A Complete Guide to Gun Cleaning Supplies for the Newbie
An essential element of owning an arsenal is ensuring that all parts are always in the best working condition. Whether this means evaluating the condition of the arsenal or updating some of the tools, maintenance is crucial. Undoubtedly, the most crucial thing in an entire arsenal is a firearm, primarily because, at some point, your life may be dependent on it.
Using them on rotation will help extend their lives if you own several firearms. However, ensuring that each piece is maintained correctly is the most important thing. In the past, most first-time firearm buyers grew up around them, usually learning how to shoot from their fathers, uncles, or grandfathers. This is no longer the case as more and more people are applying to become licensed holders. Nowadays, your local firearms store clerk is unlikely to assume that you know everything about firearms.
According to the NSSF, there were nearly 5 million new owners in 2020 in the USA. Statistically, in addition to existing owners, it put the number of firearms per household at 3.37. Because of this, it is now apparent that a good number of new firearm holders lack the necessary knowledge and tools for proper maintenance.
Why is Proper Maintenance Necessary?
Your firearm is an investment. It does not matter if you are purchasing it brand new from the manufacturer, second-hand, or getting a hand-me-down piece. Most cars lose about twenty percent of their original value once driven out of the lot. However, a firearm can retain its value even for 100 years if it is well-maintained. Knowing how to clean a weapon properly is easier said than done, and you need the proper knowledge on how to go about it.
Some people enjoy the maintenance process, while others find it a little daunting. If you have trouble keeping up with the process, having a routine will help. Apart from helping your weapon retain its form over many years, proper maintenance is crucial for safety. Firearms that are not well-maintained tend to malfunction, which could damage or pose a danger to users’ lives.
Essential Firearm Cleaning Supplies
The first cleaning agent that you need is a gun cleaning solution. It helps remove built-up dirt, carbon, and foreign particles from your firearm. At times the cleaning solvent will be in the form of an aerosol, but this is not always the case. A degreasing solution helps to remove any excess grease that a firearm has from the manufacturer, but you do not need it for general maintenance purposes.
A Cleaning Mat
Firearm cleaning mats are made in both short and long firearm configurations. A cleaning mat can be made from various materials, including; leather, waxed canvas, and wool. Their purpose is to provide ample area to disassemble the firearm and clean it. Getting a cleaning mat is essential because it will assist in protecting the firearm from being scratched by the surfaces as you do your cleaning.
At the same time, it helps to contain the oils and grimes from the weapon during cleaning. A well-made cleaning mat will usually have multiple pouches where you can conveniently place the cleaning supplies. This makes it more convenient as you will not constantly have to move around, picking up the cleaning supplies during the process.
Firearm grease is essential as it provides an extra layer of lubrication for your weapon. It is used in areas where metal parts of the firearm make contact. For instance, you could use it on the slides of short firearms or the hinge points of break-open long firearms. Some types of firearm lubricants even provide corrosion and rust prevention. Using grease routinely will keep the moving parts running smoothly.
A Firearm Parts Tray
Everyone needs a tray to hold the small parts of their firearm once they have disassembled it. Little pieces such as firing pins and bolts are easy to lose due to their size. A tray will help you store and organize them as you work on other parts of your firearm.
This cleaning tool removes the main buildup in your firearm. It is necessary to note that this tool is not used during fine cleaning. However, you can easily carry it to the range to quickly clean the bore. You do not need to field strip your firearm to use a bore snake.
This cleaning tool is used with various attachments, including wire brushes, slotted tips, and the bore jag. Thanks to the rod, these attachments can efficiently run the entire length of a weapon’s bore during the cleaning process.
A Brush and Pick Set
You can use various brushes to break up the grime and carbon buildup in your firearm before wiping it down. You could also use the picks to pick, scrape, prod, and poke hard-to-reach parts. Picks can also work in places where carbon buildup is just too much to wipe off easily. Their tips are made of soft brass to avoid scratching the firearm.
Cleaning patches are typically made from cotton flannel, and they come in round or square shapes. Depending on the company, they are usually packaged in groups of 500 to 1000. They are sold in bulk because firearm holders need to go through many patches during a single cleaning process. They are also inexpensive.
Firearm Cleaning Cloth
It is best to have a soft, absorbent microfiber cloth during maintenance. A soft, washable, reusable chamois will not damage the exterior finish during cleaning.
This will come in handy when you are not carrying out extensive cleaning, which often necessitates field stripping the firearm. A firearm vice offers adequate access during cleaning while freeing both of your hands. It is, however, usually reserved for individuals engaging in extensive smithing.
Regarding the traditional steps and supplies mentioned in the guide above, it may serve readers best to consider using a solvent trap for optimal results and a streamlined, mess-free cleaning session. Solvent traps, such as the ones offered by Armory Den, can benefit your firearm cleaning process in many ways. Most notably, a solvent trap cleaning kit can help minimize the environmental impact through trapping and allowing for recycling and reuse of solvents. They also help users reduce their cleaning mess. There are many other benefits of using a solvent trap alongside traditional methods and tools – one thing is for sure, the benefits of firearm cleaning with a solvent trap far outweigh the cost!
Notice: Please be advised that this article is for information purposes only and Armory Den, Inc., Armory Den, and/or Armoryden.com, does not accept liability for any negligence, injury, death or other personal or environmental consequences that occur from the sourced and unsourced information in this article.