Maintaining your gun is one of the most important aspects of gun ownership, but it needn't be looked on as a burden. It is an easy process to master.

If you don't properly clean and maintain your gun, you could be holding a useless piece of metal when you need it the most. Cleaning your gun regularly and test firing the gun ensures it is in perfect working order.


When you purchase your new gun, the last thing you want to do is read page after page of the manual that came with it. BUT, not reading the manual thoroughly before you even pick the gun up, can mean all the difference between life and death.

The manufacturer's manual will show you not only how to safely arm and disarm the weapon, but it will also provide you with detailed instructions on how to dismantle, clean, lubricate, and reassemble the gun.

When it comes to disassembling your gun, bear in mind that not all guns have the same procedures, so read the manual carefully when you strip the gun down so you don't damage anything.

According to the NRA, " Cleaning and maintaining your guns preserves their functionality and value, and keeps them safe and accurate."

Unless you are about to fire your gun, it should be unloaded when not in use. This is not only common sense but a safety issue. A loaded gun lying around unattended is a disaster waiting to happen.

How To Clean and Maintain your Gun.

Treat the gun with respect. Always point it in a safe direction, keep your finger outside the trigger guard, and eject the magazine. (If the gun is a revolver, unload the bullets).

Empty the chamber by pulling back the slide and visually check that there is nothing left inside. Some guns require the trigger to be pulled before the stripping process can be achieved, so double-check the gun is empty.

Dismantle the gun according to the manufacturer's instructions. On many modern guns, this involves pulling down the "take-down" tabs, and with a short pull towards the rear, the slide should easily be moved to the front and off the frame.

Look carefully at the parts as you lay them on a clean cloth.
Each semi-automatic gun has the same four major components:

The frame.
The slide.
The barrel.
The guide rod and spring.

Use only products designed specifically for cleaning guns. A gun cleaning kit will contain all the items you need. Gun cleaning solutions and oils are made to withstand the high temperatures generated when the gun is fired.

Clean all the parts of the gun one by one with the cleaning solution, allowing the solution to soak in for a few minutes, then wipe everything with a clean lint-free cloth.

The NRA American Rifleman recommends using a bore brush to clean the barrel. Apply the cleaning solutions to the brush and push it a few times back and forth through the barrel.

Soak a cloth with the cleaning solution and run it through the barrel repeating as often as necessary with clean soaked cloths until they come out clean.

Oil the moving parts of the gun according to the manufacturer's instructions, using only recommended gun oil.

Reassemble your gun paying attention to the direction of the various parts. With the gun fully assembled, but unloaded, test the gun. Rack the slide, making sure it goes all the way forward when released. If it doesn't, the recoil spring may be incorrectly set. Pull the trigger. A click should be heard. Do it a second time to make sure everything is working.

With a clean lint-free cloth, wipe the whole gun to remove any excess oil or cleaning solution, then store it in a secure location.