along these lines, a mini-cleaning kit of some sort should be in your range bag, and it should stay there. I've gone through different set-ups, but shown below is the kit I'm using now, which I put together. The container is ten inches by a hair over eight inches, and two inches deep--and it fits in the side pocket of my medium size range bag. (For rifles I use something else, but that is another topic.)
My kit has all the essentials and no fluff. I use aerosol versions of Hoppe's #9 (cleaning) and Shooter's Choice FP-10 (lubricating), but any good solvent and lube as you prefer will do. I prefer the aerosols because they don't leak in my range bag--been there done that! The little black container is a hollow handle for a segmented brass cleaning rod secured in the handle. Five bucks at Wal-Mart and it is a nice brass rod--much safer than aluminum in my opinion. I also have bore brushes, a loop (both came with the rod kit), a shortened toothbrush to fit the available slots, a soft brush, and the most common size cleaning patches I need for handguns.
Yes, you can simply buy a cleaning kit just about anywhere, but it will come with an aluminum rod. We have to make some compromises to fit our kit in our shooting bag but there is nothing worse than an aluminum rod. These kits often come with synthetic patches--again, nothing worse. And they come fitted for their little odd-shaped containers that you can't ever replace. Clean half a gun and the components are gone, leaving you with a useless "kit." Leave those kits for non-shooters to buy and enjoy.
If you take a little time to prepare your new handgun, whether you bought it new or pre-owned, it will take good care of you for a lifetime of shooting enjoyment. (4 May 2009)
copyright 2009 Mark E. Freburg, all rights reserved