6 Essential Gun Maintenance Tips For Beginners

6 Essential Gun Maintenance Tips For Beginners

Gun maintenance is an essential part of gun ownership. A gun that is not adequately cleaned or maintained may not shoot when needed or goes off when it shouldn't. However, cleaning and maintenance do not have to be tedious, given that you know the proper steps. This article is a rundown of essential gun maintenance tips for beginners.

Read The Instruction Manual

The first step in gun maintenance is reading the manual. Reading through an instruction manual may seem tedious when you have a shiny new handgun. However, reading this could mean a difference between life and death in self-defense situations. The manual provides instructions to disarm and arm the gun properly. 

In addition, it provides a guide to keeping your gun in perfect working order. The manual of a used gun can be obtained by contacting the manufacturer. Different guns are disassembled in different ways; therefore, it is essential to read the manual when field stripping. This practice will prevent any unfortunate events.

Unload The Gun

This is a critical step in gun maintenance and should be done accurately. First, remove the magazine and ammunition that may be loaded in the gun to ensure your safety and those around you. Do this by pointing the gun in a safe direction. Visually and manually, do a thorough check, and don't rely on your firearm's safety to avoid accidents.

Clean The Gun

Once you have unloaded your gun, the next step is to clean it. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to remove the parts. For example if you have a pistol, remove the slide from the frame. Watch for small parts or bushings, and set them inside a container to prevent them from getting lost. Use a cleaning tool such as cleaning swabs to clean the loose particles commonly found within the cylinder, slide, frame, and chamber. For carried handguns, check for lint or dust inside the frame areas. Use a light application of a cleaner to remove heavy fouling before brushing.

Next, move on to the barrel. Apply a cleaning patch or bore cleaner and use a brush or rod to run the patch through the barrel. Follow the bore cleaner-soaked patch with dry ones to ensure your barrel is clean and dry. Cleaning swabs help clean hard-to-reach areas in the slide and frame. They help clean your barrel as correctly as possible. A heavy-duty cleaner should be used for badly fouled barrels and chambers.

Apply A Lubricant

Once you have cleaned the essential parts, lubricate the moving parts of your gun. The lubrication depends on the type of firearm being cleaned. It is better to follow the manufacturer's lubrication instructions.

The following parts need lubrication in most cases:

  • Rails 
  • Springs
  • Bearing surfaces
  • The outside surface of semi-automatic handguns

Avoid applying the lubricants inside the chamber or barrel. This can lead to misfires, squibs, or failures. Do not apply too much lubricant. Only lubricate where needed. It is better to use lubricating cloths to control the amount of lubricant used.

Wipe Down All Components

Once you have cleaned and lubricated your gun, use a clean, dry cloth to wipe it down. This helps remove excess oil, moisture, and residues that might have been missed while cleaning.


After cleaning and wiping, it's time to reassemble your gun. Scrutinize each part as you put it together. Note any irregularities, damages, or excessive wear. This is essential because some damages affect the value of your firearm and lead to potential safety failures. If you suspect anything wrong, take your gun to a competent gunsmith.

Finally, wipe down your hands and work surfaces after cleaning to remove lead and other heavy metal residues. Combining routine cleaning with a professional service once a year will extend the lifespan of your gun.