There are lots of myths and misconceptions about gun cleaning, but the truth is it’s pretty simple. This program will take care of most situations.
Always be certain your gun is unloaded before handling.
Use the right stuff
Solvents: A regular solvent (such as Hoppe’s) will do for powder residue. We use an aggressive solvent (such as Sweets) to dissolve the metal fouling.
Brushes: We prefer synthetic over bronze brushes because synthetics don’t scratch the bore and don’t dissolve with metal fouling solvents.
Patches: We like old-style 1″x4″ patches wound around a jag, vs. small patches pulled through an eyelet, because they give good contact inside the bore.
Rods: We use a plastic-coated rod because it’s easy to wipe down and keep clean. We don’t like snakes because they are easy to get stuck, and difficult to pull straight enough to avoid wear.
Gun oil: We use Canadian-made and Canadian-tested Burke’s Gun Oil and any light grease on the locking lugs and other wear points.
How it’s done
1 Remove carbon and powder residue from bore
• Dip the brush in regular solvent, run it through the bore about 4 times
• Dip again and repeat
• Run several dry patches to remove solvent
2 Remove metal fouling from bore (about every 200 rounds)
• Dip brush in strong solvent and run through the bore about 4 times; dip and repeat.
• Let sit for several hours; wipe with clean patch. If patch is blue, repeat until a fresh patch is not blue. (This can span several days if rifle is badly fouled.)
• Wipe chamber and receiver — use three 4×1″ patches around a jag to dry up any residue from bore cleaning left in the chamber.
3 Take care of the details
• Wipe bolt and locking lugs, especially the backside of lugs. On the receiver, wipe the bolt raceway, and the locking lug recesses.
• Protect the trigger with a cleaning patch to keep cleaning compounds out.
• Bolt-action rifles: Lube bolt by applying a light film of oil onto bolt body, and put a dab of light grease behind each locking lug surface, the primary extraction cam, and the cocking cam.
• Other actions: Consult your owner’s manual, and expect to put a light lube on wear marks (metal on metal) and locking lugs.
5 Assemble and test with empty chamber
A. Close chamber, pull trigger: gun should go “click.”
B. Re-cock, apply safety, pull trigger: gun should not go “click.” Take the safety off, pull trigger: gun should go “click.”
C. Slam-fire test Bolt-action, lever-action rifles: safety off, close rapidly, gun remains cocked, pull trigger: gun should go “click.” Semi-automatic, pump-action rifles: cycle action with trigger depressed, release trigger, pull trigger: gun should go “click.”
Scent control for hunters
We don’t fuss on scent control (we carefully monitor wind direction), but for those who do, here are some suggestions:
• Within safe storage rules, let your rifle air out until solvents have dried.
• If that’s not enough for you, consider using a pine-scented gun oil.
• For a DIY de-scent, try storing your rifle with pine or cedar boughs. Just be absolutely certain no sap or particles get into the gun.