Your children or grandchildren are much more likely to need a bath after playing outside than after sitting around watching television. But eventually they will need a bath regardless of which activities they’ve been involved in.
The same is true of your guns. If you have been putting off cleaning them because you haven’t used them for a while, it’s time to think about giving them a good cleaning and lubrication now. Eventually, we’re all going to be plunged into a crisis situation, and wouldn’t you rather enter that scenario with clean guns than with dirty ones?
Guns that are not clean are much more likely to experience malfunctions and permanent damage. A survival situation is not the time or the place to figure out that your guns are not working properly because they have not been maintained properly.
Your recreational shooting guns should be cleaned and lubed right after usage, especially if they’re going to be placed in storage for a while. But a handgun that you might use for defensive purposes needs to be cleaned and lubed more often.
In addition to cleaning defensive handguns following one of your range sessions, you should check them regularly for any dirt buildup and make sure they are properly lubricated. It only takes a few minutes of your time, and you’ll be very glad you did it if you ever need it for defensive purposes.
The first thing you should do is check the owner’s manual to see what it recommends regarding cleaning and lubing. You’ll probably have to disassemble the gun for cleaning, and if you’re not used to doing that, you want to be very careful to do it right so that you don’t accidentally damage the gun or fail to lubricate any parts that need it.
Ideally, your worktable will be in a well-ventilated area. Cover the table with a large plastic garbage bag, then place newspaper pages over the bag and finally cover the newspaper with paper towels. Wear safety glasses and protective gloves.
Depending on the make and model of the gun, you’ll want to use solvent to remove lead and powder from the gun, a cleaning rod, patches and a patch holder, a bore brush, gun oil (lubricant), a nylon cleaning brush, a flashlight and cotton swabs.
The most difficult part of cleaning a gun is the barrel’s interior. This is where you’ll attach your bore brush to your cleaning rod, apply solvent to the brush and push it back and forth through the bore of the barrel several times. You may need to add more solvent a couple times as you work.
As mentioned, follow the manual closely – even if you’ve cleaned other guns before – because the lubrication points are different from gun to gun. Finish up by using a little gun oil or metal preservative to the exterior of the gun. Clean up your work area and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water.