How to Clean a Gun

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You’ve officially purchased your own firearm and ammo. Besides knowing how to store it and use it, do you know how to properly clean it so that it functions properly? Cleaning a firearm doesn’t have to be difficult, and even if you’re new to firearms, keeping your guns clean should be an absolute top priority. You should be cleaning your gun after each and every use! Here are some tips on how to keep your firearms in excellent condition:

First, remember the 3 rules of gun safety.

This will likely be a reminder for those that are experienced with guns, but these rules are ones that can never be said enough. First and foremost, make sure that the gun is unloaded. Open up the chamber and look down the barrel to be absolutely sure that no ammunition is present. The second rule is to never aim the gun at anybody or anything – determine a safe zone and always keep the gun’s nozzle aimed that way. Third of all, never put your finger on the trigger until you’re ready to shoot. All three of these rules are extremely important and should be practiced each time you handle a gun.

1. Ensure the gun is unloaded.

 Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for people to get hurt while cleaning their firearms because they forgot to unload it. Double check that there isn’t any ammunition around, and even if you think your gun is unloaded, always check again for safety and good practice. Point the gun away from you as you are cleaning it. Also, wear safety gear, like goggles and gloves, to protect yourself from solvent debris.

2. Clean in a well-ventilated area.

 This is important for your own well-being and safety, considering that the chemicals produced during firing can remain in your gun and release toxins. The cleaners and lubricants can also be harsh on your body, so make sure to wear protection while cleaning in a well-ventilated area.

3. Protect surfaces with plastic bags and newspapers.

To protect your tables and other surfaces, it’s important to separate the solvents from the cleaning chemicals and the lubricants from whatever surface you’re working on. First, cover the area you’re working on with a plastic cover, like a trash bag. Then, scatter newspapers and other miscellaneous papers around so that everything has a protective paper layer over it. Not only does this protect the surfaces that you are working on, but it also makes it easy to throw everything away at once when you’re all finished!

4. Disassemble your gun according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

You will rarely need to break down your entire gun for cleaning purposes. Guns should be treated with the utmost care and should be handled slowly and carefully during the disassembly. The field-stripping process is different for semi-automatics and double revolvers, so make sure that you have done your research on the process for your particular pistol, rifle, or other firearm.

5. Put in the effort to clean the bore of the barrel.

This is the most important part to clean because it is such a major component of your firearm. When fired, material can be left over and potentially corrode the inside of your barrel. It is extremely important to take your time cleaning this essential part of the gun with a cleaning bore and a cleaning product, like this Tipton Bore Solvent. To clean, place the solvent onto a towel or wire brush and slowly scrub the inside. Afterwards, check with a light to see if the inside is all clear of debris and cleaning solution.

6. A little goes a long way with solvent.

After you’re done cleaning the barrel, use a nylon brush, dab on some solvent, and scrub the other surfaces of the gun. You may use a cotton rag to scrub off any excess residues. Keep an eye out for buildup around the forcing cone if you have a revolver; this can dull your pistol. Before you lubricate, make sure you’ve completely dried your gun of solvent.

7. Reassemble and preserve.

After lubricating, carefully put the pieces of your gun back together, making sure everything fits back together correctly and is sturdy in its place. To preserve your gun’s surface and to protect it from any damage, a light coat of preservative is recommended. Apply a metal preservative or any gun oil to the surface with a rag. Then place it  into its designated container.

For more tips on how to store and clean your firearm properly, visit the experts at Big R! We have a variety of solvents, oils, and brushes to help you maintain your gun’s appearance and lifespan for years to come!

About Big R

Bill and Pat Crabtree originated the Illinois Big R Stores in 1964. The first store opened in Watseka, Illinois. To date 18 stores have been opened in central Illinois and northern Indiana.

We have 11 stores in Illinois including Watseka, Gibson City, Danville, Tilton, Pontiac, Morris, Washington, Rochelle, Pekin, Homer Glen and McHenry. Our 7 Indiana stores include Warsaw, Wabash, Crawfordsville, Michigan City, Elkhart, Marion and Rochester. We recently expanded to Northwest Ohio, adding stores in Lima and Findlay (Coming Soon).

The offices and warehouses for Big R remain in Watseka, IL. Joining the company in 1973, Jerry Gibbs now provides family leadership for the company. New generations of the Crabtree family continue to participate in the business.

Farm and Ranch store owners in the western states started the Big R brand name; they chose the name “Big R” to convey the “Ranch” identity. The Big R group is now comprised of 12 independent owners with a growing 75 + stores throughout the U.S. They all are members of Mid-States Distributing Company of St. Paul, MN. The Mid-States Coop has over 600 stores throughout the United States and Canada.