Gun cleaning

All posts tagged Gun cleaning

cleaning kit

By Frank – Modern Survival Online

Did you know that every time you fire your gun, a small amount of carbon, copper, lead and plastic residue is left in the chamber and barrel? If you don’t take the time to clean your gun after firing it, this residue (known as fouling) can build up over time and eventually have a devastating effect on your gun and effect its reliability.

There aren’t any rules for when to clean your gun. Each gun is different and each type of ammunition is different as well, making it impossible to make standard gun cleaning rules. However, over the years I’ve picked up a few tips from hunters, gunsmiths, retired law enforcement and military.

Gun Cleaning Kits and Solvents

Before you can begin cleaning your firearms, you’re going to need the right tools. Generally, the least expensive option for people with a few different guns is a simple universal gun cleaning kit and a good bottle of solvent. Purchasing all the tools separately will cost you a bit more money. Currently, many of the best gun cleaning kits on the market are very inexpensive.

Cleaning Rods:

The most important tool in your kit is going to be the gun cleaning rod. This tool is used to attach brushes, jags, and mops. You want your cleaning rod to be made of a soft material such as brass. A material that’s harder than the barrel of your gun can easily scratch the inside of the barrel.

Continue reading at Modern Survival Online: Gun Cleaning 101 – Clean Your Guns the Right Way


By Jeremiah Johnson – Ready Nutrition

ReadyNutrition Readers, there can never be enough emphasis placed on the importance of weapons cleaning and maintenance.  We had a piece recently on how to maintain your weapons during the wintertime.  Keep in mind: the game changes completely when you fire the firearm.  You cannot afford to allow that weapon to sit with carbon buildup after you’ve fired it.  The moisture will come into play, and neglected, the weapon will be in really bad shape in about a week’s period of time or less.  If you are taking the tips on a regularly-scheduled maintenance program seriously, then it should be no problem whatsoever to incorporate your cleaning sessions into it after you have fired.

Keep this in mind: If you’ll maintain your car, can you do any less for your weapon…a piece of equipment where cleanliness and function may mean life or death?

Building Your Own Cleaning Kits for Firearms

So, how about a cleaning kit for your weapon?  Here’s what you need: One large “mothership” cleaning kit for general purpose and maintenance, and one cleaning kit that is portable, for what you carry or tote into the great outdoors.  There are plenty of different brands to choose from, and in the manner that fishing gear is more tailored to catch fishermen than fish, the same principle applies to cleaning kits.  You need some basics, and it is the basics we’ll cover.  First, your component parts:

  1. Cleaning rods: brass or steel is preferable; aluminum if there’s nothing else.  You want enough sections to be able to clean out your longest rifle barrel, and extra sections and handgrips for pistols and other rifles, as well.
  2. Bore Brushes: these are often stamped with the caliber (.22, .38, .45, etc.) on the base just past the threaded part you screw into the rod. They are also made for your chamber…to clean where the cartridge is actually seated when fired.  The ones stamped with the caliber are meant to pass through the entire length of the barrel. If you have multiple firearms, consider getting this bore brush kit.
  3. Patch-tips: have an “eye” hole at the end, and are threaded to screw onto your cleaning rod. The larger the eye, the bigger the patch it takes.
  4. Cleaning brushes: You will have some that are made with nylon bristles, akin to a toothbrush, and some with wire/metal bristles. This latter group is especially helpful with carbon buildups.
  5. Patches: can be 1” square, 2” square, and so forth; usually made of cotton or muslin fiber to clean the inside of the barrel and other locations with your firearm.
  6. Pipe cleaners: especially helpful for small holes and other locations that have interworking mechanisms, such as trigger or hammer assemblies. Very useful in cleaning out carbon from around springs, deep within the magazine well, and in front of your firing pins.
  7. Bore light devices: Once again, there are numerous types to choose from. I carry a small “mini Maglite” that uses one AAA battery; however, I recommend the little Plexiglas 90-degree angle “sticks” that are L-shaped.  You place one end into the end of your barrel, and the other end point toward a light source (a light bulb, the sun, etc.) and it will illuminate your barrel.
  8. Lubricant: Self-explanatory here. The function is to clean and also to coat with a light coating.  If you caught my other piece, then you may recall: I recommend 5W/30 Mobil Synthetic Motor Oil, available at about $7 to $8 per quart.  All the name-brand oils (Outers, etc.) sell for little 1 – 2 ounce bottles for about $3 to $4.  You do the math.  The Mobil Synthetic is a better oil, and far less expensive.
  9. Bore Solvent: On this one I don’t cut corners, because other solvents can leave a film…I pick up the brand-name stuff from Outers, RCBS, etc. A small bottle of it will last you a long time if you stretch it.  You need it to clean off hardcore powder fouling…the type coming from when you burn off more than a couple of hundred rounds in a weapon.  Search your catalogs, and you can find volume deals for a gallon at a time.
  10. Cleaning rags, pouches, and other accessories (magnifying glass, scraping tools, etc.)

Now as we mentioned in the beginning, what you can do for ease of simplicity is work from the “mothership” principle: consolidate the majority of your supplies in one box/chest, and “work” off of smaller, independent “kits” for individual firearms.

You want the ability to clean each weapon no matter where it is.  If they’re consolidated in one location?  Fine, but you want the ability to throw together a pouch with all of the supplies and materials listed above specific to any firearm.  Tote the kit with you along with the firearm when you leave home, away from the consolidated supplies (the mothership).  You will find that you can build numerous “kits,” or pouches for each firearm.  Keep them all together until the time you take the firearm away.

The rule of thumb: if the firearm is away from the home, the cleaning kit should be with it.  You will find military issue nylon pouches (they have three snaps) are exceptionally useful for these individual kits.  They hold all of the rods (broken down), your brushes, patches, and a small bottle for your oil.   This photo shows an issue kit you can order from for $16.20 called a UTG Model 4/AR15 Cleaning Kit Complete with Pouch

Although specifically for an M-4 (AR-15), as it is a 5.56 mm/.223 caliber weapon, you will find it can be used for a variety of different weapons cleaning applications.  Use your imagination, as necessity is the mother of invention.  You want to keep your cleaning kits and supplies in a water-tight, sealable case that will prevent moisture and perhaps take a beating.  Supplement this kit with cleaning rags and a small tool kit.  Patches you can make from something such as a white or cream-colored bedsheet that has outlived its original use.

Use your creativity and your imagination to make what you want and tailor it to your use.  Bottom line: your weapon can’t take care of you unless it is properly taken care of.  You can be smart and use some of these tips to lessen the bite to your wallet.  Just don’t cut corners when it comes to maintenance.  When you’re done at the range, either take it down and clean it there, or take it home and clean it right away.  Practice hard, clean those firearms, and keep in that good fight!  JJ out!

About the author:

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.


Gun Cleaning

By  – SurvivoPedia

Do you really want to give intruders or others with harmful intent an opportunity to harm you or your family members just because your guns are so dirty they misfire or jam up at the worst possible moment? I bet you don’t.

Make time to clean your weapons and get into the habit of doing so regularly. And take a good look at the article below so you could do it right and safe!

Continue reading at SurvivoPedia: The DOs And DON’Ts Of Gun Cleaning

How to clean your AK 47

By SurvivoPedia

Many preppers turn to Survivopedia asking what would be the best survival gun. There are a lot to consider before giving them any answer, if you think about how different people are. But one thing applies to everyone relying on firearms for self-defense: the best survival gun is the one that you already have.

Still owning a gun means more than shooting once in a while: without proper maintenance and cleaning it will let you down in the most critical moments.

That’s why we started our series about how to clean your firearms. You’ve already seen how to clean your revolver.

Today we’ll talk about how to clean an Arsenal SAM 7R AK-47 semi-auto rifle (7.62X39mm).

Step 1 – Always prepare the cleaning area with all of the materials and supplies that you will need.

Continue reading at SurvivoPedia: How To Clean Your AK-47 Rifle



Most new gun owners can’t wait to get out to the range and start shooting. While practicing makes our list of top 6 things to do; there are some other equally important things to take care of first.

No matter whether you purchased a gun for sporting, hunting, or safety, doing these simple things will ensure your safety, and the long term usefulness of the gun.

1. Get and Read the Owner’s Manual

If your gun didn’t come with an owner’s manual, get one from the manufacturer. They will usually send one for free. Most manufacturers have manuals on their website that you can download and print for yourself, or you can write to them and get a copy for free. Failing that, consider using one of the many books available on basic gun assembly, dis-assembly, and maintenance.

Once you have the manual, read it cover to cover to learn about the different parts of your gun and how it operates.

Firearms are complex and potentially dangerous weapons in the hands of those unfamiliar with the way they function. They are also just as dangerous in the hands of someone that takes advice from others that seem to think they know more than the manufacturer when it comes to suitable ammunition, breaking in the gun, and maintenance requirements.

Never take the word of someone else, even if they are a professional gunsmith over what you find in the owner’s manual. If in doubt, write to the manufacturer and ask for further clarification. Until you are absolutely certain that all your questions are answered, do not fire the gun.

2. Don’t Assume Your Gun Is Clean and Ready to Fire

Once you’ve read up on how to clean the gun, you must take time to practice disassembling, cleaning, and lubricating it. These steps are vital to ensuring the gun will fire effectively, safely, and reliably.

Most new guns come coated with a protective grease to protect against rust and corrosion. Unfortunately, this coating is ineffective at lubricating the various internal moving parts of the firearm and barrel. The gun must be disassembled, lubed, and inspected for hidden damage.

Even if you bought a brand new gun, factory errors do occur, and damage can also happen in shipping. If you purchased a used weapon, you have no way of knowing what substance the previous owner may have used to clean and maintain the gun, or if he did at all.

If your firearm didn’t come with a cleaning/lubricating kit, you will need to purchase one. Choose a cleaner that removes factory grease, lead, copper, and powder fouling. After removing all of the factory grease, your firearm needs to be properly lubricated.

It should be noted there are many formulas on the market.  Modern synthetic lubricants work best and are many times better than old oils.

Never use WD-40 or any other cleaning agent not specifically made for firearms. Doing so could cause damage to the bluing of the gun, or lead to serious injury to yourself and others around you once the gun is fired.

Before you go dropping any lubricants into the cracks and crevices of your firearm, be familiar with how to field strip and reassemble your firearm first. You should apply lubricant to each of the moving parts of your firearm such as the slide rails, hinge pins, recoil parts, and trigger assembly.

You may also use a thin coating of the modern synthetic lubricant on the outside of the barrel and other exposed metal parts as a rust preventative. Be careful to apply just enough lubricant to get the job done.

(Video first seen on National Shooting Sports Foundation.)

3. Select Proper Ammunition

The barrel on most guns is marked with the type of cartridge recommended by the manufacturer. Most cartridges come in a variety of bullet weights, measured in grains, and styles.

Since there are redundancies in ammo types, one cartridge may be suitable for both hunting and self-defense, while others only for specific purposes.

Recently, specialty ammo has become more popular than broad range options. Do the research and consult with the manufacturer’s manual as to which bullet weight and style is best for your firearm and your intended purpose.

Varying from the manufacturer’s specifications in this area can substantially shorten the working life of the gun, lead to malfunction, may even cause the gun to backfire or injure you, and may also void your warranty.

4. Fire the Gun Properly the First Time

Before loading a full magazine and firing, you need to break in the barrel and test fire the gun.  Typically, both steps can be accomplished together. To begin, test fire the gun by inserting a single round and shoot the gun. Next, clean the barrel with the synthetic lubricant on a patch followed by one or two dry patches.

While not everyone agrees with the practice of single-shot test firing, it gives you a chance to experience the weapon’s recoil and other firing characteristics without another bullet being ready to fly from the barrel.

This is especially important if you have never fired a gun before and might become startled by the sound, shell ejection, or many other things that may cause you to drop the gun or otherwise lose control of it. Even seasoned gun shooters should follow this practice, since you never really know when a gun will stovepipe or do something else that causes you to lose control of the weapon before you learn what you need about how the gun will handle from a first test fire shot.

Variants of this process involve changing the number of rounds fired before each cleaning. For example, you fire one shot, clean the barrel, then fire two shots and clean the barrel again, then fire three shots and so on. Bear in mind that this initial effort, however inconvenient, will reward you with a lifetime of safe and reliable shooting.

5. Practice, Practice, and then Practice

It’s recommended that inexperienced shooters enroll in some kind of training to educate them on proper gun handling and shooting techniques.


Unfortunately, most basic training classes only teach you how to point your gun down range, aim at a fixed target, and pull the trigger. This type of training won’t teach you how to stalk prey and hit a moving target for hunting purposes, or how to use your weapon in a home-defense combat situation.

For that reason, you should consider taking an advanced training class that teaches you how to use your gun for real survival purposes. Always practice what you learned as often as possible at a firing range so that your skills grow and develop.

6. Always Know the Gun Laws in Your Local Area

Gun laws vary from state to state, and in some cases, from county to county.  Although hotly contested, some require weapons and certain magazine types to be registered. Most states also require concealed carry permits, while others allow you to carry your gun in plain sight as long as you have the proper permits and registration for the weapon itself.

Check with your state and local governments to see what laws apply to you and the specific gun type you purchased.

Ultimately, everyone has their own idea of what steps to take after purchasing a firearm.  Whether your gun is intended for hunting, home-defense, or everyday target shooting, safety should always be paramount.

The more familiar you are with your firearm, its parts, and its ammo, the more effective you will be when it comes to actually shooting, whether your target is a piece of paper down range, a deer in the woods, or an intruder on your doorstep.

Find out more about using guns for defense survival on Bulletproof Home.

This article first appeared at Survivopedia: Did You Buy a Gun? The First Things To Do After