How to Clean a Handgun Make the Firearm Safe to Use

how to clean a handgun
how to clean a handgun

Officers should know how to disassemble a weapon for cleaning as well as the working of the duty weapon. Regular cleaning and lubrication could make the weapon more powerful. Without proper cleaning the weapon could result in permanent damage and malfunctions. Shooting guns should be lubricated and cleaned after use and it’s become a necessity if you are going to keep into storage. Only a few minutes of cleaning could help you increase the handgun’s reliability.

How to clean a handgun?

Before cleaning your handgun – whether it’s a revolver or a semi-automatic pistol – you should spend some time to review the gun properly. Almost every handgun requiressome checking prior to starting the cleaning session. You need to ensure the layout of the gun and procedures and confirm the points where you are going to apply the lubricant.

However, if you don’t follow the protocol, accidents could happen that make the situation even worse. It’s not only about the physical injury, the owner will be responsible for any damages or injuries because of the legal implications.

  • Find the right place for cleaning

The first step of cleaning a gun is to choose an area which is clean and where there is more space to work. There could be risk and side effects from the chemicals; so, you have to select a well ventilated and well lit area. The best place for cleaning is the garage or outdoors. If you want to work inside, select a place near your window and clutter free, sturdy table should be used for cleaning.

Moreover, you should avoid using your dining table, kitchen or any other place where you usually drink or eat. Remove all live ammo from the cleaning area to avoid mishandling.

  • Check out the manual

Throwing owner’s manual might be good for refrigerator or dishwasher, not good for a firearm. You should be attentive and careful while reading the information in the manual. This will help you following right operation and performs therein provides more complete and a safe experience. The manufacturer guide will explain how to clean and take the gun apart. There are detailed pictures and colored diagram in many manuals to reassemble and disassemble the gun properly.

Essential tools for cleaning

There are different tools you will need for the cleaning purpose, including the following –

  1. Bore brush
  2. Cleaning rod
  3. Mops
  4. Cleaning jags
  5. Cleaning swab
  6. Cleaning patches
  7. Double-ended brushes
  8. Cotton swabs
  9. Reel cloth and luster cloth
  10. Bore snake
  11. Disposable drip pan
  12. Cleaning chemicals, lubricants and action cleaners

Most of these elements are needed for a specific kit for cleaning. A cradle is also necessary to secure the gun hands free that helps focusing on maintaining tools and loose apart. A rubber mat protects your work surface as well as the gun parts.

To protect your eyes from chemicals, debris, and flying springs, you should always put safety glasses. It is good to wear gloves to defend yourself from chemicals. You should be more careful while working because your solvents might drip onto painted, wood or sensitive surfaces that causes accident.

Clean the chamber and barrel

First you need to ensure that your firearm is fully unloaded. A nylon or copper-phosphate bore brush is needed to dry brush the barrel and chamber. This will remove and loosen the metal fouling and large carbon from your bore. Let the cleaning patch soak in bore solvent for a while and after that, push the patch over the barrel and out from another side and soak the bore surface and chamber.

You should not pull it back because this might redeposit dirt into the bore. It will take 10-20 minutes breaking down fouling in the solvent. Scrub with a bore brush inside the barrel and remove remaining residue with a new and dry patch. Keep the patch running through until it arises clean.

To clean the bore surface in opposition to corrosion, a light lubricant might be useful. Avoid using a gun oil while lubricating the bore. Clean the barrel hood, feed ramp, barrel lug and the exterior.

Clean and lubricate the action

You should lubricate and clean not only the barrel but also the slide, pump or bolt with an action cleaner solvent, dry cloth, and nylon brush. Wash the action that helps to wash away the metal debris and carbon into the pan. Follow the instructions recommended for your handgun and dry the action properly after cleaning.

Apply few drops of lubricant at the necessary points such as exterior and slide using a needle spray gun according to the manufacturer’s recommended. If you over lubricate, reliability issues could arise.

Remember the magazines

Magazines can be cleaned, reassemble and disassemble as said by the manufacturer’s instructions. You should use special brushes, safety glasses while cleaning because they are spring laden. You should never use petroleum products and lubricate the magazines, just use solvent that is residue-free.

Reassemble the handgun and functional check

You need to ensure that your firearm is working properly after cleaning as it was before and for this reason you have to check the functions. You should verify the proper working of the safeties, trigger mechanism, locking, slide operation, ejection system and magazine retention. Observation of the gun safety rules is highly recommended.

Clean the outside of your gun

When all moving parts and inside the gun are lubricated and clean, the exterior needs to be clean. You will need a reel cloth to do this job because of the silicone lubricant. This will help removing acidic prints and leftover debris that will give your gun a shiny look.

It should be added that most of the cleaners on the market are water based and it is not good leaving your gun wet for a long time. So, you must check if your gun parts are properly dry or not after cleaning. A clean handgun is more safe and reliable than a dirty one. Clean guns also help increase your comfort, reliability and confidence to use the weapons.

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My childhood memories are surrounded by dynamic, loving parents from whom I got my nurturing being and love of children. My passion and affection for taking care of babies began at a young age, and I fulfilled my dream of becoming a pediatric nurse. Over my career, I have assisted hundreds of families and babies, and with that inspiration, I started writing to share my experiences and baby care tips. From my own life experience, I have a deep understanding and a profound empathy and compassion for parents. I emphasize on newborn care at my blog. I help my readers to understand how to effectively set up a routine that fits the family's lifestyle, how to respond to the baby's needs, establish healthy sleep habits, and know about the extra care that a newborn requires, like diaper rashes, umbilical cord stump care, circumcision care, reflux, colic, swaddling, and soothing techniques. I am a mother of twin girls, in their 20's, which has been an invaluable experience for my life's work with children. I live in Virginia with my husband and daughters.


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