5 Expert Tips
For Fast and Easy Field Stripping
WITH JULIE GOLOB
Whether you love or hate cleaning your firearms, there are things you can do to make the process much easier. Here are 5 basic things that help make field stripping my M&P pistols easy and efficient. 1. Protection Just like you wear eye and ear protection when you shoot, you should also wear protective equipment when you clean your firearms as well. I put on a set of clear glasses and rubber gloves before I even begin to take apart my pistols. Protecting the eyes from cleaning supplies splatter is the smart thing to do. Wearing gloves will not only keep solvents from soaking into your skin, but they also make cleaning your hands so much easier when you’re finished.
2. A Clear Surface I like to lay out all my cleaning supplies and parts in an orderly fashion when I disassemble my handguns, even if it’s just a quick field strip. A decluttered space just makes everything more efficient and I don’t have to dig around looking for what I need. A mat like the Tipton M&P Maintenance Mat makes it even easier and allows for faster clean up too. 3. Illumination Cleaning my pistols in a well-lit area is a must. Light not only allows you to see dirt and grime, but it also allows you to better inspect your firearm’s parts for wear and tear or even cracks. Don’t have great overhead lighting? Use a pocket-sized flashlight to help you view and inspect your firearm.
4. Power Swabs Seriously, these cotton-tipped sticks are like cotton swabs on steroids. The bamboo handles are strong so that you can really dig into those grimy spots. The cotton is well-packed to ensure it doesn’t fall off or apart during cleaning. They come in a variety of sizes with round or pointed tips. Convenient and easy to use, Power Swabs fit inside all the nooks and crannies that collect unburnt powder, dirty oil and other residues. The Pistol Cleaning Kit is my favorite for cleaning my M&P’s and it has everything you need for a thorough cleaning. 5. Convenience Kit Having a small portable cleaning kit is a must. I keep one in my range bag just in case I need to do a quick wipe down on the range. The Tipton Compact Pistol Cleaning Kit is the perfect size and has tools that fit all of my M&P’s -- from .22 to .45 caliber. I fold up a couple of disposable shop towels and add a handful of Power Swabs before I zip up the case and I’m ready to clean and go!