A lot of us wonder whether or not it is necessary to clean a gun. Well, why not? It’s the number one rule of owning a firearm. You have to care for it and cleaning it is step one. For one and most important thing, cleaning your gun after using it reduces the risk of accidental discharge. Yes, there are mishappenings in every step of the way, especially when you are being careless.
Certain things that you might want to make sure to avoid any negligent firearm discharge are – you keep the gun unloaded and empty before you start to disassemble it. Performing a safety check is always a mandatory first step that should be done and re-done as a double or triple check to guarantee a clear and safe firearm. So, if you are wondering “how do I clean my gun”, then this blog is going to be really helpful for you!
Good Preparation is Your Key
Before embarking on the task of cleaning your firearm, it is crucial to select a pristine area that offers ample space for maneuvering. Opt for an environment that is properly illuminated and adequately ventilated to steer clear of potential errors or unwelcome ramifications arising from the use of cleaning solvents.
Gun enthusiasts who regularly clean firearms understand that the optimal location for this task is either outdoors or in the garage. If one must clean their gun indoors, it is advisable to do so near an open window. Additionally, utilizing a sturdy and clutter-free table is essential.
To maintain cleanliness and avoid any potential contamination, it is advisable to refrain from using surfaces such as your kitchen countertop or dining room table where meals are typically consumed. This caution specifically applies when dealing with gun cleaning materials like oils, solvents, and substances like lead or carbon fouling that can inadvertently taint nearby food.
Another useful preparation tip is to ensure that all live ammunition is removed from the room or area where the cleaning work will take place. Take out all bullets from gun magazines and secure them in a different location or nearby gun safe until the cleaning process is complete. It’s crucial to also remove any other live ammunition, even if it is boxed, from the room or cleaning area. This precautionary measure will help prevent any accidental mishandling or unintentional introduction of live ammunition into a firearm.
Do Not Ignore That Manual
Are you among those individuals who discard the owner’s manual for every gadget or appliance they purchase? While this may be acceptable for household appliances like dishwashers or refrigerators, it is crucial that you not only retain but also thoroughly read the gun owner’s manual. The manual contains meticulously crafted information that warrants attention to detail and care. It serves as a valuable reference throughout your firearm ownership journey, ensuring your understanding and adherence to proper operations and practices, ultimately contributing to a safer and more fulfilling experience.
The manufacturer’s manual provides detailed instructions on safely and effectively disassembling and cleaning your gun. These manuals often include color diagrams and images to ensure that you can easily dismantle and reassemble your firearm with accuracy. This comprehensive guide guarantees a proper understanding of the process.
Having trouble locating the manual? The NRA’s Guide to Firearms Assembly offers comprehensive written and visual instructions on dismantling a wide range of handguns, shotguns, and rifles. Additionally, specific manuals for various models from different manufacturers can be obtained free of charge from their official websites, either for digital download or printing purposes.
Let’s Get to Work
After ensuring that you have implemented the necessary safety measures to clean your firearm, let us now delve into the specific details.
Different guns necessitate different techniques. However, it is essential to have certain tools for the gun cleaning process.
- Cleaning rod
- Bore brush (caliber specific)
- Cleaning jags (slotted and form-fitting)
- Cleaning swab
- Double-ended/utility brushes
- Cleaning patches (caliber specific, lint and fiber-free)
- Luster cloth/Silicone impregnated Gun and Reel Cloth
- Cotton swabs
- Bore snake
- Cleaning chemicals, including bore cleaners, action cleaners, and lubricants
- Disposable drip pan (to catch byproducts and residue of the cleaning process)
A cleaning kit specific to the caliber of your firearm will typically include most, if not all, of the cleaning supplies mentioned above. Additionally, you may want to consider using a rubber mat to protect both your work surface and the various parts of your gun. When working with long guns, a cleaning cradle can be quite useful in securely holding your firearm hands-free while you focus on controlling your tools and other loose parts. It’s important to prioritize safety while cleaning firearms, so always remember to wear safety glasses to protect against potential eye injuries from flying springs, debris, or chemical splashes/vapors. Furthermore, it’s highly recommended to use solvent-resistant gloves as an added precaution against skin contact with chemicals and their potential absorption. Lastly, only utilize tools and chemicals specifically designed for maintaining firearms. You might want to be careful with solvents as it can drip onto wood, painted or other sensitive surfaces.
How to Clean a Gun?
Now let’s get to the steps one by one:
First things first, unload and empty your gun before anything.
Clean the Barrel and Chamber
To clean the chamber and barrel, use a copper-phosphate or nylon bore brush. Brush in the direction from the chamber to the muzzle. This will help remove large carbon deposits and metal fouling from the bore.
To clean your firearm, take a cleaning patch soaked in bore solvent and attach it to the end of your cleaning rod. Then, carefully push the cleaning patch through the barrel until it comes out from the other side. Make sure to thoroughly clean both the chamber and bore surface.
Afterward, proceeded to utilize the bore brush exclusively for scrubbing the interior of the barrel. Then, employ a fresh and dry patch to eliminate any remaining residue, continuously passing it through the bore until the patch appears completely clean.
In cleaning and treating the bore surface against corrosion, it is advisable to use a pull-through tool that is impregnated with a light lubricant. One option for this is a bore snake and CLP or an equivalent product. However, it is important to note that gun oil should not be used to lubricate the bore. If you are considering long-term storage, you can opt to treat the bore with a heavier lubricant like Barricade or its equivalent. Just remember to clean the barrel thoroughly before shooting the firearm in order to remove any residue from the lubricant.
Clean and Lubricate the Action
To ensure proper maintenance of your firearm, it’s important to clean and lubricate not only the barrel but also the action (slide, pump, or bolt). You can achieve this by using a nylon utility brush, dry cloth, and action cleaner solvent. Apply liberal amounts of the solvent to the action from the top of the frame/receiver so that any carbon buildup and metal debris are washed into a drip pan. Always refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning your specific gun model. Lastly, allow the cleaned sub-assemblies to air dry before reassembling.
Finally, the user should utilize a needle applicator to accurately administer lubricant drops at the designated points of lubrication on the frame and action, slide assembly, as well as the exterior of the barrel, following the manufacturer’s recommendations. It is crucial to avoid excessive lubrication since this may attract more contaminants and potentially hinder reliability.
Now to the Magazines
Magazines serve as the essential source of ammunition and play a crucial role in providing proper feeding for semi automatic firearms. Ensuring reliable and clean magazines is imperative for the smooth operation of these firearms. It is recommended to follow the manufacturer’s instructions while disassembling, cleaning, and reassembling the magazines. To facilitate magazine cleaning, specialized brushes are available. When working with magazines during disassembly and reassembly, it is important to wear safety glasses and exercise extra caution since magazine followers are spring-loaded. Remember never to use petroleum products for cleaning magazines as they may contaminate ammunition primers. Instead, opt for residue-free solvents or cleaning agents when maintaining your magazines; lubrication should be avoided.
Put It All Back Together and Test
Whenever a firearm is taken apart and put back together, it is important to perform a functional check. This ensures that the firearm still operates correctly after disassembly. During this check, you should verify the proper functioning of the trigger mechanism, safeties, slide operation and locking, magazine retention, and ejection systems. Make sure to follow the specific procedure provided by the manufacturer for your firearm and always prioritize gun safety rules.
Wipe It Off Clean
Once the inside of the gun and its moving parts have been thoroughly cleaned and lubricated, it is time to focus on cleaning the exterior. A specialized gun/reel cloth is highly recommended for this particular task.
These clothes have a soft texture and are specially treated with silicone lubricant. This treatment effectively removes any residual debris or acidic prints, while also providing a protective shine to your weapon. If one does not possess a silicone cloth, using individual CLP wipes or an equivalent alternative would be equally effective.
A Clean Gun Is Really Good
Knowing how to properly clean a gun extends beyond mere aesthetics. It encompasses the crucial aspects of safety and reliability associated with firearms.
Proper maintenance of a gun guarantees enhanced accuracy, reliability, and your personal comfort and confidence while using the weapon. It also helps in preserving both its functionality and appearance, safeguarding your valuable investment.