Cleaning Your Rock Island 1911 Pistol (Basic Maintenance)

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How often you should clean your Rock Island 1911 pistol really depends on how much you use it. Some estimates will suggest you should clean it every 500 rounds, if not early. There are others who clean their guns after every trip to the range.

These semi-automatics have the propensity to be finicky when they’re dirty. Excess fouling around the chamber can complicate feeding as well as extraction. If you’ve gotten that far, you definitely need to clean.

– Before working on any firearm, always remove the magazine, ensure it is empty, and clear the weapon. Inspect the chamber to ensure that it is empty and always handle the firearm in a responsible manner.

First, remove the slide and recoil spring and place these to the side. The slide removes to the rear; once you have removed it, take the barrel out through the front.

Rock Island recommends submerging the slide in a solution of mineral spirits, then scrubbing the inside of the slide, with particular attention to the barrel bore and breech face. If you don’t want to use mineral spirits, you can use a powder bore solvent and clean it with brushes. Regardless, this area must be clear in order to ensure smooth and reliable cycling. Wipe and clean the slide when finished and allow it to dry.

Rock Island suggests cleaning the frame with the trigger group in place as well as the grips, claiming that mineral spirits will not harm them. Mineral spirits likely will not harm wood, micarta, or G10, but if you want to be extra careful, you can remove them ahead of time. Scrub the interior of the frame, with particular attention to the rails, magazine chute, and feed ramp. Dry the frame when done.

Next, turn your attention to the barrel, barrel bushing, barrel link, slide stop, and recoil spring. Use a brass bore brush to scrub out the bore – always from chamber to muzzle. Also, if you don’t want to use mineral spirits, you can use a bore solvent like Hoppe’s No. 9 to clean out the barrel. When finished, the interior of the barrel should shine like a mirror and there should be no visible fouling spots.

Take care when cleaning the recoil spring and handle it gently to avoid fatiguing or kinking it. You can use a microfiber cloth if you find a cleaning brush inadequate.

At this point, your Rock Island 1911 pistol will be mostly clean and dry. While reassembling, be conscious about applying a small amount of gun oil to move parts. Lightly oil the inside of the slide, as well as the guide rod, barrel link, and the rails, including the disconnector rail.

After reassembling, add some oil to the barrel hood and rack the action a few times to distribute it. With the action open, add some oil to the exposed portion of the barrel itself to minimize friction.

As a final step, add some gun oil to a cotton rag and lightly apply it to the exterior of the gun – even the parts that don’t move, like the frame. This will help protect against corrosion.

I’ve Just Bought a New Rock Island 1911 Pistol: Does It Need to Be Cleaned?
Best practice with any new firearm is to clean it before firing. This is because some manufacturers liberally apply special anti-corrosive materials to their firearms before shipping.

In the case of Rock Island, many owners (just check the forums!) have commented that Rock Island Armory tends to slather the new Rocks with some sort of heavy grease or oil before shipping.

In any case, this should be cleaned off prior to firing the gun. Disassemble, strip off excess oil, apply light lubrication, swab out the bore, all in the manner described here, and then reassemble.

Where Can I Learn More About Rock Island 1911 Pistol Maintenance?
Do you still have questions about how to clean a Rock Island 1911 pistol? Do you have other questions about maintenance? Perhaps you’re just looking for a new Rock to add to your collection?

Visit SARCO, Inc., online or visit their showroom at 50 Hilton Street in Easton, Pennsylvania. They’ll help you out with whatever you need.

For more information about M16 Parts and Pistol Frame Please visit: Sarco Inc.

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