Spring Cleaning: First Time Cleaning a Gun

You’ve purchased a new gun, shot it at the range and are back home preparing to clean it. Whether this was your twentieth gun or your first, there’s something special about cleaning a new gun for the first time.

What do you give special attention to when you clean a new gun for the first time?



The order I took it apart. Like most men, I don’t need no steenking directions… until I do, but I will deny it.


I enjoy the first time cleaning new a gun, it’s like waxing a new sports car for the first time. It will really help in your overall knowledge of the firearm. Before I clean it, I go to YouTube. There are (usually) instructional videos on any firearm you can imagine.


I had a student that kept experiencing malfunctions right from the get go with his Ruger 380. After looking the firearm over and clearing the malfunction multiple times I asked him when the last time he cleaned and lubed it, even though it looked really clean.

He said it’s brand new, he’s never cleaned it yet.

We took it apart and cleaned and lubed it right there of all the transportation and anti corrosion lubrication that was on it from the factory. It’s operation was flawless after this “First Cleaning”


Cleaning is pretty simple, even it’s done for the first time.
Question is…if the firearm still works properly after?


It is like @TexasEskimo said, it is a joy to clean a new gun. I am removing any packing grease, looking for any missing parts (it has not happened to me but I have heard of it) such as screws or pins. Making sure I understand how it works and getting a base-line for future cleanings… what gets dirty and what is showing wear.


Kind of on topic-ish, how many of you clean the inside of the barrel out?
I virtually never do as when a round is blown through at 1000-2000 ft/sec I’ve always felt that this is a pretty good method of cleaning in and of itself. Thoughts?


You will find lead or copper deposits in your barrel when you do clean it. Depending on how bad it is you will use Hoppes 9 to harsher bore solvents. Get some patches and invest in a brush, if you have not been keeping up with it your going to be working for a while.


I do but I don’t make it shiny clean. One or two runs of brush and patch to keep it clean from any stuff.
Somehow the barrel is dirty after 1K rounds, I can see residue sitting in rifling.


Cleaning a firearm, tool that is, is like spanking a new baby, I don’t know if they do that these days…I am a typical dude, never read the instructions first. I enjoy the cleaning. Like washing an old friend. LOL


I’m a little anal about cleaning, my barrel inside has a mirror finish. After every range day approximately 200-500 rounds. I enjoy cleaning my weapons. It’s a love hate relationship. Accuracy is not affected.
Always read the manual and YouTube is fantastic for increased detailed cleaning and takedowns. However I can’t stress enough the safety factors involved. I expect way more negligent discharges from inexperienced new gun owners. Follow directions to the letter. This is no place to cut corners or be fast. Take your time. It’s like the care you would take when waxing and buffing your car.
There’s a certain amount of pride involved. I love the fact that if my weapons were to be inspected they would pass with flying colors.


Unlike my normal lack of cleaning methods, for a new bang stick I will go into an excruciating detail clean prior to taking it to the range. This serves three main purposes 1) it introduces me to the workings of the gun 2) ensures all the shipping/ factory/ storage preservatives are off the gun. 3) Gives me a relative ZERO of performance both accuracy and functionality.

After that it falls into my normal don’t clean it routine until is shows signs of inaccuracy or function deficit. Revolvers are my single exception in that I will scrub the cylinders if I shot “short” rounds out of it (ie: 38 SPL in a 357 Magnum). I check for obvious grunge and other bits on the bolt faces but other tan that they don’t get cleaned until one of the two above occurs or prior to going to an event where I am going to be putting out a lot of rounds.




The first thing I look for is…someone else to clean my gun. lol I finally have to address the CX4 and EVO pistol when I have a few hours to kill. Neither have ever been cleaned.


Agreed with him ^^^

Even though us men don’t like instruction manuals when it comes to a new piece well…


I was amazed the first time I used copper solvent in my rifles. LOTS of build up i could not observe.
I have only used it on my hunting rifles, but it’s eye opening.
I love the smell of Hoppes #9, so cleaning guns for me is enjoyable.
two thumbs up for looking at the manual if you’re new to guns.


I cleaned my new G19 when I got it home from the range. I put the dishwasher on the gentle setting.


@MikeBKY same here with my Glock 43. Used some engine degreaser and steel wool on it first though. Note: I moved the Tupperware and mags to the top rack after the pic was taken. Great advice from @Zee


New gun? I like taking it apart just so I am familiar with it. With all my guns, I enjoy cleaning almost as much as I do shooting them. It’s quiet, peaceful, and, for me, satisfying to see it back together and ready if needed.


I clean a new gun before and after the first firing to ensure no burrs from the manufacturer cause any problems.

<edit, by burrs I meant leftover metal shavings and used wrong word, as “burr” would indicate metal that’s still part of, well, a metal gun part>

Areas for a handgun, esp my 1911, that get special attention are Barrel bore + feed ramp, and clean/lube of slide rails (Brownells Action Lube packed in syringe).

At least twice per year, it is a complete disassemble & clean by a local shop…


If I put any of our firearms in the dishwasher, my wife would give me a free ride to the dementia hotel!