Owning a gun is a responsible task and one common responsibility that many gun owners overlook time and time again is proper cleaning of the firearm after shooting. Whether it is a handgun, rifle or shotgun, a gun needs proper cleaning and maintenance after it is fired or used for a hunting/shooting trip to ensure that the gun is kept in prime condition and is able to fire true the next time it is used.
The cleaning of different styles of firearms may differ slightly in the equipment and techniques used, but overall the process is the same. Here, we’ll look at cleaning equipment, tips and tricks to properly clean a gun.
To start with proper gun cleaning, the right equipment is needed. Often, cleaning kits can be purchased that are customized the type and caliber of the gun. These include a cleaning rod, bore brush, cleaning patches, rod jags or holders and cleaning solvent. All of these items can be purchased separately as well at any gun retailer or sporting goods store.
The first tip is to ensure that the gun is unloaded and being cleaned in a well-ventilated area. After seeing the gun is empty, having proper ventilation with open windows is necessary because the cleaning solvents for guns are very potent and shouldn’t be breathed in directly.
The most important area to clean is the barrel of the gun. After being fired, the barrel contains residue and powder after being fired and if that is allowed to build up, the accuracy of the gun can be compromised. Patches soaked in a barrel cleaning solvent can be worked up and down the barrel with the cleaning rod and pulled out. After doing this, working the bore brush afterward is important as well. Rotating the patch and brush should be repeated until the patches come out clean. The final test can be seen with a flashlight to ensure the barrel is as clean as possible.
After the barrel is cleaned out, it is equally important to lubricate the barrel for storage. The lubricants for barrels can be purchased and are specific to the type of gun. The barrel lubricant will extend the life of the barrel and help prevent any potential rusting.
Next, the action of the particular gun needs attention. The action can be cleaned with a solvent and a brush. After cleaning, a cloth can be used to dry the action. After drying, a lubricant should also be used on the action to ensure all moving parts don’t rust and remain with the ability to move freely.
Last, the exterior of the gun should be wiped down and cleaned of any exterior residue including fingerprints, dirt or any other things that could be on the gun. There are special cleaning cloths for the exterior of the gun that can be purchased. Once the exterior is cleaned, it is important to store the gun in a dry place for safe keeping.