Keeping your guns cleaned is one of the most important things you can do to keep them functioning reliably, shooting accurately and lasting a lifetime.
If you are a do-it-yourself-er, there are three easy steps to remember.
**But first, ALWAYS check to make sure your firearm is UNLOADED, there is NO live ammunition present in your cleaning area and that you are disassembling according to the manufacturers instructions(if you don’t have the owners manual you can most likely download a pdf version or contact the manufacturer and they will be happy to send you out a copy).
Step 1– Clean your firearm with a good cleaner and a stiff nylon brush. I personally use Ballistol which is an all in one CLP(cleaner,lubricant,protectant) These type of cleaners treat your metal and polymer surfaces as you clean them which is great because you are doing double duty in your first step. I prefer to apply the cleaner directly to my brush and apply with that unless to parts that are removed from the frame and slide because it can be difficult to dry them otherwise(step 2). Use your nylon brush to address and areas that get heavily fouled from the gases created during shooting. Do the same for the inside of your barrel(bore).
Step 2– Dry your firearm and remove all the fouling that you knocked loose during the cleaning process including the Bore. For this step just use and old t-shirt cut up into rags or something like that. Make sure your rags are clean though. You don’t want to undo all that hard work you just did. LOL
****This is also a good time to inspect your parts for excessive wear and things of that nature.***
Step 3– Lubricate your firearm properly according to your owners manual. This step is crucial especially if you used a water based cleaner. Again that is why I prefer a CLP. Lightly oil all of your moving parts but make sure not to over do it because this can attract dust and debris causing excessive wear on moving parts and springs. Again I recommend applying your oil to an applicator such as a clean brush, clean piece of t-shirt. Q-tips and tooth pics work great as well. Be careful with the Q-tips to not leave behind unnecessary lint on springs and things like that that can snag your q-tip. Also, your wife’s or girlfriends old makeup brushes work great for this application but make sure they are clean.
Now that you are cleaned and lubricated it’s time to reassemble. This should be just as easy as your disassembly but in the reverse order. If something doesn’t seem to be fitting don’t force it, just take a step backwards, disassemble and try it again. The parts of your firearms are precisely machined to fit a certain way and if you are off by just a little bit you’ll get hung up and it won’t go together. If you get frustrated just disassemble, take a break and come back to it in a few minutes when your patience has returned.
I hope this article was helpful in getting you comfortable in taking the steps required to keep your firearms happy! If you are still not sure about doing the DIY thing Bighorn Firearms has your back. Bring your guns down to the shop and we will be happy to offer you a cleaning service or a quick in person tutorial on proper maintenance. Also remember that if you decide to take us up on a cleaning service or lesson to make sure your firearms are unloaded and cased when you enter the shop.
Good Luck and Happy Shooting!
Ryan S. Resch
Owner & 2A Supporter