I have long believed that a clean gun is a happy gun. If guns indeed have emotions, I would have a safe full of some pretty happy campers, or so I imagine. Cleaning your guns after a trip to the range or after a long hunting season is vitally important. For one, you want to always have your firearm, airgun or muzzleloader at the ready. Secondly, keeping your guns cleaned and oiled for future range or adventures afield will also ensure you will have them to pass down to your children’s grandchildren one day in the future.
I have cleaned many types of guns over the years and have learned there are a few things not to use and not to do when cleaning your guns. To some of you reading this, you will think this is common sense but, regardless, even small reminders never hurt sometimes. Here are a few pointers I teach gun owners in the videos I feature on YouTube and folks I teach elsewhere:
Keep it Clean: Using a high quality gun cleaning mat may keep you from being sent out to the garage or back into the great outdoors by your significant other. I use one from TWOD but many gun cleaning kits such as the one by IUNIO have it included with the gun cleaning kit package. This will keep your area from getting messy and easily contain spills and other cleaning mishaps
Be Kind to Your Bore: The older gun cleaning kits of years past had these awful three-piece STEEL cleaning rods. You can wreak havoc on your bore with those. If you must use a three-piece cleaning rod, at least choose one made of brass. I also recommend a carbon fiber one-piece cleaning rod like the ones manufactured by Tipton or, if you are on a budget a COATED one-piece steel or brass cleaning rod. Protect your bore as it is hard to undo damage after it is done.
Protect your Muzzle: Many gun cleaning kids now come with muzzle guards for semi-auto and lever guns that require cleaning from the muzzle to the breach. These muzzle guards fit down inside the top of the bore and protect the crown from getting scratched or worn by the cleaning rod use. Also, if cleaning from the breech to the muzzle, a good bore guide will help keep the cleaning rod in the middle of the bore and from contacting the sides of the bore or the muzzle.
Use the Right Cleaners: There are numerous gun cleaning solvents, oils and CLPs out there today. Among my favorites are the classic Hoppe’s #9 solvent, Ogre’s Enviroclean solvent (which is nearly scent free!), Break Free CLP any my favorite lubricant of all time, QMaxx BLU.
Invest in Bore Snakes: For fast cleaning, you don’t have to be perfect. While I recommend using a cleaning rod and bore brush and mop for your particular caliber or gauge for a thorough cleaning when needed, I keep a set of bore snakes for every caliber and gauge I own for quick and easy cleaning after hunting trips or other time I have not shot my guns in heavy rotation, such as at the gun range. Bore snakes are readily available for just about every kind of pistol, rifle or shotgun and most have a built in bore brush of some kind to get your gun clean in a hurry for transport or storage.
One of the best gun cleaning kits I have owned is the IUNIO Gun Cleaning Kit. This kit comes with all the supplies you will need, with the exception of the solvents and oils, to clean most common calibers. From jags, mops, brushes and slotted tips for cleaning patches, this a fantastic value at under $40. This is a great kit to use for thorough cleaning and it has a nice carrying case for easy transport to the gun range or hunting lease. Here is a video I made about this kit:
There are many opinions on the best practices of gun cleaning and lots of other tips and techniques out there. My goal here was to just give you the basic principles. I am always about providing massive amounts of value to our readers so here is a video I made several years ago about gun cleaning you can check out as well:
Keeping your guns clean and in good operating condition may be a lot of work at times but having weapons you can depend on when they are needed and at times when it counts the most makes it all worth the effort. I hope these tips have given you a basic understanding on what to do and not to do in your gun cleaning endeavors. Thanks for reading and watching.