Let’s be honest; cleaning a gun isn’t the most fun part about hunting. In fact, it’s probably the part you skip the most.
It’s easy to do. It seems way more important to spend time planning your hunt, scouting locations, observing wildlife behavior, and practicing shots at the range.
But if you never clean your gun, why would you expect it to perform well when you are actually out hunting? Cleaning a hunting rifle isn’t hard, nor does it take a long time.
You just need an effective firearm cleaner, a few basic supplies, and a couple of extra minutes of time. Keep reading to learn about the supplies and gun cleaning tips you need for easy, efficient firearm cleaning.
Supplies Needed for Firearm Cleaning
You probably have tons of hunting supplies and different pieces of gear. You consider it vital in order for a successful hunt, right?
Gun cleaning is just as important. Having the right supplies and knowing how to clean a gun can mean the difference between a full and empty freezer.
Here’s what you’ll need.
One-Piece Cleaning Rods
One-piece cleaning rods allow you to safely and easily clean the barrel of a gun. One-piece rods are favorable to multi-piece rods.
Multipiece or extending rods may have extrusions where the piece connects and could cause damage to the bores in your rifle; not a good thing.
Easily clear debris and obstructions from your barrel. You’ll also be able to wipe away excess oil from gun powder.
Bore guides enable you to center your cleaning rod inside the barrel. This will give you a more effective barrel cleaning. It is better for the lifespan of both your barrel and your cleaning rod.
It also helps you to clean the barrel from the breach side, the safer and easier method. It will direct cleaning solvent away from the action where you don’t want it to gather.
Patches are used to carry solvent and push out debris from your rifle. You want patches that are lint-free so they don’t leave anything behind that could affect accuracy.
They should be highly absorbent in order to hold the cleaning solvent as well as soak up oil, grime, and carbon fouling.
Brushes and Jags
Brushes and jags attach to the end of your cleaning rod. A jag will hold cleaning patches in places while you push out grime and apply the solvent.
Brushes have tough bristles that allow for deep cleaning, without damaging, your barrel. High-quality brushes and jags will last a long time and keep your barrel in great shape.
After using the cleaning supplies listed above, you’ll want to ensure that they are cleaned and ready for their next use. You can’t clean a gun properly if your tools are covered in grime, right?
Brake cleaner is used to spray down and remove grime from your rods, brushes, and jags.
Lastly, you’ll need the actual cleaner, or solvent used to clean your firearm. This is the substance you’ll apply to your cleaning patches and run through the barrel and action of your firearm.
Best Firearm Cleaners
Your choice of firearm cleaners comes down to personal preference. There are many different types utilized.
Most gun owners recommend a cleaner made specifically for guns as opposed to multi-use hardware or automobile cleaners. Here are the best options.
Hoppe’s No. 9 Gun Cleaner
This gun cleaner has been one of the favorites of the firearm community since 1903. Its strong, potent formula makes it easy to penetrates thick grime.
It works to loosen debris and remove fouling. It also helps to prevent the buildup of carbon and lead, slowing down wear and tear on your gun.
It works quickly and performs well with any type of gun. It’s incredibly versatile and is trusted by competition shooters as well as backcountry hunters.
Hoppe’s Foaming Bore Cleaner
Hoppe’s also offers a foaming bore cleaning option. Many people prefer this to the liquid version.
When applied, the foam will change color depending on what is being removed from your gun. It will turn blue when removing copper. It will turn black if it’s removing powder.
This cleaner is easy to use. No need for strong scrubbing when using Hoppe’s Foam Cleaner.
Mossy Oak All in One Cleaner
Mossy Oak is a brand that is known and loved by hunters. The All In One cleaning solution is perfect for hunters looking for a simple approach to cleaning.
This product will clean, lubricate, and protect (CPL) your gun from further debris. It cleans out your bores, provides lubricating to moving parts, and prevents rust and corrosion.
Take it with you while hunting. The can is safe to use in temperatures as low as -65° and up to 400° so you can bring it into the backcountry or store it in your vehicle.
CRC BRAKLEEN Parts Cleaner
The CRC cleaner is one of the most budget-friendly, yet versatile cleaners you can get. While technically not a gun cleaner, many choose to use it with success.
Its primary use is for auto parts. At the very least, you can use it to clean your cleaning tools, as mentioned earlier.
Use Firearm Oil
After you’ve cleaned and defouled your firearm with the appropriate solvent, you’ll want to apply a light layer of oil. The oil will provide lubrication and protect the inside and outside of your gun from accumulating more debris and fouling.
Some cleaners, such as the Mossy Oak All In One combine protecting oil with the cleaning solvent. If your cleaner isn’t combined with oil, you’ll have to purchase it separately.
Don’t Forget to Clean Your Optics
You won’t be too accurate if your scope is full of dust or fingerprints. It’s vital that your lenses are crystal clear. Use a high-quality microfiber cloth and a lens-specific cleaner for perfect vision down your scope.
Proper Supplies Make Cleaning Easy
Want to make it even easier to clean your gun? You can even buy a preassembled gun cleaning kit made specifically for your gun and caliber. Some only have the tools, while others will include the firearm cleaner as well. There are also other types of rifles where you can find the best gun vise options for your hunting trip.
Either way, gun cleaning isn’t hard. It’s actually fun to get to know your gun, its parts, and how it’s assembled.
Looking for additional tips on keeping your gear in pristine shape? Be sure to check out more from our blog today.