There are a lot of first-time gun owners this year, and they’re learning a lot: grip, stance, ammo size and laws just to name a few. After the honeymoon phase of purchasing a new gun wears off, one of the big questions new gun owners start asking is how often should I clean my gun? And then, HOW do I clean my gun?
Read the manual on how to break it down, have a good cleaning kit and watch some YouTube videos.
Each of us has it’s own “method”, not only how to clean, what to use…but how to start this process?
As always, the great source is YouTube. If you watch many videos enough, you will find the “best way”…
After few cleaning sessions you will know what is good, what is bad, how to proceed.
Anyway… first time is always fun, just be properly prepared.
If you ask 10 people how and when to clean a firearm you are likely to get 15 different opinions;). As stated above, best to start with the manual and YouTubes that follow the manual’s recommendations. Then maybe read some forums and watch other videos to see if there are some different methods that might work better for you. I tend to clean after every trip to the range if I have the time. Especially for my primary defense firearms. But most guns can go several trips between cleanings as long as you check them somewhat regularly to make sure they are not getting gummed up by powder, lint, and other debris.
You now have a way to repurpose old T-Shirts
Not yet @Scoutbob, not yet
I think this comes after few months after you have realized how much have you spent on nice squared patches
I won’t lie, I still use a ton of patches. I use an old T-Shirt for the initial wipe down of my guns after the range. The. I use the patches for everything else because some t-shirts are bad about leaving fuzz, and some t-shirts are not a good color for gun cleaning.
And I’m lazy and I don’t like to cut the shirts into pieces
So that would be a good advice for NOT FIRST TIME CLEANING
- find good quality t-shirt. In my case it was Comcast polo shirt I’ve received long time ago as a business Partner)
Awesome quality, definitely better than high prices patches. Highly recommended
Patience, read the manual, go step by step, wear safety glasses, springs are notoriously tight. Check clear, have someone else verify clear and check again. Don’t keep ammo in close proximity.
Break it down, clean, oil, wipe down, take to range and do function test, rinse and repeat.
Personally I clean my weapons after every range trip! It’s a love hate relationship, but if you make it a habit, shoot, clean, shoot, clean, the honeymoon will last as long as you care for your new weapon!
No ammo in the room, finger off the trigger then:
- Point in a safe direction
- Drop the magazine and place it away from the firearm
- Run the slide at least three times
- Visibly and physically inspect the chamber to ensure it’s clear
- Follow the manufactures method for field stripping
- Follow the manufactures recommendations/instructions for cleaning
With time you’ll develop the process that best suited your cleaning needs, but always follow the safety rules and NEVER take them for granted.
Good post. There was a news article about a man who killed his 2 year old while cleaning his gun.
That should NEVER happen. If even one of the first 3 safety rule was followed it wouldn’t have. That’s why we follow ALL of them.
Put more than the tip of it in. Not joking. Seen people take a cotton ball swab with hoppes and swab chamber and end of barrel. Makes me want to go full on Marine Gunny on them when I see it.
2nd piece of advice YouTube and owners manual.
Lots of talk about patches. Patches are nearly obsolete (not entirely, but nearly) in a world with bore snakes…
If I could have only one cleaning aid (not counting CLP) it would be a bore snake.
I’m pretty obsessive about my carry gun. I run a bore snake through a few times, and then I run patches till the turn white.
I don’t do that with my rifle or my 22 revolver. I’m just really picky about the gun I carry everyday.
Read the owners manual. Use quality cleaning/lube products. Otis and bore snakes are your friends.
Invest in Q-tips.
Make sure the firearm is EMPTY
Clean it the same way you floss your teeth, don’t take short cuts, keep it oiled.
I’d also add, I’m very picky about cleaning my carry gun (I clean it like my life depends on it). That being said, it doesn’t need to be a huge tedious task. I’ll clean my gun pretty good, and then pull it out and clean it a little more a few days later.
You’ll discover some things don’t need oil (recoil spring firing pin hole). You’ll discover the nooks and crannies you need to pay attention to (extractor is something I didn’t pay much attention too).
Your gun doesn’t have to be immaculate. You could spend hours seeking perfection (I clean very detailed every-time. But a good quality firearm will function fine with little maintenance(I’m not saying don’t maintain it, I’m just saying don’t fret over it).
My son bought me a bore snake for my pistols and one for my AR… I gotta say-- I love 'em. I in turn introduced my wife to them.