Did you know that civilians in the United States own approximately 393 million firearms? That is a ton of firearms, and it is important for firearm safety that you’re consistent with cleaning a gun. In order to properly clean a dirty firearm, you’ll need a good gun cleaning kit.
Even with the gun cleaning kit, it might be confusing to know which steps to take when you want to start cleaning your firearm. Firearms have a lot of different parts and components that you’ll need to disassemble. You’ll also need to apply lubrication to different parts of the firearm.
The good news is that you’ve come to the right place to learn about the proper steps for cleaning your gun. Continue reading to learn more about cleaning your firearm today.
1. Completely Unload the Firearm
The most important part of the firearm cleaning process is making sure that the gun is unloaded before you start cleaning. If the firearm still has live ammunition in it then you’ll want to start by carefully unloading those rounds. This is vital for the safety of yourself and anyone around you.
Don’t start unloading the firearm until you’ve pointed it in a safe direction. From there, do a thorough inspection of the firearm to ensure that it is completely safe to start cleaning. Use both your eyes and your hands to do this inspection. It is not a safe method to rely on the safety mechanism of your firearm, as accidents can still happen.
2. Cleaning a Gun
If you’re cleaning a handgun you’ll want to start the cleaning process by following the manufacturer’s directions for taking the handgun apart and removing the slide. Be sure to watch the bushings and springs as there are plenty of small parts that keep a handgun together.
Set these small parts inside of a cup for safekeeping during the cleaning process. This will help to prevent losing them somewhere in the area that you’re cleaning in. From there, you’ll want to use your cleaning tool. This could be a cleaning brush or a swab. These tools are great for removing small particles inside of the barrel and on the slide.
It is important to check for lint and other debris in your handgun if you’re someone that carries your firearm with you. This is especially true if you carry it in your pocket. If there is a lot of dust or debris you should use a small amount of cleaner and then start brushing the dirty area.
Once you’ve cleaned the frame and slide, you’ll move onto the firearm’s barrel. You’ll use some bore cleaner and a small piece of clean cloth or a cleaning patch. You’ll use a cleaning rod to push the cloth or cleaning patch through the barrel. This catches any small particles or gun powder from your firearm’s barrel.
A good way to determine how far along the cleaning process you are is to look at the amount of debris that comes out on the cleaning patch. You should see less and less debris as you move forward in the barrel cleaning process. Make sure you run the cleaning patch all of the way through the barrel before bringing it back through the same way it entered.
After that, you’ll proceed with running a dry patch through the barrel to collect any excess bore cleaner. If you find that your barrel still isn’t clean then you’ll need to consider using a heavy-duty barrel cleaner. You might also have some extra add-ons that you’ll need to clean. For more information, see here.
3. Apply Lubrication
After you’ve thoroughly cleaned the barrel, slide, and chamber of your firearm, you’ll want to move onto the lubrication process. Use good oil or lubrication on all of the moving parts of your firearm. These moving parts change depending on the type of firearm you own.
The manual for your firearm should include information about the recommended type of lubrication and the correct amount to apply. A good rule of thumb is to use lubrication on the bearing surfaces like the slide and the rails. You’ll also want to use lubrication on the outside surface of the barrel to protect it.
Do not apply any lubrication to the inside of the firearm like the barrel or the chamber unless you plan on keeping your firearm in long-term storage. Shooting your firearm with oil or lubricant in the barrel could lead to a dangerous situation where your firearm misfires and puts you and others in danger.
Be sure that you don’t use too much lubrication. Too much lubrication is a bad thing when it comes to firearms. Using a lubricant cloth is a good idea because it helps you limit the amount of lubrication you apply to your firearm.
4. Wipe Down All of Your Components
Once you’ve cleaned and lubricated the firearm, you’ll want to begin wiping it down with a cloth that is both clean and dry. You’ll do this to remove any moisture or residue from your gun. It is possible that you missed some residue from previous steps but this step will catch any excess residue.
5. Reassemble Your Firearm
The last step is to put your firearm back together. Once it is back in one piece, check your firearm thoroughly for any issues or irregularities. Inspect each piece of the firearm as you put it back together. Dents and scratches happen, but be on the lookout for more severe damage.
Severe damage makes your firearm dangerous to use. If you find any questionable issues, make sure you take your firearm to a local firearm store or gunsmith for a thorough inspection and repairs.
Now You’re Ready for Cleaning a Gun
Cleaning a gun is a crucial part of being a gun owner, and it is important that you know the proper steps to do your cleaning in a safe way. Be sure to check that the firearm is unloaded before you start disassembling it and cleaning it. Use a bore cleaner to help with cleaning the slide and the chamber.
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