Gun Cleaning & Maintenance

Clean your gun to ensure it operates correctly.

Like any tool, your rifle or handgun needs to be maintained and cleaned regularly. Its various components are primarily made of metal which oxidizes and can rust over time. If there is too much corrosion your gun will jam, becoming inoperative at the least or backfiring and throwing off shrapnel at worst.

Cleaning Kits

To make the process easier, many gun owners use a gun cleaning kit rather than collecting their own maintenance materials. These kits come with various components to provide the cleaning, wiping, boring and oiling necessary to maintain a gun. The kits are sized for the type of gun or rifle to be cleaned, so it’s best to check this before buying. Some of the materials, such as the cloths and cleaning rods, will need to be replaced over time.

Make Your Own Materials

Many gun owners opt to be frugal and produce their own cleaning materials. You can cut up T-shirts and underwear to make cotton cloth patches. The material should be 100 percent cotton. Some creative characters make cleaning rods to clear residue out of the gun barrel out of PVC pipe rather than buying aluminum rods from a gun store. The main point is that the cleaning products are effective.

Clean Your Gun Outdoors

Like any process requiring the use of solvents or chemicals, you should clean your gun outdoors. Many of the chemicals used are flammable and also poisonous, particularly if the fumes buildup indoors in a closed garage or room. Gun owners should also refrain from smoking while cleaning guns. The cigarette can spark a fume fire and the ashes from a burning cigarette can get into the gun.

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Dunking Solvent Approach

For the lazy types, dunking the gun assembly into a bucket of solvents is probably the easiest cleaning approach. This method requires the use of a special solvent chemical easily purchased from a gun store. After scrubbing the more obvious carbon residues, disassemble the hand gun or rifle and place the parts in the bucket. You should remove the wood handles and grips before dunking, however, since the solvent will eat up the wood quickly. Using a stir stick or something similar you should then agitate the chemical in the bucket, moving the parts around in the solution. After about five minutes of soaking, remove the parts and let them dry off. While this approach is nowhere close to a proper cleaning job, it is similar to cleaning engine parts and basically effective at removing carbon deposits for cleaning.

Avoid Excess Oil

Very little oil needs to be used to properly clean a gun. It acts as a magnet for dust and grime to stick to the oil. Eventually such dirt buildup contributes to mechanism problems as well. Overspill will also begin to damage the wood handle on a gun, causing the wood to swell and warp. Therefore, using as little oil as possible tends to be the best approach.