How to Clean a Gun 101 – A Non-Stress Guide

Cleaning a gun isn’t hard if you follow these simple steps.

There are seven million new gun owners this year. Seven million people bought their first firearm. That’s wonderful. It also has created a vacuum in training, ammunition, supplies, and more. With that in mind, we at CrossBreed Blog want to help new gun owners as much as possible, and today we are going to teach you how to clean a gun. A clean gun is a reliable, rust-free gun that will serve you for many decades and thousands of rounds.

The first step in knowing how to clean a gun is don’t stress about it. Modern handguns are ultra-reliable and can suffer through a little dirt and debris. They aren’t fragile machines by any means. The second thing you need to know before you clean your firearm is how to clear it. Too many people fire their weapons negligently while conducting administrative handling. With cleaning, it’s due to many striker-fired guns necessitating a pull of the trigger to disassemble it.

Clearing a Gun?

If this is the first time you’ve ever heard the word clear in reference to a firearm, pause, go to YouTube, and search “How to clear ______” in the blank slot enter your gun manufacturer and model number. In most cases, clearing the weapon is easy. Here is the down and dirty on clearing. With a revolver, you open the cylinder and remove the rounds.

With an automatic, you need to remove the magazine and then clear the chamber by retracting the slide to the rear. Lock the slide to the rear and visually inspect the chamber to ensure the chamber is clear.

Cleaning a Gun – Supplies

Gun cleaning kits and supplies are a dime a dozen. You can find anything you want at near any price. For your average handgun owner, there is no need to purchase a fancy expensive kit. What you’ll need is simple.

  • Cleaning Rods
  • Bore brushes that accommodate your caliber (Or a bore snake)
  • Patch tip
  • A rag or two
  • Gun oil (Hoppes NO.9, Lucas Oil Outdoor CLP, etc.)
  • An AP cleaning brush (old toothbrush works too)
  • Optional – Wipes with cleaning oil infused (like baby wipes, but for guns)

If you have none of that, you can get by with a rag and some gun oil. It won’t be the best option, but you’ll be able to do some cleaning at least. Cleaning a gun is not a stressful endeavor. In fact, Hoppes No. 9 might become your new favorite smell. Want the easy solution? Buy the Otis Patriot Kit. It has everything you need.

Cleaning a Revolver

If you’ve purchased a revolver, you’ll enjoy the simplicity of the design. Taking a revolver apart isn’t a thing; all you need to do is open the cylinder. Start with a bore brush the appropriate size for your revolver. (Pro tip a 9mm bore brush fits a 38 Special and 357 Magnum revolver.) Apply some cleaning agent like CLP to the brush and run the brush through the barrel repeatedly.

Replace the bore brush with a patch tip and attach a clean patch. Run this patch through the bore repeatedly. Replace the patch as it becomes dirty and run a new patch through until the patches come out clean.

Repeat the same process with each chamber of the cylinder. These will be nowhere near as dirty and will be quick and easy.

Next, using a wipe, rag, or AP brush, apply some oil to the rear of the cylinder and scrub gently. Do the same to the front of the cylinder. Finally, clean inside the frame of the revolver.

Finally, use a dry rag to remove excess oil from the gun. That’s it, and you are done.

Cleaning an Automatic

Automatic doesn’t mean fully automatic or anything crazy. It means automatic loader, as in a pistol, which automatically loads the next round from the magazine. An automatic is a little more complicated. After clearing the weapon, you’ll need to remove the slide, barrel, and recoil spring.

Once the weapon is apart, push an appropriately sized bore brush with solvent through the barrel. Do this a few times. After that, remove the bore brush and equip a patch tip. Run patches through the barrel, replacing the patch as needed until the last patch comes out mostly clean.

Using a rag, scrub the chamber area of the barrel.

Grab the slide, and using an AP brush or rag with oil, clean the inside of the slide. Focus on the slots where the slide rides on its rails. Clean this area and apply some oil. Give the inside of the slide a good scrub and wipe out any excess oil.

The frame of your firearm has rails and these rails need to be oiled and cleaned as well. Use a dry rag to clean inside the magazine well. Lastly, clean the outside of your magazine. On occasion, you should take the magazine apart and clean the inside of the magazine to ensure proper function.

Put the gun back together, and bam, you are done. Give it a wipe down with a clean rag and call it a day.

Cleanliness is next to…

Cleaning a gun isn’t a hard thing to do. A lot of people get wrapped up in cleaning their guns every time it’s fired. I won’t even consider cleaning my handguns until I’m at the 500 round mark. A little maintenance goes a long way, but if you want to clean a gun, go ahead and do it. You won’t harm it with a basic cleaning once a month, and if it gives you peace of mind, go ahead and do it.

If you fine folks have any questions about firearm maintenance, please feel free to ask below, and I’ll try my best to answer the question or point you in the right direction.

Oh and don’t forget to clean your holster! 

medical gear, med kit, SIG P365, air gun, Accomplice Mag Carrier, concealed carrier, concealed carry, responsibly armed, home security, home defense, weapon-mounted light, Streamlight, tlr-7, Streamlight tlr-7, self-defense, lds, light defender series, home defense firearms, tlr-1, tlr-6, Streamlight products

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record-setting 11 months at sea. Travis has trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines, and the Afghan National Army.

He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and pursues a variety of firearms based hobbies.


You may also enjoy these popular articles:
SIG, P365, P320, CrossBreed Holsters, IWB, OWB, concealed carry, SIG SAUER, SIG P365   Home Security, Self-Defense, CrossBreed Holsters, security, protection    IWB, OWB, Holsters, CrossBreed Holsters, cool weather, concealed carry, open carry, IWB Holsters, OWB Holsters

Follow us on Social Media:
Facebook, share, article, crossbreed holsters, handguns, concealed carry, hybrid holsters, blog    Twitter, share article, share, article, crossbreed holsters, handguns, concealed carry, hybrid holsters, blog  

CrossBreed Holsters, concealed carry, IWB, OWB, best holster, hybrid holsters, holster, IWB Holster, OWB Holster, CrossBreed, holsters made in America, made in the USA,
©MTC Holsters, LLC and CrossBreed Holsters Blog, 2020.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Travis Pike and the CrossBreed Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sig, Glock, CrossBreed Holsters, Smith & Wesson, Walther, 1911, concealed carry, open carry, IWB, OWB


2 thoughts on “How to Clean a Gun 101 – A Non-Stress Guide”

  1. Travis, thank you for the article on simple cleaning. I do much of what you said but for the beginner, just like I was not long ago, this is great advice. P.S. thank you for your service to this great country.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *