While i certainly dont have as much time wrenching on guns as a lot of guys do i do have a lot of time carrying them for a living, and teaching their use. Over the years i have learned some things...mostly that the way i was originally taught to clean weapons was a complete waste of time and actually contributed to wearing them out faster.
Most quality firearms will run with no cleaning as long as you keep them wet with quality lube. Once they do get sluggish its time to bust out the cleaning gear and get to work.
The last few days i have been dicking around in the armory trying to get stuff organized and clean and repair stuff that needs it.
Our schoolhouse 240's and 249's have seen some major rounds without cleaning (Live and blank) and are starting to show it.
A few years ago i got turned onto the SLIP family of products through Pat Rogers of EAG Tactical. I have used just about everything on the market and this is THE stuff. All the products in the line work together to clean/lube/and make follow on cleaning much,much easier.
I use SLIP 2000 Extreme weapons lubricant on everything from handguns to big bore precision rifles. It works especially well on light and medium machine guns. Most lubes will burn off fairly quickly when run through belt fed weapons but SLIP EWL tends to last longer than most.
The entire product line is non toxic/non hazmat and as such you can have it shipped to your APO downrange. ....giggitty....
For cleaning i use the 725 cleaner/degreaser and the carbon killer. The 725 works well for minor stuff but the carbon killer straight makes baked on carbon its bitch as im about to show you.
One of the dirtiest parts of both the 240/249 are the gas system plugs (Newer 249's dont have these anymore) and they are required to be reasonably clean to function.
Attached are a series of photos both pre and post cleaning. These are the spare barrels as well, they are cleaner than the barrels on the gun that i got yesterday.
I hosed everything down with 725...let sit for a minute and wiped off, removed the gas cylinder plugs from the M240B barrels and let them sit in the carbon killer for 10 minutes. I then used an AP brush (Toothbrush) to scrub as much of the crap off as i could and punched the bores with a 1 piece cleaning rod with carbon killer. Next i dried off and relubed with Slip EWL. Good to go. Elapsed time was about 15 minutes per barrel.
Another quality product thats out for weapons cleaning is this stuff...works great when you are in a hurry.
Its available from TacStrike on their webstore.