Cleaning your gun is a critical part of gun ownership, and one that some people skip after a trip to the local range for some target practice.
A weapon that hasn’t been properly cleaned and cared for can not only rust or otherwise lose efficacy, but it could also become dangerous if you don’t remove the buildup from inside your barrel and other moving parts. The best way to maintain the ability to hit what you’re aiming at is to clean your weapon each time it is fired. Whether you have a high-end gun cleaning kit or are breaking out the WD-40 as your cleaning material of choice, here are tips for safely cleaning your gun.
1. Always Maintain Safety Protocols
Even when you know — you are absolutely, utterly certain — that your gun isn’t loaded, you should still treat it as though it is. That means pointing the barrel away from yourself and others throughout the time you’re cleaning the weapon. Cleaning may not be the most fun activity, but it is infinitely better than heading to the emergency room!
2. Use Effective Cleaning Supplies
Depending on the type of gun, there are certain cleaners that could be damaging to your weapon. You likely have made a big investment in your firearm, so you don’t want to risk getting scratches in the finish or other problems that will cause the quality of the weapon to degrade. Higher-performing cleaners are meant to break down the old oil, dirt and residue that can be left behind in your gun after a long period of storage or heavy use. How dirty your gun gets depends on a variety of factors, including the age of the ammunition that you’re using, how much you’re firing your gun and the conditions under which it was last used.
3. Find the Right Kit
If you have a large number of firearms in a variety of different calibers, it makes sense to invest in a high-quality gun cleaning kit that includes rods, swabs and brushes that are made for the types of weapons that you possess. If you only own a single gun, you can get away with a less-expensive option that includes only swabs and rods that will work with your gun. A bore snake is one of the most valuable items you can possess for keeping your guns clean. This multi-purpose tool is a weighted brush attached to a long cloth. It “snakes” through the barrel of your gun, allowing you to quickly make a clean sweep.
4. Remove Excess Oil
Once you’ve cleaned your weapon with a good quality cleaner, you’ll want to add a protective layer of oil to keep the mechanisms moving smoothly. You can get too much of a good thing, so be sure to remove the excess oil before you pack your gun away for your next outing. If you have too much oil on the stock, for instance, you could find that it weakens the wood.
When you follow these gun cleaning safety tips, you’ll not only protect yourself and others from accidental injury during cleaning, you’ll also keep yourself safe on the courses or in the fields. A clean gun is less likely to misfire or have other mechanical problems.
~ Ready to Fire News