Clean that Revolver now and then


Active Member
This might be overkill for some, but good info for others. This is what I teach in my CCW revolver classes:

Old School DA Revolver Field Cleaning Kit - Rev3- 7 Feb 2018 - UNCLASSIFIED - DISTRIBUTION UNLIMITED

Thanks to FBI Academy and FLETC instructor cadre who have offered their most recent edits and suggestions, which are now incorporated here:

This is an email I wrote responding to a youngster who inherited his Dad's old "cop gun" who asked what he needed for routine cleaning. I thought my reply would be of general interest so am starting a new thread here. While this list is oriented towards an S&W revolver, it works with Colts, Rugers or auto pistols with few gun-specific mods being required if specific tools are recommended.

-------------- Original query deleted to protect privacy of the innocent -------------

I was taught old school revolver and dislike aerosols, so I don’t use them. Their propellant causes moisture condensation on the gun, they are expensive for the amount of product and waste far too much in product in dispensing.

For general cleaning and lubrication I like Kano Kroil Brownell’s 471-100-008WB Kroil Pour Can or Ed's Red. If you don't want to mix your own, buy blended professionally from Brownell's. 083-150-001WB 4 oz. "Ed's Red" Bore Cleaner

Avoid storing a revolver wrapped in any cotton cloth, because it attracts moisture. I use these to wipe guns carried as EDC daily, and to wrap them up after cleaning and before casing to secure in locked container for travel or longer term storage:

Don’t store a revolver in a leather holster either, because the leather attracts moisture and long-term causes corrosion. If not routinely carrying, inspecting and wiping sweat and dirt off a handgun daily as EDC I store small revolvers or pocket autos in a Maratec zippered PVC pouch which doesn’t look like a gun case:
My field cleaning gear goes into a small Cordura one:

Recommended field cleaning gear to keep in the small Maratec zipper pouch:
Dewey 4” loop brass pistol rod, Brownell’s 234-000-070WB
Brass loop patch holder .38 cal. /9mm Brownell’s 084-000-217WB
Two Dewey COTTON bore mops for CLEANING/WIPING, .38 cal. pk. Of 3 749-000-168WB. Can be used for a quick field clean without using patches. Use one mop to wet the bore before brushing. This avoids dipping a dirty brush into the bore cleaner and contaminating it. Use the wet cotton mop again after brushing to remove loosened crud. Use a different dry mop to soak up excess excess solvent before oiling the gun lightly and putting it away.

One Brownell’s double-tuff bore brush .38 cal./9mm in kit, pack of 3 084-142-137WB
One Brownell’s WOOL bore mop for OILING .38 cal./9mm in kit, pk. Of 3 084-415-037WB
Brownell’s gun parts cleaning brush 676-450-001WB Or travel toothbrush
Brownell’s S&W revolver screwdriver bits only combo pack for S&W 080-087-002WB
Brownell’s Compact Magnetic LE screwdriver handle 080-089-006WB
Brownell’s needle oilers 3 pk. 084-000-361WB, allocated as below:
Bottle 1 - Kroil or Ed’s Red bore cleaner – ID by RED color when filled,
Bottle 2 - USP H1 food grade mineral oil for lubrication - ID easily because contents are CLEAR
Bottle 3 - Isopropyl alcohol to rinse mops and brushes after use. The "crud" falls to the bottom and will stay there. The implement dries quickly and is ready to go for the next range cleaning session. Alcohol is cheap (about a buck for a bottle), and it takes a while for the alcohol to foul to the point where it needs to be replaced. You will notice that brushes and mops last a lot longer using this process.

Alternately some people (DEA and NYPD Old School) use clear mineral spirits in the extra bottle before washing them with hot soapy water in the motel sink if out on the road. This gets the implements cleaner, but they take longer to dry. But professional armorer's advice is to ALWAYS clean used mops for a cleaner gun!

Some people (NYSP Old School), use a .40 cal. NYLON heavy-duty bore brush (Brownell's 084-444-017WB) .40/.41/10mm Pistol, 3 Pk) just for cleaning .38/.357 revolver CHAMBERS. This is a good idea when firing more than 100 rounds of wadcutter ammo between cleanings. The nylon .40 cal. brush can also be used as expedient bore brush without harm. If firing .38 Special lead bullet ammunition in revolvers with .357 chambers (Brownell's stainless steel CHAMBER brush 084-455-137WB .38/.357 per 3) does a better job of removing lead deposits from CHAMBERS, used with Kroil, but SHOULD ABSOLUTELY NOT BE USED IN THE BORE! because it will both damage the brush and may scratch the bore.

Norton UCS plastic scraper/cleaning stick, is non-scratching and great for getting encrusted fouling out of the nooks and crannies around the revolver barrel extension, the frame window or auto pistol slide face. MUCH better than the sharpened wooden Popsicle sticks we used to use in my time!

For routine lubrication I use only ordinary USDA H1 rated pure USP mineral oil from the drug store, applied with patch, toothpick, Q-tip or eye dropper. Good read on subject. Most "gun lubes" are expensive "snake oil".