Gun Cleaning

by Karen Bates
(last updated April 13, 2012)

Owning a gun means more than just knowing how to use it. You also need to understand how to maintain your weapon so that it stays in good shape and continues to work well. Powder residue and fowling can occur after firing a gun, and it is important to clean it in order to maintain its accuracy and avoid malfunctions.

Whether you use your gun for sport, protection, or any other purpose, you should be keeping it in good condition to ensure that it will work when you need it. Although there is no official answer to exactly how often to clean your gun, it is a good idea to try to clean it after each use. This prevents build-up in the gun. How often you clean is up to you, but don't go too long without taking care of this task.

Before you begin the cleaning process, set up your cleaning area with a protective covering. Gather together the tools and items you will need for the cleaning. The following is information that will help you properly clean your gun:

  • Always unload the gun before clearing. Even if you think it is unloaded, it never hurts to double check just to be safe.
  • Take the gun apart so you can begin cleaning. You won't need to take it apart completely—just disassemble it to the degree recommended by the gun's manufacturer for cleaning.
  • Check the gun parts for signs of damage, cracks, or wear. If you find anything problematic, you may need to get your gun repaired before using it again.
  • You will need a cleaning rod to attach different cleaning accessories for cleaning. Start by attaching a patch to put through the gun bore. Get the patch wet with some solvent to help remove buildup, and run it through from breech to muzzle. You may want to repeat this a couple times.
  • Wipe the other parts of the gun with some solvent on a rag or patch. Use a small brush for detail cleaning.
  • After the bore has soaked in solvent, use a bore brush to scrub it out thoroughly. This will loosen any remaining buildup and leave the inside of the barrel clean. After scrubbing, put a wet patch through once more to collect any remaining debris.
  • Once everything is clean, put the parts of the gun back together.

Remember to wear the proper safety gear when cleaning a gun. You may want to put on goggles and gloves to protect yourself while doing this task.

Author Bio

Karen Bates

An English student who enjoys writing and art, Karen has had her poetry published in her university's literary journal and has several novels in the works. ...


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