When you own a firearm, you must agree to follow a set of regulations and safety precautions that come with owning a gun. These guidelines are there to ensure your safety and the safety of others around you. Specific and strict guidelines exist for using guns safely and responsibly without endangering anyone.
For example, point the gun in a safe direction and put your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. This will ensure that safety is on at all times.
As a gun owner, one of your responsibilities is to keep your gun clean, well maintained, and safely kept away so that it works as it should all the time.
Knowing how to clean the gun means more than just having a nice-looking one; it’s also about safety. If you don’t follow a cleaning routine, it can result in accidental injuries or worse. Aside from the risk of physical harm, there are some legal consequences because the firearm owner is legally responsible for any injuries or damages caused due to negligence.
A dirty gun or an overused gun, specifically gunk buildup, is a safety hazard. Rust and corrosion can cause jam in the components and malfunction, compromising your aim and resulting in an unexpected explosion. Hence you have to make sure the gun is clean at all times to avoid the weapon from malfunctioning and backfiring.
Essential Gun Cleaning Supplies
If you are new to guns or have never cleaned a gun at home, you’ll need to get some basic supplies before starting. Starting with a gun cleaning kit that includes everything you need may be a convenient and cost-effective option. A complete gun cleaning supply kit should include the following items:
- A solvent like Hoppe’s No. 9
- Lubricants, such as ALG Defense or BreakFree CLP-2 Cleaner
- A dry cloth or rag
- Swabbing patches
- Cleaning rods or patch pullers
- A brush that fits your panel
- An old toothbrush
- Cotton swabs
- A pair of latex or nitrile gloves
Tips and Steps to Clean a Gun
1. Disassemble the Gun
Before doing anything, it is essential to put on a pair of latex or nitrile gloves to protect your skin from chemicals or toxins. Lead exposure is a concern when working with any firearm, so make sure you’re doing everything you can to minimize it. Once you’ve put on your gloves, make sure your gun is unloaded.
Before disassembling, inspect the chamber and magazine to ensure that they are empty. You can start disassembling the gun once you are sure that it’s empty. You don’t have to disassemble the firearm completely for routine cleanings.
Remove the slide, spring, guide rod, and barrel with caution. You can also take help from the gun manufacturer’s manual if necessary. It usually gives you access to most of the gunk-buildup within the firearm, allowing you to clean the areas with the most accumulation.
2. Clean the Barrel
When cleaning a handgun, the barrel is arguably the most critical component to consider. When the barrel of your gun is dirty or clogged with residue, it can prevent rapid firing, reducing accuracy and causing severe accidents. Therefore, you need to pay extra attention to the barrel.
To clean the barrel, put some solvent into your bore brush and run it through the barrel in a single direction without removing it from the barrel. You can clean the dirt or buildup from the barrel by pulling the dirty bush or patch backward. Now you can clean the rest of your gun while the solvent works inside the barrel.
To ensure that all gunk has been removed, run a clean patch through the barrel with your rod. Examine the chamber to ensure it is clean and shiny. If not, you can repeat the process; also, don’t forget to pay special attention to buildup-prone areas, such as the feed ramp.
3. Get Rid of the Debris
Before using any solvent, use a mechanic’s rag or microfiber cloth and a cotton swab to remove any surface debris from the handgun’s nooks, crannies, and recesses. Pay special attention to spring and other minor pieces, removing surface debris with a dry brush or an old toothbrush. Doing this will get rid of the need for your cleaners to work by removing the loose fouling.
Most likely, a dry rub-down will not be sufficient to remove all the fouling from your handgun. If you see some rough and stubborn residue, spray the solvent onto a cotton swab and rub it on that area.
Moreover, using compressed air is also an excellent way to eliminate debris or dirt stuck inside the springs and other small compartments. If you’re going to use compressed gas, use caution, and keep the pressure low. You should also deep-clean the magazine well and even your holster regularly.
Even though these parts don’t require as much attention as the rest of your gun, keeping them clean can help maintain your weapon’s value and prevent wear and tear. Just clean them up using a dry cloth, and don’t use any lubricant on the magazine.
4. Lubricate the Gun
The final step before reassembling is to apply lubricant, which will allow the parts of your firearm to interact with each other with minimal friction. If the components are not lubricated well, they will rub against each other and cause wear and tear.
Therefore, oiling your guns regularly is necessary, not only for safety but also to protect your expensive investment. Restraint is essential for firearm lubrication; over-oiling your weapon can be just as damaging to the components and performance as a non-lubricated dry weapon.
Not to mention that excess oil can leak into your holster and make the grip slippery. You should also avoid putting lubricant directly on your gun. Wipe it on the slide rails, recoil spring, barrel, and any other shiny nooks and crannies with a cotton swab or a dry rag.
5. Reassemble Your Gun
When you are sure that your weapon is clean and dry, reassemble the pieces. After you’ve reassembled your unloaded gun, give it a few tests to ensure that you haven’t knocked anything out of place while cleaning.
Do a dry fire and run it to ensure that everything works properly. You can also use a microfiber cloth that ensures no cleaning supplies remain on your gun before storing it.
6. Store it Properly
Never underestimate the significance of safe firearm storage. Storing the gun is just as important as cleaning it to keep it clean, safe, and well-maintained. Choose a gun case that is appropriate for the size and style of your gun.
In other words, keep your guns in their cases or otherwise in secure storage. Being selective about your case can help in the long run, as an excellent case can keep your firearm clean, rust-free, and damage-free while traveling. Look for a case with the following characteristics:
7. Foam on the Inside
The best gun cases have foam interiors because they gently hold your firearms in a layer of protection, preventing them from being damaged or scratched. It is an essential part of gun storage in terms of both storage and transit. The rugged exterior protects your guns from impact and weather, making them suitable for use in harsh environments.
Moisture and metal do not mix. Hence it is essential to dry your gun before storing it to prevent rusting. Keeping your gun in a waterproof case to prevent moisture will help you keep your gun safe and functional.
9. Pressure Valve
An automatic pressure equalizing valve is a necessary feature because it allows air to enter while keeping water, dirt, and dust out. Although air keeps your weapon dry, it also keeps other harmful particles at bay.
If you have a plan to travel with your gun, whether to the range or to check it in as luggage on your next flight, a crushproof and shockproof gun case can help keep it safe from damage.
Cleaning Guns – Gun Owners’ Duty
Cleaning a gun is a 20-minute task that can extend its life while also improving its safety and performance. Being a gun owner, that’s something you have to take care of regularly to make sure that your guns are clean and free from debris.
Ensuring regular maintenance keeps them in good working condition and prevents accidents and explosions.