There are many reasons why people choose to own a gun. For most, it’s job-related, for hunting and sport, or even personal security. As a first-time firearms owner buying a gun needs a lot of consideration.
These include having the right permits, licenses, and fire-arm maintenance. If you own a firearm, you need to make sure it’s kept clean. It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or a veteran; good gun cleaning tips are and will always be useful.
You don’t have to be an avid shooter or competitor to keep your gun clean. Remember that a well-maintained firearm functions better and gives the user better accuracy. Even if you’ve only recently bought your gun, it’s important that you still clean it.
With the right tools and tricks, you’ll find gun cleaning a fun and relaxing experience. Read on to discover more.
Why and How Should You Clean Your Gun?
You may have realized by now that guns aren’t one solid piece of metal. They’re also comprised of different materials. Most firearm systems have various springs, coils, and interlocking parts.
It’s in your best interest to know how to handles these parts during your regular gun maintenance. The last thing you want is to cause damage to your brand new firearm, or worse yourself and those around you. Keeping your gun clean prevents this and even extends your gun’s lifespan.
1. Safety First
Before doing anything else, always prioritize your safety. This means removing the magazine, emptying the bullets, and disassembling your firearm. Cleaning gun parts individually is the way to go.
The disassembling process depends on the type and size of your gun, as well as your expertise. When taking your firearm apart be careful to avoid excessive or forcible yanking. This might cause your gun parts to distort or warp.
Know that when done right, each piece should come apart without trouble. If you’re unfamiliar with your new gun it’s best to look for a guide or online tutorial on how to disassemble it.
2. Know Your Gun
Apart from being able to take your gun apart with ease, knowing your gun helps you choose the right gun cleaning kit. Modern firearms can be a combination of materials. These include lightweight metals, plastics accents, and even wooden parts.
You need to have the correct cleaning tools and materials that won’t damage your firearm. Depending on the make and model of your gun some cleaning agents might be too abrasive. While others might not be effective enough to take the grease and gunk out.
Additionally, knowing the history of your gun would help you handle it better. If it’s been previously owned then you may want to ask the old owner about how they’ve maintained it.
It’s also possible that your gun has non-stock or non-factory parts. These may require special attention.
3. Have the Right Gun Cleaning Kit
As mentioned earlier having the right cleaning tools makes all the difference. However, every first-time gun owner should own these basic cleaning materials. These include:
- Bore Brush, Jag, or Loop
- Cleaning Rod
- Chemical Cleaners
- Cleaning Patches
- Other Miscellaneous
- cotton rags and a polishing cloth
- gun multi-tool
Bore brushes, jags, or loops are attachments for your cleaning rod. They’re used to keep the cleaning patches on the rod. Use them when cleaning the barrel of your gun.
There are four types of chemical cleaners that you’ll need. Solvents get rid of the dirt in the bore. Use degreasers to clean your guns’ moving parts. Lubricants help your gun operate better and prevent your gun from rusting.
Protectants are great especially if you use your gun on the regular. As the name implies, it protects your guns from the elements, and rust too. Other miscellaneous materials include cotton rags and a toothbrush.
Having a gun multi-tool can also help you take your gun apart in a more efficient manner. These miscellaneous items are great for a better deep clean. Pro-tip: Be careful if your gun has a special plating (like chrome or nickel.
It will need a more specialized type of cleaners and cleaning methods.
4. Good Ventilation Is a Must
Guns have traces of certain elements like carbon and lead and those found in gun powder. You may also find yourself using chemical cleaners that contain acetone or methanol. Apart from the powdery, inhalable particles and lead exposure, you also deal with fumes from the chemical cleaners.
This is why it’s best to clean your gun in an open and ventilated area. Doing so in a designated outdoor workspace will save you the headache. The grease from your gun might even get onto some of your indoor furniture.
5. Don’t Rush It
If you’re a first-time gun owner chances are you’ve bought yourself a handgun. One of the most versatile and popular handguns in the market is the Glock 19. The Glock 19 is the preferred choice among novices.
The Glock 19 has 34 components, all of which require maintenance and special care. Take, for example, the Glock 19 slide. If you’re going to get debris like dust and gunk, it’ll likely find its way through the slide.
Taking the slide off to give it a good clean is as necessary as the components under it. Too many people go straight for the springs without remembering to clean the slide housing itself. Ensure not to rush the cleaning process as you might miss important parts.
6. Magazine and Ammunition Maintenance
There are times when people neglect their magazines and ammunition. Dirty ammo can bring debris and grime into your gun, making cleaning it more tedious. They also lead to poor performance and safety issues.
Apart from your gun jamming, unmaintained ammo can also cause your gun to misfire. It’s an accident waiting to happen. Your ammunition could already be dirty when you put it in.
However, it’s also possible that the grime is from your gun’s magazine. This is because not all magazines, springs, and followers withstand corrosion and rust.
It is paramount that you inspect and clean your magazine on a regular basis. Empty out your ammunition. Remove the plates, spring, and follower, and give the whole thing a deep clean.
Use a chemical cleaner that is strong enough to achieve good results but which won’t lead to further corrosion. You should pay as much attention to the body of the magazine, known as the “tube,” as you do to the spring and other parts.
7. Fire Some Test Shots
Don’t keep your gun unused. Firing a gun is good for you and the gun itself. It gives you a better feel of how to handle your firearm. Apart from that, it also keeps your gun’s mechanisms working well.
Firing some test shots after you’ve cleaned your gun ensures that you reassembled it well. It also guarantees that you’re unlikely to experience misfires or other issues. The last thing you want is to have a gun that doesn’t work.
Don’t put your clean gun away without knowing it works. There’s nothing more frustrating than pulling a gun from storage only for it not to perform. This can also be a life and death situation, so make sure your firearm functions.
8. Don’t Overdo It
One of the most important gun cleaning tips is to not overdo it. As all things are, anything done in excess isn’t good. In general, the cleaning of your gun depends on its make and model, as well as its exposure to the elements.
Expert advice on how often you need to clean your firearm may vary. Although, one crucial thing you should remember is that cleaning your gun the wrong way can damage it. What more if you clean it wrong on the regular?
So make sure that you’re doing it right. You can consult several gun communities about this matter. Sooner or later you’ll find a method that works best for you.
9. Inspect Your Firearm After Every Session
Prevention is better than reaction; the same goes for your gun. Inspecting your gun as part of your regular gun maintenance is a good habit to have. It’s best to catch any budding problems early on.
Issues like rusting and residual fouling buildup can be troublesome if left unchecked. Not doing so can cause failure to fire. If there’s an issue with your gun, you want to catch it before getting to the range.
10. Store Your Gun Properly
Having the wrong holster or storing your gun the wrong way leads to accidents. You don’t want your young child or the wrong persons to have access to it. You wouldn’t want to hurt yourself either.
More so, proper gun storage prevents your gun from damage. Firearms and ammunition are sensitive to temperature fluctuations, humidity, dust, and moisture. Incorrect storage contributes to a faster deterioration of your gun and ammo.
Gun Cleaning Tips and More
Remember that a clean firearm is a safe one. Knowing your gun and its parts help you be a better and more responsible firearm owner. Here are some gun cleaning tips to keep your firearm well-maintained.
For more gun care tips, check out our other blog posts. We have more great content for you to discover.