July 20, 2024


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Keep Your Gun Safe: Clean and Store It Properly

Gun safety is about more than keeping the gun locked up tightly when it is not in use or storing the gun and ammunition separately. Failing to clean a gun properly after use can interfere with its operation, putting you and anyone around you at risk when you discharge your weapon.

The number one rule of gun safety is to always unload your weapon before you begin cleaning it. Check to make sure there is no ammunition in the gun and remove its magazine or clip. Never put your finger near the trigger when disassembling the gun. If there is ammunition in the gun, remove it and set in an area away from the cleaning area. Cleaning solvents will destroy ammo if spilled on it. Better yet, lock the ammo in a gun storage area while you clean the gun so that no one can access it. After unloading the gun, keep the barrel pointed away from you.

The method of cleaning a gun varies from model to model. You should leave the action open and the ammunition stored separately. If the gun has a bolt, you should remove it before cleaning. Wipe the bolt with solvent, then use a soft cloth to clean the solvent and any grease off. Dry the bolt, apply lubricant and set aside. You’ll need to clean the bore, or the inside of the gun’s barrel, next. Coat a bore brush with the solvent, then scrub inside the bore to remove grease. After you’ve scrubbed the bore, you will need to remove the loosened grease with a patch or rag. Soak the patch with the solvent, then run through the bore. Depending on how dirty the gun is, you may need to use several patches to get it clean. You will know the bore is clean when the patches you run through the bore are no longer covered in grease. Use a clean patch to apply a thin layer of lubricant inside the bore. Depending on the type of gun you have, you may also have to clean the chambers in the same fashion. Clean the remaining parts of the gun using the same method, then put the gun back together. Leave the gun unloaded.

Remember to always handle a gun as if it is loaded. Before putting the gun in storage, put a cable lock or safety device on it. The safest option for gun storage is to place the gun in a pistol lock box, the set the box in a locking safe. Ideally, the safe should have some sort of climate control feature, as temperature fluctuations and humidity can cause wear and damage to the gun. Keep the ammunition and cleaning supplies locked away separately.

Solvents and lubricants are poisonous and should be kept out of the reach of young children. Store them in a high cabinet. Put poison stickers on the bottles and teach your children to avoid any bottles with the stickers. Store the keys to the gun safe and the keys to the ammunition storage out of sight and out of reach as well as separately. For example, put the keys to the gun safe on the top shelf of your bedroom closet and the keys to the ammunition storage in the back of a drawer in another room. For gun safety, you need to inspect it after you finish shooting and before taking it out again. Look it over for cracks or signs of wear. You may want to clean the gun, especially if it has been in storage for a long time.