Gun maintenance tips: How to clean your gun barrels

Over the past week we’ve been bringing you some gun maintenance tips and hints on how to make the best of your time during lockdown.

And now, next up on our how-to is how to clean your gun barrels, so we’re going to lay out a step-by-step plan on how to get this tricky gun maintenance job done. The step-by-step guide is below.

Scrub chambers with chamber brush

Powder and other surface residues are removed first by pushing a piece of cleaning cloth, fabric patch, or proprietary cleaning material, including Napier Gun Cleaning roll or standard 4×2 (known as “forbytoo”) which can be wrapped around a jag or an old bore brush on a cleaning rod.

Alternatively, a piece of kitchen roll or similar can be rolled into a ball and pushed through with the rod – take care not to use too much or screw it too tight, or it may become stuck.

This leaves the more persistent residues; spray some bore cleaner (of which there are many) down the bores and leave it a few minutes. This will soften any tough powder and plastic residues that may be present.

A PB brush can now be pushed several times through each bore. Then push another cloth patch through through to remove loosened residues and allow a close visual inspection to check if any fouling remains.

Hold the barrels at a shallow oblique angle towards a moderate light source – a cloudy sky is ideal. Focus your vision in turn on the forcing cones, then the choke area, looking for uneven surface reflections to detect lead or plastic fouling. If found, repeat PB brushing.

This is where long cone gun owners will appreciate the powered Magic Bore tool and probably be surprised how much residue comes out of their ‘clean’ barrel!

Finally, clean the chambers with a chamber brush – a short, oversized PB bristle brush large enough to scrub the chambers clean. This aids easy cartridge ejection and prevents corrosion.

Once happy all is clean, run one more clean patch through, then your wool mop with a spot of oil on it.

Please note that standard PB brushes are not intended to change direction inside the bore. Allow the whole length of brush to come free out the muzzle before pulling back down.

Repeated reversal within the bore will flatten one edge of the brush. The Magic Bore brushes are designed and constructed to be able to change direction within the bore without bristles flattening.


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