Whether you push the fields with a single shot break action CVA hunter, compete at the range with a Colt M1911, or hunt big game in the west with a bolt action Remington 700, there comes a time (preferably after each outing) when it’s time to break things down and clean the gun.
A Hoppe’s Cleaning Kit can help with that.
Here’s a basic (keyword) guide on how to give your firearm a cursory cleaning after a day at the range or some time in the field.
Ensure the Firearm Is Not Loaded
First, and most important: Ensure that your firearm is not loaded. Open the action, then remove the mag (if possible) or inspect the mag follower to ensure that there is neither ammo in the magazine, in the chamber, or in the open action.
With the firearm cleared, you can gather your materials.
What You’ll Need
Most Hoppe’s Cleaning Kits will come with:
-A cleaning rod that breaks down
-Hoppe’s Bore Solvent (like Hoppe’s No. 9)
-Hoppe’s Lubricating Oil
Some gun cleaning kits include other additional accessories. You’ll also want:
-A gun vise or a cleaning mat
-Any tools you need to disassembly the firearm (choke wrenches, driver bits, pin punches)
-A magnetic tray to store small metallic parts
-A bore light
The Basic Process
It’s important to note that many firearms are remarkably different from one another. This is only a basic tutorial on the parts of your firearm that you should lightly clean between shooting sessions.
1.Open the action, remove the bolt, or remove the barrel (action dependent)
Since the barrel will accumulate fouling after so much as one round, it’s important to clean the barrel out every time you shoot. Leaving fouling in can cause the accumulation of tar or even accelerate rust.
Opening the action, removing the bolt, or taking off the barrel of your firearm will make it easier to clean. If you have a bore light, shine it through the chamber towards the muzzle to see how much fouling has accumulated.
If you must remove any small metal bits or parts, place these to the side in a magnetic tray for safe keep.
2.Assemble cleaning rod and attach a bore-appropriate brush
Next, assemble the cleaning rod that came with your Hoppe’s Cleaning Kit and attach a bore-appropriate brush.
Take a clean patch and saturate the patch with Hoppe’s No. 9 Bore Solvent. Wrap the patch around the bore brush, then insert the brush into the chamber and push it forward up to the muzzle.
Repeat this process several times in order to loosen fouling from the bore. Be sure that you only ever clean from chamber to muzzle, and never in the reverse direction, or you risk damaging the crowning of the rifling, which is vital to establishing spin stability.
3.Remove the brush, attach a jag and a clean patch, then run patches through, from chamber to muzzle, until they come out clean
Once you’ve loosened or removed most of the fouling from the inside of the bore, it’s time to swap out the bore brush for a jag and a patch, or, if you choose, for a mop.
Push your jag and patch or bore mop through the bore from chamber to muzzle. Give it a few passes with the bore mop or pass clean patches through until they come out white.
4.If necessary, remove the trigger assembly and clean using a brush and solvent
If you can easily do so, remove the pins securing the trigger assembly and lightly clean the internals of the assembly with a nylon brush in order to remove any accumulated fouling.
Now is also a good time to wipe down the exterior of your firearm’s slide, bolt, or bolt carrier.
5.Apply a very light coat of oil to moving parts
Once you’ve cleaned out the bore, the bolt or bolt carrier, and the trigger assembly, apply a very light coating of oil to moving parts and wipe away the excess. The oil will lubricate these moving parts will protect them from moisture and corrosion.
6.Bonus: for shotgun owners: remove the choke tube, clean and oil the threads
If you’re cleaning a shotgun with a modular choke system, remove the choke tube with an adequately sized choke wrench and clean off the threads of the tube with a nylon brush. Then, apply a thin coat of oil to the threads before replacing the choke tube.
7.Reassemble the firearm and cycle the action to ensure all parts as working as they should be
Finally, after cleaning off all moving surfaces and applying a thin coat of oil, reassemble your firearm in reverse order and cycle the action to ensure that everything is in working order.
Looking for a Hoppe’s Cleaning Kit?
Need a gun cleaning kit with all the essentials necessary for you to bring your favorite rifle, shotgun, or pistol back to sparkling splendor?
Check out our collection of Hoppe’s Cleaning Kits and other gun cleaning accessories and if you have any cleaning or platform-specific questions, get in touch with us at 610-250-3960.