Personally I spray the gun then wipe it down with a cloth. My thoughts are spraying the gun gets the silicone/protectant/lubricant into all the nooks and crannies. Wiping it down (or using air in a can for the innards) gets rid of the unwanted excess.
My thoughts exactly. My friend praises the silicone cloth and got me interested in it. I just use the aerosol Red Oil for the purposes you mentioned. Never had a problem with it. I am gonna try to make some of the homemade stuff I saw in an earlier post and try that to see how I like it. I wish I could make a solvent I could just pour on it and it eat all the soot out. These 1911's are a pain to clean!