Do you own a gun? If you reside in the US, there is a high probability that you or people you know own guns. After all, the gun ownership laws of the country allow its residents to do so. According to a study conducted by Pew Research Center, handguns and rifles continue to be one of the most common guns in use by the masses.

Owning a gun doesn’t just mean perfecting the art of using it. Instead, you must also be able to maintain and clean it. Safe cleaning of a weapon can help reduce accidental firing and hence harm. Additionally, it also ensures that your weapon works efficiently as required.

For cleaning a weapon safely, here are the essentials you will need.

1. Cleaning rod

When people buy rifles in Oklahoma City and other areas, they often purchase gun cleaning kits as well. Yet, without knowing how to properly use the essentials and their purpose, one can end up damaging the gun rather than cleaning it.

One of the most crucial items for cleaning a weapon is a cleaning rod. You must be immensely careful while using it. This is because, if not done properly, it can end up damaging the barrel of the gun. And a mere dent on the crown of the gun can hamper the accuracy of both a handgun and a rifle.

Therefore, opt for a cleaning rod that is made from a material which softer than the gun barrel’s steel. The handle should be large enough for optimum grip.

2. Jags and Cleaning Patches

A cleaning rod is of no use in isolation. It must be used with jags. Jags refer to the attachments that hold the cleaning patch firmly at the end of the rod. Pick a jag that does not get loose and instead help in keeping the cleaning patch firmly attached in place.

The cleaning patch is then run through the bore of the weapon to clean it. When purchasing cleaning patches, always buy in bulk. Once one cleaning patch gets dirty, make sure to replace it. Reusing a filthy cleaning patch will only make the weapon dirtier.

3. Cleaning Brush

Another essential item that is a must for cleaning a weapon safely is a cleaning brush. No, just any cleaning brush won’t suffice. Instead, brushes are made specifically for the given guns.

Pick a brush that does not end up damaging the inside of the gun’s barrel. Generally, bronze or nylon brushes are preferred by gun owners. While the former helps in deep cleaning the inside of a barrel, the latter can be used for lighter cleaning.

4. The Four Fluids

On an initial glance, you might think that cleaning a gun is largely about cleaning its exterior. However, the real dirt that accumulates is inside the gun.

This is understandable when you consider the extremely harsh environment the inside of the gun is exposed to. Between extreme heat and ever faster movement, friction inside the barrel tends to cause quite a lot of harm to a gun.

To ensure that the weapon keeps working perfectly, there are four fluids that you must treat it with. It includes the following:

  • Solvent: This will help to remove lead, carbon, and other similar remnants from the bore of the gun.
  • Degreaser: Oil and dirt tend to accumulate in the moving parts of the gun. Degreaser helps in removing it all, thereby creating a clean surface.
  • Lubricant: After a degreaser has been used, a lubricant is applied to reduce friction among parts and protect them from the onset of rust.
  • Protectant: Finally, a water-repellant coat of protectant is applied to prevent future instances of rust and corrosion.  

Use each of these fluids together to properly clean your weapon.

5. Gun Toothbrush

A small toothbrush is available easily for the sole purpose of cleaning the nooks and crannies of a gun. Many people tend to use an old toothbrush for this step. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, if you are on a budget and have made the weapon cleaning a DIY process, you can opt for such items.

But, a gun toothbrush gives a better result since it is designed for the process. Its design is created, keeping in mind the structure of different weapons. This allows gun toothbrushes to be ideal for cleaning the trigger, slide grooves, and all seemingly unreachable parts.

6. Bore Guide

This essential is specifically needed for rifle guns. Compared to other items, its role in the cleaning process is not as important. Yet, it helps immensely when you are cleaning your gun.

How so?

Well, it ensures that the cleaning rod remains centered on the bore of the rifle. This prevents the rifle from damage. Furthermore, it prevents the cleaning fluids from dripping inside the receiver of the rifle.

7. Muzzle Guards

Even if you are a professional firearm cleaner, you must still take the required safety measures. One protective item you should keep is a muzzle guard.

A muzzle guard is required when using the cleaning rod. It helps in protecting the muzzle crown from damage. It also keeps the rod centered and hence ensures that the cleaning rod does not cause any damage to the gun.

8. Firearm cleaning mat

For those of you who have complex and advanced firearms, you might want to invest in a firearm cleaning mat. This item comes in handy for those weapons that require more disassembling and reassembling.

A firearm mat provides you with a clean working surface. Most quality mats are non-slip in nature, so they ensure that each gun part remains in its place. Choose a mat that is resistant to all the cleaning chemicals you use.

Ending Remarks

Each of the eight essentials listed here plays an imperative role in cleaning a weapon safely. It is easy to feel overwhelmed when choosing the right quality and brand of items. Therefore, for those of you who are new to the world of guns and wish to keep the process simple, you can simply opt for a gun cleaning kit.

There are different kits available for different guns. You can also get a multi-caliber kit that covers the most common types of weapons. Choose whichever you think will be best for your weapon.

By knowing the different items you need and how they work, now you know how to choose and use a gun cleaning kit. Good luck and be safe!

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Tactical Gun Review, along with Texas Outdoors Network, is published by Michael Coker and Charles Coker.

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