Spring Firearm Cleaning: What You Need to Know

In 2020, there were 45,000 accidental gun deaths

If you want to reduce accidental gun deaths, then you should make sure that you clean your firearm. 

But what steps should you take when firearm cleaning? Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about gun cleaning. 

Set up a Cleaning Area

First, set up the area where you want to clean your gun. This is one task that you’ll need to get used to, and it helps if you have a certain area to take the gun apart. 

You should use a table or a shelf or some surface area where you have enough space. It would be best if you had a durable vinyl covering as well. 

You should also clean the gun in a well-ventilated since you’ll be working with oils and solvents. Keep only the tools that you need in the work area. 

You should also do this away from children. Make sure that the ammunition is in a safe area in a different room so that you don’t accidentally fire the gun while you’re cleaning it. 

Gather Materials

You’ll also want to make sure that you gather all of your materials before you start working on your gun. You’ll need certain supplies regardless of what type of gun you are cleaning. 

You’ll need something like a bore brush, jags, patches, lubricants, solvents, protectants, degreasers, bore snakes, a gun utility brush, and a cleaning rod. 

You may want to save money and get a gun cleaning kit that has most of these tools in them. However, if you don’t get a caliber-specific cleaning kit, get a bore brush that is designed for the caliber of your weapon. 

Those are the essentials, and you’ll also want to get optional supplies that might make it easier to clean the gun. You may want to get mats/pads, trays, or a gun vise. 

These are great for staying organized and making it an easier experience. You may also need a flashlight to see if there are any parts that fall off the table. 

Check the Manual

You’ll need to learn about your gun and the proper cleaning procedures before you start working on it. Keep the owner’s manual and read through the entire thing. 

This is a good reference when you’re owning the firearm and following all of the operations to ensure that cleaning the gun is a very safe and complete experience. 

The manual will explain how to take the gun apart and then the steps to clean it. Many manuals will give you colored diagrams and pictures to make sure that you know how to reassemble and disassemble the gun.

If you can’t find your manual or didn’t keep it, you can check the NRA Guide to Firearm Assembly. They will be able to give you instructions to take apart most of the different guns. 

The manuals might be for different models and manufacturers, and you can download them for free on the manufacturer’s website. 

Clean Chamber and Barrel

Next, you’ll need to clean the barrel and the chamber of the gun. Take down the gun, remove the slide, and separate it from the frame. 

Next, use the dry brush your barrel and chamber with a copper-phosphate bore brush. When you use this, brush towards the muzzle direction. 

The brushing will release the carbon and metal fouling from the barrel bore. Dip the cleaning patch into the solvent and place it at the end of a cleaning rod. 

Push the patch through the barrel and then saturate the surface of the bore. Then, allow the solvent to work for about fifteen minutes on the dirt. When it’s done, wipe the solvent away and clean it. 

Then, you can clean the components of the slides, the barrel hood, and the feed ramp. 

Clean Action

The action of the gun will refer to the part of the gun that will fire, feed, and eject the round. This will include the bolt, pump, trigger group, and slides. 

You can use a dry utility brush to get any dirt or debris off of the action. If that doesn’t work to clean all of the residues, you can get some cleaning solvent on a cloth. Then, work this through the tough areas. 

Wait for the solvent to work on the dirt and let it sit for ten minutes. Then, dry it, and move forward to the next step. 

Lubricate Gun

When you clean the slide, frame, barrel, and chamber you’ll also want to lubricate all the parts of your firearm. This will depend on what type of gun you’re cleaning, and the manufacturer’s recommendation for lubricating. 

You’ll want to focus on lubricating the bearing surfaces, the outside surface, springs, and rails. 


After you finish cleaning the gun, you’ll need to reassemble it and clear the firearm. 

You’ll need to insert the block and dry-fire the weapon to make sure that everything is working correctly. You’ll need to make sure the gun isn’t loaded before you do it.

Clean the magazine separately and follow all of the specifications from the manufacturer’s manual. 

Next, load the ammo into the magazine and put it into the magazine well to make sure that it’s engaged. Then, you’ll do a press check to see if there is a round in the chamber.

Holster the firearm and make sure that it’s all working properly. Before you store the gun away, take the ammo out of the firearm. 

Learn More About Firearm Cleaning

These are only a few different things to know about firearm cleaning, but there are many other steps to take.

We know that owning a gun can be confusing at first, but we’re here to help walk you through the steps of being a gun owner. 

If you’re interested in more articles on topics like these, explore our website!

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