Clean Your Gun | Simple ‘How To’ on Gun Cleaning

Man cleans rifle barrel at counter in gun shop
Firearms maintenance isn't always the most exciting part of the sport, but it is a critical part. Check out this quick guide to gun cleaning to get you started in the right direction,

Gun Cleaning Is A Must

Clean Your Gun! Many feeding, firing, and accuracy problems can be corrected or avoided by a good gun cleaning. Simply running a brush through the bore a few times, followed by a couple of patches and then spraying the action with a little oil is not cleaning, that’s field maintenance. Lack of proper maintenance is a slow methodical destruction of a considerable investment.

Like everything else in life, you get out of it what you put into it! Clean Your Gun! You want to have fun, not frustration at the range. You want to bag that trophy buck. You definitely want that gun to work when, God forbid, you’re defending your home from an intruder.

If the gun fails to fire in that situation, you probably won’t live to regret it anyway. And your family might not either. (Of course, you can hide in your room and wait for your local overworked and understaffed police force to come to your rescue. But that’s another subject.) Clean Your Gun!

Rifle, ammo and tools for cleaning in gun shop Gun Cleaning Setup

Gun Cleaning Tips

Use a bronze wire brush for normal bore cleaning. When removing copper, heavy lead fouling, or plastic shotgun wad fouling use a nylon brush with Shooters Choice or similar bore cleaner. (Shooters Choice is a powerful bore cleaner, will eat bronze brushes.)


Run the bronze brush through the bore once for every round fired. (I prefer Hoppes #9 solvent for light cleaning.)


If you are serious about the care of your gun invest in a coated steel or brass cleaning rod. Aluminum rods are soft. They collect grit and particles that can scratch the bore.
Wipe the rod off after every pass through the bore.

Male hunter with ramrod cleans rifle in gun store


Use a brass jag to push patches through the bore. Dragging a dirty patch in a slotted tip back through the bore is not what I call cleaning.


Use a bore guide or brass “bumper” to protect the chamber or muzzle crown from damage.
Clean the action with a blast of pressurized solvent such as Gun Scrubber by Birchwood Casey. It cleans without leaving a residue.


Oil Lightly! Oil attracts dirt! If you can see oil, you probably oiled too much!

If you’re concerned that you’ve oiled too much, try storing your gun with the barrel down. This will prevent oil or solvent from seeping into the wooden stock.


Strip clean about every 800 rounds or so. If you don’t know how and don’t have an owners manual, spend some time on Youtube, Google, or take the gun to a Gunsmith. It doesn’t cost that much. (It’s cheaper than having him replace that spring that went flying into the recesses of your oh so clean garage or basement work room.)

There’s much more to gun care, but this info should put you ahead of the game.

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