What is the First Step in Cleaning a Firearm?
Perhaps your firearm has been on a good adventure with you, or maybe you just bought it and want to make sure it is ready for the field. So what is the first step in cleaning a firearm?
You’ll want to make sure the process is done correctly so as not to damage the weapon or cause rust. It took me several cleaning processes before I really felt comfortable with cleaning my firearm. Today, I’ll show you my process and the best practices for keeping that gun clean.
Buy a cleaning kit.
These can be pretty simple. You’ll want to make sure that you have these items:
- Bore brush
- Cotton swabs
- Ample lighting in the leaning area
- Patch holder with patches
Have a good commercial solvent
Basically, a solvent is a substance that has the ability to dissolve something else. This is incredibly important when cleaning a firearm. Unlike washing dishes or cleaning most other things, a simple rub down with some soap isn’t going to cut it here.
- Use a garage or other area with open doors/windows to keep fresh air flowing in.
- Clean all metal parts of the firearm thoroughly with the commercial solvent. Make sure the barrel is getting a good clean as well.
- Clean the bore up through the breech end, wherever possible. Spend ample time here making sure that the bore is as clean as the barrel and rest of the metal parts on the weapon.
- Run the dry patch through to double check for cleanliness. Let the area dry before proceeding.
Stick an oily patch into the barrel
The goal here is to get it nice and lubed up. Apply a liberal dose of oil onto the patch and slide it back and forth in the barrel of the gun, ensuring the entire area is reached. Any parts of the gun that are metal should receive a light coating of oil. Here is a great video on how to clean a firearm. It should go without saying, but always make sure your gun is unloaded before starting this process:
- This is when you use the patches inside the barrel to get it clean
Store the firearm in a horizontal position
This will help it dry and keep the oil on all parts that need it. If storing firearm horizontally is a challenge, face the muzzle down so that any run-age will come out of the barrel instead of clogging the back end. If you have a gun rack, I always suggest designating a specific place for firearms that have just been cleaned. The best gun safe is my recommendation.
- Do not leave the weapon laying on its side on a table or counter.
- Do not store vertically with the butt of the gun facing down.
Prior to firing the gun, run a clean patch through the barrel
This removes any excess oil or dirt. It makes sure that everything will go smoothly when firing, and that there aren’t any clogs or backlogs within the barrel. Here are a few tips I have for streamlining your firearm cleaning process:
- Keep oil on hand at all times. Have it designated as only for cleaning your firearms, that way you won’t use it for anything else. Storing it in the gun safe or in the same general area as your guns will make sure that you always know where it is, and no one else is using it for other purposes.
- Get into the habit of cleaning your firearms regularly. When starting the first step in cleaning a firearm, always follow the same procedure. There shouldn’t be any variations when cleaning the same gun. Consistency is key!
- Dedicate a rag for the task. Always keep it on hand with the oil.
There you have it. If someone asks you what is the first step in cleaning a firearm, you can point them to this article.
I hope you found this informative. If so, we’d appreciate it if you shared on social media. If you have any tips for cleaning a firearm that we didn’t mention here, feel free to leave a comment. Let’s get a discussion going.
Featured Image by Ben Branam