Tips – How To Clean a Gun Bore

There are many methods of cleaning a gun barrel but the “defacto” is as follows:

  1. Unload firearm and open action
  2. Apply CLP or bore cleaner liberally to the chamber and bore of the firearm. For best results, make sure the bore is “wet” with bore cleaner or CLP. You can apply the bore cleaner in a number of ways such as spray it down the bore or apply the bore cleaner to a loose fitting patch and push it through the bore. You don’t want a tight fitting patch because it will push most of the bore cleaner/CLP out of the barrel with little to soak in. (a warm barrel will be much easier to clean… use a hair dryer or heat gun)
  3. Wait a minimum of 15 minutes for the cleaner to loosen the fouling
  4. Using the appropriate caliber jag and patches, push 2 or 3 wet patches through the bore (breach to muzzle)
  5. Brush the bore with a bronze bore brush 5 times. I don’t recommend nylon brushes for cleaning gun bores. I have used them in the past and they do not work well for bore cleaning. Don’t use stainless steel brushes either. They can scratch the bore.
  6. Push 2 or 3 dry and tight fitting patches through the bore.
  7. Repeat steps 2-6 until the patches are fairly clean or until you are satisfied with the bore. ****Remember you only need to clean a barrel until accuracy is restored and the same goes for the action. Clean the action until reliability is restored. A lot of people think you need to clean the barrel until it is absolutely spotless. You do not.
  8. Once the barrel and action are clean to your satisfaction, apply a quality lubricant or oil like the synthetic gun oils. After you apply the oil, wipe all metal surfaces down with a clean dry cloth or patch to remove excess oil/lubricant. The ideal scenario is to have a micro thin film of lubricant on the metal surfaces. Too much oil will cause problems. If you’re using a good CLP then you are done.

*** Something I learned in the many years of shooting and cleaning firearms is that it’s easier to clean guns when they’re warm or even hot. If you can apply bore cleaner or a CLP while the barrel is warm, it will penetrate better/faster and loosen the fouling. When metal heats up, it expands. The microscopic pores open up and release debris like fouling.

So how can you keep the gun warm until you have time to clean it? Just use a hair dryer or heat gun to heat the barrel then apply your bore cleaner. I use a heat gun. I heat the barrel to about 95 – 110 F. You can also place the gun in the sunlight for an hour or 2 to warm it up.

*** Another tip: I like to apply gun oil or a lubricant to warm metal. The lubricant will penetrate the pores of the metal and provide better lubrication and protection. Again I use a heat gun to warm up actions and barrels and then apply oil. I let it sit for 5 minutes or so and then wipe off the excess with a clean dry patch.