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Make Sure That You’re Cleaning Your Rifle the Right Way

Is your rifle shooting badly? If so, then it might need to be cleaned. Maybe you’ve already cleaned it. According to gunsmith Bryce Towsley, a surprising number of shooters are cleaning their guns wrong. When a gun is not correctly cleaned, it will misbehave.

Here is a step-by-step guide to correctly cleaning a rifle.

#1 Gather Your Supplies

The first step is to make sure you have the right tools:

  • Personal protective gear – You’ll need to use strong solvents so make sure you have the proper eye protection, gloves, and an N95 particle respirator.
  • Rifle Vise – You’ll need something to hold the rifle while you are cleaning it. We recommend an all-in-one vise that can also be used for storage. It should have padded jaws to protect your gun.
  • Bore guide – This will protect the action from solvents, debris, and oil.
  • Bore mop – Used for cleaning the barrel.
  • Gun cleaning patches – Make sure you select the right patches for your caliber.
  • A plastic disposable container – To hold and soak multiple patches at once.
  • Gun cleaning rod – Choose a high-quality gun cleaning rod that is chemical resistant so that it won’t scratch the bore.
  • Solvent – You will need two solvents — One for powder removal and another for barrel fouling. We recommend Hoppe’s No. 9 for powder removal and Hoppe’s Black for barrel fouling. However, any quality solvents will do a good job on your rifle.
  • Rust Protector – This helps protect your firearms from rust. We like Birchwood Casey Barricade Rust Preventive.

#2 Find A Suitable Place To Work

Next, you’ll want to choose a suitable place to clean your rifle. Make sure you have a well-ventilated area, as many of the solvents used in cleaning can cause respiratory irritation. Having a sink nearby is also a good idea. The solvents are toxic to the touch, so you’ll want to have access to clean water in case you get some on your skin or in your eyes.

#3 Make Sure The Rifle Is Unloaded

When handling a firearm, the first thing that you must do is make sure it’s unloaded. With the barrel pointed in a safe direction, open the action and closely inspect it before starting the cleaning process.

#4 Clean With Solvent

There are several parts to this. Here are the steps:

First, Soak a couple of patches in the solvent. Run the solvent-soaked patches down the barrel. You can also use a bore mop for this task. Let the bore soak for a few minutes to allow the solvent to break down debris and grit.

Next, switch to a copper brush. Soak it in the solvent and run it down the barrel 10 to 20 times. Make sure you keep the brush wet. So, reapply the solvent every couple of passes.

Run a couple of wet patches back through the bore. The first two will come out dirty but the final ones should be clean.

Run several dry patches through the bore. This will soak up any excess solvent.

#5 Apply The Rust Protector

After you are done cleaning with the solvent, you’ll want to apply the oil. Simply run a single oil-soaked patch through the barrel. Then, run a dry patch back through to soak up any excess oil.

That’s all there is to it. Following these simple directions will ensure that your rifle is clean and working properly.

~ Firearm Daily


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