How to Clean a Glock Pistol

Your Glock pistol is an investment. You want to keep it not only looking good but in top working condition. Doing that means performing regular maintenance and cleaning.

Why You Should Disassemble Your Glock Pistol and Clean It

Safety is the most important tenant of gun ownership. That doesn’t just mean practicing safety on the range, however. It means keeping your weapon safe and in excellent working condition no matter when or where.

As you use your pistol, particles from the gunpowder and bullet, called residual fouling, are released into your weapon. This residue sticks to your barrel, and applying lubricant and oil can make the problem worse. In addition, environmental dust and other outside dirt can get into your Glock.

This causes several problems for the Glock gun owner. First, this gunk can foul up your weapon, gumming up the mechanisms and increasing the chance for a firing failure. It can also lead to needed repairs. All of this, of course, impacts the weapon’s reliability. 

Additionally, this dirt can impact accuracy. Whether you keep your Glock around for sport, home defense, or self-defense, safety, reliability, and accuracy should all be concerned. Cleaning is how you keep all three of these important factors from becoming concerned.

What You Need to Clean a Glock Pistol

Preparation is an essential part of keeping your Glock clean. Knowing what materials you need and the process for disassembling a Glock pistol and cleaning it will simplify the process. Additionally, the more you clean it, the more familiar you will be with the process, and the easier it will become.

First, be sure to read your owner’s manual completely before you begin. While we offer guidelines and tips within this article of how to clean your Glock, nothing should replace the instructions that came with your weapon. Those instructions will include precisely how to take apart your model of pistol safely and clean it.

Once you are ready to begin cleaning, you’ll need the following tools and materials:

  • A cleaning rod
  • Cleaning solvent
  • Cleaning patches
  • A slotted top that screws onto your rod
  • Lubricant/lubricating oil
  • Clean rags
  • Cotton swabs
  • A brush (a toothbrush dedicated to this task works well)
  • Safety goggles
  • Latex gloves
  • Copper or brass bore brush for your caliber

You can also find gun cleaning kits that will include many of the items listed above.

How to Disassemble Your Glock and Clean It

Do not complete steps 1 and 2 unless the process has your full attention. Unintentional discharges happen most frequently when clearing and dry firing a Glock when the user is not paying attention to the task at hand.

Step 1: Safety First

Before you begin cleaning your Glock pistol, you must make sure that you and all others around you are safe. This means ensuring that your pistol is unloaded before you begin to disassemble and clean it. You should also ensure that there is no ammunition in the area in which you are cleaning the weapon.

Begin by safely removing the magazine with the gun facing away from you. It’s important to remove the magazine so that a round is not inadvertently loaded after checking the chamber.

Once the magazine is removed, then rack the slide to eject any round that might be in the chamber.

With no magazine in the well and the chamber cleared, lock the slide back and open. Check the chamber visually and with your finger, as well as the bolt face and the magazine well to verify that the gun has been completely cleared.

Step 2: Dry Fire

To disassemble a Glock pistol, the weapon must be dry-fired. That is why it is crucial to begin by verifying that the weapon is clear before continuing on.

Point the gun away from you or any other people. Rack the slide and close the action. Ensure once more than the chamber is clear.

While the slide is in battery, point the Glock pistol in a safe direction – again, away from you or where anyone else may be – and depress the trigger. You’ll feel the click of the firing pin. You cannot remove the slide if the trigger is not in the rearward position.

Step Three: Disassemble the Glock Pistol

Following the steps in your owner’s manual, disassemble the Glock pistol into its four main components: the slide, the barrel, the guide rod/recoil spring assembly, and the frame/receiver. 

Step Four: Clean the Barrel

The barrel is where the majority of the dirt, grime, carbon, and residual fouling will accumulate. 

Going in the direction from the chamber to the muzzle, push a dry brush through the barrel. This will dislodge a good portion of the dirt and grime.

Run the brush back and forth through the barrel a half dozen times or so, until debris stops coming out.

Next, add some gun cleaner to a cleaning patch. Repeat the same action you used with the dry brush, but now with the cleaning patch, working from chamber to muzzle.

Using a clean patch with gun cleaner on it, clean the feed ramps of the chamber and then wipe down the outside of the barrel. Now wipe down the outside of the barrel with your rag to remove any extra cleaner, and run a few dry patches through the barrel to do the same.

Visually examine the barrel to make sure all of the debris has been removed, inside and out. The barrel should be shiny and uniform. However, if there are a few stubborn spots you shouldn’t stress out about them. Simply get it as clean as you can.

Step Five: Clean the Recoil Spring, Guide Rod, and Slide

The recoil spring and guide rod are easy to clean. Simply brush these and then wipe them down using a towel or rag.

Cleaning the slide is a bit more involved. Wrap a patch around the bristles of the brush and, focusing on the rear, scrub the inside of the slide. Wipe down the slide as well, again concentrating on the rear, which accumulates fouling and build-up.

Concentrate on the inside of the rails, cleaning any build-up there with a cotton swab. 

Next, clean the breach face by pointing the muzzle end toward the floor and brush it clean. By angling it towards the floor you will prevent knocking debris into the rear of the slide.

Step Six: Clean the Frame of the Glock

Cleaning the frame is the easy part. For this, you can give the frame of your Glock a good wipe down and scrubbing, including to the top of the frame, the slide rails, and the trigger bar. If there is grime in the slide rails, wipe them down with a patch and cleaner and use your rag to wipe off the cleaner after that.

The magazine rarely needs to be cleaned, but if it does you can find instructions on how to disassemble a Glock magazine for cleaning in your owner’s manual as well.

Once cleaned, you can lubricate your pistol and reassemble it.

Lubricate Your Glock Pistol

Glocks do not require a lot of lubricant, and in fact, works better when lubricated with a light touch.

Starting with the barrel, put some lubricant on a clean patch and run it through just as you did to clean it. Then run a dry patch through it the same way. Apply a small amount of lubricant to the outside of the barrel as well and apply it across the surface, then wipe it down with your rag. 

You’ll also want to apply lubricant in some very specific places:

  • Between the lugs on the bottom of the barrel
  • Where the barrel interfaces with the slide
  • On the slide where it meets the barrel
  • On the front of the slide where the barrel comes through
  • On the slide rails, spreading with a patch
  • The slide rails on the frame
  • The raised metal bar that interfaces with the trigger bar on the rear of the frame

Be sure to wipe everything down afterward with your rag to remove any excess.

Once you have finished lubricating the pistol’s parts you are done. Reassemble the Glock, starting with the barrel, guide rod, and recoil spring, placing them back into the slide and the slide back into the frame.

Once reassembled, point your Glock in a safe direction and dry fire once more to ensure that your Glock is functioning properly, nothing feels gritty, and the trigger is resetting. Add your left hand or right hand Clipdraw Belt Clip & SAF-T-BLOK Combo today.

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