Have you cleaned your firearm lately? Do you clean it after a range or hunting trip?

Have you cleaned your firearm lately? Do you clean it after a range or hunting trip?

Posted by Ranger Point Precision Crew on Apr 7th 2017

Properly inspecting and regularly cleaning your firearms will keep them functioning well and firing safely. You should clean your pistol or rifle after every time you fire it, and particularly after target practice when you are firing lots of rounds


1. You'll need a few basic things to have in your cleaning kit which included:

• Cleaning solvent
• Lubricant, or gun oil
• A bore brush
• A patch holder and patches
• Cleaning rod
• A nylon cleaning brush
• Flashlight
• Cotton swabs
• Microfiber cloths for polishing

NOTE: We use KG Industries cleaning supplies exclusively in the shop. Some of the best we’ve ever used and fairly priced. You can order them directly on their website. Additionally, all of the cleaning products can be easily found at websites like Brownells.com and others.

2. Unload your gun. Always take the time to properly unload your gun and double-check to make sure that it's unloaded. Remember, your gun may still have a round loaded and ready to fire after, so check and remove this round. The final check should be looking through the barrel from back to front. Confirm there is no remaining round inside, either in the chamber or stuck in the barrel. Never consider a gun unloaded until you have verified it by looking through the barrel.

3. Disassemble your gun - but only as much as the manufacturer recommends. Check your owner's manual for disassembly instructions to prepare the gun for cleaning. This will allow you to access all parts that become dirty from firing. Semi-auto pistols and rifles are generally stripped into the major components: barrel, slide, guide rod, frame and magazine. Revolvers, shotguns, and others will not need to be stripped for cleaning.

4. Always clean your gun in a well-ventilated area. Solvent fumes are noxious and can make you or your family sick. Use plastic bags, newspaper, or old towels on your work area to keep things clean. If possible, clean your firearms in the garage with the door open, or outside on a sunny day to avoid the fumes.


1. Clean out the barrel with cleaning rod and patches. Soak the bore, or inside of the barrel, using a cleaning rod, patch holder and the right size cotton patches for your gun. Start from the back of the bore and push the solvent sacked patch al of the way through until it comes out the front. Remove the dirty patch and then pull the rod back through the barrel. If you can’t clean the barrel via the bore end, and must clean it via the rifle muzzle brake, use a muzzle guard to protect it from the rod banging around and damaging it which will cause the firearm to malfunction.

2. Alternate the bore brush and patches to get the cleanest barrel. After running the rod and patch through the barrel, run the bore brush back and forth along the full length of the bore 3 or 4 times to loosen any debris. Next, run the rod and another solvent soaked patch through the bore, removing the patch before pulling the rod back through to take it out. Repeat the cleaning process between rod/patches and the bore brush until a patch comes out clean. Run one final dry patch through the bore to dry it out and to catch any last debris.

3. Lubricate the barrel. Use a cotton mop with the cleaning rod to apply the lube oil. Apply a few drops to the cotton mop and run it through the bore until you have a a light coat of gun oil on the inside.

4. Clean and lubricate the gun’s action. Apply solvent to the gun brush and brush all parts of the gun and then wipe them to dry them with a clean cloth. Lightly lubricate all of the the moving parts to help it run more smoothly and prevent rust. Don’t use too much or it can get sticky and attract more debris.

5. Wipe down the rest of your gun. Use a firearm-specific micro-fiber cloth that comes pre-treated with a silicon lubricant. It will remove any left over debris, including fingerprints, and add a nice shine.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should a firearm be cleaned?

For lever-action rifles, it's generally recommended to clean them after every 200 rounds or so. This helps to prevent malfunctions and keep the rifle running smoothly. It's also a good idea to lubricate all moving parts after cleaning.

What is a gun cleaning mat made of?

A gun cleaning mat can be made of a variety of materials including rubber, neoprene, vinyl or plastic. They are usually waterproof and help protect the firearm's finish while the gun is being cleaned. Some mats have a textured surface to help hold the lubricant or solvent you're using, and others have built-in pouches for storing your supplies.

Can you clean the gun with alcohol?

Yes, you can actually clean your gun with alcohol! Nowadays, most people think that it's best to just go buy some gun oil and call it a day. However, you can use alcohol on lever-action rifles and it will actually protect the metal better in the long run.