Clean An Old Shot Gun

An old shotgun that has been fully restored is a sight to behold.

Restoring an old shotgun can be a time-consuming, yet rewarding, task. Even if the shotgun has rusted and appears doomed to a dark corner of the attic, you shouldn’t give up hope. With the proper supplies, you can clean it. The most important tool is a gun cleaning kit. These kits usually are inexpensive and are available at most sporting good stores. The kits contain the brushes, patches, rods, oils and solvents you need to clean your shotgun effectively.


1. Spread newspapers or towels on a table, work bench or wherever you clean your old shotgun.

2. Check the shotgun’s chamber to make sure it is not loaded. If the gun has a magazine, check it as well. Remove any shells.

3. Disassemble the shotgun. If you’re not confident you can disassemble it properly, take the shotgun to a professional gun dealer or gunsmith for advice. Remove the barrel from the forearm and the trigger group. You are left with approximately three pieces, although the precise number depends on the type of shotgun.

4. Remove any rust from the metal parts of the shotgun. Coat the rusted metal with gun oil and gently rub grade 000 or 0000 steel wool against the rusted parts. Apply minimal pressure to avoid damaging the gun’s finish. You may need to repeat the oiling and rubbing several times to remove all traces of rust.

5. Apply bore solvent to a brass brush that is the proper size. Connect it to your cleaning rod. Run the brush through the shotgun’s barrel four or five times.

6. Remove the brass brush from the cleaning rod and replace it with a patch holder. Insert a patch into the holder. Push the patch through the barrel. If the patch comes out dirty, attach a clean one and run it through the barrel. Repeat the process until a patch comes out clean.

7. Remove the used patch and insert a new one moistened with gun oil. Run this patch through the shotgun’s barrel four or five times.

8. Clean the remaining parts of the shotgun with bore solvent. Use cleaning patches to apply the solvent. Focus on removing any signs of dirt or debris from all the nooks of the shotgun.

9. Apply a light, even coat of gun oil to all parts of the shotgun. Use a clean patch to apply the oil. Limit the amount of oil used. Too much oil attracts dirt.

10. Reassemble the shotgun and store it in a safe, moisture-free environment.