Proper Gun Maintenance: 12 Simple Steps to Clean Your Gun Effectively
Properly inspecting and cleaning your guns is a crucial aspect of gun ownership. Not only does it keep your firearm functioning effectively, but it also ensures that it is firing safely. Every time you fire a gun, there is a tiny explosion in the chamber that leaves behind residue and sediment inside the barrel. This buildup can lead to dangerous malfunctions if not cleaned properly, making it essential to clean your gun after every use.
Cleaning your gun regularly is also important if you want it to last a long time. Dirt and grime can accumulate in the barrel, which can lead to corrosion and rust if left unchecked.
This can cause your gun to deteriorate over time, and can even affect its accuracy. By cleaning your gun regularly, you can remove any dirt or grime that has accumulated, preventing any damage to the gun’s internal parts.
While gun cleaning can seem like a daunting task, it is a simple process that can be easily done at home with the right tools.
By following the proper cleaning steps and using the right tools and cleaning solutions, you can ensure that your gun stays in top condition and functions safely for years to come. In this guide, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step process on how to clean a gun for proper use. So, let’s dive in and learn how to clean your gun effectively.
How to Start
1. Assemble a Cleaning Kit
To begin cleaning your gun, it’s important to have a cleaning kit at your disposal. This can be purchased as a pre-assembled kit from a sporting goods store or you can put together the necessary components yourself. The basic items to put together a gun cleaning are:
- Cleaning solution
- Microfiber cloths for polishing
- Nylon cleaning brush
- Bore brush
- Lubricant or gun oil
- Cotton swabs
- Patch holder and patches
- Cleaning rod
These components will help ensure that you have all the necessary supplies for effective gun cleaning. Properly cleaning your gun requires attention to detail, and having the right tools can make the job easier and more effective.
2. Unload the Gun You Want to Clean
It is crucial to begin the gun cleaning process by ensuring that your gun is unloaded and that you double-check it every time you handle it. You should be aware that your gun may still have a round ready to fire even after removing the magazine, so it’s important to verify and remove any such rounds.
To confirm that the gun is unloaded, you need to open the chamber and check that no round remains inside, either in the chamber or stuck in the barrel. It’s essential to note that a gun can’t be considered unloaded until you have looked through the barrel from back to front and confirmed that it’s free of any rounds.
3. Disassemble the Gun According to the Manufacturer’s Instructions
Refer to the owner’s manual for instructions on disassembling your gun to access all the dirty parts that require cleaning after firing.
Rifles and semi-auto pistols are usually disassembled into major components such as the slide, barrel, frame, magazine, and guide rod for cleaning. However, shotguns, revolvers, and various other types of guns do not require disassembly for cleaning.
You don’t need to field strip your gun every time you clean it, as it’s not always necessary to clean every component. Only disassemble your gun as much as you need to, and as the manufacturer recommends.
Avoid taking apart your gun beyond this point unless it requires repair. It’s worth noting that some guns can’t be stripped at all, in which case opening the chamber is sufficient for cleaning.
4. Ensure that you Clean your Gun Somewhere with Proper Ventilation
When cleaning your guns, it is important to choose a well-ventilated area to prevent exposure to noxious solvent fumes that can cause illness. In addition, cleaning your guns indoors with lubricant and solvent can produce strong and unpleasant odors, so it’s best to choose a place with good air circulation to avoid bothering others.
To protect your work surface from damage and make cleanup easier, lay down plastic sheets, old towels, or newspapers. Consider going to the garage with the door open, or choose a bright and non-humid day to ensure thorough cleaning of your guns.
How to Clean Your Gun
5. Use patches and a cleaning rod to clean the barrel
To clean the bore, use a cleaning rod, patch holder, and cotton patches that are the appropriate size for your gun. To prevent damage to the muzzle, use a muzzle guard. Start from the back of the bore if possible, and work your way toward the muzzle.
Applying solvent to the patches before using them can help dissolve the buildup of debris and fouling inside the barrel. Ensure that you use the correct bore brush and jag for your gun’s caliber when using a cleaning rod, and be careful not to damage the rifling inside the barrel.
After applying solvent and scrubbing the bore with the bore brush, run clean patches through the barrel until they come out clean. To clean the barrel properly cleaning, insert a patch soaked in cleaning solvent through the bore and push it comes out from the other end. Avoid pulling the patch back through the barrel, as this can cause the buildup of gunk you just cleaned off.
6. Use the bore brush and patches alternately for scrubbing the barrel
Detach the patch holder and fix the bore brush in its place. Move it back and forth throughout the barrel’s length three or four times to scrape off the debris. Then, connect the patch holder and move solvent-soaked patches through the bore, removing them from the front end. Repeat until the patch is clean.
After finishing the cleaning process, run a dry patch through the bore to dry it out. Check it closely to ensure that there is no build-up left behind.
7. Apply Lubricant to the Barrel
To apply lubrication to the barrel, attach a cotton swab to the cleaning rod and add a few drops of gun conditioner or lubricant. Run the swab through the bore to leave a thin yet even coating of gun oil on the inside.
8. Use a Solvent to Lubricate and Clean the Action
Use a gun brush to apply solvent to every part of the action, then wipe them dry using a clean cloth. To prevent rust, apply a light coating of lubricant to the moving parts of the action. Avoid applying too much as it can get gummy and will attract debris. Hence, a basic amount is enough.
9. Using a Luster Cloth to clean the Exterior of your Gun
A pre-treated flannel cloth that contains silicon lubricant can be used to remove any residual debris, such as acid from fingerprints, and add shine to the surface. If you don’t have a designated cloth for cleaning your gun, don’t worry. You can use old socks or T-shirts that you no longer wear.
Look for something made of soft material that won’t scratch your gun’s surface. It’s important to use a cloth that you won’t need to reuse, as the solvents and lubricants used for cleaning guns can leave a residue that may transfer onto other items.
How to Maintain Your Guns
10. Clean your Gun after Each Use
Owning a firearm is a responsibility that requires regular maintenance to ensure it performs optimally. It is essential to clean your firearm after each use to prevent build-up and corrosion. Neglecting to clean your firearm can lead to malfunctions, decreased accuracy, and ultimately a shortened lifespan.
In just 20-30 minutes, you can complete the entire cleaning process from start to finish. Consistent cleaning is well worth the investment in time to keep your firearms in top condition. Consider taking the opportunity to clean all of your guns at once, even those stored away for some time.
11. Try Barrel Snakes or Ultrasonic Cleaners for Easier Gun Cleaning
Barrel snakes are a modern, convenient, and effective way to clean firearms. They come in various sizes and lengths to fit different firearms and are designed to quickly clean the bore with a single stroke.
Some barrel snakes even have built-in LED lights for better visibility during the cleaning process. Overall, using a barrel snake can save time and effort while ensuring your firearm is properly cleaned.
12. Unload your Guns and Store them in a Cool and Dry Place
Protect your gun’s longevity by storing it in a controlled, indoor environment. Avoid areas that may expose it to harsh weather conditions. For added safety, consider using security locks for safety and avoiding unauthorized access.
Gun cases are available in both soft and hard varieties, with prices starting as low as $15 or $20. For those with a higher budget, safe and password-protected cabinets provide a secure and safe storage environment for your guns.
Maintaining your guns is crucial for responsible gun ownership. It not only ensures that your gun will function properly but also extends its lifespan. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can make sure that your gun remains in good condition for years to come.
Remember to always follow safety procedures when handling firearms, and store them in a safe and secure location. Investing in quality cleaning materials and tools will make the cleaning process more efficient and effective. With regular maintenance and proper storage, you can keep your guns in top condition and ready for use whenever you need them.