Gun Maintenance 101: How to Clean Your Gun Safely

gun with cleaning materials

Whether you've long been a fixture at your local gun show or your new to firearms in general, safety is your number-one concern. 

Many people know that it's essential to invest in a locked carrying case, ensure that the firearm isn't loaded when put away, and practice common sense around guns. 

What about cleaning your gun though?

Even experienced gun owners sometimes neglect the fact that knowing how to clean your gun the right way is also part of gun safety. 

Unsure of how to clean a handgun? Looking for reliable gun cleaning tips? 

If so, then you've come to the right place. Read on to learn how it's done.

When Should You Clean Your Gun?

Another common question when it comes to keeping your gun in good working order is knowing how often should you clean it. 

The best rule of thumb to follow is that you should clean your gun after each time you use it. If you haven't taken your gun to the range in a while, you should still take the time to clean it approximately every two to three months. 

Of course, we know that people talk about this rule more than they actually follow it. 

Sometimes, there's zero room for compromise when it comes to cleaning your gun after every use. This is the case if you're firing using corrosive ammo. The same goes if you've shot your gun outdoors in rough elements like rain or snow. 

Remember that a failure to clean your gun after exposure to such environments can cause it to rust thanks to dust and moisture. This doesn't only mean that your gun's lifespan will be shorter than it should be. It also puts your gun at a higher risk for misfire. 

Additionally, even if you don't end up firing your gun (like if you don't have much luck on a hunting trip) you should still clean it if you take it out in the rain. 

We know what you're thinking: What if I have a stainless steel barrel? 

Yes, this material will help you to avoid a bit of moisture damage. It also works to limit corrosion. However, just remember that stainless steel is easily damaged by dirt and dust. This is because it's a bit softer than other gun materials. You don't want to have to deal with fouling when it comes to your firearm. 

In short?

Clean your gun after every use for best results.  

Use the Best Materials

Another thing you need to pay close attention to when learning how to clean your gun? 

Another thing to pay close attention to when learning how to clean your gun is the kinds of materials you use to keep it working and looking its best. You'll also need to invest in the equipment you need to clean it properly and completely. Wing Tactical has some great gun cleaning supplies and accessories.

First of all, it should go without saying that you shouldn't use anything other than lubricants and solvents specifically made for cleaning your guns. 

If you feel like using vegetable oil from around the house (which happens more than you think) now is the time to stop. This can cause serious and irreversible damage to your gun. 

Remember to look for "CLP" solutions. 

These are solutions that clean, lubricate, and protect. The cleaning solvents will help you to prevent fouling from lead and copper. The lubricant will make sure your gun's parts are able to move perfectly. The protecting agent ensures that you're guarding your gun against corrosion. 

Now, let's talk about some of the tools that you should have in your gun cleaning arsenal. 

Invest in a cleaning rod that you can attach the right brushes and mops to. The best material here is brass, as it won't scratch up the gun barrel. 

You should also pick up some brushes that will help eliminate the buildup or carbon and copper when you use your CLP solution. Look for a brass brush with nylon bristles for best results. 

Finally, grab a jag that you can attach a cotton pad to. This will ensure that your firearm sparkles and shines after finishing the cleaning. 

How to Clean a Hand Gun: The Basics

So, you know the equipment you need to invest in and how often you need to clean your gun.

Now, let's talk about the proper way to clean a gun. 

The first and most important rule is to ensure that there is nothing in the chamber and that you've removed the magazine. We don't need to tell you about the horrible things that can happen if you neglect this important step. 

Even if you think everything is empty, double and even triple-checking can save your life. 

Remember that your gun should always remain unloaded until you're ready to use it. This is a part of standard gun safety.

If possible, we suggest cleaning your gun outdoors. This will ensure that you have plenty of ventilation and space. Let your family members or anyone who lives with you know what you're doing. Instruct children to stay out of the room while you clean your gun, and lock the door if need be. 

Before you start, ensure that the surface where you plan to clean your gun isn't wobbly in any way. Also, consider dragging over a brighter light so that you can see what you're doing. 

Remember to clean your gun on a surface you're okay with getting dirty. This is because you'll likely leave behind a few chemical solvents. In addition to being dangerous, especially if you eat in the area where you clean your gun, the solvents can damage certain surfaces. 

Finally, make sure that you have the owner's manual for your specific firearm. Your owner's manual can guide you through the gun cleaning process. It will tell you the specifics of taking the gun apart and any special rules that you need to follow.

We'll now get into speaking a bit more about how to clean guns generally.

How to Clean Your Gun: The Next Steps

We suggest that you use a gun vise when it's time to clean your gun.

This will help you to safely rotate your gun, and gun vices come with a drawer that can hold all the parts and cleaning solutions. 

Remember that, when you apply your gun cleaning solution to the patches, you shouldn't shy away from using a lot of it. We suggest that you start with cleaning out your bore. 

Make sure that the cleaning rod you plan to use fits, as using the wrong size could damage the gun or cause the brush to get stuck. Use the damp pads first to knock any fouling loose. 

When you're pushing the pad on the jag down into the bore, keep your motions consistent. Avoid a scrubbing motion, which can cause damage. Push it all the way through without switching your direction and going back and forth. We suggest you do this three times, then switch to using the brush. 

Push it through in a single motion as you did with the patch. Do this about ten times. Then, use three more patches again, and use five dry patches to finish up. 

You should see a noticeable difference with each patch. 

If You're Storing Your Gun

If you're storing the gun, you need to do one extra step to stop your bore from rusting.

Run a single patch with gun oil down the bore, again in a single swoop. Always run a dry patch after you oil your gun. This will ensure that nothing will rust, even with a few months in storage. 

You Now Know the Proper Way to Clean a Gun

We hope that this post has helped you to better understand how to clean your gun. 

Remember that, throughout this process, your safety and the safety of others in the home with you is the ultimate priority. Also, keep in mind that proper gun maintenance is part of being a responsible gun owner. 

Clean your gun after every use and invest in the right cleaning materials for the job. 

Looking for additional advice about how to do almost anything when it comes to your firearm? 

Whether you want to learn how to determine the value of your gun, get your gun verification number, or even how to shoot a paintball gun, rely on our site to teach you how to do it the right way. 


Share this article!

Follow us!

Find more helpful articles: