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10 Best Gun Cleaning Practices

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

Proper gun cleaning is essential for maintaining the safety, reliability, and longevity of firearms. Here are the 10 best gun-cleaning practices to follow:

  1. Safety First: Always ensure the firearm is unloaded before beginning any cleaning process. Remove the magazine and check the chamber visually and physically.

  2. Gather Your Supplies: Gather all necessary cleaning supplies including cleaning solvent, lubricant, bore brushes, patches, cleaning rods, bore snake, cleaning patches, toothbrush, cleaning brushes, and a cleaning mat or surface.

  3. Work in a Well-Ventilated Area: Cleaning solvents can emit fumes, so it's important to work in a well-ventilated area. If possible, perform cleaning outdoors or in a designated well-ventilated space.

  4. Follow Manufacturer's Instructions: Different firearms have different cleaning requirements. Always refer to the manufacturer's manual for specific instructions on how to disassemble, clean, and reassemble your firearm.

  5. Field Strip the Firearm: Disassemble the firearm according to the manufacturer's instructions. This usually involves removing the slide, barrel, and other components that allow access to the internals.

  6. Start with the Bore: Clean the bore using a bore brush soaked in solvent. Run the brush through several times to remove fouling. Follow this with patches soaked in solvent until they come out relatively clean.

  7. Clean Internal Components: Use a toothbrush or small cleaning brush to clean internal components like the slide, frame, and other parts. Use a cloth or patches to wipe off excess solvent and dirt.

  8. Inspect for Wear and Damage: While cleaning, inspect all parts for signs of wear, damage, or corrosion. If any issues are found, consider replacing the parts as needed.

  9. Lubrication: Apply a small amount of firearm-specific lubricant to the appropriate areas, following the manufacturer's recommendations. Avoid over-lubricating, as excessive lubrication can attract dust and dirt.

  10. Reassembly and Function Check: Carefully reassemble the firearm according to the manufacturer's instructions. Once reassembled, perform a function check to ensure that all components are working as intended.

Additional Tips:

  • Frequency: How often you should clean your firearm depends on how frequently you use it. Regular usage requires more frequent cleaning. A general rule is to clean after every shooting session.

  • Storage: Before storing a firearm, ensure it's clean and properly lubricated. A layer of protective oil can help prevent rust during storage.

  • Use Proper Tools: Use appropriate cleaning tools, brushes, and patches designed for firearms. Avoid using household cleaning products that could damage the firearm's finish.

  • Don't Rush: Take your time and be thorough. Rushing through the cleaning process might lead to overlooked areas or incomplete cleaning.

  • Avoid Excessive Disassembly: Unless you're experienced and confident, avoid excessive disassembly that might lead to difficulty in reassembling or loss of small parts.

Remember, safety is paramount when handling firearms. If you're unsure about any aspect of cleaning your firearm, consider seeking guidance from a knowledgeable source or professional gunsmith.

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