How To Clean A Rifle

Article Posted: January 13, 2015

Rifle Cleaning Tools

For any firearm to function effectively and last long, it should be properly maintained and treated with the proper respect. An important aspect of maintenance is cleaning all the different pieces of the firearm on a regular basis. This article explains how you should clean your bolt action rifle. The basic procedures extend to almost all rifles but may differ slightly for diverse types.

Before you begin the cleaning process, you must prioritise on safety. Treat the firearm as if it is loaded - even if it is not. Ensure you have all the required items you need. These items include:

  • Paper Towels
  • Disassembly Tools
  • Cotton Cloths
  • Cotton Patches
  • Cleaning Rod (Should have a bore brush and a slotted end)
  • Disassembly Guide
  • Cleaning Solvent
  • Gun Lubricant / Oil
  • Gloves
  • Face Mask / Respirator
  • Rust Protector
  • A well ventilated and spacious area to clean your rifle

To start, put on the gloves and face mask or respirator for protection from the solvents. Ensure that your rifle is completely empty of cartridges, and using your disassembly guide, take your rifle apart. (Gloves and facemask are optional but are suggested).

Once the bolt is out of the rifle, generously spray it with cleaning solvent and set it aside on a paper towel to dry.

Next, take the unloaded rifle and run the cleaning rod right through it, so that it travels from one end of the rifle to the other. Once it is straight through, attach the bore brush. Spray the bore brush with cleaning solvent and run this brush through the barrel.

If you have a new gun, one run through is enough, but if your gun is older, you can run it through two times. The barrel should then be well covered with the solvent.

This step should be repeated several times.

Following this, the bore brush should be removed, and the slotted end attached to the cleaning rod. A cotton patch should be threaded through the slotted end. Pass this once straight through the barrel. While the rod is still within the barrel, take out the dirty cotton patch. It will be green or a shade of black in colour. Replace with a new cotton patch and pull the slotted end through the barrel once more.

Revert to the bore brush and repeat the process to run it through the rifle several times. Take off the bore brush.

Soak some cotton patches with solvent, and after attaching the slotted end to the cleaning rod, run these cotton patches down the barrel.

Now, check on your drying bolt. If it seems dry, use the cotton cloth to check for any excess solvent.

The final step is to take a clean swab and put some gun oil on it. This needs to be run through the barrel. With a cotton cloth and a few drops of oil, rub down the bolt.

Finally, reassemble your rifle.

Remember that once you have fired your rifle, there will always be some residue left behind even after cleaning.

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