Things you must have before cleaning your rifle
Cleaning of a rifle is a process that should be learned before handling one. In order to clean your rifle successfully, you must have the right equipment and knowledge for doing so. Cleaning a rifle is an easy task if you have the right tools. Improper equipment may make this more difficult.
Gun cleaning is an important process because it is prolonging the life of the rifle and that is how you ensure that you can rely on your gun, when most needed. The usual “suspects” that cause damage to your gun’s metal parts and impact your gun’s reliability are residues left in the barrel such as dirt and debris. Salt and water are also guilty of decreasing the metal’s life. For this reason, cleaning the rifle is a necessity every hunter should do regularly even though one is not using his firearm. Copper, lead fouling and power residues to name a few, are the residues that need to be cleaned after every cleaning session. If you are a beginner in this field or maybe just wanting to make sure you are doing it right, you’ve come to the right place.
Here are 5 things you must have in order to clean your rifle:
When it comes to guns, safety is the most frequently debated subject. Everyone is relatively aware of it, but mentioning it is an obligation of every expert in the field. Safety gear is necessary in order to protect the person cleaning the rifle from toxins that are found in the oils used for cleaning. Latex gloves and goggles are good ones to start with, although some rifle cleaning kits have some extra safety gear. Also, a manual is considered a part of the safety gear. When cleaning a rifle, usually a disassembling is needed, so unless you’ve done this hundreds of times, a manual is required for your safety. However it is crucial to know that a rifle is only to be pointed at shooting targets, this rule applies even though you are sure that it is empty.
Cleaning rod is the main tool used for gun cleaning. It is a long pole that comes in segments so that you adjust the proper length. It is essential for cleaning a rifle, but it can also damage it. When looking for a cleaning rod, make sure you decide for one that is “softer” from the barrels steel. If damage is done on the barrel, it can affect the rifle’s accuracy. There are different types of cleaning rods you can choose between. Usually it is best to avoid the universal types since they can turn up to be harder that the barrels steel. The cleaning rod has a handle attached, so that the cleaning process is easier and rotation in the handle is made possible.
Cleaning loops and jags
Cleaning loops are attachments to the cleaning rod. Both of them, the cleaning rod and cleaning loop are used to hold the patch that does the actual cleaning of the barrel. Cleaning loops and jags have practically the same function; they only work on a different principle. Loops look like a needle end and jags are usually made of plastic and have a pointed edge in order to hold the cleaning patch. Neither one of them can make damage to your gun, so whichever you choose, is a good choice. However, hunters report that they prefer using jags since they are sized to the patch and the bore. Nevertheless, it all depends on the rifle type you have.
We’ve introduced this term when explaining the loops and jags and we are about to explain it. Patches are cotton materials used for cleaning the remaining residues in the barrel. They are usually soaked in some fluid that we will additionally discuss. They can be found anywhere but keep in mind that you mustn’t replace them with another cotton material. If a regular cotton material is used, some can stay in the barrel and the whole cleaning process will go in vain. Most cotton patches are with fabric finished on both sides in order to absorb residues more efficiently. Patches are the ones that carry the fouling through the bore thus providing the least possible contact to the barrels rifling. Cotton swabs are to be used for small spaces that are hard to reach in some rifle models. When cleaning the gun, you should use them as much times as needed, until they come out relatively clean. Only a regular cleaning of the rifle will reduce the metal fouling. This is a process of subtle deterioration that is unavoidable but possible to slow down if the right cleaning tools are used.
The rifle cannot be cleaned with regular household products. This can cause damage to the gun, and even cause a misbehaving of the firearm. The inside of a gun should be cleaned thoroughly for better accuracy and the right cleaning fluids are responsible for that. They are chosen based on their durability and whether they provide continuous protection of the sensitive parts. There are four types of fluids used for this purpose: lubricants, solvents, degreasers and protectants. Each of them has its role in the cleaning process. Solvents are for cleaning the residues from the bore, degreasers remove the excess oil; lubricants lubricate as the name suggests and protectants are protecting it from rust and corrosion.
Firearms require regular maintenance after every use. If you are just getting into hunting, this is a chore that is vital for your gun’s durability. The good news is that not every rifle cleaning requires to be disassembled to the last screw for cleaning it, although most people learn to love the process over time.
Apart from these essentials from the rifle cleaning kit, there are additional items needed for a thorough cleaning. However, these products are a nice start and over time hopefully you will master the process of cleaning the rifle. If we have missed some of the essentials, feel free to remind us in the comment section below!