5 Tips for Cleaning Your Firearms

It is essential to properly clean your weapons to ensure it is functioning properly and is safe to use. Here are a few basic tips for cleaning your guns.

1. Time is Key

gun cleaningFirst thing’s first – there is both a time and a place to clean your guns. You want to make sure you have enough time to properly and thoroughly clean the weapon and it’s best to do so in a well-ventilated room. A lot of guns are carried more than they are shot, so sometimes you have to clean your weapon simply due to its environment. Dirt, lint, and other debris can easily build up in a firearm. How often should you clean a gun? Honestly, it really depends. You should check your carry gun each day you have it. For those emergency guns in your house, check them weekly for built up dirt or possible corrosion. If you have been at the range all day or taking a shooting course, disassemble your weapon that same day and provide a full cleaning.

2. Know Your Weapon

Be sure you know how to handle your weapon. Yes, sounds like common sense, but you should be able to confidently take apart all of the components necessary and put them back together. The gun manual will be exceptionally helpful for this, or just come visit our store and we can show you. If you misplaced the manual, copies are usually available online or at a firearms store.

3. Be Sure ALL Ammo is Away

Believe it or not, accidents are very common when cleaning a firearm. Even if you are 100% sure your weapon is unloaded, double check and triple check for safety. Take any and all ammo out of the room you are cleaning the weapon in. That way you won’t even mistakenly load the gun because there is nothing to load it with.

4. Have the Right Products & Tools

firearm cleaningYou can’t just use the old dish soap and warm water treatment for your weapons. There are a number of tools and products you should be using to properly clean your weapon.

  • Eye Protection
  • You won’t be able to aim or shoot very well with damaged eyes. There are a lot of small pieces in guns, like springs that could easily fly at your eye and there could be an accidental splash of cleaning solution.

  • A Tray
  • Like we just mentioned, guns have a lot of small pieces and components. Having a tray to keep all of these pieces together will help to prevent you losing them.

  • Gun Cleaning Solution
  • There are a number of high quality cleaners for your guns. One of the most popular brands is Hoppes, which we carry in store, along with a range of other cleaning formulas.

  • Q-Tips or Pipe Cleaners
  • Small pieces and components means there are small areas and crevices that need to get cleaned out too. Q-Tips and pipe cleaners work really well with these areas.

  • Rod, Brushes, & Patches
  • These tools help to clean the barrel of the gun.

  • Protective Coating
  • weapon cleaningOne of the final steps in cleaning your gun is using a protective coating to prevent corrosion.

  • A Rag or Towel
  • Once you’re done cleaning, you’re going to want to wipe down your firearm to remove any residues. We recommend using a rag or towel for this.

5. Test Functionality

Finally, you’ll want to do a quality-check on your gun. As always, be sure all bullets have been removed. Go to a secure spot with a safe backstop and pull the trigger to see if it is functioning properly.

These are just to name a range of different cleaning supplies that are available for firearms. Many people also like to use an air compressor for guns that may be packed with dirt and other outdoor matter. On Target Training carries a range of these supplies, and we have a number of different kits available too. For more information, give us a call or stop by the store.


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