If you want to keep your guns functioning effectively and firing safely then proper inspection and maintenance need to become routine. Whenever you fire your guns there is a small explosion in the chamber that leaves behind dirt and residue. If you don’t want your gun to malfunction and cause injury then you need to clean it regularly. That includes after every time you fire it and after you have been to the gun range. Here’s how to clean your guns properly.
- Get yourself a cleaning kit.
You can buy a ready made cleaning kit online or put one together yourself by buying the components separately. A great place where you can find cleaning supplies online is hygo.co.uk. Here is what you will need to have in your cleaning kit.
- Gun oil or some type of lubricant.
- Cleaning solvent
- Bore brushes
- Cotton swabs
- Patches and patch holder
- Microfiber cloths for polishing
- Make sure your gun is unloaded.
This should be self-evident but always take the time to double check and make sure that the gun is unloaded every time you clean it. Don’t forget that there may still be a round in the chamber after you take out the magazine so make sure this round is removed as well. After you open the chamber take a look through the barrel from the back and make sure there are no rounds remaining.
- Take your gun apart according to the factory specs.
Your owner’s manual will give the disassembly instructions so that you can clean your gun. This will give you access to all the parts that will need to be cleaned. Semi-automatic guns can be stripped of their major components including the barrel, slide, guide rod, magazine and the frame. Whereas shotguns or revolvers won’t need to be stripped down to be cleaned. You don’t necessarily have to field strip the gun to clean it thoroughly. Don’t take the gun apart further than it needs to be unless it needs to fixed. Here is a video showing you how to take your gun apart.
- Clean your gun in a well-ventilated area.
The fumes from the solvent can give you headaches and make you sick so make sure that where ever you decide to clean them is well ventilated. The solvents and lubricants smell horrible so again use a well-ventilated area, preferably outside if you can. Use old cloths or newspapers to cover the table or surface where you plan on cleaning your guns, it’s a messy job.
- Clean out the barrel first with the patches and cleaning rod.
Soak the inside of the barrel using a cleaning rod, work from the back of the barrel and if that isn’t possible then you will need to use a muzzle guard. There are far too many accidental shootings that happen during the cleaning of a gun. Soak a patch in solvent and push it through the barrel, push it all the way through so that you don’t redeposit everything you just cleaned out of the barrel.
- Alternate between the patches and the bore brush to clean the barrel.
Use the bore brush several times along the full length of the barrel, this will help loosen any debris there is in the barrel. Then attach the patch holder with some patches already soaked in solvent and push them through the barrel. Use a patch only once and keep using a new patch until it comes out clean. Then use a dry patch to dry the barrel and double check it to make sure you haven’t missed any debris or dirt.
- Keep the barrel lubricated.
Apply some lubricant to a piece of cotton and run it through the barrel to oil the inside of the barrel.
- Clean solvent and lubricant to the action.
Put some solvent on the gun brush and brush down all parts of the action after that wipe it all off with a clean and dry microfiber cloth. Use some lubricant on the moving parts of the action. This will help prevent some rust, but if you apply too much you will end up having debris stuck to the gun, so just use a small amount.
- Wipe down all parts of the gun with a clean microfiber cloth
You can use a microfiber cloth or get your hands on some luster cloths. Luster cloths have been pretreated with lubricant to remove any debris and make your guns shine.
If you want to keep your guns in good condition then you need to clean them after every use. A high quality gun needs to be treated with care and cleaning your gun will only take about a half an hour of your time so it’s worth it. Take care of your guns and they will be there when you need them.