In order for guns to be kept clean and in good working order, they need to be routinely cleaned properly, as part of the preventative maintenance for the gun.
Guns need to be kept clean for safety reasons as well, as guns that are left uncared for can break down, and build-up of discharge residue can clog guns, causing danger to the owner and others.
Most guns require certain steps be taken 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. Certain types of guns need to be cleaned more often than others, and guns used regularly will demand maintenance on a tight schedule.
What You’ll Find in a Gun Cleaning Kit
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 before you should consider yourself ready.
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:
Here is a list of simple gun cleaning kit items you will need. You must have these items in any gun cleaning kit to begin with.
- 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:
- A 2-part 9-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
Usually, simple maintenance of a firearm is performed using simple methods and products designed to clean them. Sometimes, more sophisticated maintenance is performed using oil, and additional steps may be taken including recoating surfaces with finishes, and the process of varnishing and/or 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 to be evaluated for safety and usability.
Guns that have not been maintained properly will be clogged and fouled in the barrel and receiver areas, and need to be cleaned before they are used again. The steps to properly cleaning a gun should be well known to a gun owner, but if you are new to gun ownership or need to know, here are the simple steps to cleaning a gun that most people take:
- Unload the Gun
This is imperative, you must check your firearm 3 or 4 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 recheck 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 work space receives proper ventilation, and you must 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 action area, then wipe down and apply lube.
- Reassemble Gun
Put gun back together and wipe down the gun, then store properly.
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, poorly maintained guns can accidentally kill or injure the owner or others.