Any avid shooter knows that keeping your firearm clean is essential to function and safety. If you’re on the range or hunting in the wild, a firearm that’s contaminated with dust, debris, or rust may not function properly or even be dangerous to you and your loved ones.
But with all of the different tools available at sportsmen’s and outdoors’ shops it can be hard to tell what’s the best choice for your firearm. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
The Advantages of Cleaning a Gun
Cleaning your gun doesn’t just make it look good. When you have a clean firearm, you can be sur that it will fire safely and discharge old cartridges and shells. Keeping a gun free of dust and grit and keeping it well lubricated ensures that all of the moving parts work freely, giving you a smooth action when you need it. Plus, a clean and well-maintained firearm lasts longer.
Leaving grit in the moving parts can wear away at your firearm, and any amount of water can quickly turn into rust and ruin your gun.
Keeping your gun clean makes it all but certain that you and your family can enjoy years of shooting.
What you need
While the shelves are full of fancy things for cleaning your gun, there are really only a few things you absolutely need.
The first thing you will want is a lubricant or cleaning solution to loosen and break up any of the gunk that builds up on your gun.
You will want small, soft pieces of cloth for cleaning different areas of the gun with the cleaning solution.
A bore snake is a basic for cleaning out the inside of your gun barrel.
It is also a good idea to have cleaning rods and cleaning patches on hand for those hard-to-reach places.
Finally, you can use a cleaning mat to prevent any oil or grit from dirtying up your floor or workbench when you are cleaning your gun.
What You Need to Know
While there is a huge variety of gun cleaning products, not all of them are created equal. When you buy cleaning brushes, make sure to get metal ones as the plastic ones can easily break.
When you are buying a cleaning solvent there are many factors to consider.
If you are using a bore snake for a quick clean, you can just use a little bit of CLP and away you go. But if you are looking for a more thorough clean, be careful which type of solvents or oils you use.
Some are multipurpose, which is attractive because they make the decision making easier. Many types of oils and cleaners can be used on different types of guns.
However, it is always a good idea to check the product label and make sure it can be safely used on your type of firearm. The last thing you want is to buy a cleaner thinking you are helping, but end up damaging your gun.
There are specific cleaning agents made for each part of the gun, so it is always a good idea to check out the product label to make sure it is suitable for what you want to clean.
When going for a gun cleaning solvent of lubricant, price is obviously a factor. You should probably steer clear of the cheap stuff, because you don’t want to use just any old thing that comes in a tube.
If you go for the higher-end options you will be getting the best performance. Some pretty advanced science goes into making the more expensive stuff, so these would be a good choice if you can afford them.
Otherwise, the middle-of-the-road products are a good way to go. They are still affordable while offering quality cleaning and protective properties.
Some gun cleaning kits come with lubricants or solvents, so always check your kit to make sure you don’t double buy.
Whether you have a store-bought kit or you assemble one yourself, it is always a good idea to keep your components stowed in an easily transported case. Ballistic nylon bags are a good option for storing the components of your kit, as they are light and easy to carry and store.
Also, please do not use WD 40 to clean your firearm. WD 40 is designed to evaporate and leave surfaces dry, meaning your gun actually does not stay lubricated after you spray it on. This could harm the action of the gun and cause it to overheat.
WD 40 can also cause dust and junk to stick to your gun and build up. When it comes to cleaning your firearm, use the products that were made for guns.
There is no such thing as cleaning your gun too much. As long as you keep it out of the elements, frequent cleaning of a firearm can only help to extend its life by preventing the buildup of debris, dust, dirt, and rust.
A frequently-cleaned and well lubricated gun provides a smoother action, faster shooting, and better safety for you and the people you care about.
Have any questions or comments about keeping your firearm clean? Feel free to discuss them in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!