Tips on How to Clean Your Rifle

a hunting rifle, ammunition and a cap

Guns are one of the few things in this world that are built to last a lifetime. To keep your rifle’s accuracy and to ensure it fires safely, proper inspection and cleaning are a must. Here are some helpful tips on cleaning your rifle.

Check your cleaning kit

Whether you buy a pre-assembled cleaning kit from a sporting goods store or you buy each component individually, here are a few things you must have in your cleaning arsenal.

  • A bore brush
  • A nylon cleaning brush
  • A patch holder and patches
  • Cleaning solvent
  • Cotton swabs
  • Flashlight
  • Lubricant, or gun oil
  • Microfiber cloth for polishing


Take time to read the manual

Read the manual that came with your rifle so you know how to disassemble it properly.  If you didn’t get a manual, most US manufacturers will provide one free of charge for asking. For military surplus guns, you may need to do some research on how to field strip the piece.

Safety first

Always remember to treat every gun as if it was loaded. Remove the bolt from the rifle, eject the magazine, keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, and keep your finger off of the trigger until ready to use. Accidents have happened due to a person thinking they were handling an unloaded gun.

Always clean in a well-ventilated area

Solvent fumes, when inhaled can make you sick and the scent of the lubricant used for gun cleaning isn’t very pleasant indoors. An ideal place for gun cleaning is open and well-ventilated, but staying in the garage with the door up will work just as well. Don’t forget to cover your work surface with newspaper or plastic bags!

Keep corrosion to a minimum

One trick for keeping corrosion at bay is by using window cleaner. When you are finished shooting, spray some window cleaner down the barrel several times, then shoot one final round through the barrel. This neutralizes the corrosive material until you are able to give the rifle a thorough cleaning.

Remove the protective coating

Most guns come from the factory or importer with a protective coating of grease, which can slow down the action and impede a bullet’s speed through the barrel. To remove the grease, use a solvent, mineral spirits, or kerosene.

Proper gun storage

After cleaning your rifle, take care not to leave it outdoors, as it will can significantly affected by the elements. Keep guns indoors, in a cool and dry environment to avoid rust. Consider investing in trigger locks to ensure that the gun is tamper proof.

If you are looking for cleaning equipment, hard gun cases and parts for your rifle, we at GunCo Arms have you covered. Located in Wichita Falls, Texas, we also sell handguns, shotguns and we even offer training to first-time gun handlers. Call us now at 940-341-2501 or visit our contact page for more details.