Proper maintenance of your handgun will ensure that it is ready when you need it. Firearms come in handy for many situations, be it target shooting for fun, deer hunting, or protecting yourself and your family. That being said, enrolling yourself to a proper firearm training course is essential not just for your safety but also the safety of the people around you. Your handgun will never disappoint you if you keep it in pristine condition. Well-maintained and cared for guns can live long enough to be passed down over generations. Just like any other complex mechanical system, guns need regular cleaning and maintenance. This is why we have compiled a list of cleaning tips to help you maintain and keep your handgun clean. A clean gun will not go off when it shouldn’t or fail to fire when needed.
Read Through the Gun Manual
For most other purchases, a manual is just a boring list of things you already know. With a gun, though, not reading the instruction manual can turn out tragic. Failure to read the manual before handling your gun could mean the difference between life and death. The owner’s manual includes a guide on how to keep your handgun in pristine working condition. While many handgun models may appear similar, not all of them are disassembled in the same way. If you buy a used gun, contact the manufacturer or search for the exact model manual online.
Disarm the Gun
The first rule of thumb in handling guns is always unloading your firearm when it’s not in use. It should go without saying that guns should be unloaded before attempting any maintenance. Attempting to disassemble a loaded gun can cause serious injury or death.
Use the Right Cleaning Apparatus and Solvents
Do not attempt to DIY your cleaning agents and apparatus. Gun owners are notorious for this mistake. Several products are specifically formulated and designed to lubricate, protect and clean your handgun. Such products are the safest when it comes to proper gun maintenance. Don’t use automotive lubricants and cleaning agents like WD-40. Unlike your automotive, a gun is made to withstand extreme friction, heat, rust, and the bullet’s super-fast movement. This is why there are specific oils and fluids designed to clean a gun.
Inspect Your Gun Regularly
Do not wait until your firearm shows signs of environmental wear or rust to clean it. Like most avid hunters, you should check your gun before and after every use. Most gun owners who carry firearms for reasons that don’t require regular use are usually unaware of the need to often check their guns. Keeping your handgun for long periods can render it a victim of environmental wear and rust. Regularly check to ensure that no debris is clogging the bore of your gun. Experts recommend that you inspect your handgun every week.
Thoroughly Clean Your Gun
Before wiping down the barrel of your gun, ensure you have carefully cleaned the bore. It’s best to use a specialized brass or aluminum cleaning rod for the bore. Remember to work in the direction the bullet moves through the bore. If you notice any copper residues, use copper-specific products to remove the residue. Use a gun scrubber and cleaner sprays to clean the action. When using oil to clean a handgun with wooden handles, use small amounts since oil can sip into the wooden parts and soften them.
Grease the Moving Parts
Many gun enthusiasts are skeptical about using grease on the mechanical parts of their firearms. This is because it is believed that greasing can affect the parts and cause malfunction. However, there is no reliable evidence to back this myth. Gun experts recommend that small amounts of grease or anti-corrosion oil be applied to sliding parts. This will ensure that the mechanical parts do not get stuck. You can find the recommended type of grease for your particular gun in the owner’s manual.