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Handgun Cleaning Tips

Cleaning is one of the most critical components of owning a handgun. With regular cleaning and care, a quality handgun will last for years.

The first step in cleaning your pistol is to purchase a high quality cleaning kit. Cleaning kits are available at most sporting goods stores and anywhere quality firearms accessories are sold. 

Kits are available for specific firearms, or specially designed for certain types of firearms (i.e. rifles, pistols, shotguns, etc.). Some gun owners choose to purchase a Universal Cleaning kit – especially those who have more than one type firearm. These gun cleaning kits are designed for used on almost any type of firearm. As a rule, they come equipped with a cleaning rod, cleaning solvent, oil, cleaning patches, and “end rod accessories” (these are used to hold the patches on the end of the rod). In addition to these tools, an old toothbrush and plenty of old rags are also extremely helpful.

Be sure to select a please to clean your gun that is very well-ventilated.  You will want a flat surface on which to work - a desk, workbench, or tabletop works well for this. Spread a large cloth over the work surface in order to protect both it and your pistol. Lay out all of your cleaning equipment and your pistol.

Now is the time to make sure your pistol is absolutely, with out a doubt, UNLOADED. This is definitely the most important step of cleaning your pistol.

Your revolver consists of four main parts: the frame, the grips, the barrel, and the cylinder. It is not necessary and, in most instances, not recommended to disassemble a revolver in order to clean it. Take the toothbrush and dip it into the cleaning solvent. Use it to scrub the inside of the frame and the cylinder. Use a rag to remove the loosened fouling and the solvent.

Next, choose the proper end rod accessory, attach it to the rod, and insert a cleaning patch into it. The proper end rod accessory is usually the largest one that will easily fit into the barrel. Saturate the patch with cleaning solvent and push it slowly through the barrel. Once it comes out the other end, remove the patch.* Wipe the rod clean with a rag and insert a new patch. Saturate the patch with solvent and use it to swab the inside of the barrel back and forth a few times. Again, remove the patch and wipe the rod clean with a rag. Insert a third patch and push it through the barrel without any solvent. Repeat this process until a dry patch comes out clean.

Once a dry patch comes out clean, saturate a new patch with oil and slowly slide it through the barrel.

Finally, apply a very small amount of oil to all moving parts of the handgun. Inspect the revolver to make sure it is clean and working properly. Work the action several times to make sure it works smoothly.

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