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Gun Cleaning and Safety Resource
Owning a firearm is a major responsibility. Because of the power of these weapons and the possibility of injury, anyone who uses a firearm must understand how to use it and maintain it correctly. Part of firearm maintenance involves regular cleaning. Gun cleaning will keep a firearm in optimal condition, ensuring the best accuracy. Regular cleaning can also help to reduce the chances of malfunction.
Overview of Gun Cleaning
Gun cleaning must occur on an ongoing basis. The work involved with gun cleaning depends on the type of firearm and the environment in which you use it. For the utmost safety and performance, clean a firearm after every use. The extent to which you clean may depend on the weather conditions that were present when you used the firearm: If you used your weapon in wet conditions, such as rain or snow, you will need to clean it at a more in-depth level than if you used it in a dry or indoor environment. The temperature at which you used a firearm is also a factor. Using a gun or storing it at a cold temperature will necessitate cleaning to remove moisture that could form from condensation. This could occur if you camped outdoors overnight with a firearm, for instance.
- Firearms Cleaning and Maintenance
- Firearm Maintenance
- Firearm Safety Certificate (PDF)
- Handgun Basics (PDF)
- Rifle Cleaning and Maintenance
Most people who own firearms are able to clean them without assistance. However, it’s also possible to outsource this work to professionals. If you will be cleaning your own firearm, perform these steps carefully and thoroughly to ensure safety. One of the most important rules of gun safety is to treat any firearm as if it is loaded, even if you think or know that it is not. Always point a gun down and away from yourself and others when inspecting or cleaning it. Wear eye protection when cleaning involves the use of chemicals. And be sure to engage the safety on a firearm before inspecting or cleaning it.
To clean a handgun, first, empty the chamber. Disassemble the firearm according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Scrub the inside of the barrel with a bore brush. After initial scrubbing of the barrel, add solvent to the brush and repeat the process several more times. Then, clean the barrel using a patch holder several times, repeating this process with a new patch until it comes out without any residue. Inspect the inside of the barrel with a light to check your work and ensure that it is entirely clean. After cleaning, lubricate the firearm according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Rifle cleaning is similar to handgun cleaning. First, consult your owner’s manual for specific cleaning instructions for the rifle. Disassemble the rifle by removing the bolt, bolt carrier, and gas tube. Clean the barrel starting from the back using a cleaning rod, bore brush, and solvent. Move to a patch and patch holder after finishing with the bore brush. Finish the process by lubricating the rifle according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
- How to Care for Your Firearm
- Firearm Cleaning Safety (PDF)
- How to Clean a Handgun
- How Often Should You Clean Your Concealed-Carry Firearm?
- Six Basic Rules for Cleaning a Firearm
- How to Clean a Rifle
- Barrel Bliss: How to Properly Clean a Gun
- How to Clean a Gun
Cleaning and Safety
Debris and obstructions can accumulate in the barrel or chamber, and regular cleaning can help reduce the incidence of these obstructions. Optimal maintenance involves cleaning a gun after every use and before storing it. Even leaving a small bit of debris or excess lubricant in the barrel can lead to danger. This debris could cause excessive pressure in the barrel or the bore, which could lead to bulging. If this happens, the gun could misfire or burst upon firing, causing injury to the shooter or people nearby. Anytime a firearm produces a strange noise or unexpected recoil after shooting, stop firing immediately and examine the condition of the weapon. Always check the barrel carefully for obstructions before continuing to use the firearm.
Last modified: April 9, 2018