Every time you fire your gun, small amounts of sediment and powder residue remain inside the barrel. Over time, these deposits can lead to serious and dangerous problems such as jamming or misfiring. This is why it’s important to learn how to clean a gun properly. You should do this after every time it’s been fired, and this is especially true after you come home from target practice. It’s a lot easier to do than you might think.
1. Unload and Disassemble Your Gun
Before you learn how to clean a gun, there’s an important step to take. You must always unload your firearm before performing maintenance of any kind. This means removing the magazine and looking through the barrel from back to front. This way, you can be sure that there isn’t a round waiting in the chamber. Once you know for sure that the gun is unloaded, you can start disassembling it.
You should only disassemble your gun as much as the manufacturer recommends. These recommendations can be found in your firearm’s owner’s manual. If you don’t have a manual available, order one from the manufacturer. Revolvers and shotguns don’t need to be stripped, so you’ll only need to open the chamber. Semi-automatic pistols and rifles will usually be stripped into their major components.
2. Head to a Well-ventilated Space
Not only will the solvents and lubricants you need to use smell bad, but they can produce noxious fumes. A good suggestion is to head to your garage and open the door. If you don’t have a garage, then head to a room with plenty of open windows. If you have the outdoor space available, you should do it in your yard. Set up a small table for your work space. You should also put old newspaper on your work table before you begin.
3. Clean the Bore Out
Now you can learn how to clean a gun in earnest. To start, take a cleaning rod and attach a patch holder to it. Next, stick a cotton patch on the holder, but make sure it will fit inside the barrel first. Soak the patch with cleaning solvent.
The next step is to stick the rod inside the gun’s bore. If you can, work from the back of the bore. If the front is the only available entrance, then use a muzzle guard before you put the rod inside. This tool keeps the rod from hitting the muzzle. Once you’re through the bore, remove the patch. Do not pull the rod back since it’ll just put all the gunk back into the bore.
4. Scrub the Bore
Remove the patch holder from the rod and attach a bore brush to it. You’ll want to run the brush along the length of the bore at least four times. This will help to loosen any stubborn debris. Once that’s done, remove the brush and attach the patch holder. Soak some more cotton in the solvent and stick it into the bore. Just like before, don’t pull the rod back once you’re through. Repeat this process until the patch comes out clean. When it does so, run a dry cotton patch through to dry the bore out.
5. Lubricate the Barrel
This is a simple enough task. Stick a cotton mop onto the rod and pour a few drops of lubricant on it. Next, just run the rod through the bore. The bore is now clean and properly lubricated.
6. Clean and Lubricate the Action
Your next job will be to clean the action. First, apply solvent to a nylon gun cleaning brush. Next, brush the action until it’s spotless. Once that’s done, use a clean cloth to dry it out. You should also use a light coat of the solvent on the action’s moving parts. Don’t get the coat too heavy, or it’ll collect debris easily. With that, the action is tidied up and ready.
7. Wipe the Exterior
All you’ll need for this is a luster cloth. This is a special cloth that contains a lubricant inside it. Just wipe it across the exterior thoroughly. Not only will it add luster, but it’ll remove excess debris. If you don’t have a special cloth, then old socks with lubricant will work fine. The entire gun cleaning process should take no longer than 30 minutes.
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Now that you’ve learned how to clean a gun, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t do so on a regular basis. Proper routine maintenance is the only way to ensure that your firearm remains in good condition for many years to come. You can also consider other cleaning options such as barrel snakes for rifles. Keeping your guns stored in a cool, dry environment can also improve your weapon’s condition.