How To: 1911 Quick Clean and Lube with No Disassembly

1911 quick clean and lubrication without taking the gun apart

Sometimes you just don’t want to take the time to take your 1911 apart to do a thorough cleaning.

1911 Quick cleaning supplies
1911 Quick cleaning supplies

This article is going to be about how to quickly clean and lube your 1911 pistol without performing a field strip. Use this method when you do not have the time to do a thorough job, but still need your 1911 to function. I do not recommend this method as your only cleaning session.

This is temporary, so when you do have the time to do a complete disassembly or field strip and clean the gun properly, be sure to do so. Your 1911 loves to be clean and well lubricated, and will work best when it is done properly. You can find 1911 Disassembly instructions here.

This is the method that I use when I am in a Front Sight Firearms training class for several days and I just need to keep my 1911 running but I don’t feel like performing a field strip and doing all the nitty-gritty cleaning at night after a long day on the range. We are basically going to clean the barrel with a bore snake, wipe away a little of the grunge from the day and lube a few key areas just to make sure it’s going to run the following day.

The most important thing a 1911 needs is plenty of lubricant. I have tried many lubricants over the years and they are all good. Even WD-40 will work for a while. Currently, I am using Slip 2000 Gun Lube. I love this stuff because it is thicker than most lubes which means it stays where you put it for a long time and keeps your 1911 running. Lighter weight lubes will dry up quicker, requiring an additional few drops more often, which really is not a big deal unless it happens during a shooting test.

Let me stress one point about this article. This quick clean and lube technique is NOT to be used to clean your everyday carry gun. This is to be used when you are shooting a training course or just spending the day or weekend out at the range or shooting for fun. If you are carrying a 1911 for personal protection on a daily basis, you must perform a regular, thorough cleaning and lubrication at regular intervals to be sure your 1911 is going to function flawlessly if you should need it to protect yourself or your family. For detailed instructions on proper cleaning and lubrication, see How To Clean a 1911.

I used this quick 1911 cleaning method every time I went to Front sight Firearms Training in Nevada. Each night in the hotel room, I would perform this procedure to make sure my 1911 was going to work the next day. We were probably firing about 200 rounds each day for 4 days. This is not a terribly high number of rounds but 1911s tent to have tight tolerances and it does not take much to cause it to start having trouble cycling properly.

Clean, Lube, Protect

Original Gun Oil C.L.P.
Original Gun Oil CLP


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1911 Quick Clean Supplies

The supplies you will need are minimal and all available at Amazon:

1911 Quick Cleaning Steps

The steps are easy:

  1. Unload the gun.
  2. Verify the gun is unloaded by doing a magazine check and chamber check.
  3. Lock the slide to the rear.
  4. Run the Boresnake through the barrel from breech to muzzle (front to back) several times. If desired or especially dirty, apply some Hoppes No.9 solvent to the Boresnake first.
  5. Using cotton swabs and a little solvent, clean the chamber, feed ramp and exposed slide notch. Foam swabs work even better as they do not leave any strands behind.
  6. Wipe away any solvent using the micro fiber or paper towels.
  7. Apply a few drops of gun oil to the slide notches, underside of the slide and a drop into the hammer mechanism.
  8. Work the slide back and forth to work the oil into the moving parts.
  9. Wipe all excess oil from the outside of the gun.

 Pictures of the Cleaning Steps

Lock the Slide to the Rear
Lock the Slide to the Rear

Run the Boresnake through from Breech to Muzzle
Run the Boresnake through from Breech to Muzzle

Clean Feed Ramp with Solvent
Clean Feed Ramp with Solvent

Apply oil to Slide Notches
Apply oil to Slide Notches

Apply Oil to Underside of Slide
Apply Oil to Underside of Slide

Apply a drop of oil to Hammer Mechanism
Apply a drop of oil to Hammer Mechanism

You have now completed a 1911 quick clean and lube. Be sure to perform a complete cleaning as soon as possible for the best performance.

For answers to other gun cleaning questions, see the  Gun Cleaning FAQ page.

If you have any shortcuts, tricks or tools that will help with 1911 cleaning, let me know in the comment section and I will give them a try!

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