A gun contains many moving parts that all need to work together for your firearm to work smoothly. To keep your firearm functioning at its best, it is important to keep your firearm properly maintained. A big part of firearm maintenance is cleaning your gun regularly. While your gun's actual cleaning is a fairly simple chore, it helps when you use the right equipment. We've made a quick list of the items you'll need to keep your firearm clean. The basics are the same, whether it's a handgun, rifle or shotgun.
1. Cleaning RodIt is important to choose a cleaning rod that is made with a softer material than the barrel of your firearm. Most barrels are steel, and cleaning rods are commonly carbon fibre or aluminum. We recommend carbon fibre cleaning rods as they are the least likely to scratch your barrel. The large handle gives you grip and leverage, while the carbon fibre rod won't damage the bore. It's important to remember, using a cleaning rod incorrectly can damage the barrel of your gun. The slightest ding on the crown can impact the accuracy of a rifle or handgun.
2. JagsJags are the little attachments that go on the end of your cleaning rod. They hold a cleaning patch in place while you push the rod through the bore. To use one, pierce the middle of a cleaning patch with the jag and push it through the barrel. The point keeps the patch in place as you push it through. Consider this jag by Tipton as its patented protective process shields it from bore solvents for long life and improved cleaning.
3. Cleaning PatchesWhen cleaning your gun, you should always use a clean patch through the bore. It is important to change the cleaning patch with every pass of the cleaning rod. Patches are designed for one-time use. Reusing a patch can redeposit dirt or particles back into the barrel. Consider purchasing patches like these from Hoppe's. They are inexpensive, and they are available in bulk.
4. Cleaning BrushCleaning brushes, these items are as simple as they sound. When picking a brush, be sure to choose one that will not damage your barrel's inside. Bronze brushes tend to work well for stubborn carbon removal, and brushes made of nylon work well for lighter cleaning. This brush set from Hoppe's includes a cleaning swab, tornado brush and a phosphor bronze brush in matching calibre or gauge.
5. Cleaning ChemicalsWhen you fire a gun, its internal parts deal with extreme heat, high-speed movement, and friction. The wear this creates is why cleaning with the right chemicals is so important. These cleaning chemicals have to work in that tough environment. They have to stay in place over a long time to continue protecting sensitive parts. The four basic types of chemicals that help clean and protect a firearm are:
- Solvent – this fluid removes carbon, lead, and other fouling from the bore.
- Degreaser – this fluid removes existing dirt and oil from the moving parts of a gun, creating a fresh, clean surface for applying a lubricant.
- Lubricant – this fluid lubricates parts and protects against rust.
- Protectant – this repels water, preventing rust and corrosion.