Thursday, August 23, 2012

Getting Organized

I don't clean my guns as much as I should and I think part of that comes from my shooting mentor being one of those guys that might clean a gun once a year and another part due to needing to carve out 45 minutes to an hour to get set up, clean, and tear down after cleaning.  I realized that part of my problem was that my cleaning stuff was spread across several different containers.  It was all in about the same place, but not really all together in a cleaning kit I could deploy at will.

To remedy this, I decided to use a large tackle box as my new cleaning kit.  I picked up the box last Fall when Walmart was running clearance on their left over fishing gear.  It's just a cheapie Plano organizer box.  I liked it because it's got a handle built in so I can easily carry it out to the range if I need to.  I also like the flexibility to add or remove dividers to meet my needs.

I'm pretty set on what I use to clean guns, it was just a matter of pulling everything together into one box.  Prior to tonight I had my cleaning stuff spread across 4 storage boxes.  Small Qtips in one box, Large Qtips in another, with a third box holding brushes and jags that were separated by caliber.  Finally, a large plastic shoe box to hold patches and other stuff.  Chemicals, cleaning agents, lubricants, rags, and cleaning rods are stored on a shelf above the bench. 

After some considerable consolidation, I ended up with this kit.  I've actually got more stuff in the consolidated kit than I had in the the 4 separate boxes.  The kit stores vertically next to my cleaning and lubrication supplies and has just about everything I need to clean 22 LR through 45 ACP pistols.  Laying out a work towel and pulling this kit off the shelf should take about 1 minute.  Storing it after cleaning should take about the same amount of time. Maybe I'll clean my pistols more frequently now.

If you follow my blog you know I shoot small pistols much more frequently than full size pistols.  The down side of this is cleaning is more difficult because all the nooks and crannies that need to be cleaned are miniaturized.  When I decide to clean a pistol, I want it REALLY clean when I'm done.  My number one most used item when cleaning pocket pistols are Q-tips.  I probably use at least 7 to 10 per pistol cleaned.  Kids size toothbrushes, with their smaller brush heads, do a really good job sweeping out the big stuff inside the slide and clinging to the rails.  I really hate having to change between bore brush and patch jag during cleaning so I use two cleaning rods with one set up for the brush and another for the patch jag.  It helps keep the cleaning process moving along at a brisk pace.   

While I was in organization mode,  I also finished up my Pelican camera box.  I love pluck and pull foam.  It's not a super perfect fit, but it will get you really close to where you need to be on just about any custom case interior.  Now I don't need to worry about accidentally dropping my camera case when I'm out on the range.  I've always liked Pelican and Storm boxes.  As long as you size up the case properly, you can usually end up with a very functional and secure case if you take your time plucking the foam.  I now have all my cameras, cleaning gear, batteries, and extra memory all in one fast grab box that's sturdy enough to drive my car over.  Awesome!

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