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How To Clean Your Shotgun

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A wooden retro shotgun with shotgun shells

The shotgun is one of the most versatile firearms in the world.

Basically, it’s a firearm typically used to hunt game or in skeet shooting. It can handle almost any task, from birds to deer. Shotguns can also be used for home defense, but it’s usually not the best choice because of their short-range and high recoil.

As shotgun lovers, we know the importance of keeping our shotgun in top condition. Not only does it protect our firearms, but it also helps reduce noise and muzzle blast.

That’s why cleaning your shotgun is a necessary task that should not be ignored. If you don’t clean it regularly, the gun will become dirty and may malfunction.

Here we will show you how easily you can clean your shotgun with just a few steps. Additionally, we will ensure safety when cleaning shotgun and some bonus tips for you. Let’s Check Out!

The Tools You Will Need for Shotgun Cleaning

The first step to cleaning your shotgun is to gather the necessary tools. You will need a clean cloth, some gun oil, a spray bottle with water, and some brushes or other items for scrubbing.

  • A bucket with warm water and soap
  • Scrubber or wire brush
  • Cleaning Rod
  • A steel wool pad
  • Piece of cloth or old shirt
  • your favorite firearm cleaner
  • Cleaning Mat
  • Bore Snake Kit

Next, you’ll need to find the proper cleaning material for your shotgun. There are different types of gun oil available and designed specifically for shotguns. Also, the size of your shotgun determines which type of oil you should really use.

Additionally, you can also use gasoline to clean your shotgun if it has been used extensively in the field over time. Gasoline is an effective way to remove grease and oils from the metal parts of the firearm and attach it to a patch before wiping down any surfaces that might contain dirt or grime.

After gathering all of these necessary items, you’ll be ready to start cleaning your shotguns!

Choose the Most Effective Method for Cleaning Your Shotgun

Actually, there are three effective ways to clean your shotgun. Each method is useful for different purposes and has its own level of effectiveness, including –

Wet Method

This method can be used in cases where you want to remove many residues, like when you need to strip off all the gunk accumulated on your barrel during hunting season. This will ensure that the wood is completely clean, but it may not effectively remove embedded dirt or other pollutants present in the gunk.

Dry Method

If you want to get rid of dirt and grime from your shotgun, this is the method for you! This has a high success rate with removing most types of contaminants, but it requires more effort than the wet method. The dry method may require more time and patience, but it does a thorough job cleaning up residue.

Ultrasonic Cleaner Method

There are two purposes for this type of cleaner.

  • To remove paint or other contaminants from the metal surface.
  • To break down carbon deposits (like rust) because there’s no pressure involved in this method.

I’d recommend using it as a last resort because it can leave metal surfaces pitted or rough-edged.

How To Clean Your Shotgun 1

Step by Step Shotgun Cleaning Guide

Step 1

Remove the magazine from your gun and make sure that the chamber is empty. You should also visually check the chamber to be sure. If you are cleaning a single-shot or a bolt-action shotgun, unload it and make sure there is no ammunition nearby.

Step 2

Unscrew the buttstock or break open the action to unload your gun and open. The types of guns that require this step include shotguns, single-shot rifles, bolt actions, and other guns where you have to bring the back part forward to load them with ammunition. It is also necessary to keep an eye on any children around in case they are trying to play with your weapon when you’re not looking! Also, remember to keep any ammunition separate from your gun until you are ready to reload it again.

If your gun is semi-automatic and the ammunition is stored in the magazine, then do not worry about this step. The ammunition will be unloaded when you remove the magazine.

If you have a pump-action shotgun, then you will have to perform step 3 first, unloading the chamber.

Step 3

Unload the chamber of your shotgun if necessary as described in step 1.

Step 4

If your gun has removable choke tubes or barrels, remove them now and place them in a safe place. If your gun does not have detachable choke tubes or barrels, proceed to Step 5.

Step 5

Make sure that all the ammunition cartridges are out of your gun and that no loose cartridges are lying around anywhere within reach of children who may try to play with them.

If you have ejected all the live ammunition from your gun, then proceed to Step 6 if necessary (if no further cleaning is required).

Otherwise, go back to Step 4 and make sure that you’ve removed any loose bullets from both chambers, chambers with magazines containing rounds and magazines containing no rounds at all! This may seem like overkill, but it’s safer to be safe than sorry!

Step 6

Attach the cleaning rod, adjust it if necessary and push it through the barrel until it comes out the other end. You may need to pull the fore part of your gun away from your shoulder if you can’t reach around to push the rod through with your hands.

Step 7

Take a scrap of soft cloth or an old toothbrush and dip it into the cleaning solution (or just water if you are using steel-wool or a bronze brush).

Gently scrub all parts of your shotgun but pay particular attention to any rust spots or gouges in your barrel. Take care not to let any liquid run down into your action where it might cause rust.

If you’re using a copper-removing solvent, dip a second cloth into some pure mineral spirits, then use this on all metal parts.

Again, make sure that you don’t let any of this liquid get on wood parts as they will disintegrate in time.

However, do not use mineral spirits on blued steel barrels! This may remove the finish! Instead, follow Step 8 below.

Don’t forget that if you are using paint or varnish or lacquer-based products on your stock, they will also dissolve in any solvents you use so you must remove all traces of these before using any solvents.

Dispose of the clothes in a safe place, and don’t leave them lying about where children could pick them up and chew them!

Step 8

If your gun has a blued steel barrel, wipe it down with a clean microfiber cloth from the action-end.

Do not use any solvents on blued steel! This will remove most dirt and grime, but dust may remain in some small pores.

If you are using a bronze brush (or even steel wool), you can go to Step 9, but if not, go to Step 10.

Also, if you are not using a bronze brush or steel wool, go to Step 10 straight away.

Step 9

Use the smooth end of your cleaning rod to push the bronze brush or steel wool through your barrel. This will dislodge most impurities and leave behind an oily deposit that will shine up your barrel beautifully.

Make sure that there is enough liquid left on the brush/wool so that it doesn’t just wear straight away. If there is too much liquid on the cleaning rod and brush/wool, simply wipe up any excess with a rag before inserting through the barrel.

Step 10

This part of the step is optional, but I really recommend it if you want your shotgun to fire as smoothly as possible and with greater accuracy.

Take some rubbing alcohol and apply it to a patched cloth or a clean piece of cloth until it covers a small area. Wipe down each part inside your gun that you can easily reach. This is not limited to trigger, trigger guard, safety catch (if applicable), shell extractor, or fore-end.

When you are done, wipe down any other parts that you can’t get to (such as the interior of your barrel) with the same cloth. Make sure that everything has been wiped down with alcohol so that you have a nice even layer covering all parts of your weapon.

Alcohol helps remove excess oil and makes the metal surface very smooth and shiny – something that has an immeasurable effect on how smooth your weapon works!

Step 11

This step is just to wipe up any remaining oil and grime that might be on the outside of your weapon.

Using another piece of cloth, make sure you wipe down the entire outside of your shotgun – from end to end. Make sure that you go lightly over any moving parts (such as the trigger guard) so that you don’t accidentally release them!

When you are done, the outside of your shotgun should be shiny and clean. Close it and store it somewhere safe!

Last but not least, if you want to, you can give your weapon a light coating of oil after it has been cleaned. Just make sure that you don’t put too much oil on any part of the weapon – if so, wipe up any excess before storing.

By following these simple steps, you can keep your shotgun in great condition for years to come!

Everyday Products That Can Clean Your Shotgun

Several everyday products can be used to clean your shotgun.

One well-known way to clean your gun is with WD-40, which can be sprayed on the gun to loosen up any dirt or debris. You can then use a cloth to wipe away the WD-40 and any other residue.

Another product that can be used to clean your shotgun is vinegar. Pour some vinegar into a bowl and soak the gun in it for a few minutes. Then use a cloth to wipe away the vinegar and any other residue.

Finally, you can use a gun cleaner to clean the gun more thoroughly. Simply spray the cleaner on the gun and wipe it away with a cloth. Be sure to read the instructions on the cleaner before using it.

Additional Tips for Cleaning Shotgun

Cleaning your shotgun is important for ensuring that it functions properly and lasts for a long time. By using a gun oil, cleaning kit, or everyday products, you can clean your shotgun quickly and easily.

Just be sure to read the instructions on each product before using it.

  • Be sure to clean your shotgun regularly to keep it in good condition.
  • If you’re not sure how to clean your shotgun, consult a gun specialist or manufacturer’s manual.
  • Never use harsh chemicals or solvents to clean your shotgun.
  • Only use a gun cleaning kit with a specialized metal brush to remove hard deposits from the gun’s barrel.

In conclusion, now that you know how to clean your shotgun, make sure you do it regularly! A little bit of upkeep will go a long way in ensuring that your firearm is always ready to go when you are going to hunt.

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