In order for guns to be in good working order, owners need to clean them properly. It is part of the preventative maintenance for your gun. And nothing is more complete than a gun cleaning kit.

Guns need to be clean for safety reasons as well because guns that are left uncared for can break down. They can also build-up discharge residue and clog guns, causing danger to the owner and others.

Most guns require certain steps to ensure clean and safe operation, and there are different gun cleaning kits for the different makes and models of available guns on the market today. Some guns need cleanings more often than others, and guns used regularly will demand maintenance on a tight schedule.

What You’ll Find in a Gun Cleaning Kit

what you will find in a gun cleaning kit

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There are many different options in gun cleaning kits, from basic kits to the most comprehensive kits for the most sophisticated firearms imaginable. In order to be prepared to clean a gun, your gun cleaning kit must have at least the bare essentials.

Since different guns require a range of gun cleaning supplies, we need to understand which guns need what supplies. So, let’s take a look at the bare bones basic parts of a simple gun cleaning kit and then move on to include the more complex items you will need for other gun cleaning tasks beyond simple cleaning.

Here is a list of simple gun cleaning kit items you will need. 

  • Cotton swabs
  • Gun oil
  • A cleaning rod
  • Brushes/ bore brush
  • Nylon cleaning brush
  • Cleaning solvent
  • Cleaning patches

To have a gun cleaning kit that will perform adequately, you will need all of the items above. For more in-depth cleaning you will need the following items:

For pistols

  • A two-part nine-inch cleaning rod featuring a swivel tip
  • Wire brushes with differing calibers
  • A range of drill bits
  • A “bore snake”
  • A screwdriver
  • Foam gun pad

For rifles and shotguns

  • Several wire brushes, at least three
  • A shell extractor
  • A 3-piece cleaning ramrod
  • Solid brass rods
  • Polishing cloths

How to Use a Gun Cleaning Kit

how to use gun cleaning kit

Image via Etsy

Usually, simple maintenance of a firearm is performed using simple methods and products designed to clean them. Sometimes, you need more sophisticated maintenance using oil. You may also need to take additional steps including recoating surfaces with finishes, and varnishing and bluing.

When a gun is visibly damaged or has malfunctioned in a manner that could be life-threatening, it is advised to bring the firearm to a gunsmith. The gunsmith can evaluate the firearm for safety and usability.

Steps to follow

Guns not maintained properly could have clogs and foul in the barrel and receiver areas. These areas need cleaning before using the gun again. As a gun owner, you need to know the steps to clean a gun properly. But if you are new to gun ownership or need to know, here are the simple steps to cleaning a gun.

Unload the Gun

You must check your firearm three or four times to be sure you have completely taken all the bullets out of your gun. Always check an additional time immediately preceding the cleaning, without leaving the gun or getting up or doing anything else in between the time you check and the time you begin the cleaning.

Take the magazine off the gun and go to cock the gun several different ways to be certain there are no bullets in the chamber. Then re-check the chamber one more time before you proceed further.

Disassemble the gun

As far as the gun manufacturer has recommended, break the gun down into its core components.

Prepare the cleaning area

Make sure the workspace receives proper ventilation. Lay down some newspaper or cardboard to absorb excess oil.

Clean the barrel

Using cleaning patches, clean the gun barrel. Use solvent to soak the patches, pushing the patches through the gun barrel.

Use bore brushes

Using bore brushes in an alternating manner with cleaning swabs, loosen up dirt and residue until it cleans up easily.

Lube the barrel

When the gun is clean, it’s time to lube the barrel up. Using gun oil, move a cotton swab along the gun barrel.

Apply solvent to action

Use solvent and apply to the action area, then wipe down and apply lube.

Reassemble gun

Put the gun back together and wipe it down, then store properly.

Keep Your Gun Clean and Safe

You may take extra cleaning steps and the apply varnishes or coatings, as well as perform bluing on some firearms. For more advanced firearms cleaning techniques, seek instruction from a professional or expert or contact a gunsmith for assistance. Always make sure your firearms are clean before using them. As mentioned, poorly maintained guns can accidentally kill or injure you or others.

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