A handgun, shotgun, or rifle — whatever type of firearm you have, owning one, as peakfirearms.com says, is more than just your right. It’s your heritage. But like every other privilege, having a firearm comes with responsibilities. One of which is making sure it’s maintained well.
The functionality and value of your guns depend on how often you clean them. Here’s what you need to do:
Prepare the Equipment Needed
Many improvised and specialized tools will help you do the job right. You might not find some of these in any cleaning kit, which will typically contain bore brushes, cleaning picks, and cleaning rods. Outside of your kit, you’ll need the following:
- A rubber mat with a nonslip surface: It will protect the parts as well as the workbench from any damage.
- An old coffee or cookie tin can: It will keep all loose parts in one place, so the small ones don’t get lost or separated. Having two would be ideal, where one may be for parts that have been cleaned and the other for dirty parts waiting for their turn.
- A cleaning cradle: It will keep the gun under control and let your hands manage loose parts and handle the cleaning equipment.
- A LED flashlight: This type of flashlight will allow you to see signs of rust because the reddish-brown palette will be distinct under blue light.
You’ll also need an all purpose cleaner or a special type of oil, like linseed, for certain parts of the gun.
Clean the Work Space
Preparing the tools is easy if you have all the materials you need. The next thing you need to do is clear your work area. Pick a well-ventilated, well-lit, clean, and organized area, like the outdoors or in the garage.
But if you have to work indoors, pick a large room that gives you enough space. Working near an open window is better if the room doesn’t have enough ventilation.
Also, make sure that the table you use is a sturdy one that doesn’t move or rock even when you lean on it. Don’t use tables that have casters or wheels because they will make your entire cleaning process a mess.
The kitchen counter or the dining room table may seem like viable options, but they’re not. Materials like gun oil copper, chemical solvents, or lead or carbon fouling might contaminate your food. So eating or drinking while you work on your gun isn’t a good idea.
Here are some key reminders when cleaning your gun:
- Remove all ammunition from the area
- Return all boxed and loose ammunition to their proper storage before you begin
- Make sure your gun is clear. If it has extra magazines, make sure they contain nothing
- Look for the owner’s manual from the manufacturer and read through it
With the right tools, the appropriate work area, and key reminders in place, your cleaning process will go off without a hitch. Now, take the gun apart, clean it, and have more confidence in its performance in the field or at the range.