Keeping your firearm well-maintained not only improves its longevity but also increases its safety. Care for your firearm to get the most out of it!

If you’re a gun owner you likely have experience cleaning and maintaining it, but if you’re new to firearm ownership, there are some great tips and techniques to impart.

If you’re a bit uncomfortable cleaning a rifle or pistol, bring your newly acquired firearm into our local gunsmith to get a tutorial straight from the expert!  

At Liberty Firearms Institute, we have the best local gunsmith in Colorado nestled under our 12,000 square foot shooting facility. Stop in today to tour the facility, shop our retail, use our range, and get a firearm lesson from our gunsmith! In the meantime, get a head start and enjoy tips on firearm maintenance.

Caring For Your Firearm

Proper firearm maintenance is crucial to how it performs and keeping it in optimal condition — let’s get into the details about caring for your firearm below.

Firearm safety is your number one priority.

The number one rule in firearm safety is to treat the firearm as if it was loaded and always point it down and away from you when you’re inspecting and cleaning it. Also, make sure the safety is on and the firearm is, indeed, fully unloaded.

As you become more comfortable with your cleaning routine, you may fall into just that, routine, but always stay alert and cognizant of what you’re doing. Consider wearing protection such as eye and mouth protection when you’re using toxic and caustic chemicals and solvents.

Cleaning a Rifle

A rifle is a common firearm that many people own and need to maintain. Many gunsmiths recommend using cleaning patches, disassembling tools, solvent, a cleaning rod, and corrosion (rust) protectant.

Some popular solvents include:

  • Hoppe’s
  • Brake-Free Powder Blast
  • Gunslick 92098
  • Safariland Break-Free CLP-2

If this is a new rifle, always consult the owner’s manual on the optimal way to clean it. Typically rifles will open with a latch on the back of the upper side. From here remove the bolt, bolt carrier, and gas tube.

Clean the barrel from the back with the solvent, bore brush, and cleaning rod. Place the cleaning rod all the way down the barrel (it should be long enough to go all the way through) and then pull it through the other end. Through and out — repeat a couple of times.

Keep in mind to never begin from the front — you want to clean in the direction of the projectile and keep any rifling in tip-top shape.

Follow this by wiping the barrel down with cleaning patches and follow any other recommendations by the manufacturer. The final step is to lubricate the rifle.

Storing a Firearm

When not in use, firearms should always be kept in a safe place, preferably locked. A gun safe or lock box are commonly used. Other places you might consider are in a closet or in a chest.  

There’s a small learning curve when it comes to properly caring for your firearm, but arming yourself with the knowledge from the owner’s manual and speaking with a local gunsmith, and you can safely and confidently care for your firearms!

We have a few more things to cover on firearm maintenance, so stay tuned for part two!

Got firearm cleaning questions? Stop in and have a chat with our expert gunsmith today!