Glocks, which are used all over the world, are one of the most reliable firearms on the market. Known for its manageable recoil, user-friendly simplicity and expected service life of over 200,000 rounds, there is a reason they have reached their level of popularity.
Like any gun, however, a Glock will still require routine cleaning to ensure it stays in top shape and performs as intended when you need it. Fortunately, learning how to clean a Glock is straightforward and achievable in a few easy steps.
When Should I Be Cleaning My Glock?
To keep your Glock performing at its best, you should plan to clean, lubricate and function-check it at least once every three months — more often if you use it heavily. A good rule of thumb is to clean it after 400 rounds or every two to three trips to the range. Getting into the habit of routine Glock maintenance will ensure that no debris or copper buildup causes your firearm to malfunction.
If you use your Glock as your everyday carry (EDC), it's essential to keep it in pristine condition so you know it will function if your life ever depends on it. It's also wise to send it off periodically to be inspected and cleaned by a Glock-certified armorer. These professionals will thoroughly clean and inspect your firearm, ensuring years of great use. Glock, Inc. also offers some advice on the best times to clean your gun:
- When it's brand-new and unfired
- After every time it's fired
- Once a month, if it hasn't been used
- Following exposure to water, dirt, dust or other potential contaminants
What to Do Before You Start
Before you're ready to get cleaning, there are some essential tasks you must take care of first. It's always a good idea to start by reading the owner's manual provided to you by the manufacturer, which will give you all the information you need to disassemble, clean and lubricate your gun successfully.
Once you've read the manual, it's time to prep the gun for cleaning by unloading it. Point it in a safe direction, remove the magazine and eject any live ammunition in the chamber. Once you do this, you can go ahead and dry fire the pistol, a necessary step to be able to remove the slide.
You're then all set to field strip your gun, which involves taking it down into four large assemblies — slide, barrel, frame and recoil spring. Once that's done, you're ready to gather your cleaning materials. Since these handguns are so popular, you can purchase specialized, high-quality Glock cleaning kits containing everything you need. The materials you'll use include:
- Cleaning patches
- Brass bore brush
- Cleaning rod
- Nylon gun cleaning toothbrush
- Gun cleaner
- Gun oil
- Cleaning rag
Steps for Cleaning Your Glock
When you're ready to start your Glock maintenance session, move through the following procedures for each component to ensure a successful and thorough job.
Cleaning the Barrel
- Apply your choice of gun cleaner to the cleaning patch.
- Attach the patch to the cleaning rod and insert it into the barrel at the breech. Push it through, continuously sliding and rotating the patch for the length of the barrel for five to six passes.
- Gently scrub the interior of the barrel using a brass or nylon bore brush.
- Soak a double-ended cleaning toothbrush with cleaner.
- Scrub the barrel hood and feed ramp.
- Use a rag dipped in solvent to wipe down the exterior of the barrel.
- Dry each part using a dry patch.
Cleaning the Slide and Recoil Spring Assembly
- Hold the slide vertically.
- With a solvent-dipped nylon brush, scrub the slide, paying special attention to the breech face, extractor and surrounding area.
- Clean the slide rail cuts and the interior of the slide.
- Wipe the underside of the slide with your solvent rag.
- Wipe clean and dry with a cleaning patch.
Cleaning the Frame
- Wipe off carbon using the cleaning toothbrush with solvent as needed.
- Brush away any debris left in the interior of your frame.
- Clean the locking block, trigger bar, connector, cruciform and ejector with your brush.
Inspect Various Components
After rigorously cleaning your parts, you should examine them to ensure they are in good condition. You'll want to:
- Inspect the barrel for dirt, lead deposits, debris and cracks.
- Confirm that the firing pin is in the correct location and the area is free of buildup.
- Observe the extractor and ejector, looking for signs of chips, cracks and debris.
- Conduct a slide stop lever test.
Lubricate, Reassemble and Test
Before reassembling your Glock, be sure to lubricate your firearm. Lubrication will protect your gun, reduce friction and allow the proper functioning. Glocks don't need a lot of lube, so a few drops of a quality gun oil should suffice. Lightly oil the inside and outside of the barrel, the mating surfaces of the slide rails and cuts, the end of the trigger bar and the end of the slide where the barrel protrudes through. Spread the oil evenly and follow it with a dry patch to eliminate any excess.
With that done, it's time to reassemble your firearm and do a few function tests:
- Slide cycling
- Trigger function
- Trigger reset
- Trigger safety
- Slide lock open test
Glock Maintenance Tips
A lot goes into cleaning your Glock and ensuring it provides years of faithful service. You can help ensure your efforts are successful with these Glock maintenance tips:
- Select dependable cleaning kits: The tools you use to clean and maintain your guns are vital to their function. Make sure to find a kit suited to your Glock, complete with everything you need to clean, maintain and inspect it.
- Frequently refer to the manufacturer manuals: The manual is your go-to resource to troubleshoot any questions that pop up during this process. It will provide you with crucial details regarding safety, maintenance and cleaning while informing you of how to properly store, assemble and disassemble your Glock.
- Perform cleaning based on your gun's usage: Cleaning timelines differ from shooter to shooter, often determined by what they're comfortable doing. Some clean a pistol after each use, while others clean it after putting 400 to 1000 rounds through it. Pay attention to how your firearm performs, how it looks and how much you use it.
- Turn to the experts: If you run into any problems while disassembling, reassembling or cleaning, you should reach out to an expert for help rather than risking potential damage. Certified Glock armorers can help address any issues and will conduct maintenance that will preserve your gun's condition.
- Take proper safety precautions: Even though you're only performing a cleaning, accidents can still happen. Take steps such as wearing safety glasses, using disposable gloves to avoid chemicals and being aware of your surroundings.
Get Your Glock Parts and Accessories From Wing Tactical
Now that you understand what it takes to clean your Glock meticulously, it's time to outfit your setup with the best parts and accessories on the market. At Wing Tactical, we work hard to keep our inventory stocked with the industry's best tools while maintaining competitive prices to help you get your hands on what you need.
Give yourself an edge and shop our Glock parts today!