How To Clean A Rifle – Helpful Guide

Having a rifle is a lot of fun and it involves a lot of responsibility too, not only to your fellow humans, but to yourself and moreover to the rifle itself. One of the most important parts of having a rifle or any other kind of firearm is maintenance and cleaning. So let’s get right to it and talk about why you need to regularly clean your rifle and how it can easily be done. The question of the day is “how to clean your rifle”.

Why You Need To Clean Your Rifle

To put it simply, rifles and firearms in general need to be properly maintained in order to last longer and shoot properly, perhaps the most important part of this being the accuracy of the rifle. When you fire your rifle the bullets leave a residue in the barrel, the chamber, and other parts of the gun too.

This residue builds up just like cholesterol in arteries and this can make the rifle inaccurate, it can make it jam, and worst of all it may even misfire too. The reason this happens is because of the bullets being used and depending on the type of ammo you are using your barrel may become fouled with copper or lead as well as burnt primer and powder too.

The more your barrel is fouled with residue the less accurate your shots will be, therefore proper rifle cleanliness is essential to shooting right. You should clean your rifle after every shooting session and for some rifles this may mean having to clean it after about 20 or 30 shots have been fired.

What You Will Need To Clean Your Rifle

Of course you can’t just use a stick and a rag to clean your rifle. You will need the proper tools to get the job done right. These tools are listed below. (Most good gun cleaning kits come with the below which is everything you need).

Steps For Cleaning Your Rifle

Cleaning your rifle is not very hard, but there are a number of steps to be followed if you want to have as much success as possible. Follow the steps listed below and your rifle will be as good as new in no time at all.

  1. The first step is to remove as much fouling and burnt powder residue as possible. To do this use a cotton patch and cover it with bore powder solvent then attach it to the brass jag. Pass the jag and patch through the bore and out of the muzzle to remove as much burnt powder as possible.
  2. Pull the jag back through the muzzle and out of the bore, but be sure to let the patch fall off before doing so. Do not pass a dirty patch from the front of the muzzle to the bore as this may damage your rifle.
  3. Keep repeating steps 1 and 2 until the patches come out clean and free of residue. Don’t stop until they come out clean.
  4. Use the bronze bristle brush to and pass it through from the chamber to the barrel until the front of the brush comes out of the muzzle.
  5. Cover the bristle brush with roughly one dozen drops of bore solvent and use a cleaning rod to make a few passes through the barrel. This step should be repeated at least 10 times.
  6. Do not place the powder solvent on the bronze brush until you have already passes it through the barrel once. This is in order to avoid getting the solvent into the magazine and trigger areas.
  7. Use Shellite or strong white spirits to clean the particles off of the bronze brush. This is done because the solvent used to clean the barrel will also attack the brush and cause it to degrade.
  8. When following the previous steps use a bore guide to make sure that particles and brush bristles don’t get into a wrong area of the gun which may cause damage to the rifle’s throat.
  9. Use some wet cotton patches and use the cleaning rod to run them through the barrel and muzzle to remove any particles that have been loosened by the brush. These patches should come out dirty after the first few passes and if they don’t you need to repeat steps 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.
  10. Put some bore solvent into your rifle barrel and leave it muzzle down to soak for a few hours. Use the nylon bristle brush and wet cotton patches to see how clean it is. If it comes out with a green, blue, or black tinge then you will need to do a few more passes with the bronze brush and some more solvent.
  11. After the previous steps have been completed use a gun cleaning spray to clean the stock and trigger.
  12. Use a good gun oil or lubricant to wipe down all other moving pieces of the rifle.


Cleaning your rifle is very important to keep it working right, to keep it accurate, and to keep you safe. If you follow the steps outline above you will have a clean rifle every time.

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