Proper inspection and cleaning of your gun will keep it functioning smoothly and firing safely. Due to the small explosion in the chamber every time the trigger gets pulled, residue and sediment get left on the inside of the barrel, which makes it imperative that you take the time to clean it regularly in order to avoid dangerous malfunctions. You should be cleaning your gun after every time you fire it, and especially after a target practice where you fired lots of rounds.
Remember to always clean your gun in a well-ventilated area. Not only does the solvent and lubricant smell foul, but the fumes are noxious and can make you sick so it’s good to have a place with good air circulation when cleaning your guns. Once you have a good place chosen to clean your guns, next is the cleaning tools–aka cleaning kit. Whether you have purchased a pre-assembled cleaning kit from a sporting goods store or you assemble it individually, you will need a few key things in your cleaning supplies.
What you need:
- Cleaning solvent
- Lubricant or gun oil
- A bore brush
- Cleaning rod
- A patch holder and patches
- A nylon cleaning brush
- Cotton swabs
- Microfiber cloths for polishing
Once you have all of your supplies ready, disassembling your gun before cleaning it is a must–although it is rarely necessary to take a pistol completely apart for anything other than repairs. Only disassemble the gun as much as the manufacturer recommends, check the owner’s manual for instructions to prepare the gun for cleaning. Once you have completed that, you are ready to clean your gun.
Step 1: Cleaning the barrel with the cleaning rod and patches.
Working from the back of the bore if you can, soak the bore (or inside of the barrel) using a cleaning rod, patch holder, and the right size cotton patches for your gun. If you are unable to work from the back of the bore, use a muzzle guard–this keeps the cleaning rod from banging against the muzzle, which can cause your gun to malfunction.
–To thoroughly clean the barrel out, push a solvent soaked patch through the bore until it exits the other end and remove the patch. Don’t pull the patch back through because that will redeposit all the gunk you just cleaned off.
Step 2: Alternate the bore brush and patches.
This will thoroughly scrub the barrel. Remove the patch holder and attach the bore brush, run the bore brush back and forth along the full length of the bore 3-4 times to loosen any debris. Then, reattach the patch holder and run solvent soaked cotton patches through the bore, removing them when they have exited the front. Continue repeating this process until a patch comes out clean. We recommend running one more dry patch through to dry it out and inspect closely for any missed build-up.
Step 3: Lubricate the barrel.
Attach the cotton mop to the cleaning rod and apply a few drops of gun conditioner or lubricant to the cotton mop. Run the cotton mop through the bore to leave a light coating of gun oil on the inside.
Step 4: Use solvent to clean and lubricate the action.
Apply solvent to the gun brush and brush all parts of the action, make sure to wipe them dry with a clean cloth. Next, lightly lubricate the moving parts of the action (a light coating helps prevent rust, a heavy coating attracts debris).
And, voila! You are finished! Now just make sure to wipe down the rest of your gun! We recommend a luster cloth (a flannel cloth that comes pretreated with a silicon lubricant), this will remove any leftover debris as well as add shine! Although if you don’t have a particular cloth designated for cleaning your gun(s), old shirts and socks work really well too.