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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Cleaning the P7M8, P7 PSP, P7M13, etc.

Due to the high heat generated about the piston area, it is generally recommended in what I have read to simply leave it alone and not clean it aside from the occasional scraping and brushing.

Being a clean freak with my guns...

Is it just me or is this the dirtiest running handgun I have ever owned. I spent two hours cleaning my P7M8 last night (x2 of them) and they still were not squeeky clean as I like them, using Break Free CLP and then my Gun Butter on the moving parts. I read somewhere (in the manual?) to clean them again on the second day and again on the third day after using them? This is nuts!

So... is it just me. Are these guns really tough to clean? I am thinking about getting an ultrasonic cleaner for them.

Secondly, the gas piston issue. Is there a definitive answer to the issue of cleaning the gas piston on these guns? Do we leave them alone except to scrape the crud... or can we use a shot of brake free on a Q tip, leave it sit, and then wipe, wipe and wipe until dry as toast? I don't want to muddle things up and find that I can listen for the gas piston to make a good "sucking noise" as I rack the gun slide several times after putting it back on after cleaning.

Comments?
 

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Stop using CLP for cleaning. It's one of those jack of all trades, master of none. There are better cleaning products out there like Butch's Bore Shine. The only thing you need to routinely clean is the piston and cylinder.
 

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I have trouble resisting the urge to clean the piston and cylinder after each shooting, but the manual states to clean the cylinder after 500 rounds or once per year, and to only wipe the piston clean with a soft oiled cloth. It explicitly says not to use hard instruments, brushes, or steel wool to clean the piston, and that discoloration and carbon deposits are normal and won't affect operation at all.

Then the armorer's manual says it only needs a "throrough cleaning" which includes the piston and cylinder only once every 1000 rounds or once per year.

But the most interesting thing is that in the armorer's manual - it says two unusual things - first that the barrel should be cleaned while still warm to the touch, and then even more strangely - it should be cleaned once a day for 3 days after firing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have trouble resisting the urge to clean the piston and cylinder after each shooting, but the manual states to clean the cylinder after 500 rounds or once per year, and to only wipe the piston clean with a soft oiled cloth. It explicitly says not to use hard instruments, brushes, or steel wool to clean the piston, and that discoloration and carbon deposits are normal and won't affect operation at all.

Then the armorer's manual says it only needs a "throrough cleaning" which includes the piston and cylinder only once every 1000 rounds or once per year.

But the most interesting thing is that in the armorer's manual - it says two unusual things - first that the barrel should be cleaned while still warm to the touch, and then even more strangely - it should be cleaned once a day for 3 days after firing.
Bingo! Precisely!
Different manuals also say different things about the piston and piston tube. And what is even stranger is that although they suggest not using anything asides from the key-like piston tube scraper... they then provide a bronze piston brush to do the job as well. Comes in the box with a plastic cover on it.

And, of course, the most bizarre thing is the request to clean things while they are still warm. And I knew that I read that the gun was to be cleaned once a day for 3 consecutive days.

After my first cleaning, I am beginning to understand this.... and would I be totally wrong in making some modifications in the cleaning procedures?

For instance... I can see the reason for cleaning the gun for three consecutive days. I spent two hours cleaning last night and all my other guns were clean enough to eat off of.... except for my P7M8. No matter how much I cleaned it, there always seemed to be some dirt left over. Bizarre. And so many wee nooks and crannies that are almost impossible to get into. That's why I am wondering if an ultrasonic cleaner might be a better cleaning process. I just don't know.

As for the piston and piston tube or bore.... I have taken to cleaning the piston itself after each use with Break Free CLP (it was recommended in one of the Armourer's DVD's that I have along with Plain Green for degreasing). I find that Break Free CLP works extremely well for me.. it does indeed clean, it does indeed lubricate and it does indeed protect by leaving a thin film layer after removing it all. I sure would not want to use it for cleaning residual copper, bronze, lead, etc, as it is just not the right product for that job. But for general cleaning, it seems to do the job for me. So, I agree that it is jack of all trades and master of none. You need to be able to recognize that your firearms requires additional solvents... and use them appropriately. ANyway... I clean the piston with CLP and a bronze brush. It gets the crap off the piston and leaves it looking like new. I might even try some of the stuff that I use for removing residue from my stainless steel guns... the 'burn marks' on the revolvers. Just to get a shiny piston without degrading it. As far as the piston bore is concerned, I think one wants to avoid leaving any kind of residue in there due to the high temperature gasses passing through. Anything left behind as residue is going to get fried.... well fried. So I clean it with something that will evaporate totally and leave no residue OR I simply use the bronze brush (which I prefer to the scraper as it is going to do much less damage especially over time). One should not be afraid to use a bronze brush on hard steel... bronze, being significantly softer, is going to remove anything on top of the steel (including any finishing) but will not mar the steel itself. The scraper on the other hand? I just don't know. It appears to be made of steel as well.... and in my book, steel on steel doesn't make sense. Much better to use bronze bristles on steel. And make sure there is no residue to fry when in use.

I have cleaned the rest of the gun with shop wipes, Q tips, you name it. And when I go back to the gun with a "final cleaning rag" the rag comes up dirty again. I cannot figure out where the dirt is coming from!

What I look for after cleaning... and it would be about every 200-300 rounds... is cleanliness everywhere, including the magazines (dry). And I look to rack the slide and have everything operate as smooth as a baby's behind. And one last thing I look for is the 'pumping sound' of the piston in its bore... it is a sort of sucking sound. That tells me that the piston is doing its job and if it is running smoothly, I am confirmed that the gun will run smoothly as well.

My final step is to put some red GUN BUTTER on all the moving parts that are not under high heat. That includes the barrel recoil spring and the slide components that make contact. I then rack the slide about twenty times, listening for any sounds that are out of place and listening for the sucking sound of a properly working gas piston... and then remove all excess GUN BUTTER.

I have been using GUN BUTTER for about four months on all my guns and rifles and have never in my 40 years of shooting found a better lubricant. It is MIL SPEC and it is outstanding. My guns have never run as smoothly. In fact, I have guns that were "gritty" or "sticky" in their operation become silky smooth after lubing with gun butter. I love it. Check out the specs on their website. One $29 bottle will last a very long time. I bought two bottles and a portable injector hypo for the range box.

I guess we all have our favourites. I happen to love Break Free CLP for general cleaning, GUN BUTTER for final lubing and various solvents for heavy duty cleaning requirements. I always use a brush when cleaning. Either plastic or bronze. NEVER EVER steel or steel wool. In fact, I never allow steel into any of my guns and even refrain from using brass cleaning rods, instead using plastic or resin ones to avoid scratching things.

But this P7M8 is a bird of a different feather. Has anyone been able to get it squeeky clean yet?
 

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I just toss em in the US and sit back ;)

but really US are sweet, I cleaned 4 filthy(UMP,SP89,93,94) HK long guns this saturday, just pulled the trigger packs out, the bolt/carrier(in pieces) and tossed em all in the US. When waiting I did the barrels, chamber faces, flutes. Total time for all 4 guns, less than an hour.

handguns are even easier, as you just toss the whole gun(but not grips) in(still clean barrel like normal)
 

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I scrape the gas tube, but I never clean the piston itself... n0 real need to.
 

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Cleaning the Second Day, etc.

I don't know why H&K recommends this. It was, I believe, standard practice in the Army in WWII. I understood that that requirement was due to the use of corrosive ammo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I scrape the gas tube, but I never clean the piston itself... n0 real need to.
When I cleaned the gas tube on my two HK P7M8's they were filthy and I simply could not get them clean. The Q tips just kept coming back with dirt on them. I have gone out and purchased special cleaning Q tips with wooden handles; one sided unfortunately but cheap enough. I went through about fifty of the little beggars (normally I use them sparingly enough) and could not for the life of me get the gas tube clean. I brushed it. I scraped it. I even broke the rules and used some cleaning fluid on it... and made sure it was dry afterwards. No dice.

Regarding the piston itself... it is the easiest thing in the world to clean in a hurry. I just spray some Break Free CLR on it and let it sit for a few minutes to do its work... then a cleaning rag dampened with Break Free CLR wipes it pretty much clean. For the crud that's stuck on I use a bronze brush and dampen it in Break Free CLR. ALL the crud comes off, but the 'burnt' marks remain behind... the discolouring. For that I use a bit of simple chemical metal polish, same as I use on my Stainless Steel revolvers... and the piston comes out shining like new. I clean the piston with a cleaning rag... and leave both piston and bore clean and dry; nothing left behind to burn.

The interesting thing about the P7 is that the gases seem to spread the soot everywhere. And I do mean EVERYWHERE. I cannot for the life of me get things clean and squeeky clean like I like it.

I saw an Ultrasonic Cleaner advertised for $399 in one of the gun magazines and I think that I am going to invest in one. If nothing else, like reported in this thread it will reduce cleaning time. I had conversation with an MP who uses one all the time and says the squad would be lost without it. Did not ask what chemicals he used.

Anyway... I love the P7M8. Gather that they have stopped making them for consumer consumption and what we see are remnants of LEO bulk orders. There is no shortage of them so far.... I just hope that they remain in production forever as they are as fine a handgun as I have ever experienced. The quality of construction and the fixed barrel make them dead accurate (I can shoot 3" groups with one hand at 10 - 15 yards without a problem, rapid fire, slow fire, weak hand, whatever). And with several hundred rounds of mixed ammo through the two of them, I have not had ONE single failure of any kind whatsoever. NOT ONE. That, my friends, is a 'bet my life' on it weapon.... well, let me get to a thousand rounds on each.

We were discussing the lifetime of the gas system if maintained and if NOT maintained.....

Spoke with a fellow who put together a long gun with a life of under a thousand rounds (for reasons I am not certain) but he was telling me that he can shoot out the date on a quarter at a mile range. Impressive.
 

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Spoke with a fellow who put together a long gun with a life of under a thousand rounds (for reasons I am not certain) but he was telling me that he can shoot out the date on a quarter at a mile range. Impressive.
That wasn't your Uncle Rico, was it? :)

That's the biggest whopper I've ever heard. Assuming it's with a .308, that requires a .01 MOA accuracy.
 

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I just toss em in the US and sit back ;)

but really US are sweet, I cleaned 4 filthy(UMP,SP89,93,94) HK long guns this saturday, just pulled the trigger packs out, the bolt/carrier(in pieces) and tossed em all in the US. When waiting I did the barrels, chamber faces, flutes. Total time for all 4 guns, less than an hour.

handguns are even easier, as you just toss the whole gun(but not grips) in(still clean barrel like normal)
What liquid is used in a US cleaner? That sounds like a great thing, especially for those range sessions when I shoot 3 or 4 different guns.
 

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I'd sware I just typed that ;)......but L&R Products is all I use, works great and is safe for the guns and people(it doesn't even smell)

What liquid is used in a US cleaner? That sounds like a great thing, especially for those range sessions when I shoot 3 or 4 different guns.
 

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I use Hoppes and CLP on almost everything. The gas piston and port are a tad difficult to clean sometimes. I have an S&W Scandium revolver and have found the cylinder is very difficult to make squeaky clean. I finally found a product that I use almost exclusivly for two activities. M PRO 7 works wonders on these tricky items.One activity is the gas tube and piston on my P7 and the other is the cylinder of that revolver. Short of getting an UC
M PRO 7 is the right choice for getting them squeaky clean.

I used to work at a range that rented tons of hand guns. The end of the week was when we all cringed, cleaning all of those rentals! Well we bought an UC with two tanks. One with the cleaner and the other with oil. We would clean the pistols in the cleaning solvent then blow them off with compressed air. While we were blowing them all off, the oil was being heated and the UC was running. We would follow up with a nice bath in the warm oil and then wipe them dry. The end result was that they came out like new and we were much happier when it came to cleaning those guns. It worked so well we offered it as a service to the customers. You would be surprised how many people would pay $15.00 to have someone else clean them.

I myself actually enjoy cleaning my own firearms and can not justify spending a few hundred on the cleaner. To me the smell of Hopps and CLP is the smell of happiness. Not just for me but for my collection.
 

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I don't know why H&K recommends this. It was, I believe, standard practice in the Army in WWII. I understood that that requirement was due to the use of corrosive ammo.
When I was in the Marine Corps, it was standard practice for us to draw our weapon and clean it for the three succeeding days AFTER having fired it.
 

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Cleaning the P7M8, P7 PSP, P7M13, etc.
...
Is it just me or is this the dirtiest running handgun I have ever owned. I spent two hours cleaning my P7M8 last night (x2 of them) and they still were not squeeky clean as I like them, using Break Free CLP and then my Gun Butter on the moving parts. ...
Well, if you get an AR, then the P7 will seem like less of a chore by comparison. :)

Seriously, though, I think the points made are helpful in separating what *needs* to be cleaned vs. what *looks* like it should be cleaned. I hadn't heard some of these variations in the manual (some sound pretty odd-ball to me, like the 3x instruction).

My goals are to: preserve the gun, keep it reliable, and keep it from oozing oily carbonaceous crud everywhere. As far as esthetics go, I really think that "better is the enemy of good."

I use Eezox (among other things) and it eventually evaporates to a dry lube, providing good corrosion protection (on guns that need it) and making subsequent clean-up *much* quicker. Even along the gas path, which is obviously going to be filthiest.

For the "nooks and crannies" I might one day get an ultrasonic cleaner, but haven't really needed it with the above-mentioned prioritizing.
 

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When I was in the Marine Corps, it was standard practice for us to draw our weapon and clean it for the three succeeding days AFTER having fired it.
Yes, and I was the tool who made you do it again and again because there was still some carbon in the bolt carrier! Actually we armorer's had big globs of shoe polish under the day gate and dip our wooden sticked Q-tips in it and tell you that there was still some carbon on your weapon!! Just kidding!

But I still try to hold true to this cleaning method. Well maybe not three days in a row but three time none the less.
 

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+1 to Scooter...CLP is low grade all purpose stuff...I don't care for it cause it actually makes weapon cleaning harder. I use eezox myself. Spray RIG also does a great job of clean, even though it is actually a lube. Many of autopistols have been ruined by over cleaning. If it ain't broken don't fix it, or fix it until it is.
 

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Yes, and I was the tool who made you do it again and again because there was still some carbon in the bolt carrier! Actually we armorer's had big globs of shoe polish under the day gate and dip our wooden sticked Q-tips in it and tell you that there was still some carbon on your weapon!! Just kidding!

But I still try to hold true to this cleaning method. Well maybe not three day in a row but three time none the less.
It was taught to me at The Basic School at Quantico. I ended up being the tool who made a whole bunch of folks do it once I finished at Fort Sill and hit the FMF. It is a tried and true method.

Semper Fidelis
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I use Hoppes and CLP on almost everything. The gas piston and port are a tad difficult to clean sometimes. I have an S&W Scandium revolver and have found the cylinder is very difficult to make squeaky clean. I finally found a product that I use almost exclusivly for two activities. M PRO 7 works wonders on these tricky items.One activity is the gas tube and piston on my P7 and the other is the cylinder of that revolver. Short of getting an UC
M PRO 7 is the right choice for getting them squeaky clean.

I used to work at a range that rented tons of hand guns. The end of the week was when we all cringed, cleaning all of those rentals! Well we bought an UC with two tanks. One with the cleaner and the other with oil. We would clean the pistols in the cleaning solvent then blow them off with compressed air. While we were blowing them all off, the oil was being heated and the UC was running. We would follow up with a nice bath in the warm oil and then wipe them dry. The end result was that they came out like new and we were much happier when it came to cleaning those guns. It worked so well we offered it as a service to the customers. You would be surprised how many people would pay $15.00 to have someone else clean them.

I myself actually enjoy cleaning my own firearms and can not justify spending a few hundred on the cleaner. To me the smell of Hopps and CLP is the smell of happiness. Not just for me but for my collection.
Okay. The secret stuff that I use on my stainless steel that simply will not clean is called... ready..... drum roll please.... MAAS imported by MAAS International Corporation. It is amazing stuff and gets my stainless steel cylinders looking just like brand new. Ditto the gas plunger on the P7 for whatever it is worth... for me it is just a matter of esthetics as long as the gun works reliably.

What I am MOST worried about, to be honest, is doing damage by leaving any residue, which HK is very adamant about. NO RESIDUE in the gas piston assembly or you are asking for trouble.

But what to use then? I would really like to investigate the Ultrasonic method... less chemicals and you can actually watch the crud breaking off.
 

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It was taught to me at The Basic School at Quantico. I ended up being the tool who made a whole bunch of folks do it once I finished at Fort Sill and hit the FMF. It is a tried and true method.

Semper Fidelis
Sir! Yes sir, Weapons draw will take place at 05:00 and I will be sure to have all the Marines weapons cleaned and accounted for before chow. It is funny how some of the Corps values / rules never leave the brain housing group!

Semper FI Sir!


Torontogunguy
The carbon that is left over after a good cleaning should do no harm. As many have stated (on this sight and another sight that is dedicated to the P7 series) " I clean my piston and cylinder after every 500 rounds and have had no problems". The words of many.
I have a tough time with that personally. Kind of like not changing my motor oil for 10,000 miles. Hey the bottle may say it is OK but I am damn sure I am changing it every 3,5000.

Personal preference I guess. I just like to be 100% sure my firearm will function the second I take it out of the safe. It might have a mechanical failure but it will never be due due to lack of maintenance!
 
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