Gun Cleaning Tips


Many Americans choose to carry, or at least own, a firearm of some kind. Just like with any piece of equipment, you need to clean it to keep it in working order. However, unlike other pieces of machinery, this equipment has the potential to cause damage if it isn’t properly handled. With that in mind, there are ways to clean a firearm that are both safe and effective.

  • This should be common sense, but the number one tip for cleaning your gun is to make sure it’s not loaded. This is for safety reasons as well as cleaning reasons. It is a lot easier to clean something if it is empty.
  • Never try to disassemble your gun more than the maker recommends. Although it may seem easier to clean if it’s all in separate parts, the truth is your firearm needs to be put back together in the right way to ensure it works properly. The more you take it apart, the harder it will be to put it back together.
  • If you use WD-40 on your gun, it may be ruined. Blueing is a type of rust process done on the majority of firearms and removing the rust (with rust-removing products like WD-40) will damage the gun and only leave you with bare metal.
  • While oil does help to lubricate the firearm, it does not help to clean it. In fact, this can end up ruining the quality of the gun. With this in mind, it is acceptable to squirt a small amount on the trigger mechanisms to lubricate that.
  • When you have finished cleaning the insides of the gun, use a silicone cloth to wipe away fingerprints.
  • Like with any other cleaning product, certain tools and cleaners are used for specific parts of the gun. Make sure you’re using the right equipment for the right job.
  • A cheap tool to use to clean? An old toothbrush. It has sturdy bristles and can fit in small areas.
  • Another bathroom staple that works well, a Q-Tip. They are great for cleaning the cylinder notches and every other nook and cranny you can find in a firearm.

Whether you’re working in gunsmithing careers or simply a gun enthusiast, keeping a gun clean is the first way to keep it safe. With these tips, some patience, and a lot of dedication, your firearm can be pristine and ready to go.

Allison Brenner is a copywriter for an online career school. To learn more visit PCDI’s gunsmithing school.

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