How to Clean a Luger

by Contributor

If you own a German Luger then you may have paid quite a bit for the pistol. Keeping the gun in good condition is an important part of collecting. The German Luger can be easy to clean if you know all the steps.

Clean the Wooden Grip

  1. Evaluate the type of dirt that you see on the Luger. If the grip is soaked with oil, you're results won't be as positive. You will need to purchase some paste varnish and paint remover that is brushable, such as StripX.

  2. Remove the grips from the pistol. Remove them carefully, making certain that you don't chip the surface. Place the grips in a plastic bag and cover them completely with the paste.

  3. Check the grips after 1 to 2 hours if they are not in poor shape. If they're really dirty, leave them all day or overnight in the solution.

  4. Remove the grips from the immersion and with long strokes, brush it with a toothbrush to remove dirt. Brush in the alternate direction of the checkering. Clean the brush frequently with a paper towel. Change the toothbrush and brush again.

  5. Dip a soft paper towel into acetone and wipe the back. Get a clean cloth, dip it, and blot the front. Allow it to dry for a few minutes and if necessary repeat the soak.

  6. Darken the grips; if you choose, by dipping a cotton swab in a thin linseed oil and applying it to the finish. Let them dry for 1 to 2 hours before putting them back on the gun.

Clean the Pistol

  1. Remove the magazine. Check the chamber to make certain that there isn't a round left in it.

  2. Start by using the handle of a metal bore brush to compress the spring. Keep the spring in a compressed state with a small nail inserted in one of the holes and remove the brush handle.

  3. Shake the magazine to remove the follower and then remove the nail with the magazine pointing downward, allowing the spring to come out. Use Hoppes #9 and a bore brush to clean the interior of the magazine.

  4. Clean the spring with cleaner on a toothbrush. Dry the interior of the magazine with a soft cloth. Reassemble the magazine.

  5. Apply a superior type of gun oil to the entire surface of the magazine. Dry with a clean cloth. Lay aside and don't remount unless you're ready to shoot.

  6. Remove the front barrel bushing and remove the barrel. Disassemble the balance of the gun.

  7. Clean each individual part with a toothbrush and a quality gun cleaner. Wipe dry with a soft cloth. Repeat the process.

  8. Reassemble the parts. Check all mechanisms after reassembly.

Items you will need

  • A paste paint and varnish remover, like StripX
  • A cotton swab
  • Hoppes #9
  • A plastic bag or bowl to soak grips
  • Toothbrushes
  • Paper towel
  • Acetone
  • Quality cleaning oil
  • Small nail
  • Bore brush


  • When cleaning the face of the grips, do not scrub with the toothbrush.
  • Don't rub the checkering with the acetone. Blot it instead.
  • Even if the instructions on the bottle of paste cleaner says it can be removed with water, don't use water.

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