Taking care of your gun isn't hard, but it's still a chore – it can be long, troublesome, and tiresome. However, there are certain things you can do to make the gun maintenance process a bit easier – if you'd follow our 10 easy steps, you'll be sure to make it a lot simpler:
Step 1 – Prepare yourself accordingly
Before you get to the actual cleaning, you need to do some preparing first. Primarily, you'll need to supply yourself with a proper gun-cleaning kit – kits are supplied with various gun-cleaning tools, and even the most basic ones will do the job right.
After you've purchased a kit, you'll need to unload the gun – this is extremely important, and you need to do this absolutely every time, as you don't want to risk a chambered bullet going rogue. Now that the gun has been unloaded, disassemble it per manufacturer's instructions.
The last part of the preparation process is getting the area where you will clean your gun ready. Essentially, you'll want to pick a spot which is intended to get a little messy, such as a garage or your basement, as there will be a lot of powder and fouling coming out.
Alternatively, you can always get a gun-cleaning mat, but any regular mat will do the trick as well. Powder residue and metal pieces tend to stick quite hard onto cloth-like surfaces, so make sure that you're prepared for it.
Step 2- Start with the barrel
The barrel is the center of the action, as this is where most of the grime and fouling will be located. You'll need a cleaning rod for this, combined with a cleaning patch (or metal brush, depending on the caliber). Fold the cleaning patch around the cleaning rod, and slowly put it inside the barrel.
Most cleaning rods feature a one-piece design, but there are some models that feature a detachable grip. It's always safer to go with the one-piece ones, as they allow for improved leverage and maneuverability.
Further on that note, cleaning rods come in different materials – you'll want to get more durable ones for heavy-duty cleaning, while even nylon ones might suffice for handgun cleaning process.
Keep in mind that you'll have to clean the insides with great caution – hitting on the gun's crown might damage it, resulting in reduced gun accuracy.
Step 3- Apply lubricants to the barrel
Once you've done cleaning it, you'll have to apply lubricants to the barrel. Use a cotton mop for this one, 2-3 drops will be sufficient. After you've done this, run the mop through several times and leave it for a couple of minutes so that it sticks properly.
Lubricants will "hydrate" your gun, in a sense, providing the necessary refreshment to the steel. Alternatively, you can also use various gun-cleaning fluids to prevent rust or corrosion.
Step 4- Clean the action
The action is one of the most complex gun parts, and you'll have to be very careful when you clean it. You'll need the gun brush, for the most part, and, knowing that this cleaning tool is extremely rough, keep the pace down as much as possible. Apply the solvent on it and run it through horizontally a couple of times.
After you've ran the action with the brush, lubricate all the parts on the action. Again, wait for a couple of minutes and clean with a cloth piece
Step 5- Use gun-cleaning toothbrush to clean hard-to-get spots
There are spots that are practically unreachable with conventional gun-cleaning tools, so use a regular toothbrush (or, ideally, a gun-cleaning toothbrush) to clean these parts. The trigger, for example, can't be cleaned by plain cloth, just like the clip compartment.
The gun-cleaning toothbrush is different from a regular one in several aspects. First of all, it's more durable, and the "teeth" will remain in place, even if greater force is applied. Secondly, most models feature two "heads", which means that you alternate between the two as you switch between different parts.This makes it ideal for hard-to-get cleaning jobs.
Step 6- Consider getting the barrel snake if you're cleaning a shotgun
The barrel snake (often called "Borse Snake")is one of the latest gun-cleaning contraptions that substantially reduce the cleaning time of most conventional shotguns or rifles. It's a substitute for a gun-cleaning rod, and it's intended to be used in a similar fashion.
The reason why Barrel Snakes are better than standard gun-cleaning tools is because they're easier to use, they reduce the risk of potential damage to the gun's barrel, and they're superiorly fast.
Step 7- Use other gun-cleaning fluids for additional protection
So far, you've mainly used gun lubricants to isolate debris and fouling, but there are various gun-cleaning fluids that could provide additional protection and improve the entire cleaning process. For instance, there are various "protector" fluids that shield the gun against environmental hazards, such as extreme heat or cold.
On the other hand, there are "degreasers", which remove excess oil or dirt from the gun parts. They work like a charm when combined with other lubricants.
Step 8- Wipe the surface with a cloth
Once you're done with thorough cleaning and the fluids, it's time to wipe the surface of each part before you assemble your gun back together. Any piece of dry cloth will do the job just fine, for as long as it's clean. Just keep in mind that some parts are particularly fragile (like action, for example), so make sure that you invest extra time with this step.
Step 9- Put the gun back together
The last part of the cleaning process is putting your gun back together. This step should also lead you to check if each part for a second time. Usually, you won't have any problems with the cleaning process, but, as we're not machines, we're susceptible to errors. Check if you've done everything right, patch up the mistakes, and re-assemble the gun.
Step 10–Properly store your gun
If you want to minimize the risk of getting your gun "dirty", you should always store it properly. Needless to say, if you're a parent, it's imperative that you store your gun in a secure location. Gun cabinets, holsters, and cases are perfect, so consider buying one if you don't have one already.
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