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Unload the firearm before cleaning it! Every year people get hurt while they are cleaning "unloaded" guns. The first thing to do when cleaning a firearm is to make sure that you unload it! If you are unfamiliar with the action, leave the gun alone until a knowledgeable person can help you.

To clean any firearm, you will need:

  1. A cleaning rod
  2. Cleaning patches
  3. A bore brush
  4. Gun oil
  5. Powder solvent

Usually shooters buy cleaning kits for shotguns, rifles, or handguns. Most cleaning kits contain all the materials you need. Select the correct gauge or caliber cleaning kit for your firearm.

Clean your firearm from the chamber end (see drawings below) whenever possible. Follow these basic steps to clean your firearm.

  • Attach the bore brush to the cleaning rod. Wet the brush with powder solvent. Then run the brush through the bore several times. This will clean out most of the unburned powder.
  • Attach a clean patch to the cleaning rod. Add powder solvent to the patch. Then run the patch through the bore again. Wait a few minutes; then put a new, dry patch on the cleaning rod and run it through the bore. Do this several times until the patch comes out clean.
  • Put a fresh, clean patch on the cleaning rod. Add a light coat of oil on the patch. Then run it through the bore. A little oil is much better than too much!

Keep your firearms in good working order. Store firearms clean, lightly oiled, and uncocked. Keep oil off wood stocks.

Cleaning a rifle