Education Menu

Firearms Cleaning and Maintenance

Equipment and Supplies

Firearms should be cleaned after each use.

Before cleaning any firearm, first point the muzzle in a safe direction and then check to be sure it is unloaded!

There should be no ammunition in the cleaning area.

Work undistracted in a well ventilated area.

A gun vise aids cleaning by holding the firearm securely.

 Rods Brush and jag Gun Cleaning Patches

Buy a cleaning kit and accessories that are the correct size for the firearm.

Using equipment designed for a different caliber or gauge can damage your firearm.

Use commercial solvents and gun oils specifically manufactured for firearms.

Gun Cleaning

To clean the bore, when possible, clean from the breech end using a bore guide to protect the chamber and guide the rod.

Patch Solvent

Pass a patch, moistened with solvent through the barrel.

Dirty Patch Semi-dirty Patch Clean Patch

If the patch is very dirty, switch to a brush on the rod tip. Pass the brush through the barrel. Switch back to a jag tip (or slot) with a clean patch and run it through the barrel. Alternate passes of solvent moistened and clean patches through the barrel until a clean patch emerges. Then pass a patch lightly coated with gun oil through the barrel.

If there is substantial copper residue, a solvent specifically designed for copper fouling may be needed, for an additional step in the procedure. Wipe the exterior of the barrel and receiver with solvent on a rag, then wipe it clean and apply a light coat of oil with a rag or silicon cloth.

Bolt Cleaning Bolt Face

Do the same with the bolt and remove any powder residue in the bolt face.

Toothbrushes and toothpicks Using toothbrush to clean

Tooth brushes, tooth picks and wooden skewers can help clean metal without scratching.

Bore Light Bore Check

A bore light will help you check the bore for fouling.

Flexible Rods

Flexible rods can make cleaning semi-automatic, lever, and pump actions easier.

Shotgun disassembly

After hunting in wet and muddy conditions, a thorough cleaning is necessary. This may require partial disassembly of the firearm. Be sure to consult the firearm owner’s manual.

Ammo in Safe Guns in Safe

After cleaning and a light oiling, store firearms in a secure place under locked conditions. Ammunition should be stored separately from firearms, likewise under lock and key. Rifles and shotguns should be stored muzzle down to prevent oils from collecting in actions or being absorbed into the stock.

Watch a video on: Firearm Safety in the Home.

After Storage

Run clean patch through bore before firing.

Remove all excess grease & oil before storing or shooting firearm.