How to properly clean your gun ?

Knowing how to properly clean your firearms is about more than having a gun that looks clean. It’s about safety, reliability, and performance. A clean gun won’t just look great, but it will shoot better as well.

So, here is a complete guide to help you properly, and safely clean your firearms.

How to clean your gun?

The proper and specific way to clean and maintain a firearm can significantly change depending on the type of firearm being cleaned, however, here is a general 8-step process that will apply to almost any type of firearm.

Step 1: Make Sure You Have The Right Tools and Supplies

Before we jump into the cleaning process, it is important that you have the right setup for it. Let’s start with the “where”. Ideally, you should clean your guns in a place that is well ventilated, to avoid breathing in the fumes of the cleaning elements. Additionally, make sure that children aren’t running around the spot where you’re cleaning your firearms. You should also avoid cleaning your firearms in places like the kitchen, dining table, or any other spot where you eat, or your family spends a lot of time. This is important as lead deposits, gunpowder residue, and cleaning chemicals can contaminate these areas and cause serious problems.

Next up, you should have a clean and organized workspace. Investing is a good gun mat for your table and can also be quite helpful. Make sure you have a good cleaning kit, with all the supplies you may need. Here is a quick checklist of items you should have.

  • Cleaning rod
  • Cleaning brushes like a caliber-specific bore brush, and utility brushes.
  • Cleaning supplies like Bore cleaners, Action cleaners, Lubricants
  • Cotton swabs
  • Bore snake
  • A good quality gun cloth, or silicone-impregnated gun rag

Step 2: Make Sure The Gun is Safe:

Whenever you’re handling a firearm, safety should be your number 1 priority. So, before you go about cleaning your firearm, pointing in every direction, and putting cleaners on it, make sure that it is safe.

Make sure to remove the magazine if your gun has one, and then clear the chamber. Make sure to both visually and physically inspect the chamber, and ensure that there are no bullets in the firearm, or around your workstation for that matter. This can help prevent negligent accidents.

Step 3: Disassemble the Firearm:

Now that you have unloaded your firearm and made it safe. You are ready to disassemble it. Depending on how deep of a clean you want to do, this could be a simple field strip, for a more detailed disassembly.

Disassembling every firearm is different, so, consulting the owner’s manual for your firearm can be a great way to see how to properly and safely disassemble your firearm. If you’re one of those guys who throws every owner’s manual away, don’t worry, there are loads of videos on the internet to help you out, or you could ask a more experienced friend for some assistance.

Step 4: Clean the Barrel and Chamber

Let’s get to the actual cleaning process now. Once the firearm is disassembled, start cleaning the barrel and chamber. Here are the steps you need to follow.

  1. Use a Bore Brush to dry brush the chamber and barrel. This will remove most of the larger carbon deposits in the barrel, along with any metal fouling. Make sure to clean in a chamber to bore direction.
  2. Now, apply some bore solvent on a cleaning patch, and use your cleaning rod to apply it inside the bore.
  3. Let the solvent sit and do its thing for about 10 minutes.
  4. Pass through the chamber and barrel with the bore brush one more time, and use a fresh dry cleaning patch to clean the bore. Pass a patch through the bore a few times, until it comes out clean.
  5. Now, apply some light anti-corrosion lubricant like CLP to the bore
  6. Lastly, clean the barrel, chamber, and other parts like the barrel lug, and feed ramps as well.

Step 5:Clean and Lubricate the Action

Now, let’s move to the action. Depending on the type of the gun, this can be quite different, So here are some general steps that you can apply.

  1. Use some action cleaning solvent to loosen the carbon buildup inside the action, and clean it with a nylon cleaning brush or rag.
  2. Let the parts of the action dry completely after they are cleaned.
  3. Now, use a lubricant like some gun oil, or grease to lubricate the parts of the action where there is metal-on-metal action. This can help your firearm operate more smoothly and reliably.
  4. Make sure to not go overboard with the lubricant, as it can be bad for the firearm, and it may also ruin your clothes with oil stains when you carry it.

Step 6:Clean the Magazine as well:

In  case of a magazine-fed firearm, don’t forget to clean and lubricate the magazine, as a lot of reliability issues can be caused because of faulty magazines.

Step 7:Reassemble the Firearm and Perform a Functional Check

Once everything is cleaned, you can reassemble the firearm, and make sure to check that it is functioning properly.

Step 8:Clean the Outside of the Gun:

Lastly, let’s make your gun look good as well. It’s time to clean the exterior. A silicone-impregnated gun rag is perfect for this job, as it cleans the gun without scratching the finish.

How often should you clean your gun?

The frequency with which you clean your firearms depends on several factors, like how and where they are stored, how frequently they are used, and what kind of environment they are used in.

A firearm that is used daily, as a duty or everyday carry gun, needs to be cleaned more frequently. Throughout the day, sweat from your body, dust, and debris in the air, and other elements can affect the finish and function of a firearm, even if it isn’t shot.  Of course, a gun that is shot regularly also has a lot of carbon buildup and small brass deposits from the bullet casings. Ideally, you should clean your everyday carry gun everyday, and your range gun after every use, especially if you live in an environment where dust is more of an issue.

If you are a collector, it is absolutely imperative that you clean your firearms before you store them in your gun safe for a long time. Carbon and other corrosives can be extremely damaging to firearms when they sit there for extended periods of time.

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