Cleaning your gun is not only important to make sure it looks great; it’s also essential for safety to reduce the risk of accidental discharge.
But cleaning your guns does need some prior knowledge to ensure that it’s completed correctly. Not only will you then prolong its life but it will also ensure that it’s ready to use when you really need it.
There are several great guides online including those at bang-inc. But in this guide, we’re going to provide you with a quick reminder of the key details you need to be aware of to keep your firearms in perfect condition.
Why You Need To Clean Your Firearm
A clean gun is important for three main reasons:
When it comes to any kind of firearm, safety is of the utmost importance. With use, dirt, small bullet fragments, and unburned powder start to build up in both the barrel and action.
If you don’t regularly clean your gun, you increase the chance of a bullet stuck in a barrel, a misfire, or even a jam, which can put you at risk.
An unclean gun can really result in performance issues. For instance, if your firing pin is dirty, it can lead to a light strike. As a result, the primer won’t be able to ignite the powder in the bullet.
Similarly, the rifling stabilizes the projectile to increase accuracy but grime in your barrel can mess up your marksmanship.
Guns aren’t cheap and it can be expensive to replace a broken one. To make sure you protect your investment, it’s important to clean it regularly.
Before Getting Started
To make sure you thoroughly clean your gun without putting yourself at risk, some things to keep in mind are:
1. Choose the Right Cleaning Area
To clean your gun, you want a clean, well-ventilated, and well-lit area with sufficient space. Ideally, you should clean your gun in the garage but if that’s not possible, make sure you at least have an open window nearby.
We also recommend using a table or some kind of sturdy surface, but make sure not to use a surface where you eat like your kitchen counters. Cleaning your gun involves things like lead and oil that can contaminate food.
2. Ensure Your Safety
Make sure there’s no live ammunition nearby. Empty out all the magazines and keep the ammunition somewhere safe to prevent the chances of mishaps.
3. Read the Manual
There’s a reason why your gun came with a user manual, and it’s best not to ignore it or worse, throw it away. A gun’s user manual explains how you can disassemble your gun and safely clean it with detailed pictures and diagrams. It also outlines how you should assemble it once you’re done cleaning it.
4. Gather the Required Tools
With safety precautions catered for, you’re almost ready to start cleaning your gun – you just need to have the right tools.
Of course, the techniques and tools differ according to the gun you have, but some basic tools you will need include a cleaning rod, a disposable drip pan, cleaning chemicals, cotton swabs, cleaning jags, mops, utility brushes, and a gun cloth.
Usually, caliber-specific cleaning kits include most of the cleaning supplies you will need. Other cleaning supplies you should have are:
- A rubber mat to protect your table and gun parts
- A cleaning cradle for long guns
- Safety glasses to protect your eyes from chemical splashes, flying springs, and debris
- Solvent-resistant gloves to avoid coming in contact with dangerous chemicals
Steps to Clean Your Gun
Now that you have everything ready, you can go ahead and start cleaning your gun. Here’s how:
- Take out the magazine and make sure your gun is unloaded
- Dry-brush both the barrel and chamber with nylon or copper-phosphate bore brush.
Make sure you go from the chamber to the muzzle. This will help remove large metal and carbon fouling from the bore. Take a cleaning patch, dip it in bore solvent, and place it on your cleaning rod’s tip.
Push the patch through the bore to saturate the bore surface and chamber but make sure you don’t pull it back; otherwise, you will re-introduce gunk and dirt into the bore.
Let the solvent do its trick for 10-15 mins and then use a bore brush to scrub the barrel from the inside. Take a new patch and run it through the bore until it comes out clean.
Don’t forget to clean the feed ramp, barrel exterior, hood, and lug.
1. Clean the action of the gun using an action cleaner solvent, a dry cloth, and a utility brush.
Spray the action from the top of the receiver such that metal and carbon debris falls into the drip pan.
For this step, you will need to refer to your user manual to learn how to clean the action. Make sure you let all the parts dry and properly dispose of any cleaning residue.
2. Apply lubricant using a needle applicator
Again, you need to go through your user manual and apply lubrication at the manufacturer-recommended points. These can include points on the slide assembly, barrel exterior, and frame.
Make sure you don’t over-lubricate since it can attract more contaminants and make your firearm less reliable.
3. Clean the magazines
Refer to your gun’s user manual once again. Read up on how to disassemble, clean, and reassemble your gun’s magazines. Use special-purpose brushes to clean the magazine and make sure to wear safety glasses. You should be particularly careful when reassembling and disassembling the magazine.
Never use petroleum products to clean the magazine since they can contaminate your ammunition primers. You should also not lubricate it. Instead, just clean it with a residue-free solvent. Also, make sure you are using good-quality ammo, such as 38 special ammo if you want your weapon to stay in good shape for as long as possible.
4. Reassemble your gun and make sure it is functional
Make sure the trigger mechanism, ejection systems, magazine retention, slide operation, and safety work as they should. Once again, you can learn how to test all of this by referring to your user manual.
5. Finally, just wipe your gun using a gun cloth to get rid of leftover debris and acidic prints and make your gun shine!