Safety is the first rule when owning a gun. Did you know that having a clean firearm lowers the risk of accidental firing?
In 2022, there were about 492 unintentional deaths due to firearms. Therefore, learning how to clean a gun is more than only having a pretty gun but about safety. A safety inspection is always the first step to ensuring a safe weapon.
When you don’t follow gun cleaning protocol, it may lead to accidental wounds or worse. There are also legal implications, as the gun owner handles injuries from a negligent discharge.
So keep reading as we give you some essential tips about proper gun maintenance.
Having a Reasonable Workspace
First, you need to find an organized and clean workbench where you do your gun maintenance. Clean your gun every two weeks unless you don’t use your weapon, then do preventative measures monthly.
An organized and clean workspace is vital as it makes gun care more consistent and effortless. You’ll save yourself some trouble if you have a fixed maintenance area rather than emptying the kitchen table if you oil your gun.
Disassembling Your Gun
The first measure to maintaining your gun is knowing how to dismantle and assemble your weapon. Every handgun is different, and some are more complicated than others. However, you only have to know how to take them apart to access parts that may need frequent maintenance.
Also, you may need tools to disassemble to have a properly cleaned firearm, but it will differ from gun to gun. For example, most field stripping of an AR-15 uses removing pins. Rubber and brass hammers can push the pins in and out.
Knowing and remembering your gun’s assembly will take a while, but it’s not an impossible task. Your firearm may come with a manual for field stripping. Moreover, many online resources may help you visually step-by-step.
Also, if you’re looking for ammunition and shell casing, why not buy once fired brass? These are reloading components that you can purchase online!
Check Your User Manual
Every handgun that you buy, new, and even used guns, has a user manual. Check and use it to know how your firearm functions until you memorize all the material. It’s a valuable help when disassembling your gun and cleaning different parts.
Moreover, manuals provide cleaning guides for specific parts of your gun and the types of chemicals you can use. These guides are specifically for your weapon, so they’re more helpful than any online tips.
Basic Cleaning Tools
Now that you’ve taken the proper safety precautions to maintain your firearm let’s examine the tools. Different guns will need different procedures. Regardless, here are some essential tools for the gun maintenance procedure:
- Bore brush -caliber specific
- Cleaning rod
- Cleaning swab
- Cleaning jags
- Double-ended utility brushes
- Luster cloth or silicone impregnated Gun and Reel Cloth
- Cleaning patches lint and fiber-free- caliber-specific
- Cleaning chemicals, including action cleaners, bore cleaners, and lubricants
- Cotton swabs
- Bore snake
- Drip pan to catch byproducts and residue
Additional supplies include a rubber mat to protect all the firearm parts and your work table. Also, a cleaning cradle helps to hook your long gun hands-free and focus on holding your tools.
Moreover, wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying debris, springs, and chemical splash. You must also wear solvent-resistant gloves to protect your skin from any chemicals. Finally, use only chemicals and tools designed to maintain handguns.
Gun Maintenance Basic Steps
The critical step to a well-maintained gun is always ensuring to remove the magazine and check if it’s not loaded. Aside from that, here are a few things you need to keep in mind:
Always Clean the Barrel and Chamber
Dry brush the barrel and chamber with nylon and bore brush in a chamber to muzzle movement. It will reduce and clear the bore’s large metal and carbon contamination. Next, put a cleaning patch plunged in bore solvent on the end of your cleaning rod.
Then, force the cleaning patch in and out of the barrel and soak the bore surface and chamber. Prevent dragging it back as it may redeposit gunk and dirt into the bore. Leave the cleaning solvent for ten to fifteen minutes to break down the bore filth.
Then, scrub inside the barrel using the bore brush. Next, use a dry patch to remove any residue, and keep running it through the bore until the patch comes out clean.
Finally, use a bore snake impregnated with light oil to clean and protect the bore surface against deterioration. However, don’t use gun oil to lubricate the bore.
Lubricate and Clean the Action
Clean the action pump, slide, or bolt using a dry cloth, nylon brush, and cleaner solvent. Stream the action from the top of the receiver, letting metal and carbon debris drip into the drip pan. Use the manufacturer’s guidance for your specific model.
Let the washed sub-assemblies dry. Finally, by using a needle applicator, apply oil drops at the lubrication points on the action, barrel surface, and slide assembly. It’s vital not to over-lubricate, as this will attract pollutants to accumulate.
Clean the Magazines
The source of ammunition is the magazines that are liable for the suitable feeding of a semiautomatic gun. Clean, reliable magazines are crucial for the proper functioning of a semiautomatic. You can disassemble, clean, and reassemble following the manufacturer’s guides.
Use a special-purpose brush for cleaning magazines. Use safety glasses during the cleaning process since magazines are spring-loaded.
Don’t use petroleum products in magazines, as these tarnish bullet primers. Also, don’t ever lubricate magazines, but clean them with a cleaning agent or residue-free solvent.
Reassemble the Gun and Conduct a Functional Assessment
After reassembling, conduct a functional check to ensure that the gun still works. For example, check the function of the trigger mechanism, retention, and ejection systems.
Clean the Gun Exterior
Once the inside and moving pieces are clean and lubricated, next, clean the gun surface. Again, a gun reel fabric is ideal for this job.
These types of materials are soft and treated with silicone oil. Use it to remove any leftover acidic prints and debris, adding a sheen of protection to your gun.
What to Know About Gun Maintenance
It may take a while, but gun maintenance is crucial. When you neglect your guns, you will find them befouled and rusted. Cleaning and lubricating guns makes them function without the chance of malfunctioning. Also, proper gun care provides reliability and accuracy as well as preserve functionality and look.
Want to know more about gun care or proper gun usage? For more information, check out the rest of our guides.