As any gun owner knows, proper care means regular cleaning of the basic gun parts. For the novice, this may seem like an intimidating task, but by following the proper steps, the gun can be cleaned safely and effectively. The guide below walks gun owners through the basics of cleaning gun parts, but it is always best to follow any special instructions provided by the gun's manufacturer.
Unload the gun. Before doing anything else, make sure that the gun is completely unloaded. Check the chamber and the barrel to make sure that it is free and clear of bullets. Never skip this most important first step.
Move to a well-ventilated work area with a large, flat surface to work on. The gun chemicals that will be used for cleaning have a strong odor, so proper ventilation is a must. The table or workbench should be covered by a soft cloth where the gun can be taken apart without worry of scratching or damage.
Take out the gun cleaning kit designed for the type of gun being cleaned along with a supply of clean rags. There are different cleaning kits for different types of guns. If you own more than one type of firearm, there are also cleaning kits that are made to work with a variety of gun types. They are called Universal Cleaning kits and can usually be found at any gun or hunting supply store. The basic pieces of the cleaning kit include the following: a gun chemical cleaning solvent, oil for lubrication, a cleaning rod with clips and cleaning patches. Some kits also include a small brush, but a toothbrush will work just as well.
Now it is time to begin the cleaning process. Dip the brush or toothbrush in the chemical cleaning solvent and clean the inside of the cylinder and gun frame. Although these areas may be dirty, with proper and consistent cleaning, they will not have an excessive build up of dirt and debris. After scrubbing, wipe the areas with a clean, dry rag to remove the dirt and chemical cleaner.
Attach a cleaning patch to the end of the cleaning rod using a clip provided. Soak the cleaning patch with gun chemical cleaning solvent until it is saturated, but not dripping. Slowly push the rod into the barrel, cleaning the inside of the gun as it is pushed through. Replace the dirty, wet cleaning patch with a clean one and soak it with solvent when the rod pokes through the other end of the barrel. Continue cleaning the barrel this way, replacing the cleaning patch each time it comes through the barrel. bore cleaner may take four or five times before the barrel is completely clean and a dry patch slides through with no residue left on it.
The final step is to lubricate the gun parts with the oil that came in the cleaning kit. Attach a fresh cleaning patch to the end of the cleaning rod, soak it in oil and slide it into the gun's barrel and back out again. Then, using a clean rag, apply a small amount of oil to the moving parts of the gun, testing them along the way to make sure that they are in good working order.
Once the gun is cleaned, put away the gun chemicals and work cloth. Take the time to store things neatly, so that the next time the gun is ready to be cleaned they can be easily found. Gun care is about being meticulous, patient and sticking to a routine. With the proper care and cleaning, a gun can last a lifetime.