Whether you’re a competitive shooter or hunter or simply enjoy going to the shooting range on weekends, taking care of your firearms is essential. You need to get the best gun cleaner and make it a habit to clean your gun regularly. However, one of the biggest mistakes most gun owners make is not taking the time to learn how to clean and take care of their guns properly. In this article, we’ll show you how to clean and take care of your guns, so they stay in pristine condition for years to come.
Why Clean Your Guns?
There are many reasons why you should clean your guns regularly. Here are some of them.
- Preventing Corrosion – When you leave your gun in its holster or case, the sweat and oils from your skin can cause corrosion. This is especially true if you live in a humid climate. Over time, this corrosion will damage your gun’s finish and eventually eat through the metal, causing it to rust.
- Preventing Malfunctions – Dirt, dust, and powder residue can build up in the action of your gun and prevent it from functioning properly. This is especially true for semiautomatic pistols and rifles. If you don’t clean your gun regularly, you may find that it starts to jam or misfire.
- Improving Accuracy – A dirty gun is an inaccurate gun. The powder residue, lead, and metal shavings that build up in the barrel of your gun can cause the bullets to deviate from their intended path. Therefore, if you want to keep your shooting skills sharp, you must clean your gun regularly.
Proper Gun Cleaning Technique
Now that we’ve gone over some of the reasons why you should clean your guns, let’s take a look at the proper way to do it.
You’ll need the following supplies:
1. Disassemble Your Gun
This is the first and most important step in cleaning your gun. You need to completely disassemble the gun so that you can access all of the parts that need to be cleaned.
There are a few things you should keep in mind when you’re disassembling your gun:
- Ensure that the gun is unloaded before you start: A fatal accident can occur if you try to disassemble a loaded gun. Therefore, you must check to ensure the gun is unloaded before you begin.
- Be familiar with your gun: You should only disassemble the parts of the gun that you’re comfortable with. If you’re not sure how to disassemble a particular part, consult the owner’s manual or take it to a qualified gunsmith.
- Be careful with small parts: Small parts like springs and pins can be easily lost. Therefore, it’s important to disassemble your gun over a clean surface where you can see all of the parts.
2. Clean the Barrel
The barrel is the most important part of the gun to clean because it’s where the bullet travels. Therefore, you need to make sure that it’s free of any obstructions. To clean the barrel, you’ll need a cleaning rod, patch holder, and cleaning patches. First, attach the patch holder to the end of the cleaning rod. Then, dampen a cleaning patch with solvent and insert it into the patch holder. Next, insert the cleaning rod into the barrel and twist it a few times to ensure the patch touches the entire surface of the barrel. Finally, remove the cleaning rod and patch holder from the barrel and dispose of the used patch.
3. Clean the Receiver
The receiver is the part of the gun that houses the bolt and firing mechanism. To clean the receiver, you’ll need a cleaning brush and cleaning solvent. First, use the cleaning brush to remove any dirt and debris from the receiver. Next, dampen a clean rag with solvent and wipe down the receiver. Finally, use a dry rag to remove any residual solvent from the receiver.
4. Clean the Bolt and Firing Mechanism
The bolt and firing mechanism are two of the most important parts of the gun to keep clean. To clean these parts, you’ll need a cleaning brush and cleaning solvent. First, use the cleaning brush to remove any dirt and debris from the bolt and firing mechanism. Next, dampen a clean cloth with the cleaning solvent and wipe down these parts of the gun. Finally, use a dry cloth to remove any residue from the solvent.
5. Spray & Clean the Action
The action is the moving part of the gun that loads, cocks, and fires the weapon. To clean the action, you’ll need a can of compressed air and cleaning solvent. First, use the compressed air to blow any dirt and debris out of the action. Next, use a rag dampened with solvent to wipe down the action. Finally, use a dry rag to remove any solvent residue from the action.
6. Discard Excess Oil & Rust
Excess gunk, oil, and rust can build up on your gun over time. Therefore, it’s important to remove these substances from your gun on a regular basis. To remove excess oil and rust, you’ll need some supplies. First, get a clean microfiber cloth. You’ll also need a good quality gun oil and/or rust preventative. Spray a light amount of oil onto the microfiber cloth. Next, wipe down your gun, paying special attention to areas that are prone to rust, such as the barrel.
7. Inspect the Screws & Bolts
Tighten any screws or bolts that have come loose. If a screw is stripped, replace it with a new one. Having loose screws or bolts can cause problems with your gun’s performance.
8. Clean the Magazine
Remove the magazine from the gun and disassemble it. Clean all of the parts with a microfiber cloth. Pay attention to the feed lips, as they can become bent or damaged over time. Once you’re finished cleaning the magazine, reassemble it and put it back in the gun.
9. Test the Gun
After you’ve cleaned and inspected your gun, it’s time to test it out. Take it to the range and fire off a few rounds. This will help you make sure that everything is working properly.
10. Store the Gun Properly
Once you’re finished cleaning and testing your gun, it’s time to put it away. Make sure to store it in a safe place, such as a gun safe or lockable cabinet. This will help prevent accidents and keep your gun in good condition.
Gun Cleaning Tips
Now that you know how to clean your gun, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Never Use Any Steel Object to Clean Your Gun
Since you love your gun, you may be tempted to believe that using steel brushes or other objects will clean your gun better. However, this is not the case. In fact, using steel objects can damage your gun’s finish and even cause corrosion. Therefore, it’s important to only use the tools that are specifically designed for cleaning guns. These tools are made of materials such as nylon and brass, which won’t damage your gun.
Don’t Use Harsh Chemicals
You may be tempted to use harsh chemicals to clean your gun, but this is a bad idea. Harsh chemicals can damage the finish on your gun and even cause corrosion. Ensure that you only use gun-specific cleaners and oils. These products are designed to clean your gun without damaging it.
Be Careful with Solvents
When using solvents, it’s important to be careful. First, make sure that the solvent is compatible with the finish on your gun. Second, always test the solvent on a small area of the gun before using it on the entire surface. This will ensure that the solvent won’t damage your gun.
Use a Cleaning Mat
When cleaning your gun, it’s important to use a cleaning mat. This will protect your work surface from oil and solvents. It will also help keep small parts from getting lost. Ensure you clean the cleaning mat often, as gunk and dirt can build up on it over time.
TekMat Ultra 44 – AR-15 -Gun Cleaning Mat, Black, One Size
- the soft thermoplastic fiber surface ensures your gun doesn’t get scratched
- extra thick, .25” vulcanized rubber will protect your work surface and prevent the mat from sliding
- keeps harmful chemicals, oil and dirt from penetrating down to your desk, bench or work area
- oversized design gives you plenty of room to disassemble your handgun and to clean it without having to move parts all over
- water-resistant, scratch proof, fade and oil resistant dye-sublimation printing
Invest in a Gun Cleaning Kit
A gun cleaning kit is a great investment. These kits contain all the supplies you need to clean your gun, including brushes, rags, and solvents. They usually come with a storage case, which helps keep everything organized. This is a great option for those who want to ensure they have everything they need to properly clean their gun.
Make It Regular
Cleaning your gun should be a regular part of your routine. Depending on how often you use your gun, you may need to clean it once a week or once a month. If you live in a humid climate or if you’re regularly exposed to salt water, you may need to clean your gun more often.
Cleaning your gun is an important part of gun ownership. By following the tips in this article, you can ensure that your gun is clean and in good condition. Don’t forget that guns are meant for personal protection, so ensure safety at all times.