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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My friend came over today for a girls' day of gun cleaning. The first ones we did were our P238's. She told me she didn't think hers needed to be cleaned, but I told her to bring it for practice taking the slide stop lever/take down lever out and putting it back properly.

I looked in her gun. YIKES. It surely did need to be cleaned. Mine was not bad, but it was also not pristine. Anyway: We had done the barrels, dry wiped, tooth brushed and then cleaned with lightly oil cloth. Then she asked me about that little tiny area at the base of the hammer that looks like a miniscule set of stair steps. I looked at it and it was seriously dirty, so I put a couple mini drops of oil on it and used a baby size/width toothbrush.........THREE OF THEM.....to get all the gunk off and get it shiny clean in there.

Then I looked in my gun..........oh gosh. My wee little "stair steps" were nasty also. Now I have to check my other two P238's because I honestly never noticed that small area at the base of the hammer, since it sort of hides inside the frame.

I could look up a parts list and give that tiny stair step its proper name, but that would take all the fun out of it!

NOTE: I am pretty anal about being super thorough in cleaning my guns (field stripping only). I have owned and used two of my three SIG P238's for three years and I never noticed what my friend noticed today. It is nice to have smart, observant friends!

ETA: Ok, I did look up the parts schematic and it looks like the stair steps are formed by the base of the hammer and the top of the sear. Is that correct, and if so, did I get oil down into a crack where it don't b'long?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
BINGO!!!! That picture of the hammer shows the stair step effect clearly, and you can see how it might look like itty bitty stairs, looking down into the gun from the top.

THANK YOU.

Now I need to take my other 2 P238's apart and clean that area so it is bright and shiny! Last week I cleaned 2 of my guns and had 4 dirty toothbrushes that I hadn't washed yet, so TODAY after we cleaned our total of 4 guns, I washed 15 of my toothbrushes and my friend took 3 filthy ones of her own home with her, so when my clean ones dry overnight I'll do that area of the other 2 guns.
 

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BINGO!!!! That picture of the hammer shows the stair step effect clearly, and you can see how it might look like itty bitty stairs, looking down into the gun from the top.

THANK YOU.

Now I need to take my other 2 P238's apart and clean that area so it is bright and shiny! Last week I cleaned 2 of my guns and had 4 dirty toothbrushes that I hadn't washed yet, so TODAY after we cleaned our total of 4 guns, I washed 15 of my toothbrushes and my friend took 3 filthy ones of her own home with her, so when my clean ones dry overnight I'll do that area of the other 2 guns.
It would be beneficial to use a dab of grease, on those "stair steps" as ThnkFrst advised. Probably the reason they were so "dirty"! Since I don't have one, I'm just speculating, but many use Molybdenum Disulfide Grease which penetrates the pores, and is normally "black". It gets burnished into the pores providing long term lubrication.

Here are 2 examples, I also have some Chip McCormick "Trigger Slick" from 4 decades back, good for Hammer/Sear surface lubrication.

https://www.brownells.com/gun-clean...s--prod1147.aspx?avs|Manufacturer_1=BROWNELLS

https://www.brownells.com/gun-clean...tion-lube-syringe-sku083050010-1148-4097.aspx
 
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Try dry lube there, oil and grease attract more dirt.

If carrying and lint is building up, blast a bit of air in there every week depending on how much there is. Canned/air first then dry lube from bottom of the magwell angled up.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This morning I took my other two P238's apart to clean that hammer area. The one was cleaned two days ago, but I got a lot of black stuff from that area. She is clean for sure now!

The other one was my carry gun. I really think I only shot 2 mags through her since cleaning her last time, but perhaps I shot a couple mags one other time and didn't clean her. SHAME ON ME! Anyway, the gun was totally filthy, and the barrel had so much thick black stuff inside that I wound up using patches of my lead removal cloth and doing Hoppes twice, and then finishing with CLP. That is now bright and shiny like it should be. I'm embarrassed to even admit that I would ever let a barrel get like that!

SO, I wound up washing 5 more toothbrushes this morning. So much fun.

I do believe that from now on I will for sure clean every gun after I shoot it even if it is only one magazine - 7 rounds! These little babies get so much dirtier than larger guns. It's like: If you have a large house you can get a little messy and not clean every single day and no one notices BUT if you live in a tiny house or small apartment, if you drop one kleenex, the whole place is dirty!!!

For 20 years I shot Glocks and used Frog Lube on them. They were a lot larger also, and simply didn't get very dirty and definitely didn't need to be cleaned very often. However, since I shoot these tiny guns now, I need to be cleaning them each and every time. I enjoy cleaning guns but will need to buy a larger jar of Hoppes bore cleaner next time! LOL

I am also going to get a can of dry lube!
 
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