10 Common Gun Cleaning Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


Are you a gun enthusiast who wants to take proper care of your weapons?

Many gun owners don’t know how to treat their firearms. They might not understand the importance of proper maintenance since most gun cleaning mistakes won’t cause accidents. Should you leave a gun dirty, it may not function.

The good news is that you can always learn how to properly clean a gun. Once you know how to take care of your weapons, they’ll last a long time.

Read this guide to discover common gun cleaning mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Not Cleaning the Bore

One of the most common gun cleaning mistakes is not properly cleaning the bore. This can lead to a build-up of lead and copper, which can eventually cause jams and inaccuracies. It can also damage the bore and make it harder to clean.

To properly clean the bore, be sure to use a good quality brass brush and cleaner/lubricant. Be sure to scrub the inside of the bore in a back-and-forth motion, and to rinse it out thoroughly with solvent.

Make sure you use the correct size brush for your bore, and if you’re not sure, ask a gunsmith or another experienced shooter.

2. Not Using the Correct Type of Solvent

Incorrect solvents can damage the gun and cause it to malfunction. This can lead to damage to the gun and even injuries.

Solvents are classified as either petroleum-based or water-based. Petroleum-based solvents are often used to clean guns because they are effective at removing dirt, grime and fouling.

However, they can also damage the gun if not used properly. Water-based solvents are safer to use on types of guns, but they are not as effective at removing fouling.

Solvents are designed to break down oil, dirt, and grime, so using the wrong solvent can leave behind a residue that can clog the gun and cause it to malfunction.

In addition, using the wrong cleaning chemicals is also a mistake. Always check the manufacturer’s recommendations before using any cleaning solutions on your gun. Using the wrong chemicals can damage the finish and internals of your firearm.

To avoid this mistake, make sure to use a solvent that is specifically designed for cleaning gun parts.

3. Using Too Much or Too Little Oil

Using too much or too little oil is a mistake. This can cause problems with the gun’s functioning and can also lead to rust and other damage. It is important to use the right amount of oil for the gun, and to apply it correctly.

Too much oil can make the gun cleaning routine difficult to operate and can also attract dirt and debris. Too little oil can cause the gun to malfunction or jam. It is also important to clean the gun after each use to prevent the build-up of oil and dirt.

4. Failing to Clean Your Gun Regularly

Not cleaning your gun regularly is one of the most common gun cleaning mistakes. This can lead to a buildup of dirt and grime, which can eventually lead to your gun malfunctioning.

To avoid this, make sure to clean your gun after each use. If you don’t have time to clean it immediately, at least wipe it down with a rag to remove any dirt and debris.

Regular cleaning will also help to prolong the life of your gun and keep it in good working condition.

5. Not Knowing When to Stop Cleaning

Probably the most common mistake is not knowing when to stop cleaning. A lot of people will just keep going and going until the gun is completely disassembled. This is not necessary and can actually be harmful to the gun.

They will continue to clean and wipe away any dirt or debris they see, without stopping to check if the gun is actually clean. This can lead to potential damage to the gun, as well as making it more difficult to reassemble.

To avoid this, be sure to check the gun after each step of the cleaning process to ensure that it is actually clean before moving on.

6. Not Disassembling the Gun

One of the most common gun cleaning mistakes is not disassembling the gun before cleaning it. This can lead to missed areas and potential safety hazards.

This can result in missed areas that need to be cleaned and can make it more difficult to clean the gun properly.

It is important to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when disassembling and cleaning your gun. If you are not familiar with the process, have a qualified gunsmith do it for you.

To avoid this, make sure to disassemble the gun like a custom 308 upper before starting to clean it. This will make it easier to clean and will help ensure that all areas of the gun are cleaned.

7. Using the Wrong Cleaning Supplies

Many gun owners make the mistake of using the wrong cleaning supplies on their firearms.

This can damage the gun and potentially cause serious injury. It is important to use the correct cleaning supplies and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Some common mistakes include using cleaners that are too harsh, using the wrong type of lubricant, or using too much pressure when cleaning. These can all damage the gun and possibly cause it to malfunction.

It is also important to avoid using old or damaged cleaning supplies. These can scratch the gun’s surface or leave behind corrosive residue. Always buy new cleaning supplies and discard any that are damaged or past their expiration date.

8. Applying Lubricant Incorrectly

Applying lubricant incorrectly is a common gun cleaning mistake that can be easily avoided. When lubricating your gun, be sure to use a light, thin oil or grease on all moving parts.

Avoid using too much lubricant, as this can attract dirt and debris. Apply lubricant sparingly to the bore, chamber and action, and avoid getting it on the stock or grips. Wipe off any excess lubricant before storage.

Lubricant is essential for keeping your gun in good working order, but if you apply it incorrectly, it can actually cause more harm than good. When applying lubricant, be sure to use a light, even coat.

Be sure to apply lubricant to all moving parts of your gun, not just the parts that seem to need it. A little lubricant goes a long way, so don’t overdo it.

9. Not Storing the Gun Safely

One of the most common gun cleaning mistakes is not storing the gun safely. This can lead to gun damage, as well as to accidents.

Always make sure to store your gun in a safe place, away from children and pests. A gun safe is the best option, but if you don’t have one, you can also store your gun in a locked cupboard or drawer.

Never leave your gun lying around where it could be accessed by other unauthorized persons.

Not storing a gun safely puts others at risk and increases the likelihood of the gun being used in a crime. It’s important to take the time to store the gun in a secure location, such as a gun safe, to keep it out of the wrong hands.

By taking these simple precautions, you can avoid any potential accidents or mishaps.

10. Not Test Firing After Cleaning

Not test firing after cleaning can cause serious problems because you don’t know if your gun is actually clean and ready to fire. If you don’t test fire your gun after cleaning, you could end up with a dirty gun that doesn’t work properly.

This is a critical step in the process, as it allows you to make sure that the gun is functioning properly and that there are no lingering particles or debris that could cause problems down the line.

This could lead to a dangerous situation where you could be injured or even killed. To avoid this, always test fire your gun after cleaning it.

Avoid Common Gun Cleaning Mistakes Now

If you’re new to cleaning up your own firearms, it’s important to avoid these common gun cleaning mistakes. With little knowledge and attention to detail, you can keep your guns in top operating condition.

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions and take your time. A little time spent cleaning your guns now will pay off in the long run.

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